We were forced to remain in what we longed to escape,
to face what we shied away from.
To stare it down and, for once, actually see it.
And through it, we found our resilience.
We saw the greater significance behind it all.
We came to understand that those dreams and desires weren’t canceled or dismissed — they were evolving, with us and for us.
We found there were lessons we needed to learn before they could happen.
We realized our own strength.
We embraced the uncertainty that lay before us,
recognizing it as an old friend,
a reminder that the way things unfold is not ours to control,
but ours to experience. …
I was listening to a TEDx talk earlier this week. It’s a well-structured and enticing talk, garnished with a click-bait title and captivating introductory story, and it makes many a great point about how we hold ourselves “captive” — living in a web of lies that society strings together for us and that we indubitably follow out of the fear that our true happiness won’t be acceptable to others.
For one thing, it’s worth considering how this idea is not only so common an experience among humans, but how prominently discussed it is now, in this day and age of self-help, consciousness, and the like. …
First off, how are you?
It might feel nice to pause for a moment and hold space for your answer. Your real answer, not the one you’re expected to have.
While I cannot say that I know how you feel, because I understand that I will never understand what those in the BIPOC community are experiencing, and quite frankly, even if we come from similar socio-economic backgrounds, my experience in all of this will be entirely different from yours, I can say that I honor whatever is coming up for you.
Apart from analyzing the larger systems in place in the US, much of the work white people (myself included) have been encouraged to start, if we hadn’t already, involves questioning the belief systems within — the subconscious programming that we’ve acquired through the upbringing that was instilled in us from a very early age. …
I’ve really struggled with what to say, to be honest.
I’ve always been very calculating with my words, even in normal circumstances. Sometimes so much so, that even after several attempts at expressing myself, I decide no words are worthy of the task. Things go unsaid, but are still fully felt.
I think I’ve written and deleted this about 20 times.
And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels at a loss for words in light of recent events that have highlighted centuries of injustice. And that’s OK.
While we are seeing how desperately we need to have a greater involvement in the effort to abolish racism, a greater number of voices speaking up is only as impactful as the ears they fall on. …
I once received a message from someone who’d been following my year of travels.
I had shared in my Instagram stories that I was en route to a new destination, and she said something along the lines of,
“I hope you have an amazing trip (and by that, I don’t necessarily mean easy or seamless).”
That has stuck with me ever since.
I think about this all the time — how these words like awesome, incredible, amazing, wonderful, that we use to automatically wish people “the best” have come to be rather empty, dimensionless phrases. …
to all the things I thought I knew
They’ve gotten me here,
and what a beautiful place it is.
Not an easy place,
not a carefree place,
not a picture-perfect place,
but a challenging, thoughtful,
to all the things I thought I knew,
showing me just how much
I’ve had to learn,
how far I’ve come,
and how far I’ve yet to go.
Here’s a seemingly random fun fact:
Did you know the Mona Lisa was never finished?
Da Vinci actually painted it three times, on the same canvas, tweaking and painting over the previous version each time. There are theories as to why he never finished it, some believing he had partial paralysis near the end while others suggest he simply was never quite satisfied with it.
Either way, learning this shocked me.
The world’s most famous painting, in all of human history EVER, is still a work in progress.
How is this relevant?
Because it’s a beautiful reminder that,
in all the ways we see ourselves as incomplete,
as not quite good enough,
are all the ways in which
we are unique and magnificent works of art. …
This week I started painting.
Or should I say, I got back into painting?
But then again,
this makes me sound like I used to be a big painter,
and I wasn’t.
By that I mean,
I was never a particularly talented or natural painter.
By that I mean,
I wasn’t born with an innate unquenchable desire to paint,
nor did masterpieces effortlessly flow out of my head and onto canvas,
but I nonetheless enjoyed it.
I took art classes in school and loved them.
I would get so absorbed in the flow of creating
that I would blink and the hour was over.
I wasn’t terrible by any means.
I was actually pretty decent,
but decent isn’t what gets deemed
and the like. …
Mindfulness is an honorable thing to strive for, but sometimes it gets in the way.
Having a greater awareness of the way we go about our lives is not only admirable but necessary.
That said, sometimes we get so caught up in the pursuit of mindfulness that we forget about heartfulness.
When we want so badly to become the best version of ourselves, we naturally seek out all the books, all the podcasts, practicing all the methods, following all the gurus. …