#chestismsLove, Light, and Vinegar

31 comments | December 18th, 2012


(by Mir) I can't---rather, I suppose, I won't---try to address the recent school shooting. You don't need me to, anyway; Facebook, Twitter, every blog in existence, and every news outlet is busy making sure we can't think about anything else. Violence is terrible. Violence during the holiday season somehow seems worse. Violence against children is unthinkable. Violence on this scale... it's almost incomprehensible. Which is why, I think, everyone rushes to express their feelings from every possible angle. Sadness, disbelief, anger, and then, of course, come the Discussions We Need To Have before anyone's even had a chance to finish processing all of those overwhelming feelings. For once, I found myself silent. I don't want to say anything. It's too much, and if I try to join the conversation which I so desperately wish wasn't happening, never had to happen, I fear I will get sucked down into a darkness from which I might not be able to escape. So I didn't say anything. I turned off the television (or turned it on only to channels like Food Network, where I wouldn't be subjected to news alerts or the president crying). I ...

My Elliptical; My Nemesis

58 comments | December 11th, 2012

chestist threads

(by Mir) When I was a kid, I had terrible asthma. I mean, really terrible asthma---trips-to-the-ER-for-nebulizer-treatments-when-I-got-sick, rescue-inhalers-for-any-time-I-ran-too-fast kind of terrible. It should come as no surprise to anyone who's ever heard of Pavlov that I quickly came to associate exercise with feeling awful. Exercise-induced asthma will do that to you. (And hey, it looks like I told you about this once before!) Fine, I've already talked about how exercise started out making me feel like I couldn't breathe, and even now that my asthma isn't quite so vicious, I still bear the lingering "but I can't do this" sorts of doubts. Exercise does not come naturally to me. I don't like being sweaty, and I just haven't found any exercise that I really enjoy. "Oh, I just LOVE running/cross-fit/cycling/yoga!" my friends say. I never love any exercise. I like swimming, kind of, but mostly I like just floating around in the pool. Possibly I am missing the exercise-love gene. Mostly I am happy if I find some sort of exercise I don't actively hate. When my crazy exercise-loving friends start yammering on about "endorphin highs" I strongly suspect this ...

#chestismsLife Changing Moments

4 comments | December 10th, 2012

exploding flowers

(via Salon.com via Smithmag.net) We bumped into this article in our travels across the interwebs, on our never-ending search for that which will enthrall and intrigue you, and provoke your thought (how we doing, btw?). The Smithmag piece features the stories of authors known and not, recalling the moments in their lives that changed them, defined them, made them who they are and aren't. We were inspired. And so we ask you, are there moments in your life on which you look back and think "that one changed me"?  Which ones are they?  What happened and why did it matter?  Did you realize its importance at the time?  Let's talk life-changing moments, shall we?  You share yours and we'll share ours.  XO, FMB

#chestismsRaise Your Effing Hand

11 comments | December 8th, 2012


This was submitted anonymously, as a comment to another reader's story about "Playing It Much Too Safe".  Here's how we got it:

I won't lie, this quote is a little harsh; but goddamnit, it's true. It's by an author named Christopher Gutierrez. He's amazing.

"you know that feeling when you're in class and you want to raise your hand to disagree, to add to the discussion? that nervous energy that prevents you from raising your hand and hearing your own voice? the one that makes your heart race? that nervous energy wins when you keep your hand safely on your desk and miss the opportunity to add your two cents. thats what failure feels like. thats the feeling of you giving up a little more of your life. thats when you throw away your votes. and unless you want to take your place in the list of billions of fakes, sheep and ****, the next time you have something to say, raise your f*cking hand." {end story}

Doesn't matter how long it's been since you've been in class, or a meeting, or at a dinner with family and friends, or riding on ...

#chestismsDefine happiness. What Do You Need to Be Happy?

19 comments | December 6th, 2012


Nope, there's no article, no story - just the question in the headline. Let's think about it...what do we (that means you too) need in our lives to be happy?  What do we WANT in our lives to be happy? Deep stuff, right?!  But what question could we ask ourselves where the answer could be more important, more essential, more fundamentally our happiest version of ourselves? Throw down, Chestists, throw down.

#chestismsJump, a Chestism

9 comments | December 4th, 2012











"It's when you make the decision to jump, that the net appears." (Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way)

We've about worn this chestism thread bare over the years.  You agree or disgaree with it?  Is it inspiring, cock-eyed and foolhardy optimism that's bound to get someone hurt, or...what do you think?  is there a decision you need to make (or not make) that feels like a jump?  Why not make it?

#lifestagesDon’t Want Kids

comment | November 30th, 2012


(by anonymous)

I don't want kids.  My mother's going to kill me. {end story}

You ever find yourself not wanting something someone else wants (or expects) you to want?  Big buzzkill if you let it be.  How do you deal with it? 


38 comments | November 29th, 2012

road back

(by Mir) My husband is a car guy. He can tell you about every single car he's ever owned, and there are a lot of them. He remembers everything about them: when he bought them, who he sold them to, what problems they had, everything. Me, it came time to replace my car and he asked me what I wanted. "One that... runs?" I suggested. I am helpful like that. The thing is, for me, a car is an appliance. It's a machine that exists to do what I need it to do---transport me and/or the kids someplace with some safety and efficiency---and beyond that, I don't care much about it. Does it work? Good. Is it completely generic-looking? Even better. That's all I require. And so I like to tease my beloved, sometimes, about the car magazines he reads and the endless hours he spends debating one model vs. another. Every car purchase is a major event for him, and he still has that excitement over every single vehicle he acquires, whether it's a dinged-up beater or something new. (Just to be clear, we're not over here buying brand new ...

The Secret of Thankful

23 comments | November 20th, 2012


(by Mir) I don't know about all of you, but I'm spending a good part of this week getting ready to host Thanksgiving dinner. For me this entails a complicated process of meal planning, grocery shopping, pre-emptive experimentation and ahead-of-time cooking, more grocery shopping, house cleaning, freaking out about cooking, looking for the serving pieces I only use once a year, running to the grocery story for that last thing I need, and finally, the meal itself. Does that sound like I'm complaining? I'm not, not really. Because this year, I am absolutely at peace with all of it. We talk a good game, most of us, about being thankful. This month, in particular, with Thanksgiving coming up, I see many of my friends and family doing a "daily thankfulness" practice on Facebook or their blogs. The idea is that when you stop to be thankful, you are happier overall and more grateful for the good things. And that makes sense, I guess, though I worry that making it a "thing" makes it yet another exercise rather than a true spiritual practice. But I've done my fair share of this; said grace before a ...

The Strongest Woman

3 comments | November 14th, 2012


(by Theresa) Someone whose opinion I respect a great deal recently told me I am the strongest woman she knows. I wanted to tell her she was wrong. How could I be the strongest woman she knows? My mother was the strongest woman I have known, and she to my knowledge never had a panic attack. In fact, I don't think anyone in my immediate family has. I can remember the first time I had a panic attack. I was at a band rehearsal after school, struggling with one specific measure in the music. I was also in college credit courses and working at Wendy's, so I had a lot on my mind. When it came time for me to play the measure, I flubbed it badly and got a lot of what I perceived as negative attention. I ended up in tears, hyperventilating, and shaking so bad the section leader told me it was ok to go home. I felt like a failure and that added to my panic. How could I be considered strong? My mother never to my knowledge battled depression. My brothers seemed impervious to those demons. Sure my biological ...

#lifestagesLessons from a Square Peg

27 comments | November 13th, 2012

square peg

(by Mir) My standard answer, when people ask us why we chose to remove my son from public school and enroll him, instead, at a facility we have lovingly nicknamed "Hippie School," is this: It took me a while to realize that public school was trying to fit my beautiful square peg into a round hole, and eventually we figured it out and put him where there are round holes and square holes and octagonal holes and even the option not to go into a hole at all. The answer is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, sure, but it's also the shortest way to encapsulate how it all went down. Because, truly, by the time my son was struggling to fit into a classroom, I already had 30-odd years of conforming to expectations (or suffering the consequences when I didn't). There was a tacit assumption on my part that my son could also learn to adapt and that would work out just fine. Yes, I accept that my son is very different from me, and even that his mind works very differently from that of a "normal" kid, but for years I believed ...


comment | November 10th, 2012

My best friend died 19 years ago today.  He was 28.  19 years is a long time.

I still think about him all the time.  I wish he knew my kids.  I wish they knew him.  I think about all the things he never saw, did, heard of, all the people he never got to see grow up, have their own children, 


comment | November 7th, 2012


(by FMB) When we started Feel More Better, we called it Off Our Chests. It was quite purposefully not Off My Chest. The "Our", the "S", the plural were - and are - so important. We began this with the firm and wholehearted belief that we are all in this together. That making the world a happyer place for EllaRose and other girls would, as Hillary said long ago, take a village. We are that village, all of us and each of us. And as our personal elation here at FMB HQ at the President's re-election goes from euphoria to warm and fuzzy, as we consider the wins for women, for equality, for choice, for common sense, for Big Bird...we can't help but still be saddened by the clear and obvious divides amongst this imperfect union of ours. We can't help but wonder how the Akins and Murdouck's made it this far. We can't help but wonder not at what differentiates us, we're all human after all, but at what keeps hate alive along with hope. We're made sadder still by the morning after name calling and wall building of those whose candidate(s) didn't ...

#lifestagesLove the Vote

42 comments | November 6th, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-11-05 at 6.29.32 PM

(by Mir) I'm not going to lie; I was struggling with a post topic for today. I'm tired, it's been a hard few days, my screwed-back-together broken hand is hurting, and I'm suffering from a Halloween candy hangover. This is not the ideal combination for deep thought. So, being the professional that I am, last night I turned to my husband and whined, "What should I write about?" (No, he doesn't receive combat pay for living with me. But he probably should.) "Write about the election," he suggested. I gave him A Look. You know the one---it suggests that I would rather chew off my own leg than discuss politics. He shook his head slightly. "Not the election itself. Write about voting. Write about the first time you voted!" And I said no. Because... I can't remember the first time I voted. We worked through the history to figure out that the first presidential election where I would've been of legal voting age was 1992. Then we determined that I would've still been in college, so if I'd voted in that election, I would've either had to ...

Happiness, an iPhone Click Away

comment | November 3rd, 2012

New iPhone App Puts Happiness In The Palm Of Your Hand


Pittsford, NY    Jan 03, 2012 in Health and Fitness

[prMac.com] Pittsford, New York - In an age of hyper digital inter-connectivity, mobile phones manage their owners' lives by keeping them organized, plugged in, entertained and informed. However, for as tethered as everyone is to these modern mechanical marvels, are they doing anything to help anyone live a measurably happier life? Cloud Nine - Combining iPhone Technology With Positive Psychology: That's precisely the question that prompted an Emotional Intelligence expert and a former tech CEO to create Cloud Nine. Now, smartphones can also act as centers for balance and well-being by combining iPhone technology and research of positive psychology in one simple happiness fostering iPhone app. Cloud Nine tracks 12 different elements related to well-being, including measurements of achievement, gratitude, kindness, exercise, sleep, mood and meditation. Plus, the app automatically and privately charts complex correlations between these traits and offers touch button tools such as a gratitude log and techniques to dispute pessimism and manage exercise - all in a user friendly package that takes little time to use. The Elements Of A Happy Life - Now In The ...