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deletedMay 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker
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Oof don’t even get me started on that discipline stuff. But I think that’s the whole thing, what you said, the being with it, no matter what it is.

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Discipline has been a real eye-opener for me lately. I pushed so hard and for so long against it. I was a disciple _against_ discipline, because I didn't want someone "else telling me what to do, because I felt so alone in doing most things, and because I didn't want to be tight, grasping, or controlling of myself.

I had a major shift just this year and I now feel that self-discipline doesn't have to be those things. In fact, I feel more relaxed than ever.

I wrote about this recently myself →

https://open.substack.com/pub/bowendwelle/p/someone-elses-discipline-is-just

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I loved your article about discipline! And I can only imagine I got it from a link Holly shared. It’s good stuff

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Don't you just love when bad decisions force you in the right direction?

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I mean absolutely never in the moment lol. But also absolutely yes.♥️

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Same. Same! LOL. But yes. I'm originally from upstate and it forever has my heart. Welcome back to the east coast.

(Love your newsletter/book/writing thanks for sharing as always)

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I miss it terribly. A special place indeed.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

Story of my liiiifffee 😂

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Oh Holly I was captivated by this essay. You said some things I so needed to hear today. I am so glad you have come “home”. Much love Miranda 🫶🦋

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Thank you Miranda ♥️

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I love your writing and I am onboard for the film versions too a la Cheryl Strayed!

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♥️

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Sometimes branching can work too. But branching is also a bit of breaking.

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Wholly, wholly agree. ♥️

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May 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

My students, my friends, the internet, often tell me that my class/ideas/writing is depressing, but I continually push back. We can’t change what we don’t understand, which means we have to dig deep into the big, catastrophic, violent, and heartbreaking social problems in order to get to the kinds of changes Wilber speaks of: proper weeding rather than bandaids. Sociology overlaps with secular Buddhism in the recognition that everything is always changing all the time and we are always playing a role in that change (even if we aren’t aware how), but also, we can’t (always) know what the outcomes are. Cheers to anyone who finds themselves where they need to be no matter how we get there.

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this. thank you.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

ALL. OF. THIS. I am right there with you on just about every level...most particularly, on “where are the grownups and why aren’t they doing anything about us being on the brink of not being able to live on this planet much longer??!” For a big part of my life I was so thankful to have been born in this place in time, truly after any major world wars, with mostly prosperity and security, and now I am feeling like I’m watching it spiral down the toilet bowl to the final glimpse of mankind on earth. It’s so hard to make sense of this world today, that is unless you look back in history and realize very few humans have ever had a truly peaceful lifetime... all we can do is keep breathing❤️

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Next right thing <3

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May 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

I love reading your newsletters so much. I find them to be incredibly helpful. I, too, am really interested in the concept of discipline right now and was diagnosed with ADD 10 years ago. I’ve tried a number of different medications but stimulants were highly addictive for me. Have you (anyone) come across resources and/or medications that have personally helped them with focus and managing adult ADD?

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Stimulants do not work for me, either. There was a thread (I cannot find I'm sorry) where someone mentioned an ADD coach helped them, and I have a huge list of resources from a reader that I am entirely resistant to go through. What has worked for me is letting myself be burnt out and unmotivated and tapping into things I'm deeply interested in again; discipline isn't hard for me when I love something. That being sad, I'm extremely uneducated on this topic; there are some incredible resources out there, including this YouTube channel I love. https://www.youtube.com/@HowtoADHD -- but again, this isn't my area of expertise. I've just, I think, learned how to work with it thorugh my recovery from addiction and just over the years, I've adapted. Sorry to not be of more help on this.

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Sorry I'm late to this, but I think allowing yourself to be unmotivated and tapping into things you are deeply interested in IS the absolute best advice you can give a ADHD-er. So many coaches and specialists treat ADHD like a disease. But it's not, it's just an inability to conform to post-industrial life. Consistent, organized productivity is capitalism, not humanity. Humans are brilliant and messy and our brilliance does not resemble factory-type-productivity. I'm either obsessed or resting. There are no other natural states for me, and I've stopped trying to stop either of those, and it's made me realize how weird and silly it is that capitalism successfully makes us feel bad about not being machines.

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I thought this guys ( a few comments above yours) take on discipline was refreshing and resourceful .....

https://open.substack.com/pub/bowendwelle/p/someone-elses-discipline-is-just

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A lovely walk 'n' talk with you, so to speak, as always Holly. Thank you for writing here.

Modern personal knowledge-wiki tools like Obsidian and Logseq (the open-source alternative that I use) are so awesome! I used to use like a bunch of different things to write and keep track of notes and "tasks" in (Zotero, Day One, iThoughts, Notes, Reminders) and now pretty much everything that isn't long form writing is in Logseq. For long stuff I use Scrivener. Maybe one day it'll all be in one place.

Maia S has been super helpful for me too, and yes, totally, "you have to be able to imagine better futures" which is what I couldn't do for so pathetically damn long, but once I did (mostly, tbh, by getting more physically well) things really turned around for me.

Discipline was not part of thing change, but has been a big shift for me lately because of how long I confused "discipline" with other people (mostly men) trying to tell me what to do, and me responding with "fuck that." I guess I finally figured out how to do it myself →

https://open.substack.com/pub/bowendwelle/p/someone-elses-discipline-is-just

"I like it" is super powerful & I love how this is essentially the how-to-be-a-producer mantra of guru-of-the-moment Rick ❤️ Rubin -- as you can hear in this interview with Bart Weiss https://www.thefp.com/p/rick-rubin-says-trust-your-gut-not-eab

"It was a terrible and costly mistake to go back to California. Hateful. Regretful. Regressive. Stupidly expensive." Yep. Been here. So many big times. I agree it doesn't always have to be breakage, but I'm done my share →

"A desperate move, a mistake, and a wreck that made everything worse."

https://bowendwelle.substack.com/p/14-how-to-make-an-real-error

👁

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Thanks Bowen for this, I've never heard of Logsec but absolutely have tried Scrivner and felt very unhelped by it lol. Re discipline, same, which is what makes coming at it after not having really much at all feels so refreshing, looking forward to what you've written on it. Love RR and will listen. <3

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May 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

Related but not...I am increasingly engulfed in what feels like an all encompassing panic that it was cruel for me to bring children into this. They are here. I can't put them back. And yet, I cannot bring myself to a place where I can see any possibility for their future that is not ONLY suffering. Even though my life is not ONLY suffering. There is joy or something like it for me in places-why can I not accept that there will be ok bits for them too? I don't know if this is a sign that I need to be medicated or that I'm paying attention but it is taking up more and more space in my life and this felt like a safe space to say it out loud.

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May 3, 2023·edited May 3, 2023Author

I understand, I don't have my own children but I do have nieces and a nephew I care about more than anyone else, and I have to believe there is a future for them, that there is something even better than what we had because even though horrible things are happening, so are magical things. That was truly, truly my point. To express that I believe now more than ever, the pressure we are under will yield something better than we have known. That's the point I'm trying to figure out how to write and still haven't figured out. But I believe that with my whole entire being: that we are moving toward dissolution of certain things, and the budding of others.

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Thank you. I'm so desperate for the hope nuggets that I find myself wanting to pin smart people against walls and force them to tell me they think there is a small bit of anything ok that will remain for them. You mention in the post trying to avoid the cliche that is tying everything together with the lesson provided by your earned wisdom and I'm over here like, "GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING LEARNED WISDOM PLEASE I AM DESPERATE TO BE REMINDED OF LEARNED WISDOM BEACAUSE I THINK I FORGOT MINE IN THE CAR."

So thank you so much for being kind enough to indulge me. It makes a difference to me to read this comment. Sending love.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

Great essay. Thanks, as ever, for sharing your thoughts so openly. Anyone can sit and regret past mistakes, but if you stop making mistakes you stop learning. Keep on making (new) mistakes and everything's going to be better in the future than if you hadn't, because you'll have learnt something from them.

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Oh I have so many more in me. Great ones. Thanks for this Gavin.

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May 2, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

"We forget the only way we find out what we do want is often enough found only through all that we don’t, or lives that we actually want to live come only after we’ve lived through the ones we didn’t, or that the will to choose rightly for ourselves only comes from information received from choosing wrongly, and sometimes that means choosing wrongly over and over and over again, and even making a disaster of your life, and even making a disaster of your life for longer than anyone is comfortable with. And so on."

I think about this a lot. Depending on the environment in which you grew up, this can be particularly painful (it is for me). Who gets to define whether our lives are disasters? I'm coming to learn that geographical cures aren't the long-term solution for me and instead I need to plant roots where I land. Here's to you returning to your chosen home <3

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I agree. There's always about a hundred disclaimers I want to make when I write. Same on the geographical cure part <3

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From someone who also moved to LA and ended up losing my mind there and moving back to new york I say to you... WELCOME TO NEW YORK

and also - LA showed me some things I couldn’t see before about what kinds of environments can lead me to despair. Do I wish I had to go through that, no. But now I know those things in my bones and I hope I’ll be able to avoid them in the future.

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losing. my. mind. thank you, I cannot wait to go to every obscure museum no one has ever heard of.

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May 3, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

New chapter for me. You helped me navigate my journey to stop drinking.

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Congratulations, dear Heidi <3

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May 3, 2023Liked by Holly Whitaker

This makes me feel so much better about my clusterf*ck life atm. These newsletters(?) are literally the only thing I actively look forward to in my inbox lol. Thank youuuuu.

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Anna ♥️♥️: here’s to clusterfucks.

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😂😂 only just saw this but it made my day 😊

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This read was so, so good!

"I’ve said 2021 was the worst year of my life but now I have 2022 and it’s a genuine toss-up."

Oh how I echo these sentiments. That's what I love the most about being a reader. You're never alone. I love your writing, Holly.

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Imagine me, back of hand to forehead falling backwards. Bone was the first book of poems I ever bought and your words are burned into my head and you’re not only a gorgeous writer and poet and my favorite living poet and (too many things to mention) but you know, iconic? Legend? Thank you Yrsa.

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