Tag Archives: inspiration

Words I have heard in my yoga practice that you might need to hear right now

First of all… this poem called Joy For No Reason by Danna Faulds:

I am filled with quiet joy for no reason save the fact that I’m alive.

The message I received is clear – there’s no time to lose from loving,

no place but here to offer kindness,

no day but this to be my true, unfettered self and pass the flame from heart to heart.

This is the only moment that exists – so simple, so exquisite, and so real.

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com


…You are beautiful, inside and out.

…Sometimes it’s tough.  Mentally.  Physically.  Emotionally.  But you push through it and the relief at the end is a feeling unlike any other.

…The most valuable gift we can give our bodies is time.

…This breath in…this breath out.

woman in black bikini underwater photography
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

…May you be happy, may you be safe, and may you live your life with ease.

…We always seem to be tied up in what has happened and what is happening later.  But when we lock into our breathing, we are in the present.

…You are here, you showed up.  You did the hard part.

…Appreciate that you are alive beneath your hands, that you are the only person under your hands that matters right now.

Image result for supta baddha konasana with hands over heart

And don’t forget…

…If you can balance your body in here, you can balance anything out there.

…It’s okay if you fall.  It means you pushed it to your edge, and you get right back up.

…You’re the most graceful fall-er I’ve ever met.

…Your pose is not going to look the same as any other pose, because every body is different.

…Every day, your body needs different things.  One day you may be able to hold a headstand for 10 minutes, the next maybe you need to lie down into child’s pose most of the practice.  Wherever your body is, is perfect.

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Photo by Zsolt Joo on Pexels.com

…If you are really stressed or overwhelmed, try doing a few handstands.  They take conscious effort and focus, so it diverts your mind for a minute, and brings your attention to your balance and breath.  I think of it like hitting a mini restart button on whatever you were doing.

…We all know about the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would like to be done unto yourself.  But did you know it goes both ways?  You should do unto yourself as you do unto others.

…Find comfort in the discomfort.

…Whatever it looks like right now is beautiful.

…You’re sweating and you’re breathing: that’s all that really matters.

..Nothing changes if nothing changes.

…When the merry-go-round of thoughts come in, let them.  But don’t get caught up on any that don’t matter in the right now.  Just let them keep going around.

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Photo by Salma Smida on Pexels.com

In case you need a reminder…

…You are enough, you do enough, you have enough.

…Practice self-compassion.  Compliment yourself and appreciate your body just as you would another person.

…If your loved one was going through this, what would you tell them?  Sometimes what we tell others is what we need to hear ourselves.

…Find softness in your edge; the furthest point you can push your body.  Then exhale, soften, and push just an inch further.  That’s where the change happens.

…Sometimes what we need is not what we want.

…Heart open, back straight, booty low.

…It’s so easy to just send a text, or post a photo.  Showing up, being present – that’s showing passion, commitment, appreciation, drive.

…Just being here, right now, adds to the dynamic of the room.  If one person was missing, this whole practice would be different.

And finally…

…The light in me sees, and honors the light in you. Namaste.

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Photo by Vinícius Vieira Fotografia on Pexels.com

Special thank you to The Yoga Shop of Salem (well the entire TYS community, for that matter) for allowing me to grow in my practice, my mind, and my life.  Thank you for sharing these words with me in and out of our practice.

If you would like more mantras like these, I highly suggest getting yourself a copy of  Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. (Shout-out to Amanda for the best Secret Santa gift this year.) Some of these words came from this book, as many of my instructors use it for their opening meditations in class.

Or, better yet, come join a practice sometime.  I promise you won’t regret it.

Hello Neighbor

One of the top books trending on Amazon, and was recently named a New York Times Best Seller, is The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King. The book by King is an in depth biography about everyone’s favorite person growing up; Mr. Fred Rogers. Chronicling the life and times of this almost saintly PBS star, we get a really close look into an adult figure that basically shaped the modern times through his unconditional sense of nurturing and embracing the love of helping others grow. Even thou he is gone, that cardigan and simplistic smile still represents so much today.

i was fortunate enough to grow up in the time frame when Fred Rogers was producing the famous PBS show directly day in and day out. Although i was younger and started to watch the show and Mr Rogers in his later part of his legendary broadcasting career, i still loved to rush to the TV back in the day and wait to see the friendly neighbor walk through his door. i feel now that i am 24 i look back and become enthralled with what i learned from the show. Even if we did not know we were learning the skills to be a good human being, Fred Rogers always knew his audience was learning. Through his teachings and time with us, we learned what Fred Roger’s idea of being a good person was and how very simple it could be.

Be Kind.

It has been nearly sixteen years since Fred Rogers left our neighborhood, a new generation of children have come and started to learn of the lessons he gave us, but what if i told you that we need to revisit the episodes of a simple man ourselves?

It seems these days we haven’t been the friendliest of neighbors to each other. Building walls, hurting one another and not simply being kind when we need it the most. We know that this world is not meant to be perfect, nor is meant to be catastrophic in nature, but what we should start as 2019 is in its infantile stages is to be more like Fred Rogers and take up his Good Neighbor mantle he left behind for us. I like to believe that the world could use a good neighbor like Mr. Rogers these days. He was imperfect and that’s the way we all are, he loved unconditionally which we all have the potential to create, and he never created a persona for himself to supply the audience, in short terms he never stopped being who he was a rare, authentic form of a man.

 “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers always tried to bring the best out of people, even adults. In times of hardship and tragedy, we always looked for comfort in the things that are familiar to use and our childhood usually makes an appearance. In recent years, we have had things happen in this world that should never happen to anyone under our sun and stars, unspeakable acts and disasters that have rattled us to our very core, that have changed us in ways we wished we weren’t changed. But even in the 21st century and almost two decades since he passed away Fred Rogers is still helping us even in adulthood. As he said before “look for the helpers”, but i think we can do better than look for them. Lets be the helpers in times where things are not so good. It doesn’t have to be on a cataclysmic scale but we can be the ones that help others day in and day out even on the smallest things. Lets be the ones the next generation looks to in times of strife and say “Yes there they are, the helpers”.

I like to think this will be my goal for not only 2019 but in the years to come as well. We can all use a neighbor during our life, to help us on both our bad days and to help celebrate the good ones. i challenge those who are reading this to be a little more neighborly this year and it doesn’t have to be on a major scale. It can be simple and sweet and still have all the value still to it. If not the most important challenge i ask of those who read this is very simple and honors Fred Rogers the most; be kind.

To Be, or Not To Be American.

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt.

To be, or not to be American. What does it all mean at the end of the day. To be American means to have the right to free speech, to bear arms, to practice religion without fear of persecution, to vote for what we believe in, but to believe in freedom and equality. This country was founded on the ideals of greatness, to lift ourselves up by our bootstraps and create something out of an opportunity. The rhetoric that is being spread throughout this country has been more toxic and more divisive than ever before. As an outspoken person, I usually have a lot to say, and have had a lot to say via Twitter, but never in a formalized format such as this.

Now, it’s personal.

I’m Kenney Tran. A child of two Vietnamese-American (now) citizens. I was born here, in America, with a passport, social security number, and a college education. I’m currently serving in the Peace Corps, another privilege that American citizens have. Yet despite all of this, my own citizenship is under attack. I get it, I’ve traveled a lot. But does that mean I should not be considered a person of my own country?

The concept of birth right citizenship isn’t unique to America, contrary to what our President has been saying, as a matter of fact, there’s a beautiful list.

Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

I was brought up as a Vietnamese-American, being taught about both cultures, playing a beautiful game of balance, learning about both and taking parts of each and molding my own individual identity. I meditate and reflect a lot on my days and how my actions impact others, a trait of the Buddhist-Centric culture of Vietnam, but also have a tendency to be wild and spontaneous based off of the Extroverted-favoring nature of the United States. I consider myself to constantly be a person under construction, as a learn more about the world, I learn more about myself as well.

My parents fled warfare, a corrupt regime that refused to let people speak out about things that were happening and how they really felt. They left a country that was not accepting of ideas. So here we are, in America. The golden land, the country that is held to the golden standard of the world. So what did it mean to be American?

To be American meant to be kind, to be welcoming with open arms, to help others, to love for our neighbors and our fellow citizens in our great melting pot. It never had to do with whether or not someone was born here, where they come from or where they are going, the color of their skin, or their religion. Yet here we stand, in a country more divided than other. Watching this country from the outside, I can almost visualize it tearing apart at the seams.

I have people ask, or rather tell me, that I don’t understand the other side of the argument. That I’m biased. That my view is skewed. I’ll acknowledge that truth, but I can also admit that I’m a little bit more of an expert than at first glance, I majored in Political Science and took many classes on Political Theory as well as the Politics of Immigration. I would now like to invite you to read a couple essays I wrote on refugees and immigration for you to better understand a few concepts, most being that immigrants actually IMPROVE the GDP of a host country while also shutting down Trump’s claim on Sanctuary Cities.

1: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AUNPWKwb4vYDvFplbsHsAzWmCyqD3-T5yn8oG2BUyNY/edit?usp=sharing

2: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ss5ZugxQOtFXJuAb627zRS22I1v7Que4cX4OO0Be3NI/edit?usp=sharing

I understand that from a different point of view, having an undocumented couple with a child born in the United States creates a situation where more often than not, the couple will get to stay with their American child. This brings up the argument on the right side of the aisle, with opponents saying that this would take jobs away, and it’s a quick and simple path to citizenship. Need we go back down history road to remember that we are ALL immigrants? Needless to say, the people who end up becoming parents of an American child will almost definitely be finding jobs, learning English, and contributing and becoming a part of a beautiful American society as well. It sounds just a tad better than the colonial days of forced westward expansion, slavery, and how manifest destiny created a power complex where we forget our own history and refuse to open up doors that were previously available to us.

As a citizen (for now) , of the most influential country on Earth, I would like to end with a few remarks. We are a country that should be building bridges rather than walls. With the rise of alt-right groups, hate crimes, and overall intolerance of civil discussions, it’s difficult to remember that underneath all of this, every person on Earth has a potential to be an American. To be an American citizen is not about a piece of paper or where we are born. For the longest time, it was about character. The person that we are. The person that we could be and have the potential to be. To use the rights given to use by the government in place to better ourselves, and in my case right now, using my first amendment right to express my mind… at least, while I still can.

“I received a letter just before I left office from a man. I don’t know why he chose to write it, but I’m glad he did. He wrote that you can go to live in France, but you can’t become a Frenchman. You can go to live in Germany or Italy, but you can’t become a German, an Italian. He went through Turkey, Greece, Japan and other countries. But he said anyone, from any corner of the world, can come to live in the United States and become an American.” – Ronald Reagan.

You Can’t Help Everyone.

“Everyone is just waiting to be saved.”

I like to think that when someone is struggling, many would jump at the chance to step up and help them out. We feel like a hero, a great savior to the issue. Whenever in the future someone would need you, their first choice is yo without a doubt. This is what you would dream about.

It doesn’t always happen like this

Some will just be to far gone for you to do anything that can make a change noticeable, at least noticeable to you.

You should not feel as if the world is on your shoulders to play doctor, marriage counselor, or adviser to people who are in trouble or are suffering from something or someone. No one is Atlas, you can’t keep the sky from crashing into the world. The weight will push you into the ground, no matter how strong your stance is to hold the world up, and put you into the same position as those you are trying to help. Nullifying the rhyme and reason of your efforts. Its one of the hardest things to do, realizing you cant help everyone, but its a fact of life that needs to be taught. Even to those with the biggest hearts.

I never like letting people down, never have never will. 

What i had to learn the hard way is that you really cant help everyone. It is just too high of a bar to reach. By trying to help everyone you give up so much of yourself that sometimes cant be recognizable. I remember looking into the mirror one morning and i look at a shell of  a man that i once was. My hair was falling out, i looked like i gain 40 years and i wasn’t myself. What was i becoming? i was becoming drained of what i loved to do and it soon didn’t interest me, being the one that reaches out to help, anymore.  I realized that my stance wasn’t strong, my arms began to fault me, and i could hold the weight of the world on my shoulders anymore.  It began to hurt everything.

The realization of not being able to help everyone sucks. There will be times where you will have to be forced to watch your friends suffer. That’s ok, that is what this world is about.  Its what you do after o help them recover. This is not a story of giving up, its a story of how not to give in. Of course you should still reach out to help someone, of course you can play counselor, whats not ok is to go in it alone. You need back up, you need people who will pick you up when your stance fails you and your arms begin to become tired, and someone to help carry parts of the world on your shoulders with you. We get good people in this world who has your back, you might as well help them carry your load. In turn when they need help with their stance, their arms; you’ll be there to help carry part of their world off their shoulders.

Is that not that the best part of being human?


Together For Good

We aren’t always lucky enough to find a place that makes us feel at home, that makes us feel passionate about a mission, or that makes us talk about it long after we are meant to be gone – but Merrimack College is that place for so many people.

It came as no surprise to me when I found out that Merrimack’s 50 million dollar – Together For Good fundraiser, had reached its goal a whole year before it was meant to be done. And though it finished early, this doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. This was no bake sale, no side street lemonade stand, no kids smiling at you while you drive through the neighborhood – it was a community that worked tirelessly to prove that it deserved everything it has earned thus far, and so much more.

In the four years, I was at Merrimack, the school forged me into the person I was today- and let me tell you – it was no walk in the park. It was nights out, breaking the rules, crying over doomed relationships, bawling over failed essays, and jobs that fell short. It was nights spent playing cards, and days sleeping through obligations because my body couldn’t handle the stress myself and others went through the night before on duty as a Resident Advisor. It was easy failures and hard triumphs – and it was experienced that my high school self would have never dared to do – but together, with my friends, my team, my professors, my unlikely friendships with the friars – it was through this community that I survived the most difficult period of my life.

Now I get it, you talk to anyone who went to Penn State and they will tell you “We Are!” with all the pride in the world – and sure they aren’t the only ones. I guess most colleges are meant to have that effect on people… but for some reason, I know that Merrimack is different.

it isnt because I am special, it isnt because the people there are, its because we dared to be different. we dared to be small – to be unnoticed, to build passion like a powder keg until it had no where to go but out. it isnt because of the school, its because the rest of the world underestimated what we could accomplish in such a short amount of time. – but we knew – and here we are.

At the end of the day, you could tell me that this place is like any other, but you would be wrong. The changes I have seen in four years. The triumphs, the losses, the friends we grieved for – that’s what we all take with us.

At the end of the Day, Merrimack is not just a place it is a home – and the progress we have made is only the beginning. Today we stand together, for good – but tomorrow well keep working toward a future that none of us can quite imagine yet.

My name is Rachel, just Rachel, and I for one couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Merrimack’s journey, because man, has it been a part of mine.


This post is in no way sponsored or represented by Merrimack College or its Affiliates - the perceptions in this piece are not meant to be related to the college or how it conducts itself.

Continue reading Together For Good

A Motivational Moment


in this moment are capable of many great things.

You can be what ever you want as long as you set the three major things to your desires;

Heart. Mind. Soul

The three ingredients.

Maybe add water, sweat or elbow grease for better consistency and results.

That’s the way.

I am not going  to sit here and tell you how special you are, that’s not in the rules of life.

I want you to stand there and make  me watch you chase glory.

Show me Don’t tell me.

Stop wasting time fixing time fixing fake problems that are not yours.

You got to get going.

Sure life will get you down and knock you out from time to time

But it is always the will of the fighter that determines when the bell rings

Are you gonna be a person who hears the bell because of you or for you?


Now, i want you to stop what you are doing and look around.

Times are tough i know you can see that but what are you gonna do about it?

Want to change it. Good you should be excited to change it.

But what are you gonna do behind twitter fingers?

Stop tweeting complaints for a complicit audience and challenge the narrative.

It does not have to be political but take the risk to change something out there

Your workplace, your relationships, yourself.


What you want in this world is up for the taking all day, everyday

What prevents you and many others from reaching it is the sacrifices you make

Sometime you are gonna have to get up at 5 AM to go to work to provide for yourself, your family.

You are gonna have to stop going out weekends to focus on a second degree

But remember the things you cant sacrifice, remember the people that wont come back.

You’re gonna sacrifice a lot of things to gain success.

Just don’t let it take your soul.


So now whats motivating you today?

Get going now and don’t stop for nothing.

I’ll see you at the top.



Welcome Home

Could a phrase mean more than just that?

(First off, i would like to thank Kenney, Shannon, and Campus Ministry for allowing me to experience Nazareth Farm, now on with the regularly scheduled blog post)

We commonly hear it during the times after a long vacation, or coming home from college, or even in sarcasm (Yup that is my mom alright). But what it could mean to a select few, means an experience unlike any other?

In Early 2018, a group i was very fortunate to Co-advise for an Alternative Winter Break to Nazareth Farms ,West Virginia. (Yes, i already know as I said this you are looking up John Denver’s hit song ” Take Me Home, Country Roads” I mean its a jam anyways.) The Alternative Break was designed to give back to communities within the Appalachian mountain region of West Virginia. Sounds straight forward right? Seems like a 2-D Service Trip through a service site?


Nazareth Farms was one of the best sites for service i think students can go to. First off, the staff is one of the most welcoming you’ll ever meet. Basically right when you get off the van you are greeted with a hug and “Welcome Home”. You do not know this person or this place (especially if you get in at 8 pm and in the dark like we did) and they welcome you home like a long lost family member. It is interesting to say the least. You find out as you get there that other schools alternative break programs and your instant thought is ” Oh, well i guess then i may just introduce myself to the them then ill stay with my group.”

Wrong again.

Instantly you just start talking with the different student and staff members and find similarities that start long conversations that last well into the timeless night. Oh yeah time, forget it, you do not need it when your down here, or phones, or any technology for that matter. You are enjoying yourself so much that you do not need this stuff. (Also there isn’t any WIFI but that is beside the point.) The experience of staying up late, talking, playing guitar and singing along. Its one of the greatest times i think a student can have during their down time.

The work you do with Nazareth Farms is unbelievable, you do so much in such little time with such diversity of tasks. One day you may be ripping down old dry wall and setting up new stuff, you may be painting, you may even do minor electrical work, or you could be cleaning Nazareth Farms and preparing the meal for the night. Its such a different way to give back than i have ever seen. Its really rewarding that although the families that may have been less fortunate, they are appreciative and always believe they are more fortunate with Nazareth Farms around and when students and staff like us take time that we could be spending with our loved ones after the holidays and spend it giving back to the community that was not our own.

For those who have gone to down to “NAZ Farm” its one of the best experiences we got to have within the realm of service. The loving nature of the staff and crew to the people who help serve the community to the families we work with. Everything seemed magical during this time and it really created a sense of bonding both between the individual school and the community as a whole group. I think everyone would agree that the hardest thing is leaving this great place and going back to ordinary life. What the Farm teaches you is that everyone has to “come down the mountain” or end their experience at one point or another, but they are always welcomed to “Come Home.” I think this was one of the best wrap ups to the week of service i have ever seen. The idea of you have to go but you can always come back is one of the best send off messages i have ever received on a service trip. It is one that will stay with a lot of us for a while.

West Virginia_1

The picture above shows a group of students that made me stay within Higher Education. When i accepted the opportunity to Co- Advise on this service trip, i had a lot of questions that i needed answered for myself. Am i a good leader?, Am i someone who people will follow, Am i respected, the list goes on and on. Basically i viewed this trip as a gut check so to speak. I figured i am so high strung about the future that i needed a test.


What i felt at the beginning was anxiety that i was not a good leader that i was some what doomed to fail. Nazareth Farms was the turning point for me. I can remember during a time where i was the driver of the van, that i was in control and the people within the van trusted me to drive the van safely. That meant the world to me. People trusted me to get something done. Then as we left the farm, i drove all the way from West Virginia to North Andover MA with everyone trusting me to get them home safely, I considered this the passing of my own test, and it was all in relation to the Farm. Even today i start my staff meetings with ” Its Good to Be Here” “Its great to be here” Shout Out. (You know the call 🙂 )


Nazareth Farms, it is home to me and so many others because of what it can do for a person. It can re invigorate you to continue the great work you already do, it can create new thoughts and ideas, or can change you to be a better person in a world where you can make a difference even if its just a day of honest work. Service trips are designed for students and others alike to get the taste of what its like giving back without really feeling the presence of the work they do. Nazareth Farms Brings a community to surround you, welcome you, and to add to your own sense of belonging both in a wider range of the community and within the Nazareth Farms community. I do not think you can get service trip like this very often. If you have the opportunity to visit please accept the moment you are able to,  you will never regret going.

Even after so many months away, As i sit here writing this i can not help and think of Nazareth Farms and what it as able to do for both me and everyone else who was able to attend this wonderful place so thank you to the great staff that runs this place day in and day out.

SO to those who have been and those who will go

Welcome Home 26814895_565130677155706_5042406003603574494_n


How to WIN at College

First off – the Movies had it All Wrong

When starting college don’t try to be the top dog – be Becca from the Bellas, be fat Amy or Patrisha or you?

Dare to be the person you are and the one you’ve probably been running like hell from since you learned that being cool meant wearing $50 jeans or better off start being the person that runs from anyone who buys $50 jeans because the ones at target are half that and they are the comfiest ish in the world!

Reeling it in

Welcome, so you want to win at college – good, now ditch that expectation because trying to win will only warp the purpose of why you are here.

Look a couple weeks ago I gave my baby bro this lecture because he was bummed that strep would keep him from “parties, girls, drinking…  oh and class” [like bro why are you paying $60k a year for class to come last, if mom heard that your butt would be shipped back home and you’d be scrubbing the house top to bottom until the chemicals got your head right.] But don’t worry that isn’t the motive today.

Today I am going to help you win at College [are you ready?]

  1. Try less hard to be someone you aren’t [I realize there are a lot of negatives there… just go with it] – I used to think that the key to being popular was being the exact opposite of who I was in high school…

But what I realized [ oh about seven minutes ] after I stepped on to my college campus was that the person I was, would be, and was meant to be all along is kinda awesome. So if you wanna know what it takes to “win at college” well sit down [or stand up] and square up – because this will be the fight of your life. [KIDDING]

2. be open to failing – I have said this before but messing up is sometimes the best way to walk face first into a closed door that could lead you to all kinds of new experiences. Think about it – you leave 5 min early to get to class and you meet 10 new people. You stay in instead of going out – you learn something new about the people in your hall. Messing up is the best way to get lost on the right streets.

3. Follow your gut [enough said]

It seems to easy to be true but being a winner isn’t about the state championship or a ring or a varsity jacket – it’s about figuring out your next step – and the one after that and the one after that. I mean look at me – I never thought I’d be working, #adulting, etc the way I am but I took chances and worked toward the door I was walking into. I won at college because I was Fat Amy, I was Becca Mitchell and most of all I was myself. I was sassy, silly, fiercely misguided, weird and an all around awesome nerd. I learned how to be myself in college – and if you learn to be yourself – well then you can win at college too.



Taking Up the Mantle of a Leader

Its never easy being the one they call on to lead, even when it’s a trip to the local Wendy’s and you’re the DD.

I bet as you are reading this, you can remember the good leaders and the not so good leaders during your lifetime. As the leader, you are the one who inspires action in the darkest of times and comfort when it all goes downhill. You’re the last one to take any credit for the successes and the first one they blame when everything seems to have gone awry. Leadership is difficult, especially when it means taking care of others or even your peers. When I first was given this opportunity at my Alma mater Merrimack College as a Resident Assistant for the Residence life office, it was daunting to say the least, especially after years of other leaders saying I may not be that good. “You’ll never be more than a follower” Yeah maybe that wasn’t cut for me, maybe I wasn’t meant to be a leader and keep people safe.

Or maybe I was the absolute best fit for it.

Never letting the doubters in your head, although tough, has never been an option for me. “I appreciate the feedback guys but there’s a job for me to do and traffic you guys should be playing in.” I found my path although dimly lit and unpaved, I developed myself into a leader who is kind but stern and knows he can get the best out of everyone he works with. The first year and many years on I held myself to a high standard of leadership and always kept adapting and molding my style into what i have today. With the work I have put into myself, I have created opportunities where I can shine, especially as a newly hired Resident Director.

Leadership is something that everyone has it just may not be cultivated until the right moment. As a full-blown adult now I realize now that although leadership is within each of us it takes a certain time or moment for the leadership to shine through; if it is tragedy, triumph or just that right moment when the times call for a person like you. We will all have our time to take up the mantle of being a leader, my time has come as I currently lead a staff of ten fantastically driven Resident Assistants that I hope one day will take up a bigger mantle in their lives and be the good people I know they can be. I just hope they can someday say “I became a leader because of him.”

A Letter To My Angels

It isn’t Invincibility – But it isn’t Faith Either

over the past few years I came to the conclusion that – while mortality is great and all – I have too many angels around and about to let anything of real consequence happen to me. Now to clarify this doesn’t mean I have taken to jumping out of planes or running into fires to save kittens but it has given me a renewed sense of surviving through the ordinary and the extraordinary.

By now many of you have heard of the fires, explosions and gas leaks in Lawrence Massachusetts – click here for the story – but what you may not know is that I live just north of the river, in an area that lay on the edge of Lawrence and Andover.

Today my heart goes out to the family who lost their son in one of the blasts, the families of the ten people whom were injured, and to those who lost their homes. But today my heart also looks up to the forces that be for protecting me, my friends, and all those who were effected but are safe in the wake of this terrible event.

I don’t believe in Immortality

Not beyond the way writing makes us live on past our own expiration date. But I believe that something stands to protect me because yesterday, in the wake of such frightening events, I was not for a moment – afraid.

The way I see it, I have too many angels to let me join them – and I have too much left to do in my life to allow it to be cut short. I don’t believe in immortality, I don’t believe I am invincible, but I am young and naïve enough to know that if my time was now – well then that would be beyond my control.

I used to NEED Control

But today I woke up with this feeling where [and yeah maybe it was faith] took over and suddenly I wasn’t as stressed as I usually was. In many ways I still would not call myself a godly woman – but if I believe in anything, I believe in my angels – and I could not be more grateful that they are here to watch over me and those I love.


I want to ask that we hold all those suffering both here in Massachusetts and those in the wake of hurricane Florence in the Light [ and for those who aren’t familiar with Quakerism – this means we hold them in our thoughts and send love and positivity their way] and I would also like to thank the first responders who were not able to spend last night with their own families because they were selflessly giving to others. Thank you.

On Being a Boulder Brook Mom (and the ramblings of a young poet)

The women around here are not JUST women – they are Titans. They grow up knowing that they have to be brave, fearless even. That they have to have grace and know their own worth – know that they are not cut out to simply be an accessory in their own life. That husbands aren’t guaranteed, because time is not kind and old age and good health is as good a gift as any other.

Women around here wield water skis like swords and dirtied hands like first place prizes. Women here are the reason we believe that there is a future beyond the hateful words we hear anywhere else. Women here are the reason this writer – has a voice that says something other than “like and um” when speaking in front of crowded rooms. Women here are the reason I write.

There’s Something About a Place Like This

I said it once but I will say it again, I grew up around powerful women. Strong women who loved, lived and cried for the future of their families. I grew up around Roxy the riveter types – women who were true heroes in their own right. I grew up around WOMEN – and when I say there is something about a place – I mean, there is something about THIS place that makes being who you are a little less frightening and a lot more possible. And maybe that feeling could be attributed to a mothers touch or maybe it could just be called what it is – this place is love.

It is my father’s heart still beating as the waves crash on the beach that reminds me of him – its my mother’s smile from before she knew what true unending hurt was. It’s dirty feet, sandy carpets and a love for people that are so much more than family.

In a place like this – like home, the wind moves like poetry and the waves crash in such a way that could make a natural disaster pause and watch. In a place like this – drunk thoughts become sobering memories of sunsets that reminded you of a childhood you can’t return to. It’s a place like this that becomes your identity and it is from mothers like ours that we can translate what all this poetic bullshit means.

So How do you Put words to this kind of Music?

Well I guess you don’t… but instead of stopping to correct the music – maybe its better just to sit down, pause and listen.


this post is dedicated to all the powerful and influential men and women we have lost this year. thank you for all you have taught me – thank you for being titans among men