Am I a Threat?

Brene Brown always hits me in my gut. I read her words or listen to her interviews, and find what she says ringing true to my core. Maybe it is because she dares to say the things no one else is talking about, or maybe it is because she dives into the deep grey in a world so black and white. For whatever reason, I walk away from my “time” with her gaining further insight into myself, while also coming up with 100 new questions I still need answered. It is in those moments that I put pen to paper and I write. Here are my thoughts and musings from today:

I find I am less threatened these day by others and their differences- I am instead fearful of being perceived as threatening due to my own opinions and differences. When I share my worldview and a person’s response is to attack, yell, or withdraw, it is very hard for me to not feel like a threat, rejected, or like a problem. It is hard to be myself and be vulnerable when it seems so unwelcome.

I find that a lot of people don’t want to see me as I really am- they instead want to see me as a reflection of themselves. They want to see that we are the same. It is my experience they want to shout into the hills and hear their own echo holler back. They want the comfort of what they know and believe.

But see, we are not the same, and I am okay with that truth. That reality. I am okay to disagree, to think differently, and to believe differently. Their differences do not diminish or threaten me. My value does not change.

However, it seems to me that many others find the truth of our differences to be concerning, threatening, and dividing. I desire truth connection, not whatever is comfortable. I desire to be known and accepted, not whatever they want me to be.

I desire authenticity.

So as I scream out into the void, I hope my echos are drowned out by other’s screaming back with their own truths and stories. I hope to see and hear them as they really are. I hope for connection.


Should You Whole 30 Vol. 2


We finished the Whole 30 at the end of August. I know I promised to post back then, but I wasn’t quite ready to write about it. I wanted to see if we would stick with it afterwards. Also, with all the New Years resolutions floating around, it seemed like the perfect time.

So thank you for your patience!!

Was the Whole 30 life changing? Yes….and….no.

First I’d like to address how my life didn’t change: I didn’t lose ridiculous amounts of weight, or find out I’m highly allergic to gluten. I sometimes still eat pizza and definitely drink alcohol. Maybe I thought my mind would be blown and I’d walk away with zit free skin and boundless energy. If only our food could do all that. But see…life is still happening. We still have long days, hormones, allergies to dust, and are just sad sometimes. It didn’t fix me.

It reset me.

Doing the whole 30 created healthy habits. My lifestyle is changed in small but meaningful ways. I am more intentional about what goes in my body and how it might affect me.

In general, the food we eat now is not just better for us, but honestly, it is also delicious! I feel good about what I eat while thoroughly enjoying what I eat. I hope I never go back to my prior eating habits. It was sugar, carbs, stomach aches, and acid reflux.

Compare our before and after breakfast menu:

Before Whole30: fruity greek yogurt cup (9g of sugar), cup of coffee with cream and sugar.

After Whole30: sweet potatoes, chicken or turkey sausage, over medium egg. black coffee.

I have a healthier relationship with food now. I don’t mood eat and instead use my food to help promote a positive mood. I don’t wonder if I could eat better. I instead feel good about what goes into my body. And well, we cheat sometimes. I still crave and eat frozen pizza about once a week.  But these things are the exception, not the norm. Health is the norm, and it feels pretty dang good.

So….was it worth it? It was for us!


Tips and Tricks:

1. Buy the cookbook. It will save your life.

2. Do a grocery pick up or delivery service like clicklist or Amazon Fresh. You will be cooking A LOT so if you can eliminate shopping time, do it. Also, it’s nice to not be tempted by all you can’t eat.

3. Do it with a buddy. Have someone to eat with, share cooking with…someone to whom you can complain.

4. Prep your breakfast and lunch food for the week. Make sweet potatoes, mayo, chicken salad, boiled eggs. Help yo’ self.

5. Follow the Whole30 Instagram for ideas and inspiration.

6. Know your fast food options: Chipotle, Five guys, some vegan places (check ingredients online)

7. Don’t start right before a major holiday or vacation. Plan it for a time you can follow through on it. Completely.

Our Favorite Recipes:

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs: make DIY Ranch for dipping. Yes please!

Basil Turkey Meatloaf

Thai Meatball and Egg Drop Soup

Steak and Sweet Potato Bowls: This was too good! The store was out of skirt steak so we purchased chimichurri marinated steak. (IT WAS PERFECTION)

Most of our other favorite recipes can be found in the Whole30 book!


The Lies They Tell Us


james and dog

——–The Story Tellers——–

I was recently at a party with several women who were sharing their thoughts on marriage. Honestly, I found some of the advice to be off base or harmful, and I realized that I have heard these same thoughts and ideas since I was a young girl. They, like me, have seen these messages reflected in social media, preached from the pulpit, handed down over generations, and recycled time and time again. We are all at risk for buying into these messages. And this isn’t specific to women, these messages are affecting men as well.

The problem with these lies or misconceptions, is they lead to unhealthy communication, needs, roles, conflict resolution, and ultimately unhealthy marriages. I’m no marriage expert but I have had some unique experiences in my marriage, I work in the clinical social work/therapy field, and I have sat along side amazing, healthy women who have been married much longer than me. So in some ways, I have some good knowledge for debunking the terrible lies ‘they’ tell us! The list below is based on my personal experiences over the course of my adult life and the experiences that others have shared with me.

——–The Lies——–

#1: Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. If I have heard this once, I have heard it a million times. I’m not sure why this myth has been perpetuated when it clearly doesn’t work. Most of the time, I find arguments start after the sun has already gone down, and they get pretty bad before they get better. In these situations, experience has shown me, I’m more likely to say something terrible, get overly emotional, or act selfishly the later it gets.

Healthy conflict means: take a break when its needed. Take time for your own self-care. Have boundaries about how long or how late you will fight. Experts say…don’t argue if you are: HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired).

So if going to bed angry is what you all need to be healthy…then go to bed angry. 9 times out of 10, things look differently in the morning.

#2: Never sleep apart even when angry. My beef with this is, well, everything. To me, this is a co-dependent statement that really says “No matter how badly someone treats you or how unsafe you feel, you should still sleep next to them because you HAVE to.” What this statement does is take away choice and not allow people to take care of themselves.  Self-care in marriage is huge! How do we expect to bring our best selves to a marriage if we can’t take care of ourselves?? What if your spouse is acting unsafe: physically, verbally, sexually, emotionally? What if you have a 7am presentation and lying next to someone you are livid with will keep you up all night?

This myth is illogical. If someone needs space…they can take it.

#3: If your spouse wants to have sex, you should do it. I had someone tell me that she never tells her husband no, even when she doesn’t want to have sex with him. She trudges through since its her duty. Sex is intimacy that starts outside the bedroom. In a marriage, hopefully its about mutual trust, respect, love. The best way we can love our spouses is to first love ourselves. If we can’t take care of us, how can we take care of others? Follow me here: If we don’t respect ourselves enough to be honest about where we are sexually, how do we have a mutually trusting, respectful, and loving relationship? How does “trudging” through sex result in intimacy and relationship?

And lastly, and most importantly…marriage doesn’t mean a spouse now owns their partner’s body. Each person still has choice in how they bring their body to the relationship, what they do with it, and what someone else does with it. Every person has the right to say “no, I don’t want to have sex right now.” No person has to have sex with their spouse…it is not their duty. EVER.

#4: I must have sex with him (or her) so he doesn’t look at porn or cheat on me. Hold on, what!? What’s crazy about this myth, is I have heard it from dating couples, christians, celebrities, old married folks, etc. This lie does not discriminate. The irony here is that people think they can control someone else with sex, when they can’t control someone else at all. This too is a form of co-dependence and very common. The partner takes responsibility for their spouse’s behavior, but wait, why? If someone decides to look at porn, cheat, etc. That’s on them. That was their choice. No amount of sex or lingerie can fix that. If your partner is telling you that having sex with them will keep them from doing those things….that’s called manipulation.

We cannot control anyone’s behavior except our own.

#5: If you’re marriage is struggling, get into couple’s therapy. The problem with this solution is that people think the marriage is the problem instead of looking at themselves. If a person’s marriage is in trouble…get into individual therapy. We each bring a history with us into marriage. And whether we talk about or even acknowledge this history, it will play itself out every day. How we respond to conflict, share feelings, and view roles are all impacted by how we were raised, trauma we have experienced, and learned behaviors.

Here’s what I have seen be the most successful: get into individual therapy and work on yourself. Learn new skills with a therapist. Work through triggers, and build self-care and healthy interdependence. When you and your spouse are in a healthier spot, then go to couple’s counseling to build upon those items together. Get yourself healthy first…so you both can bring the healthiest versions of you to the table. It usually works.


#6: I’m so glad she found someone who can take care of her. I used female pronouns here simply because when I have heard this, it is usually about a heterosexual female. I think I get confused here because, did this woman get adopted? Like did she marry her dad? If two grown adults are joined in marriage to be partners…why is everyone so glad she now has someone to take care of her?

Also, I typically feel bad for the guy here. I know he can’t take care of her. I know he will fail her because that is reality. My understanding of a healthy relationship is this: each person is responsible for taking care of themselves, communicating their own needs, and asking for help/support when it is needed. The marriages I respect are the ones where the couple knows how to care for themselves so they are free to care for each other and others.

I don’t want a marriage where I get taken care of. I’m not a child and my spouse is not my parent. Plus how exhausting for him.

#7: When there is conflict, one of you should just take off all your clothes.  I remember someone telling me this when I got engaged. What a terrible way to handle conflict. This solves nothing, it doesn’t hear or respond to the other person. This does not exchange empathy or care. This is literally a band aid on conflict. And I worry that couples who use sex, humor, or their bodies as a way to handle conflict, will only put band aids on their problems.

Conflict and how we respond to it, grow through it, and embrace it can make or break a marriage. Conflict is inevitable. Will we be healthy and mature enough to sit with it, to listen to one another, to apologize, and to grow in empathy?

Taking off all one’s clothes typically doesn’t accomplish any of that.

#8: Marriage should be easy. Healthy marriage is hard and it is a lot of work. If couples really engage their conflict, pain, shame, and if people are living in true transparency- it will be hard. Growing next to someone is not easy. It is rewarding. It is fulfilling. It is fun. Becoming the best versions of ourselves feels good. Marriage can help us do that, if we choose to engage it. But it’s not easy. And, that’s okay.


——–The Epilogue——–

There are many other lies floating out there in the void, however, these are the ones I hear A LOT and wanted to challenge. I hope if you read this, you found some of it challenging. Maybe you disagreed with something or had never thought about it before. Regardless, I hope if you are in a dating/marriage relationship, that you are moving towards health, talking openly with your partner, and living according to your needs and choices.

Let us all keep doing the best we can.

Should you Whole 30? Vol. 1


I just know this is a question that has plagued you for years.

Should I try the Whole 30 Program? Do I want to be miserable for 30 days straight? Do I hate myself so much that I will forego all the yummy food and beverages the world has garden 2to offer me? Well, if you’re crazy, love your body more than food, or have regular diarrhea, then yeah, you should try it.

My husband and I get into these ambitious moods about 1 time a year where we want to try something new and challenging. Well, this year, its the WHOLE 30. For all of you normal, sane human beings out there, you may not have heard of it, so recap: for 30 days you eat nothing but meat, veggies, and fruit. Sure there’s eggs and good fats you can eat…but no bread, dairy, alcohol, nuts, legumes, or SUGAR.


Now hear is the thing, this isn’t a “I hope I lose weight diet”, but rather a “I hope I feel better and learn more about how my body reacts to food.” Because at the end of these 30 days, I will be adding things back in, one at a time, to see how my body responds. WINE AND CHEESE…come to momma!

Except…we are only on day 9. : ( Yeah, day 9. I have never been more sleepy or grouchy (sugar withdrawal much?) in my entire life. We went to buy a car over the weekend and I had a constant and strong desire to stab things, including my new car (which I love). I slept an average of 10 hours a night over the weekend, and I found myself staring at food commercials like a starved dog by a dumpster. They say the grouchiness and cravings go away as your body finds its “center” once again.


What’s CRAZY though, I am eating awesomely. Shrimp omelettes, homemade lamb meatballs, carnitas bowls, sweet potatoes and homemade sausage, fresh salsa…you get the idea. I’m eating like a boss. And you know what? I haven’t had one upset stomach, bloating, etc. I have lost weight while eating a ton, my husband and I have gotten to cook together more since well…we have to, and everything going into my body is being used.

Side note: I have GERD. I don’t take meds for it, and I haven’t had one flare up since starting Whole 30. Its amazing considering I usually get 1-2 a week!!!

So, on Day 9, would I recommend it? Yes. But ask me again on day 20, I may be foaming at the mouth as we drive by fast food joints or ice cream parlors by then. : )

If you so choose to do the Whole 30, here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Plan, Plan, Plan- set a date in the future. Not tomorrow, you will fail.
  2. Buy the Book. It is worth it! When you have your day where you want to kill people, you will look up day 4 in the book and realize that’s entirely normal.
  3. Do it with someone. I know I need the motivation and help. Its hard being the only one eating natural, whole foods.
  4. Meal plan weekly and only buy what you need for that week.
  5. Do Online grocery ordering…it is torture walking through the grocery store seeing all the things you cannot eat.
  6. Use your Sunday or Monday night to cook a bunch of stuff for your week so you can rest later in the week. Especially prep for breakfast and lunch.
  7. Break it into 10 days at a time. Way more manageable than 30. Tomorrow will make my 10 day mark! That is success right there.

So should you whole 30? Eh, its not for the faint of heart…but yeah, maybe? Who knows?

I’ll be back with vol. 2 closer to the end of the 30 days. Check back to make sure I am still alive and haven’t stabbed anyone.



Get it! You Deserve It!


Today, if you are reading this, there is a good chance that you woke up this morning in your own home, drank at least 2 cups of coffee that you made with delicious and clean water, you then ate something sustainable for your morning before heading off to work, school, errands, etc.

( I am assuming most of you drink coffee before eating….just a guess)

Hopefully this morning, you didn’t get yelled at by a complete stranger or be discriminated against for the color of your skin or your sexual orientation. (however, if you are reading this and that did happen to you today, I am sorry. It should not have happened.)

I think most of us would agree that we deserve to have a home, food, and water. But why? Do we deserve those things because we worked hard for them? Well, I guess that means you didn’t deserve it when you were 6. Definitely weren’t working then. Okay, do you deserve it for doing the right thing and being a moral person? I mean even prisoners get those basic things. Maybe you deserve it because you’re an American and we are the best (cough cough sarcasm cough cough). Well there are many countries who are doing much better than us in terms of housing, food, and having clean water for their whole population, so I don’t think being an American really does it.

So, questions of the day:

  1. Why do we deserve the basics of life?
  2. What are the basics of life?

To answer question one, we deserve the basics because we are human beings. It really is that simple. All human beings have the right and deserve the same basics of life regardless of country, age, gender(s), race(s), beliefs, morals, etc. There is nothing I can do in this world that would make me deserve less than my neighbor. Nothing at all.

I can hear some of you going…what, you think a sexual offender deserves the same things as your kind, elderly neighbor? Yes. Bluntly, yes. As long as we are human beings, yes. There are certain intrinsic rights all humans have and they shouldn’t lose those rights based on someone else’s moral, political, whatever agenda.


So what basic rights or basic necessities do all human beings deserve?

  1. The right to dignity and respect. This means the right to live in a world without discrimination, sexual harassment, racism, abuse, exploitation, etc
  2. Clean water– to drink with, bathe with, and to cook with.
  3. Shelter. Housing that a person can rest in safely.
  4. Food that meets nutritional needs.
  5. Access to affordable healthcare that matches the level of care needed. Health care that doesn’t discriminate against the sick, elderly, women, etc A person shouldn’t have to fear getting sick, not getting meds, getting pregnant, long-term debt, or dying simply because they can’t afford GOOD healthcare.
  6. Freedom of Choice. I think a lot of people would disagree with me on this one. I often hear from people that if a person in poverty is on Medicaid or Food Stamps, they should have less options available to them. (they don’t say it that way, but that’s what they really mean) I’ve heard people say welfare recipients shouldn’t be able to buy junk food or pop. Because they need help financially, they should have to take classes on how to eat healthy and on how to properly use the healthcare system. My issue here is it seems being poor gives others a right to take away their choices. If one is successful and wealthy, its okay to eat shitty food leading to a heart attack since tax dollars aren’t paying for it. Instead they get insane tax write-offs for going on a charity booze cruise and getting totally smashed. We live in a world where many of us think that because we give something to someone for free, we then have the right to dictate what they do with it. Which, what does that say about us and what we think people deserve? Freedom of Choice is a basic right. I don’t think systemic poverty changes that. 
  7. Love and Safety. This is harder to gauge, because how do you measure love? But, I believe every child deserves and has the right to be kept safe, be nurtured, and to know they are loved. We know developmentally this is what kiddos needs. That doesn’t change as an adult, it just looks differently. I believe no child should have to wonder their worth or value, because I believe no human should have to. Humans deserve to be looked in the eye and actually seen.

I hope you read this list and thought “I have all of those!” That is awesome. You deserve it! Maybe you read this and could check off some boxes, but not all. I hope you fight for the pieces you are missing, you deserve it! You might have checked all the boxes but know others can’t: advocate! They deserve it. And maybe you read this and disagree, I hope you share your thoughts. I am one voice of many and would love to hear what you have to say.



It’s Time to Party!!


Okay, I am totally switching gears on everyone. So far my posts have been more on the emotional, reality check side of life. Today, I am going to stray into the “let’s have fun and throw a party” side of life…literally.

Summer is upon us. Warm days. Long nights. Friends who sometimes stay way past their welcome: you know who you are! I get really excited about summer. I love warm weather, water, being outside…and I love throwing a kick-ass party. You can ask anyone who knows me….I throw a damn good party.

Maybe you’re reading this and you think…”I’m introverted, I hate parties.” New flash, me too! Our issues:  the mood is off, the amount of people we don’t know, the unknown of how to make so many people comfortable, and the lack of escape. You extroverts might be thinking, “Doesn’t everyone just have fun at parties…why would I need to plan?” Everyone isn’t as comfortable as you. Chances are there are introverts, ambiverts, and extroverts at a party. Their needs and likes warring with one another. I can help with that. There some basic rules, pointers if you will on how to throw an excellent party that every personality will love. Here we go!

  • Have a theme.

    • I don’t understand the point of a theme-less party. This is important because it gets people excited. They start thinking about the party before they arrive. They also take a certain ownership of the party when they have to dress or bring something according to theme.
    • Also, as a host, this is so helpful. You can easily decorate, plan, make games all around your theme.
    • Speakeasy Party: old time music, fake cigars, cocktails, people dressed in 20’s garb, dancing, lounge area, etc. DONE.
    • Batman Party (yes I threw this for a grown adult): Yellow and black plates/decor, people wore superhero shirts, Joker Juice, DC comic labels and signs, etc. DONE
  • Decorate: 

    • Maybe this is a super chill party with no huge theme. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to decorate!! But having a theme helps!
    • Pick a color and run with it. Make everything black and white. Use teal plates. Set out colorful mason jars with straws.
    • Put fresh flowers everywhere
    • The easiest thing you can do here is use your dinnerware and food to decorate. Intentionally set your plates out, have a theme to the food or cocktails, buy cute straws, set sparklers in a mason jar, arrange the cups with name tags.
    • Label your food or drinks. This simple item goes along way to classing up a party.
  • Create independence for you and your guests: 

    • Have things for your guests to do that aren’t a group game or require host initiation.
    • This helps the host not have to entertain.
    • It helps the guests to party at their own pace. 
    • Examples: Set up yard games outside, have an art table, write in a scrap book, create an event #hashtag so people take pics and post online
      • If you decide to to a group game, it needs to be something that fits your crowd and theme. Science trivia might not be the best idea at an outdoor party. Volleyball or a scavenger hunt might be better options.
    • As a host, know in advance what you want to be responsible for. Are you making drinks or will you leave out recipes? Do you want to host a group game part way through or are you mingling all night? Plan for what you feel comfortable doing, and then only do that.
  • Mood Music: 

    • I hate going to a party or hang out that doesn’t play music. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to me. Those awkward spaces, the lack background noise, and the overall discomfort when music is absent makes my introverted self go crazy.
    • SO PLAY MUSIC. and be intentional about it.
    • If you are having a batman party…don’t play James Taylor. Play fun music, maybe 90’s when we all grew up watching batman. Don’t play rap music at a speakeasy party. ya know?
    • Music sets the tone for your party. So pick accordingly, take that extra 30 minutes to make a playlist, and let it rain.
  • Have a Photo booth

    • Everyone just loves them and they are so easy to make.
    • Go on Pinterest, get some ideas, and make one for under $20.
    • People love taking pictures of themselves and feeling special. Check and Check.
    • If you don’t have someone designated to take pics, that’s ok, leave a selfie stick or just let them figure it out. They will.
  • Don’t Do It All Yourself

    • It is okay, in today’s party climate, to ask your friends or attendees to bring things.
    • When I throw a party, I usually commit to either making food or providing drinks and ask guests to bring the opposite.
    • If people have fun games, applicable party decor, extra chairs, or a table, I ask them to bring it. A party doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • Get a Co-Host

    • This is sooooooo helpful! Hosting a party alone sucks. Everything falls to you, and you probably are exhausted half-way through.
    • Spouse, partner, friend, whoever…throw a party with someone and split the duties. You will not regret it. (Unless you get into a huge fight and never talk to each other again, but I’m going to guess that was about to happen no matter what.)
  • Invite the Right People

    • You do not have to invite everyone you know to your party.
    • Invite the people you want there, actually enjoy, or who you want to get to know better

The bottom line is to be intentional about the party you throw. People will remember it, have fun, and probably look forward to the next one. The little things like colors used, music being played, and entertainment options will take your party to the next level. See below for some fun party themes and pictures.

The Black, Gold, and White NYE


The Roaring 20’s (Murder Mystery)

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Dude, Let It Out.


About a year ago, I had an epiphany. It had been a pretty crappy week, and I was either too busy or too tired to really comprehend how I felt about it, let alone actually feel what I was feeling about it.  I sat down on our little L-shaped couch and started scanning through all the movies. Not sure what I was in the mood for, I just assumed that one would jump out and scream “You want to watch me, yes you do!!”

Well the jumping, screaming movie I landed on was “P.S. I love you.” Yeah….. I have a bad week and decide to watch one of the saddest movies ever made. ODD…or stupid. You pick. (If you’ve never seen the movie, see brief summary at end of blog)*

About 20 minutes into the movie I just start bawling my eyes out. I literally had to pause the movie because I was crying so hard. And no, I wasn’t crying at the movie. The sadness of the movie had catapulted my suppressed emotions into action and finally allowed me to grieve my week and all that I had experienced. (It was at this point my husband came home. He thought someone had died.)

The epiphany: There are things we can do to help our body and emotions process and feel so we can move towards health.

You see, I clearly needed to cry. My body and mind were aching for it. I felt so much better after getting that out (minus the stuffy nose and red eyes).  I didn’t realize how tense and tired my body was feeling until I cried. Afterwards, my body felt lighter, relaxed, and relieved. I imagine some of you reading this are thinking, “Yikes, she’s a mess. I just get over things and stuff them down. That works for me.” or “Good for her, but I don’t get emotional.”

griefThe thing is, our bodies carry our emotions whether we allow ourselves to feel them or not. According to an article on NPR, just having an emotional thought or response triggers parts of our body. Stress will be manifested in the gut or chest. Anger often creates tension in the arms and hands. We carry emotions in different areas, shame for example, literally stays in the body’s core. People carry the emotion of shame in their core. Can we let that sink in? Imagine stuffed shame…where does that sit in the body? Happiness on the other hand spreads warmth throughout the entire body…people talk about feeling all tingly when falling in love. That is because our body reacts to emotions.

So what happens when we stuff our emotions or don’t give ourselves time to process what is coming up for us? According to and many other experts in the field, here are some physical side effects that emotions can have on the body, especially when not dealt with:  ulcers, high blood pressure, loss of appetite, overeating, addictive characteristics, development of an addiction, lowered immune system, stiff neck, sexual problems, insomnia, headaches, excessive tiredness etc. The list goes on and on. I bet most of us can point to something on this list that we currently have, have had in the past, or have been cautioned about. Just because you refuse to feel it, doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting you.

People have this false belief that they get to pick and choose which emotions to feel. The lie here, is people believe they can squelch all “negative” emotions and only feel the “good” ones. If we continue to stuff or ignore one emotion, we are lessening our ability to feel all the other emotions as well. If we never let ourselves experience full grief and sadness then we won’t actually feel full joy and happiness. We have stunted our mind and body’s ability to feel emotions.

We experience emotions all day, every day, and the problem is, we have been conditioned to only show and express the ones that feel good, the ones that are acceptable. If you are excessively happy or joyful the majority of the time, you will never be called emotional, but if you are showing your sadness or grief the majority of the time or even twice in a year, you are called emotional. How is it that only people who are in touch with and express all facets of their emotions are called emotional, even though joy and happiness are also emotions? What we are really saying as a culture is that only certain emotions are acceptable to feel and show.

WHO got to decide what emotions are acceptable for us to feel? AND, since we live in a world of cultural and societal norms, what do we do with all these other emotions? Because stuffing them isn’t working. Letting them build up to a disaster surely isn’t working. We become resentful, walking zombies, reactive, and unable to make deep connections because we don’t even know how we truly feel.

14051642_892375536893_2995524260551460566_nI get it, we all want to keep our jobs, so showing anger in the workplace, maybe not great. I also get that if you sat in class and cried all day long, you may be sent in for a psych evaluation. There are norms and appropriate places to deal with things…but we have to deal with them.

SOOOOO here are some ideas on how to connect with, engage, and feel your feelings so you can relieve what’s happening in the body and ultimately live a healthier life.


Engaging Anger: 

  1. Punching bag
  2. Breaking glass (This should be done somewhere safe, and please clean up afterwards). (Also, goes without saying…don’t throw someone else’s belongings…like the person you’re mad at)
  3. Running while processing
  4. Take a walk or hike
  5. Journal (Writing what you’d like to say or how you really feel can really help get it out, instead of taking it out on someone you love)
  6. Go yell and scream somewhere (Preferably where none of us have to hear you)

Engaging Shame: 

  1. Talk about it with someone (This is the hardest one. Shame internalizes, so we have to talk about it, or it stays)
  2. Make amends with someone if necessary
  3. Self-care. (Something that is loving towards self. See my article on ‘Self-care’ for some ideas)

Engaging Grief and Sadness: 

  1. Put on a sad movie. Nothing helps me cry or feel grief more than a sad movie.
  2. Journal or do art to work through pain
  3. Take a walk
  4. Bubble bath
  5. Reach out to a safe person to talk to about it (Ask for help)
  6. Listen to music that either is sad and encourages crying OR listen to music that helps you feel comforted and wrapped up. Cecie’s Lullaby by Steffany Gretzinger is the song for me.

Engaging Stress and Anxiety: 

  1. Breaking glass can feel great here as well
  2. Deep breathing and grounding
  3. Ask for help with whatever is stressing you out
  4. Process with a friend or family member
  5. Exercise or yoga
  6. Get a massage
  7. Acknowledge what you can and cannot control in the situation. Let go of what you can’t control.

Engaging Happiness and Joy:

  1. Share it!
  2. Record it through video, writing, picture, Facebook, etc
  3. Say “thank you” or express your joy to those around you
  4. Engage in self care and activities that feel good for you. (Who said you can only take care of yourself or splurge when you feel crappy?)
  5. Meditate on it and let it sink in to your body

The thing with ALL of these, is you first have to own what you feel. “I feel angry, so now I will do…engage…etc”

Hope you get out there today and feel how ya feel, no apologies. : )





*P.S I Love You- Long story short. The husband dies early in the movie, but leaves behind love letters for his wife. These letters help her to grieve, send her on adventures, and ultimately lead to healing. However, they also trigger extreme grief as the wife journey’s through the grieving process and deals with his absence in her life. The movie is great despite the sad theme, as it has lots of humor and Irish music.