Saturday, November 21, 2015



How do I tell you
of the hands 
and my heart
and the hands
so I curl myself around 
your back
like a translucent shell fish
we are both so fragile
terrified I will break
do not understand
I am naked

Angela Minard 2015©

Photography by Marta Orloska

Friday, November 20, 2015


"Hurt people hurt people." I don't know where that quote originated, but isn't it the sad truth? It is an endless cycle that continues out of anger and unspoken needs. We throw around the word "forgiveness" as if that will solve everything, but it doesn't erase the pain. The more compassion I have for myself, the easier it is to let go of the anger. The pain is a different beast. You have to befriend the pain, acknowledge it, and keep it company for awhile. This I am learning...I can't starve it away, or drink it away. I can't check out anymore. No...I have to be present with the pain, and that kind of makes me mad, and so I return to the anger. I reach for compassion and forgiveness toward myself, again so that I can soften the anger, soften my heart, and it is a process of coming back again and again to loving myself. I'm a novice at this, so I make mistakes. I lashed out in anger at someone that I love because they couldn't love me in exactly the way that I wanted. I offered them my heart, which is soft, and easily bruised, and out of love and trying to protect me, they did the opposite of what they were trying to help me learn. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "The love you withhold is the pain you carry." When someone withholds their love after you have tentatively offered yours, the pain is twofold. Withholding has only two goals that I can see; either to punish the other person, or to maintain the balance of power, and no matter what the situation or context of the relationship, neither one of those reasons is right in my mind, and never will be. For now, I'm babysitting my pain with tender care, hoping for resolution and understanding, with the heartbreaking knowledge that I may have to walk away from someone who was pivotal in helping me to change my life for the better. If that has to happen I will most possibly be the strongest bitch walking the face of the earth. 

"Sometimes you search so hard for words. You look for a way to interpret the language of this heart and the unspoken bond you feel. But in the end you are left with nothing but silence. And deep down you hope it's understood."
~Yasmin Mogahed

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How in the World

Sometimes we move through our days in survival mode, 
and how in the world does that even happen? 
It just does...

This was my day
I'm struggling...
I haven't slept much, and when I do sleep, I have bad dreams. 
Still, here I am, on the other side, 
Instead of a positive mantra, all I hear is, "I can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this."
I CAN do this, but my energy is focused on these intense feelings of want. 
I need to let go of wanting and needing because it only causes pain. 
I don't truly want or need for anything. 
I have everything, but I'm always searching for more. 
It causes my suffering. 
How many times have I said, "Let go of what is no longer serving you?" 
This is what I need to do, but letting go is not what it seems to be. 
It is not simple. 
It takes time. 
It takes more time than you will ever realize. 
It will hurt
It will hurt
It will hurt...

You will survive...

Artwork~ Amanda Cass

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Riding the Waves

I am thinking tonight about the Yin yoga class that I teach at Darling Yoga. I teach it twice a week, and I love planning the postures, and choosing the right music. Yin yoga has taught me a great deal about riding the waves of emotion, and maybe that is why I am drawn to the practice. Yin is a passive type of yoga, with supported and long held postures. The poses are held for anywhere from three to ten minutes, with little to no muscular engagement. The idea is to allow gravity and time to delve below the muscles of the body, and deep within the connective tissues and fascia.  When I started teaching this class, the plan was to teach a class incorporating both yin and yang. I mainly practice a more yang type of yoga, which is faster paced, using more muscular energy and balance. I love that type of practice, but am actually more challenged by the slower and less energetic yoga. The students seem to have embraced this practice as well, and complain when I try to flow with a quicker pace, so I have dropped the yang.  On Monday, I had a student tell me that the practice on Sunday that I taught seemed to have released some stored up emotions, and they had been crying off and on throughout the day. I store my emotions like a pro, mainly because I'm afraid. I'm afraid that my sadness, grief, pain, etc...will last for all of eternity, and so hell no, I'm not going to go there! Being in a deep shoulder or hip opener for five or more minutes, breathing through the discomfort(never pain), allowing the body to release and let go, is an amazing lesson. Discomfort doesn't last forever. It ebbs and flows, and you are in charge of how deep you go. You learn that you can back out at anytime. You learn that you are stronger and have more stamina than you think. If I could sit down for a good cry, and have a teacher call out, "Five more breaths, you are doing great!," I would possibly be all for that shit! I still have so much to learn. I fear my emotions.  I work hard on accepting and embracing them, but I get tired, and I get disappointed. My navigational system is quite often faulty, and I stumble around without direction. I have no idea how to read a map, and I don't always trust myself to make it through. I tell my students not to worry so much about the destination...
I'm trying to take my own advice. 

"The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. 
Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. 
This is the miracle of surrender." 
~Eckhart Tolle

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Silent Treatment

Silent Treatment

If you want to communicate
through lack of words
I will always win
diving into your silence
as if my life depended on it
withdrawing into a place I know
only too well
I will swim through the blackness
never tiring
I've been here before
my shallow breath hovers

Angela Minard 2015©

Artwork~Silence-Henry Fuseli

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Joy Walk

A Joy Walk

In my dream
we walked side by side
speaking without words
without windows 
or walls
surrounding us 
only a sky dancing with flames
laughing on the inside 
as we exhaled
iridescent bubbles floated from our lips
bursting like fireflies at dusk
before fading away...

Angela Minard 2015©

"Right or wrong, joy or sorrow, these are of the mind only. 
They are not yours. You are everywhere, 
forever free."
~Ashtavakra Gita

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Never and Always

Never and Always

There is never enough time
to tell you everything
the questions always come too late
and I am left waiting  
for another chance

"What do you want to ask me?"

Searching your face
disarmed by your gaze
I look away

The words seem to vanish
without an answer
only the beat of my heart
thundering, yet insignificant
a resounding ache...

There is never enough time
to shatter the silence
and I am always left wanting
and waiting
for another chance

Angela Minard 2015©

Friday, October 23, 2015

How Long is Forever?

I wrote my first blog post June 13th, 2007. This blog was private, a personal diary, with only my words...
This is what I wrote~ 

"I'm so very tired right now. 
Tired of running. 
Tired of hiding. 
I simply want peace, 
but how? 
I want to take back something that I never realized until now, 
has always been mine. 
My body, 
My soul, 
My life..." 

I'm not sure I even knew exactly what that meant, or the work it would entail. I only knew how desperately I wanted to be free from the eating disorder.  

I went into treatment five months later. 

"I'm in a scary place right now, and more afraid then I have ever been. I can't eat. I tried so hard last night-a few bites of fish...
I cried over the first bite of a granola bar this morning, and after 5 hours, I give up. 
I don't know how to ask for help. I don't want to put my husband in the position of monitoring my food. I can't be accountable to myself at this point, and I know I need a safe place to work through the food issues, where I can't engage in harmful behaviors, and use starving to cope. I need to re-learn how to eat, but I know if I can't do that on my own, I will eventually die."

Maybe I should die...

I look back on that with no memory, 
only that I was desperate. 
I wanted to live. 
I can see that from my words,
 but I do not remember. 
Maybe I do not want to remember....

but, I do...


Saturday, October 17, 2015



within this throbbing drum beat
rhythm of our hearts

as we barely breathe
quiet darkness 
gradually descends

pulsing outward
an imperceptible blanket
softly falls

late afternoon
shadows lengthen
our hungry fingertips reach
pulsing towards the light

cool air
warm breath rises
wide open arms
all that remains

Angela Minard 2015©

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I am the one
the one 
who is always listening
but there is no one
who hears
while I fight to breathe 
is a silent death

Angela Minard 2015©

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cease and Desist

I retreat, and often it is unconscious, unintended, and yet my body speaks before I am even aware that I've had enough. I'm physically and emotionally depleted, and the emotions are not negative emotions, but draining, none the less. Dave had an MRI last week, and after dozens of these in the last few years, it should be easy, but it isn't. 
No, it isn't...
What is strange is that at the time, I seemed to not give it a second thought...just another day...La La La..., and then a week later, Dave texts me that he read the report, and from what he gathers, the brain tumor hasn't grown at all! My heart contracts in my chest, jumps into my throat, and skips a beat.  I text back, trying to be the devil's advocate, suggesting we should wait to hear it from the doctor's mouth before celebrating. I may have held my breath, but I didn't go to that appointment with him for the first time in a long time, because I wanted so much to believe. It was good news, and that fucking tumor hasn't grown! Nine more months before another scan, and the relief is huge. I told my therapist, and she tried to get me to do a happy dance, but I couldn't. I just couldn't allow the happiness. I don't think I realized how heavily the fear was weighing, and it seems almost immediately, I got sick. I still can't take a full, deep breath, and I haven't struggled with my asthma in such a long time. Physically, my body is tired. I work with an aggressive student, and then I continue to practice and teach yoga, and although yoga is healing, I haven't taken the time to allow the practice to heal me. I go from work, to teaching at the studio, and teaching in the treatment center, and weekends are more teaching and practice. I love it, but my body has let me know by getting sick, and I've had to slow down. I've also criticized, judged myself, and worried that I cannot do everything. I take on all of the classes I can teach, and rarely say no. I seize every opportunity, and then my body rebels, and balancing my wants with my needs is something I'm still trying to figure out. I've had to call in sick to work, sub out a couple of my classes, and miss my own practice, which feels horrible. I miss the connection of my friends, and I'm realizing that I also miss being connected to my breath as well as my body. I'm still trying to figure out a way to do what I love without sacrificing my health, but I don't have all of the answers. Ahhh, Damn! 
I don't have all of the answers! 

Artwork by~ Johnny Palacios Hidalgo

"Our dreams are always calling us into greater gestures of surrender, which to everyone around us, looks exactly like bravery."~ Toko-pa




acutely aware of each and every whispering inhale and exhale
almost as if I could completely cease the breath which flows in and out 
beginning to drift...

the way my hands rest in my lap
palms upturned 
as if waiting to be filled

thoughts like white noise
simply observing 


and yet
 flowing with breath
waiting to be filled

Angela Minard 2015©

Artwork by~ Annie Stegg

Wednesday, September 23, 2015



I am 
not a part 
of this make believe 
suspended within a week
a month 
a year
meaningless is my voice 
Maybe I wouldn't recognize you
away from these walls
breaking apart

I am
watching you crumble
you don't hold me anymore
in stillness
my palms
reaching out to you 
are empty

nothing to offer...

I am
not a part of you
meaningless is my voice

Angela Minard 2015©

Wednesday, September 16, 2015



I remember 
how my breath would hover
between hope and longing
the curious loneliness of watching you sleep
missing you while you were dreaming
without me...
carefully trying to nestle beneath your lifeless arm
placing your hand to rest against my heart
silently pleading
"I am here"
my own arms 
never enough
Never enough...
to keep my wanting contained

Angela Minard 2015©

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Giving and Receiving

I want to follow up on my "Friendships and Loss" post, because although that loss was painful, and occasionally stings, I do not dwell on it any longer. In the past few years I have developed a circle of friends who rally around me, love me unconditionally, and continually make me laugh to the point of aching cheeks and throbbing belly. It was difficult to have relationships with people when anorexia was my constant companion, so I didn't have many friends. I know it was confusing and painful for anyone close to watch me struggling, and I lost a couple of friends in the process. Friendships, and relationships in general are important to me, and maybe because I spent so many years building walls, I crave true connection. I feel loved because I allow myself to feel love. I'm hugged so many times a day that I lose count. How great is that?! Working in a yoga studio definitely doesn't hurt. Those yogis are huggers! They also tell you that they love you, and they mean it. I'm in a very loving environment daily, and that has fed my starving soul. On my birthday, my friends took me out for meals, they sent me videos singing me "Happy Birthday," they gave me sweet, hand written cards, thoughtful gifts, and my feet were rubbed during savasana! This year I embraced it all because life is too fragile not to allow yourself to receive such beautiful gifts. It is only through loss, I suppose, that you can truly appreciate the abundance of love and life that surrounds you. Fearing loss is my nemesis, and my fear often gets in the way of appreciating what is right in front of me. I am blessed with so many people whom I love, and I feel such true caring and love in return. As much as my feelings can overwhelm me, even the good feelings, I'm learning how to receive. The quote below is so powerful because all of my life, although I felt I was a giving person, I was not. I could never ask for help. I found it weak, and shameful. I never wanted to seem needy, and so often my needs were not met. 
I'm learning...always.

"Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart.
When we attach judgment to receiving help, 
we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help."
 ~Brene' Brown

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Friendships and Loss

I had a dream about a former friend the other night, and although I can't recall the details of the dream, upon waking, the loss was once again fresh and raw. I moved through my morning routine with the ache in my chest as I fed the dog, prepared coffee, and sat down at the computer. It was then that I noticed the date, the breath catching in my throat. It was her birthday. Our birthdays are precisely a week apart, and our wedding anniversaries exactly the same, except for the year. She was my maid of honor, she was at the birth of my first son, I sat on the crumpled bed in her room and cried with her when her dad passed away...we shared so much, and the loss still causes both pain and anger. 
It is strange how the mind works, and I wonder if on some subconscious level, her birthday registered in my brain, even though it hadn't seemed to cross my mind at all. It has been 5 years since we have spoken, and I have changed in many ways, as I'm sure she has as well. It wasn't my choice to terminate our friendship, and I will probably never understand, but in my heart I still wish her well, and a very happy birthday. There is a certain amount of grace needed when learning how to let go because no one likes to lose. I often let this incident feed my fears, holding it up as proof that I'm not good enough, when in reality it had nothing to do with me. It feels good to let go of that ownership, because I was not the one who failed. Relationships are work, and the amount of pain involved in the loss of a friendship is often overlooked. I made mistakes, but I was always willing to fight and put in the work. I'm proud of myself for that for what it is
worth. I have amazing friendships, so if you're a part of my life, don't think you can get rid of me so easily!   

The artwork above is a Japanese Haiku written by Issa

"A world of grief and pain,
flowers bloom,
even then"

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Strong Arms

I keep looking down at my arms. Right now I hate them. They seem fleshy, doughy, ugly, and I'm sad about them...or am I? I'm increasingly uncomfortable in my skin lately, and yet doubtful that it has much of anything to do with my physical form. There are changes that I'm longing to make in my life, but they aren't practical changes, and in fact are impossible at this time, and so I'm stuck. It is a heavy, claustrophobic feeling, and because I'm learning to recognize the distorted way that my mind works, I'm almost certain that these feelings are spilling over into how I feel about my body. I might as well cry about my arms, because I can do something about them. I could work on changing them, just so I can feel productive, and not worry about the parts of my life I can't change. This is how eating disorders work. It will attempt to sneak in, trying to find the weak spot, and I'm strong enough and smart enough to recognize it for exactly what it is, which certainly doesn't make me feel any better. I'm still uncomfortable, and want to feel better. When I was new to recovery, nothing made me more angry than having my treatment team tell me to "sit with my feelings." It still doesn't sound appealing, but from past experience, I trust that I will find my way through. I'm exactly where I need to be, and for whatever reasons, so I may as well hold on tight with my meaty, substantial arms. At least they are good for something, right? 

Monday, August 31, 2015

How It Feels

This is dissociation as I experience it~

Sitting with a group of friends, I'm surrounded by their familiar laughter. I vaguely feel the muscles of my face contort into the shape of a smile, although it feels somewhat ghoulish, and I'm aware of a floating sensation in my limbs, hollow, and yet strangely weary. The rise and fall of conversation is barely an echo that I'm desperately trying to grasp a hold of within my mind. I am a stranger in these moments of separation, watching with detached curiosity before I slip into oblivion... 

I'm learning to catch myself before falling...
Counting the length of my inhales and exhales, or naming everything I see that is the color blue, anything to remind myself that I am a part of this world. I've stopped asking myself why because the reasons are many, and complicated. I can't always figure them out, and sometimes I think they are more internal than external. If I tried to avoid the triggers, I would be a recluse, and even that wouldn't solve the problem. I think that part of the reason I love yoga is because the teacher is constantly cuing you back to your body, back to your breath, and back to the sensations within and around you. I need constant reminders or I drift away. I daydream, fantasize, or catastrophize, and I wonder if it is because I somehow think this will help me control my environment, or prepare me for any and all situations. FYI, it does not! It only causes crazy amounts of anxiety and stress! I think back to only a few years ago, when deep depression was all I knew, and it is a different beast. I will take this over depression any day, but I'm one to never be satisfied. I always want more, or better. I often beat myself up because I think I want too much, but I'm working on challenging those thoughts. I'm always telling my yoga students that they are deserving of care because I know how deeply those words touched me as a student. 
We are deserving...
I am deserving of a life free from dissociation, depression,  and eating disorders.  
I'm finding a way. 
It isn't perfect, and that is also okay. 
I'm on a journey...
an adventure,
 and like all adventure stories, there are monsters and dark nights. 
There are also beautiful winged creatures, 
and one day I trust that I will fly...

 "Since the earliest period of our life was pre-verbal, everything depended on emotional interaction. Without someone to reflect our emotions, we had no way of knowing who we were." ~John Bradshaw-"Healing the Shame that Binds You"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today Is My Birthday

Today is my birthday...

the final year of this decade in my forties.
It has been tumultuous to say the least. 
I clawed my way through, 
sometimes barely hanging on,
but here I am! 
I would like to say it was a beautiful ride,
but not so much...
At first glance, 
you may have even wanted to avert your gaze, 
but there was quiet celebration 
if you could focus your gaze long enough to see the details. 
The celebration in no particular order, because I find them all to be miracles...
  • Finding my voice, which meant finally speaking out about being raped
  • Going to therapy
  • Getting treatment for anorexia which meant going inpatient and being away from my family
  • Surviving two suicide attempts{Feeling my feelings was overwhelmingly painful, and I wanted to die.} I'm thankful that I was not successful. 
  • Finding yoga and an accepting community
  • Continuing to work through the process of trauma with my amazing therapist and nutritionist
  • Graduating from yoga teachers training.
  • Teaching yoga, and especially serving the community of people struggling with eating disorders and PTSD. 
  • Working through continuing panic attacks, and symptoms from PTSD. {I decided to go off of all pharmaceutical medication two years ago, and there have been some ups and downs, but I have learned many tools to deal with my anxiety. That does not mean that I may never again need medication. It was beneficial to my recovery, and I will never rule it out}   
*I was just offered a job to teach yoga in a hospital based intensive outpatient eating disorder treatment facility, and that has been my dream ever since I discovered the power of yoga for recovery from my eating disorder. 

**49 is feeling good! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Friend, Not Foe

I am deeply and suddenly exhausted in a way that I think comes from surviving and living my life, which we are all doing in our own ways, but as a person with mental health issues, I am constantly having to find and use healthy coping skills. I am a highly anxious person which I think probably surprises many people, because I hide it well. My co-workers are always telling me how calm I am, but on the inside, I'm often tied in knots. I have been struggling with panic attacks, and intense worry over losing the important people in my life.  I hide because of shame. I have suffered since childhood with dissociative episodes, which means that it is common for me to lose chunks of time, where I remember nothing. It is how I coped with trauma, but now it is maladaptive, and no longer serves a purpose, and yet many things still trigger me to dissociate. I use a lot of energy trying to stay grounded, but also I'm worn out from the anxiety over whether or not I'm going to have a panic attack or dissociate. I have found many healthy coping skills such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, and general self care, but I still fight my demons on a daily basis. 
I was on medication for many years, which I hated, and although I have generally done very well without medication, I'm back to looking in that direction to get some relief. I haven't decided yet, but it is an option I'm considering. I feel disappointed in myself that I don't handle stress in a "normal" way. I even feel angry in the amount of effort it takes for me to manage all of my symptoms, and then criticize myself for being whiny and ungrateful when other people suffer more than I do. Inside of my head there is constant arguing going on! I catch my negative self talk, and work on re-framing. I work hard on recovery, so I will take credit for that. I also have a deep passion to help other people to find their way through recovery, and that brings immense satisfaction.  
I realize that life is ever changing, but sometimes doesn't it seem like the universe is careening out of control? Maybe it is just me...
My dog is sick, my husband has a brain tumor, I worry about my kids lives, my jobs keep me running, and there are so many things going on at one time. I get easily overwhelmed, and I think too much about the small details that I lose sight of the big picture. I will handle whatever comes my way, because I have an excellent track record, but damn, it sure is terrifying at times! I am grateful for the people in my life who support and love me. I have an amazing life, and I am the one who allows fear to get in the way. I want to improve upon how I deal with stress, because I know it can be better. I have come such a long way, and I easily brush that aside because I'm used to kicking myself. Doing the best I can never seems good enough...
I need to treat myself more like a friend because being at war with myself has certainly never worked. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Feeling Of You

The Feeling Of You

As I bow my head
your scent rises from my skin
surrounded by
the feeling of you

as if I could capture your essence

to carry
like a smooth stone
in the palm of my hand

I wrap the comforting weight of your arms
around my shoulders

breathing in the chiming sound
of our laughter

and the lingering warmth
which is
the feeling of you

Angela Minard 2015©

Artwork by~ Amanda Cass
"A Place to Dream"

Friday, July 17, 2015

No One Listens

No One Listens

We pack our emotions into used cardboard boxes
labeling them with permanent black ink
without tender care
no crinkled tissue paper
or newspaper print

We haphazardly toss them
tape them
and try to forget

We arrive at our destinations
slamming car doors
eyes to the pavement
seeing nothing
shoulders caving in on broken hearts

We stride in brightly
 wide smiles and cheerful hellos
fucking liars
hiding behind name brand clothing
make up
job descriptions
dressed up to sound prestigious
fancy fucking words
flow from our lips

We make it sound so pretty,
don't we?

Angela Minard 2015©

Artwork by~ Audrey Kawasaki

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Weight of Fear

I swallow more tears than I shed. 
It is rare for me to have a "good" cry, and I'm being sarcastic when I say that. It is not that I don't cry at all. I almost cry a lot! I feel the tears forming, and I do everything I can to keep them in. 
Because of this, I'm beginning to feel the weight of holding it all inside. There is nothing wrong with my life. I am probably the happiest I have ever been, but even so, my heart races, I have sudden panic attacks, and I become scared of everyone, even the people I adore the most. I do my best to hide these fears, because I understand how irrational they are. Hiding your feelings is a death sentence, or at least it is for me. I build fear like a fortress surrounding myself, and then, to tear it down, I set myself on fire. I'm quite the expert, except that I used to be so numb that I didn't recognize the chaos and damage I was creating in the process of trying to kill the pain. The last time I cried was toward the end of a yoga class over a year ago, and I could feel it coming. I fled to the studio bathroom, sobbing uncontrollably, half hoping that no one would notice, but a dear friend watched me leave class. I crouched down in the stall, unsure of exactly why I was so emotional, but when she wrapped her arms around me, I felt comforted, and more than that, understood, without explanation. I was grateful for her quiet presence. 
Crying alone is lonely! 
In therapy sessions, I try to hold it in even more, because I know I will not be comforted. I suppose they are trained to just sit there and stare at you, saying nothing, and waiting for you to stop. I'm sure it is all about boundaries, or maybe I'm supposed to learn how to self soothe. It is not that my therapist isn't caring, because she is, but it feels awkward.  

I almost cry in yoga all of the time! I understand the emotional need for release, but I feel ashamed of any emotion that I have labeled in my mind as negative. Maybe if I cried more, I would panic less? It is worth a try, I suppose!, so if you see me in tears, simply smile and give me a thumbs up, or even an encouraging hug. I most likely have no idea why I'm crying. Perhaps it is only the left over weight of fear...

Sunday, July 12, 2015



Slipping between shadow and light
lucid dreams
cool sheets
warm pillows
sun seeping between cracks in the blinds
bouncing from floorboard to ceiling
your breath
so soft
 I sigh...
we swallow tears
and rise
wading in a river of sparkling stars
between our toes
cool moss
thick winds blow
short lived
stormy summer skies
swollen clouds
swollen eyes
swollen hearts
we are

Angela Minard 2015©

"Change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn,
and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass."
~John Steinbeck