Owning My Empathetic Badass-ery

April 10, 2017

And I got way too many feels, way too much emotion
I don’t even know what’s real, I just say f*&k it, keep on going

-Kiiara ( & Avery)

I am a feelings girl–my heart bleeds on my sleeve. I cry when I get excited. I cry when I laugh too hard. I cry at sad movies, like real, belly-deep ugly cry that keeps me up at night. (I avoid sad books and The Fault in Our Stars and movies where animals die for this very reason.)

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I cry when others cry. I cry at concerts when the music is just so good. I cry when I sense my sisters’ pain even from across the country. I also literally shake with happiness at good news, and can hear my heart crack under the weight of disappointment and unmet expectations.

For the majority of my young life, I thought this was wrong. I thought I was faulty. Too sensitive,  they said. Drama queen, they said. Toughen up, they said.

So I tried.

I stuffed down emotions only for them to explode later. I buried myself deep inside my head, weaving myself up tight in lies questioning my self-worth, my purpose, and my mistakes. Relationships and close friendships imploded.

It wasn’t until my senior year of college when years of depression and eating disorders became unignorable, a very wise woman (my therapist, God love her) brought me to a life-changing realization:

the very trait I was seeing as my weakness is actually my strength.

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Tripod Reunion: Jalama, Unplugged

March 21, 2017

I can’t remember the last time I went more than 24 hours without a cell phone. No screens, just waves and stars. No texting, just talking around the campfire. No emails, no work, just rest–pure rest.

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Two of my best friends from my San Diego spin days decided it was time we all–The Tripod–reunite at a scenic camping spot somewhat-halfway between our two cities.

We booked our Jalama beach camping site in January, dreaming of beach days and campfire nights away from the city lights. We committed to no electronics (save cameras) and no work talk–it was time to reconnect and give our bones the deep rest they needed. Even while writing this two weeks later, I can nearly feel the longing deep down in my marrow to return to that restful space in time.

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How quickly the weekend passed by! Unplugging, even for just a short moment, refreshes in a way nothing else can.

Read on for our photo-journal from the trip >>

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This is why I haven’t written lately

February 23, 2017

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”  – Brené Brown

As humans, we gravitate toward stories. We love stories for their beginning, middle and end, a perfect succession of past, present and future.

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We love stories because of the rise after the fall. We fervently listen to the hero’s tale of fighting, overcoming, then saving the world and going on to rescue humanity with their lessons learned. We attach strings of our own truth, heartaches and struggles to the characters we read. We think, me too! and when they win, if they can, so can I.

I started my blog out this way. Writing buoyed me as I waded and swam through my eating disorder recovery. It saw me through to my win and beyond, looking down over the debris of a battle fought and won.

Strong. Brave.  

But here’s a thing about stories–they are never really over until we are gone, our earthly shells reduced to sprinkles of dust under the hard ground. Life is a series of ups and downs, challenges and changes–this we know well.

But for a while I was speeding along too fast to see the next hurdle in my path.

I am going to be painfully honest here. I’ve gone back and forth about this post for about two months now, after taking a break from writing because the words just wouldn’t come. I needed to pause, I needed to start the healing process. But the more I open up to my closest confidants, the more I have found this truth still stands: we are not alone in the struggle. 

So remember this please, when I share my story with you.

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10 Ways to Ease Anxiety, Naturally (Part 2)

December 22, 2016

As promised, part two is here. Read on to find tips on managing anxiety and times of high stress. This holiday season, set aside time for self-care and time to relax so you can enter the new year rejuvenated and ready to go.
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Fuel Your Body

During bouts of anxiety, what you eat can help level your mood and energy levels. Some may experience a loss of appetite while others may be hit with salty or sweet cravings–be mindful of what your body is calling out for.

Nourish your body and soul with healthful foods: brightly colored veggies for a variety of vitamins, warm and soothing soups, and even some dark chocolate (which may aid in boosting serotonin levels).

All the Teas

So this part sucks for us coffee lovers–caffeiene serves only to intensify feelings of anxiety. I’ve found it best to avoid it entirely when I’m feeling out of sorts. (I know. I never thought I’d say that. Ugh.)

Instead? All. The. Tea!

Keep a variety of your favorites on hand. Some of my go-tos include Yogi Tea’s Sleep Honey Lavender Stress Relief, St. Johns Wort Blues Away, and Bedtime. My dear friend Lauren also introduced me to Aveda Calm tea–I drink this staple both morning and night.

Still want your cup o’ joe? Learn to be okay with asking for decaf, if only for a while.

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10 Ways to Ease Anxiety, Naturally (Part 1)

December 21, 2016

It is no secret I’ve been working through flares of anxiety lately. While my support team has been quick to swoop in and I’ve taken time for self-care, I relied heavily on tips from others who’ve also shared my experience including dear friends and my wonderful doc.

Since the holidays can often shake up a bittersweet cocktail of emotions, I decided to share some coping tips I’ve learned over time with you all. Managing anxiety is  possible. It just requires you to step back a bit and take time for yourself and your process. Let’s dig in, shall we?

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Here we go, part one of my 10 ways to ease anxiety, naturally:

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