feeling-of-exercising

  • Wake up and open your curtains. Your windows too.
  • Drink some tea or coffee, whatever pleases you. Notice every sip.
  • Have some fresh fruit and finish breakfast feeling full.
  • Stand outside and feel the air. Cool or warm, it will make you feel real.
  • Get some exercise. Yoga to soothe, running to breathe, lifting for strength.
  • Take care of your body. Have a nice shower and pamper as much as you want afterward. 
  • If you’re going to work, remember you have the chance to make anyone’s day or to ruin it. Act accordingly. 
  • Weed out the bad language. It’s only creating tension in your body and mind. Kind words are infinitely more appreciated.
  • Take some time each day to improve your mind. Keep reading that great book. Listen to an incredible piece of music. Practice an instrument or a skill. The progress is its own reward.
  • Pictures will help you remember how wonderful life is. But spend less time on your phone and more time seeing the world face to face. 
  • Go to sleep knowing that you have done well. Tomorrow is there with room to become even better.

-Notes to myself on how to become a better person this summer.

What to Do if Witchcraft Drains You

Witchcraft requires summoning and manipulating energy. It takes a lot of work. As a result, sometimes spellwork can end up tiring people mentally, emotionally, or physically. If you find yourself drained after a spell, you can do many things:

  1. Eat something sugary, carbs, or fruit. This runs along the same vein as a nurse advising you to eat sugar after drawing blood: The sugar will reenergize you.
  2. Drink tea or water. Stay hydrated! even when not casting spells. In general, oolongs, blacks, and fruity teas can help energize you, whereas green teas and herbals (especially lavender, chamomile, mints and rose) can relax you.
  3. Light your favorite incense or candle. Frankincense, sage, cedar, dragon’s blood, patchouli, cinnamon, pine, and sandalwood are good cleansing and promoting positive energy. Or, light your favorite scent–it’ll automatically calm and re-energize you.
  4. Carry a stone with you. Amethyst, citrine, obsidian, rose quartz, lapis lazuli, jade, and hematite are good considerations for re-energizing and healing spiritual energy. 
  5. …or, carry another special item with you! If you have a special pendant, prayer beads, necklace or other item that means a lot to you and comforts you, it can help restore your energy just by being in your presence.
  6. Take a bath or shower
  7. Take a walk out in nature. Even though you may not feel like working out, exercising can actually energize you rather than deplete you. You can absorb nature’s energies to replenish yours, too.
  8. Take a nap, or get a good night’s sleep. If you want an extra boost, place a healing stone under your pillow to recharge you while you sleep.
  9. Watch a funny movie or video, or read a good book. It’ll relax you, take your mind off your drained feeling, and correct any “off” feelings you may have.
  10. Work on something else that requires minimal energy. This could be crafting, knitting, watering your plants, or even doing your homework. Getting back into the groove of things will help reset your energy and stabilize you for daily life.
  11. Friends! If calling a friend or socializing will relax you, go for it! It’ll make you happier, too.

I hope you may rest well, take care of yourself and have a blessed path! (◕‿◕✿) Sincerely, a witch who’s exhausted after performing spells for four hours.

After the last painting my hands were a bit damaged, so I wanted to do something a bit more free feeling. This was a nice exercise in mark making and trying to salvage texture in a digital painting. And yes, I fell in to the trap of thinking impressionism would be simple… but found out it was more than I bargained for xD

Based on the Monet painting “Woman with a Parasol”. 

Health Advice for the Signs

**Check your Sun sign, your Sun sign’s polarity, and your Ascendant


Aries: The head is ruled by Aries. They are susceptible to a lot of headaches, migraines, and sinus issues, and could be susceptible to minor head and facial injuries, too. Arians are also prone to eye strain and problems with the teeth, and they have a tendency to overwork themselves. Arians easily get red in the face when they’re excited or angry, and when they have a fever, it often becomes very high in a very short amount of time. 

Advice: Use protective headgear if you’re participating in strenuous sports. Be sure to take breaks when working, and don’t try to take on more than you can handle. Eat meals in a serene atmosphere. Drink plenty of water and rest often. 


Taurus: The throat and neck are ruled by Taurus. Taureans may be subject to a sore throats, colds, laryngitis, thyroid problems, swollen glands, stiff necks (especially when they’re stressed) and other minor afflictions. They’re also prone to tonsillitis and ear aches. Taureans’ keen taste buds lead to a love of food, and that, paired with possible problems with the Thyroid gland, which is also ruled by Taurus, as well as a generally sedentary lifestyle, can cause weight gain. Because they are ruled by Venus, Taureans may also have back strain. 

Advice: Bundle up during the winter to avoid getting sick. Be careful of your eating habits. Remember everything should be done in moderation. Take walks outside to keep yourself active. Take the time to give yourself a quick massage or do some stretches if you’re experiencing neck or back pain. 


Gemini: The hands, arms, shoulders and lungs are ruled by Gemini. Geminis may have problems with respiratory disease and may be prone to bronchitis and asthma, as well as difficulty breathing when stressed. They’re susceptible to accidents involving the hands such as sprained wrists, jammed fingers, and broken bones, as well as minor bruises, scrapes and cuts. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which rules the brain and nervous system, so Geminis may also be prone to anxiety and nervousness, which can make them physically sick. 

Advice: Because your ruling planet, Mercury, is associated with the brain and nervous system, your mental health is tied to your physical health. Meditation, yoga, or even some simple breathing exercises would be beneficial to your overall health. Smoking tobacco is especially detrimental to Geminis, so avoid that. Playing sports such as tennis or ping pong will help strengthen the arms. 


Cancer: The breasts and stomach are ruled by Cancer. Cancerians could be susceptible to weight gain in later years, and it may be hard for them to lose that excess weight. They are prone to stomach and digestive problems such as ulcers, gallbladder issues, and nausea. Cancerians are likely to overindulge in wine and alcohol, which causes further stomach problems as well weight gain and water retention. Tension, anxiety, and high emotions are likely to cause illness in those born under this sign. 

Advice: Eat your meals in pleasant surroundings—no arguing at the table. Take a walk afterwards to aid in digestion. Walking in a warm rain or by the sea will soothe the lungs, as the air is moist.


Leo: Leo rules the back, spine, and heart, and those born under this sign may have problems with the back and spine due to physical and emotional strain as well as overexertion. They’re especially susceptible to upper back pain and pressures and pains around the heart. They may have heart problems later in their lives. 

Advice: Avoiding lifting heavy objects and doing stretches for the back would be beneficial. Try and maintain good posture as well, and make sure to get enough rest and relaxation. Sunbathing is a good way to do so. 


Virgo: Virgo rules the nervous system and intestines. Virgoans are worriers, and their nervous tension, anxiety, and emotional stress easily become physical ailments, usually intestinal, as they have sensitive stomachs and are prone to ulcers, indigestion, liver and bowel problems.  

Advice: Herbal tea eases the stomach. Light but regular exercise, periods of relaxation, and sunshine are helpful in getting Virgoans to stop worrying and destress, at least for a little while.


Libra: The lower back, butt, and kidneys are ruled by Libra, and Venus, Libra’s ruler, rules the throat, skin, hair, and veins along with those regions as well. Librans are prone to lower back pain (especially when they’re stressed) as well as kidney problems, such as infections, and sensitive skin, along with breakouts. Librans may have delicate immune systems as children, but it usually evens out as they age. 

Advice: Drink lots of water and avoid excessive alcohol and carbonated drinks as they are bad for both the skin and the kidneys. Mild exercise, back stretches, and good posture are all beneficial for Librans, and you should try to keep both your surroundings and your company pleasant and harmonious.


Scorpio: Scorpio rules the genitals, and Scorpios may have problems with urinary tract infections and genital infections—skin flare ups, cystitis, and other ailments. They may also experience exhaustion and ill health due to their own volatile emotions and inability to rest and relax, and suppression of those emotions as well as sexual frustration can lead to cruel and erratic behavior.

Advice: Take time to relax and process your emotions. Don’t bottle your feelings up; take time to exercise, and keep your surroundings peaceful. As you are one of water signs, you Scorpios benefit from taking trips to the sea, soaking in the bath, and drinking spring water opposed to tap water. 


Sagittarius: Sagittarius rules the liver, hips, and thighs. Sagittarians have sensitive livers, and they may be susceptible to overuse of alcohol and to hepatitis, since their ruling planet, Jupiter, governs the liver. They also may be susceptible to gaining weight in their later years, especially around the hips and thighs. They also are prone to chronic aches, fractures, sprains, and bruising in this area. 

Advice: You Sagittarians absolutely need exercise, fresh air, and sunshine daily, and you benefit from being around nature, but beware of the effect of the sun and wind, and be careful when walking, riding, or playing sports that you don’t injure your hips and thighs. 


Capricorn: The bones, joints, and knees are ruled by Capricorn. They may be prone to knee injuries and pains, stiff joints, arthritis, rheumatism, and orthopedic problems. Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, governs the gallbladder, spleen, bones, skin and teeth. Capricorns’ teeth tends to need a lot of care, and their skin tends to be dry. Their own pessimism and worrying can cause body aches and drained energy. 

Advice: Be careful in the sun to avoid skin damage, and be sure to keep warm during cold or wet weather. Try to keep good posture, but don’t walk too stiffly. Colorful surroundings, flowers, good friends, and good music are sure to lighten your mood when you’re feeling low. 


Aquarius: Aquarius rules the circulatory system, shins, calves, and ankles. The lower part of the leg is more susceptible to cuts, bruises, sprains, and fractures than any other part of the body, and the ankles may be prone to swelling. Aquarians may suffer circulatory problems, low blood pressure, anemia, and hardening of the arteries, and cold weather is particularly hard on them. 

Advice: You Aquarians need fresh air and exercise to release tension and increase energy. Brisk walks are good for circulation, but avoid running, as you’re likely to trip and fall. Elevate legs to counteract puffiness. Afternoon naps are good for vitality, but avoid drinking excessive amounts of coffee as it makes you nervous. 


Pisces: The feet are ruled by Pisces. They may be prone to aches, bunions, corns, and callouses, as well as athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. Pisceans often afflicted by bruised, stubbed, or broken toes, and are prone to gout too. Pisceans find it hard to stand for long periods of time, and they have problems with ill fitting shoes. They also experience emotion related illnesses as they are one of the water signs. Pisceans may be more likely than others to fall prey to alcohol and drugs.

Advice: You Pisceans should keep a well balanced diet, a mild exercise regime, and be sure to get enough rest so that you can keep up your vitality. Dancing and swimming are good exercises for those of you born under this sign. Be sure to take care of your feet and wear comfortable shoes. A warm footbath before bed aids in relaxation and a good night’s sleep.  


You can find the elements you lack in your natal chart in the outside world, which helps to pull these energies out from within to create a feeling of fullness:

Fire: Candles, warmth, exercise, excitement. What inspires you?

Earth: Greenery, trees, be around nature, put plants in your living space. Remember to feel the Earth beneath your feet, supporting you.

Air: Open spaces, almost a minimalist vibe. Room for your thoughts to take up the space.

Water: Drink plenty, visit the ocean, streams, rivers. Remember to catch up with yourself and just listen to how your body feels.

1. you have made it to 20! what a whirlwind year it has been but if you can survive 2016 you can survive anything.


2. remember that love trumps hate any day, everyday. just keep spreading love and being the best person you can be.


3. last year was definitely not your year for romance, try it this year though. I have a feeling a lot of love is coming your way.


4. school is a priority, do not ever forget that. you are so fortunate to be able to even attend college so just try your hardest in each and every class.


5. DO NOT SKIP YOUR 8AM! you signed up for it, you now have your afternoons free to study as you please. it’s an important class and really an hour difference of sleep is not going to kill you.


6. go to bed early, you’ll thank yourself when that 8am roles around.


7. take care of your body. eat healthy but eat good. make sure you are hydrated and exercise on the days that you can. you know that you always feel so good after you exercise.


8. keep meeting new people and keep making friends. talk to people in your classes, make new friends and study buddies.


9. when you are not feeling good on the inside remember to just take time to unplug and go outside.


10. remember your worth. this can be applied to friendships, to relationships and even when you are with just with yourself. you are worth so much and you have purpose, you are just starting to figure out new parts of your journey, don’t be so hard on yourself.


11. you can change your mind.


12. don’t let people make you feel bad for not wanting to do what you used to do, for changing and growing.


13. do not be afraid to let this love inside. when people give it to you sometimes you make up excuses to not take it. don’t do this, embrace the love and keep giving yours as well.


14. last year was so hard there is no doubt. but baby he doesn’t think about you anymore and you were not worth anything to him. that was not love and there is no love there. he is in the past, he is not your future. just let it go. let him go. no more.


15. you make each day what you will. it’s up to you and you are writing your story, you get to decided the paths that you take and the people you get to take it with. mistakes happen along the way and you can recover. you are in charge.


16. just spread love. give it to yourself in abundance and give it to the people you meet and want to keep getting to know. 


17. be who you want to be in 2017. there are so many possibilities and so many different outcomes and lots of things that we do and do not have control over. make sure that the things you can control that you do. make sure that you spread love and light. we all are going to need it.

—  17 things I want to remember in 2017
Self Care and Emotional Wellness

If you want to boost your emotional health then build the following into your life:

1. Develop a good group of friends. If possible, try and have quite a wide group of friends. That then means if someone moves away, or you change your school, your hobbies and so on, you’ll still a healthy support system in place.

2. Learn to appreciate solitude. Isolation isn’t the same as solitude. Isolation is being cut off from others for negative reasons; solitude is enjoying space and time for yourself – so you can recharge your batteries, and enjoy just being “you”.

3. Invest time in getting fit. People who are fit and healthy generally feel better about themselves. Also, exercise releases feel good hormones so we feel happier, more optimistic and relaxed.

4. Allow yourself to “goof off” and have a laugh – as too much work will drain your energy.

5. Discover your passion and invest time in that. We all have something that brings us alive, and seems to resonate with who we are inside … So investing in your passion is extremely satisfying!

6. Plan for difficulties and problems. We all encounter problems and hard times in this life. Expecting that to happen helps us feel more in control - as we understand it’s normal - so we don’t just fall apart.

7. Work on increasing your self-awareness. As above, we all have blind spots and idiosyncrasies. If we can learn about ourselves, and our natural tendencies, we can learn to master weaknesses, and work to change and grow.

8. Be willing to take risks. Though it’s hard to step out into unknown territory, you’ll find it’s more rewarding to stretch yourself and grow.

9. Watch out for energy vampires. There are plenty of people who will drain your energy so learn how to say “no”, and to set some boundaries.

10. Ask for help when you need it. We all need support and encouragement at times … And offer help to others when things are tough for them.

Lyanna Mormont & Feminism

I just have one tiny thing to say about Lyanna Mormont’s speech. I’ve seen quite a few people go after her for this particular line: 

“I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me.”

A lot of people have said it was very anti-feminist and an insult to women, which I understand where they’re coming from, but Lyanna wasn’t mocking those women. She was mocking the rigid gender norms placed upon girls and women in her society. It was decrying the social construct that dictates women cannot fight their own battles and are only good for what society deems ‘feminine pursuits’. Lyanna’s speech was deconstructing what it meant to be female at that time and declaring that women do not need men to fight their battles for them; that they are perfectly capable of fighting their own battles. We, as modern day women, cannot define her speech by our understanding of feminism today. Feminist discourse would have been largely unheard of in that period of time. What women of that day value most is incomparable to what we as modern viewers value now. For such a toxic patriarchal society, giving women autonomy over their own futures, and thusly their own battles, was a far more needed pursuit. The comment about knitting by the fire was not to say those who do knit and enjoy it are weaker and thus unworthy of being a woman, but rather it was to decry these archaic gender roles placed upon them. Women are capable of far more than society has given them the chance to display. 

It’s completely unfair to view Lyanna’s speech through our twenty-first-century lenses because the circumstances are different. It’s the same argument we use when we apply feminist theory to literature. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, if read through modern day goggles, would not be considered as groundbreaking a novel as it was at the time of its publication in 1847, but it very much was. 

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

“Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer.“

To us, these quotes would not be that powerful. As beautiful as the language is, the concept that women feel just as men feel is not revolutionary for us. But at the time, Bronte’s Jane Eyre was certainly revolutionary in its attempt to dismantle this cultural imposition on women over their need to be the passive and submissive “Angel in the House” (a concept of the penultimate feminine ideal described by Coventry Patmore in his poem published in 1854).

Imposing twenty-first-century notions of feminism on a culture that has yet to actually experience any wave or trickle of feminism is unfair. Contextually, Lyanna’s speech was for its time revolutionary and so was Jon’s decision to have both men and women fight. Even Sansa, who is not a fighter, acknowledges this by her smirk during the speech. It is not a slight towards those who are more domestic, but a slight towards culturally imposed notions of what it means to be feminine by men who see women’s worth as only mothers, caretakers and nurturers, without acknowledging them as a whole human that is far more complex than these strict roles allow them.

And for each woman, the question of femininity is always going to be different. For Lyanna, her fight has always been against those who underestimate her right to lead and the power she commands, and that is what she specifically addresses. There’s a famous conversation by lecturer and professor of literature and gender studies Ann Snitow in her 1989 essay ‘A Gender Diary’.

Her friend says in regards to the feminist movement: 

“Now I can be a woman; it’s no longer so humiliating. I can stop fantasizing that secretly I am a man, as I used to, before I had children. Now I can value what was once my shame.”

In contrast, Snitow said:

“Now I don’t have to be a woman anymore. I need never become a mother. Being a woman has always been humiliating, but I used to assume there was no exit. Now the very idea of ‘woman’ is up for grabs. ‘Woman’ is my slave name; feminism will give me freedom to seek some other identity altogether.”

It’s always been these contradicting ideologies that simultaneously fuels feminism as a movement and hinders it. Feminists for decades have struggled to reconcile both ways of thinking, but personally, I believe neither is wrong. For me, feminism is the freedom to believe in either. 

This is why I don’t see Lyanna’s speech as being particularly anti-feminist. Saying so is too black and white of a statement, which has never been something you can attribute to feminism. The movement itself is too nuanced, as are most movements.   

I hardly remember the girl in the before picture, but I don’t want to forget her. I don’t want to forget what it was like to feel like a prisoner in my own body. The pain, the powerlessness to change. Change is slow and getting started is hard, but it’s possible when broken down into tiny manageable habits. If you’ve never struggled with obesity, it’s easy to think you just need to muster up a little discipline and put down the fork, but you’re wrong. It’s so much more complex than that. There’s a reason why 95% of those who lose regain it and it’s not because they’re lazy. We probably judge ourselves more than you because we’ve all been taught that it’s our fault. I’m working really hard to have compassion for myself – then and now –and for those who share the burden of obesity. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. But it doesn’t make us bad or lazy or stupid, it makes us sick. and I’m sick of a culture that believes otherwise and marginalizes people who are trying and failing despite their other achievements. Sorry to go off on a tangent, but this disconnect in understanding and compassion pains me. I am strong willed and determined and pursue my dreams with vigor, but when it comes to this, if I let my guard down, I’ll be back there in an instant. Seriously, eff obesity, but more than that, eff anyone who doesn’t have compassion for those of us who are up against it. Excuse my language, it’s the only word that feels appropriate this morning. Keep fighting the good fight babes and never give up. Happy Humpday 🐫

IG : excessmatters

the signs as Parks and Rec quotes
  • Aries: Jogging is the worst! I know it keeps you healthy, but God, at what cost?
  • Taurus: Oh, my God. These dogs are so cute. I WANT TO THROW UP AND KILL MYSELF.
  • Gemini: I think that Comic Sans always screams 'fun'.
  • Cancer: I don't even have time to tell you how wrong you are. Actually, it's gonna bug me if I don't.
  • Leo: I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know I'm doing it really, really well.
  • Virgo: Everything in my life is going wrong right now. Whose fault is this? I demand to know.
  • Libra: I'm not interested in caring about people.
  • Scorpio: Ugh. I hate talking to people about things. This is a nightmare.
  • Sagittarius: No, no. That's too much responsibility for me. I gotta— I gotta find a way out of this.
  • Capricorn: Yes. I am a hunter, and it's 'You' season.
  • Aquarius: My anxiety has kept me up for over fifty hours.
  • Pisces: I'm hungry and my legs are tired. It feels like I just exercised!

pomrania  asked:

If someone wants that angst factor, but also wants to be more accurate... what about a trainer who's an abusive human being towards the character outside of training, but isn't an abusive trainer?

The best way to go about getting the angst factor is with the trainee themselves post-training, where you have someone who genuinely did buy in and then came to a realization later. They hate what they were trained to do, more importantly they hate what they did, and they hate themselves for it. They’re still excellent at what they were trained to do as they trained hard for it, it’s in their bones, an inextricable part of who they are, but the idea of doing it again makes them sick.

This is the setup of an internal conflict that is realistic, but requires an admission of personal responsibility. The “I Once Believed But Now I Don’t” is the foundation of a few hundred, grizzled and experienced action protagonists.

The trick behind this set up though is to go all in, the Atoner needs to have something they’re atoning for. The “I was forced” bit just weakens the motivation and gives them an easy out where they can divest themselves of responsibility. Maybe they do come from a background where they were taken/stolen from their parents at a young age and maybe they did fight against what was done to them in the beginning, but at some point they did give in. At some point, they made the choice and committed. That’s where the Atoner’s drama is. It’s born from personal choice and regret over actions taken. It really was their fault, and now they’re either running away or making up for it.

Abuse in martial combat training isn’t on the floor, it’s in much more subtle and coercive elements used to convince someone to do something they don’t want to do. It’s certainly possible to be victimized by martial combat training, used and abused. That abuse is just unlikely to come in the form of a physical beating. The problem is that martial combat is also, simultaneously, empowering. Adrenaline makes you feel good, and the act of taking control over yourself makes you feel strong. Add control over another person into the mix, get a head rush.

A good example of an abusive martial arts setup are the Karate Kid movies with the evil martial arts master. The other important reference point from these movies is a somewhat universal truth: the student is a reflection of their teacher.

Debates about use of force aside, you will occasionally find abusive setups in the real world as bullies are, unfortunately, a phenomenon where fiction reflects life. Students who come from these setups are likely going to be either abusers themselves or more prone toward falling into that category.

Strength first. Weakness is to be punished. Finish your enemy.

“Do not stop when our enemy is down. No mercy in the studio. No mercy in competition. No mercy in life. Our enemy deserves pain.” - Master Li, The Karate Kid.

Sentiments which all feel right, except the contexts they’re applied in are universal. Notice too, it’s all “us versus them”. Master Li in The Karate Kid remake is a well respected martial artist with a huge school and is famous for his ability to produce winners. The issue is where his values lie, and how he pushes his students. His hardcore, aggressive training tactics are applied only to those students who merit his personal attention, who excel. We see the values he’s instilled in his students through Dre’s conflicts with them. They all look up to him. He’s their father figure.

You’re right in that the attitudes of the trainers are the place to look for when looking for abuse rather than the training itself. You’re looking for scenarios that are emotionally abusive rather than physically abusive, and they run in a pattern similar to those used by emotionally abusive parents.

If you want to use these dynamics in your stories, it’s important to recognize the affect these figures will have on your characters. The student/teacher dynamic is a tightly knit one. This person is akin to a second parent. They are part and parcel to the character’s values, who they are, and how they’ve been shaped. Combating abuse takes real work, and it’s not as simple as shuffling the blame onto someone else.

Most of the issues when the fictional “abusive training” tropes pop up involves the author’s desire to get angst and allowing the character avoid taking personal responsibility through their victimization. Their experiences aren’t character defining, but rather perfunctory and act as a means of giving them some angst. It’s also a key means of identifying that this character is special, unique, and different from all the other rubes. In true cognitive dissonance, the presentation of this character is aces with their backstory except all the traits they’re claiming should be the ones they’re rejecting.

Atoning is an exercise in service and humility. A true Atoner is someone who has been humbled. This is a character type directly at odds with wish fulfillment. After all, the western version of this trope is Catholic. However, Atorners come from all over the world. Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin is a classic example of the trope, where in his desire to help others perverted his training and became the era’s most famous warrior (and mass murderer). He becomes a wanderer traveling Japan with a katana whose blade is reversed and blunted so he’ll never kill again. (Ignore for a moment that most of Kenshin’s techniques would absolutely still kill people via blunt force trauma and go with it.)

There are a myriad of places to take someone who has turned the people who trained them, on the system, or on their past beliefs. The Punisher is an example of a character who has decided to strike out on their own, he’s not truly atoning but rather is vengeance driven.

The problem with angst is that the good kind can’t be cheated into existence. Quality fictional angst comes from a personal place, usually resulting from a sense of personal responsibility for a situation (whether or not its their fault). A character can still be a victim of a system while also regretting the actions they took. The trick is understanding that being a victim is not automatically absolving, especially not from a personal point of view. A person can be both victim and victimizer at the same time. A bully with abusive parents isn’t automatically absolved for the bullying they’ve done, even if we feel sympathy for their situation and understand them better.

If you want to write an abusive trainer, this is going to be someone who is first and foremost emotionally abusive. If there’s physical abuse (and there may be), it will come long after the victim’s emotions have been secured. The victim will model themselves after their teacher, much like they would a parent, and become a “mini-me” because that is the best way to avoid punishment. They will become good at shuffling blame onto someone else, or trying to escape it because punishment is painful. That pain is likely to come from an emotional source rather than a physical one.

It will be difficult for the student to recognize their trainer is abusive. Their teacher will be someone they want to please, and the training will reinforce what the trainer says justifying the victim’s treatment in their own minds. All the good emotions you feel from doing exercise and the power felt by taking control over your body/over your mind becomes a parcel used to justify the emotional abuse. The student links their good feelings to what their teacher does to them and pursues it harder.

The key aspect to understand about an abusive training environment is that it is not automatically different from a normal training environment on a basic level. Which is to say, it’s not any better or any tougher or makes one a better fighter. Those in the abusive environment will believe their abusive training is the foundation of their skill and they wouldn’t be the same in a different program, but that is not necessarily true. What makes the training abusive is the way their teacher treats them and the values that are instilled. An abusive environment is often dominating, top down, and everything reflects back to the teacher.

Abuse is about control.

You can have two different teachers who do exactly the same things, but is abusive and one is not. This is why it’s so hard to tell whether or not a situation is abusive, because it’s based in attitude and outlook not in teaching techniques. The difference between an abusive teacher and one who is not is the psychological damage they leave behind.

A character with an abusive instructor may become a great fighter, but they will also be emotionally crippled. Like a bully, they will feel the need to exert control over their environment, create their own little kingdoms, and lash out at those who threaten their authority.

A character who cannot embrace their teacher’s outlook will be shattered, chased by self-doubt, and end up too mentally insecure to succeed at warfare. Their confidence is crushed, and whatever they learn from their teacher they don’t have the fortitude to use.

That’s the consequence of an abusive instructor.

You embrace them and become like them.

Or…

You reject them, and they break you.

This is not physical, they break their student emotionally through neglect, through failure, by critically hampering their ability to succeed, by undercutting them, or changing the goalposts on them.

This is where the fantasy of “the hardcore abusive training creating the best warrior ever who was never into it from the beginning” falls apart. A student is a reflection of their master.

A student in an abusive system survives and succeeds only by buying in. They can come to a different conclusion later and abandon it, but at some point they’ll be a True Believer. With the abuse serving as a means of motivation, a desire to please their teacher because of what that will earn them. Whether that’s glory, success, or just not being hit is all up to the teacher.

I hope that clears this concept up some.

-Michi

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I realized something while swimming today: We are all jellyfish. Every one of us. Just as this jellyfish has to pull back into itself in order to propel itself forward, we too have to take some steps back in order to keep moving on. It’s not just okay to have bad days or to backtrack, it’s part of life, and you bounce back from it. 

If the jellyfish wanted to, it could retract into itself and never return to its normal shape, meaning it would be stuck in limbo and possibly die. But it doesn’t trap itself by retracting, it uses it as a mechanism to travel and cross a positive distance. And, if it decides to drift for a while, perhaps let its food come to it, that’s okay. It will survive without constantly working to swim. And then it will go back to moving when it happens.

If you are stuck in a rut and you want to get out, there is a way. It may be difficult, especially if, like me, you’re not a strong swimmer. But it is possible, and you can fight the current rather easily if you don’t exhaust yourself with the idea of just going forward. Open yourself up to the idea of 2 steps back, 4 steps ahead. Take that personal day off to recover from the dragging classes or obligations, find the times where work is scarce and you can relax. Reward yourself with a dessert that doesn’t follow your diet. Eat that meal or snack that you usually skip because of schoolwork. Put aside your typical schedule and take one day to sit in silence and reflect. Find a day of the week where it’s okay to binge watch that show.  Accept that 2 hour commitment with a friend. Sit in the shower for an hour mindlessly. Go to the gym and vent your feelings into your exercise. Take a long nap. Cry, cry, cry, and then laugh twice as much. Accept that your mental health and well-being matter just as much, if not more, than your productivity and your aspirations.

Moving against what seems to be productive does not defeat your productivity. Taking time to recover does not stop you from continuing on. It’s okay to be a jellyfish.

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
—  jane eyre, charlotte brontë
Coping With Body Memories

Also known as somatic memories, body memories can be an effect of trauma and present as physical problems that cannot be explained by a medical cause. These memories can be physically painful to experience and are a common issue that survivors deal with. Here’s a list of things that help me get through it:

  • Breathe
  • Remember it will pass.
  • Focus on the feeling and getting it away
  • Remember that that feeling actually isn’t happening in the moment
  • Go to a private place and meditate
  • Breathe
  • Remember that it is all over and you are safe now.
  • Focus on your surroundings and other sensations (hold an ice cube, drink hot tea, chew gum, or exercise)
  • Talk or write about what feelings/memories are brought up by the body memories
  • Use positive self-talk to get through the feelings
  • Repeat affirmations
  • Do grounding exercises: name 5 things you see, 5 things you smell, 5 things you feel, 5 things you hear, and 5 things you taste (Note: donít do the senses that are triggering in that moment)
  • Do something nice for your body like taking a bath, putting on lotion or a nice smelling perfume, or wear comfy clothes
  • Write a letter to your body venting your feelings
  • Stretch
  • Aroma Therapy
  • Ask your body what it needs

What helps YOU to cope with body memories? 

me: hey so my anxiety is ruining my life in every single aspect and i feel like a failure in everything i do cos i can’t go a moment without feeling like death

psychiatrist: exercise helps :~)

1. Feel sexy underneath.
You don’t need a significant other to wear fancy underwear for. Throw on a matching set of a bra and panties. Wear as much lace as you want. You’re seeing it. Feel sexy for you.
2. Remember to moisturize.
You are the one living in that skin. You have a beautiful soul to keep warm, so take care of your skin.
3. Shave or don’t shave.
Do whatever makes you feel the sexiest. If you like your leg hair wild and free, then do it. Let yourself be as you once were before you knew what society made a razor do to young women. Love your skin. If you like your legs shaved, then baby take your sweet time as you do it. Feel every inch of your luscious legs and smile as you appreciate the feeling of your body.
4. Take millions of selfies.
Worship your body, your face, your everything. Your soul leaks through these photos. Each selfie is a shrine built to worship your own unique beauty. Do not be ashamed of it. Share these photos with the world or keep them hidden, but do not fear them. Embrace the power and freedom that comes from loving yourself enough to take a selfie.
5. Nourish yourself.
Eat cake or eat carrots, eat what makes your body and soul feel good. Exercise whenever you want to. Don’t do it because you feel like you have to: do it because your body screams for the endorphins. Don’t deny yourself food out of fear. Only do it when you really, truly, deep in your soul, do not desire it. You are a wildfire and you are allowed to eat up the world, as much of it as you choose. If you want something, consume it. If not, burn on, wildfire.
6. Get lost in nature.
Take a buddy to the mountains or simply lie down in your front lawn, just allow yourself to be consumed by the world around you. You were once a part of the earth, so remember to embrace every bit of it. Allow yourself at least 10 minutes of peace a day in nature. It will leave you feeling more grounded than ever before.
7. Say no.
I cannot stress this enough. Your ability to say no defines you. You are a strong, empowered individual, and if you disagree with something or don’t want something, do not be afraid to say no. That is your RIGHT. No one has the right to coerce you into doing something you do not want to do. Do not let the concern of hurting their feelings injure you in the long run. Say no and I promise you, you’ll be better for it.
8. Be independent.
Being single leads to a type of freedom that some people are unaccustomed to. When you are single, you are truly independent. Make decisions for you. Be selfish, in a way. Don’t let others stand in the way of your burning soul, your true wildfire. This is your life and you must live it for you. Do not allow others to dictate how you should or should not live. Let those people go. Be free of those restrictions and burn on.
—  a few things i learned after being single for almost a year (squatdatazz.tumblr.com)