Rise and Shine

I am hypersensitive and therefore unable to take in much news or social media. As much as I want to be educated about what is happening in the world, I have learned that the best way I can be a part of the solution to the problems that are breaking open all around is to…

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No End in Sight

Weeks before the collective pandemic upheaval in March 2020, I found myself stepping off the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island ferry. I am carrying a backpack chock-full of books. Some of the books are mine; others are not. Books are friends, holding words I want to remember. Piles of them are stacked in both my home and therapy…

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The Woman in the Red Dress

In February of 1998, I became that woman. I was a 21-year-old newlywed, trying to finish nursing school and navigate marriage and life. I had a history. This history of chest pain, fainting and exhaustion had been diagnosed as a treatable valve issue. Doctors said I would “grow out of it.” But that year everything…

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Examining the Archetype

“The Woman in Red” can mean many things in our culture. She can be the woman that bears the shame of cultural stigmatization that comes with being female and feminine. The biologically associated monthly “red” cycle that reminds her that she is female. This cycle at various points in history was so stigmatized that some…

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Comforting My Critical Self

You know you have an internal critic when your therapist tells you that you have an “Integrated Self” and a “Critical Self.”

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Ugly Hope

Moving through loss is messy and unattractive. A few years ago, there was a song made popular by a country singer who lamented her mama’s advice: “Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady.”* Or, as others have said, “fake it till you make it.” There is a certain value in this…

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Between Joy and Sadness

“Can I watch Joy’s movie, Mama?” “Joy’s movie?” “Yeah! The yellow lady with the blue hair!” Frantically searching my memory bank for the missing puzzle pieces, I stare confusedly into space until a bright light blinks into existence above my head. “Aha! Joy! You mean Inside Out.” My sweet boy, with swollen eyes and a…

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Find Your Zen Again

The truth is like a lion: let it loose and it will defend itself. —Saint Augustine Autumn leaves crunch under my feet like a forbidden Kit Kat bar. And yet I keep walking—far away from the noise of the day. I don’t want to hear. I don’t want to feel. I want to heal. Scars on…

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Breath of Life

“Take a deep breath and fill your belly with air, in through your nose and out through your mouth.” Ally gently guides us through a trauma-informed yoga practice. I notice the rubber mat beneath me and the earth holding me. I am gathered with eight women fighting to find goodness in our bodies, vessels that…

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