The Darkest, Twistiest Thing

ian-robinson-181741I am about to share something I am wholeheartedly tired of people (myself included) tiptoeing around. It is a very difficult post for me to write. But it’s something I don’t take lightly because I know I’m not alone and I share in hopes that you will know you’re not alone too.

Mental illness. Today just so happens to be World Mental Health Day. Here are a few stats around that:

  • 1 in 5 (or 43.8 million) adults experience mental illness in a given year.
  • 1 in 25 (or 10 million) adults experience a serious mental illness.
  • 1 in 100 (or 2.4 million) live with schizophrenia.
  • 2.6% (or 6.1 million) of Americans have bipolar disorder.
  • 6.9% (or 16 million) suffer from severe depression.
  • 18.1% (or 42 million) live with an anxiety disorder.
  • 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness.

And yet, we don’t talk about it. Words are taken lightly, like depression or anxiety just to name a few. As someone who has suffered from clinical depression and anxiety for almost all of my life… there’s a few things I would like to clear up. These are a few of my truths.

I’m going to warn you, this list isn’t pretty. It’s not cute. And above all, it doesn’t mean I’m combustible, fragile or need to be tiptoed around. If anything my broken bits let the light in and I’m a stronger human because of them.

From a very early age all that people remarked about me was my smile. Partially because it was too big for my face, but mainly because I did a lot of it. Be mindful that sometimes, behind someone smiling there can be hurt and a whole lot of lonliness. Happiness doesn’t always constitute joy, and sometimes people plaster on fake smiles for you to stop asking if they’re alright. Maybe just be there, be present, listen.

I want you to know these things because I am one in five. I am one in 18. I am one of 10 million. I’m just one. And there are so so many of us out there. But, the truth is… I’m lucky. In many regards I shouldn’t be alive typing out this post right now. But, I’m strong. And, I know that this is not all of me.

Here are some things you should know:

  1. Mental illness looks different on everyone. The signs are different, the reasons are different. The coping is different. I cope with “shut the door” phases and smelling the candle isle in Target. I mean, I never said I was a sane person.
  2. Being sad is NOT the same thing as being depressed. Sadness is an emotion, depression is more of a state of being. And there are many levels of depression. Sometimes people suffer from seasonal depression because of winter and whatnot, yes that is a real thing you should take seriously.
  3. Depression and anxiety can come out of nowhere, at least for me. Sometimes there are days that I know I’m not particularly feeling happy, but other times I can be the happiest ever and then all of a sudden have a panic attack or just want to crawl into a hole. It’s not a pretty thing to witness, but it’s an awful thing to experience.
  4. Suicide is not about you, usually. I don’t know everyone who has ever committed suicide nor attempted, but I speak from what I know. There are sometimes earth shattering things that occur that make people want to do that. But in that moment, no matter the reason, that person just doesn’t want to exist. It’s not a level of selfishness they are aware of, life is just all too much, all at once. A friend of mine explained it by saying, “People with chronic depression, it’s not that they want to die, it’s that they have to talk themselves into existing. Sometimes every minute of everyday, and sometimes they lose that battle.”
  5. Anxiety and worry are not the same thing. Anxiety is often irrational. I have a really hard time trusting people. I overanalyze everything, everyone and every situation because of anxiety. Sometimes, it’s exhausting.
  6. Sometimes you can help people, sometimes you can’t. People need to help themselves first. There is no amount of words that can be reasoned out if a person at the end of the day doesn’t believe that life is worth living. What you can do is meet them where they need to be met and love them the best that you can. Show them that you are glad they exist. Show them that they are loved and wanted. That’s what you can do for them, and if that doesn’t work…if that isn’t enough, there really isn’t anything else you could have done.
  7. Asking for help isn’t shameful. Talking about your shit isn’t shameful. It’s okay to seek help. It’s okay to take medication if there is a need and it will help. Sometimes it is hormones. Sometimes it is an imbalance. Talk to someone. Anyone. You are worth that conversation.
  8. It doesn’t need to be glorified. It took me a long time to stop using this as an excuse not to live my best life. There were days, weeks, months that I would lock myself away in my room refusing to come out other than to go to school or to any place I had to. A lot of that time I didn’t even eat. I used it as an excuse to cripple myself and waste time in my life. Experiences, opportunities wasted because I was wallowing. I’m not saying that you don’t deserve to feel the way you feel. You deserve to feel the full spectrum of human emotion… but it’s not all of you. Acknowledge that feeling and then move on. The deepest problems arise when we dwell on it, when we focus our whole being on it.
  9. You don’t have to understand. If you have a friend or someone you care about has depression or anxiety or any mental illness at all and you don’t… they don’t want you to understand. They want you to acknowledge that this is how they feel, that’s it. You don’t have to try to make it better, you don’t have to say that everything will be alright… just listen. Just acknowledge that this is how they feel, ask if they need anything, and listen.
  10. You don’t have to justify. Yeah… I’m a twenty something, moderately pretty, smart, funny, well-liked, moderately affluent, white woman… what do I have to be depressed about. Stop it. I feel the way I feel. My own family, some of my closest friends don’t even acknowledge this aspect of my life. Just because those you love don’t acknowledge or know what to do about it doesn’t mean you have to justify or explain it. It’s just your truth. This is your struggle. This is their struggle. You are not broken, this is just part of your story. Instead of allowing it to cripple you, use it to be better.


Don’t treat your people differently. Just acknowledge that this is a part of them. For some of us, happiness takes effort. For some of us, we have to reason out our existence. For me,  this aspect of my life has made me kinder, more empathetic and more understanding of humanity as a whole. Just listen and acknowledge your people’s truth.

So yeah… I am a lot of dark and twisty. I feel a LOT of things. It’s not good. It’s not bad. It’s just true.

I don’t need you to take care of me. I don’t need you to fight for me. I need to fight for me.




Here I am, another year older and perhaps a smidge wiser. Hopefully. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you might have noticed that I did a series of posts tagged #28lessonslearned. Spoiler alert, I turned 28 at the end of that series. The goal was to eventually tie all of those into a blog post to culminate and further explain all the posts, but I decided against it. Instead, I’m writing this post to catch you guys up on my illustrious life. (exaggerating of course)

This past year I’ve grown leaps and bounds. I’ve put myself through the ringer. I made a promise early on to grow into experiences, not things. I became an aunt for the second time. I became a fur mom for the first time. I dated. I traveled. I wrote. I adventured. And, numerous other things that I’ve lived to tell about.

Amongst all of those things is the one where I learned to love myself. You’d note that in the #28lessonslearned I demonstrate that wholeheartedly. Learning to say no to myself was one of the biggest growing moments I dealt with last year. I had to say no to my version of perfect and accept the present. I had to say no to what unrealistic expectations I had for myself in every area of my life. I had to say no to how I talked to myself almost daily. I learned that no is powerful. I learned that words are powerful. The words we hold within our spirit that are solely meant for us may be the most powerful of all.

In that revelation, the one where I stop being so shitty to myself, I learned how awesome I am. Some days I still don’t believe it. Some days people can tell me that I am the most awesome person on the face of the planet and I will still crawl into a hole as though I am that kid picked last for gym class. Until the day comes when you can accept the good things about yourself wholeheartedly, you will never be able to accept the compliments that people give to you as truth. You are wonderful. I am wonderful.

Real life, real people aren’t perfect. I took this photo the day before my birthday. I hated it and picked it apart and tried to over filter it so it looked halfway decent. My best friend took it and she refused to let me a. not post it and b. over filter it to the point of no return. I took it because I just got my nose pierced, something I had been wanting to do for YEARS. The imperfection of that photo made me not want to share this little victory with the world. I am brave. She said, “Post that photo, even though you don’t like it, it will be good for you.” So I did. I am brave.

Bravery is built in the little moments. It is built in the small mundane things we are afraid of. It is me getting my nose pierced. It is me sharing my thoughts on this blog where the whole world has privy to it. It is me traveling via the ocean to another country, something I was terrified of doing because the ocean is a scary, dark abyss. Bravery comes in small increments. I am brave.

So… in this new year, what will I do? First, I’ll finish what I’ve started. I’ll become a Pilates instructor. I will finish my book. I will write more and more on this little blog. I will write MORE wherever and whenever I can. Numerous people have told me that I’m a good writer, so I will write. I love to write. A great writer was all I ever wanted to be, but I was afraid of it for so long. Being told you are good at that one thing that you’ve always wanted to be but are afraid to do, well it kinda makes your heart explode and it kinda makes you want to do it all the days of your life. I am brave.

Other things I might do… travel to more places on the bucket list. Most notably, Everest Base Camp. Start a business (oh yes, I’ve had a few things brewing for a while now, perhaps I’ll finally get that stuff together). Find my person… hey, one can hope.

Cheers to inspiring yourself. May you find that you are capable of making yourself happy every day of your life.


Making SHIFT Happen


Have you ever seen a worn down old rock in the middle of a river? I found this quote early Spring 2016 and it’s stuck with me since. It’s become an anthem as I persist into things I’ve never done before. It’s become background noise as I become broken down and tired and ready to move on to other things. It becomes the voice inside my head telling me I need to/ can do better. It’s a very important quote in my repertoire of quotes. Because, words are a powerful reminder.

I’ve got a confession to make. I have been slacking. I am a person who feels too much, thinks too much and wants to accomplish too much all the same time. In the event that all of these things coexist together, I shut down. I withdraw.

My routine is no exception to this. If anything it is an expectation, the routine is the first thing to go off kilter when my life gets out of whack!

Can I get an AMEN?

Cue Shift Shop. Today is the first day back with a few of my accountability peeps and we all decided to do Shift Shop together (virtually of course), and hold one another accountable. If you don’t know what Shift Shop is you can read all about it here.

I wanted to be held accountable to all of things I say I want like I’ve done with my health in the last year. So I picked a few friends. I decided on the day. It’s here.

I picked this program because it’s outside of my comfort zone but still looks fun and manageable. The meal plans/shopping lists and workouts are all provided on the Beachbody OnDemand website. You can go here to learn more. Super Super Easy.

Right now, I need easy. I’m coming out of a deep hole of hiding from not just my routine but my goals and expectations for myself.

The last year I’ve changed dramatically. I’ve lost a lot of the weight (physically and emotionally) that I’ve been holding on to for the last decade of my life. It’s also crippling because you never want to go back to that place. Since my routine has been gone, I’ve seen how easy it is to go back to that place. So, I’ve decided to #MAKESHIFTHAPPEN , because this program is all about the physical shift AND the mental shift! I can’t wait to share my days with you all. Also another #goal. Cheers to that!

Want to join me?!?! It’s ONLY day numero uno! I’d love to have you! If you would like to join me, email OR go to my website here and I will contact you!

But in the meantime, WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS that need a little Shift to happen in order to achieve?!?! I’d love to hear them!

Workout Hangovers & Recovery

Oh geez, You remember that time I decided to get all fit and stuff. Pain. They say no pain, no gain. I want to punch those people.

Anyways, I’m still aggressively trying to learn Pilates and that means taking a BUNCH of classes in a short span of time. Ouch. If you think that Pilates is easy or for the birds, you my friend, are incorrect and I would like for you to meet the Magic Circle to prove my point. (Trust me, you’ll want to add this handy little contraption to your repertoire. Post about my love for the Magic Circle TBW.)

Right now, I want to focus on recovery. You know, that day after workout hangover feel! It can hinder you from performing your best every day, and we don’t want that. So, because I love you… here is my recovery short list, you’re welcome.


Top Products to beat the workout hangover

Trigger Point — Basically ANYTHING

I adore TP Therapy products. I happen to carry around this little baby in my purse on the daily for those times when I need to get that knot out of my shoulder or roll my achy feet.  It is my BEST friend for those times when you’re too achy to move or perform your best!

My next love from the TP Therapy line is unfortunately too large to carry in my handbag, but trust and believe I would if I could. It is none other than the TP Therapy Foam Roller! This bad boy allows you to treat your achy muscles like a masseuse every single day for cheap. A traditional styrofoam roller is like the ugly stepsister compared to the TP Therapy roller! The TP roller has three different textures that mimics the palms, fingers and finger tips of your favorite massage therapist! But luckily, this one you can use every single day without breaking the bank! Holla!!

FYI: Did you know that myofascial release can be harmful if not done correctly? You should never roll out any bones or joints and you should pay special attention to not roll out your lower back or neck area! More info on myofascial release can be found on the TP Therapy Website.

Aloe Heat by Forever Living

It should be no surprise to you by now that I am just a little bit crunchy. I love my products to be free of parabens, gross additives and harmful chemicals that cause everything from cancer to ALZ. Ew. I could go on an entire rant about product additives, but I’ll spare you.

So, a few months ago one of my friends started selling these products from Forever Living. We’re talking eco and body friendly clean products like cleaning supplies and deodorant and shampoo. Everything I’ve tried from there I really love, but the Aloe Heat has become my favorite! It’s perfect to relieve sore and tired muscles without smelling like a gym locker. In fact, the smell is perfectly minty.

Beachbody Supplements – Recover & Energize 

You guys know I’ve been a coach for about 6 months now. But I have been a product advocate for well over a year. When it comes to supplement companies, Beachbody is doing superior things in the market. I don’t technically recruit as a coach anymore but I boldly proclaim my love for these products and keep my coach status just so I can buy them at 25% off, because yeah…I love them that much!

Now you may think that you can just pick up something at your neighborhood GNC or on Amazon, and you can, but let me tell you, this is some of the best stuff on the market. I’ve tried a lot of different things, not everything…but a lot and these products are some of my all time FAVES for performance and recovery! And, they can be delivered right to your door every month. Or, just try a handy sampler pack to see if you like them! No harm, no foul, just your best workout ever.


This is a short list of some of the products I use for all of my routines, whether I am working out at home or in the Pilates studio. Because, who doesn’t want to get in the best shape ever & kick that workout hangover to the curb? I’d love to hear your thoughts on some of these products & maybe try some of the stuff you use to help with recovery.




*Affliate Link Disclosure*

In an effort to maintain this blog there are a few affiliate links scattered through some of my posts and my site. I put this disclosure here as a promise to you, my readers, that I will promote only products and services that I believe in and support and will let you know honestly and authentically if I am being paid as part of my review of something. Any questions about product reviews or sponsored content can be directly sent to my email, Thank you for being a valued reader of my blog.

The Lionheart Collective Co.

Hello there friends! I want to tell you about a little venture that is a few months if not years in the making.

This idea is grounded in my own path to finding and accepting who I am as a human. It’s been a long process… but aren’t we all there, every second of everyday, all of our lives? But the funny thing is, self acceptance isn’t prevalent in our society. People don’t often say how they really feel or do what they really want. 

I’m tired of it. People being put down because they don’t stick with the status quo. People being bullied. People being downright afraid of their feelings and expressing who they are & what they feel. I’m done with it. 

I hope you are too.

I bring you… the Lionhearted Collective Co. While still in the stages of (what the heck will this look like!) flux, it’s part store and part tribe.

Our mission: Strength. Bravery. Empathy. 

Undoubtedly all the qualities of a collective of lionhearted humans. Embrace who you are and what you feel. Use your gifts to make the world more beautiful and unique. It is only ever going to get one you! Make the you-ness that you are count!

That is the story behind what will be a store, a gathering, a blog, a whatever… so that your voices can be heard.
Be brave. Spread Empathy. Live with strength.

And a little sneak peek at a product I’m working on for my “granola” friends out there 😉! I know I’m not alone!

Why I’m Quitting Whole 30

hans-vivek-216042I’ve accomplished 10 straight days of being 100% Whole 30… day 11 and I’ve come to tell you I’ve quit.

A month ago I decided I would do a Whole 30 in June. This was right before my grand European adventure and I knew I would need recovering after eating all that I wanted. I literally did just that…ate all that I wanted. I had dessert everyday, sometimes twice a day, and it was glorious. Cue #sorrynotsorry.

So when I came back I was jazzed about getting back into the grind , clean eating and my workout routine and all.

First, you have to understand that Whole 30 is not a diet…so stop calling it that. Everyone does Whole 30 for different reasons but it shouldn’t be done for the sole purpose of losing weight. It wasn’t created for that. It was created to help people clean up their diets and eliminate foods that could cause irritations and then teach you how to slowly reincorporate them into a clean 80/20 paleolithic lifestyle.

June 5 I started my second ever Whole 30 with the intent and purpose of cleansing and re-energizing my diet , as well as a way to fast and pray about a few things. Clarity if you will.

So, today… over a third of the way in… I’m quitting. Why? This afternoon I found myself in a high priced juice store asking for an $8 beverage that was compliant with something I wasn’t even enjoying. I thought …what am I doing with my life.

Truth is… I’m a quitter. Also truth, I’m okay with it. I quit when things no longer make sense anymore. I think that quitting gives me an opportunity to take control of my circumstances and say “You know what… I don’t want to do that anymore.” Nope. Not for me. If we can’t #PIVOT in our life… then when can we?

I could give you all sorts of excuses as to why I don’t want to be on the Whole 30 bandwagon anymore: It was too gosh darn expensive, I ran out of good recipes, Being on the go made it too hard, I really need a glass of wine, going out with friends was a nightmare, I already eat clean … but at the end of the day, I just don’t want to do it anymore.

I don’t really expect this to be some grand revelation for you. For me, I found what I’m looking for. I’ve accomplished what I started for.

Whole 30 is a really good jumping off point for those who need a reboot. I am not against it at all. One day I expect that I’ll be crazy enough to attempt it again, maybe for 20 days maybe the whole 30 days… but today I made the decision that 10 is enough.


Work Work Work Work Work

There are numerous ways people make money , right? Are you a proud member of a cube farm? Are you an independent entrepreneur? Maybe you’re a savvy network marketing goddess who makes 5k a month pushing makeup on the Internet. Go you!

Seriously. Can we agree on two things for the sake of this blog: 1. Everyone needs money and money is not bad and 2. We need to stop shaming people for the way they choose to do so. (As long as it’s legal and not physically hurting anyone.)

We literally find ways to shame anyone. My more targeted audience for this post is those who shame network marketing people. And before you protest this post. I will firmly admit that I have dabbled in one or two network marketing companies. They just sound so good. Working from home or literally anywhere for a few hours a day and making thousands…sign me up. Jokes. Seriously though, stop it. Stop saying that you are too good to buy someone’s product. I am still, though not actively pursing it in this moment, a Beachbody coach for Team Beachbody LLC. I love their products. I have had AMAZING results with their products. I support them. I support their coaches. And you know what, what they offer can save people money. It can help them lose weight. It can help them achieve financial stability. And yet, so many negative things are said about this company just because it isn’t a typical brick and mortar.

We as a collective society , not we, you and I, approach network marketing companies like they are schemey. But we buy almost all of our stuff off Amazon now. Do you see where I am going here? It is not weird anymore to buy 99% of our goods off the Internet anymore. So why is it weird to you that your friend is working via his/her laptop and selling something that he/she is passionate about. I only respect those who sell things they actually buy by the way, but that is another post for another day!

Bottom line — You wouldn’t shame your friend for working at TJMaxx and promoting their latest sale to you via your FB page if you shopped their all the time. You might say thank you and good day. Maybe it’s time we start viewing these opportunities to support our friends as opportunities to support our friends. Some of this stuff is a gold mine. My sis sells that Lipsense stuff and it stays ALL DAY. I’m not promoting it, maybe I’ll do an info post on my review but y’all… I have looked for YEARS for lip color that lasts all day. Buying something I want AND it helps to support my badass teacher of a sister, Holla.

This little piece of advice is not just for those who are selling the next best thing. It is also for your friends who are launching small businesses, startups, non-profits. The best way for you to support them… show up! Whatever that looks like. Give. Donate your time and skills to help them get off the ground. Go to their events. Partner them with their ideal customer if you know of someone who is a good fit.

I get it. It can be so exhausting to be sold to all the time on social media. But didn’t you see this coming. We’ve been sold to via everything, forever. TV, radio, driving down the street…it is logical to accept the fact that we will always be sold to via the newest platform.

So let’s agree that it’s not that big of a deal. Stop shaming your friends and posting things like “You crazy _____ ladies…”, “If one more friend posts something about _______ I’m going to delete everyone”, “No I DON’T WANT TO BUY YOUR TOOTHPASTE.” Calm down. Maybe one day you will need their support. Maybe one day you will need their product.

If not, let’s agree to disagree and just bring social back to social media.

It’s okay to hustle where you can. It’s okay to accept that you need/want money. Money is a necessity and money isn’t bad. Therefore, by extension…work isn’t bad.

Find something you love and just do the thing.

An abundance of thank you’s for reading.