How Are You…Really?

How Are You...Really

By Kate Kole

I’ve noticed a trend in talking with others recently. Not with anyone in particular or specifically from my mouth or theirs. It’s just been a common theme, seemingly weaving its way across conversations.

It usually starts with a question of how things are going or what’s new. And abiding that some form of the answers “fine” and “nothing really” aren’t habitually given, a real life response often follows. Continue reading

10 Things I Learned From Not Drinking For A Year

10 Things I Learned From Not Drinking For A Year

By Jillian Stacia

When I decided to quit drinking, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it for very long. A life without margaritas or beer? It seemed impossible. But like most challenges, the anticipation of the thing was worse than the thing itself. It’s been hard at times (thanks FOMO), but it has been worth it in almost every aspect. Here are some of the top things I learned since quitting drinking one year ago: Continue reading

Life > Our Bodies

Life Is Bigger Than Our Bodies

By Kate Kole

I went to the beach last week. And for the first time in 2 years, I decided to bare my belly in the sun. Because, I wanted to go into the water with my nephews and relax on our sprawled-out blanket. I wanted to listen to the soft waves roll onto the shore, and feel my feet sink into the sand, and watch the sunlight glisten on the water without giving my body as much as a second thought.

Mere moments after taking off my tank top, my desire to forget about my figure and focus on an afternoon with my family faded. I began studying my stomach, critiquing its imperfections and the way it folded as I sat down in my chair. I glanced around, staring at other women, feeling the all too familiar urge to compare my body to theirs. Continue reading

We Need to Stop Celebrating Mediocre Men

By Jillian Stacia

Recently an Instagram post  by author Robbie Tripp went viral. It was a post about his love for his wife, despite her larger figure.

People were immediately drawn to the post, and congratulated Tripp on being so outspoken about his acceptance and adoration of larger bodies. Comments such as “I wish I could find a man like you” and “You are so inspiring” flooded his Instagram. BuzzFeed and HuffPost ran stories depicting the so-called insane level of cuteness.

And yeah, it’s always nice to see someone profess their adoration for their partner. Who doesn’t love love? But the reality is, there are MANY things wrong with Tripp’s post including his narrow definition of feminism, his ironic tendency to praise one body type over another, and his seemingly #humblebrag that he deserves a trophy for loving his curvy wife. Continue reading

We’re All Just Learning As We Go

We’re All Just Learning As We Go.jpeg

By Kate Kole

I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training 3 years ago this month. And yet, it feels like the journey, inquiry, and knowledge I gained through that experience, and through my practice and teaching is still its infancy. Like I have so much left to unveil and discover, so many more books to read, and so much more anatomy and alignment to learn. What I once viewed as my ending point of having attained the certificate declaring my status as a registered instructor often feels like it was more of a launching pad.

The work is truly never done. In high school and college, that thought would have frustrated and intimidated me. I loved the idea of starting points and completion, and I relished crossing off the tasks I needed to accomplish in order to bridge the gap between the two. Yet now, my view has shifted. I’m excited by the thought that in many ways, I’m still a novice in my field. The prospect of the perspective and wisdom I have left to gain fuels my passion daily and contributes to my desire for growth. Continue reading

Why Summer Is The Perfect Time To Try Gentle Yoga

Why Summer Is The Perfect Time To Try Gentle Yoga

By Melissa Coley

You’re probably thinking one of two things. First, gentle yoga is boring. I only do Bikram. Or second, yoga? I don’t know about that. Okay, maybe you’re not thinking either, but for a long time I was a member of the first camp.

What you need to know about me is that I am not a gentle yoga kind of gal. In my past life, before developing CRPS, I was a wannabe gym rat, P90X fanatic, Spin instructor and finisher of a 30-day Bikram Yoga challenge. I liked my workouts fast, hot, and competitive and, prior to all of that, I was substantially overweight (which is a totally different story, but the plot line consists of a torn meniscus, two knee surgeries and a serious Panera Bread problem). Continue reading

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

How A Chronic Pain Condition Unexpectedly Led To Self-Love

By Melissa Coley

Like a lot of millennial women, I spent most of my twenties striving for perfection (P90X + Pinterest + grad school + multiple jobs + the Whole 30 + the lob = a hangry, sleep-deprived perfectionist with an iron deficiency and a Master’s degree). But at thirty-one, a chronic pain condition has knocked the snot out of me and not left much room for any semblance of perfection (I rarely wear makeup, my six pack hasn’t come in, I didn’t see Beauty and the Beast in the theater, and I need a haircut badly).

In March of 2016 I injured an ankle, and what should have been your run of the mill sprain, led to a neuro-inflammatory condition that spread from the location of my injury, up that leg and into the next. When my neurologist diagnosed me with CRPS 1, she sat across from me on her roll-y stool and said I’d be on nerve regulators and pain killers for the rest of my life and that what I needed now was a “really strong support system”. I sat there next to my knee cart I’d named Wallace, feet cold-burning, rubbery, and swollen thinking, wait, what? Say that again? I’d never heard of CRPS, didn’t know anybody with it, and I was terrified. All I knew was that I couldn’t walk, my husband couldn’t touch my legs without getting kicked, and that showers, which required the sort of plastic white chair that grandmas use, felt more like water torture than relief. Continue reading

The One Thing I Wish I Could Give To My Former Self

The One Thing I Wish I Could Give To My Former Self

By Kate Kole

I don’t know about y’all, but my transition from college to the real world was a bit rough. Like a glass of ice water straight to the face kind of unexpected. I could tell you speech communication theories for days and give you the entire history of psychology, but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what to do with the degree I’d earned.

I’d spend my lunch break at the mall getting to know the self-help section at Barnes & Noble. Hiding on some corner stool, flipping through the pages of books like It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken, and then listening to Miley Cyrus belt it out about keeping my faith because life is “all about the climb.” Continue reading

The Scream In The Car

The Scream In The Car.jpg

By Eliza David

You can’t punch a keystroke these days without running into a blog post about stress and how to rid yourself of it. Unsolicited advice inundates your social media timelines. It’s plastered within the glossy pages of magazines in your doctor’s office. And, be honest: we all have that one friend who swears by the rigors of CrossFit for calm.

Almost all of these advancements in stress relief have one thing in common: a financial investment. You end up shelling out $69.95 a month for a yoga studio membership, grasping the few precious moments of om that you can fit into your over-packed schedule. Monthly rubdowns by a talkative masseuse who insists on telling you why Game of Thrones is required viewing can be pricey as well. If these options do the trick for you, by all means…but I have a suggestion.

A free suggestion. (I have your attention now, don’t I?) Continue reading

How I Took Back My Happiness

How I Took Back My Happiness And How You Can Too.jpeg

By Lauren Giles

On the surface, I was a seemingly joyful 27-year old with more to be thankful for than I could have ever imagined. When I finally admitted to myself that I was unhappy, I couldn’t just stand by and spend the best years of my life on the proverbial hamster wheel in a routine that was draining me.

Both of my parents owned small businesses and lovingly dreamed of a life for me where I never had to chase someone to settle their bill so I could get my paycheck. Raised on the idea that hard work leads to achievement, which leads to success, which in turn leads to happiness, I was collecting life experiences like bullet points to place on my resume.    Continue reading