MY RITUALISTIC SOUL

I did a bad thing.

well, I did an “oops” thing.

I slacked off on my daily rituals.
I eased out of my sacred moments of self-care.
I somehow lost my sight of the details, in the scope of the big picture.

and disaster struck.

you babes know how often I talk about self care, and soul care, and personal, sacred, daily rituals that help you grow & heal. well… I stopped doing those things. yup. I stopped living what I was preaching. I’m so very very human.

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and, to only prove what I tell y’all on the daily… it. messed. me. up.

the thing about these beautiful daily rituals (the lighting of a candle, the sitting with a cup of hot tea, the time spent journaling or with Jesus, the breakfast carefully crafted…) is that they keep our heart elevated to a place of peace & willingness. they keep our hearts safe enough that they become brave enough to reach out.
when I forget or dismiss these rituals, I become anxious, easily agitated, stubborn, and defensive. that’s why rituals can be especially important for those who suffer from anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses.

we all crave the things that remind us that we can be at peace, grounded, and in connection with ourselves, God, and the world around us. that’s why those daily rituals are SO important. they remind us not just of what’s important in life, but how to find access to those things.  Continue reading “MY RITUALISTIC SOUL”

WHY YOGA?

so… why do you do yoga?

I get this question aaaaallll the time, babes. it’s asked in a thousand different ways by a thousand different people with a thousand different motives.

and I love this question! the truth is, no matter who’s asking it for whatever reason (yup, definitely had people ask me this to try to prove their anti-yoga point), this is a question that never fails to spark some kind of excited flame in me… because oh, why do I practice yoga? let me count the ways, sister. 😉

because it soothes the mind

as someone who has lived with mantal illnesses, primarily anxiety and depression, for roughly 18 years of her 23+ year life, anything that calms my mind without a slew of negative side effects is my best effin friend. putting your physical body through postures of precision, steadiness, and intentionality has a profound calming effect on the brain. the signals sent through your nerves and your breath when you do something as intentional with your body as yoga, tell your brain that you’re alright, that you don’t need to panic. just a few minutes into a practice or flow & I can already feel my mind settling and my thoughts gaining clarity. and that’s priceless!

because it’s really good for your body

there are countless ways that yoga improves your overall physical health. increasing flexibility is just awesome for your body- you’re less likely to injure yourself in accidents or falls, you’re less likely to pull a muscle during another workout, and you’re less prone to stiffness/tension if you’re consistently stretching out your body. teaching your spine proper alignment (especially for those who sit at desks all day!) can make leaps and bounds of change when it comes to healing back, hip, and shoulder pain. alignment can also help clear up issues in the neck and head- for me, personally, my migraines dropped in amount significantly when I began practicing yoga and implementing proper alignment.


because it boosts confidence Continue reading “WHY YOGA?”

BEING LOVED IS BRAVE

hey babes.

we’re living an incredibly painful & difficult season over here in the Avrick house. that sounds like a broken record, doesn’t it? yeah. well, to be honest, the past three years have been both the hardest & best of our lives. and it just keeps going.

but I’m learning things. oh, how I’m learning. there’s nothing like a trial to plant you deeper, darker into black soil and then revel in your wild growth.

and here’s one of the freshest, most in-process truths I’m starting to tentatively sink into… being loved is brave. yeah.

letting yourself be loved. like, really sacrificially loved. it’s hard for me. it takes everything in me to soften and allow hands of love to be opened in my direction.

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it opens years of wounding, years full of fear that I’m a burden, that I’m too much to carry, that maybe I’m a waste, that I’m just a troublesome human clinging to affection. it’s close to impossible to be loved in big, mountain-moving ways without me feeling those old haunts coming back to wrap their toxins around my fragile heart.

it feels like an insurmountable task- to be fully loved. Continue reading “BEING LOVED IS BRAVE”

DEAR FRIEND

Dear friend…

if you are feeling lost, alone, marginalized, heartbroken, or hopeless, know this:

I AM FOR YOU.

JESUS IS WITH YOU.

you are not alone. there may be those who would desire to rip you apart, but sweet soul, they don’t win.

we who hold true & cling fast to the heart of our precious Jesus will always find those on our side. we will always find hope when we need it. we will always find sweet peace & a gentle home for our weary souls when we feel we cannot go on.

so when you are living in fear and looking around at a world broken with pride & hatred, remember this…


come back to your breath. this is the core of your physical & emotional self.

recognize that growth involves mourning. saying goodbye to the old things is painful, and it’s really really good.

release the toxic things. they stunt your growth. they break your will.

cling to what is good. this is your lifeline because all good is from Jesus.

remember your inherent worthiness as a daughter of Divine Love. you’ve been filled with a brilliant breath of glory. and yes, you’re worthy. worthy. worthy

know that your wild can also be your holy. 

love yourself fiercely, the way your are SO LOVED by the Divine, and let that love spill over to soak everyone around you with that fearless, brave, intentional LOVE.

we will make it through this. together.

SPIRITUAL ABUSE // WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET FREE

hey fam!

today I want to chat with you about a topic that can be really triggering and scary for some of us. it’s been weighing on my heart & I want to just get this truth out of me and shed some light on it okay?

many of us are probably familiar with the terms of sexual abuse/domestic abuse/emotional abuse… these are all deeply dehumanizing and disturbing behaviors that need to be called out & shut down. but something that so many people I know have been a victim of, and which most people don’t even seem to realize exists, is a despicable thing called spiritual abuse.

what is spiritual abuse?

spiritual abuse comes in many forms and wears many disguises. it can be subtle and hard to recognize or loud and blatant. here are just a few ways it can read its ugly head…

MISUSE OF SCRIPTURE

spiritual abuse most often happens when people throw around scripture incorrectly and without reverence, such as using it: out of context, to shame, to ostracize, to excuse or perpetrate cruel behaviors, to prove a point, to shut down a conversation, to silence, to blame, to mock, to build their high horse, to belittle, to brush off, to shrink your pain, to avoid the topic, to divert attention away from their own faults, with condescension, with anger, without kindness… the list could go on. the bottom line here is this: if you have ever been belittled, shamed, brushed off, silenced, or made to feel like your pain was irrelevant with quoted scripture, you have been a victim of spiritual abuse.


THE NARROW ROAD COMPLEX Continue reading “SPIRITUAL ABUSE // WHAT IT IS & HOW TO GET FREE”

FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP

hey there family.

how’s your heart doing? how does life feel against your skin? how’s the weight on your shoulders?

heavy?

yeah… me, too.

because I’ve been struggling real fierce with the weight lately. with the heaviness of all that the world is. all that the Way is. all the healing and woundedness in the world.

I’ve been taking more pauses for deep breaths meant to cleanse and pause and bring shalom into my heart. more because there’s more to breathe against. more to fear. more wounds to bind up.

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the world is heavy, and the weight is fearsome, and the depth of the rawness of our humanity is leagues and leagues more so than the ocean. and we must find a way to breathe through it, to surrender to the healing, even as the arrows pierce our hearts.

and all the bitter hypocrisy, all the callous & graceless acts of others, all the hard work for more disappointment, all the exhaustion and survival, all the confusion and frustration of WHY IS THIS THE WAY IT IS… sometimes it just leaves me bruised & busted up in my soul. Continue reading “FOR THE BRUISED & BUSTED UP”

MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD

maybe you know that my husband & I were surprised by a beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, sweet-natured, PERFECT (of course) little baby girl who was born just over a month ago. her name is Iola, and we love her to bits and pieces. though not literally. cause that would be odd. and unfortunate. 😉

maybe you also know that I have generalized anxiety disorder & clinical depression. the first time I remember experiencing a very-not-normal type of anxiety, I was only five years old, although it really came at me like a punch in the gut the summer after I turned 16.

if you’ve been around the blog for very long, you probably know both of those things. but here’s something you might not know:

mental illnesses like these run in my family.
and my husband’s family.

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and for this reason, I was never really sure I wanted to have my own children.

so…
sweet, freshly-diagnosed girl looking out into her future with these fears, this is for you.
strong mama in the double trenches of mental illness & motherhood, this is for you.
tentative pregnant gal who never had to think about this until you had to go cold turkey off your meds, this is for you.
anyone who loves a mama with a mental illness, this is for you. Continue reading “MENTAL ILLNESS & MOTHERHOOD”

IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY

hi there sweet souls!

I ducked out on a month-long hiatus from untidy grace (and most social media) for the month of february after our sweet Iola Grace was born… speaking of which…

yes! she is here! our darling girl is finally in our arms and it’s both easy and hard and beautiful and terrifying. we are completely overwhelmed in all the best ways, and we are equal parts out-of-our-minds exhausted & happy. ❤ she is the perfect addition to our family.

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((just after she was placed on my chest for the first time… be still my heart!))

it’s really important to me that I get to share the story of her birth. I think birth stories matter hugely because they are the stories of how we came to be, how we joined humanity in this wild flood of wild and holy chaos. they are the stories that contain the first moments of our lives, our first breaths, the first time we were touched and held and hands-on-loved.

birth stories come with waterfalls of emotion, too. there is always a bit of fear and panic entwined in the joy and expectation that surrounds the birth of a child. it isn’t all rainbows & butterflies, and sometimes that pain & panic can turn into trauma, deep physical ramifications, or postpartum anxiety & depression. I think ALL of it matters- the joy, the newness, the happy… and the fear and disappointment. all of it deserves a voice.

I will insert here a TRIGGER WARNING for those of you who had traumatic birth experiences. mine was, too, and I want to be sensitive to what you may have faced.

Continue reading “IOLA GRACE // THE BIRTH STORY”

10 (MORE) NOT SO TINY TRUTHS

a long time ago, I wrote a blog post called “10 not so tiny truths”, and it is still one of my favorites. it’s chalk-full of small, easy-to-remember truths for the days where you just can’t, you know?

well a lot of you really seemed to find a sense of solidarity and hope in that post, and today when I woke up totally askew & feeling all off, I realized it might be time to not just remind myself of those sweet old truths, but bring to light some new ones that I want to always remember. 

to read the previous list of ten not so tiny truths, all you have to do is click here.


here are TEN (MORE) NOT SO TINY TRUTHS:

1) there is enough grace (or forgiveness, or hope, or love, or _______) for all of us, and you don’t have to fear it running out.

2) it’s okay to stop watering the dead things.

3) you have been called “good & blessed”.

4) Jesus doesn’t regret saving you.

5) if you feel abandoned by churches or spirituality or religion or just love in general, remember… God seeks what has been driven away. 

6) you are allowed to change.

7) truth often divides before it binds.

8) nothing is ever wasted on Jesus.

9) just because you are soft does not mean you are not a force- honey and wildfire are both the color of gold. // Victoria Erickson

10) mercy triumphs over judgement.

tuck these small & powerful truths into your heart. save the link. share the post. copy them into your journal. write them in sharpie on your arms. you do you, sister. 

but remember them well, and recall them when you are floundering in doubt, in fear, in shame, in loneliness, in insecurity, in forgetfulness, in depression, in the in-between.

remember them always, and repeat them to your heart and to the hearts of your sisters and brothers. breathe fresh air into these truths as you turn them over and over and manifest them in your life. 

I’ll be here with you… repeating, ruminating, manifesting.

xoxo

LET’S ALL STOP USING “MENTALLY ILL” AS AN INSULT

yeeaahh… let’s all just agree to not do this, okay? 

for those of you who haven’t had to walk this road, please allow me to humbly explain to you why this phrase can really wound when used incorrectly. I know that as our friends & family, you care about those of us who have to battle monsters like anxiety, depression, or another disorder, and we want to communicate to you how we can all best live in harmony! sound good? good.

here’s the thing: some of us are mentally ill. it’s a fact of life. sometimes our brain chemicals just aren’t doing their job, and it leaves us in the dust trying to figure out which way is up! or perhaps it was a traumatic event in our past that has significantly screwed with our emotionally sanity. either way, our lives look a little different from other people’s. 

here’s thing #2: mental illness is exactly what it says it is… an illness. like cancer or arthritis, it’s a sickness that takes lots of time, care, and sometimes medication to begin to heal. and while some mental illnesses can cause things like outbursts, momentary lapses in judgement, and the like, it’s not something that makes people terrible human beings.


when the people we know say things like “ugh what a complete mentally ill moron”, those of us who actually are mentally ill, associate the two. we feel like you must think that mentally ill people are terrible, mean, and ignorant. or worse… that because we are mentally ill, we have no other destiny than to become wicked people who hurt others and cause strife

those are already some of our deepest fears. we’re already scared that we are doomed to become horrible human beings because our mental illness has somehow broken us beyond repair. these are all lies our brains are already assaulted with. these are already lies we are fighting off at every moment. we are constantly striving to be kind & genuine people, despite the fog of confusion that clouds our hearts & minds

people with mental illness may be unconventional, but our illness does not take away our inherent worth, or make us somehow less than, or doomed to a fate where we are brokenly breaking everyone around us.

we are capable of greatness & goodness. but we won’t rise to our height of possibility, unless you believe in us, unless you’ve got our backs, unless we know that you will stand up for us. we can do this… but only with your help! 

can we all agree to no longer use mental illness as an insult anymore?

awesome. I knew I could count on you. 😉

xoxo