• ask leahpeah,  race

    White Privilege

    When I wrote my guide for white people about systemic racism, the main feedback I’ve received in emails and direct messages from white people is some variation of, “I’m not racist. Stop calling me that. My life was/is hard. I don’t have white privilege.” There’s a big misconception out there of what it means to have white privilege. Having white privilege is not a “bad” thing. It is a responsibility. I tell you this with all the love in my heart, white people. Here’s how you know if you have white privilege: Are you white? Do you have white skin? If the answer is yes = you have white privilege.…

  • family,  flawed but authentic,  friends,  Health & Wellness,  lupus,  mental health,  race,  religion,  that joe,  United States of Tara

    Hidden Gifts

    This past year or so I’ve been trying to find the gifts in whatever life hands me. When I’m stuck in traffic, maybe it’s that I got to hear something really great on NPR before I reached my destination. If I dropped and shattered a favorite heirloom glass serving bowl, maybe it’s that when I swept the floor I found the missing earring I’ve been looking for under the fridge. You get the idea. The game is thus: can I find the gift no matter how deeply it’s hidden, because I really and truly have to believe in a God that cares about me so much, He would only give…

  • family,  friends,  Health & Wellness,  mental health

    Holding Space for the Broken Hearted

    The sister of Empathy is called Holding Space. They hold hands a lot and hang out together watching old episodes of M.A.S.H., sharing a bag of BBQ potato chips, and wiping their red-tipped fingers on their jeans. Empathy, as we’ve discussed, is when you can feel what another person is feeling by making them human to you because you can identify their experience with something that’s happened in your own life. Holding Space is when you give that other person all the room they need to process their emotions without judgment, shame, or irritation, and you don’t try to fix the problem. Think about when you’ve gone through something challenging…

  • politics,  race

    A White Lady’s Guide to Systemic Racism

    Hello, White People. I’m glad you’re here. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a fight because you’re mad I’m talking about this, or if you’re happy you found some information you’ve been looking for, or if you’re anywhere in between on the spectrum, welcome. Information is good and the more times you are informed about something new or hard, the easier time you’ll have making peace with it. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable for a little while. Sit with it. It’s going to be ok. [ If you’d like to join a group of people trying to figure out how their white privilege supports systemic racism, go here and join…

  • family,  flawed but authentic,  hard!!

    To The Family Tribe of the Other

    Hi. If you read that long epistle I wrote and got really irritated and bugged and kept rolling your eyes or thought things like, “it’s not that bad,” or “she’s exaggerating and it’s disgusting,” or “we’re not like that at all,” then rest assured it was not for you! Congratulations! You are not the Other in your family. Your knee-jerk reactions of anger, frustration, disgust, and fear are totally normal. It’s ok to feel threatened. It’s tribal. Let me just assure you that I’m not trying to make you do anything. I know how deep your feelings of protecting your tribe go. If you find as you read this piece…

  • family,  flawed but authentic,  hard!!,  mental health

    The Harm of Othering

    (Are you a Person of Color? You will see the * periodically throughout this piece. Please know as you read I am talking about family dynamics and not systemic racism, which is a completely different kettle of fish.) I’ve been thinking about you. And about me because I am you. And about how all of us fit together in this Earth Experience, this thing called, (as Prince said), Life. I don’t love labels so I try to avoid them, but sometimes they are helpful when you’re trying to get down to the nitty-gritty and see what’s what. There are other words we could use like “crazy” and “lazy” and “selfish”…

  • flawed but authentic,  Health & Wellness,  mental health

    Being Yourself

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be yourself, to own who you are, since I wrote my last post. I’ve heard from several people who have asked some variation of, “Yes, but *how* do I start being who I want to be and not who I’ve been acting like?” I don’t know that I have the magic answer, but I do have some ideas to share, as I sit here on the couch in my yoga pants and slippers, unshowered as of yet at 11am on a Wednesday. Maybe it’s time to sit with being uncomfortable. Change, most of the time, means not being in comfort.…

  • blogher,  photos

    Beautiful Souls

    In 2014, photographer Katie Gardner took some photos for me at Blogher for a project that never materialized. Our intent was to put together a book, but the resources to put that book together never showed up no matter how hard we tapped the Universe’s shoulder. We saved the most beautiful photos of these women for this non-existent book and I think of them often, wishing they were being seen. If you want to think of this as a Mother’s Day thing, fine. Some of them are mothers. Some of them have mothers. But I’d rather think of them as what they are – Beautiful Souls who let us see…

  • health,  Health & Wellness,  lupus,  that joe,  true love

    Your Body Is Not Your Enemy

    Let me set the scene for you. We’re sitting on the couch, my husband and I, my nose buried in his shoulder. I’m weeping, beside myself with a ball of grief and failure burning through my chest like fire, wiping snot on his arm, making noises that are approximations of words, but no one can know for sure. I have auto-immune issues that after several years of being in remission have reared their ugly head starting sometime last December and have now flared with the vengeance of a fifteen-year-old girl who lost her cellphone privileges and is punishing her parents. I can’t sit very long without pain. I can’t stand…

  • art,  mental health,  that joe

    Oh, Fall, You Cruel Mistress

    I love this time of year, I said, in super serious sincerity. Jeans. Boots. Chunky sweaters. (HAHAHAHAHAhahahaha just kidding. It hasn’t been lower than 75 and it’s going to be 93 on Friday.) Hot drinks make more sense (because I drink them even in the sweltering heat of summer). Less people at the beach, which leaves more room to enjoy the gorgeous sunsets. The promise of holidays around the corner and the chance to see family. Things feel, I don’t know, more cozy. And then it all starts to tilt sideways. The first thing that happens is my mind starts to whirrrr with the possibilities of ideas. This part is…

  • Heal Something Good

    Heal Something Good – 2015 Edition This Fall!

    I’m super excited to announce that an updated edition of my book, Heal Something Good, will be coming this fall! It holds new research, new material, and new tips. The one down side to this is that when the current version of my book is taken down from Amazon and Lulu, I’ll lose the sales standing and reviews. To encourage reviews (and ultimately sales) of the new edition, we’re offering a free pdf of Heal Something Good to anyone who is willing to leave a review on either Amazon or Lulu when the new version comes out. And for those that actually do leave a review, we’ll send you a…

  • blogher,  kids,  writing

    Releasing Grief

    I’ve had my fair share of grief over the years and when you have a real conversation with just about anyone, you realize they, too, have had theirs. We live on the surface so much of the time, nodding our heads hello and nice to see you, which is to be expected when we’re all surviving with our heads just above the surface. I’ve learned that to release grief and move beyond it, you truly have to feel it. That can be scary. It can feel like you’re probably going to die. There are usually a lot of tears involved and sometimes kicking pillows or throwing rocks into the sea…