• A mental health and encouragement blog

    Building community one word at a time

    -Tracey Yokas, MS

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

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.

Notes on Gratitude
03 August 2015

Notes on Gratitude

An incredible aroma emanated out of the open cabinet. I took a deep breath in through my nose. 

Click the photo to read more about soap, toilet paper and gratitude.


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.

Stay Informed


Get "Eight Helpful Tips When a Loved One Struggles" when you sign up here.

We'll let you know whenever we add something new to the website like a new book or a new resource. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never give your email to others.

Instagram @TraceyYokas