Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Why your therapist has (and needs) a therapist

As a therapist who is very new to the scene but has had several years of schooling and training, there is nothing that I heard more than the term "self care." While self care can look like a bubble bath and a night of binging Netflix, it can also look like seeing your own therapist. It's an interesting concept, your therapist having their own therapist, and then that therapist probably having one too.

It can almost feel a bit shameful, too, because people trust us with the most vulnerable pieces of their lives - shouldn't we be able to handle that on our own? Well, yes and no. These are a few reasons why your therapist has a therapist:

1. Because there is no way that we could possibly do our job well without working on our own shit.

You know those internal conflicts that you're facing when you're talking with your therapist? Well, imagine dealing with that plus someone else's. We value our relationships with our clients too much to be holding this privileged position without a little bit of help.

2. You get triggered? So do we.

I think by this point you have the sense that your therapist is, too, a human being. We also get triggered. We also hit rough patches in our lives. But rather than bring that into the room with our clients (basically what countertransference is), we're going to give you our undivided attention and work on you. It would be unethical (and rude, TBH) to do otherwise.

3. Because "you can't pour from an empty cup." 
Blah, blah, blah. Therapist or not, you've heard this one before. It's absolutely true - if you're not working with yourself, you can't work with anyone else. That's how burnout happens, and it comes more quickly than most would like to think. As rewarding as therapy is, it is also extremely draining. If you don't have time to talk to someone about it (or at least have a glass of wine about it), then you will start to fade, fast.


I cannot imagine doing anything other than what I'm doing now, helping people and seeing their ultimate potential. And I want to continue doing this for as long as I can. Support, laughing, breathing, and yes, therapy, will allow me, and my fellow healers, to do so. :)

'Til next time,

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The words don't flow as easily.

"The words don't flow as easily,
But the tears don't either."


I've been reflecting on these words for a while now, and I still don't know.

They came to me after I learned that best-selling author and Lesley professor, Jason Reynolds, would be speaking at my commencement in May (Side note: he's an excellent author and seems like he would be an all-around great person to hang out with.) Based on the little I've learned about him and read from his books, some of his inspiration for his writing, if not all, comes from the adversity that he's experienced - and it's some damn good writing.

That's when I thought to myself: I aspire to be a published author who produces work that serves a purpose and a gives a message to its readers. In order to be an accomplished author, do I have to suffer?

It's a legitimate question, though - do you have to suffer in order to produce greatness? There's a reason why some of our most renowned authors and artists are "tortured souls," right?

And it seems true in my own writing. I usually write when I'm hurt, and when I look back at it, it looks pretty good. But when I really think about it, when I think about the impact that I want my writing to make on people, I feel pretty...privileged?

Like, who am I, the educated, middle-class Black girl from White suburbia supposed to know about adversity? How am I going to relate to marginalized readers? Sounds like a pretty okay upbringing to you, right?

But then I really think...Well, that thing when I was seven was pretty hard...and when my parents did that, that sucked too...

And the more I think about it, there's bits and pieces of trauma and hardship strewn into my life story.
But it's negligible, right? How many times do we minimize our stories, not make it a big deal?

What would our stories look like if we owned each and every part of it - good, bad, ugly? 
Then what?

Because I'm sure every one of us has had pain.
But what we decide to make of it after is what really sets us apart.

I'm still working on it, meditating on it, as I'm sure many of us are.

'Til next time,

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

For the loner.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
Sometimes it's a blessing, living in the shadows.
Sometimes it's a blessing to live out of the spotlight.
But that's only sometimes.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
When was the last time they thought of you?
Tasted your name on their tongue, or heard it in their ear?
They don't call. They don't need to.
Why call when they know?
Know that there's no use.
Know that there's no response coming.
Know that there's no plan to be had.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
Why don't they call again?
They should know.
Know that there's still love.
Know that there's still warmth.
Know that there's still yearning.
Yearning to connect, without a knowledge of "how."

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
It can be hard, transforming "me" to "we."
What if you stumble?
What if you choke?
What if you realize that you are just as unworthy as they make you out to be?

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.
Maybe it's okay. Maybe you can get used to this.
Maybe you're better off in isolation.
No one can hurt you there.

Often overlooked, easily forgotten.

No. No. No.
Maybe it's not okay. Maybe you can't get used to this.
Maybe the isolation is the kiss of death, the last nail in the coffin.
You can hurt you there.

What if they remember?
What if they decide to call?
What if they do, and there's no response coming?

No. No. No.
They might know. Not understand, but know.
Know that there's still love.
Know that there's still warmth.
Know that there's still yearning.

No. No. No.

They do know. We all know.
Sometimes it's a blessing, being human.
Sometimes it's a blessing, knowing they've been there, too.

'Til next time,

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017: WTF?

Let's talk 2017, shall we?

I originally had the idea of listing all of the things that sucked about this year, but I decided against it, because there are just way too many. While this year was wonderful in some aspects, I think that most of us will be entering 2018 with a bad taste in our mouths. I mean, we started the year with Trump inaugurated as our president. Things couldn't get any worse!

...But they did. They got, like, really bad.

Like I said, I won't go through every single event that happened, but I just wanted to recognize the fact that 2017 contained a great deal of trauma. There was political trauma, and our mouths were pretty much agape every day. There was more police brutality. More natural disasters than I would like to fathom. More shootings (a.k.a. domestic terrorism). Oh, and let's not forget your friendly, neighborhood Nazis parading the streets.

What. A. Time. To. Be. Alive.

On a personal note, I also dealt with depression this year - something that I've only read about and experienced through others. It sucked. The second half of my 2017 really, really sucked. I am grateful for those who provide me with the love and support that I sometimes feel as though I don't deserve.

I've had several conversations with people about how tough this year has been, and when I think about it more deeply, I just feel exhausted. Sometimes I feel helpless, or desensitized, like I've seen it all before. That's no way to be.

So what do I do? More importantly, what do we do?

I find solace in trying to live authentically, and encouraging others to do the same. There is a great deal of nonsense that is out of our control, but also some that is within it. In times like these, we need to feel in control. When we feel powerless, we need to remember where our power lies.

We've made it this far, and as shitty as things are, we are all capable of being powerful. As defeated as we may feel, we are resilient. It just takes getting through it - whatever "it" is.

I don't have any resolutions for 2018, with the exception of this. I want to recognize my power, honor it, and empower others who may need it. And on the days where everything is just too much, I may rely on ya'll to empower me too.

'Til next time,

Friday, July 7, 2017

Are you good enough? Nope!

If I haven't said this before, I'll say it now - my blog posts are 85% for me, and the other percent (you can do the math) goes out to anyone who happens to read them. They're a public journal, you could say. A very public journal. If I'm feeling some type of way - sad, frustrated, "shook," as the kids are saying now - best believe I'll put it into writing.

So let's talk about something that definitely plagues my mind and might bother you, too. Being enough.

Are you enough? Short answer, yes. Long answer, no.

Despite how perfect my life seems (that was a joke), I often feel inadequate because that's just how life is.

Sometimes I don't feel "woke" enough. I'll share videos and articles, and I'll write about my frustration and exhaustion regarding oppression and police brutality, because that's what I personally feel capable of right now, but somehow I still end up feeling like less of an activist and, subsequently, less "Black."

Sometimes I don't feel positive enough. I follow a lot of new age-y, holistic, and health-minded people on social media, and I'll find myself feeling like I should be out hiking more or going to yoga more, or talking more about how "present" I feel and how beautiful life is.

Those are just a couple of examples. There are a few more insecurities and inadequacies - trust.

There are a ton of things out there and people out there that will make us feel as though we're just not doing enough and we're just not enough, period. So back to my first question, are you enough?

In the grand scheme of things, no. If we continue to look for the next thing, the better thing, the thing that will supposedly make us happy, strong, interesting, or good, then no. We will never be enough. (This isn't to say that goals aren't important.) Chances are you won't have the same quality of life as that person who's loving life and smiling on Instagram, because they're them and you're you.

I also said that you are enough, though. "Enough" is a word that probably has some Latin root, meaning something very meaningful, I'm sure. But the thing about "enough" is that it's immeasurable. And if you were to measure it, someone else would be holding the ruler, not you. So let's take "enough" out of the equation (and let's stop with all this math talk).

Since we can't measure whether you're good enough or strong enough or smart enough, why bother worrying about it? This is a legitimate question that I'm asking you, anonymous reader, and myself. When the standards are infinitely high, why worry?

This is going to have a really cheesy end to it, and I halfheartedly apologize. What is "enough" is 100% up to you. And if you take "enough" out of it, you just are. We need to realize that we're probably never going to be (x) enough and just deal. Just live our lives. You're doing what you're doing, you are who you are, and where you're at is where you're at.

'Til next time,

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Habits don't have to always be bad. They can be a place of growth and stability (as ironic as that sounds). They can be a starting point.

I've had quite a bit of time today to sit, meditate, read, laugh, cry, and reflect. I've been able to look back at this past year and acknowledge both the challenges and moments of resiliency. Both considered, I'm still here and I'm still okay.

That being said, I want to continue some habits and start some new ones.
I want to continue living as honestly as possible. I want to continue pursuing and sharing my truth. The most powerful thing that I've done these past couple of years is reclaim my voice. A voice that has felt, for too long, awkward and unimportant. I've shared parts of myself and written more. I'm so grateful to have my writing, my insight, my ability to reflect.

I want to continue living my truth.
I have allowed others to diminish my feelings too many times. My awareness, my ability to feel so deeply that it burns...although they feel like burdens, they are beautiful gifts. I no longer hide my emotions to please others; rather, I live without shame and will continue to do so. Others may catch on, but if they don't or can't, it really can't be any of my concern. That's their truth.

Let's do more moving forward. The same good habits, but more.
Self-care for me has too often been a last resort, a place to turn when the ship has already sailed. Let's, instead, embody self-care. Every word, action, and effort should be made with self-care in mind, with self-love in mind. And not as a means to be selfish, but to care about myself so much that I, in turn, encourage others to do the same. With self-care we are also caring for others and our communities. We're making a commitment to ourselves to just care. To grow.

I'm happy about where I am and where I'm going.
Habits can be good. They're agreements to stand up for ourselves. To put ourselves first.

'Til next time,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dear young black girl,

Dear young black girl,
Go ahead, buy the black doll.
She may not be Barbie with the good hair,
But among the tufts of honey
And the creamy complexions of your peers,
She's the only one who looks like you.

Dear young black girl,
Know that the chemicals will burn
And the hot comb may leave a scar,
But with those straight locks you look like them.
No lye, no lye.

Know that growing up, we're all awkward
But you may still feel like Other.
When they speak of your history,
You'll crouch. You'll cringe. You'll wish it could be over.
They only show reels of shackled black bodies,
Of assassinated leaders.
They won't have a unit on Black Excellence.

Know that you are just as pretty as Sarah and Lauren
That your -iqua doesn't have the same ring,
But you can still wear the crown.


Dear young black woman,
Know your worth.
Know your place.
A place above the ceiling,
Shattering glass.
Above the murmurs of unprofessionalism,
Let your curls kink and your kinks curl.

Know that the men who look like you
May not love you,
May spew filth as Black as your skin,
As their skin,
As their momma's skin,
But may not love you.

Know that you are a threat.
They judged you for your cranial size
But now pay for your lips, your hips.

Know that you are a threat.
To intelligence, to beauty, to history.
A history that has silenced the voice,
But welcomed the hands that kept the stables clean.

Young black woman,
We commend you.
You embody grace, strength, and yes,
You are more than
You are more than
You are.

Dear young black woman,
When we say #BlackLivesMatter,
We're talking to you, too.