Lean In and Stop Whining

I have had so many posts running through my brain but unfortunately due to circumstances my time on the computer is limited and thus I reserved my typing for Smarty Pants. However, I NEED to get this out.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead has been widely critiqued both within popular media and feminist circles. Additionally, when I bring up the text to just about anyone immediately their eye begins to wince and their lip quivers. They follow up their facial twitch with “ew I don’t like that book.” I immediately ask: “have you read the book?” The response 99% of the time is: “no.”

I think it is easy to read op-eds from fancy journalists and take their word. Its also really easy to avoid dealing with a tremendous and daunting problem we have in our country (or world :)). Sheryl Sandberg (as privileged of a beautiful Jew she is) isn’t just taking on getting a parking spot for pregnant ladies, she is taking on patriarchy and as we all know from our time in Women’s Studies courses… patriarchy sucks and is a difficult beast to tackle. I am not shocked that people would rather critique then indulge in the text’s points because if they were to take Sandberg’s points and assign value to them, then that would mean they are part of a movement that can be uncomfortable and difficult.

A breakdown of why your critiques are invalid:

1. Sheryl Sandberg is privileged which makes her points irrelevant.

Congratulations! You have done a magnificent job of pointing out the obvious. It would make little sense for someone who works at a fast food restaurant to write a text about gaining power. Sandberg also acknowledges who her intended audience is, and her role within the corporate sphere in the first few pages. Sure, Sandberg was able to gain power because she attended a well regarded undergraduate an graduate institution but this argument does two things. First, it negates all hard work she put into getting into those two schools (last I checked I am a Jew and I wasn’t automatically accepted to Harvard). Secondly, it is just another form of the same ol’ critique that surrounds women of power. Do people question Obama’s validity? My sources tell me went to a fancy undergrad and grad school and guess what… he is still seen as a relatable human!

This entire conversation makes me think of the hierarchy of power I referenced frequently with my students. We as a country have three classes of people. We have lower class (work jobs that require no thought), middle class (a job that requires a specific skill set) and the wealthy (jobs that require innovation and critical analysis). To gain wealth you need to be able to think. The thinkers are the influencers and their thoughts eventually dictate the work and rolls of the other two classes. I love grassroots efforts (which Sandberg is trying to cultivate with her Lean In circles http://leanin.org/) but I think its also critical we acknowledge that we need women like Sandberg, one of the wealthy folk to be thinking about these systems. At the end of the day… she does have power because of her status. Yes, her power is of less value to society because she is a lady, but she has found her way to the class that makes the big decisions. Her point about women needing to be in more leadership positions gets to this very point. We can march and protest all we want (and these are beautiful ways to get your point out) but we also need people at the top making major changes to be our allies. It never hurt anyone to have a friend at the top.

2. Sheryl Sandberg is exploiting feminism:

Great… exploit! Her entire chapter on her role within the feminist movement was refreshing. My beautiful and lovely feminist allies need to take a step back and calm down. Who cares that she references Gloria Steinem on every page? The fact of the matter is… she is referencing feminism constantly and isn’t that something to be excited about? I can not tell you how many books, articles, and conversations I have been a part of where the central topic is “how do we get people to not be scared of the word feminism?” Well here is one platform that seems to be pretty darn successful.  We should be celebrating these efforts. Perhaps the general public isn’t being introduced to feminism through punk or a zine but they are being exposed and isn’t that what we want?

3. Sheryl Sandberg hates moms:

Really? I just can’t.

 

Lean In and stop critiquing:

We should always be critical of any body of work. But I think our need to analyze…. analyze… analyze…. is hindering our ability to see the real value in this text. If we are going to shift our systems of oppression we need to tackle it from all angles. Further, I don’t care which power class you belong to: being told you are worth power is always relevant. Having a supportive partner is ALWAYS relevant. Asking for what you want while using an authoritative authentic voice is a must, and realizing that YOU ARE OF VALUE is a lesson we all should not only listen to but embody.

Also please note that I could have written about 3 more pages about my obsession with the ideas of this book, but instead of me telling you why its amazing, just go out and READ it (don’t just watch the TedTalks).

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Fresh for Summer

Here is a refreshing and unexpected combination: pineapple and cucumber. I was inspired to combine these two flavors after having a cucmber salad at a sushi restaurant last week. The menu said the cucumber salad had a hint of pineapple and that got me thinking. I looked through recipes (there are a ton of thai salades) and landed on this simple salad. This low calorie salad is filling and would work splendidly on a picnic or for lunch.

picnics are my favorite.

picnics are my favorite.

Cucumber Mint Pineapple Salad

Ingredients:

1 cucumber (peeled)
1 c  cubed pineapple
2 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp olive oi

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Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine cucumber and pineapple.

2. In a separate bowl combine oil and mint.

3. Combine dressing with cucumber/pineapple. Mix well.

3. Chill in fridge and serve. (It is recommended you serve immediately however I made this the night before and packed it for lunch and it was quite fresh.)

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Fresh and interesting

Letting it all go…

As I transition into this new phase of my life I am realizing that subconsciously I am carrying a lot of anxiety and it is manifesting in a number of ways. Mostly my body is not happy with my anxiety and is seeking unhealthy ways to cope with the unknowns. Lately I have been mixing my normal healthy eating with terrible eating and its throwing me completely out of whack. I was going to do a cleanse next week to bring in the summer but I don’t think I can wait any longer.

I not only want to cleanse my inner body, I want to rid myself of all the toxins and negative vibes and trauma I have endured over the past 3 years. I want to wipe the slate clean and start a new. This past weekend I made a organic and fresh scrub for cleansing my skin. This scrub is divine!

I have super sensitive skin and this scrub did not irritate me at all. Further, I don’t think my legs have ever been this smooth. The lavender is great for calming and the oil moisturizes like crazy.

I am practicing sauca (yoga principle for cleanliness) and finding peace by cleansing both my inner and outer body.  I hope you enjoy!

Lavendar Lemon Sea Salt Scrub

Ingredients:

2/3 c sea salt
1/3 c olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
10 drops lavender oil

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Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and them place in air tighter container.

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mix together until oils are combined

scrub

original recipe from this month’s issue of yoga journal

Gluten Free Chocolate Granola

Stephen and I are HUGE fans of Jessica’s Gluten Free Granola. We specifically love the Chocolate Chip one. Each bag costs $7.00. Although it is delicious, it is expensive and does not last long in our house (Stephen might love it too much). I had an urge to make granola the other night so I pulled together a variety of ingredients and came up with this delicious mix. What’s even better is it satisfies your sweet tooth just like Jessica’s! The recipe made two jars and does not even come close to $7.

Gluten Free Chocolate Granola

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Ingredients:

  • 1 c chocolate coco crispies
  • 1/2 c gluten free oats
  • 1.5 c puffed rice
  • 1/4 c sugar free syrup
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips
  • 5 walnuts
  • 1/4 c pumpkin seds (optional)
  • 1/4 c coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
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You could also add raisins or dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375

2. Mix oats, cereal, and pumpkin seeds together, place in baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

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3. While the oats are baking, mix the honey and syrup together. Whisk until honey dissolves.

Image-74. Stir in cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa powder.

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5. Remove oat mixture from oven and place back into mixing bowl. Evenly mix liquid with oats.

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6.  Mix  in remainder ingredients. Spread evenly into a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

7. Remove the granola from the oven and use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips evenly. You can opt to put the chocolate chips in after so that they don’t loose their shape however spreading them allows the mixture to clump up and makes it even chocolatier!

8. Allow the granola to cool and then place in an air tight container.

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Summer.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”  – F. Scott Fitzgerlad (The Great Gatsby)

This is my last week of teaching. After 3 years as a classroom teacher, I will take a curtsey, walk out and take ownership of my career. I am incredibly excited and nervous. I am hopeful and inspired.

One of the things I am most excited about is having autonomy over my time. Further, I can  decide for myself which work structure works best for me. After being micro-managed for 2 years, the idea of setting goals and fulfilling them because I am motivated (not working out of fear) is incredibly liberating.

The most energizing part of all of this change is that I am doing something I want to do. Not just want I want to do, but something I love to do, what I am made to do. (My post on lady leadership is a work in progress and will happen eventually :))

I am already feeling the benefits of this transition. I am spending time with friends, enjoying the weather, cooking again, and most importantly getting to be with my husband. Further, the onset summer is spectacular and invigorating!

Being with friends is beautiful. I have missed this tremendously. Over the past 5 months I haven’t seen people (working two full time jobs can do that). We have even had friends over! Stevi and Nick came over for pizza. Stevi and I were perfect housewives and made veggie pizzas for all to enjoy.

Pizza night with Stevi and Nick!

Pizza night with Stevi and Nick!

Gluten free and regular crust!

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Also here is our current song of summer!