just a few recovery haikus

While taking some time to take care of myself and walk towards wholeness, I started to (very randomly) write haikus about my process. Feel free to share with others, just put me as the source :)



rip open your chest

let truth spill out of your mouth

and flowers will grow



rushing through your bones

adventure is not a place

but mountains in you



made to climb mountains

and sleep under stars

for they will feed you



let trust embrace you

open hands receive healing

you are made for more



stretch above the trees

and see the wonder pass by

the sky is now home



i am a moon child

a goddess of space and time

body full of stars



we are meant to feel

so let the emotion flow

a full heart’s a gift



I’m walking bravely

the lions will not eat me

i’ll eat them first



turning back and forth

either way is fine with me

a choices are paths



the seasons change too

and aren't you made of earth

wind blows and also you



feeling proud is now

and this is the beginning

roses pushing up



tell the wolves i’m home

my nightmares could not catch me

i’m safe in my pack



deep roots and rich soil

vines spreading, stalks growing tall

this garden is me



the mountains are me

rivers flow on through my veins

healing wind blows by


A Song to my Neck

you hold my head high

but banished under a veil

why do I hide you


giraffes are not shy

they move amongst the clouds

thriving with the trees



hidden fearlessness

lion heart, strong hands, wise mind

draw your sword and fight



stars are inside you

constellations in your blood

please know you’re magic



a caterpillar

does not know when it happens

but then wings break through



wrapped, safe, covered and

it will all be okay now

you know what to do



fear grabs my hand and

tries to interlock fingers

but i let his go


and he reaches out

but with hands in my pockets

i walk towards the mountains


fear is still right there

and i avoid his hands by

picking up flowers



blood is thicker than

water but we all drink from

the same golden cup



girls carry life in

the center of their being

a secret garden



standing in front of

glass that i give the power

dictate love and hate


my body stands there

pinching, squeezing my skin suit

but this suit loves me


so i say thank you

she does so much for me and

deserves all the love


Pick One

isnt it something

shame is debilitating

sadness is movement



talons squeezing my brain

whispering and convincing

now is saying no



know life gets better

every day you welcome it

so say good morning



hiding, avoiding

feral house cat was my life

now wolf in a pack



courage is standing

in front of the mirror and

saying i love you

no more diets

This is the first year where I didn’t pledge to change my body; to lose weight and tone up and stop biting my nails. 

I’ve been making these resolutions for as long as I can remember, probably starting in middle school, and only getting harsher and harsher with myself as time went on. 

lose 10lbs by March.
stop eating sugar
do a juice cleanse
no carbs

feel disgusted
why can’t you do this
start monday
start tomorrow

But this year as I woke up on New Years day, turned on the tv, and saw commercial after commercial of diets and gym memberships, I had to mindfully calm myself and say, “Rach, dear, you don’t need that this year. You’re not going to be able to make that pledge ever again.”

Why can’t I make that pledge? Because I’m in the process of recovering from an eating disorder. And I don’t have that luxury anymore. 

And this year, kindness looks like adding things to my body instead of taking things away. Adding meals and nutrients and supports instead of taking away carbs and sugar. Taking away has always been a constant. Taking away self compassion and settling in self judgement. Taking away relationships and settling in isolation. Taking away the full range of emotions for a state of numbness caused by refusing my body the things she was created to grow and rest and thrive in. 

I try to shame myself into change, but shame actually shuts down the centers of our brain that focuses on growth and learning. Emptiness felt like self control and purity and goodness. But that emptiness eventually took over and fought back, causing me to grow weak and tired and feel so much guilt. 

I need to throw away clothes that no longer fit. Why do I keep items that scream shameful words every time I open my closet door and drawers? Words that say, “We don’t fit you anymore, and that makes you a disgusting person. If you want us to fit, you need to be “good” and starve yourself. We promise you’ll be happy once you fit in us again”  Why do I struggle buttoning things that strangle me, and cause me to believe that breathing is a luxury I don't deserve? This year I want to fill my closet with clothes that wrap me in loving arms, telling me that I’m loved and beautiful and worthy. Just another stage of adding.

Now the irony is that by adding things, I’m experiencing guilt and shame. But transformation comes from kind attention to my body and my spirit, and since we are growing something every moment; and what you practice grows stronger, I’m trying to kindly put my hand on my heart and say, “Rach, eat up. Fill your body with good things. Choose to fill. Choose to drink. Choose to eat. Choose relationships. Choose mindfulness. The shame experienced when adding is not reality, and I’m trusting that it soon will be replaced with trust and wholeness.

From where I’m sitting, the light is hitting the floor, making it look like a kaleidoscope, and I’m in the center of light swirling around a room surrounded by glass, making me feel as If I’m in a green house, keeping me warm and protected as my roots sink deep and I grow taller and taller.

I’m surrounded by Spirit, in the middle of a kaleidoscope of goodness and love and fellowship. It’s surrounding like the ocean and filling like a cup of water, inside and out; protected, loved, whole, seen, understood, and so very safe. They already see me at the end, and I’m whole, and shining my own kaleidoscope light out of my chest.

And this beauty isn’t created by diets or black and white resolutions, but by filling and growing and light. So lets live full this year. 

 self portrait 1/10/18

self portrait 1/10/18

the adventure of saying yes

I grew up saying yes.

I had to say yes to hugging and kissing distant relatives, even if I didn’t want to. I had to say yes to going certain places and doing certain things, even believing certain things simply because my parents did. I said yes to everything friends and teachers asked, all out of fear. Fear of rejection, fear of not being loved, fear of punishment. 

But eventually I got my voice and learned to say no. And that “no” made me feel so powerful. It felt good to put up a boundary, or at least I thought it was a boundary. Do you want to hang out? No. Can you do this job? No. Want to come over for dinner? No. I felt safe in saying no. Safe because I was afraid and saying no lessened the anxiety, kept me in bed, under the covers. And that fear told me, Rachel. You might feel uncomfortable. They might not like you. You’re kinda awkward. You might fail. You might be left alone, abandoned. So I said no, in the name of having boundaries and taking time for myself. Those no’s isolated me, and at times, robbed me of new experiences. But I was committed to saying no, damn it. But saying no out of fear gets tiring.

Then, last summer, I started saying yes, and that yes came out of love. And saying yes has been my biggest adventure. I’ve had some really amazing adventures in my life, but honestly, choosing to say yes and choosing to be brave and trust has trumped them all.

When I moved home from Alabama in 2016, I got pretty stuck. Not saying no, not saying yes, but frozen in a dismal state, deaf to any request made of me. I took a job because it was my only option. I hung out with friends because I couldn’t stand my bedroom anymore. Living a life of beige, no yes’s and no no’s, just survival.

Then I was invited to the mountains.

All throughout scripture and even history, mountains are for spiritual encounters. And somehow, there was a teeny seed inside of me. I couldn’t see it or name it yet, and didn’t even know where it came from, but that seed caused me to say yes to the mountains. I almost said no- I would be visiting people that I only knew from being with other friends; friends who felt safe. What if they ended up not liking me? What if we didn’t have anything to talk about? 

Stuck in a frozen state, I decided that any movement is good movement, and if the trip ended up a disaster, at least I’d be in the mountains. 

So I chose to say yes. Like I was drawn by a magnet, I needed something different, so I took the risk on relationship.

Two days before my trip, old friends, who I hadn’t seen in 15 years, wished me a happy birthday and said, if you’re ever near Savannah you need to visit us. Well Savannah was on the way to the mountains, and that little seed prompted me to say yes again. But as soon as I sent the text I became afraid. What if we had nothing in common? I almost backed out and said no out of fear. But that little “yes seed” pushed me to say yes.

My trip to Savannah was amazing. The girls and I ended up being kindred spirits, like we were always meant to be together, and we stayed up late, smoking cloves and drinking coffee on their porch, amidst the Spanish moss. We stayed up telling stories, and I remember thinking, I was made for nights like this. My spirit soared. I slept that night, so thankful that I didn’t let fear stop me. That little visit made my “yes seed” grow a little bit more, having more trust in my being.

The next day I finished the drive to the mountains with butterflies in my stomach, the record of, what if they don’t like me?  kept skipping in my head. But that trip was so incredibly beautiful, and I got to spend five days with people who made that seed grow and taught me how to say yes. I got to spend a week with my (now) precious family, and watch their “yes” life up close. And it was contagious. I envied it and decided to take baby steps and start saying yes out of love. Because when you say yes out of love, you’re truly safe. You’re letting yourself be blown by the wind, letting Papa lead your adventures, and deciding to be brave, which is truly our inheritance. And that week I got to watch people who followed that Wind, who trusted even when others thought it was foolish, who said yes even when afraid; who also taught their kids to say yes. And that whole week the seed kept growing, and laying in bed one night while I was there, I decided to embark on the adventure of saying yes out of love. Instead of fear ruling my being, I took the first step of letting Love move in.

I had lived a life of saying yes before, but it was different this time. The first season of saying yes was out of fear. My friend, Tyler, taught me that love and fear can’t exist in the same space, and you’re either choosing one or the other. Any decision, even a correct one made out of fear is still cutting yourself short, really robbing you of the chance to fly and an opportunity to trust.

Saying yes out of fear is completely different that saying yes out of love.

Fear makes you want to hide, to cover yourself and pull all of your soft parts inwards. It makes people acquaintances but never family. It limits your adventures. and causes you to live a life of comfort, instead of a life that soars.

Love causes you to trust, to love big and allow yourself to receive. Love makes you safe even in risk, because Holy Spirit wind is the greatest protector and the greatest adventurer. And i’m invited to soar in that wind and join the adventure.

Saying yes out of love is the greatest gift. 

So this was my year of saying yes. 

And this was also my year of risk and being afraid. But I chose to look fear in the eyes and choose yes out of love. Love for myself, love for God, and love for people. And it’s not perfect, but with every choice, I trust a little bit more.

Im now noticing the people in my life who say yes. And I can make a long list of relationships that are built on yes’s. And I find that I’ve always been attracted to those people, because there’s a certain comfort and authenticity when you find people who are also blown by the wind instead of frozen in fear.

And even now, though I feel high anxiety, wondering if I’ll make it, or if I’ll be eaten alive by anxiety and depression, I just keep repeating to myself, Papa knows the end from the beginning and its so good. So good. So good. So good. Choosing love instead of fear is an act of faith, believing that God is good and kind and for me.

So this year I said yes to trust after being in a traumatic accident.

I said yes to forgiveness instead of bitterness towards the person who hit and ran.

I said yes to making decisions based on passion and trust in the Wind instead of deciding based on money.

I said yes to doing projects even though I wasn’t confident in my ability at first.

I said yes to having my pieces in stores, even when I felt inadequate compared to the people around me.

I said yes to doing custom pieces, even though insecurity almost stopped me.

I said yes to new relationships and dinner parties and coffee dates. 

I said yes to a new job which required me to come out of my shell.

I said yes to more road trips to the mountains, even when money told me it didn’t make sense.

I said yes to editing books, even though I hadn’t done that before.

I said yes to doing a styled photography shoot, meeting new people and networking.

I said yes to teaching eight workshops this year, facing social anxiety and choosing to be brave.

I said yes to wholesale orders, even when the quantity was overwhelming.

I said yes to professional help in my quest toward wholeness.

I said yes to writing about my struggles, which meant I couldn’t hide anymore.

I said yes to relationships instead of isolation.

I said yes to daylight instead of darkness.

I said yes to speaking my mind instead of silence.

I said yes to being brave.

And every time I say yes, the little shoot that began to grow last summer gets bigger. And with every decision I'm seeing strong trees built into my being, bursting out of my chest, with strong limbs and green leaves and tree rings that show a life of overcoming.

And I’m a part of a forest of yes’s. Part of the adventure.