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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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

Do You Love Yourself?

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It’s dark. The wind rustles in the trees over head. The light from the fire glows upon the twelve faces sitting in a circle. All women. All tired from a long day in the wilderness. All tired from their heavy burdens. Some are fiddling with sticks in the dirt. Eyes cast downward. Some are gazing into the fire, watching sparks crackle and vanish into the night sky like fireflies. Some are looking into the eyes of the girl who is speaking. She’s voicing her fears, her hopes, her deepest thoughts.

I present a question: What is love? Continue reading

The First Step

The First StepI had a little black car then.

It sat baking in the early summer heat as I said my final farewells.

Goodbye to my family.

Goodbye to the little town I never really fit in with.

Goodbye to the memories both sweet and saddening.

I put both hands on the steering wheel of that little black car, knuckles white. It was my saving grace. It was my chariot of freedom. I put my foot on the gas pedal. And as I drove away, Continue reading