The Joy of Having New Jeans (for the First time in Two Years)

By Sarah Chauncey | August 30, 2014

Today I bought a pair of jeans.

For most people, this wouldn’t be news.

I’m ecstatic. This is the first pair of pants I’ve been able to buy in three years. All summer, I’ve been wearing the same pair of light capris (purchased with a gift card from my sister) and occasionally, overalls that are two years past expiry.

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Listening to The Body’s Wisdom (Migraine Edition)

By Sarah Chauncey | August 30, 2014

I haven’t yet written about migraine, but the short version is that things happen in my brain when the weather changes. Barometric shifts, and also when other things (things I don’t know how to measure) change; I’m guessing it has something to do with the electromagnetic energy in the air, or how the air particles…

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Expressing Gratitude in Real Time (All Day)

By Sarah Chauncey | August 27, 2014

Saying thank you throughout the day reminds me of an Eckhart Tolle quote: Whatever happens in a given moment, “welcome it as if you had chosen it.” Each moment is a gift. Each moment does bring us what we need (even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time). So this is a way of acknowledging that.

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How to Practice Appreciation to Improve Mental Health

By Sarah Chauncey | August 15, 2014

“In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from my colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full,…

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What Does it Mean to Live Deliberately?

By Sarah Chauncey | August 14, 2014

Thoreau had his definition, but this is the 21st century, and I’m not chopping wood for a cabin in the woods (though that actually sounds lovely…). Here’s what living deliberately means to me:

It means prioritizing inner peace, and building that priority time into my day or week, so that the action I do take comes from a place of calmness.

It means being aware of my actions, instead of acting automatically or reacting blindly. It means being aware of what I feed my body, mind and spirit.

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My “Bliss Episode”: Experiencing the Rapture of Being Alive

By Sarah Chauncey | August 12, 2014

Update: This experience didn’t happen to me; it happened from or through (the) me. I’m leaving the language of the post, though, because that’s where I was at the time. I’ve added some subheads for SEO. 

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Before (I Have Known Pain)

By Sarah Chauncey | August 11, 2014

Mine was not a transient depression or anxiety disorder. Over the course of 22 years, my brain was given more than a dozen labels, including soft bipolar, borderline and PTSD – my last psychiatrist finally summed it up as a “rip-roaring mood disorder.” I was “hard-wired” for depression and anxiety because of my family. We had a genetic serotonin deficiency going back three generations on both sides, I’d tell people. And maybe we did. Or maybe we just thought too much.

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Everyone Has a Story. See the Human.

By Sarah Chauncey | August 9, 2014

One thing that being a writer teaches you: Everyone has a backstory. Everyone is on their own Hero’s Journey. You are the protagonist of your story, but you’re a supporting-to-background character in others’. Understand, as Buddhists say, that everyone you meet is struggling with something you’ll never know about, and everyone is doing the very…

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The Law of Increasing Flow: Do More By Doing Less

By Sarah Chauncey | August 4, 2014

We’re all familiar with the law of diminishing returns: After a certain amount of time, the effort expended on a task yields fewer and fewer results. This is as true of creative work as it is of physical labor. And if you keep pushing, eventually both brain and body collapse. I have a fair amount…

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Living The Mess, or The Backstory of This Blog

By Sarah Chauncey | June 5, 2014

Most people arrange their lives trying to avoid loneliness, financial hardship and uncertainty. To do this, they stay busy, seeking happiness in the next promotion, the next job, the next relationship or dream house, or when they have “enough” in the retirement fund. This endless search for external happiness serves as a shield to protect them from life’s existential questions.

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Welcome to My Journey in Progress

By Sarah Chauncey | June 4, 2014

One of the biggest reasons I haven’t started this blog before (even though some pieces have been written for nearly two years) is that I’m not “there” yet. Wherever “there” is. I’m still in the midst of the “mess,” still learning and growing, sometimes struggling and occasionally having crises of faith. While most of the labels that were once put on my brain are no longer relevant, I’m not always happy and sunny.

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