• A mental health and encouragement blog

    Building community one word at a time

    -Tracey Yokas, MS

Notes on Gratitude
25 November 2015

Notes on Gratitude

A post about how hard it is sometimes. And about gratitude. Always gratitude.

Click the photo to read more. . .

Notes on Gratitude
05 November 2015

Notes on Gratitude

"Books will save your life."

I believe this sentiment 100 percent. I hope you do, too. I hope you've experienced many, many times the feeling that comes the moment you read something--a sentence or a phrase or a word--when you know you will forever have a new and broadened perspective, when someone puts into words what you've only ever felt, and when your heart expands in front of the pages of an open book. Seeing Cheryl in person was a lot like this.

Click the photo to read more. . .

Also, CONTENT WARNING. If you’re a fan of Cheryl's, you know she's fond of dropping a f-bomb or two. As the author of the Dear Sugar columns on The Rumpus, her motto was Write Like A Motherf***er. If anyone’s wondering what to get me for Christmas, I’ll take a mug! FYI: There are several naughty words in this post, regardless of the fact it's about gratitude.

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...


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

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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