"We will find room for our softness & savagery both." (a speech for you)

Happy International Women's Day, my friends!  For all of my gorgeous women in the crowd—& especially to those who arrived at that womanhood in fits & starts, who have never been quite sure of the right way to hold it—thank you for existing. It means more to me & this universe than you could ever possibly hope to fathom.

Today, as we celebrate the vibrant, influential, strong women we are raising & nurturing & becoming, I wanted to share a little gift for you—a speech I had the privilege of delivering this past weekend at an international speech & debate competition called IASAS Cultural Convention, on softness & savagery & the beautiful terrifying things that happen when they come together.

I'm stunned on so many levels to share that my speech received the gold medal in the Original Oratory category at IASAS 2018—what an absolute, joyful honour. I hope to live up to it.

Please feel free to watch the entire video below, which captures all six of the stunning IASAS Original Oratory finalists, but do note that if you'd rather only watch my part, it begins at time 51:55.

An excerpt from my favourite section of the speech...

"You see, in the story that matters, in the story that exists, we are large. We contain multitudes. We will find room for our softness & savagery both. & if there is no room? Then we will push, & fight, & proudly & furiously & gently make room for ourselves."

Happy International Women's Day, my darlings. I hope you never forget to fight with softness, to limn in the tenderest spaces, to always make room for yourselves. xx

Healing is a Verb

“We cannot do much to escape the pain our illnesses inflict upon us – but with the words, we can tell our stories. We can ask questions, & we can listen with compassion to their answers. We can remind each other of the demons we have beaten over & over again. We can stand in solidarity against our illnesses. We can fight. We can hold each other close.”

Friends, I'm so excited to share with you today a project that you may have heard me speak about in past months & now is finally available for you to watch: my TEDx talk, entitled Healing is a Verb. This talk was very difficult to give (as you may notice by the many mistakes & slip-ups in the video) but I fancy perhaps that only adds to the truth of it.

I gave this talk in May at the TEDxYouth@SAS 2017 event. It centres around narratives of mental disorders, & how we might find community & solace in reaching out to fellow sufferers of often-silenced & stereotyped illnesses. The talk explores my own journey with mental illness & shares the stories of mentally ill readers who have inspired & been inspired by my work; I am honoured beyond expression to have been given this platform to share my story, & I hope you find a bit of light in it.

I encourage you to share this talk with your friends & social media followers (if you'd like, here's a Twitter link to do the latter) - but, more importantly, please send it to your loved ones who suffer from mental disorders. It is wholly, undeniably, before & above all else, for them. If you'd like to do more to support my work, a reminder that I am always accepting tips via Paypal & Patreon; financially backing my art helps more than you know in its creation.

And finally: please do let me know your thoughts on Healing is a Verb. You lovelies already know that this subject is very raw & close to my heart, so any & all comments & feedback are welcome. Thank you for all you have brought & given & shown me through the years, for this gorgeous & unlikely community that has blossomed around something that was so close to bringing me nothing but pain. As I hope this talk begins to illustrate, it means the universe & more. xx