Our experiences impact how we became who we are, but our experiences do not define us. For example, I have children, but I am far more than a mother. I was abused, but I am far more than a victim or a survivor. I have had work published, but I am not only an author. In fact, I’m not even the same person I was when I wrote the published piece. Writing it changed me. Instead, I am all of these at once, but I am also something else: I am

Worry can consume our creativity if we let it. Writing is therapy for me. I teach it as a tool in the self-care kit. Denying myself writing is denying my own recovery, and I have met and worked with many others for whom this is true. This is why I frequently find myself advising that we write now and worry later. Shove the concern about who will see our work if it will even be seen at all and just get it out so we don’t become buried in our

Consent is given when I say yes, place your hands on me, take hold; I give you permission to know me inside and out; I speak your name with please do stroke me with fingers on your keyboard; When there is distance touch me in every private and public space; Condense me to yours with words and even typos, missed strokes or mixed messages because I am willing to be held. Not I am willing to be hostage to your expectations emotions wishes prods or likes. Not I am willing to be

Trigger warning: sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape Recently, when I watched the now infamous video of Trump bragging about grabbing pussies, I was reminded of one man in particular: my stepfather, Tom.     Tom used to crawl into my twin-sized bed and lay next to me while wearing his white briefs.  Tom used to speak of wishing I were ten years older so he could marry me. Tom told me once, with much vengeance in his voice, that he wanted to break me in a way he’d never been able

Some notes: The U.S. presidential election has me feeling trapped and is bringing up a lot of bad memories. I’ve been on the lookout for good things, lights to focus on to prevent my world view being cast in darkness. I have a lot of slow brain days. Those are days when I can’t see my way out of the fog. I struggle to get simple tasks done. I lose my keys in the fridge and I forget where the cold food is kept. These tend to fall in quick succession. There is

April Brancamp is a natural living expert whose work with essential oils has benefited me and my family directly. I requested that she write a piece on using oils for grounding as a resource for mood management. I hope you find this how-to helpful! Are there times you seem disconnected from life? Maybe you’re feeling a little scatterbrained, all over the place, disoriented, or perhaps your thoughts are racing? You may need to be grounded. Grounding connects you with the present, instead of thinking about the past or the future.

Healthcare is a global catastrophe for those most in need. Obtaining medical services is a privilege reserved for the able in many cases. Our family has personal experience with the struggle that can be involved in getting to the doctor or service. It is only recently we have begun to receive in-home service for autism. I wish everyone could have access to this type of care. It is transforming our family because it is by nature more wholistic, but mostly due to the dramatically decreased frequency of missed appointments due to

Joy is found in the fallen leaves. Outside, along a quiet path. I am happiest with the quiet of the earth. This weekend I went to the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center here in Bloomington. Everyone is welcome to walk the grounds and step into the temple. Sometimes I take a cushion and sit in meditation. On Sunday I found silence in solitude. My introversion was in full effect. There were plenty of people on the grounds following a service. I dodged them, keeping my eyes trained ahead of my

We didn’t see the sun when we expected to. Rain fell. It was gentle, delaying the morning. I wanted to listen to the patter, but Monday means breakfast and off to school. So I focused on being a mother, keeping the kids to our schedule, tuning out the usual whines and protests and tears because only one of three wanted to go to school. Only one of three packs her bag with joy. Soon enough, even she was crying because her school starts a full hour after her brothers’. I

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