Have you noticed how many parents instruct their children to smile back or say ‘hello’ when you first meet them?

In my part-time work at a supermarket checkout many families come through every day and I enjoy looking into the eyes of the babies and children because I find that in the way they look at me they are truly seeing me and feeling who I am, exploring who or what is there to be felt. So I look at them and sometimes I can feel that we are truly connected in that moment and nothing more needs to be said or done.

But the parents, wanting their child to ‘be polite’, often instruct the child to smile back or say hello: it feels like they are being asked to perform on behalf of their parents. Continue Reading…

I recently read about a woman’s experience of alcoholism in her family detailing the abuse of alcohol and its ‘second-hand’ effects on her, and as I read I found my eyes darting as if not wanting to read and feel all that was being presented.

As I read the blog I could feel my own agony of living in a familiar feeling – my own household as a young boy would lurch from sunshine to violence through the use and continued abuse of alcohol. Even as I write this I can feel the questioning of that statement – it wasn’t every day, or every week – and this is how we can allow and not claim that even once is too much, and too many times.

Continue Reading…

Being a Black Woman

August 12, 2014 — 166 Comments
Shevon Simon | Being A Black Woman

Shevon Simon “I am coming to know myself again as a woman, beyond being a black woman…”

Being a black woman… what does it mean, and is there any difference to being any ‘other’ kind of woman?

Looking at my life I never thought I had an issue with being a black woman. From a young age I held the strong view that there was nothing that was a barrier for me, and nothing that I couldn’t achieve being a black woman. There was no glass ceiling for me… or so I thought!

What I have come to realise however, is that I have held a solid belief that as a black woman I had to work hard to prove myself, to be seen and accepted in the world. It’s interesting that the very thing that was propelling me forward in life was actually a belief that has been harming me the most. Continue Reading…

I woke this morning feeling out of sorts – flat and weary, with a sore lower back. I began writing simply but honestly in my journal. I asked myself, “how could I feel this way when I had just woken from a full night’s sleep?” I asked how yesterday had been, what had been disturbing me, and what I had done when I had felt disturbed. I wrote down exactly how my body felt physically and more generally, I wrote how I felt. As I wrote I had more clarity on my weariness, and felt beyond the sense of flat, to sadness, to a feeling of being a little bereft. I wrote as honestly as I could about the things that had been happening that triggered those feelings.  Continue Reading…

  • Why, they’re my breasts – I’m your baby… and if you let me I’ll suck them ‘til I’m 5 years old.
  • No, they’re mine – I’m the soft porn in the ads and the page 3 girls in the daily paper. Those breasts can sell anything!
  • No, they’re my breasts – I’m the X rated porn industry, one of the USA’s greatest exports.

Continue Reading…

I am in the middle of my exam period of the first semester of my first year in the study of dentistry. I have been pondering on how to study without stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle, just like in the days when I do not have exams going on.

I always keep caring for myself during the exam period at University; it does not make any sense to me to stop with everything I am normally doing and only focus on studying and eating TV dinners as I see many of my fellow students do. Continue Reading…