Equilibria Sale: Stock-Up on Some of Our Favorite Self-Care Items

I’ve never been one to skimp on self-care, mostly because every aspect of self-care that’s been marketed to me is stuff I already love. Bath bombs? Face masks? Wine nights watching Real Housewives of New York? Count me in. Why would I skip out on the stuff that truly love? Then, I finally learned the hard way that self-care isn’t always those rainbow and sunshine moments when you’re surrounded by your favorite things using an expensive AF skincare product or a cozy blanket. Self-care is about taking care of yourself, especially your emotional self. And that isn’t always so glamorous. 

Once I learned that self-care was about more than my favorite things, I got serious about it. The first step was finding a way to get a handle on my daily anxiety, and so far, the biggest difference I’ve noticed is using Equilibria’s CBD products every day. 

Invest in yourself and your self-care, and right now, it’s even easier. It’s Equilibria’s second birthday, so they’re offering 22% off site-wide—and to make it even better, first-time customers can stack code “theeverygirl” for another 20% off and a free vegan leather pouch to hold all your goodies! Plus, existing customers will receive a free mini Mineral Soak as a thank you for being an EQ member. Not sure where to start? We always recommend the Brilliance Box for first-timers, filled with Equilibria’s top three products: the Daily Drops, Daily Softgels, and the Relief Cream. Here are the products I love and use every day:


22% off Equilibria CBD

plus, new customers can stack this discount with our code for an additional 20% off

use code theeverygirl


Daily Drops

This was the first product I tried from Equilibria, and it’s stayed in my routine ever since. I notice the biggest difference when I’m using this every single day. It calms me down, helps me fall asleep, and is a nice ritual to add to my morning. I typically add it to my morning coffee because then I can sip it throughout the morning, making it a little bit more enjoyable and easy to remember to use. I keep it next to my French press in the kitchen too, so I seriously never forget.

Shop it now


Relief Cream

Equilibria’s Relief Cream was practically made for cramps. I have endometriosis, and it’s the only topical treatment I’ve ever found that helps. Lately, I use it on sore muscles, and I recently turned my mom to using it for tension headaches, and she’s already purchased a second tub! The texture isn’t too sticky or oily either, so you could easily apply it without having to wait naked forever for it to sink into your skin.

Shop it now


Mindful Mineral Soak

When I use this, I sleep like an absolute baby. I really struggle to fall asleep at a proper hour, and this is one of the only things that’s helped me. I’ll take a bath about an hour or so before I want to go to bed, and I’m always tired and ready the second I lay down. It relaxes me like nothing else I’ve ever tried, and when I’m out of it, my baths truly aren’t the same.

Shop it now


Dynamic Roller Duo

Have these impacted me the same way as the Daily Drops? No, but they’re a special thing I can do for myself to ease anxiety and tension in the middle of a hectic workday at home. I keep them in my desk (as does most of our other editors!) and apply them to my wrist, temples, and chest (so I can catch whiffs of it throughout the day—a trick I learned in a yoga class!) whenever I’m feeling “blah.” They’re a simple addition to my routine that makes getting through that 2 p.m. slump a lot better.

Shop it now


This post was in partnership with Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.



Darling Letters: Nothing Is Wasted

A piece of art that says "Good Things Take Time" near a table with a lamp and flowers

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

Since living in Los Angeles, I’ve had a number of jobs. Barista. Editorial Assistant. Freelancer. Creative Writing Teacher. Nanny. Teacher’s Assistant. Event Coordinator. Managing Editor.

I can recall the stories tucked neatly behind each title. The 3:30 a.m. wake up calls for the coffee shop. The venue tours as an event planner. The games with a classroom of third graders. From a cursory glance, my resume may seem random. At many times, the journey felt that way—even as I was living it out.

From a cursory glance, my resume may seem random. At many times, the journey felt that way.

I came to L.A. with my Jeep packed to the brim to pursue my dream of being a women’s magazine editor. The path certainly has not been linear. Many times when I was sweeping the floor of a coffee shop, changing diapers or tearing down decor, nothing made sense. When the rejection letters in my email piled up, I often felt lost and like a failure.

Today, I look back and smile knowing that every “random” job actually was not random at all. Working with kids taught me creativity and a sense of humor. Working as a barista taught me people skills and empathy. My time as an event planner taught me organization and leadership. I wouldn’t change my nonlinear career path for anything.

Today, I look back and smile knowing that every “random” job actually was not random at all.

Sometimes, when we are on the journey and it doesn’t look like we planned, it can be easy to call it “bad.” Let’s dare to call even the unknown good. Every experience is used for the building of our character. Even if our paths are not linear or seemingly perfect, there is still purpose in each step along the way. Nothing is wasted.

With love,

Stephanie Taylor, Darling Online Managing Editor

Has your career path looked different than you anticipated? Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Image via Tony Li Photography


Darling Letters: Cuando Sanidad No Es Lineal

A woman standing outside of a building on the road

Darling is working to translate some of our content into Spanish. If you have edits or feedback on this translation, our team would love your input! Email and include Spanish Translation in your subject line.

For the English version, click here.

Translation via Jennifer Rodriguez

Sé que lo has oído una y otra vez—la sanidad no es lineal. Esto no se aplica sólo a la sanación física. Si no también a la sanidad mental y emocional.

A la mayoría de nosotras nos gustaría empaquetar nuestras “cosas” en un bonito moño con una etiqueta que dice “completas,” y nunca volver a visitarlas. ¡Si solo funcionara así!

He descubierto que la sanidad para mí ocurre en etapas. Algunas de las etapas vuelvo a visitar después de sentir que ya las he superado. Con eso, a menudo viene una gran decepción, pero intento no quedarme en ese lugar por demasiado tiempo. Me doy permiso de sentirme frustrada, triste, enojada o lo que necesite sentir en el momento. Me recuerdo a mí misma que los contratiempos y la sanidad van mano a mano.  

Me recuerdo a mí misma que los contratiempos y la sanidad van mano a mano.  

Me habló positivamente a mi misma—a mi cuerpo que me ha llevado a través de más de lo que debería haber sido capaz, a mi mente que afortunadamente todavía es capaz y a mi corazón que sigue siendo sensible, a pesar de que todo lo que el mundo me ha lanzado podría haberlo convertido en piedra. 

Dondequiera que te encuentres hoy en tu trayectoria de sanidad, espero que puedas darte gracia  cuando tropieces o des pasos hacia atrás. Estás haciendo lo mejor que puedes.

La sanidad es un proceso. Vayamos paso a paso.

Jenneh Rishe, la familia Darling

¿Qué sanación física, mental o emocional estás atravesando? ¿Cómo puedes mostrarte gracia de una manera práctica hoy?

Imagen vía Janesa Spina


‘Behind Her Eyes’ Is A Shocking Thriller–And No One Is Talking About It

As many of us do, I love a good thrill. I like when a book, show, or movie can truly shock me. But I rarely experience it anymore. There have been thrillers and dramas I’ve loved (The Undoing, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, I’m Thinking of Ending Things—the book… not that wretched film—The Haunting of Hill House, to name a few), but I haven’t experienced the shock factor of googling every hidden message and theory since I saw Us in theaters. And before that, it wasn’t since my favorite thriller of all time, Get Out. Have I seen too much? Am I somehow too in-tune with the tricks of the trade? Somehow, I find everything predictable, and once it’s predictable, it’s downgraded immediately to a 5/10. But last night, I binge-watched the most shocking piece of media I’ve consumed in my life… and I feel like no one else is talking about it. 



Behind Her Eyes is a Netflix-original thriller limited series based on a book with the same name by Sarah Pinborough that was released in February. It follows a secretary and mom, Louise, after she begins a relationship with her psychiatrist boss while simultaneously striking a friendship with his mysterious wife. It sounds predictable, so I admittedly had very low stake in the show. There are few things I despise in a thriller: “wife kills cheating husband,” “cheating husband kills mistress,” “husband kills wife because she finds out he’s cheating,” and yada yada. It’s old, boring, and personally not something I find horrifying anymore; we get it—men aren’t to be trusted. So when I saw this show revolved around cheating quite a bit, I paused. However, I did love The Undoing which involved infidelity quite a bit, so I gave this show a chance too. And wow, am I glad I did. 


Last night, I binge-watched the most shocking piece of media I’ve consumed in my life… and I feel like no one else is talking about it. 


About halfway through the series, I started texting a few people I knew. “Hey, I’m watching this new show on Netflix, Behind Her Eyes, I think you’d like it.” Although we had the cheating plot that I hate, there were aspects that I was enjoying: the multiple POVs of different characters, seeing some characters in the past, the sex, etc. 

Around the halfway mark of the final episode, I thought to myself (I live alone, so likely aloud), “This has a pretty predictable ending, but it’s a little different and has been pretty good, so I’m giving it a solid 7/10.” But then, we arrived at the last 25 minutes… which changed everything. I sent a text to about every single person I knew that looked a little something like this: 



I’m not including spoilers in this solely because I need every single person to watch it including our editors who will have to read this. That’s how important it is to me that everyone watches this show. Don’t wait to watch; it’s the perfect thing to pull up for an evening, grab some good local takeout, and relax. Is it the best show you’ll ever lay your eyes on? Probably not—as with most horror/thriller things, there are always some “why did no one call 911?” moments, but the shock-factor alone made it a 10/10 for me.


If you need a few more reasons to convince you, here is just a shortlist of why you should watch, aside from that absolute rave review above:


#1. It has the makings of an incredible drama. So many secrets. So little communication. Lots of tension for seemingly no reason. 

#2. Hot Scottish guy with a beautiful accent and even more beautiful you-know-what (AKA beware of slight nudity, so don’t watch with kids)

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Behind Her Eyes Official (@behindhereyesnetflix)

#3. It’s a wee-bit supernatural. Not in a ghost way, but in a “all events come back to this very strange phenomenon” way that I, personally, found riveting.

#4. Simona Brown, who plays Louise, is a knockout actress and this was her first big role!

#5. The other main actress, who plays Adele, is Bono’s daughter. More importantly, I discovered her real name is: Memphis Eve Sunny Day Iris Hewson. What a name. What. A. Name. (She goes by Eve Hewson if you’re looking her up like I did.) 

#6.  The “what just happened” feeling right after the finale when you just stare at a wall wondering what on Earth you just watched.

#7. You’ll end your binge-watch by googling every theory and Easter egg you missed throughout watching the show—which is A LOT.


Did we convince you to watch? Want to discuss spoilers? Leave a comment below to chat with our editors! 


The Hope I Found While Navigating Depression and Anxiety

A woman with red lipstick looking off in the distance

Depression found my emotions when they had nowhere left to go. It swallowed them up whole, well, all except one. It was generous enough to leave my favorite behind. Strange how anxiety can dwell in the same cramped crevice. Anxiety and depression are said to be opposites, but I find opposites can inhabit your head quite comfortably.

They were always there, somewhere, the emotions. However, whenever I felt them rising up, I pushed them back down the way I’d always done. It was easier, less tiring and less painful to leave them that way. I’ve learned to keep them in control so well that I never dreamed they would overcome me. I certainly hadn’t expected an ambush—a sudden emptiness, like a vacuum sucking both the good and the bad out of my chest, only to be filled with a surge of anger so powerful that I can only stagger back, unable to recognize myself.

I’ve learned to keep [emotions] in control so well that I never dreamed they would overcome me.

One unnecessary work call, and I want to throw my phone against the wall and swear. Can there really be this much spite and frustration in me, for something as small as this? Can there be rage trapped in my heart waiting to be unleashed? 

Back and forth, it goes like this for weeks—spurts of fury and slumps of hollow apathy. I find little motivation. I fake laughter. My dark room and cold bed are warm and inviting. 

I retreat into the shadows and wait for the outside to match. My love for natural light is replaced with fierce agitation at the unbearable heat, the blinding afternoon rays of what California dares to call winter. It’s hateful. It’s ridiculous.

Even in the long, lethargic nights, my mind doesn’t stop planning, calculating. Depression, the new arrival, never bumps out anxiety in its place. They simply share my brain. No exciting plans? Plenty of time to think about your next meal, then. Or your next grocery trip. Your next food binge.

Old habits don’t die hard—they don’t die at all. Not when half your mind is too numb to bother, and the other half is working in glee to keep them alive. A perfect marriage of two mental illnesses, along with a resurgent eating disorder and whatever new occupant there might be room for, and there’s plenty. 

Plenty of room. That’s when I remember. I remember when my roommate comes home at the end of the day with a grin and says something that makes me smile. I remember when I hear that one friend, with that unfailing roar of laughter no matter what the mood, appropriate or not. I remember when I see the faces, even over a screen, of people who have said (in words or otherwise, once or again and again) that I matter in their lives.

I remember that there was before, and there still is, plenty of room in my heart for more than one emotion. That this new visitor temporarily dwelling inside is no bigger than the others, regular inhabitants before and during COVID: excitement, delight, passion. 

I remember that there was before, and there still is, plenty of room in my heart for more than one emotion.

2020 forced my heart to make room. Its unwelcome visitors wrenched apart the taut, narrow walls and made themselves at home, but they did not find themselves alone. Like an immune system battling for its master, the existing emotions fought back, fought for their place and fought to remain. Their efforts are not wasted; their struggle has sustained me.

Depression and anxiety have not won. Sadness and Agitation—two mere soldiers next to my battalion of Laughter, Affection, Patience, Openness and Understanding. They could have never fought against them, though, if I hadn’t let them in. If I hadn’t let them in, I would’ve never learned I needed them.

Depression and anxiety have not won. 

When I permitted my negative emotions, they stopped defining me. When I recognized their power, it went away. When I treated them as something that can coexist alongside things like joy, hope and excitement, they became insignificant.

Everyone wants their spotlight. Our tears. Our screams. Our cries of outrage. Let them have it for one moment, and they’ll find their natural place next to the others. Give them their moment, and they, too, will be satisfied.

Our hearts know us. They work together with our minds, our bodies. We are not designed for infinite pools of sorrow. That is the hope I hold onto—letting the emotions stay, knowing it won’t be forever. Even sadness knows boredom—and the others are pushing their way forward, eagerly awaiting their turn.

How can you make room for heavy emotions without allowing yourself to dwell on them? Is there room for joy and sadness, hope and sorrow? How do you find balance?

If you or someone you know needs help, then visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or 211. You can also call The Lifeline at this number for 24/7, free and confidential support: 1-800-273-8255.

Image via Melanie Acevedo, Darling Issue No. 11


10 Health Hacks for When You Think You’re Too Busy To Prioritize Your Health

Whether you have a side business, work from morning until night, take care of kids and pets, or juggle all of the above, making time for yourself can get hard. Busy people know they can’t waste a minute, and work through lunch, weekends, or even holidays in a constant effort to chase the clock. Maybe you’ve even stayed up late just trying to finish every item on your to-do list (knowing you have an early-morning wake-up call), or you forget to eat breakfast because you’ve been at your desk from the minute you wake up until lunchtime.

But here’s a news flash for you go-getters: being busy does not mean you have to (or should) forget about your health. In fact, a busy lifestyle is a sign that you need to focus on your wellbeing even more. If you just did a major eye roll and said yeah, right out loud, I see you. Here are 10 tried-and-true hacks that make a healthy lifestyle easy, convenient, and possible, no matter how busy you are. 


1. Find easier alternatives to grocery shopping, meal prepping, etc.

I get it: meal prepping, planning, and shopping feel impossible when you have a busy day, week, or life. So if all the steps that lead to healthy cooking just aren’t going to happen, then skip them. Blue Apron offers wellness options like vegetarian, 600 calories or less, WW-approved, etc., so not only can you select meals that you’ll look forward to all day, but you’ll be eating meals that help you eat better with less work. You won’t have to plan ahead, meal prep, or shop for groceries. It basically gives you all the benefits of better eating without the time suck. Plus, Blue Apron also offers customizations, so you can swap, add, or upgrade proteins on select meals to tailor them to your diet, preferences, or lifestyle goals.

Flash Sale alert: for today only, get $100 off your first five boxes!


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Blue Apron (@blueapron)


2. Start with the most important thing every day

It’s easy to get into the mindset of not having enough time when you have back-to-back meetings or attempt to fit in errands before dinner time. We delay the activities meant for only ourselves, or we feel like our time is better spent in other ways when we’re in the midst of work and chores. To avoid pushing it off (or skipping it altogether), do the single most important activity first thing in the morning. Whether it’s getting in a workout, taking some time for meditation, or prepping healthy meals for the whole day, do it first thing so you know it will get done.


3. Get in tune with what you need most

Some days, it just isn’t possible to fit in a 60-minute run, go to the grocery store, have some alone time, and call your mom. While wellness is about finding balance in all areas of your life (work, relationships, diet, exercise, etc.), you likely need different things on different days. Rather than worrying about how to fit in everything every day (you’ll just get overwhelmed and end up not fitting in anything), get in tune with what acts of wellness your mind and body need most each day. That might be taking a bath one day, while other days might be a high-energy dance class to burn off some steam, and other days that might mean having a glass of wine with your best friend. Start asking your body what it needs and make time accordingly. 


4. Have a water bottle with you at all times

Too busy to remember to hydrate? Been there done that. Since hydration is crucial for overall health and wellbeing, the simple solution is to keep a water bottle with you at all times. Even better, make sure your water bottle is as large as possible so you can refill less often. Another water bottle hack? Make sure there’s a straw in it so you can mindlessly sip while working on your laptop (it sounds silly, but even the extra step of taking off the cap and taking a drink can stop you). Think of your water bottle as you think of your phone: it goes everywhere with you. Bring it if you’re running errands or you move from your desk to the couch. The more consistent you are with hydration, the less you’ll have to think about it.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Period Educator + Practitioner (@berrionlberry)


5. Identify non-negotiables (but let everything else go)

Days or weeks that are extra busy typically mean we forego our regular healthy habits. It’s absolutely OK to pause some of your rituals, workouts, or routines as your daily schedule changes or busy periods come and go. But that doesn’t mean everything should go. Health too often feels all-or-nothing; if we’re not eating healthy, exercise goes too. In reality, if one healthy habit goes, it’s even more reason to stick with the others. Identify a couple of non-negotiable routines or practices that make you feel your best, and then prioritize them no matter what. Whether it’s getting a meditation every morning or going for a jog three times a week, keep up with only a couple of crucial rituals and routines to make self-care during a busy time feel more manageable.


6. Adjust your environment

You probably think about your home in terms of how to make it prettier, cozier, and cleaner. But what about making it more convenient for your health? First of all, surround yourself with motivating images, start a vision board, or post your affirmation on your mirror, desk, or fridge. Seeing a visual representation of why you care about your health will help you stay motivated when you’re busy. Also, make healthy habits easier. Keep your blender in an accessible spot, display healthy cookbooks on the shelves, leave your yoga mat out, and keep your essential oil diffuser right by your bed. You’ll be much more able to fit in healthy habits if everything you need for them is right there


7. Have a plan B

So you slept through your alarm and missed your morning workout? Or you’ve been running errands all morning and can’t go home to make a smoothie? No matter what health routines you prefer, have an easy and flexible backup plan so that you don’t completely give up when your busy life keeps it from happening. For example, taking a walk while going on a conference call or doing a yoga YouTube video before hopping in the shower are great ways to fit in movement if you had to skip your usual workout. Likewise, have a few different healthy meal options so that when you’re not in the mood for your typical go-to’s or have time to cook, you don’t opt for fast food takeout. Health can still be a priority in busy times, but you may have to change the means to get there.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Stephanie J (@stephaniejanaya)


8. Take time for a wind-down routine

Raise your hand if you get exhausted during busy or stressful days (*insert three hand-raising emojis here*). When we’re busy, we typically go at 100mph until the second our heads hit the pillow. Whether it’s late-night work, finishing tasks on a to-do list, or wrangling toddlers, nighttime typically looks like an extension of our busy day. But staying busy until the lights go off can damage your sleep, cause stress dreams, or even lead to a lack of energy the next day. Even if it is 10 minutes of peace and quiet in the shower or five minutes to read before bed, you need a nighttime routine the most on busy days.


9. Multitask with exercise

Just because you can’t find a time slot for a 60-minute workout throughout your day does not mean you shouldn’t move at all. You can even exercise while accomplishing something on your to-do list simultaneously (intrigued?). For example, do bicep curls while on conference calls or go on a power walk while talking to your mom. You can also listen to an online class or audiobook for your book club while working out to accomplish two things at once. Even minor changes like parking in the furthest spot, taking the stairs, or standing up more during the day can make a major difference without taking up your time.


10. Realize that not having enough time is a myth

Now that I’ve given you tips to help make your wellness routine shorter and easier, it’s time for some tough love. Not having enough time to prioritize your health is an illusion. Period. The way that we eat, move, care for ourselves, and live has a major impact on our productivity, energy levels, and health. If we’re not spending time to emotionally recharge and care for our bodies, we’ll have less energy, feel more overwhelmed by stress, and are at risk for more health complications as we get older. In other words, you don’t have the time not to prioritize your health. Prioritizing health is an investment to buy yourself more time later: more energy, more capabilities, and more life. Manage your schedule to be less stressful, prioritize your time wisely, but remember that your wellbeing is not a reward if you get everything else done; it’s a necessity. 



This post includes a sponsored mention of Blue Apron, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.



How to Stop Being Your Worst Critic

A woman standing outside her car with her shoulders slumped over looking sad

We all know it is there. No one is surprised, but we still usually underestimate the volume and tenacity of our inner critic.

You know the one. When you leave a dinner party and get into your car alone to drive home, it asks, “Why did I say that?” When you scroll through other people’s edited and curated online lives, it says, “I can’t keep up.” When you consider taking a risk to pursue a new idea, it bemoans, “I’ll probably fail.”

Just like the hum of the loud engine of an airplane, when you hear it often enough, you become desensitized to the sound. It becomes this constant vibration—the background noise of your life.

But at what cost? What might we become with a little more internal calm and silence? Here’s a few suggestions for quieting your inner critic:

1. Becoming mindful. 

Mindfulness is all the rage these days, but what is it exactly? It is simply choosing to actively pay attention. Start paying attention. Notice the noise. Notice it.

2. Name it to tame it. 

A phrase popularized by Dan Siegel is, “We cannot tame what we have not yet named.” It is like punching in the dark. You might hit something, but chances are you will miss or just hurt yourself.

Name your inner critic. Call it to account. I see you, inner critic, and I am going to name you for what you are: a tired, critical voice that keeps me from believing in myself.

Name your inner critic. Call it to account.

3. Break up. 

It is time for a DTR (aka Define the Relationship moment). We need to define and then redefine the relationship with your inner critic. It may have existed in a misguided attempt to protect you from vulnerability and hurt, but you have outgrown it. You don’t need it anymore.

Your critic is not your conscience. It is not your motivator, and it is not your friend. It’s time for a breakup. It’s time to say, “Thank you inner critic, but you don’t serve me well anymore.”

4. Build up the good. 

Speak to yourself like you would to someone you dearly love and respect. Gently and kindly point out what you love about yourself and what you are grateful for in your life. This isn’t futile silver lining thinking. We can change the way our brain is wired when we focus on what is true.

We can change the way our brain is wired when we focus on what is true.

5. Feed what you want to grow. 

Have you ever heard that saying about how what you feed will grow and what you starve will die? Well, it is the same way with our internal world. Every time your inner critic pops up, tap your watch and say, “Oh hello, you’re right on time; I was just about to try something new; I expected you.”

Greet your critic. Then, gently turn your attention to a truth to replace the thought such as: “I am brave, and I can try new things. If I fail, it does not diminish my value.” Every time you choose this, you are feeding good thoughts.

6. Give yourself permission to grow. 

Sounds funny, right? However, we are often oddly loyal to our old ways of thinking and to our old habits no matter how unhelpful they are. We put pretty curtains on our prison cells and make the best of it because trying something new is scary. Give yourself permission to enjoy who you are and become a freer version of yourself.

Have you learned to separate truth from the voice of your inner critic? How have you learned to turn down your inner critic and replace her with a voice of compassion?

Image via Sarah Kehoe, Darling Issue No. 16


To Listen or To Censor in a World of Differences

A woman leaning up against a building's exterior brick wall

To listen or to silence? To hear or to negate? These are the critical questions of our day and age, and this article will serve as food for thought and help orient us within the dynamic human ecosystem in which we live. 

Imagine for a moment how rich in diversity our world truly is. From ecology to art to industry, we live in a miraculous multi-dimensional garden full of uniqueness, creativity, surprise and variance. Human minds, which encapsulate thought, emotion, perception and consciousness, are their own idiosyncratic, botanical realms. 

The way I perceive the world in my mind is subjective to me and is likely not the same as your vision. It is as if there are various realms of realities within a shared world. The mind, like the world we live in, can be a mystery to be unlocked. When it comes to engaging with people with whom we disagree, the mind can be a troubling puzzle of parts that does not make sense.

The mind, like the world we live in, can be a mystery to be unlocked.

Diversity leads us to language. Language can be a profound expression of individuals or communities’ psychology, humanity and lived experience in conjunction with cultural variations and identities. Language, spoken by members of the same community, can also demonstrate polarity in a complex world. 

If I were to say something outside of your worldview, it might be perceived as intriguing, useless or even dangerous. In our modern world, what people say and how they choose to say it can highlight major social, political or intellectual differences. It is only inevitable, then, that rage and chaos could formulate in all that diversity, making it often impossible for people to communicate in a “shared” world.

What people say and how they choose to say it can highlight major social, political or intellectual differences.

To Listen or To Silence?

The battle is clear these days: Do I listen to something someone said that I do not like or do I silence it? Social media can be a barrage of in-your-face posts, memes and videos where people’s bite-sized rationales may fall diametrically in opposition to yours. It is all good if you agree, but it is totally different when things get hot and spicy. 

In every scenario where the choice to listen or to silence comes up, it is important to slow down your internal process and notice what is happening in your thoughts and emotions.

Are you triggered by what was said? What is coming up emotionally? If you were to silence that person, how does it help you, your cause or the other person? 

In this instance, the key is to not allow your knee-jerk response to dominate your actions without reflecting and playing out the long-term impact of your decision. 

The key is to not allow your knee-jerk response to dominate your actions without real reflection.

To Hear or To Negate?

On the battlefield of differences, negation is inevitable. When someone strongly disagrees with another person, absolute negation to the point of complete elimination becomes more and more possible. Is thinking this way helpful to you and others? In what way?

Let us break down the word helpful in this case. To help is to serve or support others. This might mean offering aid to the weak or the most vulnerable, although it can certainly pertain to all people as opposed to those who are just on your side.

One of the greatest acts of service is to listen to someone else. In my training as a psychotherapist, I understand that to give someone space to speak their mind, even if I disagree, allows the speaker to feel heard and respected. Every time one does this, it allows for the possibility of greater understanding throughout time. 

To give someone space to speak their mind, even if I disagree, allows the speaker to feel heard and respected.

Does understanding happen immediately? No, it does not. Could it happen at some point? Yes, it could, especially if you are one to seek out some thread of commonality.

To hear or negate others with whom you agree or disagree with carries its own unique meaning. It could be helpful as much as it may not be. You may feel more hurt when hearing a horrid reality from someone else’s mouth. You may leave the conversation feeling utterly drained and quasi-nauseous from exposing yourself to someone’s opinions or ideas. Your trauma may even be triggered. On the other hand, you may learn something new, gain insight about a topic or shatter a misconception. 

The Modern-Day Dilemma

In my lifetime, I have never observed more palpable division and polarity as I have in this day and age. The nature of these divisions vary. Yet, it is clear that we have arrived at an existential chasm. What do you do next? What do we do together?

Social dilemmas are deeply personal issues at their roots. To listen or to censor is, then, a personal and social dilemma that runs deep within the fault line of our world. Underneath the surface of the earth, roots link to others, similar to those in the human ecosystem. It is in this metaphor that you can reflect upon the decision to listen or censor and the meaning of both for you. 

How can you engage in the diverse ideas and opinions that comprise the human ecosystem? In what ways can you make space for others even when you disagree?

Image via Martha Galvan, Darling Issue No. 17


Letters to My Younger Self: The 21-Year-Old Who Is About to Feel It All

A woman leaning forward in a chair

“Letters to My Younger Self” is a series focused on wisdom and self-awareness. Just as you write letters to a friend to encourage and uplift them, here is the advice we would go back and tell our younger selves.

Dear 21-year-old me,

Loving with your whole heart does not make you weak, even if the relationship came crumbling down with more intensity than it started. Let yourself be proud of how courageous you were. When you act with love, you’ll never regret it. 

A person’s treatment of you is not a reflection of your worth. This person was not in a position to reciprocate love in the way you so fiercely and selflessly loved and deserved to be loved. That alone doesn’t make him a bad person. You just weren’t meant to be together.

A person’s treatment of you is not a reflection of your worth.

You’ll feel angry and sad. You’ll wish it wasn’t a four-year lesson, but who knows who you’d be without it. You are pretty kick ass in my totally unbiased opinion.

Be kinder to yourself because there are some things you just cannot control no matter how much you want to. Let yourself feel the heartache. Cry like you might not ever love again because it’s what you need right now. You will love again, and you’ll be grateful for how much more sure of yourself you are after going through this.

In a few years, you won’t need a letter from me. He’ll give you all the reminders and self-reassurance that you need to remember that you deserve to be fiercely and selflessly loved.

You’ll hit a low you haven’t experienced in years and feel like you’re failing your younger self. Therapy is normal, and it’s OK to release the image you’ve built of yourself. What you’re experiencing isn’t you being overly emotional, dramatic or weak. This is depression, and no one can carry that much weight on their own. 

This is depression, and no one can carry that much weight on their own. 

Take a deep breath because you’ve been holding it in for way too long. It’s OK that some people in your life will never fit the roles you expected them to. Family can be a blessing, but not everyone can be who you need them to be. Deciding to make peace with letting go of that expectation doesn’t make you selfish or a bad person. It means you’re putting your well-being over others.

Above all else, trust the feeling deep in your chest. You know that feeling. The one that says you’re wearing yourself too thin. School. The job. The relationship. The friendships. Your physical and mental health. You’ve always been a fighter, and you made it this far in one piece.

Remember 18? Remember 16? 13? The times you don’t even remember but know were there? We’re still alive despite it all. 

You’re resilient, graceful and stronger than you know. Let yourself feel the wind between your fingers as you roll the window down and dance through the breeze. Love every moment that you’re alive. Embrace the present because even if it brings you tears now, it will also bring you memories you’ll cherish years later. 

You’re resilient, graceful and stronger than you know.

So just feel it all, 21-year-old self. You’re going to be OK.

Did you have a hard time processing emotions when you were younger? What advice would you give to your younger self?

Image via Graham Dunn, Darling Issue No. 20


Words To Live by From Women Who Made History

A black and white photo of a woman with her hair slicked back

Words have unparalleled power, and this power is immortalized in the form of inspirational quotes. There’s something special about a good quote that has the ability to mobilize, to encourage and to get you out of bed in the morning. 

The same could be said for the power of women. We all have a woman in our lives who always knows just what to say—whether it be positive affirmations or words of consolation. For Women’s History Month, we have put together a collection of inspirational quotes from a wide range of inspirational women. From record-shattering athletes, trailblazing activists and acclaimed authors, we want to honor the remarkable women who continue to inspire us and serve as examples for girls and women around the globe. 

We want to honor the remarkable women who continue to inspire us and serve as examples for girls and women around the globe. 

We hope these quotes resonate with you, as you celebrate the women in your lives this month and all year long. 

“I don’t think you can win a Grand Slam and not be confident in yourself.” – Naomi Osaka, 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam title winner and the highest-paid female athlete in the world 

“I have learned you are never too small to make a difference.” – Greta Thunberg, teenage climate activist and TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2017

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie, first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize and a trailblazer in STEM fields 

“It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald, jazz music icon and the first Black woman to win a Grammy 

“It isn’t where you came from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald

“As a woman, I have no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” – Virginia Woolf, famed author of Mrs. Dalloway and a feminism activist

“I am experienced enough to do this. I am knowledgeable enough to do this. I am prepared enough to do this. I am mature enough to do this. I am brave enough to do this.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, youngest woman ever elected to US Congress 

“I encourage and empower each of you to really stand in your truth, to stand for what is right — to continue to respect each other.” – Meghan Markle, actress, women’s advocate and Duchess of Sussex 

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights activist and former First Lady 

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and herself only.” – Maya Angelou, civil rights activist, acclaimed poet and writer

“I want my daughters to see me and know me as a woman who works. I want that example set for them.” – Shonda Rhimes, acclaimed television producer, screenwriter and author

 “There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” – Malala Yousafzai, advocate for womens’ education and youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

 “There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” – Malala Yousafzai,

“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart, first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 

What are some of your favorite inspirational quotes from leading women? What pioneering women in American history do you look up to?

Image via Michaela Winstone, Darling Issue No. 22