An Open Letter to the People in my Life

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I am currently working towards a Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

My classmates and I were given the assignment of creating a positivity portfolio in which we were to choose a positive emotion to focus on and collect pictures, poems, songs, letters, tokens, etc that are meaning for us within that particular emotion.

This activity had a deep emotional impact on me. I would like to share my reaction summary with you: Continue reading

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Canyon of Compromise: A Parable

Canyon of Compromise

Two backpackers met for coffee to discuss their next backcountry excursion. One backpacker was a father. A blue backpack rested by his dusty hiking boots. The other backpacker was a daughter. Her red backpack was bulging with gear.

Father laid his map on the table between their mugs and directed their route to the top of the mountain. Daughter rolled her eyes and pointed to an alternate route.

Father said, “No. This one.”

Daughter exclaimed, “No! This way!” Continue reading

Life: Who’s Got the Map?

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We had been paddling all day. I sat in the front of the canoe, slick with sweat from exerting myself beneath the Florida sun. I was hot and tired, and where is a lady to use the bathroom while paddling in a canoe for hours around the thousand island region of Everglades National Park? I could hear my friend’s paddle splash behind me. She possessed the map and compass, humming as we navigated through the salty water. Continue reading

A Visit to Chrysalis School Montana

A Visit to Chrysalis

Out of the airplane window, I could see Montana’s blue and white mountains beginning to form below the wisps of crisp clouds. A sense of peace flooded my heart as I drew closer and closer to those mountains. Continue reading

For the Doubting Adventurer

For the Doubting Adventurer

For as long as I can remember, I longed for a sense of spontaneity and adventure. I relished in far off stories of traveling friends. I longed for wide open roads, dirt paths, beaches and mountains. “So why not go?” they would ask me. “Why not just take off?” I’d roll my eyes. I had a million reasons why I could not leave reality in the dust of my vagabond boots.   Continue reading

Surviving the Situation

Surviving the Situation

Last week, someone asked me the following question:

Have you ever been in a situation you didn’t want to be in, but dealt with it anyway? How did it turn out?

Clad in a business suit and high heels, I sat in a corporate office, poised and confident. I had to smile as my mind flashed back to the rainy mountains of North Carolina… Continue reading

Searching for Meaning this New Year

Searching for Meaning

Each year, as the clock approaches midnight on December 31st, I delve through a quick mental scan of the past year.

It’s what we all do, right?

Even those of us who don’t make resolutions. Even those of us who do, but drop them a week or a month later.

We still reflect. New Years is a forced opportunity for each one of us to look in the mirror and say, “What am I doing here?” Continue reading

Mothers

Mothers

Don’t forget the 17-year-old Hispanic girl who came to the coast having given birth to a daughter less than one month prior. She had come to the coast with her school class to participate in an outdoor education program for a week during which she would help mentor and teach hoards of obnoxious wild 6th-graders. Her parents encouraged her to participate and essentially forced her to follow through with the commitment when she showed resistance. Leave her newborn behind?! Continue reading

The Going Green Mental Health Trend

Going Green

Last week, our world leaders met in Paris, France in order to attend the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference to discuss our world, our environment, and our goals for the future.

Our World.

Our Environment.

Our Goals. Continue reading

A Lesson in Gratitude

Gratitude

 

“It’s Thanksgiving morning, we’re stuck in the woods, and you’re making us hike!?”

“It will be worth it! I promise.” I replied, hoisting my day-pack over my shoulders.

The group of adolescent guys converged at the trailhead to wait for the day’s venture. Their boots were worn. There was ash tarnishing the fabric of their jackets and patchy beards forming on their grim faces. Continue reading