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Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

In the early decades of the 21st century, when the free people of the world wanted to become subjects of a powerful monarch or TV personality, the cataracts of confusion fell upon even the clearest eyes. It was a time when even previously sensible people doubted all sources of information except the wild-eyed, crazy-haired madmen of the internet realm who had access to a camera and microphone, but nothing else.

The Princess, Most Smart, and Beautiful Contest could usually bring calm to the masses, but in this time and place, the contest itself and its previous winner were part of…


A trauma-informed approach is the start of the road to wholeness and the path of empathy in action.

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Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Do you remember the first time you witnessed hatred, cruelty, or violence? Did it occur in your personal environment or did it affect the world around you? Chances are that at some point, from birth onward you were exposed to something that stole your innocence and shaped your worldview. These large and small traumas define us as humans. For many people, these experiences begin in childhood. Perhaps witnessing domestic violence in the home or being abused by a parent or caretaker. By the time a child goes to school, he or she may have endured multiple traumas.

Children who’ve endured…


As a country, we’ve survived a short, tumultuous history. There’s no guarantee we can survive much longer unless we awaken from the fog of sleep, educating ourselves as to how we can show up better for one another.

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Photo by Shari Sirotnak on Unsplash

When I was 9 or 10 years old, I read a children’s biography of Francis Scott Key. I was an avid reader and writer of poetry and short stories in my little alcove writing nook of the bedroom I shared with my sister. My alcove was the place of dreams, imagination and a fervent desire to understand the world. The biographies I read captivated me and I imagined myself to be the person I read about — whether Lotta Crabtree or Francis Scott Key.

I pictured myself on that ship in the Boston Harbor waiting through the night for the…


parents making arch with hands over children
parents making arch with hands over children

Are you confused by all the hype about parenting styles? Do you wonder about the difference between parenting styles? Why does it seem like every time you turn around you end up comparing your parenting abilities to some new approach? Are you bewildered by all the conflicting information?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then read on.

Parenting can be daunting and sometimes overwhelming. In the craziness of 2020, it’s even more weird and challenging than before. Understanding and and knowing how to use parenting styles should, for all practical purposes, be helpful to you. Getting a…


man with a red umbrella
man with a red umbrella
Photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

I’ve been on the edge of my seat for days, poorly hiding my irritability and impatience. I’ve listened to as much of the impeachment trial as I possibly could and still go to work and sleep. I listened to podcasts that covered just the facts without commentary. I’ve paid attention to the news to see what others are saying, depending upon my NY Times and Washington Post apps to keep me up to the minute informed. I take this seriously and have made myself knowledgable. I’m a detail-oriented citizen. I use my critical thinking skills.

The first few days were…


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Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

First off, I have always been pro-choice. I’m of the first generation of women to start and complete my reproductive years completely covered by the right to choose if I want to be pregnant or not.

I was an adolescent girl in the 1970’s, and the legalization of abortion rights was not on my radar. In the 1980’s, however, I remember the rumblings as the far right agenda began to take hold—mega churches, easy answers, lot’s of judgment and anger toward feminists, a big anti-abortion rights wave sweeping through the land, albeit often classified as “fringe”. Also, a lot of…


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Photo by Andreas Fidler on Unsplash

This year you didn’t bother with resolutions for the new year. Why should you? Last year, you made them but didn’t follow them for even a month. You didn’t make the changes you needed to then, and now it seems so much more difficult.

The plans you made to leave the bad relationship, get the new job, or fix the broken things in your life just haven’t panned out. It’s not that you’re lazy, but the motivation and drive are not there. It seems like a giant, uphill battle to begin, so you postpone till another time.

After awhile, you…


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Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

You deserve better.

You know this, and your friends constantly remind you, but you don’t really know it.

When you entered into this relationship, you fell in love with a person who was attentive and loving, and seemed to be everything you wanted. You took at face value what was presented to you.

When they changed, you couldn’t believe it. The abuse, whether subtle or apparent, began. Where was that person you fell in love with? Then almost immediately, like magic, they changed back again as if nothing had ever happened, and you were left questioning yourself. Did they really…


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Photo by Yilmaz Akin on Unsplash

A sensitive introvert walks into a noisy bar, or a party, or an event where lots of networking and small talk are expected. The introvert knows how to do this, and even succeed, but picks up on the energy of the people in the room, feels like a fake so puts up walls to protect herself, talks to lots of other walls, and finally goes home irritated and drained. Does this sound familiar?

This is not the beginning of a bad joke, but a reality many people face regularly. Maybe you’re one of them? I certainly am.

It’s not that…


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“yellow neon light signage” by Gabriel Bassino on Unsplash

There’s the snide, off-handed comment in the work place or the gaslighting from an intimate partner, the eye-rolling, sideways glances to others while you stand idly by like a fool not knowing what to say. It’s like you can’t see, but of course, you do, and it all speaks judgment.

The uncomfortable behaviors are followed by passive-aggressive comments that you really don’t know how to respond to, and when you try, you’re met with a response like: “Why are you so sensitive?”, “Can’t you take a joke?”, or “Geez, I was just kidding… you’re always so defensive!”.

These same people…

ellyn bell

servant of social good; practical mystic; working to make kindness and good manners popular again.

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