Notes on Gratitude
13 October 2015

Notes on Gratitude

Last Friday, I was invited to attend NAMI Ventura County’s volunteer appreciation dinner where I received this beautiful bronze level certificate from The President’s Volunteer Service Award program. Bronze level means I volunteered at least 100 but less than 150 hours of service during a one year period. What a lovely evening it was. Thank you to everyone who worked hard and sweated (it was dang hot out that night) to make the evening so special for us.

I want to tell you a little more about my service for NAMI, why the organization is close to my heart, and why I feel grateful to be involved with it.

Click the photo to read more.

Notes on Gratitude
05 October 2015

Notes on Gratitude

"We can learn to rejoice in even the smallest blessings our life holds. It is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don't even notice. It's like a cartoon I saw of an astonished-looking man saying, 'What was that?' The caption below read, 'Bob experiences a moment of well-being.' The ordinariness of our good fortune can make it hard to catch.

The key is to be here, fully connected with the moment, paying attention to the details of ordinary life. By taking care of ordinary things--our pots and pans, our clothing, our teeth--we rejoice in them. When we scrub a vegetable or brush our hair, we are expressing appreciation: friendship toward ourselves and toward the living quality that is found in everything. This combination of mindfulness and appreciation connects us fully with reality and brings us joy." --Pema Chödrön, The Pocket Pema Chödrön

Maybe a bit less than ordinary, but fully connected to the joy of experiencing this amazing first major step of independence with and for my daughter. Filled with gratitude.

Notes on Gratitude
26 September 2015

Notes on Gratitude

To celebrate the Santa Monica stop of Brené Brown’s book tour, I’m hosting a contest!

Everyone who is signed up to receive my newsletter by midnight on Thursday, October 15, 2015 will have their name entered into a drawing to win a Brené Brown starter kit (photo left). If you've already subscribed, you don't need to do anything. The kit will include the following:

The Gifts of Imperfection, (paperback)
Rising Strong, (hardback)
One beautiful blank journal
One package of four UniBall pens (the best journaling pen ever!)
One package of twenty-four Crayola colored pencils

Having your name entered to win your very own Brené Brown starter kit is easy.

Click the photo to learn more...

Notes on Gratitude
08 September 2015

Notes on Gratitude

As I sat that Sunday morning and started to write about courage, I realized I wanted to keep writing about it because, in this day and age, it can be hard to find our courage and harder to hold on to it. People rush to judgment and say (or write) such harsh and hurtful words with no hesitation whatsoever. I felt secure enough to explore my thoughts on the subject and wrote in my notebook about how scared I sometimes feel telling my story and writing about my daughter. I wrote about. ..

Click the photo to read more.

Notes on Gratitude
26 August 2015

Notes on Gratitude

Today my beautiful, talented and resilient girl starts 11th grade. Wow. Can someone please tell me where the last 11 years went? Today also marks the third first day of school since we thought there might not be any more first days of school for Olivia, at least not in the way there always had been. Every day that has passed since we emerged from our darkest hours, my daughter has been an inspiration not only to me, but to others around her.

Click the photo to read more about why I never get tired of celebrating the first day of school.

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About Tracey

Tracey Yokas is a mom, wife, and friend with a passion for connection. She aspires to write her deepest truths so that others will know they are not alone and to eradicate the stigma and ignorance that surround mental illness. Tracey holds a BS in Communications from Ohio University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University. Her writing hasn’t yet been featured anywhere, but she’s working on it! 

"We're all just walking each other home."

–Ram Dass

New Book

"Your book is coming together in a great story that I believe will touch people wholeheartedly. You are taking what was, at times, a very sad and difficult journey, and creating a way to share it and encourage others to maintain the course, to hope, to keep moving forward towards a better life. That's an incredible thing. The path that led you to here, to writing this book, to morph it as you went along, is coming together beautifully. That path, like ourselves and our lives,hasn't been "perfect"... but the end product will be amazing and change lives for the better."

- Susan S.

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