#MeToo the Shame of NOT saying No

“I think technically legally if a woman does not say ‘no’ then she’s given her consent and can’t build a case.”

I looked down at the table. I was sitting at the kitchen table with my friend and his two brothers. We were having a logical, rational discussion about rape. I was already very triggered being the only woman there. I gathered my thoughts and. then I demurely pointed them all in the direction of the Tea video which points out many different times consent has NOT been given even if a person has said, “No thank you. I don’t want any tea right now.”

[Tea and Consent video]

The irony of saying nothing directly in defense of myself or womankind in that moment is not lost on me. Because I myself have been the one who has not said no and yet has not given consent on MULTIPLE occasions.

Any time you feel violated, I’d like to posit that you have indeed BEEN violated. This is also one of the most shame inducing kind of violations because you’ve done nothing to stop it therefore:

Perhaps you wanted it?

Perhaps you were too weak to stop it?

Perhaps you should have known better?

Perhaps it really is your fault after all?

I’d like to say, “NO” in response to those self-condemning thoughts.

I’d like to say that if it made you feel bad and you were little and you didn’t understand what was happening but it made you feel sick and cry then your feeling violated was valid.

If, in fact you have felt shame in any circumstance I’d like to posit that some form of violation has occurred.

If it felt wrong and you cried after then you might have given your power away or your power might have been taken from you.

If it happened because you thought you wanted it and then halfway through the beginning part you changed your mind but you didn’t speak up and felt like your sense of self control was taken from you– a violation has occurred.

If it went so fast and hurt and you knew you didn’t want it but again you said nothing and made yourself try to enjoy it because you felt like it was too late to go back and stop it– a violation has occurred.

If you put yourself in a situation and drank too much because you were feeling comfortable and safe with a friend and then you drank too much and were unable to move and could only feel what was happening to you and they had a good time and they were a friend of yours so you felt totally awkward and couldn’t shake the violated feeling afterwards– YOI WERE VIOLATED.

This is written to validate your experience. No, you didn’t stand up for yourself and say no. I’m sorry. For myself and others who this has happened to. I’m so sorry. You put yourself in a situation where you gave away your power or where your power was taken from you. That happened.

Now, know that you are powerful. You were created full of power. Take that power back. Breathe it back into your body.

Healing exercise to take your power back

First you must exhale and release. You must imagine each of those people being expelled from your body. Put your hand on your heart. Exhale and visualize each person leaving your body. Feel where there are blockages in your body. Where they still have a grip on your soul. Breathe them out. Forgive. Not for them. For you.

This process will take many minutes. You’ll probably cry. Multiple times. Allow your body to release. Keep forgiving and releasing.

When you finally feel them fully leave and your body unblock, focus on the inbreath. Breathe your power back into your body. Take your power back.

Place your hands on your pelvis and remind your body that you are safe and that you are pure and that your body is beautiful and it is yours and your power and your sexuality are pure and beautiful and you are safe. Remind yourself over and over, breathing in. Repeat the words until they start to feel real. Cry more if you need to.

Feel the heat emanating from your heart space and your pelvis, your sacral chakra. This heat is your energy, your personal power. You choose in the future who to give it to. You choose. From now on your body is precious and pure and powerful. You will no longer refuse to stand up for yourself. You will instead validate your existence.

You will choose.

(The irony of Louis CK is not lost on me. The quote however is very powerful.)

My middle name

My middle name is Kathryn which my mom says means “pure” (so my full name means “pure happiness”)

I’m named after my great aunt who went blind later in life. My mother loved her and even though I never met her I am sure I would have loved her, too.

10 Random Songs from my Spotify

The first 10 songs that pop up when I press shuffle play on my saved songs….definitely not my favorites but a bit of randomness for your day ;)

1. S’wonderfulfrom An American in Paris

I saw this movie with my mom for free at the Wayne Theatre

2. Dangerous Nan McGrew by Helen Kane

Oh man….her voice is so fun.

3. Afternoon Tea by The Kinks

When I dated Pablo he introduced me to this song because I love drinking tea. This song always reminds me of listening to records in the spring and a light, happy atmosphere.

4. Hot Hot Hot by Buster Poindexter This song makes me think of the Office 😆

5. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon
Okay, so I actually love this song. If you’ve never seen the music video with Chevy Chase then go watch it right now.

6. Growing Up by Lullatone
I love this sweet little band

7. Start a Fire by John Legend
I really like his voice and this song is from the La-La Land which I really enjoyed.

8. Bad for Your Soul by Helen Savage Love her gritty voice! Like sitting next to an old radio with a bit of gin.

9. Do It Again by Elevation Worship
Worship music is so good for the soul….literally.

10. Istiqbal Solo by John Jorgenson
Spanish guitar is so sexy….

Even though I don’t listen to these songs on a regular basis this does, oddly enough, give a good idea of my eclectic taste in music :)

Your turn!

We are all Wonder Woman 

You know that scene in the Gail Gadot Wonder Woman movie when she crosses no-mans land? 

If you haven’t seen it, I’ve linked to the no-mans land scene right here.

I’ve seen that movie about 5 times now and I cry every time. And sometimes, because I’ve seen it so many times now and it’s a long film, I let myself fall asleep after that. But I have to stay awake for that scene. Because that’s the scene that I find the most inspiring. The scene where I feel a giant YES leaping in my soul. 

Because I often feel that way in daily life. Like everything is against me and everyone is telling me that I can’t but I am compelled to keep moving forward. I’m being shot at from every angle. They are using all the artillery. I’m vulnerable. I’m alone. But, I know what I’m fighting for. And who I’m fighting for. And I hold strong. And when I hold strong and take the fire, others can cross over. Others can advance. And that’s so important. 

Life is hard. But it’s worth it. When we grit our teeth and stand our ground with tears in our eyes, when we take all the fire, other people can thrive and run to freedom around us. 

We have to be brave. We have to know who we are fighting for and be willing to stand our ground. 

Courage pays off. 

Put your armor on.

 

Productivity hack: permission to recover & being accountable to yourself 

The human body can endure so much more than we think that it can. I modeled for an art workshop this weekend for 12 hours. I thought I was going to die. It was hyperbole but I totally thought it was going to wreck my body. At the end of the first 6 hour day I came home and slept 12 hours. Day 2 I did not sleep, I just vegetated in front of my iPad and did NOTHING productive. 

Confession, I am driven but I am not self-motivated.  Productivity is a big thing for me. So big that my therapist and I are actively working on it. The first step is to stop using the word PRODUCTIVE. Instead I want to measure my days on whether I felt SATISFIED and CONTENT and HEALTHY at the end of the day. 

Because after modeling for 12 hours I still wanted to be productive. I felt like sleep was “productive” and iPad-zoning was not. I didn’t think, “I need to recover. What are some healthy ways I could recover?” 

What are some ways you recover? Please share them! Self care is so important but it doesn’t always feel productive. Nor is self care always easy to do–it’s easier to zone out in bed like a sweet potato. 

I’m learning how to talk to myself like a friend. A friend who I’d ask, “what’s something easy and healthy you could do right now to feel satisfied with this morning/afternoon/evening?”

I’m learning how to be accountable to myself. My therapist had me write out everything I like to do during the day (in order) as a checklist ((because I LOVE ROUTINE and my life always feels like it’s falling apart when I lose my routine)) and I’ve gone back to pomodoro tracking. 

Pomodoro tracking is working for a set amount of time and then taking a scheduled break and switching tasks. I’m able to get so much more done. I just listened to a podcast last night and it talked about how important it is to give your brain a break so that you can be fully present. Without the pomodoro method and my checklist, I usually focus on something all day long and then feel like I got nothing done.

I went back to the pomodoro method because that is how I survived modeling for 12 hours. The teacher made sure to schedule breaks for me. I used every break to stretch, drink water, and go to the bathroom. Breaks are important. For your mind, and body, and soul. 

How do you get things done? How do you recover? Are you taking breaks? Are you a recovering productivity addict? 

Sometimes the struggle is real

I feel like I ought to tell you. I feel like you ought to know. Because maybe you don’t know. The struggle is real for me some days. 

Some days I spend almost the entire day in bed with only a few brief escapades to the kitchen to eat. And then I take a nap because I literally feel like nothing I’m doing matters and I’m so overwhelmed by responsibilities that I want them all to just disappear for awhile. 

Most days I beat myself up relentlessly for putting syrup on my waffle when I KNOW I shouldn’t eat sugar and I think WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! When with anyone else I would be encouraging and comforting. 

Some days I just want to melt into my sheets and stop existing. 

A lot of times I feel lonely. Like, deep loneliness that come right back as soon as I finish hanging out with my close friends. 
Most days I feel like a small child waiting for the adult to come back into the room and come take care of me. Who decided I was big enough to handle all these decisions? Yes, I can dress myself and feed myself and brush my teeth, but can I pay taxes? And some days my clothes are too eccentric, I eat the wrong things, and don’t even have money to go to the dentist. 

A lot of days I feel like I’m being held under water and I’m waiting to be let back up to breathe. Some days I want to crawl under my carpet and become one with the floor. 

Being a massage therapist who works from home can feel lonely. I only work for 4 hours max in a day and then the people leave and I’m alone, again. 

This leads to me not only feeling lonely but also feeling lazy. All that downtime. As a workaholic I feel like I should be doing more with my life. So I fill every waking hour with relentless busywork. And then I think, what if none of it matters? 

A lot of days I feel light and bubbly and happy to be alive. 

But, other days everything feels like it’s crashing around me and it’s like I just dropped all the fancy China places because I was trying to be helpful but I didn’t know what I was doing and I’m going to be in so much trouble when the people who are supposed to be in charge get back. 

I’ve decided to be brave and share more of that side of myself online. 

I want to talk more about my depression, my chronic fatigue, my eating disorder, and my poverty. So that others who deal with real life can find solace in knowing that they aren’t alone. 

The struggle really is real. And you aren’t the only one. 

#WorldMentalHealthDay

#WorldMentalHealth
Im the daughter of a single parent who struggles with bipolar tendencies and PTSD. My family is dysfunctional. I struggle with SAD, some anxiety issues, and a compulsive eating disorder. I’m a 6 on the ACE scale and I relate with an anxious-avoidant attachment style….
But NONE of those things completely define me. They help me understand my subconscious reactions but they do not determine my actions
Seek to understand yourself, not to define yourself. 

Embrace your shadow to allow your light to shine brighter

Be transparent

Tell your story and help others who are struggling. 

Your mess can become your message.


Happy World Mental Health Day! 

Find lots more self-care images on my Pinterest board!
#worldmentalhealthday

13 Ways to Maintain Healthy Boundaries When You Are an Empath and People You Love Are Suffering


As an Empath and someone who is an energy body worker I need to have healthy emotional and mental boundaries. It can be difficult when my codependent family members are having trouble. Obviously I care very much about my family and I don’t want them to suffer. But I also realize that I need to stay separate to stay healthy and thriving! 

I reached out to my wonderful network of wisdom this morning and asked them:

“How do I show my love while still protecting my energy? How do I help when I want to hide?”

Their answers were phenomenal

1*Ask  yourself  “what I CAN do?” (instead of fixating on not knowing what to do)
2*Asking yourself  what you would want someone to do for you
3*Put on your oxygen mask and do some self care– I’ve totally been slacking! 
4*Reach out (send letters) 
5*Ask them to tell you specifically what they need (general pleas for help can feel really overwhelming; specificity feels manageable)
6*Realize you might look rude but understand that youdon’t need to feel ashamed about your boundaries (give space to allow even better help to come in)
7*Help from afar with gift cards and helpful services within your budget– support those who are able to support in person
8*If you do visit, set a specific amount of time (like 30 min)and leave as soon as you start feeling drained 
9*Take them out for lunch 
10*Focus on your reaction to the situation because that’s one thing you can control. 
11*Recognize your strengths (like researching and reaching out to other people for help)
12*Focus on your priorities
13*And ask yourself what a good example of your role would look like so you won’t feel like you’re failing

I am so honored to have such a powerful network of wise women in my life! 

If you have any awesome advice to add let me know in the comments :)

After the Election: Moving Forward Recovery Plan


My post-election recovery plan 

SNL Kate McKinnon Hallelujiah
1. Refuse to live in fear

Know that God is still in control, there are still good people in the world, and there are still things that we can do to make a difference in the world. Our rights have not been taken, yet. We will fight. And even if they cage us, we will still sing!
2. Refuse to take this out on my fellow human beings 

Consciously love people who have voted for Trump. Recognize that they are getting screwed over, too. We the people are in this together.
3. Continue to be grateful and to enjoy the life I’ve been given 

Write down things that make me happy, speak aloud things I’m thankful for 
4. Stay informed 

Watch my favorite YouTube peeps, read my favorite news sources 
5. Do what I can 

Random acts of kindness, signing petitions, supporting people, standing up for what is right 
6. Stop using Facebook as a self-soother 

Wean myself off, again. It’s so easy to keep scrolling and hitting refresh but there are much healthier ways to use my time. Think of other ways to feel safe. Meditate. Read. Take photos. Clean and organize.
7. Reach out to people I love 

Writing letters, sending personal messages
8. Keep living life

Taking baths, drinking enough water, journaling

Throw Back Thursday: Just Fine

image

Oh, younger version of myself, you make my heart hurt!!

I wrote this poem 8 years ago.
****************************************

November 20th, 2008

When you can’t say how you feel
Or why you feel the way you feel
Because you don’t know how you feel
Does that make you numb?

Does a lack of definition mean you’ve ceased to exist?

Are you simply floating away bumping into people you used to know who are no longer the people you used to know?

Are you continuing your conversations with the bricks in an uncaring wall?

When people ask you how you are then just want validation of their own existence, they want those 5 little words, “fine, thanks, how are you?” the way they want pre-shrunk cotton on their beds and trash day to always come on Thursdays.

When he asks you and he really wants to know
You stop thinking
The world becomes clearer and your inner self hides
You focus on the lighting in the room, the way your toes can feel the sheets, wrinkling under your feet
Your emotions become color blotches like in a color blind test– is that an “8”? Or the word “orange”?

Muddled, your brain frustrates your mouth
You feel like a box of oranges, like a cold glass bottle, like sprite left out overnight– it’s lost its bubbles, like a tree with no leaves

You feel powerless, scared, uncertain, crazy, like you might start crying if you stop smiling, like it’s all your fault, like he might stop wanting to touch you, like he might not want you in his room, like he wants something more, like it will all melt, like you’re a little girl, like you hate him when he looks at younger girls, like you love the way he holds you, like it might not be enough, like if you let him get your emotions, you’ll fall apart when he leaves and takes them with him, you’ll feel all these things.

And you want to be a suitcase, you want to be a kiss, you want to be the way he feels when he opens a new book and smells the paper, you are afraid to be extraneous, you’re afraid of water in movies, afraid of the end of the world, of suffocation, afraid of the feeling you get when things become comfortable and unspoken instead of when things are passionate and words are poured like honey all over the body of the beloved; you are afraid of the time when touching ceases and people get left alone in dark rooms and move to bigger beds so they can say this side is mine, you stay over there when they used to wake up sweaty and tangled and you are afraid of not being wanted.

You’re afraid that he gets up in the middle of the night because there’s something better out there for him and he’s still searching for it, you’re afraid that you don’t know how to become someone worth sticking around for.

You feel broken and invisible and like a favorite pair of pants that’s getting too small.

Opening your mouth in answer, you smile and say,
Nothing. I’m fine.

image

Stability and Safety

My yoga teacher, Melissa West, was discussing how stability and safety allow your heart to open. Isn’t that beautiful?!
image

Safety is trusting. Knowing you’ll be held and accepted every time. Respecting boundaries. Communication. Warmth. Strength. Holding hands. Being there. Texting just to say “I love you”. Listening. Drawing near. Sleeping softly. Closeness. Holding space. Understanding and not judging. Love.

Safety feels unbreakable, calm, soothing, peaceful, comfortable, controlled, cradled, hushed, being quieted, real, clear, unambiguous, protected, undamaged.

Safety comes from never-tiring love, long-term reliability, confirmation, certainty, trustworthiness, reassurance, honored words, &being cared for.
image

Stability is balance. Strength. Knowing who you are. Stretching up and out. Trusting the ground. Having a foundation. Being unshakable. Being shaken but not falling down. (Strength is falling down and getting back up) Solidness. Ability to be pushed without leaving or going away. Resilience. Remaining self-assured. Being your own person. Not melting into another person or into a puddle. Being proactive instead of passive. Having boundaries. Being sure. Feeling certain.

Stability feels sturdy, steady, poised, confident, resolute, durable, well-founded, grounded, rooted, anchored, unafraid, plucky….

Stability comes from self-control, persistence, loyalty, endurance, being single-minded, undiscouraged, well-established, having conviction, having a lion-heart, & being determined.
image

What makes you feel stable and safe?

Real Wonder Women, Real Talk: Anxiety and Depression. How do you deal when you feel miserable?

image

I am honored to know a whole bunch of inspiring, amazing women and I realized the other day that I would love to ask these ladies for their perspective on some important issues:

Health, self-care, anxiety, depression

I feel like it’s important for women to know that even when they feel alone in their experiences, other women have been there, too.

In this third part, I simply asked:

What do you do when you feel miserable?

(I’ve kept the names anonymous at the request of a lot of the women for when we get into headier topics.)

image

*****************************************

How do I take care of myself when I feel horrible?
If I’m physically sick, that’s easy.  I have a visual reason others can see for laying around, sleeping, watching TV, etc. 
It’s a different story though, if I’m not feeling good emotionally.  That’s tough.  There is so much pressure to ‘do’ and ‘go’ and ‘be’…it’s hard for me to validate just laying around, sleeping, taking it easy, etc.  I don’t know if that’s because I fear others will think I’m being lazy or if I’m too hard on myself.
After this past winter, I’ve decided that I suffer from S.A.D. to a mild extent.  There’s relief in that, but there’s also that stigma again.  I’m not quite sure how to deal with it or if there is a way to prevent it…guess it will be one of those things I’ll learn.  ☺

-D.K.
*****************************************

Miserable: cry. I get wrapped in my head and ruminate, making it worse. I pretty much think of everything bad that has every happened and may possibly happen and somehow embrace every wretched feeling.

I haven’t actually been diagnosed as having depression, but the more I look at my daily bouts of crying and frustration, it may be the case.

As a background: I have always been unstoppable, I power through everything like a fucking champ. However, it’s caught up to me, hundreds of fucked up traumas have caught up and crushed me and I have collapsed but have faith I can somehow move forward and hopefully soon.

-Y.R.
*****************************************

When I feel miserable, it’s generally a sign I need to rest. Sometimes I will sit on the couch, watch TV, and force myself to ignore any of the other “to-do”s. Sometimes I take a bath. Sometimes I go to bed, even if it’s 6:30. If I’m emotionally miserable, I usually write and try to figure out what is triggering it.

-B.V.
*****************************************

I isolate. I isolate and revert to negative thinking always turned internally. I’m starting to recognize it now. I’ll call someone, I’ll go to the beach, I’ll quick jump in the car and drive to my parents’ house. But if I don’t catch it right from the start, I let that miserable feeling worm its way through my entire life and my eating disorder takes over again

-Daryn

*****************************************
image

Honestly, in my darkest moments, as much as it hurts, I find that the best is just to surrender to the tears, the rage and find a safe way to let it all out.  Either by myself or to someone that I won’t hurt in that moment.  I am not scared of the darkness – I know if I allow myself to feel the pain, that eventually it will begin to subside.  We tend to hold onto it as long as we need it for some reason.  When that reason starts to disappear, our grip starts to loosen. 
That is what I have in this moment.  Hope that helps.  Would love to hear what others have to share.  ♥

-Lili
*****************************************

When I feel miserable, I eat poorly and watch too much TV.
Or shop online.
I haven’t been officially diagnosed with anxiety or depression but I obviously don’t deal with it well since I have stomach issues and headaches.
I’d say I’ve been mildly depressed on and off since having my daughter- the lifestyle change is something I struggle with. I like to be good at everything I do, so I struggle with balance and sometimes feeling like I do nothing well and everything mediocre, which I hate. I have also always required my very own time and space – lots of it – which since having children I don’t have.

-L.M.
*****************************************

image

*****************************************

It’s been so eye-opening reading the responses and seeing how so many women are struggling with the same stuff!!
Depression and anxiety can feel so lonely.
Crying can feel so defeating, sometimes like failure.
Our society sees any emotional or mental difficulties as being weakness when actually I think that it might just be part of being HUMAN!!!!

It’s been interesting to see some people list crying as a form of self-care!!

I think it’s so important to let women know they are not alone and that it’s okay to feel sad….

It’s important to remove stigmas so we can transition to a place of helping each other. Giving women permission to connect even in their darkest places could prevent us all from going too deep into that pit where we feel shame and loneliness and disconnect….
*****************************************
If you’d like to add your story, please feel free. You never know how much it could help someone else.

So much love!

Self-Care: My Personal Journey

image

Self-care has been something I’ve struggled with a lot. They say you teach what you most want to learn and as a massage therapist I’m ALWAYS teaching other people how to take care of their bodies and their minds.

I’d tell people to drink more water because I could tell their muscles were craving it….and I was barely drinking any at all.

image

Finally I began my self-care journey by setting up massage trades with a good friend of mine, Laura Harrington. We began to make a point of trading once a month.

Then I went to a chiropractor, Rachel Heneberry. With only a few gentle adjustments, she provides so much relief.

Then, just last year I started going to an acupuncturist every month, Emily Hanger. She is the SWEETEST human being on the planet. (In a very grounding way) She nurtures me and makes me feel so loved.

Then I added in a myofascialist, Lisa Shelton. She takes care of my fascia and helps me release holding patterns from stress. She also is really great to talk to and provides a wonderfully different perspective on life.

At first I would schedule everyone in the same week….and then I decided I needed something intentionally every week of the month.

Now, I’ve added a therapist, Bevin Yowell. Hello stigma. Why is our society so afraid of admitting they need to talk to someone about their life and their past?? I love how my therapist gives me constructive feedback and she gives me homework (simple stuff like saying HI! To my housemate when she gets home instead of pretending I don’t exist….)

image

Having all these wonderful women caring for my body, caring for my mind, wanting to know what is happening in my life: the process has been LIFE changing. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel like enough because each one of those women brings me another piece of my puzzle and I only see each them one time a month. A LOT can happen in 30 days….

Also, I meet with a friend of mine, Dawn Nay, from church for breakfast at least once a month. When we meet we might just talk about random things but I know I have permission to spill my guts if I need to.

In my private life I also love to do yoga and take baths and take naps….I have a list of things I can do when I feel awful. If I’m feeling lonely, I intentionally go through and ask my most inspiring lady friends out for lunch or over for tea or wine….it’s so important to be intentional.

Another thing I do is I use an asyra machine which reads your entire body and tells you EXACTLY what is happening in your body at that point in your life. It tells you what foods you need to back off on and what things you need to add in. I love it because it is so comprehensive!!

image

There’s also a website I’ve found:
Interactive Self-Care Guide
Which is great for people like me who can feel so lost all of a sudden and need someone to suggest things that will make me feel better when I’m not eating or cleaning or doing anything.

And finally, something that has changed my whole life and given me permission to feel all my feelings has been my hormone horoscope app and the website: hormonehoroscope.com
Gabrielle does SUCH an amazing job explaining these things that happen in our minds and bodies EVERY. MONTH.
If you’re a woman, go check it out right now. I promise you will learn so much!!

I encourage you to find people in your life who will listen to you and encourage you and give you constructive feedback. It is also important that those people give you permission to be who you are and feel how you are feeling RIGHT NOW. Step away from those who want you to stuff your feelings or pretend you’re fine.

In order to practice self-care, you need to feel it all. And if you can find some people who will stand beside you and allow you to do that, hold on!!!! Your life will change in a beautiful way.

If you need a massage therapist who will love you right where you are, feel free to contact me for an appointment.

Thankful Thursday: May is Mental Health Awareness Month

image

May is Mental Illness Awareness month.

Even as the 29 year old daughter of a mentally ill mother, I am STILL learning.

Just today I had to come to terms with what REAL depression looks like. It’s NOT actually someone choosing to wallow or to just wanting attention.

image

image

Depression is not a choice. Just because something would snap me out of a bad mood, doesn’t mean it will make someone like my mom feel better.

Having a chemical imbalance is very different from being in a bad mood.

image

We have to continue to encourage and support even when it feels like nothing we say or do makes any difference. It can be EXTREMELY frustrating and very sad but we must continue to love instead of completely walking away.

image

I’m so excited that people are beginning to talk more about their struggles with being depressed and bipolar. It not only means an increase in awareness and a removal of stigma, it also means that the families and children of people struggling with mental illness can find understanding and there will be more information available for us so we can learn how to better cope.

image

Growing up, bipolar was so deeply stigmatized leaving me (an only child of a single parent) feeling lost. No one ever taught me how to deal with what every day life would look like for me and my mom.

image

image

image

My deep hope is that the future will bring SO MUCH understanding and SO MANY tools.

This is my current struggle and realization. I am sure other children of mentally ill parents will understand what it’s like to still be learning how to see mental health as something different from a quick fix even after years of dealing with it…. I still try to just “fix” it and instead I now know I need to learn how to just sit with it and be more understanding and encouraging.

Some great links about Mental Health:

John Oliver

Huffington Post 

17 Celebrities who opened up about mental illness

Self compassion

Demi Lovato

More from Demi

The basics of mental health

8 Apps for Mental Health

Vulnerability is scary, let’s just try Approachability

image

People are afraid of being vulnerable. And for good reason! Being vulnerable by definition means making yourself open to attack. All your defenses are down. You could be destroyed.

And yet. We can’t stay impenetrable all the time. If we wear 800 layers including rubber gloves and three face masks there’s no way we can touch each other or be touched. Not to mention all those tall walls we’ve built around ourselves….
image

Let’s shift instead to the idea of becoming approachable. That sounds safer, right? If someone approaches us in a quiet manner, that is okay. If they speak to us gently, that might be okay. We might even be able to connect. We might be able to be honest. We might slowly open our hearts. We might become transparent and unrestrained.

And eventually, we might be able to hold each other and speak heart-to-heart.
image

Instead of being vulnerable, let’s start with allowing ourselves to become approachable.

image