Take The Damn Nap

Take The Damn Nap

By Kate Kole

My mom says (or if you’d prefer, my mama always said) that as a kid, I’d put to myself to bed when I got tired. Hopped up on Mountain Dew and Dunkaroos, I’d run myself ragged and then climb underneath the covers for an afternoon nap.

Still today, I crave rest when I’m running on empty. But, often times now, I’ll resist the urge. My mind reminds my body of all the things that need doing, and I power my way through the slump. On days when I do opt to lie down, either out of sickness or pure exhaustion, I’m greeted with a familiar, nagging guilt. Do you really have the time for this? Isn’t there something else you could be doing? That you should be doing?   Continue reading

She Let In

She Let In.

By Kate Kole

Inspiration: She Let Go by Safire Rose

She let in.

She let in a quiet acceptance for the body she had always harshly critiqued.

She let in emotion. Joy for the ordinary. Grief for her loss. Excitement for her accomplishments. Disappointment for the unattained things in which she had hoped.

She let in her feelings without the need to analyze, judge, deny, or defend them.

She let in appreciation for her past, contentment for her present, and faith for her future.

She let in the vulnerability to be seen and the strength to know her value. Continue reading

Not This.

Not This.

By Jillian Stacia

Not This.

It rang clear and true while I sat in the workshops, networked in the exhibit hall, chewed my dinner during the Awards Banquet.

Not This, Not This, Not This.

The concept of “Not This” comes from bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert writes, “Most of us, at some point in our lives (unless we have done everything perfectly…which is: nobody) will have to face a terrible moment in which we realize that we have somehow ended up in the wrong place.” She goes on to say, “I call this moment of realization: NOT THIS.”

This was my moment of realization. This was my Not This. Continue reading

7 Things I’ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

7 Things I_ve Learned About Life And Motherhood Lately

By Chelsea O’Neal

In a world where society seems to tell us that we have to be perfect and to do everything with perfection, it’s a breath of fresh air to step back and realize a few things, not only about life, but about ourselves and those around us. That refreshing feeling of coming to place of really appreciating all that there is and accepting ourselves just the way we are.

Here are 7 things that have been enlightening in my daily routines: Continue reading

The Mantra Helping Me Deal with Anxiety Over Becoming a First-Time Mom

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By Kate Kole

Without ever labeling it, I began struggling with anxiety in college. It was the first time in my life that I was overcome with a desire, which felt more like a need, to be perfect. I hit the gym at 6 am for the perfect body, and I studied like crazy for perfect grades. It became an almost addictive pattern. The more control I felt I had, the more control I craved.

And so, it didn’t stop with graduation. It only intensified. I had all the classic symptoms that came with it: excessive worry, trouble sleeping, stomach issues, and a lot of inexplicable sweaty panic. But I justified my anxiety as a good thing. Because as much as it destroyed me, I’d convinced myself that it simultaneously drove me to be my best. Until it didn’t. Continue reading

In Defense Of Yoga Pants: Live And Let Live

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By Kate Kole

I’m wearing sweatpants as I write.  Which is unsurprising, because I spend as much time as possible in my sweats. It’s been a lifelong love affair between me and that glorious cotton/poly blend and I have the childhood photos to prove just how often I’ve chosen to favor comfort over fashion.

So, it pretty much goes without saying that I can totally get on board with hitting the gym in sweats. Especially on an 8-degree morning, like the one detailed in The New York Times OpEd piece, Why Yoga Pants Are Bad For Women.

What I can’t get on board with is this: shaming women who choose to wear anything else, like the “skintight, saran-wrap-thin yoga pants” the author references. Continue reading

10 Non-Romantic Things to Do on Valentine’s Day

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By Catherine Miele

My husband and I have been married for almost ten years. That’s difficult for me to fathom, at times, considering I was a shy, anxious teenager who accumulated very little dating experience before meeting my future spouse senior year of college.

Despite being married for as long as we have, my husband and I are not overly zealous about Valentine’s Day.

Perhaps my apathy for Cupid and price-gouged roses is due to my lack of serious relationships over the years, or maybe I just don’t think we need a heavily commercialized holiday in order express our love to one another. Continue reading

Good Enough Really Is Good Enough

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By Kate Kole

I love Melissa McCarthy and I really love Ellen DeGeneres, so I was a little bummed when I forgot to record their interview a few days ago. I asked my parents if they’d seen it and immediately knew they hadn’t when my dad responded something along the lines of, “Oh yeah. It was so funny.”

“Okay, so you didn’t see it either.” I said.

“Why do you say that?” He asked.

“Because, you’d say it was just okay,” my mom and I replied in unison. Continue reading