Last week I met up with Crystal Fleming, who runs Aware of Awareness, a site for “Musings on Spirituality, Academia & Well-Being.” Crystal’s academic work “draws upon cultural sociology to explore how people interpret and respond to oppression” and her new project will look at people of color in the yoga/meditation/mindfulness community.
Crystal participated in the June yogathon I pulled together this year and it was a treat to finally meet her in person. We sat for hours discussing the various intersections of identity that we manage as academics of color with a dedicated contemplative practice.
I first “met” Crystal via Twitter – doesn’t Twitter always know when you should know some one? – and I take her site as an example of how we can marry these seemingly separate parts of our professional and personal lives. Aware of Awareness is a bold statement about the ways in which these parts are not actually, or always, separate. We can be professor, scholar, sociologist and irreverent, fly fashionista and contemplative, spiritual practitioner and angry, black woman and starry-eyed, love-struck idealist and….
From the first post on the blog (June 2012, “Popping This Blog’s Cherry”):
This blog is a space for me to share realizations, questions and musings related to spirituality. It is inevitable not impossible that you may also stumble over posts about academia, France, thrifty fashion, cooking, champagne, cigars, social theory, activism, Mad Men and the existential angst of Blackness.
My spiritual practice draws upon two main principles at the core of a variety of Western and Eastern traditions:
(1) We are all interconnected
(2) What is real in existence is the conscious experience of the present moment
I love Crystal’s irreverence and the myriad things I can find of interest in just this one site – I can especially get lost in her posts in the “Poppin’ Tags” category about her thrift store hauls. Those of you who cook might also like her “Vegan Recipes” section. But it’s best to just go for fun, with an open mind about what you might find today.
PS – I find the following note at the end of her About page totally stealable:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Given that I am a tenure track professor, please know and understand that while I love your comments and connecting with readers, I am not able to post and reply as often as I would like, particularly during the academic year.