Get off the Bench

I started exercising this week with my husband. Like, weight training, interval exercising. I could hardly walk after the first day. But several really fantastic things happened during that first workout, and it’s worth documenting.

We began the exercises on our driveway behind our home, outside in the hot morning sun. Jordan brought out a bunch of free weights and yoga blocks and we got to work. The first amazing thing that happened was our son Link’s excitement when he realized that I was also going to be exercising too, not just his dad this time. Jordan’s a beast, and has been devoted to his workout routine for several years now. I never join him. Sure, I like to go on walks and my diet is fairly disciplined, but this was something new and our son was delighted. When Jordan was demonstrating proper technique for walking lunges with weights, Link picked up the small set of weights and started doing them with us. Sometimes, we forget how much our tinies are watching the example we’re setting for them. Twice during that first workout, Link turned to me and said, “Mama, I’m so proud of you for exercising.” My heart.

The most astonishing thing that happened during that morning was that right in the middle of a weighted arm circuit, I became unexpectedly and uncontrollably emotional, set down my weights, ran into the house, fell to my knees, and sobbed. Like, ugly sob. I gave myself 30 seconds to let the purge work its way through me, and then I got up, wiped my tears, went back outside, finished those reps, and kept going. It’s hard to know exactly what caused the onslaught of emotion, but what it felt like was as if my body and all my cells were collectively saying to me “Oh, you decided to show up today. About effing time.” The night before that first workout, Jordan and I were talking some real talk after the child was down for bed and I spontaneously deleted all the time-suck games I had on my phone and told him I would join him in his morning exercises. The thing with me is, I start to notice when I’m spending too much time on the bench in life; and, eventually, I just get irritated with myself and demand more. I must have been building up to that decision because this week, I decided to stand up.

The final and equally fantastic thing that happened after that workout is how much my husband and my relationship has deepened in love and respect just in these past few days. There’s a camaraderie here that I didn’t know we could have, on top of what we’ve already built. I have so much more respect for him and the workouts he does, seeing how I do like 1/3 of what he does and am wreaked from it. He, much like my cells, is thrilled that I’m showing up, wanting more from myself, wanting more for our family, and wanting more out of life. The bliss is amazing and makes pushing myself all the easier to overcome.

I’m writing all of this, hopefully to inspire you to stand up as well, but also as a reminder to myself when that bench looks inviting to me again. If I know myself and my tendencies, I can anticipate them and defend myself from them. I can demand more.

Always, Brittney

How to Give On Empty

Some days, you feel empty. Maybe you woke up feeling that way. Maybe too many took from you this morning and you’re just exhausted by noon. But you’re a lightworker and a nurturer - we all are - and we’re lucky to be alive and present. Giving cannot be conditional if we want a better world.

So how does one continue to give to others when their tank is on E?

Answers are closer than they appear, and I’m about to flip this whole post on you.

If you’re on E, it’s because you neglected yourself.

Fill Your Cup

Being selfless and a martyr looks good on paper, but it catches up to you after a while - please take it from me on this one. If you continually put yourself last, you’re not properly serving those around you. In my experience, there are two ways that you can put yourself last: by making others the priority over yourself or by avoiding taking care of yourself.

If you’re in camp 1, and you put everyone before yourself, it’s time to bring that back into balance. Schedule time in your day for self care and self reflection. You can’t know how you’re feeling if you’re not checking in with yourself. Advocate for your needs - it’s not selfish. Tell others what you need in order to feel happy and validated and get those needs met. You can do more for those around you if you are supported and well.

If you’re in camp 2, it’s likely you’re in an avoidance pattern. Think of yourself as a plane stuck in a holding pattern, waiting to land. You know what you need to do to get better, but you’re not doing it. Really be honest with yourself here. What are you doing to avoid yourself? What coping mechanisms are taking center stage while your health and wellness dwindle in the background? Look at your activities, thought patterns, eating habits, etc. objectively as though someone else were doing them. If you’re not cool with these things, it’s time for a change. We all fall into this trap sometimes - but we must see it for what it is and climb back out. My advice: create rules and goals for yourself and get disciplined about them. Hold yourself accountable and treat yourself with love. You wouldn’t poison someone you love; so why would you do that to your own mind, body, and spirit? Get disciplined, and thank me later when you feel more proud of yourself than you ever have before.

Take Back Ownership

It’s your fault if your pet does not get fed. It’s your fault if your children don’t make it to school. We would blame ourselves if those who depend on us are not being taken care of. So why do we blame others and external factors when we don’t take care of ourselves? We self sabotage constantly. People mistreat us, so we mistreat ourselves further. Why is the instinct to do more damage to ourselves, rather than to repair and rebuild? I’m going to challenge you: the next time someone hurts you, instead of binging on ice cream and Netflix, go write poetry and meditate in the sun. The next time you’ve worked a long hard week, instead of spending your weekend high or hungover, go swimming at the gym, spend quality time with family, and play an instrument. When you’re lonely, go sing your heart out at a concert. When you’re depressed, start writing self-help blogs. When you’re anxious, lift weights. The choices you make directly impact your wellness; and no matter how you are mistreated, you get to choose how that affects your life. When we own our decisions, we also own our outcomes.

Find Your Gratitude

It’s more effortless to give when you feel grateful. So, in those challenging moments, come back to a place of gratitude for each opportunity to make life better. Forgive yourself when you forget to feel gratitude, and attempt to remember quicker each time you lapse. And if you’re reading this, and do not see any reason to feel gratitude in this moment, let me give you a few: you’re breathing, you have access to the internet, you have the ability to reach out to others, you’ve been given the gift of today and you can begin fresh. If those around you won’t allow you to have a fresh start, begin without them. Find the strength to see life as something worth being grateful for.

Remember that your ability to be consistent is one of the greatest gifts you can give to those around you. But it’s also a tremendous gift to yourself as well. So take care of yourself, ask others to be a reflection for you if you can’t admit these things to yourself just yet, and choose today to start anew.

Always, Brittney

Accountability and Inverse Faces

When you see yourself in the mirror, your features are inverted. You live your life seeing yourself as no one else sees you. Your reality is flipped. You see the faces of those around you as they do not see themselves.

Holy metaphor, Batman!

If everyone saw us as we see ourselves, would we all get along better? If our intentions were known immediately and without question by all, would people still misjudge and defect without pause for understanding? How do we bring about symbiosis when everyone’s instinct is to drive a narrative that forever portrays them as the victim? And when the spotlight shines upon you, do you shield the side of your face that holds the flaws we all need to see? Are you most concerned about showing your “good side” when the cameras flash?

Playing Chess

Honestly, it comes down to two things: being accountable or loving the chess game. You really can’t do both. Someone who is stuck in lower chakra survival mode, in that baser, self-preservationist instinct-driven place where they don’t feel safe or that they can trust anyone has two choices: find a way out or build a house. You may have genuine, completely out of your hands reasons for how you got there, but it’s your choice to stay. There will be opportunities to leave that place, and there will be people on both sides trying to help you heal or keep you wounded. What you choose in those moments will continue to define you as a person. And if you stay there too long, get too comfortable with that hurt, you’ll start enjoying telling others your sob story. You’ll start to lose interest in ever getting better. You’ll start moving chess pieces.

If you love the chess game more than self-reflection, then you’ll begin sizing up those around you, exploiting what you deem are their weaknesses, and seizing the upper hand when it presents itself. The more evidence you can stack in your favor so that you’re the one who is most hurt when the spotlight shines down, the less you’ll ever need to take stock of who you really are when the curtains close for another night. Even at this juncture, you can elect to retire from the stage, from the mind games, from the toxic virus you bring to this world, and from your deviance to ever look internally at what you’re personally doing to sabotage the happiness of yourself and everyone around you. But it’s been my nearly 35 years of experience that those who love the game don’t often quit when they’re ahead - and they’re always ahead in their mind.

However, if you don’t love the chess game, never took the time to understand how to even play it, then maybe you have a shot at truly looking at the reflection in the mirror and making sure that who it resembles is consistent - whether in front of a mirror or not.

Hold Yourself Accountable

This is a small request. Really, it is. Just be honest with yourself. If you’re playing the victim all too often, maybe reflect upon why you’re doing that and go get those baser needs fulfilled. Be consistent. Resist the instinct that you’ve built to wallow and accuse and recondition yourself to point that finger back in towards yourself. Rebuild yourself into someone you’re proud of, someone you’d stand up for, and someone you’d aspire to be. Do the hard thing. If you mess up, own it. If people open their arms to you, drop your baggage off and let that shit go. Be strong and love yourself, and you will also be loved. I promise, there is good in this world if you meet it in kind. But you won’t receive it if you’re still keeping score.

Let the game end and put your whole face to the spotlight.

Always, Brittney

Where the Road Leads

If you envisioned your life as a single path under your feet, you’d know for certain where it once began and where it will end. Hopefully at not too young of an age, you were introduced to the construct that humans are born and eventually die. Our bodies do not last forever and as we age, we begin to feel that reality more and more. When our bodies begin to hurt, when our minds begin to falter, the truth that we are not immortal begins to sink in, one tick on the clock at a time. Knowing this, feeling this, does not tend to make us want to run full speed towards the end. It doesn’t make us want vision into how precisely that end looks like either.

So, on a micro level, why do we constantly stress over knowing where the road leads? In relationships, career, education, etc. there’s this are we there yet mentality about knowing where we’re going and if we’ve arrived there yet. Almost every week, you’ll encounter memes on Monday about is it Friday yet? and reminders on Wednesday that you’re halfway to the weekend, and I’m wondering why we’re in such a rush to get to the end.

Your Future Self Can Wait

When we focus on the end goal, we miss out on really internalizing what’s happening right now. If your goal is to get a higher education degree, but the entire time you’re overly stressed about not having that degree yet, you may find that once you obtain your degree you have retained very little of the knowledge that you were intended to learn. If you spend the first year of a relationship with a partner stressing over when you’ll be married, when you can begin having children, when you can buy a house, etc., you might get all of those things in order and find that the person you’ve married isn’t who you thought they were at all. Focusing so singularly on milestones can blind you from all the red flags that might have made you pause or change directions. The main point here is that although you may have this idea of who you want to be and what you want to have in life, your future self can evolve naturally while you focus on who you are today. If you choose to bring all of your attention to your thoughts, choices, and actions of today, you will build an authentic person that is worthy of whatever milestones you reach and all goals that you set to achieve. Get there fully and honestly. It’s not a race.

What You Miss When You’re Not Here

Getting so caught up in who and where you’re supposed to be can have some huge implications. When you think back to your childhood, do the negative memories outweigh the positive? How often do you look back and wish you would have enjoyed your youth more? Even worse a scenario, if you have children of your own, do you find that you have entire blocks of time that you cannot recall from when they were little? Or worse yet, how much of your children’s needs are going unmet because you’re too stuck in the future to notice? If you’re blind to the now, you’ll be blindsided soon enough by the backlash.

Integrate a Mindful Practice

If this topic is sucker punching you in the gut, perhaps it’s time to consider integrating some tools into your every day that bring your attention to the present. Your smartphone is equipped with some great features to remind you to pause and relax, or even take a break from the device itself. I personally love the Oak application for iOS that sends a once per day reminder to meditate or breathe deeply, and has some free built-in breathing exercises and guided meditations. Blogging, journaling, resting, meditating, walking, dancing, exercising, open discussions - there are so many ways to tap into how you’re feeling in the moment. Check in with yourself and build consistency with your character. Set goals and make lists if they help you feel organized, then make choices today that align with and fulfill those needs. As they say, tomorrow will take care of itself.

Sit with this idea for a moment, decide what needs to change, and move forward authentically. There’s no better time to change than right now.

Always, Brittney

Set the Tone

I have a student who is very hard on himself. Some days, his impatience can be very disruptive and appears to make other students uneasy when he has short outbursts or slams his fists on his desk. Some days, I let him work through it; but today, I could feel the shift in the room and the discomfort of my other students. And so, calmly, I approached the student.

“Can I help you, <enter name of student> ?” I ask gently, standing to his side without peering at his screen intrusively. I don’t want him to feel judged or under a microscope for having strong emotions, because I know how that feels.

“I just can’t get <enter programming terms> working!” he says with heavy breathing in a frustrated splutter. He points at his screen, so I feel I’ve been given permission to help him. I purposely slow my breathing and bend down to kneel by his desk so that we’re at the same height where he sits and I don’t come off as superior to him by standing over him.

I let the student walk me through his frustrations, and then promptly help him resolve the issues with his code. Once we get the code working, I laugh about the casual output he’s used for his code (the code outputs “nah” if the user doesn’t enter something right) just as he sighs in relief that the issue has been resolved. Then I remind him, as I’ve done a few times before:

“Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re usually just an inch away from the solution.”

Then I move on to help another student who had their hand raised. The classroom feels much more relaxed, and there are no further outbursts.

It’s important, as the instructor of a classroom, to assume the role as conductor. The students follow your lead, and if you don’t address all members of your orchestra, the music derails quickly. You might not think that it’s your job to handhold and coax when you teach at a college. But one of the foundational rules to educate another is to meet them where they are, even if it’s not somewhere you’d like to go.

Find the light, stand in it, and help to guide others into it.

Always, Brittney

Welcoming Discomfort

Winter is tough. Every instinct tells you to stay down, burrow in the ground, and not to surface until the Spring. This isn’t usually an option for most, so we drag ourselves out and try to be productive and make a meaningful contribution to society. With the turn of the season towards winter, we have so many events (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years) that encourage us to get way out of balance with our diets and our self-discipline. This past summer into the early autumn, I was walking 4-5 miles/day with 1-2 daily yoga sessions. But as soon as the cold weather hit, I stopped my daily walking and as the months got colder, I even stopped my yoga stretching - opting for huddling under blankets on the couch for warmth instead of moving the energy in my body to get warm.

This happens to a lot of us, for one reason or another. We just get out of sync with health when being healthy isn’t really what’s encouraged all around us or in the media. But eventually, I get tired of being out of balance, and kick the pendulum in the other direction - which happened 7 days ago. I’ve been walking 30 minutes for 1.5 miles/day for the past week, with stretching afterward. I recognize that this is a small effort compared to what I used to be committed to, but it’s a start and I’m willing to give myself a little time to build back up.

But let me just say, the discomfort I feel when I push myself to get on that treadmill is no joke. And usually within 5 minutes, I want to give up. Each 5 minute increment all the way to 30 minutes requires a push to get through that discomfort, as my lungs start to strain and my mind grows weary of the exertion. But I make a deal with myself at every increment that I will go 5 more, and eventually, I reach 30 minutes. We shun discomfort during times that are difficult, but those are the times when we need to push harder. If you’re finding you don’t even know where to begin, here are some tips to get you back towards a healthier lifestyle.

Treat Your Health Like it’s Your Job

If you approach your dietary discipline and exercise like something you must do, instead of something you’d like to do, you’re more likely to stick with it.

Clean Up Your Inner Dialog

If you’re in the habit of scrolling through social media daily, and often get caught up in reality gossip, food gluttony, awful news stories, insecurity intensifiers, etc., perhaps it’s time for a purge. You have the power to decide what fills your mind each day, and if the things you normally focus on do not encourage you to be healthy and happy, you need to change that. Unfollow, filter, unsubscribe, or deactivate, but do something to clean up that noise.

Get a Support System

You will be more successful if you have people around you who participate and encourage you to be at your best. If you don’t have a solid support system, join a gym or take classes to build up your community. And if those around you are trying to impede your progress, perhaps they don’t deserve your time.

Create a Schedule

My husband and I have started making a schedule for what we project we’re going to do for the week, including goals we want to accomplish and activities we’re going to commit to. It’s been great to have the additional structure to the week so that we actually get stuff done, and it also gives us things to look forward to. We’re growing together and supporting one another, ensuring that we both have enough time allocated for our passions and interests. It’s awesome.

It’s okay if you get off course sometimes. Just be sure to recognize when it’s going on too long, and find the strength to rise again. We’re all here waiting for you to actualize that potential.

Always, Brittney

The Essence of Trust

My four year old son seldom trusts me. Won’t try food I’ve vouched for. Won’t trust that I can erect a blanket fort that will meet his standards. Refuses to believe that I know what I’m talking about when I tell him I can turn right, even when the light in front of me is red. The effort he expends disputing me takes up so much time in the every day; and yet, he must feel it is his only choice in the moment.

We begin this way very early in life: trusting little and questioning everything. I’m a strong advocate of questioning what you’re handed and making it work for you, so don’t get me wrong here. But what I’m sharing in this blog post is that some things could go unquestioned. Sometimes, it’s okay to simply trust.

When it’s Okay to Trust

A big disrupt or perceived failure throws off your trajectory. You lose your job, can’t pass a certification exam, run low on funds because of unexpected expenses, feel like you won’t have enough time to meet a deadline etc. These kinds of stressors can send us into panic if we don’t have trust in ourselves, our ability to persevere, or the confidence that we will be taken care of. Any time I enter into one of these phases, I have to remind myself that I always find a way to do what needs to be done, regardless of how. If an expectation falls short and I’m unable to continue on a path that I thought was correct for me, I trust that I’m being redirected towards a greater calling. If I have a day where I feel like I’m not in the right head space to do work, I trust that time will be opened for me to complete the work by the time it needs to be done. When money is suddenly short, I trust that opportunities will be opened for me to make additional income. If you maintain an outlook that supports yourself, in all of your ups and downs, you will walk a path that connects you with your needs and passions.

What Happens When You Don’t Trust

When we’re redirected, and we don’t want to be, the tendency to resist flares and stubbornness abounds. We push on, refusing to let go of what we think we need, and ourselves and others suffer from it. But we continue anyway. For example: maybe after the fourth rejection, you finally get a job in the field that you think you want - but then you spend the next several years in a position that doesn’t fit and eventually you’re pushed out from it altogether. One way or another, you will be redirected if there is a greater calling for you. I’m not suggesting to give up on dreams if they don’t come easy. But I am suggesting that you pay attention and answer the call if you’re pulled in a new direction that might not look like what you had envisioned.

We’re not given a road map for our lives. So be open to the journey and really dig into learning about who you are and what you’re passionate about. The more you know yourself, the better you can trust your role on this planet, at this time in consciousness.

Always, Brittney

The Courage to Say No

Obligation is a tricky thing. When you feel obligated to do something, the choice doesn’t always feel like it’s yours. You may be making the choice to do something out of obligation, even when that obligation no longer serves you, no longer fits into your life, or is no longer healthy for you. This obligation usually involves something we feel we can’t jeopardize (like work and other financial contracts) or family dynamics (where the strain on a few impacts the whole). So you follow through anyway, because underneath the choice, you feel morally contracted and unable to refuse its gravitational pull.

I’m here to remind you that if something is unhealthy for you, you have the right to say no.

Step 1: Validate Your Discomfort

In the face of obligation, we shirk our own feelings so as to not disrupt the flow of life. But sometimes, that change is necessary so that we can grow and bring more balance into our lives and to those around us. So, if something is making you uncomfortable to do, advocate for yourself. Speak up for your needs and get them met. One of the biggest mistakes we make is putting ourselves last. We think that we’re taking care of everyone else, but we’re actually robbing them of the person we could be if we felt more happy, healthy, and respected.

Step 2: Make the Hard Choice

I recently put some much needed distance between myself and someone who has been harmful to my sense of security and self-worth for most of my life. These past few years have been very powerful for me, as I continue to claim ownership over who I am and offer every aspect of myself love and acceptance, even the parts of me that need work. So, upon standing in these new shoes, I’m finding that I have more invested in my own happiness and well-being and far less tolerance for allowing elements into my life that threaten that foundation that I have worked so hard to build. So I said no. I made the hard choice and set boundaries for myself. I’ve been slowly doing this in the past two years, but this one is instrumental for my mental health and I feel so much better having done so.

Step 3: Own It

You’ve made the choice to put your wellness first, now stick to it. Don’t let others make you feel guilty for it. Don’t let those factors slowly creep their way back in. Stand a little taller knowing that you’ve advocated for yourself, just as you would for anyone that you love. You’ve always had the permission to take care of your body, mind, and spiritual destiny. So, own it.

Always, Brittney

Why Consistency Matters

Being an instructor is not just about being a subject matter expert. It’s not just about educating, or coaching, or even facilitating learning.

It’s a performance art.

I was a stage performer all of my youth and into my mid twenties. Dance, theatre, music - stage performance was interwoven into the foundation of my life. In high school, when the emotional climate was far too much for my empathetic body to handle, I would escape during study periods to the empty auditorium and play the grand piano that sat backstage. The stage was my refuge. It was my home.

I notice patterns, and I’ve found that many things I used to do to mentally prep for a performance have transferred over to what I do right before I teach a class. One of the main things is that right as I’m about to speak at the start of class, I center myself, tap into a sense of gratitude for the opportunity I’ve been given, and smile. I usually start with a greeting, and ask how everyone is doing. I might as well be holding a guitar and be about to play a show. I still have a sense of presence, the responsibility that underlies that, and the weight of what it means to be the lead or focal point of a group. Although the setting has changed and the people in front of me are paying quite a bit more than what the cost used to be to hear me sing, the essence is the same: my students expect and deserve a good show. Would you go see a band perform again if the last time you’d seen them, they were unenthusiastic, unreliable, or ill equipped to perform? Not likely.

So, here’s my point: as an instructor, you are making the choice to enter a role where consistency is a necessity. In life, the people around you might forgive you if you can’t always be at your best, and that’s good. We need for others to flex for us and we need to do that for them. But when it’s your job to be a stage performer, even without the stage, you don’t get to slack. You bring that enthusiasm and remind yourself everyday why the opportunity to teach is a gift. Even when it gets hard, or when you feel like you’re not reaching all of your students, just keep being your best self. Because whether you like it or not, everyone’s watching and they deserve to see you shine.

Always, Brittney

The Art & Discipline of Gratitude

How often do you thank people each day? Rough estimate. A handful? How many times per day do you stop and feel gratitude for your life? Are you coming up with small or non-existent stats? It’s cool, I’m not judging you. Given the climate of social media and the severe shift towards encouraging a victim-mindset, I would imagine that there is not much space for gratitude for most people. If you’re chronically caught up in how offended you are by everything, how can you also feel grateful that you have the privilege to feel that way? I’ve been off of Facebook for over a month now, and it’s been rather refreshing.

Think about how social media is reconditioning us. You have a platform where you can say whatever you want from a distance, to people you may never even meet, with very little repercussion. You’re able to share your opinions without anyone asking for them, and defend your opinion without ever having to look at someone in the eye. People can gang up on each other, jump on a conversation thread just to argue, or try to shift the focus onto themselves to gain pity or admiration. And this can be the norm for every single day.

So, in this kind of environment, you can see how the focus remains solely on the self and a perpetual need to feel acknowledged, validated, and important. How can we undo this? How do we coax the pendulum to swing back towards a place of true connection to others, instead of only a one-sided virtual connection? How do we feel gratitude when we are driven to feel personally attacked by the words of others written to a screen?

Get Out of Your Own Way

Gratitude and ego do not play well. At the core of gratitude, there is first an acknowledgement of good-intent. Someone has intentionally done something to improve your human experience, and it registers in your mind. This is where you need to train yourself to pause. If you put yourself first at this junction, you’re more likely to shrug off the gesture. Example: one of my students emailed me with a reminder to grade an assignment of theirs. They had sent me the assignment via email because of an agreed-upon extension, and a couple of weeks had elapsed with their grade remaining unchanged. If I had put my ego first, I might have made an erroneous assumption that the student sees me as unorganized or thinks I had forgotten it, and I might have then responded with anger or self-importance with a I’ll get to it when I get to it kind of vibe. But, because I acknowledge that they were simply meaning to help me not lose track of their work, I saw the kindness in their prompt and thanked them for the reminder. It takes discipline to stop yourself from reacting from an egoic place, but over time it will feel more natural to see the best in people than to immediately assume the worst.

Give Thanks Freely

Gratitude journals are a thing. The fact that they’re a thing should speak volumes to us. It means that we need to remind ourselves to be grateful, and we’re out of practice with it. So, go buy the journal if that suits you. Aside from an internal dialog and scribing, also get in the habit of thanking others for little things when they are apparent to you. If you notice a kindness, point it out and thank the person for thinking of you. I often tell my three-year-old thank you for thinking of me and that was very nice of you when he offers me something, even if I don’t want it. Guess what he’s started saying when he doesn’t want to eat something I’ve prepared for him? No thank you, but that’s very nice of you Mama. It’s pretty hilarious, but I love that he’s picking up on the example I’m setting. Gratitude isn’t a given, it’s a daily exercise in mindfulness.

Take a Social Media Hiatus

It’s healthy to take a break from the noise and clutter, and also, to not feed it or add to it. Take some time away from the spotlight, away from the speakerphone. You don’t need a platform to be influential, and you’ll find that when you do give your sage wisdom to people, it’s more meaningful when it comes from your own mouth. Even this blog post is still an attempt to reach people - but I can’t currently share it on Facebook with my account deactivated. So, consider this a public gratitude journal entry ;)

Always, Brittney