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We humans are an integral part of the fabric of nature.

We share DNA not only with other mammals, but (to some extent) with all other animals, insects, even trees.

In nature, what looks like a mess is actually an intricate ecosystem, in which each element, no matter how small, plays a crucial role.

When we experience ourselves as part of the living system of nature, we begin to come home to our wholeness.

Spoiler alert: This mostly requires slowing down and paying deep attention.

We are nature. We are the planet. We are the mess.

Hi, I'm Sarah. I'm a nonfiction writer and editor, and I have a very active and creative mind that can be the source of great inspiration…or great pain.

Living the Mess grew out of my personal adventures in neuroplasticity and my journey towards inner peace.

It would be nice if that path looked neat and orderly, but it doesn’t. My path looks messy. Your path looks messy. 21st century Western life in general looks messy. It can be difficult to navigate our unique paths unless we learn to identify with that which binds us together, instead of that which keeps us separate.

I write about the practices and insights that have transformed the way I experience this life.

Newcastle Profile Photo Sarah

From the Blog


Five Insights That Changed My Experience of the World

[This is Part 2 of a three-post series.] Last week, I wrote about (some of) the pain that I’d experienced for the first 44 years of my life. In April 2010, what I thought I knew about life and being human was blown wide open. I woke up one spring morning feeling happier and more…


How Intense Suffering Led Me Towards Inner Peace

I was the last person anyone would have expected to have a profound transformation. It came through immense suffering and my eventual desperation to try anything to find inner peace.


Four Ways Spending Time in Nature Can Boost Your Mental Health

In nature, the myth of human exceptionalism is stripped away and shown to be a false construct. The stillness in nature resonates with a part of us that seeks quietude. At some cellular level, we remember that yes, we are part of nature, too.


Let’s Not Go Back to Normal. We Can Do Better.

Normal is a setting on a dishwasher. Like many people, I’ve now had my first COVID vaccine shot. While I’m relieved to be protected and glad to contribute to protecting the “herd,” I dread the idea of Western life going back to the way it was. I loved the not-normal. When everything shut down in…


A New Chapter for Living the Mess

Have you ever received an email from someone you really care about, and you didn’t respond right away? And after a few days, weeks, months, it became even more awkward to respond, because you waited so long? You really wanted to connect, but your delay became a huge boulder in the path of your relationship?


Five Ways to Find Calm When Your World is On Fire

As I write this, most of us in North America are reeling from the events of the past 48 hours (and worldwide, reeling from the past year). Americans, in particular, are facing uncertainty and confusion that I don’t believe we’ve seen in my lifetime.