Emotional Health

Isn’t That What Friends Are For?

Isn’t That What Friends Are For?

Decades ago, when I was in elementary school, I did have a few genuine friends. However, the so-called cool kids swiftly kicked us to the bottom of the totem pole and successfully labeled us as faggots to the entire school. When I moved to Florida in 1979, my world did improve. However, because of my grade-school trauma, it wasn’t easy to make real friends. In High School, I was acquainted with dozens of kids from every social group, but I didn’t have the phone number of one friend to rely upon if my car broke down.…

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Whirlpools and Windmills: I Choose the Present

Whirlpools and Windmills: I Choose the Present

I can be like a boat passing by and flowing onward or get mired in it trying to make it what it is not, and whirl around and around wandering in an endless thought process of, “If only.” I then get stuck on the rinse and repeat cycle, living reactively all the time, falling blindly into the holes of my history, until I give up altogether and get stuck on the riverbank of hopeless despair. OR, I can see. Recognize. Steer clear. Float over. Dance through. On, into the vast river of life. Mistaking the whirlpool for the river, I am doomed. And yet the only way out is to realize that the whirlpool and the river are made of the same substance, dancing. I am whole.…

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Pam Ross Porcaro

Pam Ross Porcaro began her spiritual questioning at a very young age, inspired by her Lithuanian grandmother who was a devout Catholic. At the age of 17, she was discovered by a model agent in Washington D.C., and her fashion modeling career took off. She was represented by Ford Models in New York, where she lived for 11 years, traveling around the world, and working with many of the top designers, photographers, editors, and artists in the world, doing everything from editorial, to runway, to advertising; and appearing on many magazine covers, in catalogs and in ads. During her travels and interaction with many diverse people from different cultures around the world and her deepening spiritual questioning, she discovered and became fascinated with Zen meditation. She began a vigorous meditation practice, which changed her life, and awakened her passion and curiosity for all things Eastern Culture, including, Yoga and Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. She studied and practiced Zen meditation (zazen) with Zen Masters, John Daido Loori, of Zen Mountain Monastery, and Eido Roshi, of the Zen Studies Society in New York and of Dai Bosatsu Monastery, in the Catskills. She moved to Los Angeles in 1995 and continued her Zen Studies/practice with Zen Master Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi at Zen Center of Los Angeles. She went to CSUN to study towards a B.A. in Religious Studies, focusing on Eastern Religions, as well as Women in Religion. Pam became a mother of two and subsequently became involved in fundraising charity work for her children’s school. In 2011, while delving even more deeply into her Zen practice, Pam had a chance meeting with Yoga teacher Steve Ross of Maha Yoga. Steve introduced her to Siddha Yoga, which opened up her meditation practice even more. In 2012 and 2015, Pam completed a total of 300 hours of Yoga Teacher Training under Steve Ross and Ish Moran. Pam attended many seminars, classes, and workshops with many renowned teachers, including but not limited to: Jack and Elissa Zimmerman, to learn the Way of Council; Candace Silvers, renowned life coach and human behavior specialist; Alison Armstrong of PAX Programs (A program that promotes peace and understanding between women and men); David Deida and Michaela Boehm; The Integral Center in Boulder (To learn the practice of “Circling”, or interpersonal meditation); The Art of Living Center (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar; teacher); The Self Realization Center ( founded by Yogananda); Oneness Meditation. Currently, Pam is raising her two teenagers, continuing her meditation and yoga practices, and developing a project with life coach and healer, Sujon Datta. She is represented by Iconic Focus Models in New York, and Innovative Artists in Los Angeles.

Definitions

Definitions

I think my love language is all of you it does not even exist to write it down. I do not know how I function with my guts pulled apart by life. People leave, then they come back changed, a new…

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Christina Strigas

Christina Strigas is a trilingual poet, raised by Greek immigrants, and has written three poetry books. Her latest, Love & Vodka, has been featured by CBC Books in, “Your Ultimate Canadian Poetry List: 68 Poetry Collections Recommended by you.” She is currently working on her fourth upcoming poetry book, Love & Metaxa. In her spare time, Christina enjoys foreign cinema, reading the classics, and cooking traditional Greek recipes that have been handed down from her grandmother. Twitter: @christinastriga Instagram : @c.strigas_sexyasspoet Facebook: Christina Strigas Author

Running For My Life

Running For My Life

I couldn’t sleep anyway
There was nothing else to do with my rage and sorrow
no one believed me – everyone hid in the shadows of shame
I was a broken exile machine piled
exiled in the house I grew up in
so I ran…

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Marie Scampini

Marie Scampini is a published poet, playwright, short story writer, currently working on a poetry collection and project - 1775 Poems in 1775 Days, to save her life every day, on a page, and in this world; fighting for justice, safety, and equality for all, one person at a time.

Peaches

Peaches

i know, at least, that she was ripe
full of not a hardened pit like me
for so long
but hopes that began and ended
seven times over

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Amanda Linsmeier

Amanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers and Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her writing has been featured in Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction, she loves reading and writing fables, fairy tales, and fantasy, and sometimes she pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. When she’s not writing, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats. For her, writing is the best kind of magic, and her work is heavily influenced by mysterious women, nature, and beautiful images and fueled with lots of iced coffee and background music. She’s the kind of monster who dog-ears book pages, and she has read her favorite book, Beauty by Robin McKinley, probably a hundred times. She loves pizza, tattoos, shopping, and pretty much anything French.

Pies On The Sidewalk: A Gift Of Confidence From A Mother to Her Daughters

Pies On The Sidewalk: A Gift Of Confidence From A Mother to Her Daughters

My mom never knew she had actually prepared me the best way possible. She died thinking she had failed as a parent who should have protected her daughter. Because of her, I guarded myself and my daughters from a future of abuse, failure, and lost dreams. As a single mom, I didn’t have much to give my girls, but I gave them the confidence to become strong, determined women who have the courage to leave pies on the sidewalk when that’s the only option.…

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Dianne Blomberg, Ph.D.

Dianne Blomberg, Ph.D. is the author of books and articles related to relationship improvement, workplace communication, the psychology of communication, and children’s picture books, Sam and Gram and the First Day of School (Magination Press). Her research has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsday (New York), The Boston Globe, First for Women, The Denver Post, Family Life, Healthy Kids, Real Woman, Working Woman, Good Housekeeping. Currently, Dianne is working on a book, 25 Aprils: The Memoir of an Unconventional Marriage

Suicide, American Women and Privilege Bias: A Toxic Cocktail of Shame

Suicide, American Women and Privilege Bias: A Toxic Cocktail of Shame

The suicide rate is up 63% for women aged 45-65 and up 200% for girls aged 10-14. A worrying statistic but for some reason, this statistic and the damage privilege bias is causing to vulnerable women and girls is often ignored.

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Dr. Dannii Cohen

Dannii Cohen is a former stand-up comedian and comedy writer turned author, psychologist, professional counselor, life coach and self-help expert. She is specialized in LGBT issues, anxiety, women’s issues, female empowerment, and bullying. Dannii is an agony aunt for The Gay UK. Her books; When Clouds Hide The Sun, Christopher The Lonely Bear and 50 Things To Know To Have A Better Life, are all on Amazon.

The Jacket

The Jacket

The ruthless cold shakes my being,
flooding me with memories,
reminding me of the days I walked naked,
freezing to death by my consuming pain.

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Natasha Alexander

Writer, always Wife and Mother first. Perfect is overrated, I am flawed and yet loved. Now that I don’t chase perfection, I can chase my dreams. I have completed a "Write a Novel" course in 2015 through S.A. Writers’ College and passed with a distinction. I also completed the Copy-Editing and Proof-reading course through them in March 2016. My first Manuscript of 60 000 words has been written and currently seeking a publisher. I have been writing poetry since I was 14 and the reason/inspiration behind all my writing is a stand against women abuse. It is a cause that I hold close to heart. Something that started as an outlet for feelings too ghastly to speak about has turned into my passion.