quick sparks

Does today count?

Does today need a certain quality, a certain worthwhileness, before it really counts? You know the days that count. When you trekked the windy miles to that mountain peak. When you started that job you’d been studying for and searching for since you were 20. When you cheers’d a glass of…

It is okay to be you

Remember that it is okay to be you. Take breaks regularly from making judgments about yourself. It’s exhausting. And you’re probably wrong about yourself half the time anyway. You are loved. Who you should be isn’t loved. You are. You are enough.

Outside the lines

A curious fact about the family values held by most Indigenous American tribes north of Mexico is shared in Dale Van Every’s 1966 book, Disinherited: The Lost Birthright of the American Indian. The parents, he explains, were “constitutionally reluctant to discipline [their] children. [The child’s] every exhibition of self-will was accepted…

That thing that excites you

This strange thing happens when I hear the sound of rushing water or the crashing of waves and find myself in the presence of beautiful, powerful, patient, carefree water. My soul feels astonishingly okay. It doesn’t mean I have to move to San Diego (*hey universe, this is a hint here*),…

The not good enough thing

I haven’t met a person that really, deep down, is always confident that they’re good enough. Nobody thinks they’re doing enough. And nobody thinks they’re doing it well enough. And nobody thinks all their efforts are good enough for them to be loved, let alone good enough for them to not…

A safe and meaningless love

If you carefully edit your identity so that you’ll be loved and accepted, and then the love and acceptance come, is it really yours, or does it belong to the caricature, and where does that leave you? So what would it take for your actual self to find love? ~ Wishing…

Hang in there.

If you’re depressed and you stay depressed, you’ll look back at the end of your life and have good memories and bad memories. If you’re broke and you stay broke, you’ll look back at the end of your life and have good memories and bad memories. If you’re lonely and you…

The problem with growing up

I feel compelled to be grown up all the way. But the problem is I get really happy every time I look down and see my blue sneakers with their yellow-green laces.

Showing up

I know it’s not quite what you imagined. But can you do some good with it anyway?

Before you break down

You hit a wall, so you start doing “self-care.” Quiet time, journaling, fresh air, running, couch time, cookies, lots of bed, therapy, warm baths, PTO days, sharing your sadness with a friend. . . . It becomes a top priority in your schedule because it has to, because you’re breaking down.…

Hiding

Sometimes the things you’re afraid to let people see because you think they’ll judge you end up being the very things they really love about you.

namaste

What if every time you spoke to someone, you first stopped to remind yourself that the person you’re about to speak to is a human, just like you? With feelings, with needs, with scars, with longings, with heart . . . And that to be human is a miracle. Sometimes a…

Be epic.

Sometimes I try to live really safe. To keep a lid on the version of me I’d really like to be. Afraid of what people will think. I worry a lot that if I let the world see my “awesome,” they won’t think it’s awesome, and somehow that will ruin my…

Free yourself from “good at”

What if you free yourself from the need to get “good at” something? The world is full of adventure–singing, making a story, rock-climbing, poetry, cooking, improv, skiing, paddle-boarding, reading confusing scientific studies, decorating a home, building a thing, volunteering, yoga, drawing, meditating, learning a language, hiking, trying Ethiopian food, spending a…

Be the curly chip

Tortilla chips are made in a factory. Factories make things Just-Right. On a conveyor belt, the sheet of dough is cut by triangle-shaped molds, each mold identically sized and shaped, so that each chip will come out identical: Just-Right. Somewhere along the way, the chips fall in a fryer. A few…

Say your stuff, no matter how messy

I hope you find these words from Carl Jung as inspiring as I do. They resonate so deeply with me. This is so big. Say your stuff, the stuff that that means the world to you, that you need to say, that you feel deep down, that you have to get…

The problem with being good at running away from lions

Humans are good at running away from lions. (Like, yes, a lion’s gonna catch us, but we’re good at trying.) Danger equals adrenaline equals quick speedy fight or flight. Human bodies are good at this. Some people grow up running away from lions every single day. Lions that sound like dad…

Real People

Every person is a real person. Meaning they’ve got the inspiring, smiley parts and the sad, scary parts. The person you’re really close to, the person you’ve never met, and even the person you really look up to as a sort of superhuman. And even yourself. It’s good to just think…

Trying to be happy

When you try really hard to be happy . . . does it work? What happens when you stop thinking about it?

You ARE you

A while ago I wrote a short and simple blog post called “It’s okay to be you.” I wonder if adding another way of thinking about it could help: You just ARE you. Period. Whether it’s okay or not (and it is), you are you. If you are an anxious you,…

I hope that you will be gentle with yourself

Imagine you’re holding the hand of a little child, seeing tears brim in their eyes. Frustrated. Embarrassed. Not good enough. How delicately will you hold that child’s heart in your hands? What will you say? How gentle will you be with their sensitive little heart? This child needs love and support.…

Not Saying It

It feels like it will hurt LESS to NOT say what we want, than to SAY what we want and not get it. But that’s just not true. NOT saying it hurts WORST. To never express it, to smother yourself, to give up without a chance. That is the loneliest and…

Sidewalk

Nobody actually says–or at least nobody actually gets to say–that just because you’re a “grown up” now, you have to stick to the sidewalk. Hop up on the wall, if it’s calling your name, and teeter your way along in the sky above the sidewalk for a while. Or abandon the sidewalk…

We need you

What is waiting inside of you that the world needs? What love is waiting to be expressed? What music is waiting to be felt? What words are waiting to be heard? What art is waiting to move people? What stories are waiting to be told? What would be the harm in…

Dare to connect

There are lots and lots of people in the world. And all of them want friends. Everybody wants the really good kind of friends–the kind that support. The kind you can be real around. The kind that smile and hug and laugh. The kind you can call when you need. You’re…

Your disappearing place

Where is your disappearing place? What place makes you remember your freedom, your self, your own breath? Where can you truly feel “away from it all” for a soul-filling minute?

Good Advice For When You’re Worried

When you’re tired and worried, sleep. When you’re hungry and worried, eat. When you’re bored and worried, have some fun. When you’re overworked and worried, go home. When you’ve got a headache and you’re worried, find some pain relief. When you’re lonely and worried, talk to someone. One of the best…

that negative voice

Every day, you can hear that voice: You can’t. You’re a fraud. You’re bad at. Nobody likes. You’re not brave enough. You’ll never. And every day, you can choose to let that voice be what it is–just a voice. Every day, you can acknowledge that negative voice you hear, and then choose…

Walk Slowly

What a beautiful day outside! A lot of our daily mental and emotional auto-pilot has to do with trying to fit in. Silly, but it’s true, and we don’t stop to think about it much. And it means when you live in a country where everybody is out of time, in…

Hoping that people like you

Hoping that people like you is, in a way, the opposite of liking yourself. ~ I think I have learned you really can only attend to one of those needs or the other, but not both–liking yourself and hoping others like you. When you’re living for the approval of others, you…

You won’t get today again

Time is such a weird thing. Every year I think back to a date that feels like just yesterday–2013, 2015… they’ve come and gone. I can’t believe how fast time flies. It makes you value time. Life is made up of a bunch of little times that you only get once.…

Noticing this moment

I have this compulsive habit of doing stuff on my days off. Lots of stuff. Too much stuff. It’s all stuff I love to do, totally worthwhile. I get really pumped about all these things I can do with all my free time. And then I do as much of the…

Being a person

“You don’t pass or fail at being a person.” Neil Gaiman It’s true. Nothing to add. Except maybe this one other little tear-jerker moment from Avengers: Endgame. “Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be, Thor. The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being…