Shifting Ground

photo by Sonal Madhok

I was driving around one day and noticed the car in front of me had a sticker on it that read, “Change? How’s that working out for you?”

I don’t know about you, but I think that statement is terrifying. Yes, they are “just words,” but there is truth in that among all the people that fight for change and care so deeply, there are still many who refuse it- who are more than comfortable with the way things are in the world and would prefer them to remain the same for their sake.


My mother is the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet. She’s smart and funny and kind. All she ever does it go out of her way to make sure everyone is happy and feels cared for. She meets every person with so much love and gives away more than enough without any need for reciprocation. She deserves the world. 

I’d assume that most of you, reading this, feel the same way about your mother or at least someone you love. But despite my mother being a human being like the rest of yours, her Puerto Rican complexion means something different to the world. 

While there have been a lot of kind people along the way, there have also been a lot of people who are not so kind…

My mom has been parking on the opposite side of our street for the past year we’ve lived here. There has never been a problem, but a few weeks ago, she found a note on her car saying that that was illegal, and that they would call the police if she didn’t move. There were no signs or indicators noting that this was unlawful. In confusion, she called the local police department to check and see if it was okay for her to park there. She kept them on the phone and made them double-check. To which they replied, it was entirely legal for her to do so. She continued to park there. 

The next night, at 10 pm, there was a knock on our door. It was the Chief of Police. He ordered her to move her car because it was illegal, and she was blocking the intersection. When she replied that she had called the previous day, he said it was a “new rule” and proceeded to place police orders specifically in the area she was parked. 

My mom minds her own business, so I wonder a lot about why her “improperly placed” vehicle bothered our neighbor and why he sat in bed at 10 o’clock in the evening, dialing the police to have them come over here.

Aside from this, there have been many other instances on our block, and in my mother’s life, where this behavior has occurred and where she has felt uncomfortable, unsafe, and frustrated. For example, yesterday, my mother was walking our dog past a construction area nearby, where a police officer was posted up. As she passed, he proceeded to follow her as she walked until she got back home. Then, later that day, another police officer passed by, watching as she cleaned her car.  

Regardless of if you think any of this behavior was racially motivated. Regardless of if you think it’s not a big deal. This is NOT okay. And frankly, it’s fucking scary. 

What’s most painful about these situations is the fact that it’s so simple that nothing can really be said about it. “How can you prove that she really didn’t do something wrong?” “Are you sure they were following her?”

If you have ever loved someone or something, then you know the feeling that when they’re hurting, it hurts you. You just want to protect them, but you never have control over fate. Everyone has to go out in the world, but not everyone has a nice, white bubble to float around in- and that’s not discrediting the problems of others. I sometimes worry when I leave the house that something bad will happen, and I won’t get home in time. Or that the weird looks she gets when she goes for a walk will turn into something more grim. Although my mom doesn’t do things that would get her in some kind of trouble, I fear that she will be. 


I didn’t always recognize how different my mother’s reality was from mine because I have white skin- how I benefit from the white supremacist society we live in. Hell, I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood. Not only was it rare to see diversity in my friend group, in my school, or in my town, but I don’t even remember conversations about racism coming up unless it was a topic of the past. I didn’t want to believe that people could be subtly racist, especially to my own mother. 

There is an unfair, disgusting, and horrifying abuse of power within our system. It was built long before our generation opened its eyes to this planet. Not only is it deeply embedded in the police force and the government, but also the people. Whether or not you want to believe it and as ugly and painful as it is, it’s in all of us. This is your battle. I know that these instances don’t happen in most people’s lives. And I know that because of this, it makes it really hard to think about, believe, and to stick with the change. You may have never seen it or realized it or even thought that maybe your own words or actions carry enough weight to really hurt someone else.

When I began to have this conversation with myself, it wasn’t easy. I was uncomfortable because I didn’t understand a lot of the feelings I had buried inside, some of which didn’t even belong to me, but were ingrained. I had to ask myself questions I never did before. So much comes at you at once, and you’re overwhelmed because, by nature, you want to fix it all at once. You can’t. There are things you and I won’t ever be able to comprehend. We can’t tackle everything. But it means something to be conscious and walk through life without rose-colored glasses.


Earlier this year, a chilling video surfaced the internet of a police officer kneeling on a black man’s neck for nine minutes, until he was unresponsive. That man was George Floyd. And that police officer was Derek Chauvin. Seeing that video should’ve shook you hard into your humanity, your mortality and your community. George Floyd was not only a husband, but a father- a human being that deserved just as many rights as the next one, just as many opportunities and respect. And the fact that, even after being murdered by law enforcement on video, there was hesitation to arrest and convict his killer is infuriating. There were many, many others before him. And even more after. How many more lives until something changes?

It’s heartbreaking to think of the people who don’t care enough or who simply just don’t believe it, when this is a reality for so many others. There are people who go out of their way to put the lives of others in danger, who live to see fear in those people’s eyes because it makes them feel high and mighty.

This happens every day. This behavior is everywhere. It’s not new, and it’s not a secret.


Everything that once hid in the shadows is coming to the surface right now. These things are changing right before our eyes, and everything we thought was, really wasn’t. You can feel it when you step outside your door- something is different, off balance, shifting.

The world is bending and breaking and bleeding. It would be a lie to say you don’t see it. We will all carry the weight of hatred on our backs as long as it is still very much running rampant through our country and our world. It lives in the way we participate, our inclusion of certain people and exclusion of others, our gossipping, our choice to support larger corporations while the smaller ones suffer, our pollution, our plastic, our self-denial, our abuse, our lies- everything we give our energy to that is not for the betterment, but instead feeds the negativity and allows it to grow even bigger. I know it hurts to think of these things, but it will always come full circle. No one is off the hook.

We’re all so caught up in our own lives and busyness that somehow there’s “no time” to learn and change. Or maybe there’s no time because it doesn’t immediately affect you. But none of your busyness actually matters- all of this running around and freedom you hold is meaningless, unless we can all live together like that. As Nelson Mandela once said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” This not only goes for the people, but the animals, the land and ocean too. We have gone on too long without a sense of community, appreciation, and care.

What I’m asking of you is to just take a second of every day to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Plainly, don’t be an asshole. And I’m not saying you are one, but always check yourself. Keep checking yourself. Check your family members and loved ones. Check your friends and coworkers. Educate yourself.

Don’t be complacent with the system because you don’t have negative experiences. Stop saying you don’t give a shit about anything at all. That’s not cool. No, you don’t have to constantly repost things on your Instagram- I’d hope that’s not the only thing you’re doing anyway. Have these conversations with your family and friends and everyone in between.

Acknowledge what came before you and the truth in everything. Make some room for the truth of others. Begin to see the world and her inhabitants as an extension of yourself. And treat everyone with the same respect, kindness, and immense love that you also deserve.

Hold so much love inside you that it bursts out of the seams. Spread it everywhere you go. Use it to heal. See the light it reaps.

Take the time to learn how to change and to make the world a better place for ALL (and there are no borders or limits or exceptions to that). Your love for humanity is going to have to be much greater than your love solely for your inner circle and yourself to overthrow this. Let go of your ego and your selfishness. Give it up for the bigger picture.


Awakening on a grand and global scale was coming. It’s long overdue. Nothing will live in the dark anymore.

Ignite the fire of change. Let your heart unfold. Meet everyone with the means to clean out a deep wound- lend an open and gentle ear. Please don’t ever be afraid to use your voice. You have one for a reason and I promise it matters. The call to become more conscious asks you to become compassionate, do the work, and listen. Notice. Feel. Discuss. Release. Repeat.

Grieve and rebirth. We will no longer live in a way that is not conducive to everyone’s wellbeing. No more blood will be shed. No more tears when there doesn’t have to be. It will take time. Know you are not responsible for everything, but you are responsible for yourself. You hold the dice and are deciding at every moment which direction this is going to go. Let it be forward.

With Fire,

Visionary Orchid

On a Good Day

photo by Lucas Feola

Anxiety in My Head and Fear in My Bed

Tuesday Morning Thoughts

This morning, my eyes gazed up at the blank ceiling above me. I noticed each line between the panels and the little details- the specks of paint and tiny cracks making up the bigger picture. My body laid limp on my white sheets, covered by my favorite velvet blue blanket, with one leg out to escape the heat. It was like any other day- except for once, my thoughts were quiet. That spot between my shoulders let go of its tensity. I melted into the floor beneath me.

I usually feel like I need to check my phone to catch up or answer people, but this morning I didn’t. I didn’t need to scroll through Instagram at 8am in fear that I “missed” something. There was no itch to get up, to wash my face, to get dressed. It could wait. I didn’t need to be anywhere. And laying there wasn’t wasting my time. That’s how I wake up on a good day– in a cool, calm, neutral state.

It actually just recently came to my attention that that’s how most people wake up every day. But soon after, I start to wonder about where my worry has wandered off to.

I wonder why I’m not anxious and then assume that something bad is going to happen, so it starts up again. Or I make myself nervous expecting it to return. Where have my jitters gone- the feeling that makes me go-go-go every morning? And if they’re gone now, does that mean I don’t have any sort of stimulus to get through today? I almost feel like I’m dependent on it. Serenity makes me feel like I’m numb.

I paused for a second and sat with that. For the first time, a new question popped into my brain- how efficiently can I function without anxiety? Do I need to be this way in order to get out of bed and accomplish something? Has it gotten so extensive that my moments of relief now seem uncalled for and will forever be disturbed by question?

Because I’ve lived with this for so long, it’s normal to feel anxious. I had stopped trying to pinpoint where it was coming from. I just let it do its thing. I got tired and stopped having the energy to combat my bouts of dread. I learned how to “comfortably” live with it because it took too much out of me to fight it. And in that process, I lost myself because I stopped trying to discover who I was without it. I let it rule my life. What I know is the anxious version of myself.

That isn’t okay. Letting it “do its thing” is giving up. It’s letting myself fall away at the feet of it. And I know that I act differently when I’m not anxious. I’m more outgoing. It’s easier for me to speak, to say how I feel and to communicate. I behave differently. I react differently. But it makes me want to run and hide. I’m condemned to my room because that is the only “safe” place. And even there, I am at war with my own mind.

photo above by XVNDER BLANK


A few months back, I went to an open house for a school. I’d been thinking about going for a while. And I already skipped the first one because it was snowing, and I didn’t want to trek to the city in the snow (so I couldn’t really back out this time). I was excited nevertheless. I like going to the city because it’s easier for me to exist there. Everyone’s focused on their own stuff, so there’s no pressure. I never feel like anyone is watching me, or thinking I’m weird or something. I’m comforted by being this tiny little speck in a sea of people. I didn’t have any trouble on my way there.

We all gathered in a half-circle facing the founders of the school. It was a very intimate space, perfect for an open discussion. They started off by asking us why we were interested in this particular route and what brought us here. Upon hearing that they were going to go around the room, allowing each of us to have the floor to speak, I became a bundle of nerves. There it was.

I looked to each side of the room in anticipation of which they’d start on. I counted each head until mine. Then I began rehearsing my lines over and over again until I got what I wanted to say right. I kept telling myself, there’s nothing to worry about. You’ve done this a billion times. Just chill out. You can do this- it’s fine. I shrank further as the line moved along. Four people until me. I wish I could telepathically tell them, then they could just skip over me.

As the last word slipped out of the person before me, I watched each colorless rosebud head turn to listen to the only crimson one. I heard a muffled, “go ahead“, but my own heart banging angrily against my chest and the shallow breaths escaping my mouth were the only decipherable sounds. I tried to remind myself to breathe. It was my turn to speak, and I was. But each time I blinked, the stretch between the artificial light and the endless darkness behind my eyelids became longer and longer. I couldn’t feel my breath or hear my words anymore. I was in an empty room surrounded by white noise. And all I knew was that my physical body was trying hard to get as little out as possible to convey what I meant- although there was a lot I had to say, a lot of my heart to give. I wanted them to see me. And all I could’ve hoped for was that what I did say was enough.

It’s moments like that that defeat me more than anything else.

You see, there’s this bridge between your thoughts and actual words. It’s the pause that most people don’t consider. It’s think and- boop! There’s what I said. It comes out so easily for them. But sometimes I get lost in translation. The more you focus on what you have to say, the longer the walk to your mouth becomes. The more you think about if it’s even worth saying. You start to examine everything about it, then it gets lodged in a crevice along the way. And by the time you decide you’re going to speak, it’s too late. You’ve taken too long and you have to muster up something in place of the time lost. Or whatever the topic was has fled. Or you’ve been sitting in awkward silence for the past ten minutes with the person you love and didn’t even realize it.

Anxiety amplifies all those pauses in life- no matter how tall, or complex, or short, or simple. Then uses them as space to spiral.


It’s hard to explain what a day with anxiety is like. And I get that it’s hard to understand anxiety when you don’t have it. Sometimes, it kind of feels like I’m housing another me. Except, this other me is an alien from another planet. She’s paranoid and a bit all over the place because she’s new here and doesn’t know much yet. Everything makes her nervous, and she comes to me to vent about it. She also has trouble organizing her brain like humans do. So it’s my job to either explain everything to her, so she calms down- to take everything step by step. Or to just let her run wild and share the panic and fear. It’s like having ‘first day of school’ butterflies, but every day is the first day of school.

I’m kind of an adult now and being one comes with responsibilities. There are superpowers you’re supposed to acquire, but no one teaches you how to do so. They are as follows; handling things on your own- regardless of circumstance, having the ability to confront, always staying calm, swallowing the fact that (most of the time) you won’t have the opportunity to explain yourself, and pretending everything’s alright. Anxiety makes all of those things really difficult.

Below are some examples of how anxiety affects my daily life:

  • My heart drops when I receive phone calls. And I refuse to make any calls unless I absolutely have to. (This means making any kind of appointment, reaching out to my grandparents, facetiming an old friend, talking to customer support, etc. require a lot of thought and pacing beforehand. And are most often accompanied by panic and dread.)
  • Going to job interviews is very challenging. Sometimes I don’t even show up.
  • I can’t really make plans in advance because if there’s too much time to think about it before it happens, I’ll go back and forth with my decision to go. Or I’ll cancel the day of- which makes me feel bad, but not as bad as my nerves on the drive there. I’d rather just turn around and go home. It’s not their fault. It’s not that I don’t want to see anyone, or that I don’t care or like them. If I’m being honest, I don’t know what makes me so nervous about simply hanging out.
  • I really enjoy grocery shopping, but if I have to go alone, I start feeling like everyone is staring at me, and I’m being suspicious. I’ll spend twenty minutes in an aisle trying to find something (because I have to look at everything and make sure I don’t miss anything), and if I can’t find it, I’ll just leave without it.
    • One time, I was trying to pick a face wash at Whole Foods, but I couldn’t find the one I normally buy. I didn’t want to ask for help. My eyes ran down the wall, double checking and triple checking. Then I noticed that I had been standing there for awhile and started to…sweat. Lol.
  • I don’t like going anywhere I could possibly run into someone I know. Seeing people unlocks this utter terror within me. I won’t approach anyone. I’ll look down at my feet when I’m waiting for my coffee or stare at my phone to avoid an undisclosed encounter. (I think a lot of people probably think I’m rude because I never say hi or smile, but I’m trying to be invisible, so pardon me.)
photo by Dan Verbenko
  • I like to know there’s a lot of time in between things, so I don’t run the risk of being late. The thought of that troubles me and it’s likely that I won’t go if I think I will be. I show up like two hours early for everything. Everyone makes fun of me for this. And it is kind of funny at this point because of how true it is, but I’m going to be ready mega early for whatever event it is, so I might as well sit in the car outside the building, instead of pacing around my room.

Anxiety appears most often when I’m minding my own business. I’ll be at a social gathering or sitting in my room, listening to music. If I’m not already anxious, it stops by to remind me that I should be. The world starts closing in. The volume on every sound in the room, as well as my thoughts, goes all the way up. And all I can do is sit through it. I become silent because I can’t ask for help. I’ll try to focus on one thing to stay on the ground, but that can be really hard for me. It’s much easier to let go- to dissociate. This way, I can leave my anxious mind and body and go to a place where those feelings don’t exist. It looks like zoning out, like I’m hollow. But dissociating means missing out. You’re there, but not really- you can’t even be present with friends or family.

photo via @yourfriendjuls on Instagram

Anxiety makes me feel like it’s always possible that the floor will fall out underneath me. It leaves me with constant fear and turns my thoughts into negative ones. It makes me doubt the future and feel unsure about the world. And a lot of the time, it prevents me from doing things with myself. I’m used to having to jump through hoops and trying to find pathways to help avoid the things I noted above. But there isn’t always a hack to it or a crutch for it. I have to be uncomfortable sometimes.

On my good days, I feel optimistic and excited- like I can go out and do anything. That doesn’t mean the anxiety has disappeared- it waits and plots. But it does mean that if those emotions do come up, I remember to talk myself through rough experiences. Or I’m able to control the anxiety in a different way. I just have to remember to take my time.

Hitomi Mochizuki explains dealing with anxiety really well, in her “How I Evolved Spiritually” video on Youtube (link here– that part begins around 26:30). When you struggle with anxiety and sadness, you fall down the rabbit hole of negative coping mechanisms really fast. Anxiety, in the past, made me want to hurt myself. It made me put myself down for not being able to do certain things. But she explains that these times are opportunities to show yourself more love. Something she said, that I thought was really important, was, “The mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and an internal experience, so anytime you’re having anxiety, your whole body is responding as if you’re in danger.” It makes sense that it would make you want to flee from whatever is causing the anxiety- fight or flight. And it can be difficult to calm yourself down when you’re in it because not only is your mind freaking out but your body is also.

We can train ourselves on our good days for our bad days. We can practice showing ourselves more love. And we can train ourselves in the ways that work for us. So eventually, it becomes muscle memory that we do so when we’re experiencing emotions of anxiety, panic, dread, etc..

I’m constantly navigating and learning. I don’t think enough people talk about the long term effects of stress on your body and mind. We may not even realize that some of what we experience outside of our anxiety is actually linked to it. The What’s the Juice podcast by Olivia Amitrano outlines and explains stress/the response system amazingly in episodes #1 and #7. She also provides ways you can handle your stress and take care of yourself. I highly recommend- you can find it on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

With Love,

Visionary Orchid

The Divine Feminine

art by Sage Shakti

Lessons from Me, My Mama, and Other Wise Women in My Life


“Self care allows me to tap into my divine feminine energy. This energy is the force that connects mother nature and all souls. It is an interwoven essence that speaks to authentic power. Keyword; authentic power. As a woman, I am connected to Mother Nature. She is me and I am her. It’s the energy that is deep within me; surging. Becoming.

What does self care look like to me?

Speaking my truth. As a woman, we are told…don’t be so loud, don’t feel your feelings. Think without heart. My heart, my pain, is my power. I tap into the energy of all by allowing myself to be. To be. Repeat that, to be. Whatever that might be, I’m unapologetically myself. “

Sage Shakti


For so long, I felt uncomfortable in my body. Not exactly self-image wise, but I felt like being a girl, a woman, was a burden and that I should be something/someone else. I felt like I should hide or be ashamed for being this way. I was never taught what it meant to be a woman, or anything deeper than physically why our bodies were different from men. I was never explicitly taught how to take care of myself. I felt embarrassed to ask questions, to discuss anything out loud, and to talk about my body.

I always wondered why no one talked about anything. Why my friend group growing up never really discussed what we were going through until we were older. And why as women we are so hard on ourselves and despite belonging to that collective, we are hard on each other too. Was there a safe place I could go?

As I got more mature and more serious about myself and my body, I began searching more. Thank god for the internet because whenever I didn’t feel comfortable saying something out loud, I usually looked there in private. Beyond that, I was just learning through observation. Then I got past caring about what anyone thought and started to ask questions- talking openly with my mother and my friends about everything. I started to realize how incredibly awesome it is to be a woman and to share a space with other women. I also realized how much they had to share and how learning from them was the best way to do it. They understand because they are.

This is an ode to the village that raised me. There are parts of me that have wandered off (and still do), out of curiosity and thirst for knowledge and intellect. But there have been many who touched my soul so deeply, it’s impossible to deny. Each print on my spiritual body expanded my mind and thought process. I would not be the woman I am today without their gentle voices, their soft eyes who have lost, been disheartened, and silenced, but have chosen to share their stories and wisdom with me. It’s an ode to the knowledge I’ve picked up along my way. To all the women that taught me what taking care of myself meant beyond physical terms- I want to share their unfiltered voices with you. So all I ask is that you bask in that, open your mind to receiving the energy of these magical women.


photo by Brea Carlstrom

What is The Divine Feminine ?

Lessons from my mama;

The Divine Feminine (and feminine energy) are the heart’s love and all it encompasses; purity, nurturing, creation, allowance, compassion, caring, etc. They are the awareness and understanding that all life is sacred. And paired with The Divine Masculine, there is a powerful union and balance.

Therefore, self-care is not about cancelling out The Divine Masculine. It is not one or the other. It is both. Self-care is just accessing that feminine part of yourself and bringing it out. There may be masculinity in excess-due to the state of society or what you’re being told. The Divine Masculine is that of action and reason, but when we overdo that, we become overwhelmed because we’ve spent so much time suppressing our true nature. We neglect the part of ourselves that needs to relax and feel. Maybe because sometimes we’re told that being soft and vulnerable are bad traits. When in reality, that’s not true.

You support The Divine Feminine by being grateful (giving thanks) and expressing that- staying true to your heart. It is such an important part of us stepping into our power as women because it lives so strongly within our bodies. Love (feminine energy) reaches out its arms, embraces you, and shows you- you were born worthy. No one can confirm or give you that because it was yours all along. And that love is unlike any other. My mom compares it to that of the love from a mother to her child- that unconditional pure love. And that’s how it should be with yourself. You treat yourself with the same kind of care and gentleness that you would your own child.

“I find that regardless of what happened or what is happening at this moment, love’s purity, wisdom, protection, and power, are the simplest, easiest courses of action. Real love wants what is best for you and all that you deserve.” Love delivers peace of mind. You heal in that light. It keeps you youthful, joyous, and present. And remaining and channeling that is what can and will guide you. Self-care is inviting that kind of love in and letting it wipe away anything negative. When you’re living in the light of love, it’s hard to have anything penetrate that and knock it down. And it becomes much easier to quiet your mind’s chatter and really listen.

I have yet to come across anything stronger than the power of Divine Femininity. It’s the life force that exists the womb and surges through our veins. It’s what keeps us from breaking (even if we may feel like we are), while carrying generations and generations of weight. It’s what keeps us going when we are tired, why we continue to fight. It’s the quality of being resilient. It’s the flowers that sprout from our palms- a peace offering. It’s the healing vibration of laugher and touch. It’s the effortless beauty in every woman. It’s the reminder and knowing of the vast aptitude of our existence.

What is Self-Care ?

It’s more than just face masks and painting your nails. Although that can be where it starts- physically. I like to think that self-caring means nourishing and nurturing yourself through different means, in all aspects of your health. That being; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. At the end of the day, it boils down to the journey of self-loving and being happy- meaning you don’t have to look outwards and nothing can change it. Self-caring is learning about yourself and practicing that.

Beth Killip: I love that question! I love it because self care is such a beautiful energy that equates to not only self love, but self knowing. And that to me, is the most important piece of self care right now. I care best for myself by knowing myself. Self care is knowing some days I remember, and some days I forget, but I ALWAYS have access to listen to her, my truest self.

I know myself more and more by taking time each day to question everything; to critically think, sift through the bombardment of information, and then the most important part…feel gratitude for my life, all of it 😉. To sit quietly and listen to my soul, my expanded self- that part of me that is connected forever to the big ole’ Universe.

It is not always easy to look at and release thoughts and beliefs I’ve been programmed with my entire life; the stories I’ve created in my mind based on these programs, the agenda driven, manipulated, and infiltrated information I hear in the world- the overly positive messages swirling around. But as I do, I get quiet and let in the part of me that holds wisdom and truth and love beyond this world. It is the most self caring thing I can do.

I get guidance, I hear messages, I feel love. I remember who I am and then I can live with more lightness, more purpose, more appreciation for this fantastically beautiful Earth (and my place in it), and a boatload more joy.

So my self care advice? Listen…to…yourself…the You that is connected to All. You got this! And also I’d like to mention getting massages and belly laughing with friends- those are ranked way high up on the self care list as well.

Sonal Madhok: Self care looks different for everyone and every day it could be different. There are days where my self care is a healthy meal or a workout or a long walk. I think the common denominator is that self care is rest. It’s a rest of the mind, body, and soul. And it’s necessary so that we can become even stronger and honor ourselves.

I usually shut everything off and listen to music. Journaling is always a go-to for me. It feels good to write down what I’m feeling and what triggered it because otherwise, I’ll feel tension. And overtime, I’ll forget how it came about, and I might release it onto others or myself. By addressing it, when I feel it and accept it, I make it easier for the emotion to pass. The more I spend trying to push it away instead of accepting it, the harder it comes back to remind me that I’m hurt. So journaling helps me alleviate that.

I also like to keep affirmations around me- whether that be in reminders on my phone or on notes around my room. Sometimes, I self-care by remembering the things and/or people I’m grateful for. Recently, when I feel like I’ve been in my head too much, I remember a loved one, and I write them a letter about how I appreciate them. Then I send it to them in the mail. This has been such a powerful way for me to rejuvenate, remember that I am loved, and ground myself. It feels good to make others feel good and especially, when they are words that you say in your head and are conveying them on a random day- not only on their birthday or a ‘special’ day.

It really is such a beautiful process. So I think keeping a gratitude journal, and/or writing letters to those you’re grateful for, does wonders for your own mental health.

Julia Forsyth and her mama, Marcie Forsyth: When you’re talking about mental health, it is so okay to be selfish. You have to do the best thing for yourself in that moment. I like to take the time to figure out what I need, and sometimes all that is, is water. I struggle with keeping things in now and again, so it’s very therapeutic to communicate and talk about how I feel. Overtime I’ve learned what I need. Thankfully, I have the emotional support to lean onto, which I couldn’t survive without. Sometimes all you need is a little push. And it’s okay to ask for it.

Along with that- having a schedule, eating good, and doing things you love every day has helped me tremendously. I would tell someone who has not found inner peace yet, to never stop because you are the only thing that can give yourself happiness. It’s worth the journey. (Julia)

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keeping everything in perspective is so important. Since I teach kids everyday, I’m always thinking about the impact I have on other people. Listening to them, giving them confidence, and making them feel good about themselves is my #1 priority. Having a schedule helps me do any day-to-day tasks, such as waking up at a consistent time, taking a shower, getting dressed, and getting ready for work. Getting outside is also very important to me. I always feel so much better after I walk. (Marcie)

CJ Howley: Self care, for me, can seem to take on various forms; from certain actions to eating exceptional foods. Practices like yoga, which in Sanskrit means “union”, have helped me throughout the years in countless ways- rehabilitating my mind, body, and spirit. Meditation taught me that I’m able to find the stillness, the acceptance, the love, that is always present among the thoughts.

Buying, growing, preparing, and eating beautiful foods, free of chemicals and poisons, has been a commitment of mine now for two decades. I feel better- my body feels lighter, more healthy, ever stronger, and I’d like to think that my impact on the Earth is a positive one.

All of this is great and has contributed to my overall wellness, but still, each of these can be singulated to be put into categories for health, but for me- there’s a bigger picture. In my humble opinion, it all boils down to one practice- one monumental thing – the ultimate self care. For me, self care is self love.

Learning to hear, then to listen, trust and follow the knowing of your heart (spirit, soul) is perhaps our greatest quest on this Earth. I know it’s mine. The desire to want to feel good is not necessarily shelving the things that you may think feel bad- but rather it’s identifying what about it that brings misery and suffering and getting curious about that.

Perhaps if we look at the things- (feelings, people, places, actions) that “scare” us, “challenge” us, “dominate” us, etc..- if we face them, get curious about them, start to understand what is going on inside of us when we are feeling scared, lonely, rejected, abandoned- maybe then we can learn to feel the discomfort, recognize it, acknowledge it, and learn from it.

Maybe the more we do this, the louder the whisper of our heart, our spirit, our soul becomes. Maybe we start to differentiate our heart’s wisdom from the voices in our heads, the opinions of societal and cultural “norms” and we begin to navigate our life on our own terms regardless of what the outside world is saying. And maybe even demanding of us.

Yes, this takes practice.
Yes, this takes fastidiousness.
And yes, we may falter along the path at times.
But this, we can do it!

And the beauty about it is; the more we listen, the more courageous we grow. The more courageous we grow, the more we may open up to greater compassion, more softness. The more softness can be found for ourselves and then authentically, we can forward it towards others.

From this place we learn to love, to truly love, the voice of our heart- the wisdom of our soul. Self Care, therefore, is an inevitable byproduct of Self Love. And thus, Self Love is Self Care.


To the people in my life who continue to raise me up, keep me in check, and show me love- the women I’ve found home in, where I can be myself, where I don’t have to apologize for being me, but instead am celebrated. Thank you.

With Love,

Us.

Phoenix Medicine

Moving Forward from The Past and Knowing Who You Are Now


You can come back from anything,
the Phoenix rises from its ashes,
burns its past in the wake and when
it turns its head in fury to peek,
nothing remains.

The Phoenix is the opposite of its past,
acknowledging the misfortunes and the blessings,
but no longer exists in that timeline.
Is reborn in spirit, soulful in blood-red fire,
no revenge, no uncertainty,
her grief peacefully departed.

The Phoenix does not fear,
instead lets go, to leave behind its shadow,
not to turn a cold cheek, but to offer peace.

Remember that pain is a feeling.
It is a gift to feel,
tears are a godly gift, sent to cleanse.
Become One with the holy, water element,
create ponds for yin and yang to bathe in.

The love in your heart never parts,
does not yield, no matter
how much you revisit your pain or
tear open your wounds.
A little glimmering light at the bottom
of the pool, choose to allow it to fill the voids,
let them mend and scar over,
choose to bask in the flame’s eternal glow.

Pull great strength from your ashes,
tear it from its ties to inferno,
dust it off with your wide Phoenix wings
and with the immensity you carry,
blow the ashes.

They will disappear
into thin air, back to their war ground,
where others may come for their own battles.

This no longer belongs to you,
it has served its purpose.
It must go.


When I cry, with it comes a storm. I unlock a whirlwind of emotions, tears that lift the veil on years of buried thoughts and memories. They just seemed to stick even when I tried prying them off. I feel the bad filling up my belly, marinating and rising slowly until it hits my heart and burns a hole. I suppose that’s how it creates a way to leak through. But is somehow always a surprise. I shudder at their entry, trapped in a neverending loop, but let them play back like I’m living through it- slipping on my old skin before bed, when the world is quiet and there are no distractions.

They appear in broad daylight too. A look in the mirror a certain way, a song playing in the wrong place, or an interaction that mirrors the past. And I can hear a voice lingering, repeated words of harm over and over. It leaks in the way I behave or something I say. Ways that don’t feel like me. Other times it’s just a weird, empty or eerie feeling. But I always question how it can so seamlessly slip back in.

I feel stupid because it’s almost out of my control. I feel completely haunted by them. It eats at you, the fact that you can’t go back and change any of it. It lies in the way I smother and overthink. In the feeling that I can’t receive the love and care I deserve. The way I fear certain situations or interactions. The reason I expect to mess up, to be pushed away. I fear the past even being brought up in conversation or being thought of in that way. How would I respond? I’m always thinking of what I could say. It’s the reason I spent so long entombing my voice and hiding my expressions from others, letting it all collect inside so I can unleash them when I’m alone. But at the same time, fear that same voice being stolen- when I haven’t even given it a chance to speak. Do I think I am too much?

I have given my past too much power. When you get used to it being a part of you and then try to tread through it or leave it behind, it fights back. How can you rip me from creator? I find trouble in differentiating the old me from the new me, although I’ve put so much hard work into myself. Every day I have to be reminded to let the real me decide how things are going to go, what they’ll be like.

What Starts Every Storm

It would be much easier to run away if there weren’t things that could pull us back in. Triggers can be anything that set off an emotional response within us. They can make you feel disconnected from your surroundings or people in your presence. It can make you all choked up. And you might result in dissociating to escape or feel more comfortable- going to a void place where these emotions can’t get you.

Our Bags

We carry our belongings for so long, we may forget we’re holding them. They brand themselves onto our skin, but there’s no means of treating the burn or fading the scar. And it’s strange when you’ve built a fortress so sturdy and a moat so deep, you thought nothing could pass or topple it over. Layers and layers of walls so thick even the ghosts get tired of floating through each one. But slowly you realize that your fortress can’t save you from yourself. Your ghost is deep inside and locking it away doesn’t get rid of it. Setting it free does.

We hold onto to our baggage or keep things around that drag us down because it’s what we know. And when we don’t know anything outside of that, it feels normal and safe. We may even be presented with something that’s good for us, but instead turn it away because we’re scared and it doesn’t seem right.

As we gain the ability to understand where we’re coming from and our emotions (as we grow older or through the things we learn), it’s OUR job to take care of it. We don’t grieve or allow ourselves to feel it fully because of the notion that going through it is much more painful than burying it, or putting it in a drawer to hide forever. But when you let one weed grow in your garden, or ivy grow on your tree, soon the entire garden is spoiled and the tree- strangled.

We have been through a lot. And whatever is staying with you may be something very heavy. It’s impossible to do all at once. We must be patient with ourselves.

Ego Speak

The ego comes into play when we’re trying to understand who we are right now and how that person is separate from the old self. Within it lies the past.

Your ego is the idea of yourself you pieced together. It is your self-image and you may overly identify with it to try to understand who you are. It is the mindset that ‘you are a product of our past’, hiding in the way you think and behave. It desires to keep you separated from the world, making you feel detached and alone. And you can stray so far that your ego becomes you, through your devotion, and you are unable to move past your physical bounds.

What’s behind your ego is your true self, the entity that exists without words or anything to make it up. It is completely raw. And that is who you are. It’s the part of you that’s free from the constraints of your mind. It’s not chained to old memories and only exists in the present. It flows swimmingly through you and cannot be tainted- only your ego can. Your soul exists in simplicity, while the ego is a complex. We can positively use our egos to aim for what we want to be or to build that loving image of ourselves. We can use it for definition, but not to get lost in.

Sweet Surrender

The bridge between the two is vulnerability. It’s how you get to the center and confront. Closing up (or preventing access to the bridge) closes us off from loved ones and from the future. But it all starts with you. Can you be vulnerable with yourself, shed your skin in front of your own eyes, and love what’s underneath? Because if not, how will you share that truth with someone else? Understand what lies beyond your walls so you are no longer afraid of it. We may be harboring things that are extremely painful to revisit. My dad once told me that if we practice enough times, we realize that the challenge at hand is not as scary as it once seemed. We will get there. We choose how our past defines us and have been told for so long that it’s a part of us, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s over and done with, so why does it trail behind? Because we haven’t been taught to let go.

Surrender to your entirety in the way a great waterfall surrenders to its drop into the unknown, but understanding it will enter into a new body of water. Or the sun descending every night into darkness, knowing it will come up on the other side. Feel it so it can fall away, so you can become again. Allow yourself to grieve and allow it to heal you. Acknowledge the misfortunes and the blessings that came from them. Offer peace to your past in exchange for a lesson- that’s what you take with you. Self-sovereign and no longer existing in that timeline. You’re only a product of your past indirectly. You make the choice of what you’ll take with you.

Allow your past self to leave. You’re allowed to leave behind what was toxic. Rise from it like the phoenix. Leave room for the fact that you change every day. Reborn every morning.


Getting to know yourself is like getting to know another. That definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not ‘one day I’ll get there, but for now I’m like this’. It requires time, contemplation, attention and silence. Devote yourself to your self. Put in the effort to change the person you were before. Question everything- it’s a lot of, “why am I like this?”. Be picky and choosy about what you want apart of you. Let go of what no longer serves you or exists in the vibration of who you are becoming.

The complicated part is putting this into practice. The past is very sneaky. How do we draw the line? Can we cut it off completely?

This is what I have as an answer for the moment; we draw the line by stepping into our power. This means what we have control over what is our current self. I know we can divide both versions of ourselves. I can’t promise they won’t come into contact down the line. I know that visit is frightening and possibly disabling. Perhaps it’s a test of our strength. We can take precautions to prevent backtracking and help grow. It’s okay if we fall during that process.

Remind yourself who you are as you’re picking back up. You can let your past be a reminder of how far you’ve come. Be proud and find the light. Every second, every mile, and every effort is a step further away. And it is not shameful to ask for help. Our loved ones, healthcare professionals, and even strangers can be there to lead us to water.

Be conscious of yourself. Listen as best you can. Think before you speak and when you do, speak with your heart. React with care. Be real with yourself and everything around you. You don’t have to hold back or hide anymore. It’s safe to live in truth.


The great thing about individuality and freedom is that you get to choose. The possibilities can be a little intimidating. There’s so much I want to be and many different directions I’m pulled in. It makes me forget that I’m just me. I can absorb bits and pieces, but in the end I am me.

With Love,

Visionary Orchid

Let’s Talk About Wellness: Alternative Medicine

Mom’s Medicine Cabinet

How Alternative medicine changed my life

On a particularly ill-feeling day, my mother and I hopped on a train to New York City. We were to visit a Chinese herbalist on Canal Street. I’d never been to any type of Eastern doctor previously. Instead, I grew up on cold, stale waiting rooms and busy doctors- ones who were too busy to listen to me.

Prior to this endeavor, I was suffering from debilitating anxiety, migraines, and a raw stomach. It was hard to hold down food and even when I tried, I’d have this burning sensation run through my abdomen. The best I could do was apply pressure and stay still to help dull the pain. I was shaky and in knots- on edge and tired. It felt better to not put anything in my body at all to avoid what I was feeling. I spent months switching doctors to figure out what was wrong. They ran tests. Did blood work and gave me ultrasounds. I even visited a gastroenterologist, but left with the discovery that I had high blood pressure, which is strange for someone who’s ‘young and healthy’. I waited weeks for some kind of response, but there was never anything returned or that they could find. Still, I knew something was wrong, regardless of if I had something to base it off of.

It had taken some convincing. My mother has a strong distaste for the city, but I could tell that upon entering the building, there was an excitement between the both of us. A ray of light. Three flights above us held an office-like space with dull lighting. It was decorated generously with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) books, calendars, notebooks, and acupuncture tables- which at the time was a sight to marvel at. I didn’t even know what acupuncture was exactly and the sight of needles in people was a bit unnerving, but at the same time interesting.

Dr. Fu Zhang’s waiting room was warm and welcoming. Quiet with the permeating scent of herbs filling my senses. I vividly recall the soft face of his daughter waving us over from behind a wooden panel divider. I sat down, pulled up my sleeves, and laid my arm across his empty desk. He placed his steady fingers on my pulse and asked me to stick out my tongue. In my head, I sort of wondered why he needed to see my tongue to diagnose, but I was far beyond the point of questioning- I saved that for later. I didn’t have to say much, only answered a few questions. Before I could settle, his daughter was concocting a set of powdered herbs from the wall shelves.

A cold stomach, or an invasion of yin. Our bodies work on a balancing system of energies. They work tirelessly to keep everything equal, but not without our help and effort. It works in a balance between yin (cold) and yang (hot). When too much of one is present, it throws off the balance, overwhelming the other. This can lead to physical symptoms. And where it comes from just depends. Anxiety and worry happen to affect the stomach/spleen. The stomach is where your digestive fire lies. And those emotions weaken the corresponding organs and make them more susceptible to illness. What you consume also greatly affects your organ function- eating iced, cold, or raw food/drinks in excess can deplete your digestive fire and make it more difficult for your body to perform digestive function (more energy is used to digest those kinds of foods).

I was instructed to eat warm, cooked foods and to avoid any dairy, cold, and greasy foods. Then, I was given the set of herbs to boil into a tea every night for twenty minutes. Within weeks, I regained my strength and started slipping back into myself.

But that wasn’t without the internal work too. Before my visit to Dr. Fu Zhang, I wasn’t taking care of myself properly in any aspect of my life. I didn’t even know how. And for a while after that, even after getting better, I still struggled. I do now. Though, this did mark a major point in the way I looked at myself, my lifestyle, and health as a whole. It was just the beginning.

Around the same time my anxiety was at its worst, I started getting a rash on my face. It was mostly under my nose and around the sides of my mouth- red and irritated, only getting angrier the more I tried to cover it up or use over the counter remedies. So I decided to visit a dermatologist. The minute he saw me he knew what it was. Perioral Dermatitis. He handed me a pamphlet and said he’d have a prescription sent to my local pharmacy. No questions asked.

With a bit of time, it went away. And I thought I was good, but it came back with vengeance. I used the cream again. And it went away and came back. Again. And again. And again. This happened for years to come.

So I started to experiment. First, I tried just leaving it alone, which yielded no result. Then I started doing my own research on its causes/the root of the problem- beyond what I’d been told. I read other peoples blogs and experiences with this form of dermatitis. I tried different creams and essential oils. I dove into nutrition and gut function and explored different foods/their effect on my body and skin. I discovered how important what I was putting in my body was. And began taking internal supplements and herbs to help eliminate whatever was going on inside my body. Then realizing that even things like toothpaste and detergent had an effect on my skin- so I changed all the products I used previously. I started actually reading the labels of everything I use.

I then discovered the wonderful gift to this Earth that is acupuncture. I found someone I could talk to about what was going on with me, whether it was big or small, whatever I thought was relevant. And he listened and understood at a deeper level. He took everything into account when treating. In turn, I was able to learn from the knowledge of another. There’s only so much you can get from the internet and just plain reading. It helps to be able to discuss your findings, get some sort of validation, and learn further. It showed me that any type of physician or specialist should truly care about the wellness of their patient and also everything that goes into what caused the trauma/illness/disease and the healing process. It’s not all cut and dry.

Everything began to come together. I began to understand my body and that it needed certain things, attention and treatment, that it wasn’t getting before. And that other things I was doing hurt it. My emotional health carries so much weight. With a lot of patience and time, I eventually discovered a ‘No BS’ skincare brand specifically tailored to people with skin conditions like Perioral Dermatitis- that focuses on healing the skin/protecting it and nurturing it with the use of herbal salves. Within two weeks after using their products, my skin cleared up. And has stayed that way as I’ve focused more on identifying my emotions, switching products that are harmful to my skin, and paying attention to my diet.


Alternative Medicine is basically any method of healing Western medicine considers unconventional. But these practices are ancient. They’ve been around much longer than the modern world has. It includes Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Herbalism, Naturopathy, and much more. Their methods of healing recognize you are not just a hollow body. Everything is both physical and non-physical. It recognizes that there are different pathways to explanations and answers. The remedies work with your body’s natural rhythm to get the job done.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t born with a perfect body or perfect skin. I have to be very careful when it comes to most things because I don’t know how it’ll affect me. It’s frustrating to say the least. On a daily basis I ask myself what’s feeling off, what can I fix, and how. Everything I put in my body has a consequence sooner or later (positive or negative). Everything is so seemingly easy for everyone else. There are things I used to be able to do that I just can’t now. But I am still grateful because it has opened me up to this world.

I am so lucky to have been able to have access to this community. To have it revealed to me at a young age- through a mother who chose to use homeopathic remedies whenever she could, teaching me indirectly. And through the many, many people I’ve come across who share the same interests, who have also taught me. To have had the jobs I did that exposed me further to herbs and horticulture and nutrition. To have been open to the love they have to offer. And to be able to explore as I please at whatever pace I’ve chosen. I’m grateful to even have this interest and feel my heart grow every time I gather a piece of information. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. It gave me the opportunity to focus on my wellness and to know myself, to be in tune with my body and soul. It gave me hope. It was there for me when nothing else, or no one else, was, and taught me how to deal with my emotions in a healthy way- to build healthy habits and to dig deeper. Not everything lies on the surface. And I’m not saying I don’t slip up, I do. But I try.

I’ve learned that plant vessels are not silent. They do speak and each has its own beautiful, unique voice. So much is offered when being a part of these forms of medicine- whether it’s what you grew up on, if you’re a teacher, a student, or someone who receives this kind of care or are just discovering it. This knowledge is acquiring a greater understanding of everything encompassing you- to learn it is all intertwined and purposeful, flowing together. It’s learning the knowledge of eternity on this planet. Plants were here long before us, hold more information than even the most acknowledged scientific journals. All you have to do is listen and pay attention. Let them speak and show you. It would be a crime to discredit all that came before you were even a seed on this humble Earth. The one that gives and gives and gives until there is nothing left. The one that has everything you need to live and breathe.


What I’ve learned is there are things modern medicine cannot do. There are bounds it does not reach. But what I’ve ALSO learned is- there are things alternative medicine cannot do either. There isn’t supposed to be a constant battle between the two and neither should be invalidated. They are to work together for the sake of wellness and betterment of humanity.

While there have been more experiences since, and run-ins with Western medicine, where I was unable to figure out what was happening to my body- these two experiences jump-started my fascination with ancient medicine and native healing practices. Each moment has only left me hungry for more. It has even pushed me towards studying Western Herbalism. But if I wrote about each and every one this post would be endless. Perhaps I’ll share in the future. 🙂

With Love,

Visionary Orchid

Shelter in Place

Art by Clutch Cabin

Staying Positive During Quarantine

In high school, my global studies teacher would assign songs to his students. He’d play one of the tunes at the beginning of class and you’d have to guess if it was yours. On my day, there played a cheerful 90s jam from his computer speakers. I had a feeling it was mine, but was too embarrassed to proclaim so in fear of being wrong (even though it wasn’t that big of a deal). ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ by Deep Blue Something- a little tale of two people who are in a relationship, but aren’t really getting along. They have nothing in common…except for one thing. They both like the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And that’s enough.

I complained to my teacher for a while after that about why he chose it for me. And for a while he told me to figure it out- eventually caving and conveying his reasoning as his thought of me as a starry-eyed optimist. One thing isn’t actually enough to keep two people together. At first, I took it as a compliment. Being an optimist is a good thing. And starry-eyed is a pretty word, but I am neither naive nor foolish.

I make a conscious effort to pick out the good in most because I’ve seen the bad. I don’t want to carry that around with me. Good is glorious. Love is light- much lighter than that of the weight of dark. So I choose. I set out what I want to come back. And I manifest. For myself and for the world.


To say it plainly- things are hard right now. The world’s current predicament is stressful for almost all of us (the almost being 99%). People are falling ill. Millions have lost their jobs and hang at the mercy of the way society is structured. The media is practically spoon-feeding fear. You can see it when you go to the grocery store or even for a walk around the corner- everyone is on edge. And to top it off, 2020s plans were swept away so effortlessly, like the ocean reclaiming its last grain of sand. We are unsure of what’s to come- our lives at a standstill.

It kind of came out of nowhere and threw us way off balance, although we should’ve anticipated something of this nature happening sooner or later. We’ve been put in the corner while all is sorted out. If you aren’t on the front lines, it feels like there isn’t much you can do. There’s just a lot of time to overthink and pace around our rooms, waiting for the next New York Times article with the latest updates. The negatives are poised in our faces and feel like a massive loss for humanity. There’s no kind of reassurance out there, except whatever I conjure up in my thoughts.

I’d like to think there’s a silver lining to this. Just searching for it and basking in my discoveries give me something to do and help fuel positive energy. Regardless of the situation, everything will be alright. Whether the journey to that be long or short.

Times like these, though devastating, happen for a reason. We need to take a good look at the moment. It’s necessary for healing. To show us what we need and what we don’t. For us to realize what really matters. To be grateful for all that we have, even in simplicity; food on the table, a bed to sleep in. It’s funny, things that should normally be priority have now been given immediate importance. We’ve become more aware and compassionate than ever. We have the opportunity to care about our health, to be cautious and to rest– something so valuable to our mental and physical health, but what we practice the least of.

While we’re doing so, the planet is getting a bit of a break from us. The spotlight is on the faulty in what has been built up to now. It was always there, but is now amplified and is not for us to point fingers and blame. This is collective and as a collective, it is time for us to rise together. Right now we wait, but while we do, we prepare for the work of the future. We must lift each other up- doing what we can, supporting as much as we can. And emerge from this better than we came.

The introvert in me wants to say this has been relieving. I no longer feel an obligation to anything. All my ropes have been set loose. I run free in my alone time, and I’m not on overdrive. I do things by my own will and the options are endless creatively. I revisit what gives me joy.

But I know that it can be especially difficult to spend so much time alone in quarantine. Forced isolation and limited contact is lonely- and socializing is vital to some. Stripping that away can make them feel like they’re completely left in the dark and may fall into stressors or harmful thoughts. Without the outside, it makes it easier for past trauma to seep in. We may face the things we’ve been pushing away- which is good, but can also be too much at once. Our friends and family, even just strangers in passing, are life-savers. Technology has made it possible for us to just shoot out a text or be able to talk over the phone. And a phone call can mean and do a lot. It’s important to reach out to your loved ones as a reminder you’re there. Let them know you care and just because you’re not immediately together doesn’t mean you’re not there at all.

I also know that some of us tend to get “lost in the sauce” when there’s no structure or routine set in place to follow (including me). The good stuff came after days of laying around, oversleeping, overeating, and starring at a phone screen- feeling like garbage. You fall into this endless wash and dry cycle without question and kind of let yourself go. And suddenly, you’re having an existential crisis. Bottom line: Overindulging? Not so great. We overindulge out of boredom or avoidance. And try to fill the time with excess of everything.

Creating some kind of routine for yourself helps benefit the mind and body. Consistency is good, especially for forming better habits. Even if it’s just for the morning or night, it’s something to religiously follow each day. Parent yourself; set a bedtime and an alarm to wake you in the morning. Get in the flow of rising with the sun. It helps you get every second out of the day and clears the space for more. When you establish your space, you leave the room for things that make you feel whole- that leave you present and grounded. Because being mindful allows us to stay in the here and now, rather than wander off into the negative again. When you are fully engulfed in a task, it’s hard to go elsewhere. We’re fully in control of boosting our mood and learning things within/outside ourselves.

photo by Clutch Cabin

Below are some examples of To-Dos you can implement in your every day, plus an example of a daily routine. Enjoy 🙂

  • Nourish your body. Make a smoothie or juice. Cook full meals in place of snacking. Follow a new recipe or reach out to relatives to learn how to cook from your roots.
  • Get Outside. Go for daily walks. Do yoga on the grass. Explore a new way of moving your body and get your blood flowing. Moving your body helps ensure that your blood is getting the oxygen it needs to carry to all your organs. It helps them stay strong and improves circulation.
  • Educate Yourself. Take an online class. Explore something you’ve had interest in. Or learn something new. Set a time for it each day. Read a book and find yourself parading through a new world.
  • Make a vision board. On a big, flat surface, like a poster board, collect images/positive phrases that inspire what you want for yourself. Paint the board, place them on, and add affirmations. Then put it somewhere you can see when you wake up. A reminder.
  • Clean. Spring Cleaning! Do the laundry you’ve been putting off. Tidy up the house or your room. Go through your belongings and prepare bags to get rid of the clutter. What do you really need?
  • Create. Build something in your backyard. DIY. Get crafty.
  • Rearrange. When I’m feeling stuck, I rearrange my room. It helps to shift the energy around and give it a new look. What best suits you?
  • Dance. Sing along. Feel the note in each breath. Feel each movement you’re making and let the music take over.
  • Go Earthing. Go walk outside on the grass barefoot. It can help ground you. Feel the Earth’s vital energy flow.
  • Journal. About the thoughts in your head. Have discussions with yourself. Find prompts and write a story.
  • Garden. Tend to what you’ve planted.
  • Walk your dog. Or your cat. They like being outside too.
  • Self-Care. Treat yourself to a face mask. Dry brush or self-massage. Give yourself a mani/pedi. But also if you’re up for it- throughout the day, when you’re feeling a certain way, try to identify where the feeling is coming from or why it’s present. (Because self-care isn’t just physical.)
  • Connect. Say hi to your relatives. Have a facetime date. Virtually hangout with friends.
  • Write Letters to Loved Ones. A little old fashioned, but let them know you care a different way. Who doesn’t like getting mail?
  • Support a Local Business. Order out. Money is tight at the moment, but if you can, support a small business in your area.
  • Play Dress Up. Put on something that makes you feel beautiful.
  • Origami. It requires focus and yields a beautiful result. (If you make paper cranes, you can tie a string to them and hang them from the ceiling.)
  • Ask Questions. Make note of your thoughts and questions that pop up, then ask your friends or GOOGLE.
  • GAMES. Board games. Video games. Card games. Whatever floats your boat.
  • Start or Finish What You’ve Been Meaning to Get to.
  • And whatever you do…don’t cut or dye your hair, unless you know what you’re doing. It’s not worth it.

Remember it takes the job of all of us to help slow this down. Practice Social Distancing. Go out only when you have to. Not all of us are susceptible, but when we stay home, we help those who are.

With Love,
Visionary Orchid

222 Growth Lessons

It’s important that I let go of my fears in order to progress. I’m not sure if my worrying is just a side effect of anxiety or if it’s my brain’s general disposition, but it comes before everything. It’s over the fact that I’m getting nothing done in my creative life, although I write almost every day. Even if it’s just random thoughts in my notes- poetry floating by. Even when I write an entire blog and post it. Even when I share any of my creations. Nothing seems to be enough to satisfy my standards.

I stress that I’m not tending to my social life enough, especially when I’m reclusive and invested in my own little writing world. It’s not something I can be very social while doing. I worry that I’m not making my rounds to everyone and pleasing them, making them feel loved and cared for. There aren’t enough days in a week for work, creativity, and all relationships. And conflict happens when needs are not met. Or worse, they aren’t communicated. I can’t go MIA for too long before someone is wondering ‘what’s up with me’. I must answer texts and make sure everyone’s good. I must share a good amount of information about myself so people can be involved.

That also means sacrificing sacred self time. Time to sit and exist and do nothing- to just be, because it is, in fact, okay to do nothing sometimes. It is valuable. Our minds and bodies need to rest. I can’t give pieces of myself away and not be drained. When I do too much of that, I dissociate. It’s supposed to be give and take. I have to tend to my own garden of emotions and let pieces of me regrow. I have to let go of everyone else’s problems for the moment so I can deal with myself. Not letting everyone in all the time doesn’t mean they are uninvolved or that I don’t want them there. It just means that right now, I can’t get to it.

Both parts of my life are equally important. Creativity helps me discover parts of myself. And I find comfort in other peoples words, especially when I can’t find my own. Feeling their presence is healing and being able to share my space- in silliness or seriousness. I can relate. We help each other navigate. Each person ignites different parts of ourselves as we do in them. I shouldn’t have to let go of one aspect for there to be harmony.


Life is moving incredibly fast. It’s like watching a train pass by and everything is blurry and racing past you. It leaves you with this stolen feeling. Time passes quicker with age for whatever reason. We’re too in our heads or invested with work. We stop looking at the people we’re with and instead take our phones out to record them to watch at a later date. We stop running through the backyard and turn the TV on instead. I look down at my phone, it’s 3pm. I turn away for a second, look back, and it’s 8pm. It never stops. It’s fleeting no matter how much you try to wave down the conductor.

I’m so eager to change and learn and grow all the time. So much that in the time I’m supposed to be letting past lessons settle in, I’m overthinking and creating problems for the future. I’m busy over-analyzing. I fail to recognize sometimes that old growth must be put to the test. We are thrown challenges to see if those lessons have actually done their job. And they will keep reoccurring, whether it be in a new form or not, if we haven’t. If I end up in the same rut more than once, I should understand why.

I have to stop worrying about when and what if. It’s a waste of time- trying to anticipate and always waiting. I could be living. Everything has to come as it may. It can’t be done in one sitting. It’s really just too much.


It’s okay to get lost in the current of life’s enormity; to feel without guilt and insecurity, without need for validation.

With Love,

Aspen

Don’t Wake Me Up

The summer between eighth grade and freshman year of high school marked a point of great change in my life. My parents had just recently gotten divorced. My self esteem was extremely low and I struggled with self image- I obsessed over having a ‘thigh gap’ and being thin. I’d count my calories and started dieting at fourteen years old. I had trouble in school, not with grades, but with my acquaintances. Then I moved to a new state and begged to be homeschooled because it gave me too much anxiety to go. But that didn’t work out exactly as planned. Although I did make friends, I had many fallouts and spent a lot of time alone. Plenty of people didn’t like me. Most of them would openly degrade me to their friends, sometimes even make jokes to my face. The more I heard them, the more I believed them about myself and repeated them when I went home.

The cloud that appeared over me that summer carried through, on and off, to my senior year of high school. As more emotional weight appeared, I began to further empty myself. I pushed everything down and detached. A cavity grew inside me. And I became numb- acting recklessly and hurting people in my wake. Which made me feel like an awful person, someone who deserves bad things to happen to her. Then when it got so deep that the numbness was too much and started scaring me, I resorted to self harm. It became not only a source of punishment, but also a mode of release.

There were people who had an idea of what was going on, but I neglected to ever openly ask for help. Instead, I entertained the idea that someone would fall in love with me and rescue me. Or that something wonderful and life changing would happen and I’d forget I was ever sad. Maybe I could just run away and it would stay behind. I waited patiently for that day. It never came.

I felt so incredibly alone and regretful of the pain I caused. Everything was too much to handle. I decided I had two choices- end it or see this through and put the effort in to keep from slipping further away.

I did get better. I worked really hard on myself, to cultivate self love and a loving environment for myself. I searched for the joys of living and found them in the little things. I suffered through many, many setbacks. But I learned to stop criticizing myself over them because humans mess up. I can’t expect myself to be perfect all the time- that’s unrealistic. Nothing about it was easy and so much of it was ugly. But four summers later, this photo was taken. Whenever I look at it, it is a reminder of the happiness I felt. It was genuine. I had stopped self harming. I stopped judging myself and instead I forgave. My reality had turned light.

But very slowly, the shadows crept back in in 2019. I’ve been a morning person my whole life. I started feeling resentment towards each day ahead and sleeping in more. I didn’t see the point to getting up, especially if there wasn’t anything planned. When people asked about my future, I’d almost get offended. But only because I didn’t know. I couldn’t think of any goals. What was the point of having them anyway? I wouldn’t make it to next year. And even when I tried looking through the veil, the only thing in sight was a black void. Time disappeared and all the memories and moments ceased to exist past where I stood.

I waited for someone to kick the dirt in. I romanticized it because there are so many awful things happening in the world- what could I possibly do to help or make a difference? It wouldn’t be so bad if I just left. I gave up my creations and let all the stars burn out.


Depression is a real bitch because most of the time, you don’t even know what’s wrong. It’s hard to fix something when you don’t know what the problem is. There are days you’ll wake up and you don’t know what’s come over you, but you are empty. You become fearful of the next day because living is a pain. Keeping your eyes open in the morning is difficult, so you keep the blinds closed. And when you do finally work up the courage to go out, you can’t stop thinking about when you’ll be able to go home, shut the world out, and go to sleep again.

The fact that you have no control over when it’s going to act up is really disheartening. You just have to let it come through. Some days I can’t find it in me to clean my room, to throw out the water bottle that’s been laying on my floor for days. Everything becomes a challenge. You fight yourself to get out of bed. Then to shower. To get dressed. To eat. You start figuring out what the bare minimum is for doing things- not because you’re lazy. It just feels so mindlessly repetitive to do the same things over and over again each day.

There are days I’ll be out attempting to accomplish things and I’ll have to turn around and go home. I just can’t find it in me to do it. On Christmas Eve, I was about to leave to my grandparents house for dinner and one thing happened and I just burst. I had a full ‘episode’ and delayed everyone an hour. Then had to pull myself together to go out.

There’s a feeling I get in my throat that feels like something trying to crawl up. It starts at the pit of my stomach, heavy as a rock. And it scratches its way up my esophagus until I burst. Sometimes I’ll start feeling it when I’m out with friends and I’ll leave without giving a ‘good enough’ explanation as to why.

And when even the littlest bad thing happens, it feels like a monumental inconvenience. It sticks with you and you begin to fear that your future will be a repeat of the past. Your current experience is eternal and whatever happens to you stops mattering. You’ll slip out for days and stop answering everyone and then have to try to explain why.


Photo taken by Clutch Cabin

“I have had to experience so much stupidity, so many vices, so much error, so much nausea, disillusionment and sorrow, just in order to become a child again and begin anew. I had to experience despair, I had to sink to the greatest mental depths, to thoughts of suicide, in order to experience grace.”

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Go into your healing knowing depression is going to be one of the most difficult battles you will ever face because when you’re fighting, the end is unforeseeable. You’re in conflict with your own mind and thought process- the shadows that follow you around and feed off your irritability and misery. Hold onto the mindset that life doesn’t throw you anything you can’t take. You are strong- as corny as it sounds. Be incredibly patient. Because the more you fight, the more light you let in. There are going to be ups and downs. Without the bad, there wouldn’t be any good. We need to be able to see the difference.

You can’t keep waiting for things to happen because when you do that, you end up disappointed. And if you’re going to be disappointed, you might as well know you at least tried. Work on yourself with little expectation and be consistent. Time alone is good. Baby steps because even the littlest amount of progress is still PROGRESS. Take it as it comes. You might not notice any big changes until you’re far down the road, but keep moving forward. Don’t stop. Only look back to sort through your baggage and to reflect.

Start small. Set a goal for the day; i.e., fixing your bed, brushing your hair. Practice switching your thoughts from negative to positive. Create a routine and switch it up a little bit so it doesn’t get boring. If you stop seeing the point behind it, change it. Stop doing things that feed your numbness. Trust your intuition and if something makes you feel icky when you do it, that’s a clear sign to not do it again.

When your foundation is based in self love, it becomes difficult for the bad to get in. Self love is a goal, but it isn’t something that when you reach, you can stop working on. It is a conscious choice you make at every moment in the day. It’s the way you treat yourself when something happens and it’s the way you project onto others. Take care of yourself. Yes- face masks, massages, and painting your nails are self care, but it’s about maintaining your mental health. It’s about prioritizing yourself and self respecting. Master your balance and happiness regardless of circumstance. It comes from within, nothing you buy or engage in can give you that.

Nurture your inner child. When I start feeling sad, I notice that doing really simple things help get me out of it. Think back to what made you happy as a kid, then think about what you can recreate. Be playful and don’t take life so seriously all the time. Things happen to us as we grow up. We hurt. No one is excluded from pain. We experience things that linger and carry them everywhere. Take a good look and don’t hold the emotions in. Allow them to get messy, then flow out. Spend time with those emotions and understand them. Try to forgive yourself and whoever hurt you. Let go.

Let go of toxic people who feed your negative thoughts. Having people around who you can be vulnerable with and who are positive/encouraging are so important. Surround yourself with people who awaken the joy inside you and make you laugh. Friends are meant to be uplifting. We need those good memories to awaken the liveliness within us.

One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was not reaching out when I just needed someone to listen. To have someone to tell me things were going to get better or simply have compassion. Even if it’s only to one person, speak up. We all have hard times and there’s someone out there that can understand at least one thing you’re going through. It’s honorable to ask for help and want to fix yourself. We can’t do it on our own all the time. We recognize our pain, but another eye can help us recognize our patterns and help prevent us from falling too far in the future.

I’m not going to lie, life is unbearable sometimes…but get crafty. When you find an outlet, when you focus on it and let it bring you bliss- life goes from gray and fuzzy to full color in HD. It can be anything; drawing, writing, biking, hiking, reading, working, gardening, etc. When everything seems useless, give yourself a purpose. We can create our paradise. The human experience is not supposed to be suffering. And whoever made you think that was terribly mistaken. We are to enjoy life.


I’ve never felt like I belonged here. And that can be unmistakably lonely- feeling like I’m on another plane, being uncomfortable living. I try really hard not to focus on what’s sad or evil in the world. It makes me happy to think of all the good things and I shouldn’t be condemned to my pain. When I thought I was getting bad again, I made a promise to myself to try different ways to get out of the depression hole and stay out.

I began creating goals and giving myself things to look forward to. What do I want? What makes me happy? Then I wrote it all down on colorful post it notes and put it on a goal board. Then I made a list of the little things I could do to help me feel okay:

  • Putting reminders on the mirror and repeating them to yourself every morning-“My heart is good.”, “I am worthy.”, “Everything takes time.”, “Be Patient.”, “I am beautiful.”, etc.
  • Journaling every day and looking back every month to track progress
  • Talking things through- in your journal or with loved ones
  • Practicing turning negative thoughts into positive ones- “I’m terrible at rock climbing.” to “This is my first time trying it. I will get better. I am learning.”
  • Allowing time for self reflection
  • Creating goals for yourself- short term and long term
  • Going for long walks and getting fresh air
  • Planning activities or events to give yourself something to look forward to
  • Practicing Optimism
  • Breathing- slowly, in for 5 seconds, out for 5 seconds
  • Naming things you are grateful for
  • Trusting yourself and your cycles
  • Finding hobbies
  • Setting alarms so you wake up earlier and not sleep too late in the day
  • Practicing being present and not thinking about anything other than engaging in the current moment
  • Listening to podcasts to help you feel less lonely- one of my favorites is Ologies by Alie Ward
  • A mentor of mine I had in high school once told me that when she’s sad on the inside, she’d sit in front of the mirror and smile really hard until she felt so stupid, it made her laugh. So if else fails, give it a try.

One last thing that has always helped me combat not wanting to get up in the morning is leaving the blinds open. Let the sun in. I overheard the little girl I care for tell her older brother, “All you need is a warm sun, not a volcano.”. And she’s right. The power and healing nature of the warm sun is often underestimated. What you need isn’t something gigantic or fantastical. It is simple.

If you live near the ocean, go sit in front of the salt water. Feel it run over your hands and cleanse. Feel it hit your bones. If you live near the mountains, walk to the top of one. Look how big the world is and find the comfort in being small. Walk barefoot through the grass. Run down your block and feel the wind hit your face. Remind yourself what it’s like to be living.

I’ll say it a thousand times over- YOU MATTER. Everything you do has an effect. When you’re happy, the feeling tends to radiate outward and make other people happy too. And when we all put in the effort, the world becomes a better place. Know that everything you’re feeling is valid and I hear you. Things are going to be okay.

With love,

LA.

Crying Over Spilled Milk

photo by Clutch Cabin

In September, I got into my first car accident. I wasn’t distracted when it happened, but it was my fault. I was coming out of a jughandle, looking into oncoming traffic, and smacked the bumper of the car in front of me. I tried to approach the owner of the vehicle, but it seemed she was uninterested in my apologies. So, I went back to my car and hysterically cried until the police came. 

No one had died. No one was even injured. There was little damage to either car and that woman wasn’t angry or upset at me, just shaken up. She ended up hugging me before she left too. But despite the big picture, I treated it like I had taken a sledgehammer to someone’s life. I sat there going over all the possibilities, thinking my license was going to get taken away. I warped reality in my mind while I buried my head into my mother’s living room couch until I fell asleep and forgot about the whole thing. When I look back, I can see how silly I looked freaking out over something so underwhelming. I thought my world was coming down over a scratch in a bumper. 

Now now, none of that was a big deal. In fact, many people have been in the same predicament. That moment doesn’t even come close to putting a dent in the things I’ve done in the past. It wasn’t the first fuck up and definitely wasn’t the last. As much as I try to prevent these things from happening, they never stop. A secret will slip out of my mouth and I’ll break someone’s trust or I’ll do something against my own morals. A lot of the time I feel like I’m just barely holding my head above water, trying to propel myself to the next destination without getting my own feelings hurt or hurting someone in my wake. Even when I feel like I’m doing well and acting right, I slip up and am back underwater again. 

Art and Photograph by Clutch Cabin

So you’re in a pickle. You broke a glass. You broke someone’s heart. You touched something you weren’t supposed to. You have a big mouth. You lied, everyone found out, and now you’re in trouble. And on top of that, you’re disappointed, upset, hopeless, troubled, stressed, etc. What now? 

It’s hard in the moment, but the first thing you need to do is take a giant step back. Freak out a little bit. Have your moment to scream or cry. Feel it. When you’re done, take a long, deep breath. The inside of your head probably looks like a mushroom cloud of smoke. You can’t think clearly or see everything for what it is when your view is blurred. You might be angry or upset and say something you don’t mean. It’s a bad time to speak and start assembling broken pieces. You’ll hurt yourself trying. And hovering over the situation will only fuel the fire.

The first few days are always the worst. When you’re not feeling so good, especially if you’re alone, it’s hard to get out of your head. Let yourself grieve, but be gentle. Sometimes when I feel confused or powerless about a problem at hand, I tell myself that my tomorrow self, my future self, can handle it and fix it. This way I can feel what I must in the moment without worrying too much.  A little distraction can help stop you from overthinking too. Do something pleasurable. Get a hobby and turn it into your safe space. When you come back, you can reflect.  You’re not the only one in the world to have messed up. There is no sense in hating yourself over something that is going to be very minor in due time. Know that better days ALWAYS come. 

Try talking to someone who doesn’t hold judgement. They could be an acquaintance, a best friend, a teacher, a parent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone running back to my mother for advice or because I needed someone to hear me out. Or just to have her tuck my hair behind my ear while I go through it. It’s nice to have a shoulder to cry on. The comfort is healing. A fresh pair of eyes can provide insight. And the person you turn to might end up saying something you really need to hear.

There have been many instances where I’ve messed up and I’ve had no one to turn to. Maybe because I didn’t want to tell anyone about what was going on. I felt embarrassed. These ended up being the best lessons because I not only had to single-handedly conquer the situation, but also my fear of isolation and the pain of being alone. I learned to find comfort and solace in my own company. I looked for advice from myself because I had to trust I knew what was best. I tried to see things in a more positive way. These trials are difficult, but they are for the benefit of us, as well as the other party. Life has a funny way of removing what doesn’t belong and isolating you, so you can take a good look at yourself. Ask yourself how you can be a better person, where you went wrong, and how the future can be different. Maybe it’s simple and you just need to start loving yourself. 

It’s time to own whatever you did. Let go of the fear of consequence and what will happen when you are honest. It will be worse if you aren’t. Forgive and make peace with yourself first. Don’t let anyone else’s perception of you get in the way. There may be an image of you existing right now, maybe it’s not your own, but every second you are changing. You are not the same person you were yesterday. And you always have the option to change, to rise, and to learn. 

This may take a really long time, but when you’ve collected yourself and the matter has cooled down, it’s okay to approach or speak to whoever you hurt. Come from a loving place, but understand that no one in this life owes you anything. Try to see it from their perspective too and offer understanding, as should they. You might not be able to get back into that friendship or relationship. People are allowed to feel the way they do. They are allowed to leave you in the past. You cannot expect immediate forgiveness or sympathy, but you may find harmony in knowing you gave yourself a voice and communicated. Don’t hold onto it anymore. Let go for your own good. Move forward. 


A lot of the time, when we think of fucking up, we think of it in a way where we have messed up something with someone else. But sometimes it can be in a way where we mess up with ourselves and it is solely in our own world.

A few weeks ago, I did something that hurt my own feelings. I got lost with an image of someone I had in my head. After months of not feeling like me, I realized I was living in the past. All that time, I was consumed with creating this whole other reality…somewhere else. I chose not to realize the truth because my creation was much more ideal. I let myself down because I made an old mistake, even embarrassing myself by thinking my delusion was real. I was upset because I hold my growth so highly. I was mad because I went back on my own word and broke a promise to myself. And how could I ever be an example, how could anyone take my word for advice, when I can’t take my own? I felt my heart sink until my chest was empty. Being half on Earth and half in the clouds is uncomfortable.

I kind of beat myself up over it. I felt stupid, but shortly after that realization, I had a talk with a good friend. I wasn’t looking for anything out of her, but I felt like if I said it out loud I would feel more honest with myself about it. I told her I felt like I hadn’t grown or changed at all, like I was just the same person I’d always been.

She looked at me very calmly and said, “Don’t ever say that to me again. You’ve come a long way from where you were. You have learned and that’s why you can speak of it right now and recognize it. That’s why you’re not letting yourself continue down this path. That’s why you’re stopping it in its course. And besides that, you honored what your heart was feeling. You were true to yourself and your word at every moment. You were honest with your emotions, even if you stepped out of bounds for a bit.”


We overthink. Yes, we have to look inside ourselves to change and grow, but we also need to come out of our shells to actually live. Some of us live in fear of heartbreak and of change, so we avoid being vulnerable and stay in our comfort zone. The armadillo tells us that there are different paths with different trials. There are endless opportunities to move forward. 

There is no question, you will fail dozens of times. Life gets the best of us now and then. But we have to plan ahead. Be smart and know you will fuck up and get hurt. That’s out of your control. But it is in your power to choose and minimize the damage. Don’t fixate your growth on never failing because you’ll end up in the same spot where you started, trying to protect your heart, but never exercising your feet. The only way to get stronger is to face it. We cannot roll up and run away to protect ourselves all the time because if we do, we will never get ahead of the obstacles. If you stand behind the mountain, if you never summit, you won’t ever get to see the view. 

With Love,

LA.

New Year, New Me?

2018 was a major year for my growth. The end of the summer marked a point where I really started focusing on myself and what I enjoyed. I overcame previous fears and obstacles. I realized who I wanted to be around. I began an honest effort to change the parts of myself I dislike. My passion for writing came to me and I spent whenever I could with it, setting goals and following through. I was motivated.

As the year’s finish line became more visible, I felt like I stopped learning and changing. Being stagnant made me panic, so I forced whatever I had in me to create. I tried making it last in fear that I had lost a gift. But holding on too hard and suffocating my writing set me back even farther than I was before. I began to question my future, my choices, and struggled greatly with self-image. I didn’t want to move backwards, but it seemed like that was already underway.

I am not the best at following New Year’s Resolutions. And I didn’t want something staring me in the face, reminding me how big of a failure I am for not remembering to do it. Instead of brainstorming one big thing, I made a list of small goals that could be accomplished on a daily basis- simple actions to create better habits. I thought of things I wanted to become firsthand.

I made sure to write them down in a place I look in/at every day to make it unavoidable that they are planted in my head. It only takes 21 days to create a habit, so the only thing left is to practice my intentions.

This is what I came up with:

  • Create A Loving Space For Yourself And Your Creativity
  • Put Good In Your Body and Feel Good
  • Go Outside More
  • Be Kind And Put Your Heart In Everything
  • Figure Out What You Want To Do- College? Travel?

^I also made some more personal notes about creating a schedule for myself, finding jobs that would help me establish connections with what I want to do in the future, and various skills I want to learn.

In addition to those, I made a list of affirmations- what I want to manifest in the new year:

  • I am learning myself.
  • I will take signs for what they are- no sugar coating.
  • I will not force understanding- people learn at their own pace (if they’re meant to, of course).
  • I will grow unapologetically.
  • I will not allow my past back into my life.
  • I will build new homes.
  • I will re-pot myself as needed.

When creating these, I had to keep in mind that nothing is immediate. And I had to put trust in knowing that everything would come to me- like my future and what I want to do with life. I continuously have to be patient with the universe and myself.

I fall behind sometimes. I also get down on myself and threaten my growth by wanting to give up. But giving up doesn’t erase ink from paper, so I keep notes. I give myself time to wallow and grieve, if need be. And I’m not strict. When I’m not feeling it, I go out. I do things that make me feel good. No pressure. Then I’ll go back, reevaluate what I’m trying to do, and keep going.

My motivation? If I don’t change, the world won’t. And life won’t come to a halt for me. I deeply want to keep evolving with it. There is always something around the corner. To get to it, I must manage movement. And having people by my side that want to see me at my best, but are able to be there when I’m at the opposite, helps greatly.

Let it come in strides. Do things for yourself. Be good for yourself.

Everything will invariably fall into place- without hesitation.

With Love,

LA.