“The act of sitting down is an act of revolution. By sitting down, you stop that state of being: losing yourself, not being yourself. And when you sit down, you connect to yourself. And you don’t need an iPhone or a computer to do that. You just need to sit down mindfully and breathe in mindfully.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
The day my ex-wife moved out was also the day when our dog moved out and when I was laid off from my bankrupt ex-company. It felt like everything around me had suddenly died. Many of our common friends and loved …
“Bravery is leaving a toxic relationship and knowing that you deserve better.” ~Unknown
When my marriage ended, it left a huge void that I desperately needed to fill, and quickly.
Along with my divorce came the unbearable feelings of rejection and being unlovable. To avoid these feelings, fill the void, and distract myself, I turned to dating. And it turns out, it was much too soon.
What seemed like a harmless distraction soon became what I needed to feel wanted and loved. This was a way to avoid doing the harder work of learning to love myself instead of needing …
Do you ever feel like calling into the day? And I don’t just mean work. I mean everything. I mean turning it all off for a while. Freezing the full gamut of this messy human experience—the regrets, the fears, the adulting, the drama. The constant onslaught of anxiety-inducing news and personal problems to face.
When everyone needs you and everything worries you and nothing helps you feel better, it’s tempting to disconnect. To numb out, shut down, or give up.
But we can’t, at least not for long. And really, that’s not what we want. Or at least, that’s not …
“Remember, you are your own best investment. Invest in yourself and your lifestyle. Quality of life is a key component in finding joy and maintaining self-confidence.” ~Akiroq Brost
Do you ever sacrifice your own well-being to take care of others? If this sounds like you, chances are you are doing more harm than good.
Think about when you get on an airplane. What’s the first thing they tell you?
“In case of a loss of cabin pressure, please put your own oxygen mask on first and then assist your children or other passengers.”
They tell you this because if …
“When it’s time for something new, you will feel it. You will feel a desire to let go, to shed layers, to move, to re-create. You will know because there will be subtle shifts all around you. You will release the old because you are really clearing the path for what’s ahead. Trust the process.” ~Brianna Wiest
I landed myself in the ER three days short of my twenty-fifth birthday, due to a mental health crisis.
It was January, always a difficult month for me. The holiday season tends to be stressful, and I’d recently visited my parents back home, …
“As traumatized children, we always dreamed that someone would come and save us. We never dreamed that it would, in fact, be ourselves as adults.” ~Alice Little
Like most people, I used to run away from my pain.
I did it in lots of different and creative ways.
I would starve myself and only focus on what I could and couldn’t eat based on calories.
I would make bad choices for myself and then struggle with the consequences, not realizing that I had made any choice at all. It all just seemed like bad luck. Really bad luck.
Or I …
“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.” ~Terry Josephson
I was affected by the deadly poliovirus when I was six months old. Most people infected with it die. Even today, there is no cure for it. I miraculously survived, but lost my ability to walk.
During the first twenty years of my life, I evolved through crawling on the floor, lifting my leg with my hands, wearing prosthetics, using canes, and finally learning to walk, painfully, with crutches. As I grew up, I experienced post-polio syndrome, which weakened the other parts of my body.…
“The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.” ~Pema Chodron
I was recently having dinner with a group of friends, and I casually mentioned that I’ve been making more effort in my life to help prevent climate change.
Across the table, someone looked straight at me and said, “You know human-induced climate change isn’t real, right?”
I was shocked because I’ve known this person for years and we’ve always agreed on important topics in the past. I immediately shot back with, “Umm, yes it is!” and proceeded to tell him exactly why he was …
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” ~Rumi
“Isn’t this a miracle?” I asked myself in the milk aisle at Whole Foods.
It was a Wednesday night after work, and I was buying a few staples to get us through the week. It was a completely ordinary moment in a completely ordinary day, and it was miraculous.
Rewind a few years, same Whole Foods, same shopping list, and you’d find me absentmindedly wandering the aisles, lost in a head full of worries. I couldn’t tell you …
As a mom who works from home while caring for two young kids, I know all too well how easy is to get overwhelmed and stressed out. I also know the deep sense of regret and sometimes shame that bubble up when I lash out from a place of agitation (usually at my boyfriend, who’s equally frazzled).
I sometimes beat myself up when this happens because this isn’t the kind of person I want to be. But this only makes things worse because now I feel bad about my actions, my impact, and myself. So instead, I try to catch …
“I can’t believe what I’m managing to get through.” ~Frank Bruni
My worst fear was inflicted upon me three months ago: a cancer diagnosis—non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Out of nowhere!
Truth be told though, lots of awful things that happen to us come suddenly out of nowhere—a car accident, suicide, heart attack, and yes, a diagnostic finding. We’re stopped in our tracks, seemingly paralyzed as we go into shock and dissociative mode.
My world as I knew it stopped. It became enclosed in the universe of illness—tiny and limited. I became one-dimensional—a sick patient.
And I went into shock. To the …
“Refuse to inherit dysfunction. Learn new ways of living instead of repeating what you lived through.” ~Thema Davis
For anybody that experienced a chaotic childhood, stability in adulthood is unfamiliar territory.
When you grow up in an environment where shouting is the norm, unstable relationships are all you observe, and moods are determined by others in your household, it’s hard to ever feel relaxed.
As an adult dealing with the long-term effects of childhood instability and chaos, I jump at the slightest sound now.
And I know I’m not alone when I say instability is all I have experienced.
“You are allowed to terminate your relationship with toxic family members. You are allowed to walk away from people who hurt you. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of yourself.” ~Unknown
You might think I’m a monster because I don’t have a relationship with my parents. I don’t spend holidays with them; I don’t call them and reminisce; they don’t know pertinent details about my life, my friends, my family, my work, or even the person I have become. Do these facts shock you?
It is possible that you have only known loving, supportive parents. Parents who …
“Some people could be given an entire field of roses and only see the thorns in it. Others could be given a single weed and only see the wildflower in it. Perception is a key component to gratitude. And gratitude a key component to joy.” ~Amy Weatherly
I grew up in a deeply negative environment. My parents separated acrimoniously when I was seven, and they were a grim example of how not to do divorce.
They brought out the worst in each other, and sadly, over time, they also brought out the worst in me. I was depressed as …
“Grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” ~Jamie Anderson
When I was seventeen, my dad died from depression. This is now almost twenty-two years ago.
The first fifteen years after his death, however, I’d say he died from a disease—which is true, I just didn’t want to say it was a psychological disease. Cancer, people probably assumed.
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself… You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…” ~Kahlil Gibran
Now that my daughters are in therapy trying to heal their relationship with me, I have more compassion than ever for my mom. I haven’t felt angry at her in years. But when I was a teen, I earnestly desired to kill her more than once.
“If you don’t love yourself, you’ll always be looking for someone else to fill the void inside you, but no one will ever be able to do it.” ~Lori Deschene
Two years ago, I sat in my basement with tears streaming down my face. I had just found a copy of an old letter I’d written to an old boyfriend years before. In it, I was practically begging for his love, and also complaining and even shaming him for not loving me well.
As I read, I was overcome by three insights, all of which brought up big emotions: