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YOU’RE NOT HERE TO PAY BILLS AND DIE

You’re not lazy, indecisive or have a bad work ethic. You’re not irresponsible or lost. Maybe a little confused, yes. But the reason why no job satisfies you, The reason why, with every new offer and every idea, Your excitement quickly fades, And as the days go on it seems harder and harder to wake yourself up, your actions become forced, there’s a feeling that stirs deep within you. You might not be able to pinpoint or explain it but it’s this feeling that something just isn’t right. This feeling of “this is it?” This feeling of there MUST be more. And depending on how in tune you are with your emotions, your body, your intuition or if you stuff them down and numb yourself like I use to with food and prescriptions, this feeling could be oh-so-subtle that you might not have even noticed it...

I AM WOMAN: POETRY SERIES

A Woman You asked me what does it mean to be a woman? I thought for awhile, in deep contemplation. I sat with my heart I drained my soul with my tears, I feel, even with emptiness. I walked through the fire and felt the pain ripple through my sensations of sensitivity, I’m alive, even though it hurts.   I stood barefoot, grounded into the earth, I felt the power of stability the unrelenting strength of deep roots, I’m centered even though the wind calls me. I smelt the most beautiful rose I was mesmerized by the essence of delicate aroma of sensuality, I realized that beauty came in many forms.   There’s a naturalness to femininity. To be a woman is to be, life   To be a woman, is all.   -Liem   Earth Women All women are like earth They may crack at times but they’...

TICKS AND CROSSES

You’re almost a teacher now, and I think that’s awesome. I’m glad you’re sticking through the PGCE, I’m glad you’re doing what you love. It’s crazy to think about you teaching little people. I can picture you in front of a classroom, talking through the rules of algebra, showing students how a problem, like a magic trick, can be easily solved when we look a little closer, break it down into smaller parts, take it one step at a time. I can picture you telling them these things—these simple things that are either right or wrong—that we all learned and forgot, before the harder lessons came. Our lessons now are not so black and white. There are no ticks and crosses to guide us. We had to add to our lives, multiply, subtract in order to divide, never knowing whether we were right and even if w...

CURSIVE

Unfolding an old note from my mother inked on a scrap, hurriedly yet purposeful I trace over every line like canals in the paper The curves of my letters are starting to look like hers just like the curves of my hips Genetics, maybe or the inheritance of the weight of the words that weren’t ours to bear       Author: Samantha Martin Email: goodkarmacleveland@gmail.com Author Bio: Samantha is a connector of words and thoughts and people, an instructor of yoga, student of the universe, tarot reader, affirmation architect, chronic wanderer, cancer survivor, dog mom, fanny pack enthusiast, deep belly laugher and tree appreciator. You can find her work, her observations and her musings at goodkarmacleveland.com or on Instagram @goodkarmacleveland. Link to social media or website:...

TRUST YOUR THERAPIST: MINDFULNESS WORKS

Take a look at any health magazine, social media feed or online wellness blog and you’re more than likely to see a post on mindfulness. It’s a healthy habit buzzword that may seem like a fad, but in reality, it’s a beneficial practice that can reshape how we think about the world and how we handle our own mental health. Dating back thousands of years, mindfulness has been intertwined with multiple religious and spiritual practices, but you don’t have to practice a religion to practice mindfulness. In 1994, Jon Kabat-Zinn intertwined the teachings of Buddhism and science to create the modern-day practice of mindfulness. Since then, the process of focusing on the present moment and acknowledging one’s feelings is a popular technique in cognitive and stress reduction therapy. Acknowledge The ...

WHERE IS YOUR MOST PASSIONATE SELF?

“Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other’s needs.” – Kristin Hannah How do you get the party started? Where is your most passionate self? You begin with you. A year ago, I probably would not have written this, nor would I have submitted it for publishing. Writing this today is me being true to myself and my thoughts. This is me talking. There’s a ton of discussion around authenticity, being authentic, yada-yada. The more we throw the words around, the more muddled the meaning gets. The concept sounds simple: be yourself, be real. And our general feeling or response is, I am being me. Maybe that’s the case, but even in my own ever-growing, ongoing journey to stay true, I slip and f...

STOP DEFINING YOUR WORTH

Stop defining your worth   by the amount of money you make,   by the presence or absence of someone in your life,   by the unmet or met compliances that your society, culture or education so blindly wraps you into,   by the boxes you tick on your to-do lists,   by the things you think you miss or have been unfairly deprived of,   by the people who accept you or don’t,   by the expectations of your mental laboratory about your future and present,   by the imperfections you find in your body and thoughts each day,   by the amount and quality of your sex or love life,   by the words of approval from other people,   by the traumas inherited from confused parents,   by the struggles you face each day,   by the emotional reci...

THIS ISN’T HEALTHY

This. Isn’t. Healthy. And I know it. The way you allow me to drown in you. Fill my lungs up with your very essence only to bring me to the brink of death just so you can give me mouth-to-mouth and breathe life into me again. Your absence is suffocating. Your silence is the pressure suppressing my larynx, yet when you speak it’s the only melody I want to hear, and I find my voice again. This. Isn’t. Healthy. You are similar to the sun rays on summer days and despite the errands I have to run, all I want to do is lay in the grass and allow you to cover me despite my allergies. You are a clear night’s sky and our love is all the stars I wish upon at least until pollution proves otherwise and what I thought I saw was just a smoke screen. When someone shows you who they are, believe them....

LOSE YOURSELF TO FIND YOURSELF AGAIN

A walking holiday is an incredible experience for pretty much everyone. The chance to explore the great outdoors, venture off the beaten path and spend some quality time alone with your thoughts can be so therapeutic and relaxing. I often find it quite hard to switch off from my daily routines and lifestyle, so a walking holiday along the Camino Portuguese was the perfect opportunity for me to recuperate and compose myself for another busy year of hard work. I learned a number of things on my recent walking holiday on the Camino Portuguese and there were so many things that I benefitted from by embarking on the journey. Here’s what I learned on my journey. I Had Time to Breathe One of the best things about journeying along the Camino Portuguese was the chance to become at one with nature. ...

DEAR (FILL IN NAME), ARE WE THERE YET?

When, why, how? Ugh, I hate these thoughts. When will I get to start my business? When will I get married? Will I ever be loved? I hate feeling depressed, should I kill myself? Will I ever lose this weight? Should I have gone to college? I feel like such a failure in life. When will I be able to afford to travel the world? Why do I feel this way? Why do I have to be sick? What is wrong with me? We are so familiar with these seances of the classic “Are we there yet?” questions. The highlight reels of this so-called perfect world that shines through the faces of our screens which don’t share the grimy thoughts of our minds filtering like rewind on a VCR. The increased anxiety to deplete our true selves as we become puppets to the master of this digital world that create these emotions from t...

COFFEE: MY DARK SOULMATE

Being half Brazilian, I share roots with this magic bean called coffee. But my love story with the wake-up potion goes deeper than that. So, if you are a coffee-ista like me, you’d know by now you should have your cup ready before you go on. And if you’re not, then I’m sorry to say you can’t handle what’s coming next. “It boosts your metabolism,” they said. So, just like any story of attraction, it starts off physical. Then the chemistry kicks in when coffee forms a golden foam on the surface in an effort to appeal to your taste buds; coffee is saying, “I like you, too.” And don’t get me started on the first kiss—oops, I mean the first sip. It slaps the brain awake, but it is so irresistible that one kiss is just not enough. Can you tell I’m still ...

WHAT DEFINES ME

“Author, mother, volunteer, advocate and army wife.” That’s what they say when I am introduced before speaking. The only thing I hear is silence. What defines me? Is it the things I do for others? I’m Marla, a woman whose life’s focus has been taking care of those around me. As a young girl who spent my early years in Watts, California, then to Denver, Colorado, my life hasn’t been without its struggles. I lost both biological parents at a very young age, faced bouts of abuse throughout my childhood and barely finished high school. I was a product of my environment. Yes, I know it sounds so cliché, but it’s true. Girls like me didn’t end up living successful lives; they ended up pregnant, in jail, or worse…dead. I was the exception, but not without my own trials and tribulation...

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