Thich Nhat Hanh // How to Turn Garbage into Flowers

Thich Nhat Hanh // How to Turn Garbage into Flowers

Lately, I've been reading through Thich Nhat Hanhs book, You Are Here. One of my favorite passages in it involves the topic of turning garbage into flowers: 

Sorrow, fear, and depression are all a kind of garbage. These bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. You can practice in order to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. It is not only your love that is organic; your hate is, too. So you should not throw anything out. All you have to do is learn how to transform your garbage into flowers. 

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Virginia Woolf, My Mother, and I: Bipolar and Leaving the One You Love

Virginia Woolf, My Mother, and I: Bipolar and Leaving the One You Love

There is a strange clarity to madness, one in which everything is twisted around. When I was a child, my mother went through a period in which she went 'wild' according to my father, served him with divorce papers, and gave him full custody of me. For years, I wondered why. Whenever I asked her, she said it was because she loved me and knew that I would live a better life with him. Her explanation never made sense to me -- all the other children whose parents had divorced lived with their mothers, not their fathers.  It seemed selfish for her to leave me with him, so that she could be free and live life childless however she wanted. It sounds like a simple thing when put into words like this, but I felt a lot of pain over the loss of her throughout my adult life. Never being a recipient of a mother's love does something to a person. There is always an emptiness, a guardedness.

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Gratitude and Growth as a Journey

Gratitude and Growth as a Journey

There was a moment early in my recovery in which I looked into Simon's eyes and felt so much unconditional love that I was moved to tears. They were tears of gratitude -- gratitude for the entire journey of my life to that moment in time, for all the joys and good things that had happened, but also the bad -- the things that hadn't gone right, the sadness and sorrows. I felt somehow I was exactly where I needed to be. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for making it to this moment, gratitude for the light that had carried me through to this life ahead.

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Grief, The Star in My Sky

Grief, The Star in My Sky

Grief is something I’m not sure we ever really get over: the loss is always there, forever a part of our lives. Feelings of grief come and go, but over time we learn to live with them, learn to thrive again in the space of it.  

In the early days of my grief, I often felt as if I were in the midst of ruins, standing in their falling embers. An entire world had been destroyed and I could see all the remnants of the life we had created. As more time passes, I begin to venture farther from the ruins, but always returning, always circling back to be among their midst.

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2 Quotes on The Transformational Power of Pain

2 Quotes on The Transformational Power of Pain

I've been reading a lot lately and came across the following two passages that I found quite powerful. I spent most of my life always focused on what was next--I'd graduate, then go on fellowship, then have a baby, then I'd get this job, then I'd advance to another... I was always thinking that happiness was around the corner, so much so that I missed it. I missed it in the moments of solitude. I missed it in the beauty of sipping tea. I missed the look in my loved one's eyes. After my divorce and health crisis, I realized that sooner or later we are going to die, and all we have in life are these moments in which we are present, alive.

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What It's Like to Live with Bipolar Disorder

What It's Like to Live with Bipolar Disorder

The best way I can describe living with Bipolar is that it is like living with cancer. Bipolar is a beautiful monster, albeit a deadly one -- one which, if left untamed, has no qualms about consuming you alive. It is an illness that must be faced and fought back each day to prevent greater progression and malignancy. Some days are easier than others. But the potential for illness recurrence is always there. I say this not to discourage anyone with Bipolar or to make light of cancer, but instead to highlight the grave seriousness that treatment and self care for Bipolar must hold.

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How Suffering Can Be a Gift

How Suffering Can Be a Gift

Some people live their lives simply going through the motions. I should know -- for many years, I was one of them.  I was alive, but not truly. Although my eyes were open, they did not see. I lived life to pass time, always working toward the next thing. I was not fully present or aware. 

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Living with Manic Depressive Bipolar Mixed States

Living with Manic Depressive Bipolar Mixed States

During my training as a psychologist, mixed states, defined as one in which an individual experiences symptoms of both depression and mania occur at the same time, never quite made sense to me. The existence of mixed states seemed paradoxical, and counterintuitive. How was it possible, I wondered, to experience symptoms of heightened energy and agitation characteristic of hypomania while also experiencing symptoms of depression and suicidal despair?

It wasn't until my own personal experience with mixed states that I truly understood.

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Created for Love

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The death of love is very sad, and in many ways unnatural. We were created to love, created for our hearts to grow and expand. When love dies, it is as if you must learn how to walk all over again. Eventually, you do learn, but it is always with a limp. Along the way, people will help you walk with this limp, and some may even teach you how to dance with it. 

The people who stop along the way to help you along will move you with their grace and compassion. They will teach you to love again, how to see yourself and life itself with new eyes. Eventually, you see that the love never died, but has only shifted, grown into something new. Something you never imagined. Something good. 

To be human is to love. It's okay to yearn and to long for wholeness--that's how we were created. Because the truth is that love never dies and it always wins. 

With gratitude,

E

Why I Decided to Use a Pen Name

Why I Decided to Use a Pen Name

I debated for a long time as to whether to use a pen name or not. There were pros and cons to each approach.  

In the end, I decided to go with using a pen name. I wanted to have the complete and total creative freedom that it would provide. I wanted the freedom of writing without expectation.

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Grieving the Loss of a Love—New Book Release

Grieving the Loss of a Love—New Book Release

My book, Grieving the Loss of a Love: How to Embrace Grief to Find True Hope and Healing After a Divorce, Breakup, or Death, has just been released. I am running a free promotion on Amazon.com for the eBook version, so download it today!

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How to Live Your Truth

How to Live Your Truth

I haven't written in this blog for a while. Life has been really hectic with putting the finishing touches together for my upcoming book, Grieving the Loss of a Love: How to Embrace Grieve to Find True Hope and Healingwhich is being released next week on December 14th. 

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13 Truly Genuine and Beautiful Quotes on Gratitude

13 Truly Genuine and Beautiful Quotes on Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! There is something about loss which causes you to step back and take a difficult look at your life. You can come away from this process bitter and hardened. Or you can come through it awakening to a deeper sense of gratitude and love.

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How Loss Taught Me to Stop Giving a F*ck

How Loss Taught Me to Stop Giving a F*ck

You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon. And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of f*cks to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a f*ck about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get f*cked.
― Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

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Why I Started to Write Again

Why I Started to Write Again

This past year was a year of great loss. 

To say I was depressed would be an understatement. 

And yet, it was also a year of incredible beauty. Because through the struggle and loss of everything I had ever known, through my walk in the darkness, I found light. 

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An Incredibly Beautiful Quote on Grief and Loss

An Incredibly Beautiful Quote on Grief and Loss

While I was grieving the loss of a loved one over this past year,  a friend sent me this quote, which gave me a lot of comfort. It comes from a Reddit thread, in which a kind man gives a young woman some advice on grief and loss. Although it is well known on Reddit, I don't think it is well known outside of it, so I thought I'd post it here. 

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19 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Cope with Grief and Loss

19 Inspirational Quotes to Help You Cope with Grief and Loss

When I experienced loss this past year, I found a lot of comfort in quotes. Just knowing that other people had been where I was currently standing and had somehow made it through, gave me a lot of hope. Here are some of the quotes that I found most helpful. 

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