Pitch Submitted, Hooray!

As of today, the Unshame Pain pitch and rough-cut are officially submitted to New York Times Op-Docs. WooHOOO!

Some original notes & drawings for Unshame Pain

I’ll definitely keep you posted, my dear readers, when I know more.

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New Unshame Pain Logo!

I’m pleased to show off the awesome new Unshame Pain logo designed by Eva Silverman of Pushcart Design:

Image Description: “Unshame Pain” in a dark gray font on top line with “Project” justified right underneath. All text in capital letters. “UN” in “Unshame” has black angled background and  white outline of the letters.

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Unshame Pain has begun!

I had an incredible time last Friday filming the first on-camera interviews for the Unshame Pain Video Project. This is a huge milestone!

In Oakland with my friend, Andy, man with brown skin, wearing black baseball cap, sunglasses and gray plaid shirt w/me, fair- skinned red head in blue tank top.

The following people and places have my tremendous gratitude for helping to make it happen:

The wonderful interviewees:
J. Adam Austin
Nazanin Szanto
Maikaaloa Clarke
Esther Rojas-Soto

Videographer Extraordinaire Shanon Okay of OKay Productions

The New Parkway Theater in Oakland for providing a location
Shutterbug Camera in Santa Rosa for discounted light rental

All who helped me with accessibility and other support:
Freddie Francis
Andy Duran
Lara Jane Ramborger

I am super excited for you to experience the interviews when they are ready. It is amazing to have come this far since I first had the inspiration for Unshame Pain in 2016. Woo-hoo!

Belated Happy Summer Solstice.

More soon,


Call for Interviewees: Unshame Pain Video Project–pls. circulate widely!

Dear Friends,

The time has finally arrived: I will be starting production of the Unshame Pain Video Project at the end of June!

Please circulate the questionnaire below (or click here: https://goo.gl/forms/dnX5NwoJySlFInYr1) far and wide to help us get together a great list of interviewees—and if you are interested in being interviewed or supporting in another way, definitely fill out and submit the form yourself.

Contributions and/or suggestions for filming locations in the East Bay, volunteering skills or services, moral support/encouragement and financial gifts (paypal.me/MaayanSimon) welcomed and valued!

Thank you so much for all of your love and spirit. It’s always great to hear from you so please say “hi” or get in touch with suggestions anytime you think of it.

It’s so exciting to be realizing this vision and I truly could not have gotten to this point without you. THANK YOU!!

In community,


Musing on Multitudes & Multiplicity

Hello from Pain Activism HQ!

Soon I will have exciting updates about the Unshame Pain Video Project and forward momentum on my Pain Activism & Education vision. For the moment, I am posting some of my musings about the multiplicity of experiencing bodies with illness and pain.

Also, I want to share this wonderful The World We Want To Live In interview project created by my friend Freddie, asking the question, “What is your role & work in this political moment?” Check it out here: https://worldwewanttolivein.com/

Now, on to my Musing on Multitudes and Multiplicity! As always, thanks for reading and sharing your heart.

Ma’ayan Continue reading

Spring is upon us!

Hello Amazing Readers,

Happy Spring. I have been working diligently behind the scenes to continue advancing  pain visibility and social justice. I’m enthusiastic to share my refined mission statement:

My Pain Activism & Education mission is to teach about pain as an intersectional social justice issue and implement grassroots strategies to stop prejudiced treatment and marginalization of people with chronic pain conditions.

Ma’ayan smiling in a purple jacket and t-shirt, with short red hair. Standing next to/hugging a lion statue (we have a similar hairdo)

In March I submitted a scholarship application to the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund for students working for social change. I have wanted to apply for a few years and it feels great to have my application submitted. Writing my personal statement provided a great opportunity to highlight my academic goals and activism: Continue reading

To Forgive is to be Whole

I wrote this piece for a scholarship with the topic, “The Benefits of Forgiveness.” I did not receive the scholarship, but writing this proved a valuable opportunity to consider my perspectives on, and my relationship with, self-forgiveness.

With these powerful winter moons upon us, I thought now a good time to share. (Also, I finally have a short break from deadlines!)

Is self-forgiveness something you wrestle with, as well? I’d love to hear your insights and experiences in the comments!

Thanks for reading and for being you.



To Forgive is to be Whole
by Ma’ayan Simon, December 15, 2017

In my dream I am hauling my body alongside myself, this deadweight I am bound to that is not me and also not not me. I cannot sever from the burden of myself, yet I am not whole in myself, either. I know this dream well: I lived it for years, railing against illness and my body. Only through forgiveness have I learned how to experience wholeness even, or especially, when in pain. Continue reading