Wellness, Ableism, and Equity Literacy

Disability is a form of diversity, not a synonym for unhealthy.

Source: Ableism is the wellness issue we’re not addressing | Well+Good

Wellness is oblivious to its pervasive ableism.

The idea of wellness centers around being the best we absolutely could be by embracing healthy lifestyles and habits, but makes one big assumption: we are all able-bodied, and most issues are solvable through healthy eating, exercise, and potentially even expensive products. Baked into this is a healthy dose of ableism-preconceived notions and stereotypes towards people with disabilities. Whenever I look at trends surrounding food choices, exercise, or products, the people speaking about them or benefitting are overwhelmingly able-bodied.

For wellness to be fully inclusive, it needs to feature bodies that don’t look and move the way an “ideal” standard might. Most importantly, we need to be part of the industry’s conversations as a demographic that gets told we are unwell, but lives the healthiest lifestyles we can given limitations from our brains and bodies. To dismantle the ableism problem in wellness, this means a large industry needs to begin featuring and consulting people with chronic illnesses, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and physical disabilities as well—because being alive, capable of self-acceptance, and being our best selves should truly be for everybody.

Source: Ableism is the wellness issue we’re not addressing | Well+Good

Representation and NAUWU principles matter and make things better. I’ve dabbled with Apple Fitness+ within the limits of my chronic conditions. I appreciate the disability representation and diversity I’ve seen on screen so far. More, please.

To be effective, wellness needs to get equity literate, get structural, and design for real life.

Beyond their community health activism and their work to establish organizational wellness practices and spaces, the revolutionary groups of the ’60s and ’70s also understood that political education, fighting in the streets, and engendering reforms and services for their communities were inherently therapeutic and empowering. “Part of being a healthy human being is reclaiming your dignity,” says Dr. Bassett. “To stand and fight is an act of self-preservation and an act of reclaiming one’s health.”

The group of teens and young 20-somethings conducted several operations that helped lead to reforms. In Chicago, members followed the model laid out by the Black Panthers and tackled food insecurity with grocery giveaways and a free breakfast program. Additionally, the Young Lords established a free clinic that included a dental program as well as education on health and nutrition. In New York City, it initiated free food programs, provided political education with its Palante newspaper and weekly radio show on WBAI, and recruited members to escort children to school safely. Moreover, they organized famously gutsy actions that served the community with preventative care and forced an otherwise negligent government to take notice and start heeding the needs of marginalized communities.

Source: Historically, ‘Radical’ Groups Have Often Positively Impacted the State of Wellness and Health in the U.S. | Well+Good


Sensory Share: Good Vibrations and Happy Floods

Brian Wilson’s “Good Vibrations” has been called a pocket symphony. For this fellow autistic, it is also a sensory symphony that speaks to my wiring.

Good Vibrations, Bad Vibrations, Overwhelm, and Meltdown

Here are five pocket sensory symphonies, starting with the version of “Good Vibrations” from the “Smile Sessions”, that flood my neurology in a good way. This sequence really works for me.


I don’t know if Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females is also autistic, but I identify with her music as a disabled neurodivergent and claim her as a neurosibling in my headcanon. She has two towering, monumental, tidal wave songs on here that fill the immensity of a near-field sound stage and give me bumps and shivers.

I listen to these in the sweet spot of a near-field listening setup with that Rickenbacker thumping against my legs through a subwoofer port. Your tingle levels may vary.

For more music from Screaming Females and chronic, neurodivergent, depressed, queer punks:


Many just went along, step-by-step, down the road. They were the people next door.

You poisoned yourselves heart, mind, and soul with grievance, supremacy, the Southern Strategy, and the Confederate Catechism.

Source: To the family Trumpists

During a heartbroken and angry moment near the beginning of his presidency, I wrote that blog post about and to the Trumpists in my family. Given the crescendo of Trumpism that was the insurrection and the cast of characters involved, that post comes surging back to mind.

In this nicely done speech, Arnold Schwarzenegger recalls the men of his childhood in post-WWII Austria:

Many just went along, step-by-step, down the road. They were the people next door.

My father and our neighbors were misled also with lies, and I know where such lies lead.

To the family Trumpists,

You went step-by-step down the road.

You believed obvious lies.

The generations that succeed you will know you as a cautionary tale.

The Lost Cause provided white Southerners-and white Americans in general-with a misunderstanding of the Civil War that allowed them to spare themselves the shame of their own history.

Source: The Nationalist’s Delusion – The Atlantic

In conversations with my Trumpist family, I hear the Southern Strategy, Lost Cause, Confederate Catechism, traditional segregationist discourse, and Christian Alt Facts. I hear not just a “misunderstanding of the Civil War” but a fundamental misunderstanding of American history, one that “reverses the moral field of American politics and the basic structure of American history.”

The claim that Trump was denied a win by fraud is a big lie not just because it mauls logic, misdescribes the present and demands belief in a conspiracy. It is a big lie, fundamentally, because it reverses the moral field of American politics and the basic structure of American history.

Source: The American Abyss – The New York Times

My Trumpist family avowedly don’t know any of these terms I confront them with. It’s hard to perceive beyond framing you have no vocabulary for, so I curated relevant writing from historians into these blog posts that I wrote as post-conversational therapy.

You are the people next door. I’ve known that since I was a kid who quietly rejected my Southern Baptist upbringing and the people who perpetuated it as morally compromised by bigotry and patriarchal authoritarianism.

This is the shit you taught me. I’m not passing it down.