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Personal Growth

Personal Growth Resilience Social Justice

How to grow and achieve (we must first heal life trauma)

September 29, 2016
twisty roads in cortona, italy 2011

In the quest for personal growth and goal-setting, we don’t talk about trauma enough: how it impacts us, how to recognize it in ourselves, and how to heal from it. We tend to think of it applying only to people who’ve been victims of crime, major natural disasters, wars, or the violent loss of loved ones. But trauma can happen from less dramatic events, too. It can happen when someone we trust shames our body. It can happen when we…

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Agnostic spirituality Perseverance Personal Growth Resilience Video

Everything does *NOT* happen for a reason, but we can be happy anyway

September 27, 2016

The tragic story of the woman in this video moved me so much. I don’t think I will ever forget it. Sometimes, when I am feeling so hard done by, I think of people I know who have experienced much harder lives and I feel grateful and humbled. I’ll add this woman to the little corner of my heart where I keep these stories. I don’t relate to or subscribe to her religious feelings. I share the video for three reasons:…

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Inspiring People Interview Personal Growth Resilience Vulnerability

How to jump-start your life by jumping off a bridge

September 19, 2016

I am doing a series on inspiring people who are changing their lives through trying new things, persevering, and overcoming obstacles and heartbreak. This interview is the second in the series. If you know someone I need to interview, or you have your own story you’d like to share, contact me and be the reason someone loves their life all over again (or maybe even for the first time). Kym loves to shout at women to reach for their goals…

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Feminism Personal Growth Resilience Social Justice

Finding the balance between “positive mindset” & social justice

September 16, 2016
painting multicoloured profile of a person

Content/trigger warning: The second paragraph discusses some vague instances of child and spousal abuse and briefly references a violent incident that could trigger trauma in a person who has experienced violent abuse. To be clear: I am not a counsellor. I am not formally trained in psychology. I have been reading books about psychology and self-help since I was 12, intently studying human psychology by observation since I was seven, and I studied psychology in university. At age 12, I began…

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Gratitude Personal Growth Resilience

Why finding a dead body was the best thing to happen to me in years

September 10, 2016
Dandelion in meadow, in spring - dandelion seeds

Content warning: death; semi-detailed description of a dead body in third paragraph. Disclaimer: I post this at Lynne’s encouragement. On July 31, 2016, I found my 79-year-old mother-in-law, dead on her bathroom floor, half naked. We received a call from Jean’s friend that Jean was unreachable for days, which was unusual. Lynne asked me to check if she was okay. They were estranged for good reasons, so whether she was dead or alive, Lynne wasn’t prepared to see her. I knew I had…

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LGBTQ Love & Sex Perseverance Personal Growth

Why some people take so long figuring out they are gay

September 9, 2016
girls walking bikes holding hands on street

This morning, Elizabeth Gilbert let the world in on the tender and vulnerable reason for her divorce from the man with whom she fell in love in Eat Pray Love. Another love of her life, her best friend, Rayya Elias, is dying. And the realization that she will lose her dearest friend caused the immensity of that love to make itself known. What a wonderful and terrible time for her. So much confusion about sexuality and love keeps people from realizing…

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Gratitude Perseverance Personal Growth Resilience

Gratitude: lighting the pathway through difficulty by the glint of silver linings

September 5, 2016
hiker sitting in forest taking a rest feeling grateful

I got on the gratitude bandwagon when I was 17, with Sarah Ban Breathnach. After an appearance on Oprah, her book Simple Abundance was a massive best seller, with its own cultural moment. Every day, I wrote out five things for which I was grateful. It was fun and pleasant at first. I enjoyed filling the pages dutifully with my best penmanship, only using the same black Uniball rollerball micro pen every time. But eventually, the arbitrary requirement to do it…

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Art Personal Growth Resilience Video

When art makes you brave enough to change and to lose

September 4, 2016

Trigger warning:  This video deals with the subject of death. It’s powerful and can be upsetting if you aren’t prepared. This is why we need art: it can make even the hardest aspects of life beautiful, and give us a place to sit with our pain without feeling shamed for focusing on something other than positivity all the time. Negative emotions have their own dark beauty in how they link us in universality and provide necessary shadows to our positive…

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Feminism Personal Growth Technology

Caitlin Moran on why the internet is an ideal space for women

September 1, 2016

I came across this interview by accident yesterday. In it, Moran makes some excellent points about the internet being a place where women are powerful. She says, “Men and women need different mediums. We communicate in different ways. One of the reasons Twitter has gotten overheated is it’s built in a very male way, it’s very penetrative. One of the reasons people get very angry on Twitter, is that you’re following someone and those messages are so small that you…

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Inspiring People Interview Perseverance Personal Growth

How to persevere when no one has believed in you and you are terrible at the thing you want to do

August 31, 2016
man and woman sailing on ocean at sunset

It all started with Go Up, a beautiful and rather meditative video game made by the makers of Stack—a game at which I had already become proficient, with a score past 100, if you can even imagine. So, when my 10-year-old, Ellie, introduced me to Go Up, I knew I’d be great. O! the great pleasure I would feel in being basically awesome right away at a game where Ellie’s highest score was 12. Let me impress you, Ellie, I thought,…

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