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Head Above Water: A Personal Snapshot of Coping with Depression

It’s like being at a zoo. And you’re in a cage. And people come up to you and they can see that you’re hurting and you’re sad. And they gather around the cage. They might even reach in and try and touch you, but it’s never an embrace, and it’s never full understanding. And then the zoo closes, and then they all go home. And I’m in a cage by myself. And it’s a very scary place to be.

This gut-wrenchingly accurate depiction of depression was spoken by a woman who chose to share her experience with depression anonymously for an episode of Sincerely, X, a TED podcast featuring talks from people who tell their stories behind hidden identities.

In the podcast’s seventh episode, “Mood Changer,” this anonymous woman talks about her depression using the most elegantly and accurately crafted metaphors. Every description she has for depression is spot on. I found myself screaming inside my head, “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel!”

For eighteen minutes, I was not alone. Someone else out there knew exactly how I felt.  Continue reading Head Above Water: A Personal Snapshot of Coping with Depression

Exploring the Small Poem in Nayyirah Waheed’s salt.

even the small poems mean something.
they are often
whales in the bodies of tiny fish.

‒ Nayyirah Waheed, salt.

 

cover of salt on kindle In her first book of poetry, salt., Nayyirah Waheed addresses heavy and vulnerable topics using the increasingly popular short form poem. I’ll call hese types of poems—the “whales in the bodies of tiny fish” kind of poems—small poems.

Because they don’t leap from metaphor to metaphor in intricate, lyrical detail like a Plath poem or sprawl across pages in winding exploration of language like Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” small poems appear as small as they look upon first glance. But when written creatively, a small poem carries a weight of meaning without making the reader dig, decipher, and analyze to find it.

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I love small poems. Working within their limitations challenges the poet’s ability to be profound while remaining concise, to make sure that every word counts. Waheed is a natural at writing small poems. Continue reading Exploring the Small Poem in Nayyirah Waheed’s salt.

Book Review: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

You have to break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problems is to rearrange things outside. The only permanent solution to your problems is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality.

– Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

 

the untethered soul cover e-reader white hydrangea bushThe Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer is a heart-opening, soul-awakening guide to freeing yourself from the boundaries and limitations your habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns build inside of you. Drawing from awareness-creating techniques like meditation and mindfulness, Singer explores the path to consciousness, happiness, and inner peace through the practices of letting go, staying present, and pushing out of your comfort zone.

As a continuing explorer of the inner self and someone deep in the throes of battling her own fears, anxieties, negative thoughts, and sometimes skewed mindset, I thoroughly enjoyed my journey through this book. I found so many nuggets of wisdom and gentle reminders of what life can be like when I let go of that which does not serve, stay present, eschew judgement, and live outside of my comfort zone.

As much as I enjoyed The Untethered Soul, I did struggle with a few aspects of the book: Continue reading Book Review: The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

New Season, New Missing Person Case: Up and Vanished Season 2 Trailer Drops

She’s gonna turn back up. She’s gonna come back. She just went on one of these journeys. Maybe she’s in a cult somewhere, and she’s just fallen off the face of the earth and doesn’t want anybody to find her.         

Up and Vanished, Season Two trailer

 

The Up And Vanished podcast released its mysterious season two trailer last week, and it’s giving me a serious case of goosebumps, ya’ll!

While the trailer doesn’t reveal which case Up and Vanished is investigating or name the mentioned missing person, here’s what we do know:

A woman is missing.
The case is unsolved.
Some guy supposedly saw her walking alone into the forest.
A man ponders if she ran off to join a cult.
The town seems wary of strangers asking questions.
And the whole thing is just “really, really strange.”

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Fellow true crime fanatics probably know all about Up and Vanished, Payne Lindsey, and his grandma’s famous cowboy cookies. For those who don’t, I got you. Continue reading New Season, New Missing Person Case: Up and Vanished Season 2 Trailer Drops

At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 3

My experience during Yoga With Adriene’s “Reclaiming Your Center” At-Home Retreat continues with Day 3.

Photo via yogawithadriene.com.

Day 3

Two rounds of yoga and 12 minutes of meditation had me feeling focused, productive, and zenned out yesterday. I felt extra aware of my breath throughout the day (yay mindfulness!) and noticed that my breaths were smooth, deep, and steady. A true breath of fresh air for someone who often experiences shallow breathing and a tight chest (hello anxiety!).

That’s what a weekend full of yoga, meditation, nature, and introspective journaling will do for ya!

I ended my day with the most beautiful nature walk along Minnehaha Creek. I’m so blessed to live just steps away from so much green and all the life that blossoms along the creek. Continue reading At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 3

At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 2

My experience during Yoga With Adriene’s “Reclaiming Your Center” At-Home Retreat continues with Day 2.

Photo via yogawithadriene.com.

Day 2

View of Lake Nokomis from my yoga mat.

Started my day with a morning yoga class at Lake Nokomis. The instructor guided us into our morning flow by asking us to observe:

  • 3 Sounds: Lawn mowers, instructor’s voice, bare feet shuffling in grass
  • 3 Sights: Sun-soaked lake, glistening grass, dancing leaves
  • 3 Physical Sensations: Aching ankle, calm mind, open chest
  • 2 Smells: Wet grass…wet grass

Super fitting for Day 2’s activity!

I ended my day with Core Power Wake Up before zenning out in post-yoga meditation and journaling on Day 2’s prompt. Continue reading At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 2

At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 1

Ah, yoga. Nothing nourishes the mind, body, and soul more than hopping on a yoga mat and connecting body movement to breath.

I’ve built a regular at-home yoga practice over the past year, recently worked up the courage to go to a weekly class, and look forward to one day partaking in a yoga retreat—a hot item on any yogi’s bucket list, I’m sure.

In the meantime, Yoga With Adriene’s got our backs with annual at-home yoga retreats. These at-home retreats coincide with a limited-seating, in-person retreat lead by the yogi queen herself, Adriene Mishler. This year’s 3-day retreat, “Reclaiming Your Center,” is at the 1440 Multiversity in Santa Cruz.

Never one to leave a fellow human behind, Adriene planned an at-home retreat so that we can all “reclaim our center” together from anywhere in the world.

Here’s a peek into one yogi’s “Reclaiming Your Center” At-Home Retreat. Continue reading At-Home Yoga Retreat Series: “Reclaiming Your Center” Day 1

Not in the Mood: Musings on Turning 30

Everyone dreads turning 30. Well, not anymore. At least that’s what social media would have me believe. Then again, even my therapist said 30 isn’t what it used to be. 30 is the new 23.

What I’m really trying to say is: I’m not in the mood to turn 30. The timing is inconvenient. Let’s press pause on this.

I thought that by the time I was 30, I’d have a career, a tribe, a greater sense of self. I thought I’d have my shit together.

I don’t.

I’m unemployed, on a cliff edge, staring down at a dream career, working up the nerve to jump off. I’m six months into a new city and have yet to make a single friend or acquaintance. My sense of self wavers between “Who am I?” and a sing-songy, movie-line-spewing cartoon. Most days I don’t feel like a person. I have no preference. My personality is null—an empty void. Continue reading Not in the Mood: Musings on Turning 30

Small Human, Big Goal: Journey to Book Editor

I’m not good at breaking down big goals.

I can write a poem every day for 30 days. I can stick to a three-month workout plan. I can do yoga every day for 30 days. I can meditate every day for 10 da—nope, still working on that one.

The point is: I’m good at doing a specific task for “x” amount of days. Or following someone else’s step-by-step plan.

But breaking down big goals? It’s one thing to roll out a yoga mat for 30 days straight. It’s another to reach a bigger goal, like starting a business or writing a book or getting a job as a book editor.

When I set a big goal like that, all I see is the blank space between me and it. I don’t know where to start. I’m overwhelmed. I’m backing out before I even begin. Continue reading Small Human, Big Goal: Journey to Book Editor