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Have you ever been passed over for something? Didn't get the promotion, the job, or the recognition you'd been expecting?

Yeah. Me too.

Recently, I submitted a book proposal to yet another agent. But this time was a little different. It wasn't a cold call, per se. I had an acquaintance who has recently published a book in the same genre, liked my work, and offered to introduce me to her agent. Yes, please! I got my hopes up... a little. I wasn't delusional, but I thought maybe–just maybe–I'd get someone to champion my idea.

I didn't take it too hard when I was told no. The agent was very complimentary of my work but decided that I did not have the audience to risk their investment. A minimum following of 100K on social media is the standard book deal guideline these days, and I'm far from that!

I've self-published all of my work so far, and there in the field I may stay. But this got me to thinking. Observing, really.

I was walking my dog last week and noticed myself looking down. At my feet. At the pavement. Thinking about who-knows-what. And then I looked up. A huge hawk was swooping over the street to land atop a large oak that lines part of our subdivision. I nearly missed it. How much had I overlooked on the first ten minutes of my walk? How many pictures, posts, and ads had I scrolled passed in one day?

We may be flooded with SO MUCH information these days that it makes us feel like we are overlooked, but reminding myself that it's the flow of life as we know it, is helpful. It's not about me, it's not even about the proverbial them. It's just not possible to process the full impact of the information being hurled our way every second!

Another thing that has helped me is to actively attempt to truly see someone every day. Ask how a friend is doing. Send a text. Greet a stranger. Whatever the method, to see someone is to be seen myself. I hope you experiment, because when you treat it as a challenge, you'll be surprised how many meaningful (real life) connections you can make!


This month, I've been soaking in the end of summer as I've found myself trying to look closely, see, and experience life. So these top five are going to be totally ZEN. Just kidding. When I'm in examination mode, I tend to go deep. I want ingest real, raw stories that I can learn from. So these recs are not going to all be sunny, regardless of the weather!

  • Memoir

Summer reads are my JAM!! Do you love reading stories and watching movies or television that are based on a true story? SAME. If you love a good memoir, then SCARRED, the true story of how I escaped NXIVM the cult that bound my life by Sarah Edmondson is a great pick!

Memoirs tend to be dark, and this one is no exception, but it brings you to the light in such impactful ways. The author is eloquent and real, engulfing us in her story with such eloquence that it's hard to put down (but may be necessary if you're not acquainted with the heaviness of Sarah's story going into it). For those looking for cult stories (there might be a theme here!) I highly recommend this well-written account of the extreme cult experience.

  • Documentary*

Since we are sticking with the theme, I don't necessarily recommend consuming all of this content at once if you're not in a happy place! The VOW on HBO also chronicles Sarah's story, but offers a fuller picture of the happenings inside the cult of NXIVM with multiple players. If you're looking for a mind-blowing first-hand account, search no further!

*This recommendation requires an HBO MAX subscription

  • Podcast

Last in this series, is the podcast Sarah and her husband, Nippy, host. Again, there's a content warning on this one, and they are heavy on the swears, but if you want to see what a Phoenix rising from the ashes looks like, this is it, in my opinion. Sarah and Nippy have turned their experience into call to help others. They educate, reflect, and empower others as they tackle the tough questions around what in our society is A Little Bit Culty.

  • Apps

Okay, onto the lighter side of things. If you're reading about heavy things, you may need something light. And this app has seriously changed my daily outlook. I was introduced to it by a friend, and I love the graphics, the notifications, and the fact that it's free (with an option to upgrade). If we have to be inextricably linked to our phones 24/7, why not use them to ease a little anxiety? Get the I AM app in your app store for free!

native mini deodorant

  • Healthy Essentials

I recently switched deodorants. TMI? Sorry, not sorry.

I am LOVING my new deodorant from NATIVE, but the main thing I adore is the fact that it's not more than the drug store all-natural options, and it comes straight to my door.

The other thing? It comes in this tiny purse sized reputation-saving option as a $3 add on. YES!!

If you missed any of last month's top five favorite recs, be sure to visit the blog for a recipe that's best this time of year. And don't forget to reach out when you try these. I love to hear other people's experiences and get recs from you too!

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