When our phone needs an update, many of us don’t even hesitate to agree to the upgrade. When we check in to our hotel and the front desk announces that we have received a free upgrade — we bust out a Homer Simpson “Woo Hoo!” Just me? So when it comes to our mindset, our self-care, our mental heath in general, why do we resist the personal development upgrade? Because it sucks, and it happens typically around some sort of tragedy or difficult situation when we least expect it … naturally. We grow in all seasons, but it’s the hardest seasons that bring

I have never been a tea drinker and had a weird mental block about it. It is probably from my gross addiction to drinks filled with sugar and whatever else is in it. Since I stopped drinking all sugary & diet drinks I have learned to love tea. It wasn't hard considering how amazing the teas are from Teamotions. My favorite flavor is the ENJOY REST: Apple Cinnamon Chamomile (caffeine free.) IT IS SOOOOOO GOOD.   I love their teas so much I reached out to them to see if I could sell it. It also doesn't hurt that the owners

I have always been open and honest about my past and where I came from, because I am not ashamed.  I have never shied away from saying I’m a foster kid, or that I was in the system.  To me, denying any single part of me is denying all of me; I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without every little thing . that has happened. Although, without fail, every time I am having a conversation with a person that has never interacted with foster children and they learn that I was in the system my entire life,

  As a single, nearly 30-year-old female, I am starting to feel the nudges at the back of my mind from Ye Olde Body Clock that plagues every woman who wants children at some point in their lives.  As a single, nearly 30-year-old female who is also a middle/high school teacher, I am constantly being made aware of the increasingly higher stakes that surround having the title of “Mom” or “Dad”.  Bringing a child into this world is a privilege that I am excited to posses in the future, yet my years in the classroom have opened my mind to some of the deep damage that can be inflicted if we allow ourselves to make

Last Wednesday night I arrived for an information session on becoming a foster parent, a pretty significant life choice that should be taken very seriously. Yet, during the entire three-hour session, I couldn’t stop stealing glances towards a female in the classroom. She wasn’t a typical hottie or attractive in the normal sense, but she was attractive to me. Her pulled back mousy brown hair, no makeup, jeans, running shoes, and kind face were making my stomach feel butterflies. Don’t worry, I was able to pay attention and retain all of the information given. After I arrived home, I really began

20% OF ALL GAY RELATIONSHIPS INVOLVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. MINE WAS ONE OF THEM.   Though the domestic abuse featured through campaigns like #WhyIStayed is often a man assaulting a woman, we mustn’t forget about the rampant abuse within the LGBT community. In two different surveys by The National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 20 percent of gay male relationships and over 34 percent of lesbian relationships involve some form of domestic violence.   My name is Scott Backman; I’m a Los Angeles-based  gay man and I’m a victim of domestic abuse. I now realize my

  I've never been much of a traveler.  My family and friends know I'm more of a homebody.  As a kid, I would cry before going away to weekend Brownie camp or a friend's sleepover, I would even be inconsolable going to a summer day camp where I didn't know anybody, despite the fact my mom would pick me up every day after work (sorry mom).  Even now going away for more than a few nights will trigger my homesickness, often before I've even left the airport or train terminal. Thankfully my sisters know to say "You'll be fine P! You're

  For April 1st I pulled the card "Cholulu hot sauce" from my Grateful AF deck.  At first I had no clue where this was going but after I read the back of the card I had a good chuckle. The first thing I thought of after reading the card was a professor I had in grad school that scared the living shit out of us our first day of class (and for good reason as far as I am concerned.)  I will always remember it was the first day of orientation, there was a panel of professionals that came to speak to

  My name is Mike Cohen. I am 34 years old and I currently live in San Diego.  Throughout the first thirty two years of my life, I never thought my story of beating cancer over 2.5 years of chemotherapy treatments, congestive heart failure (#1), blood clots in my lungs and cycling across the United States six years after, was enough to garner respect and was worthy of sharing with full intentions of inspiring and motivating my potential/eventual audience

Warning: The following guest feature blog may contain sensitive and/or triggering content for some readers. For additional legal disclaimer please scroll to the bottom of this post. Thank you for your attention.  Mental illness is brutal. It warps and tortures your mind and gets you to believe things about yourself and the world that aren't true. It debases who you thought you were and slaughters your relationships. It leaves you with nothing but the most miserable parts of yourself until you're worn down and want only to die. You can't snap out of it. Almost everything you try to make yourself