soul cleanse, take me a away


I’ve spent most of this week being completely exhausted…May kicked my ass. I am beyond happy this month is over…relieved might even be a better word for it. I feel beat and weary, mentally and physically.

I am happy, thriving at times it feels. Though, I have moments of being caught up in staggering stress and frustration.

I’m overwhelmed with trying understanding that my marriage, and now divorce, are coming to an end. I’m really seeing that part of my life dissolve and it’s had me thinking about so many things. Where does the love go? What do we do with the love that’s leftover? How do we cope with it? Do we put it in a box and take it out every now and then to try it on? Make ourselves crazy with nostalgia? I know I’ll never love someone the same. That love won’t ever go away. So what do I do with it? waaaahhhhh. I’ve got to find a way to focus and cleanse myself of these things.

In my rounds of, “being in my feelings,” (Jared I can’t thank you enough for that, it’s perfect) I’ve been drinking more than usual, averaging only 4-5 hours of sleep and I barely eat. I was at the grocery store the other day and I ran in to someone I hadn’t seen in years. “You’ve lost weight, you look great! What are you doing?” Of course I replied, “oh just some yoga and whatnot.” I got an eye roll and another question: “yeah, but what’s your diet like?” It took me a minute to answer, but the only reply I could really come up with was, “coffee. lots of coffee. and occasionally an avocado.” This stirred a laugh and a conversation about avocados being the super-food of the universe, a hug exchange and that was it….but it got me thinking.

On my drive home I thought about how that statement was true. I haven’t been eating very much, on top of not sleeping. Sure, I’m working, playing music on occasion; my yoga practice, both at home and shared, is expanding and I’m thrilled. I’ve been reaching out in to the community more and I’ve had the best time meeting new people and making new friends; being busy and social. I just don’t feel like I took care of myself in May. I rarely make time for a full, sit-down meal because I’m constantly going on to the next event or activity, and if it’s not that then I’m forgoing supper for sleep. Thinking about these things in the car made me angry…I should be doing better. I need to take better care of myself. Yes, I’m happier than I’ve ever been, but my body should not suffer because I have so many things going on. Enter gratitude.

I need a cleanse of sorts. I’m grateful for my mind-body experience; I’m glad I’ve come far enough with that journey that I realize I need something a little more. So, I’m challenging myself in June to step up, competing completely with only one other competitor and that person is ME. I’ve been beating myself up about treating my body better but haven’t taken the steps that I need to get there, so I’m making up my own cleanse for my mind, body and soul.

The lineup for June’s catharsis::

No more than one cup of coffee a day, one trip to Tamp&Grind a week. This is numero uno and it just might kill me but is totally necessary. I’ve stopped drinking the liquid for pleasure and have abused it recently as a source for fuel and that’s just not okay. I used to enjoy that first sip in the morning because of what it signified. Now I’m just crabby if I don’t get to it ASAP because I’m hungry and don’t feel like eating. Those days are over.

No alcohol for the first 20 days in June. NONE. I’ve subbed far too many beers for meals in the last month and it’s starting to show. I’m 27 and HAVE GOT to understand that drinking in excess ages you so rapidly, inside and out. I want to look healthy and happy for as long as possible.

No biting off more than I can chew. I’ve somehow managed to handle it this month without having to bail on anything, but I’d like my summer to be stress free. I like being a, “yes person,” because of the experiences it lends and I’m not super awesome at saying no, but I need to get better at that. It’s really okay to commit to yourself and what you want and nothing else.

NO CIGARETTES. Though I can’t claim to be a committed smoker – I won’t buy a pack, I just bum them which is worse – I’ve still smoked more cigarettes in the last month than I ever have in my life and it’s awful. What kind of example am I setting? I don’t even really like it, it just gives me something to do with my hands when I’m drinking. If you see me with one you have my permission to take it directly out of my hand and put it out. I don’t need it.

No hours-on-end on social media. I love how connected we all are and how great that is but it’s taken me out of so many experiences that I should have been mentally present for. I am an Instagram addict, no shit. I love it. I scroll through daily and post one, if not more, picture a day. I like how it’s less social than Facebook but it’s still got me looking down at my phone when I should be looking out at my world.

No negative thoughts if at all possible.This may be the most important. It’s hard for me to admit, but I deal with anger on a regular basis. I’m so mad ALL the time that things haven’t turned out like I thought they should (see post entitled, “To the Picture in My Head.”) Negativity has fueled my anger in more ways than I have time to write about, and just in the last month. I knew I’d circle around to this emotion, but it’s really consuming and has made me quite irascible.

As far as my diet is concerned, I’m going to cut out as much sugar as possible, aside from fruit. (talk about cranky!) My sweet tooth may be why my skin has been so pesky and I want to see if it’s true. Another goal? Incorporate more raw food in to my diet than anything, and center my protein around fish. Summer is a great time to bust out the grill, so why not?

Moral: Put good in, get good out. 

I really believe in this and need to be practicing that ideal in all aspects of my life. I don’t feel like I’m being honest as a daughter, friend, employee or teacher if I continue on this way. SO I’m NOT. June Soul Cleanse, challenge accepted. 

I implore you to make your own list and do this soul cleanse with me. It’s only 20 days…and I can’t wait to see how much can change in such a short amount of time.


certain airplanes should not be flown solo


Mama Jo here, vehemently writing this on behalf of not only myself but several of my friends who I think need to hear this right now.

PLEASE DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. I don’t care if you’re moving, getting divorced, coming out to your parents, picking your nose, drunk and need a ride…ASK. FOR. HELP.

Certain airplanes should not be flown solo.

I know pride is a thing, a huge thing. It took me way longer than I care to admit to ask for help. All of the signs were there. Dark rooms, no music, no TV, no phone, no sleeping, no eating, nothing…just darkness. It took me crumbling in front of someone I barely knew at the time to realize that I didn’t need anything but help. I wasn’t aware that, “help,” didn’t necessarily mean fixing all of my problems right away or making it better. Help comes in so many forms and it took me a long while to understand that. Sometimes help is dressed as a friend baring gifts of wine and ice cream and random documentaries. Sometimes it looks like strolling down a New Orleans Rue in the late afternoon with friends and Hurricanes. Sometimes it’s a hug or a smile or a pair of eyes crying with you. AND sometimes…help comes in the fashion of tough love.

It’s hard to see things about yourself that you either don’t want to see or don’t know exist, I get that. It’s hard to be responsive when someone is reaching out to you, practically yelling, “I WON’T LET YOU DROWN,” and all you can do it roll your eyes and turn off your phone because drowning seems easier than anything else. By the time you get to this point, your energy is zapped and you’re sick of yourself and all the thoughts you’ve been dealing with. I know it’s embarrassing to admit defeat, but the people in your life that love you and support you will reinforce that it is not defeat, it’s overcoming. Overcoming is a triumphant word in my vocabulary, one that I am happy to use more than ever these days.

I’m glad it took me so long to realize these things because my appreciation for them overflows. I would be in the deepest, darkest hole in the smallest corner of the world if it wasn’t for a friend of my shaking me, physically shaking me and flipping on all of the lights in my room (metaphor, zing!) and shoving a cup of coffee in my face and saying, “alright bitch, enough. we’ve got to get you out of here.” I know that she meant that in every sense of the phrase and I will never be able to thank her enough – she helped me change my life. With that moment followed my eyes really opening and seeing things. I found confidence in my decisions like I never had before, because out of darkness comes a certain light…a light that is strengthening in ways I cannot even begin to explain. You start hearing the people around you and it makes a world of difference, and would you like to know why? They want what is best for your well-being.

We often hear people say, “it doesn’t matter what they think,” and they’re right…but the people who are close to you? That have observed you and applauded you and cried with you? Listen to them. Let them help you. Learn to lean on them and let them love you. It’s going to be overwhelming, but it will change everything when you realize that you have the choice NOT to walk alone.

Don’t fly solo.

residential life


Lately I’ve found myself struggling with the idea of, “satisfaction.”

Let me preface the rest of this semi-ranting blog by saying that I am happy. Some days are harder than others (for everyone, hello) but I am leaps and bounds from where I was a year ago; a truly remarkable feeling. It’s amazing how much you appreciate the small things that make you happy in life when you can’t even remember what happy looks like.

I digress.

Satisfaction has been hard to come by lately. I feel like I’m climbing a mountain or something, with a giant smile on my face and anticipation and excitement in my eyes, but I can’t seem to get there. It’s doesn’t really make much sense either because I’m not really sure what I want or what I’m supposed to do.

I am blessed with an awesome job that I love 98% of the time and fortunate enough to work with a small group that feel like family. But lately…I just want to be out in the sunshine. I want to take walks and ride bikes and swim and do yoga everywhere. I want to sell all of my shit, renovate a bus and travel the country for a few years, then sell the bus and move to another country and explore that. I want to collect sand from every beach I ever visit and buy tacky shot glasses from local bars and pubs. I want to wear the same handful of clothes, just so I have to stop at some sketchy looking washaterias every now and then for meaningful conversations while my pants dry. I want to hang out coffee shops all over the world, tasting and sampling and bouncing off all of the walls from all the espresso. I really want to thrive.


At this very moment, I don’t know that I can ever be grounded enough ever again to really put down real roots. It’s such a yin-yang feeling and it’s driving me bananas. In my head, I know that in order to provide myself with the things I need to do the things I want, I have to be disciplined. I must have a good job with benefits and a car and a house and all things that make up a residential life. I don’t mind having a “peopled,” life, but the yang side pulls so hard, constantly saying, “forget the dimensions! get out! do what you want!”

There are steps though, right? I can have both eventually, right?

My spirit feels…restless. I wish I could control that part of myself; the spirited part. It takes me over so strongly, sometimes it feels like it’s going to knock my right off my feet! I look inward and I’m pleased that I’m not okay with complacency, real pleased. I feel like I may have suffered a great deal with a complacent attitude in my marriage and I never, ever want to experience that again.

I’ve moved countless times over the years, back and forth and back and forth and now I’m examining why, because these feelings are familiar. I’ve got itchy, antsy pants on, for real. I don’t know why. I literally, just months ago, arrived back here and now I’m trying to be pushy and make decisions when really, everything is more than fine and I know it. I know that if I keep working and moving on, I’ll eventually get where I want to be. I’ve come full circle. Hooray! This makes my post extremely boring.

Until I get there though, I’ll be happier than a dead pig in the sunshine to be drinking beer at my favorite pub, scarfing down pizza with the greatest people in the world.

lust for lists on lists on lists for the listless


I love lists. This is fact; if you read my blog that just means you are already aware of what is coming next.

I recently stumbled upon an article on a friend’s Facebook page that triggered all sorts of things in my brain. I was obviously intrigued because it’s entitled: “25 Daily Habits that will Make You Smarter.”  Since I’ve forgone finishing my degree (for now) I take pride in looking at lists of this sort, ticking things off with ease and breathing in a sense of accomplishment. Though I definitely do some of the things on this list already, I could always be more thorough.

Here’s the link to the list:

Now, I’m going to write out some of these to check in with myself. Feel free to read my ramblings. Otherwise, enjoy this tune!

1. Come up with 10 ideas every day. – Here are my amazing Monday ideas.

a. Mojito flavored gum that can cause a buzz.

b. A microchip that you swallow that sends music shooting through your brain, depending on your mood. so like…a mood ring that’s in your body that plays music. yeah.

c. a movie where there is only music to tell the story. and no, not a musical. a…..sound exploration of the human experience? maybe.

d. Coffee that instantly turns in to powder if it were to leave your cup. NO MORE COFFEE STAINED SHIRTS! Okay, I spill a lot.

e. Spotify, but for books. Something with complete customization….I want  to be able to sit at my desk and be read to by Jon Hamm. EVERYDAY.

f. a device that, depending on what code a type in, becomes whatever object(s) I want. Sunny outside? hit 314 and it’s a car equipped with a paddle board and a road map to the beach. Rainy outside? type in 668 and it’s a half-naked bearded man with an umbrella.

g. a computer that can sense specific hunger and send out messages to the closest, cheapest, most appropriate place in town that delivers.

h. generation of a hybrid tree that can grow organic lemons, peaches, pears and apples simultaneously so that my yard doesn’t become congested.

i. an internal lie detector, that way you never have to guess with anyone and you can choose silently to confront them or walk away. brilliant.

j. lets see if someone can make a short film about getting hit squarely in the face with a pie and what’s that’s like. I’ve always wanted to do it to someone.

2. Read the newspaper.  – I’m not really in to reading our local newspaper, but if I do, it’s to circle all of the grammatical and spelling errors and THAT is fun!

3. Play devil’s advocate. – I like this idea so much, because I do it so often. It is truly the mark of the intelligent when you can see both sides and attempt to argue from each standpoint. well rounded is better close-minded. remember that.

4. Read a chapter in a fiction or non-fiction book. – Of course I condone this one. Even better than reading a chapter? Writing one! If you’re not in to committing to writing a whole book, try a short story. I write tons and tons of short stories (that maybe one day will be whole) during the year. Reddit is an amazing place to draw inspiration!

5. Instead of watching TV, watch educational videos.  I’m about this. I’m really interested in Elephants and whales. Always have been, always will be. So if I’m ever bored, you can bet I’m watching something involving one or the other, especially in bed.

6. Subscribe to feeds of interesting information. – THIS IS SO EASY! we completely control what goes in and out of our news feeds now. PUT GOOD IN GET GOOD OUT! I wish I could list all of the yoga things I’m subscribed to see on Facebook, but that list would be embarrassing.

7.  Check in with your favorite knowledge sources. – my day wouldn’t flow if I didn’t read articles from MindBodyGreen, doyouyoga and The New York Times. I’ve recently discovered that though people respect  my disinterest in sharing/talking about my political views, it makes me feel extremely out of the loop if I at very least don’t know what’s going on. Knowledge is power!

8. Share what you learn with other people. – I love how easy it is now. I know the members of my YUP group on FB get really sick of all the crunchy wellness articles I post BUT I DON’T CARE. See last line #7.

9. Make two “To Do” lists: one of work-related skills you want to learn now, and another of things you want to achieve in the future.  – if you consider yourself successful, or aspiring, this list should be constant. I have one in my phone for personal achievements. aptly named, “Shit I want to get done….stat.”

10. Write an “I Did” list. – I haven’t done this yet! I feel like this is important and I will start compiling. what a nice reminder, right? get 10 or more things down and you can include making a list to that list! okay…I’ll stop.

11. Start a “Stop Doing” list. – IMPORTANT.




I’ll go on later…but that’ll do for now.

12. Write down what you learn. – I know it probably makes me a crazy person, but I carry around a notebook with me – I said notebook, not an iNote or whatever – to jot down thought-provoking things. Could be a sentence, usually just an idea here or there, but either way, it’s better to physically write it down, since it’s more likely to stick that way.

13. Stimulate your mind. – This is fairly subjective, in my opinion. (see what I did there?) I stimulate my mind in many different ways. This article/list suggests several ways (all mentioned above) to do so. I feel like music is numero uno on the list of things that stimulate my mind.

14. Take online courses. –  I NEED TO. end of sentence.

15. Talk to someone you find interesting. – This is a must, y’all. I know apprehension can get the better of us because what with our handy-dandy, desensitized, behind-the-screen world we live in, people are right at our fingertips, but not an inch closer. I urge you, GET OUT THERE AND TALK TO SOMEONE! I went on my first geocache with a few friends the other day, and we were lead by someone I didn’t know. I found him so interesting because his interests were so far removed from mine. I love experiencing that.

16. Hang out with people who are smarter than you. – so all of my friends are acceptable choices based on this and this alone. Perf.

17. Follow your questions. – I’m a writer, so this is beyond easy for me, though as much as I like answering the who, what, where, when and why of it all, my favorite? The how. The how is the real reward.

18. Use a word-of-the-day app. – Because I am incapable of being satisfied with one word of the day, I have two; English and French. I like studying language, of any kind.

Today’s English word:bucolic – of, pertaining to or suggesting an idyllic rural life.

Today’s French word: alcool – alcohol.

The French word always seems more appropriate to me.

19. Do something scary. – I’m going to the mall after work for a pair of shorts and that’s it. Going to the mall, scary. Going to the mall broke, scarier.

20. Explore new areas. – I am going to take this and run with it, naked. Woo woo woo! [flirty eyebrows and winky faces]

21. Play “smart” games. – so….Cards Against Humanity doesn’t count? It’s a game of wit, for cryin’ outloud!

I am in to smart games though. It’s important that our minds stay as active as possible!

22. Set aside some time to do nothing. – can you say, all day veg-fest, in my robe and glasses and never leaving the house? Because that happened this weekend and my batteries absolutely feel recharged.

23. Adopt a productive hobby. – I’m so happy yoga and I found each other! It’s my favorite hobby, favorite way to workout and my new favorite part of myself. I would be nothing without this “hobby,” that is better referred to as the most grounding and necessary part of my life.

24. Apply what you learn. –  From any and all aspects. Let your hobbies, knowledge and passions feed off of each other. Residual effects people!

25. Exercise and eat a healthy diet. – if you’re in your mid-to-late twenties and you don’t exercise ever and you fill your body non-stop with crap, don’t be surprised when you start to feel it. I was drinking so much and never exercising and had no sleeping habits that I had absolutely no room at all to complain about feeling so bad all the time. Get your shit together, seriously. Your body deserves it.

I like examining these aspects of my life. It’s really something when we stop to appreciate the innermost workings of our mind and bodies. I’ve got a lust for this stuff.

Happiness: Yoga Helps EVERYTHING in Life!



go with the glow


Yoga has been my savior in life. It has helped me to really get in touch with my soul ~ what it needs, what it wants, who it is, what works for it and what doesn’t. Yoga helped me meet my soul!

Prior to practicing yoga, I had been operating on auto-pilot my whole life, just reacting to every moment, every circumstance. Now, I feel, I flow, I love and I grow, with grace.

I remember awhile back, my friend telling me that I needed to work on my hugs. What a simple concept, but such an obvious metaphor for where I was in life!

Yoga helps you love yourself and therefore love all things ~ good and bad. It’s not so much the practice on the mat ~ the sun salutations or the poses you can or can’t get into that are working for you, it’s the whole process.

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giant metaphorical umbrella


you realize this is it, right? the second I file and the papers are sent off and you put your John Hancock on that document…it’s all over. Bitter is my favorite flavor, but this is a bit much.

I suppose now is the moment to realize that with the click of a pen, our friendship, our courtship and three-year marriage is left to nothing more than a signature and a few tears over beers with friends.

I’ve asked and asked and asked for a year for you to say anything at all to me. “Lets talk about this, let’s try to work this out,” and its all only become terrible lyrics that Brittany will one day scream in to a microphone over a looping pedal and some distortion; because our song will mean nothing without it. I kind feel like our metaphorical song may mean nothing to you anyway. though, if there’s one thing I hope we can agree on, it’s how much of a learning experience this has been for us both. Maybe you haven’t gleaned anything from the situation yet, but you will I promise. I have no regrets where you’re concerned, only that we’d taken our time. From now until forever, I’ll think back on it all and be grateful for where it lead me.


I talked to Nadia about this for quite some time between Sunday night and Monday, after shaking out the contest of a first class package from the US Mail that shook me up real good. Checkbooks with my maiden name, tax return stuff. And then….out shakes the wedding band into the palm of my hand. I had no idea a piece of white gold could upset me so much. I looked at it a realized what that ring means to me now: all of the growing I’ve done over the past eight months (eight months, that’s it!) was right in the center of my hand, circling ’round my head. It was a surge of freedom feelings I never expected, and also sadness…which was totally expected but not welcomed. I thought my heart was going to explode. I remember picking the ring out and being so excited to slide it on to Mark’s finger, proudly declaring that we were married. I didn’t know the reverse would have the reverse effect.

In lieu of my giant wave of melancholy, I took a mental health day yesterday, in hopes of crying it all out over my favorite songs and movies and binge eating peanut m&ms like I had been all weekend.  Instead, both bathrooms almost completely flooded due to a pipe breaking in the apartment above mine….great.

After watching an episode of SNL and cracking up at 7:30 a.m., I decided it was time to take a nap, nodding in approval; “a nap at 8:55 in the morning? now this is how to handle Monday.” I was so happy since there was also a promise of rain, my favorite kind of stay-under-the-covers weather. I was just dozing off, mentally approving of how loud the rain was, when I decided that the rain sounded a little too close. I got up to investigate, annoyed and cussing under my breath when I felt it. “Squisssssssssh,” the carpet in front of my bathroom was completely saturated. I flip on the light? A waterfall was coming from the heater-fixture in the middle of my bathroom. “SHIIIIIIIIT! shit shit shit shit shit,” I said, hopping over the giant puddle in my carpet, over to Jared’s bathroom to have a look; even worse. He had standing water in his bathroom as well. I ran flailing through the house for pots and pans and trash cans and buckets, anything to catch the water and keep the puddle from spreading. I got our big trashcan under the worst, “waterfall,” and frantically searched for, “that dudes number,” that I left on a piece of paper somewhere in Jared’s room. “YES? Hello?! Uhhh yeah, hi. There’s a monsoon happening in my roommate’s bathroom. And my bathroom and the carpets all we- Oh. Oh I’m so sorry, the pool guy. Well, crap! Okay. I’m…sorry. Have a great day! Yes, I’ll be alright, thank you!” I called the wrong person, but this lead the right person showing up at my door with a vacuum to suck up the water.

At one point, while I’m squatting in the hall, sucking up the water with said vacuum, staring at my delicious bed and wishing that I’d gone to work and not called in and had this day another day, I cross the thought about how I’d said, out loud to my mom just the day before, “I know, I know. When it rains, it pours,” AND I HAD TO LAUGH! And I laughed for a solid twenty minutes, full on laugh-til-you-cry laugh. I needed that SO BAD.

Sometimes little things like that make you appreciate despondency. Yeah, everything has been kind of shitty lately. Making grown up decisions, being (as Jared likes to call it and so shall I from here on out) “in your feelings,” and dealing with it all….yeah, things can be terrible-awful. Yes, when it rains sometimes it can feel like it’s pouring, but then follows that moment, the one that pulls you out of the nonsense and makes you feel human for feeling all the things; the moment where you realize it may be raining, pouring even, but you’ve got a giant metaphorical umbrella somewhere (even though it may be hard to find sometimes) and it’s all going to be more than fine.

The Beej


my new year’s resolution this year was gratitude, in whatever form that comes. whether it be verbally expressing it, demonstrating it through some sort of act or writing it down. my goal this year is to be grateful for the things that I’ve learned and the things that are to come. today though, I want to take as many words as I can possibly find to express gratitude for my favorite person.

she makes me crazier than anyone else. she makes me laugh louder and cry harder and smile wider than anybody else in my world. we lock horns and oh my lawwwwwd when we fight it feels awful and ugly and really turns my universe upside down.

But that lady….she chose me. She said yes to me when she didn’t have to. I’m sure there have been days over the last 27 years, give or take a few a months, that she has really questioned this decision, but I know she’s never regretted it, and for that there are just no words. I’m the luckiest most blessed girl in the world to get to call BettyJo my mama.

I could list everything that she’s done for me, but the last year alone wold take two or three days to cover. She listens to me, provides me with support and comfort and love, all without asking for anything in return. She is happy to applaud me when I’ve done something awesome and is equally as happy to let me know when I need a reality check; she’s the best friend I’ve ever had.

I’m not quite sure how she does it all. She works with ferocious passion at a job that inspires her. She’s an amazing wife to a man that thinks she hung the stars, just for him. Anything that comes out of her kitchen is delicious – her spaghetti and banana pudding being crowd favorites. 

She’s probably too inquisitive for her own good, but her tenacity is the thing I love most about her I think. She wants to have all the answers – sometimes she thinks she has them, especially where the weather is concerned – and that’s something I can’t fault her for. 

Whether or not she agrees with me whole heartedly, she tries her best to support me. I know there have been decisions I’ve made over the years that my mom has had to simply roll her eyes about; “this too shall pass,” being a favorite phrase, no matter how sarcastically or sincerely the line is being delivered. 

Mom, I’m sorry I’m not a card person, I hope this will suffice:: you’re right about everything, all the time. I wish I would have listened to all of your advice from the beginning of my early twenties. I wish that I would have stayed home more in high school and spent more time with Dad. I wish I would have read the subtext in, “you know that this is your decision,” while standing in the bridal suite on my wedding day – I would have done things entirely different. I wish I could adequately describe how thankful I am for you and all that you do for me and everyone around you. 

you’re the most kickass person I know, the only Beej in the world and I’m so happy I get to call you mom. 
I love you!