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Embodying Desire

Embodying Desire

Are there specific labels you deeply fear could be applied to you? Labels that are so aversive to you that you might spend a lot of time or energy engaging in your life in ways to avoid being perceived as those things? Maybe “lazy” or “incompetent” or “stuck up,” for examples? That label, for me, is “selfish.” I don’t know exactly where this came from but I have an incredibly strong aversion to being, or being perceived as selfish. Maybe it’s from the culture I grew up in. Maybe it’s from my family of origin. Maybe it was simply in the Kool-aid I drank. But I don’t think I’m alone in this experience.  (more…)

A Case For Solo Travel

A Case For Solo Travel

Last month I spent five days traveling around the North Island of New Zealand in a camper van by myself. Now whether your reaction is – “Epic!” or “But what about all of the things that could go wrong?!” – I’d like to make a case for why I think everyone should do something like this at some point in their life. (more…)

Quarter of a Century

Quarter of a Century

On May 1st, I switched my mom’s calendar for her and was taken back for a moment; on my birthday, she has written Josee “25”. 25. A quarter of a century. Half-way to thirty. Or as my grandpa so graciously put it, 1/4th of the way dead. (more…)

When Numbing Becomes a Way of Life Part 2

When Numbing Becomes a Way of Life Part 2

Though numbing is often used to avoid difficult emotions, such as pain, fear, grief, and shame, it can also be used to numb feelings of powerlessness, uncertainty, overwhelm, discontent, and disillusionment. Life is big, it is so, so big, and I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I consider the scope of life and all that it calls for, it leaves me feeling very overwhelmed and not at all up to the task. Churchill put it best: “Life is one damn thing after another.”  Truer words were never spoken. (more…)

When Numbing Becomes a Way of Life – Part 1

When Numbing Becomes a Way of Life – Part 1

 

Let’s get one thing straight at the start of this blog post: we all numb our pain. We may like to pretend otherwise; that we are somehow more enlightened, that we lean into our pain, that we are proactive about our coping skills, and that we are invested in understanding our emotional experience, and while we may believevery strongly in the value of these approaches to life, when it comes right down to it, when we are hit upside the head with painful emotions, most of us flee. We head for cover, reach for the nearest bag of potato chips, put ourselves in a Netflix-induced coma, or push ourselves to oblivion out on the trail. The mechanism of numbing may be different, but the fact remains the same:  we numb in the face of pain.  (more…)

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I’ve been thinking about the old proverb “April showers bring May flowers” lately because some days it still feels like winter! We are in that weird transitional time in the season when we could experience warm spring weather and cold, snowy and rainy weather in the same week, sometimes even in the same day. (more…)

A Star in a Peg-Shaped Hole

A Star in a Peg-Shaped Hole

I remember having one of those childhood toy boxes with the cut-out shapes on the lid, where you were supposed to fit the right shape into the right hole. What great satisfaction there was in finding the right fit. But also what frustration and confusion when you could not. Maybe you see where I’m going with this. I spent a lot of time, even into adulthood, metaphorically feeling like the kid trying to figure out what to do with the “wrong shape”. (more…)