Ep. 007 - The New Year

Having just returned from a silent meditation retreat, Annette shares her experience spending several days in silence in the desert. Her year begins with thoughts about meaning-making and self-compassion. She continues her post-law journey living in “experimental” mode, and observing what energizes her (helping others, yes; working for the pursuit of money, no). She recalls how she moved through much of her early life conforming to a mold of a good student who could get a good job, and hiding those parts of herself that might not have fit that mold. Now she seeks to make those unseen parts more visible and to show up as her whole self in life.

Meanwhile, Sarah finds herself gripped, on and off, with debilitating depression. She considers the possible contributing factors to the depression, including being postpartum, the physical isolation and time constraints stemming from being a stay-at-home mom, and the absence of creative work in her life. She describes the difficulty of creating distance between herself and her illness and how, on many days, simply getting out of bed is challenging. This year, she simply seeks to live her life, with all its contradictions.


Resources and References:


  • Joshua Tree Retreat Center (more info here
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl (available for purchase here)
  • "Improving Ourselves to Death," Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker
  • Mental health is a serious issue. If you or someone you know is experiencing a psychiatric emergency (including contemplating suicide), call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

As always, we want to hear your questions, comments, and stories of how you are breaking form. Leave us a voicemail at 626-790-8334 (tell us if you don’t want your name or recording used on the podcast). Email us at breakformpodcast@gmail.com.

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