About Tracey

Tracey Yokas creates stuff. When she isn’t writing, she can be found playing with paint, glitter, and glue. Art fuels her passion for connection. Tracey lives in Southern California with her family, and aspires to share her truth so others will know they are not alone. Each time she takes a risk and shines a light on her family’s struggle with mental illness, stigma and ignorance lessen. Tracey holds a BS in Communications from Ohio University and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from California Lutheran University. 

Tracey has contributed articles to iPinion Syndicate (here), and had essays selected to appear in two anthologies: Belly Shame: Stories from the Gut edited by Debra LoGuercio DeAngelo and The Walls Between Us: essays in search of truth edited by Beth Kephart.


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

–Ram Dass

Notes on Gratitude

Things I Love, Notes on Gratitude

Things I Love, Notes on Gratitude

The power of belonging. . .

"Belonging doesn't require us to change who we are; it requires us to be who we are." (The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, p. 25.)

The older I get and the more work I do, I better understand the difference between fitting in and belonging. As my goddess BB points out in the above quote, there is a BIG difference between the two. I had the chance to BE ME at the HERshop on Friday, with another goddess, Amy Ferris, and let me tell you, there's nothing like it. I had the chance to be me, to write my truth in the presence of a woman who writes, breathes and inspires truth every single day.

Here are just some of the ways I'm grateful for the experience. I'm grateful. . .

--For women who think it’s important to bring women together to tell their stories.

--For women who face their fears, show up and tell their truth.

--For the opportunity to share tears, despair, pain and grief.

--For the opportunity to share happiness, triumph, grace and light.

--For the opportunity to watch the radical transformation of a woman’s body when joy consumes her and radiates from the inside out.

--For a room full of strangers who end up friends.

--For the understanding that sometimes writing has absolutely nothing to do with grammar, punctuation, and structure. That sometimes it isn’t even about finding the perfect words and stringing them together in the most elegant way.

--For the opportunity to hear the transformative words, “You are a writer.”

--For Amy’s intuition in finding threads that linked our heads to our hearts and for her unwavering presence, her full body involvement in each and every story.

--For inspiration to let go of comparisons. I was reminded recently and again on Friday that writing is not a competition.

--For a multi-generational perspective that no longer exists in my own family.

--For the understanding of what it means to bear witness.

Whether or not we consider ourselves writers, our stories matter because we matter, each and every one of us. You don’t have to be a writer to be transformed by HERshop. I promise.


Yep. Here it is. Smack on the lips. Loved, loved, loved this day.

Amy's next project, coming out soon.

Be part of the solution to end the stigma surrounding depression and all mental illness.

Read and share these stories. Shine a light on the suffering. Let's make sure people know they're not alone.

  • 14 June 2015
  • Author: Tracey Yokas
  • Number of views: 2387
  • Comments: 2

2 comments on article "Things I Love, Notes on Gratitude"



7/18/2015 1:17 AM

I'm so happy you got to have this experience, Tracey. That long list of what you are grateful for is wonderful!

And about bearing witness... I think I get it. Whether I read a book to find out what a writer has to say, or I listen to a friend or relative, it's important that one feels heard. We have a need to matter to others. To feel someone cares and is interested in what we feel, know, think about and experience. It had hit me once quite awhile ago when my husband was telling me something about his work day that wasn't particularly interesting to me. In my mind I was thinking, "This is so not interesting. I don't really care. Why does he feel the need to tell me this? I have better things to do with my time." But then I thought, "He's telling me this because it's important to him." And really, that was all that mattered. Because I need to bear witness to the man I love, when he has something to say. Sure, he could tell a work associate about it, someone who might understand the inner workings of the situation better than I, but that wasn't what my husband needed. He needed for me to hear his story.

And I've run into people who do not seem to listen. It's always about them. People who are very talented at quickly turning the conversation to themselves at every encounter. It's not a good feeling for me I realize I'm always the sounding board, not really ever the sound. I avoid people like that once I get their number. Sure, we all pretty much want to have a turn to speak, but we must allow others that chance, too. And I think most people operate that way.

How do you define "bearing witness," Tracey? Am I on the track?



7/18/2015 1:21 AM

Just to clarify, I meant that I think most people listen to each other!

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