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Lagoinhas, in the Bay of Tagarete, Santa Maria, Azores. Photo by S.K. Camille.

The 20-minute walk to the bay of Tagarete takes you through hilly countryside and then opens out on the windswept slopes near the shore.

The bay of Tagarete lies on the north shore of Santa Maria, the southernmost and easternmost island of the Azores. The path to get there begins among a few houses — a little settlement where there’s a bus stop (Feteiras de Santa Barbára). A 20-minute walk takes you through hilly countryside and then opens out on the windswept slopes near the shore. …

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

As a white person, Black history is my history — it’s our history. Black history is American history.

Last winter, I got to have the “math” talk with my 12-year-old niece, Phoebe. She was going over her class schedule for the spring and, like probably every 12-year-old on the planet, she was complaining about having to take math. Didn’t see the point. Math has nothing to do with her life, she said.

I don’t think she realized she was complaining to the wrong person.

What I told her was, I get it. In your life, you have no use for…

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Photo by Ronise daluz on Unsplash

Equating self-care with entertainment or temporary fixes makes light of women’s real needs.

Please understand, I’m not belittling spa days and chocolate. I love them too.

I’m saying that we need a clear concept of self-care for women.

We need to understand our real needs. We need to know that chocolate, while delicious and fun to eat, does not in any way meet our needs. Spa days can be one small component of a fulfilling life, sure. …

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Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

AKA: Captain Obvious, Superhero

To be useful, you don’t have to offer new insights all the time.

And in fact, they can backfire.

Writing for MIT Sloan Management Review, Adam Grant — host of the WorkLife podcast — points out that just because people know something is true, that doesn’t at all mean they practice it.

Everyone knows exercise is good for you and they should get a good night’s sleep. Those are ancient insights. But do they do it?

People don’t necessarily need a constant stream of new insights. They need help motivating and implementing what they already know.

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Photo by Cath Smith on Unsplash

Self-care is a key to happiness, health, integrity, and good relationships. But it’s common to resist it — either feeling that other people are required to meet your needs, so that you don’t have to, or, on the flip side, feeling undeserving of or disconnected from your own needs.

Self-care means taking responsibility for knowing and meeting your own needs, in every area of life — physical, emotional, spiritual, social, financial — not just for bare survival, but for growth and fulfillment.

Self-care isn’t selfish — only an abuser would say that it is. Self-care recognizes that all people are…

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

tl;dr: They’re real.

Emotions are a reality — a scientific reality, in the sense that they’re measurable and they obey certain laws. This idea isn’t necessarily unique to the system I’m describing, but it’s fundamental.

To explain what I mean, I’ll put it this way: I grew up imbibing (from my parents and extended family) an impression of emotions that suggested they barely exist. In the sense that, if you don’t like an emotion, you can just ignore it or deny it, and it will go away. My parents didn’t like it when children were angry or sad, so they…

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Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Hi. I’m Patricia, and I’ve come a long way — out of a fair amount of trauma and dysfunction into a life that I really love now, that feels whole and healthy. I’d like to tell you about it, because the approach that worked for me isn’t that well known — and it has worked so well, I want to share it. I’ve begun to feel selfish not sharing, like I know the best restaurant in town but haven’t been telling anyone else.

This approach takes a lot of work and time, and seems really difficult at times, but as…

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Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

I know a woman who rearranges her house constantly. When I stayed with her, I would leave to go out to a movie, come back, and all the pictures on the walls would be in different places. Or the furniture moved around in a new configuration. If I went away for the weekend, half the time I’d come back to find the living room a different color.

I liked it — it kept me on my toes.

A trick that writers use: When they’re looking for typos, they read over a manuscript once, and then print it out on different-colored…

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Photo by Hunter Bryant on Unsplash

I’ve been a self-development enthusiast since I was about 12, and I’m not about to stop. It’s helped me get where I am (living half time in the Azores, doing work I enjoy, healthier and happier than I’ve ever been in my life).

And the firehose of self-development resources that is Medium? Catnip. I’m metaphorically rolling around in Medium’s personal development topics for at least a part of every day, learning new things, or being reminded, on a daily basis.

But there’s two ways that I’ve “used” personal development in the past — and still can fall into doing sometimes…

SK Camille

I write about change, growth, authenticity, and faith, with warmth and optimism. She/hers.

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