existing is productive

i was listening to a podcast interview with author nora mcinerny this week, and she said this thing about productivity that i’ve been thinking about ever since:

‘all time that you have is productive because you are spending it however you need to.’

i mean.

can we hear that a few hundred more times? existing in the universe is inherently productive. being a human is productive. we don’t need to assign a judgment to how we spend every moment of every day.

i think this felt so potent for me right now because the process of choosing what to do when and for how long has come into such sharp focus. i no longer have passive parts of my day, like commuting, where i would rarely ask myself, ‘is this really the best way to be spending my time?’ instead i wake up with limitless options for how to arrange my day (save for some yoga classes and zoom meetings) and the immobilizing fear that comes with that.

i’d like to stop labeling my days as ‘productive’ or ‘unproductive,’ and i’d especially like to stop letting those labels affect my sense of self-worth. if you’ve had success with such lofty intentions i am officially accepting tips.


yoga this week

60-min slow flow on tuesday 9:30am cst through coconut yoga. sign up here.

making ~art~ with echo modern dance this sunday so i’ll be teaching a 45-min flow on saturday at 11am cst instead! sign up here (same thing the following week).


links

transitioning swiftly from the previous section by directing you to this yoga studio. sky ting streams live classes for free every day and they’re stretchy, challenging, and a little kooky. highly recommend.

i am patiently awaiting the arrival of my first original painting by claire glavin who is equal parts my lifelong friend and someone over which i fangirl (she’s so damn talented). claire just launched an online shop for her artwork and she’s donating a portion of her profits to the sarasota mote ocean research program.

geneva boyett turned her travel photography into beautiful postcards and they are available for purchase on her web shop today.

i was introduced to jasmine cho when nancy pappas interviewed her for cherry bombe’s virtual jubilee a few weeks ago, and i immediately fell in love with her work. she is a self-proclaimed ‘cookie activist’ and if that’s not the best job title i’ve ever heard i don’t know what is. jasmine creates sugary portraits celebrating aapi heroes throughout history (did you know may is aapi heritage month?), and is currently pursuing her master’s degree to explore the healing power of bake therapy! we’ve got a delightful conversation with jasmine coming up this week on closed loop cooking and i’m so excited to share it with you.

have you been following along with hawnuh lee’s little rituals series? she tells me that making them is her daily meditation and watching them repeatedly is equally therapeutic.

this isn’t a happy link but i think it’s an important read: ‘meat is not essential. why are we killing for it?’ (wapo).

i finished ‘in five years’ by rebecca serle and it was devastating but still a lovely distraction. now i’m about halfway through ‘good girls lie’ by j.t. ellison, which honestly is creeping me out, but again—distraction.

this podcast always provides exactly the amount of non-pandemic levity i need.


a recipe

i made this pb&j inspired crumble (cobbler?) twice this week and will surely be making it again. in very me style i did not follow a recipe nor did i use a single measuring utensil. but i have pieced together a guide to making it yourself regardless, because it is truly that good.

you will need:

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter you like)

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • ~2 1/4 cup* oat flour (or ap flour or spelt… really whatever you’ve got)

  • ~3 cup frozen berries (or enough to generously cover the bottom of whatever pan you’re using)

*ok this is the measurement i’m least sure of. basically just keep adding flour until you’ve got a dough that’s dry enough to pick up and kind of crumble with your hands, but still has that moist sheen from all the nut/seed butter.

do these things:

  • combine all ingredients except for the flour and berries in a large bowl, and mix well with a fork until the batter is a smooth, even texture.

  • gradually add in flour and mix until no dry bits remain (see note above).

  • get your pan (i used a 9x9"cake pan, but you can use any walled pan around that size) and fill it with whatever berries you’ve got in your freezer (fresh works too, but i feel like we are coveting those to eat in their raw glory right now, right?). i used strawberries and tart cherries.

  • set your oven to 350ºF and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top gets a tiny bit brown. if the bottom of your oven tends to be super hot you might want to check around 35 mins that the berries aren’t burning at the edges.

  • let cool to a sub-tongue-burning temperature and enjoy!


as always, i’d love to share whatever cool things you’ve been up to in a future issue of plant matter. just reply to this email to let me know :)

existing in the universe,

maia