10 Ways to Take a Soul Shower

10 Ways to Take a Soul Shower

Midterms got you down? Micro-aggressions eating away at your soul? Do you just want to take an extensive nap? Or eat cereal while not wearing pants? Do you need a refreshing practice to shake up your day?

Or do you ever feel so dirty and sweaty and tired and stressed that all you want is to take a long, steamy and calm shower? When you finally take that amazing shower, do you feel (perhaps temporarily) cleansed of your worries and INVINCIBLE and ready to boogie through life as a social justice super human?

As you might have guessed, all of these incredibly specific leading questions are getting at the idea that I believe showers can have a transformative effect on one’s day and mindset. Of course, everyone experiences showers differently so, if this isn’t your takeaway, that’s understandable.

But, it is this belief in showers that brings me to ask this question: What if you could take this experience and apply it to your… soul?

So, through a collaborative effort with Q Center staff, we brainstormed 10 ways to take a SOUL SHOWER!

  1. Dance really hard. Or move your body in whatever way feels good. It is recommended to get really sweaty. And possibly wear glitter. And try not to give a damn about how ‘silly’ you might look. Whether you are alone or in a crowded dancey setting, this can be an amazing soul shower. Then, pair it with a real shower to wash the sweat off.
  2. Laugh so hard that you:
    1. Pee your pants. Just a little.
    2. Squirt some liquid out of your nostrils.
    3. Your eyes water.
    4. My smiling muscles hurt.
  3. Spoon or snuggle or cuddle another being. This can take many forms. You can spoon a friend, a lover, a kitten, a pillow…and your cuddling can take many shapes!
  4. Write a poem, letter or a sketch. Then, if you feel like it:
    1. Throw it away
    2. Tear it up and keep the pieces in a envelope.
    3. Burn it (safely).
  5. Play or a throw in a coin (don’t forget to make a wish!) into a fountain.
  6. Try something new. Or do something alone. Sometimes being a little uncomfortable in a new space or activity can help you gain perspective.
  7. Cry and blow your nose in your favorite (preferably soft and cozy) shirt.
  8. Screaming super loud. Some ideal settings for this yell might be:
    1. In an elevator.
    2. In the middle of nowhere.
    3. On a bridge over the highway.
  9. Singing or listening to a song really loud. Some recommended songs:
    1. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Def Leppard.
    2. “Build Me Up Buttercup” by the Foundations.
    3. “American Girl” by Tom Petty.
    4. “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn.
    5. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell.
    6. “Don’t Stop Believing’” by Journey
  10. Go forth into nature:
    1. Relaxing & people watching in a park.
    2. Hiking.
    3. Jumping in a lake.
    4. Climbing a tree.
    5. Sunbathing.

We hope these suggestions are generative for your own processes of healing and rest!

If you have any more suggestions for soul shower or self-care activities, email smhand@uw.edu.

Resurrecting Bayard Rustin

Happy 100th birthday to a man whose expansive justice work across multiple sites of oppression, earned him a marginal place in history, Bayard Rustin, our “Lost Prophet.”

While we are on the topic of birthdays of awesome queer folk who have facilitated the arc of the moral universe in bending toward justice…Audre Lorde would have turned 78 on February 18th! Ellen had a birthday in January, so did Michael Stipe (R.E.M. anyone? anyone?)…eh hem.

Hey, I’ve got a birthday coming up in April and my partner’s was in March! We are all part of this bending the arc of the moral universe thing. So, shout out some names of people who you know are ok with having their names shouted out and celebrate them and their presence on this planet!

Happy birthday to us Two-Spirit people and trans* folks and queers and questioners and same-gender lovers and bois and queens and kings and everybody else who has other words that I do not know because I just do not know everything. Our very existence is resistance!

“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” Bayard Rustin

Gil Scott-Heron, 1949-2011

Gil Scott-Heron, well known musician and artist, died over the weekend. He’s most famous for his spoken word piece The Revolution will Not Be Televised, which is about the need to begin the revolution inside your own mind before it can spread anywhere else.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGaRtqrlGy8]

Racialicious did a nice piece compiling some of his videos and quotes from interviews and articles. Well worth checking out.


In solidarity,


My mom rocks

My mom was recently (and is generally always) awesome and I’m really proud of her! So naturally I’m sharing the news. We were on the phone last night discussing a mutual friend who had recently made some weird comments/jokes to the effect of finding the idea of Queer 101, which I am helping to facilitate this quarter, amusing. Apparently this friend had speculated to my mom about what a “straight 101″ might look like.

And my mom went all anti-oppression on her! Even hearing my mom retell it to me nearly made me cry with pride. She raised some seriously awesome points about heterosexism and systems of oppression (not exactly in those words but those were the concepts she was getting at, and she was able to do it in a way that the friend would get). Evidently my mom was able to change the friend’s thinking about the need for something like Queer 101.

I’m super proud of this because I know that my mom’s anti-oppression views have a lot to do with me and how I have changed since coming to the UW. This whole event makes me extremely happy, and optimistic that I can create positive change on a personal level. Next up, I’m going to work on the friend :)

In love and solidarity,