Weekly Check-In

Still trying to keep it together.


  • 4 hours – Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

Personal Kindness

  • I went to a networking event this week and for a lot of people they can cause anxiety. But I’m pretty good with social interactions so I made it a point to find someone who I could tell was feeling awkward and introduce myself, ask them questions, and generally lead a conversation. Hopefully I was able to made someone’s night a little easier.

Self Care

  • Whenever I got a compliment this week or someone said something nice to me, I’d repeat it. Just throughout the day I’d play back in my mind, “John said he liked my top today.” I’d keep track and make myself hyper-aware of the nice things people were saying to me. When someone would ask me how my day was going I would reply, “Great, I got two compliments on my mug this morning.”


How’d you do this week?


To Write Love On Her Arms has a great video and campaign this week #IWasMadeFor

Check out their video –


I was made for compassion and adventure. Please share what you were made for in the comments!

Because of my work as a crisis counselor, I get a lot of questions from friends who want to know what to do if a friend or family member is thinking of ending their life.  Today I’m going to give you the top three tips I gave them.


Be Direct

It’s okay to ask someone directly if they are thinking about ending their life. I know being direct like this can be difficult but it establishes that you’re someone who sees what’s going on and is willing to listen. Asking won’t put ideas in their head or make them think about ending their life when they weren’t going to.

Another helpful thing is to be honest about any help you’ve received when you went through a rough time, professional or otherwise. I went to therapy for years to deal with some difficult relationships in my life and I think it’s important to be direct about it to remove some of the stigma attached to getting help. We don’t fault people for going to the dentist to take care of themselves and we shouldn’t fault people who take care of their mental health!


Listen Without Judgement

“Finish your food because somewhere people are starving.” How many times have you heard something like this? You shouldn’t be unhappy because someone has it worse or whatever you feel isn’t that bad or you shouldn’t get that upset. You wouldn’t tell someone not to be happy because other people have it better. Bill Gates has a private plane and a mansion so therefore you will never be happy. Comparison doesn’t work and we all react to things differently.

The best thing I learned to do is repeat things back. Echo how they are feeling to show you understand. “That must be devastating that you didn’t get what you needed from that person.” “It is overwhelming to be dealing with all that.” Validate what you hear. Sometimes that’s enough. You don’t have to solve their problems, you just have to listen and be there.


Helpers Need Help Too

If you find yourself in a role of support for a friend or family member who is going through a difficult time, don’t forget about yourself. Supporters also need support. Reach out for your own kind of help, take some time for self care, recruit others or get professionals involved. No one is alone in this.


Overall I would say that you’re allowed to feel how you feel and you deserve help! You deserve to be happy and to show the world what you were made for!

I dream of the day where Suicide Prevention Week is a distant memory.


If you need help – twloha.com/iwasmadefor 

If you want to help – crisistextline.org/volunteer 

Weekly Check In


When one door closes another one opens  … well sometimes it just feels like all the doors are slamming shut. I’m still focusing on self care while I’m searching for that next door, that next wonderful opportunity!


  • 4 hours – Crisis Text Line

Charitable Giving

  • $0

Personal Kindness

  • An intern from my department was leaving. Along with all the other nice things my co-workers were doing – passing a card, organizing a going away lunch – I made sure to ask about what his upcoming opportunities were and share advice, encouragement, and just good old fingers crossed attitude with him.

Self Care

  • Trip planning! I have two trips coming up in the next six weeks and I get to spend a bit of my time daydreaming on the internet about them. Pinning pins on Pinterest, looking at blogs, and scanning travel websites. It’s so fun to get to daydream.
  • List making. So with these two trips, plus job hunting, and just everyday everyday-stuff, I have a lot to do. So I’ve been making lists. Making them with pretty pens, writing them down neatly, organizing and reorganizing them, celebrating with each check mark, and just generally enjoying them. I am always someone who has loved to-do lists and planners so I get to spend some time embracing that.

How’d you do this week?




It’s been 20 years since Mother Teresa passed away. The UN has designated today the International Day of Charity in her honor. This is part of their statement:

Charity, like the notions of volunteerism and philanthropy, provides real social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies. Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing and child protection. It assists the advancement of culture, science, sports, and the protection of cultural and natural heritage. It also promotes the rights of the marginalized and underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in conflict situations.

The International Day of Charity was established with the objective of sensitizing and mobilizing people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.

The date of 5 September was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.”


What I’ve always admired about Mother Teresa is her humanity as she struggled to become a saint. She often questioned if she was doing enough, if she was good enough, if what she was doing was enough. We see the work she did and the people she fed, heart and soul, and we know that she was enough. She was just like we all are, unsure and human.

She is a role model to me to keep trying, keep pushing to be as  charitable as I can be. I spend hours every week making sure that people know that they are enough, enough to keep living. I spend hours each week thinking about how I can be kinder to myself and others.

Hopefully, on this day of charity, you’ll take a minute to recognize that you are enough and that the charity you do helps feed the world.



Who We Are in Crisis

The floods in Texas and India are devastating to watch unfold on the news. If you’re reading this blog, the first thing you’re probably thinking is how can I help? There are telethons and text short codes and articles about how you shouldn’t donate to this charity or that one, you want to help the pets or the elderly or the people with families or who are in some way just like you. Maybe you’ve been through a natural disaster and want them to know you know what it’s like. But where to start and how to be truly helpful are hard things to understand with these images flashing across your screen.

I believe that disasters and crises just intensify who we already are. The outer layer we hide behind drops away and the best or worst of us just shows up. There is one person who has become a viral star from the Texas floods – Mattress Matt. This gentleman is a furniture store owner with a large showroom and a caring heart. He opened his store, with all its display furniture to shelter his fellow Houstonians. He heard it was someone’s birthday so he gifted her a mattress right there on the spot. He said the money would work itself out in the long run. You could tell he wasn’t making any grand effort, wasn’t calculating how this would make him look, he was just being Mattress Matt, a guy who cared about people and had the ability to show it during this crisis.

So be yourself. Be kind, and caring, show the world what you can do. Crises are an opportunity to show up and be genuine. Use it.

But even kind and caring people can learn to do better with practice. That’s what being kind without a crisis in our everyday life does, it makes it easier when disaster comes along for us to just show up to. It’s like when your parents told you to brush your teeth every day when you were small. Eventually, no one had to tell you to brush your teeth in the morning, it’s just something you do. Make kindness like brushing your teeth.

And importantly, ask questions to avoid the disaster after the disaster. Research which charities are best for you to give to if you can give money. If you have things to donate, try to ask what people need before sending things. I have the opportunity to talk to crisis counselors who have been affected by the Texas flooding and ask them what they need before I send a big package of stuff that may or may not help. I can tailor a gift package to what that person actually needs and will use. A handknit scarf or a hand me down sweater may be given with heart but if it’s not what they need then it doesn’t really do as much as we’d hope. We can still be smart and thoughtful in a time of crisis. It’s worth taking a minute to ask or research how we can be most effective.

And we don’t have to hurry! We can be helpful next month or next year. Plan vacations to the area in the next few years to get money into the community, look at buying things from local businesses that were affected, donate to causes that will be helping with long term reconstruction, even look into environmental organizations that are working to reduce the impact of climate change or even look into local infrastructure issues in your area and vote accordingly. If you didn’t have the money to participate in the telethon or the internet challenges or to match your favorite celebrities’ campaign, know that you still have time to show up. There is always time to care.

So take a breath, always practice kindness, and just show up for each other.


What have you done to help in a disaster that you can share with us? I’d love to hear some success stories!


Weekly Update

Still stuck in retrograde. This was a week that I had to focus on self care and I’m really proud of myself for doing just that. Sometimes you have to put it first, other times you can prioritize taking over the world. 🙂


  • 2 hours – Crisis Text Line – I got a headache mid-shift and had to bow out. I hope to make up the hours over the holiday weekend.

Charitable Giving

  • $0
  • 1 baby hat

Personal Kindness

  • I got a lot of support this week. My personal kindness was letting everyone know just how much I appreciated that support. Many heartfelt thank yous were given this week.

Self Care

  • Cleaning. I want to have a clean home and am hoping to transition to a new phase in my life so I’m looking into and thinking about minimalism. I don’t know how many items I’ll end up with but I’m sure it’s not going to be 100 or 33 or whatever some people do. But I’m working on making sure my wardrobe just has things that make me happy.
  • Knitting and crocheting like a crazy person. I still have some works in progress and my knitting circle is working on making purple baby hats for Oklahoma (more info here) So I’ve been doing that. And I keep saying that my next project is going to be something for myself but I’m getting pretty easily distracted by making things for donation. Either way, it brings me joy.
  • It’s time to start daydreaming about trips. I have a trip planned for the end of this month and a long weekend in October for another Crisis Text Line Palooza. If you have any tips for traveling in Paris or Atlanta, please leave them below. I have about a day and a half in Atlanta to explore by myself. Paris will be another run so I’ll be pretty busy but I always like to hear new suggestions for off the beaten path things.
  • Running – or trying to. It’s been crazy hot lately so I’ve had to take my workouts indoors and since I don’t have a treadmill there’s been a lot of jumping jacks in my living room. But the heat is reminding me, forcing me really, to slow down and enjoy. Thanks for that reminder universe.

How’d you do this week?