About this site
Tenets, Backstory, & FAQ
Here are some key truths that that this site seeks to convey:
When you're dealing with a difficult feeling or situation, that difficult thing is not who you are. It's just a place you're traveling through.
You are not alone. Tons of other people have gone through whatever you're dealing with right now, and lots more are going through it with you right now. We can help each other out and share notes. And we can benefit from all the wisdom, art, and inspiration that creative folks have given us through the ages to light the path through these rough spots.
You are so loved. You'd better just go ahead and accept that.
When you're in your most loving place, you're home. (But it's okay if it takes a little while to get there.)
Here's why I made this guide: I'm pretty forgetful. I read the most helpful and inspiring stuff, and it changes my life for a few weeks -- and then it slips my mind. I sometimes learn important and liberating life lessons, usually the hard way -- and then a little ways down the road, I've lost sight of them.
Starting around the 15th century, when books were more difficult to come by, people wrote down their favorite passages, quotations, recipes, etc. in something called a commonplace book. I've been making commonplace books, myself, for a couple of decades, due to the whole forgetfulness thing, so that it's easier to find those lines that had moved me.
Then, a few years back, I started keeping a similar type of notebook for the life lessons I was learning along the way. I actually started doing this for the benefit of the practice itself: I found that when I was in a rough spot, asking, "How can I study this situation in order to learn how to overcome it?" was the one thing that rescued me from the quicksand of self-pity and put me on solid ground again. Becoming a student of life made me feel sturdy and strong even when my circumstances were otherwise scary.
But no small benefit of this practice was that, in time, I did actually learn how to overcome some of these obstacles, and navigate through some of those difficult feelings! Hidden inside each difficulty were the keys to getting free of it. As I was discovering these keys, I started to gather them into an outline, so that I could find them again. I've since found it immensely, embarrassingly helpful to go back and read this outline when I'm in a rough patch again, and be reminded what helped the last time I was there (forgetfulness springs eternal).
The lessons that I've learned, the lessons that wiser guides have offered us, the poetry and music that artists have created for us, and most of all, the lessons of your own that you can share with others in this community -- this is what this site hopes to make accessible so that everyone can get what they need when they need it.
Beyond that: the Truth section of the site is just what I feel deep down is the most important thing for everyone to know. The Thrive section is for not just getting through difficult spots, but actively getting stronger and more at home in yourself when things are good, too.
Wait, who are you?
Hey! I'm Meg. :) I don't have a full-color, LinkedIn-style bio here because this site isn't about me and my career. It's about us. It's about what we all go through in the vagaries and wonders of the human experience. It's about all the other people who have shown the way through the swamps. It's about you and how you can use this to make your own life a stronger, happier, more centered place. It's about how loved you are, and how much you can help others. And it's about how you can interact and give feedback and share thoughts to help this site to keep evolving and getting better.
But that said, I'll tell you a couple of details about myself that are relevant to this site. One is that I have an interdisciplinary Ph.D. that brought together several fields in the arts and sciences to study emotion and its influence on how we think. Another is that I was lucky enough to go on Outward Bound, and similar outdoor adventures, as a teenager, and I still use the gifts of those experiences almost daily: that you're hardier than you think; that a journey can be scary and uncomfortable and amazing all at the same time; that if you've got some great companions and some good tunes to sing while you're out on the trail, well, that's just about all you need.
Does this site have a particular school of thought behind it?
Not really! This site isn't centrally about any one approach, like mindfulness or cognitive-behavioral psychology. It draws eclectically from literature (both ancient and modern) and other arts, simple observations and reflections on life experience, and a bit of spiritual-but-not-religious perspectives on love and meaning.
Can this site help with mental health issues or other medical problems?
I'm so glad you asked! No, that's not what it's designed for. Please click here to learn more about what this site does and doesn't offer, and where you can get other types of help.
What if I have more questions?
I'd love to hear them! Come on over to the Contact page to drop me a line.
Photo by Bryan Minear