Happy International Dance Day!

Tomorrow marks International Dance Day. From us to you, enjoy these amazing dance videos!

(You might wanna grab a hanky for this first one – it’ll getcha! But it’s worth it.)

Who’s your favorite dancer? What makes you dance? Tell us in the comments!

It’s World Penguin Day!

It’s World Penguin Day! Could any day be more lovely?

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Greenpeace invites you to invite today by helping protect penguin habitats. Click the pic to learn more!

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The Telegraph offers a quiz to find out what kind of penguin you are!

National Geographic Kids has a whole playlist of penguin videos!

And last but not least, this underwater penguin cam from Explore.org!

 

Science finally finds your “higher consciousness”

A happy and mindful Monday to you! This week:

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In a definite “told-ya-so!” for some of us, University of Sussex researchers are now confirming that tripping really is a kind of “higher consciousness.”😂 😂  Specifically they found that people on psychedelic drug trips had a greater diversity of brain signals than people in other states of consciousness. (So that’s why you never found your lucky rabbit’s foot…)

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This week brings us more news from the ongoing study of mindfulness and its effects on students, with a new study in American College Health showing that an 8-week mindfulness makes college freshman less likely to experience depression, anxiety and alcohol-related incidents like hangovers and blackouts. Sounds good to us!

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This week also offers the somewhat controversial news that mindfulness may be more effective for men than women, according to a new Brown University study. We at I Won’t Commit don’t like gender dualism, but we’re pretty into evidence-based science, and findings like this could help design better mental health and wellness treatments and programs in the future.

What do you think about this study? Let us know in the comments!

The Friday Feelgood for April 21, 2017

Hello hello! It’s Friday once again! Making us happy this week:

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This week brings us news of the discovery of giant exoplanet KELT 11b. 320 lightyears away, the gas giant is 40% larger than Jupiter with just one-fifth its mass – making it about the same density as styrofoam!

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This week also brings us exciting news in the animal world. Scientists have discovered that the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) can recognize its own body as an impediment in task performance. This unique marker of intelligence places elephants in a group with other animals like great apes, dolphins and magpies!

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This last one is one of my favorite pieces of news in a while! Khipus (above) were used by the Inca to store accounting and other information, but they have remained untranslated and unreadable. That may change, though, with new evidence emerging from a color code found in a spectacular pair of khipus preserved by Andean village elders since colonial times, demonstrating consistency with a logosyllabic writing system. This is a major step towards understanding ancient Incan writing!


What’s making you feel good this week? Let us know in the comments!

Lost cities

Happy Wednesday! This week we thought we’d take a look at some of history’s fascinating lost cities.

Karakorum

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Karakorum, a city on the old Silk Road, was once the capital of the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan’s Ögedei.

Sarai Batu

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Amusing Planet takes a look at Sarai Batu, the lost city that was once the capital of the Golden Horde, and the film set designed to recreate it.

Xanadu

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With a name so well known many might not realize it refers to a real city, Xanadu, or Shangdu, was the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan Dynasty.

Do you have a favorite lost city story? Let us know in the comments!

Mindful Monday for April 17, 2017

Happy Happy Monday! This week:

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The Star Tribune offers a profile of “yoga enthusiast and fat femme” Jessamyn Stanley and her new book Every Body Yoga.

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The trend of animal yoga carries on with a heartening twist in Ohio as an animal shelter offers yoga classes with adoptable animals.

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And in the continuing adventures of “where WON’T people do yoga?” this week brings you yoga on paddle boards!

What are you looking forward to this week? Let us know in the comments below!

On the suicide attempt of a loved one

Hello,

I want to take a little time out this week to talk a little bit more about how this site came to be.

Last year, a person very close to me attempted to commit suicide. I have chosen not to speak much about this until this time, but I have felt for some time now that talking about my experience could help other people.

This event rocked my world. I became a different, older person at the end of one phone call. I said everything I needed to say, and then I spent the next few months deflating.

I told this person and other people close to them to do yoga. I got them some self-care stuff. Meanwhile, I stopped doing yoga almost instantly. I was reduced to instinct and sadness.

I haven’t talked about these things for a long time because we all believe on some level that we shouldn’t “burden” other people with our feelings. That compounding guilt won’t help anything, and that we have to be brave for the mentally ill people in our lives.

Which is kind of true. And is also kind of bullshit.

As a mentally ill person who loves a lot of mentally ill people, I feel qualified to say that shrinking your feelings down and acting like someone close to you trying to take their life didn’t affect you is at best an unhealthy repression and at worst a further chilling sign that maybe people just don’t care about each other after all.

Why should it make me feel guilty to tell someone that their suicide attempt ripped through me like a train made of knives?

We’re all on this website right now because at some point we or someone we love has danced on this edge of life. When you’re out there, you stop believing that people love you. So shouldn’t that make it all the more important to say how much things like this hurt?

I can’t begin to tell you how unbelievably sad it made me that this person rejected all the love in their life.

Now your heckles are raising. You’re going to say it’s just the illness.

But I’ve heard it. And I’ve lived it. I know it’s the illness. And that’s why I’m going to keep talking anyway.

If you’re reading this right now and you think no one in your life would get ripped in half by your suicide, you’re wrong. Someone loves you so much that they may spend the rest of their life wondering why their love couldn’t help you if you commit suicide right now.

You are not insignificant. You are not unloved. And I’m so tired of making excuses for the illness.

I’ve got the illness. But I’m still accountable to the people I love.

Don’t feel guilt, that’s not the point. But even guilt can be something to live for, even just in the moment.

I still haven’t found a way to talk about this with this person in my life. I don’t know how to tell her that I stopped taking care of myself, and that I ended up in therapy. I don’t know how to tell her that this event made me question not only our relationship, but the point of human relationships at all. I don’t know how to tell her that her suicide attempt made love feel so much smaller than I used to think it was.

But maybe it can help you. Maybe it can help you see how badly you need to make that one last phone call before you do something you can’t take back. Maybe you can see that what you think is your release might be someone else’s gateway to hell.

And never forget that the person who loves you the most can be you. Maybe you need to stay alive long enough to yell at all the people who’ve fucked up in your life. And then once you’ve done that you can live for the feeling of how good you just did loving yourself. And then you put one foot in front of the other.

Part of how I’m putting my life back together is trying to do what I can to boost other people’s mental health. And that’s why I finally had to tell the world that surviving a loved one’s suicide or attempt is brutal. It is unspeakably difficult. It is something no one should have to go through.

So?

So plant seeds at the edge that can lead you back.

I’m saying these things so they might stick in your head the next time you’re out there. The funny thing is that the person I’m writing about did that very thing for me. She planted in my head the idea that I couldn’t commit suicide because of what it would do to her, and that thought has stuck with me in my darkest times until this day.

Maybe we should tell the people in our lives the things we actually need to tell them. Maybe we should say you can’t kill yourself. Maybe we should say that people can live for each other, even just long enough to learn to live for themselves.

If you don’t believe that love is real, these 900 words have been love. They have been the feeling of love looking for itself.

Plant the seed. Try and remember what’s outside the illness. Try and remember what the illness wants to take away from you.

Love is real. And you have it.

Schlomo Steel, editor and creator, I Won’t Commit

 

The Friday Feelgood for April 14, 2017

The happiest of Fridays to you indeed! Making us feel good this week:

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Researchers have uncovered a trove of caves in South America that were BURROWED BY GIANT ANCIENT SLOTHS. “It’s cute, it’s terrifying, IT’S GIANT ANCIENT SLOOOOOTHS!”

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The BBC has this great story on animals that humans have mistaken as evil. Would giant cave-burrowing sloths have made this list?

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This week also brings us news of the discovery of this new species of pistol shrimpSynalpheus pinkfloydi, named for its giant pink claw. Wish you were here…unless you were an angry pistol shrimp!


Making us feel grrrrreat right now is news that Fight for the Future is providing seed funding for “A-Teams,” letting real people apply with their own ventures to become professional activists. Oh snap!

What’s making you feel good this week? Let us know in the comments!

Express Yourself!

This Wednesday we’re taking a look at some resources to help us all grow our self-expression skill set. No matter the medium, telling your story can be a revolutionary act.

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Rebecca Sugar shares a four-week strategy to grow your self-expressiveness.

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17 pointers for boosting confidence and self-esteem, key for successful self-expression! Click the pic for more.

This great video from Kamil’s View invites us to look at the things holding us back from self-expression.

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.30.22 PM.pngThis cool tool from Story Shack randomly generates a writing prompt, complete with a target word count, genre, character inspiration, a material, a sentence to use, and more! With nearly 3 billion possible combinations, I’m guessing one can inspire you!

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.39.20 PM.pngNeed inspiration? Want to collaborate? Head to Droodle to work on visual art with strangers!


How do you show or grow your self-expression? Let us know in the comments!

I Am Not a Snowflake

Hi all!

It snowed last week where I am in Michigan, and it reminded me to dust of the draft of this post. I just gotta say:

I am not a snowflake.

To hear Republicans tell it, America’s enemy #1 is a mewling anthropomorphic snowstorm – whether or not it’s an actual threat depends on their mood.

“Special little snowflakes,” they call us.

Because we insist on our individuality? Because we’re indistinguishable as individuals in groups? Because we’re delicate and common?

Because we’re in increasing danger under a president who doesn’t believe in climate change?

Because we’ll crush you if the conditions are right?

Seriously, nothing makes me want to pull that jab-both-eyes Three Stooges thing quite like thinking about the next smarmy white guy who’s going to push up his glasses and call me a snowflake like he just cured cancer.

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This post used to continue with a litany of the things I’ve endured, but I decided that’s really not what this is about. We’ve all been through a lot. That’s pretty much a given for a website aimed at suicide prevention among marginalized people.

I decided what it’s really about is all the things I am despite or because of all the things I’ve been through.

I’m more than two years sober, for one. I got an amazing chest tattoo last month, for another.

I’m strong, and secure, and able to carry some weight in the world for queers and weirdos. I get to wake up 3 times a week knowing I’ve put one small crack in the wall of shit we face every day with this very website.

People like us get told we’re nothing a lot. But you know what? I’m not nothing. I haven’t melted. I’m not delicate. No marginalized person is.

You’ve bent, but you haven’t broken, and you’ve learned so much along the way. Every marginalized person knows more and has lived more because we have to fight for it.

We’re not the ones losing our shit about Netflix changing its review system. ☕😂 (I’m sorry, but can you imagine a more white boy problem!? 😂 😂😂 )

Trying to make us feel small and divided is just one more bullshit tool. You got this. We got this.

Are you a snowflake? How do you feel? Let us know in the comments.