Tuesday, September 5, 2017



I hold on in my sleep
clenched fists
awakening with aching fingers
empty hands...

"It hurts, it hurts, it hurts," 

I think to myself

drifting back into the same nightmare...
footsteps heavy, looming shadows,
and then the comforting sound of
your voice calling my name

"It hurts," I whisper

as your gracefully opened palms

receive my falling tears
iridescent crystals
spilling through your familiar, outstretched fingers

"I will hold it for you," you repeat softly

until my eyes begin to flutter open

...and for awhile

this pain

beautifully transformed

Angela Minard 2017©

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Stop, Drop, and Roll

I didn't realize how long it has been since I have been here to write
Change often seems to create a sense of suspended animation
where the outer world stays the same 
and yet you and everything you do is completely different 
Sometimes I feel as if I'm observing from the outside...
I wanted to heal
and I think I am healing...
I hope...
I remember a winter about nine years ago
when I barely came out of my bedroom
It was dark on the inside 
and I was too numb to cry
too numb to smile 
too numb to realize that I was dying
Years of lying
of hiding being raped 
swallowing rage 
had eventually caught up
and taken a toll
Self harm
and hating myself had left me empty
My husband asked me to see a therapist
and I did not want to 
but there was a small voice inside that I could still hear through the endless chatter
I remember looking through the Blue Cross/Blue Shield book of mental health providers 
and searching for a therapist who specialized in eating disorders
Offering up the eating disorder like a sacrificial lamb
If I could eat 
that would fix me 
and I could be on my merry way...
I still remember sitting in her office for the first time 
in her waiting room
I still feel that way
as if nothing has changed...
They say life will eventually come full circle
and so on a day to day basis 
I stare my demons in the face
in the eyes of the patients I teach yoga to in the hospital
I see and feel their loss of dignity
the heavy burden of shame...
It seems almost impossible at times to overcome
The eating disorder was a symptom
a coping mechanism
and by all means 
not the only one
I carry them all in my back pocket
like a smooth stone
a talisman to ward off uncomfortable feelings
To be honest
I don't know what I'm trying to communicate here
only that I know the danger of being silent
of slipping into darkness 
I'm not sure of the perfect way to heal
and although throwing myself into the fire wasn't what I intended
here I am

Stop, drop, and roll...

"The greatest art is to sit and wait and let it come" ~Yogi Bhajan

Friday, August 19, 2016

Days of Glitter

Days of Glitter

I cry...
A lot...
Every day...
I love my new job
It also makes my heart hurt
I've been teaching yoga for awhile now, 
but I avoid teaching children
When I worked with children everyday, 
I figured that I needed a break from kids
When asked to sub kids classes, 
I would adamantly refuse
I never wanted to teach yoga to children, 
and so when I started this job 
teaching yoga in a psychiatric hospital, 
it didn't cross my mind that I would be required to teach children
I wanted to work with the adults 
forgetting that they too were once children
First I was a child
I guess I try to erase that little girl...
The youngest admit is five, 
and then there are the dreaded teenagers! 
I love them...
I know them...
their fears
feelings of loss...
I see the beauty that they have already lost sight of
I try to remind them
and I see
flashes of a smile
like the sun
hidden for awhile
glittering along the edges of cracked, 
grey pavement 


I'm trying to figure out how to keep my heart from breaking 
on a daily basis
or perhaps I bear witness
watching the shattered bits land where they may
sweeping the pieces back together
holding the small mirrored shards gently in my trembling hands
deep breaths as the glitter flies
shimmering sparks
of love

Angela Minard 2016©
Artwork by Anne Bachelier

Sunday, July 24, 2016



On this day
I give to you
as I know it
from what I have learned
along the way

My heart 
and what extends outward
without knowing

Somehow holding you
in a warm embrace

On this day 
searching ends

We have returned...

Angela Minard 2016©

Artwork by Pier Toffoletti

Saturday, July 9, 2016



The physical pain comes first

before memory
before wanting

searing flame
consuming all image


When it hurts 


before you


This wanting

is a different ache
from the same place

Why is the womb filled with rot? 

Do you ever wonder

or simply believe 
what you are told? 

"You smell 
like the filth that you are."

Could you please
wrap your arms around me

even with this stench?

Shame is

Shame is 

Shame is




Angela Minard 2016©

Artwork from

Thursday, July 7, 2016

No More

There is nothing in life that is certain, but most of the time our days flow in a predictable pattern, and that routine is comforting. 
Right now I feel as if I decided to climb into a rain barrel and allowed someone to push me from the edge of Niagara Falls. 
I made the choice to quit a job I had been at for a long time, I brought a puppy into our home, a couple of the boys moved out, and then one moved back in and brought their cat, I'm starting a new job, and I just sprained my foot on my third day at said new job! We need to sell our house, which will be another big change, and none of this is routine. Even good changes can be frightening, and so I find myself slipping into eating disordered behaviors. Relapse is part of recovery, but I thought I was past relapsing. It is difficult not to be disappointed in myself, especially when I'm working in a recovery facility. Beating up on myself is not helpful, and actually gives the eating disorder more power. Silence gives it power as well, and more than anything, I'm trying to let go of shame. 
I have been going through an intense trauma training in order to work in a psychiatric facility, but the training is bringing up my own trauma, which is painful. It makes me doubt myself, and if I have chosen the right path. I feel passionate about teaching yoga as a powerful tool for healing. I know I can help people, but I have to find a way to seperate from my pain while doing this job, otherwise I'm going to be in a world of hurt. 
I have had to slow down while trying to heal my foot, but that gives me more time with myself, more time to ruminate, and so here I am, writing through all of it.
Deep down, I know I can do this, and that everything will work out the way it is meant to happen. I have not arrived in this exact place without a reason. If I expect myself to be perfect, I most certainly will fail. If I believe that others expect perfection, I will also fail. I may tumble all of the way down, beaten and bruised, but smooth waters await if I can have faith and patience through this journey. I can only be honest with myself and others. I don't want to feel alone, and silence is a lonely place to live. It is okay to be exactly where I am, but if I keep it to myself, and hide my struggles, no one can help me. If I've learned anything through this recovery of self, it is that asking for help is crucial for healing to occur. I have so many more tools other than an eating disorder to fall back on, and this blog is one of them. I stopped writing because I was afraid to be honest, and afraid of letting people down. 
No more...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016



I can't speak anymore
of truth
of pain
without my heart lurching 
into the hollow cave 
of my throat
I hear the reverberating echo
of hate
the bitter taste of poison 
on my lips
seething anger fills my belly
You talk and talk and talk
about nothing
while we all 
go hungry

Angela Minard 2016©

Artwork by

Monday, June 13, 2016

Love Makes Sense

I haven't posted here lately, although I still write everyday. 
I'm feeling more private, and not as open about sharing. 
My navigation system is somewhat faulty at times...
I slept fitfully last night with nightmares of being held down and trapped. 
Those dreams are nothing new, but they often come when I am feeling unsafe in the world. 
The senseless massacre in Orlando weighs heavy on my heart. 
I was reading the listed names of the victims in a news article this morning while in the waiting room of a car dealership having my car serviced, and when I made it to the last name, I suddenly burst into tears. 
The horror hit me right away when the news broke, but it takes time for the reality to sink in. 
Real people, with lives, and families, and possibilities, all gunned down...
When tragedies such as this take place, it is a helpless feeling, and of course, it is natural to want the world to make sense. 
Hating what makes someone different from you doesn't make sense. 
Violence doesn't make sense, and I don't care to ever understand. 
Love, compassion, and unity make sense, and so tonight when I teach my restorative yoga class, I hope that through community, we can all spread peaceful energy. 
The only way to begin to heal the world is by beginning with ourselves. 
Teach love and compassion in your home, let your family and friends know how much you love them, educate yourself so that ignorance doesn't stand in the way of understanding and compassion, and when in doubt, be kind anyway. 
"Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" 
"May all beings everywhere be happy and free."

Thursday, May 26, 2016


If you close your eyes
am I no longer sitting before you
Can you wish me away
with these words you have heard before
stifling yawn after yawn 
like the wide open, endless yawn of time
What good is trying to heal 
Continually ripping the bandage from the wound
too soon
As my silences lengthen
your eyelids flutter
the monotony of our conversations
growing as tiresome
as I am weary
Is this how you leave
or is this how I am leaving
Giving up on both of us 
before you can say goodbye

Angela Minard 2016©

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sometimes Less is More

When I teach yoga
I am realizing that I don't want to be anyone else 
and as a newer teacher 
I'm still refining my "voice" 
I'm sure that will always be the case
as hopefully we are continually growing and changing 
I stumble
and sometimes I'm surprised with what comes out of my mouth
There are moments of WTF did I just say?!! 
and times when I say something so profound
that even I sit up and take notice 
"Wow, I really needed to hear that today!" 
It is all okay 
because I need to remember that it is not my class anyway
I am simply a guide
My students teach me so much more than I teach them 
When I stumble
it is usually because I want the class to be whatever my version of "perfect" is
Trying to be perfect never works out to my advantage 
We are the one who gets in our own way
Last night
teaching felt especially satisfying
I was at ease
and had decided that I would give a two minute mini Savasana in between each of the Yin postures 
so that the students could take the time to notice the effects of each pose within their bodies
I had so much positive feedback
We didn't have time for as many postures 
but sometimes less is definitely more
During Savasana
(also known as corpse pose)
which is the final resting pose in a yoga class
I always sit and scan the room 
I place my eyes on each and every student
as if sweetly tucking them in for the night
and I wish them peace
And finally 
I wish myself peace
This may be my path
but we all journey together

Photography by~Angela Minard

Friday, April 15, 2016



Outside my window
the white sky is marbled 
with veins of charcoal
A winter sky in April
From far away
whispered thoughts
drift over the stillness of my body
Startled by the sound of my name being called
I listen intently
holding my breath
until I finally realize it is my own voice calling
Clamping my mouth tightly closed
I breathe purposefully through my nose
in 2,3,4
out 2,3,4,5
until the urge to scream disappears
Droplets of rain occasionally tap the window
as the lyrics to a song by The Clash plays in my head
on repeat...
"Should I stay or should I go
Should I stay or should I go now?"
The rhythm is more upbeat than I feel
I feel 
but still the question
without a clear answer
So I wait...
continuing to breathe
in 2,3,4,5
out, 2,3,4,5,6,7
I reach for my phone
find your number
wait for the sound
Of your voice 
and eventually 
I scream...

Angela Minard 2016©

Wednesday, April 6, 2016



When I was a child
 I would play the "breath holding" game with myself
It wasn't the kind of 
"breath holding to gain attention from parents" game
It was simply a challenge
How long could I deprive myself of air?
The strangest thing is that the longer you hold your breath
the more alive you feel
The heart beats even louder and more ferociously
The body warms and trembles to stay alive
until eventually the mouth flies open
like an ugly, gasping Piranah
an exhale that feels like failure
worn like shame...
As I grew up
breath holding evolved into food withholding
It was simply a challenge
How long could I deprive myself of food?
Long enough for my heart to beat erratically
for my muscles to cramp
 and to shiver all day
even in the summer
Feeling alive...
this slow act of suicide
How long could I press my fingers into my flesh
before I would feel the pain?
the belly I loathed dotted with perfect thumb sized bruises
Where is this poem leading?
to life?
or somewhere
in between...

Angela Minard 2016©

Artwork~ "Hungry" by Leslie Ann O'Dell

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tiny Package

Tiny Package

I remember
beautiful containment
a neat and tiny package
buzzing numbness
almost like being alive
I'm tired of my own voice
messy and overflowing
spilling like sticky blood
 never to be washed away
closing my eyes
I reach my stained hands toward you
but I still see her
too much to hold
too much to love
I remember
beautiful containment... 

Angela Minard 2016©

Thursday, March 24, 2016



Her heart...
there is no other way

escape is merely an illusion
but oh, how she tries

less than a whisper into the darkness
the shadows obscure certainty
tiny fists clutching monstrous deceptions
her heart holds it well

Wide eyes
as if made of porcelain
a vacant, blinking doll

The most beautiful treasures
are veiled
beneath harsh desert skies
like a mirage
and yet seemingly unreachable

to love big
is to get small and quiet
until all you can hear
is the truth

Her heart...
there is no other way

Angela Minard 2016©

Friday, March 11, 2016

How You Feel

I am in a strange place in my life, and I'm not even sure if I have the ability to articulate it here. 
Often the reason I write is to help me make better sense of not only this world, but my place within the confusion. 
I haven't written here in a couple of weeks, and at first it was because I wasn't feeling well physically. 
Of course, it is normal for that to carry over into not feeling well emotionally, but that sinking feeling of the blues can be terrifying for someone prone to depression and anxiety. 
My yoga practice is how 
I center myself, and how I reconnect physically and emotionally, but my body was too tired. 
I easily fall into a self-critical thought pattern, and I decided that just because my physical practice was on hiatus, I could still meditate. 
That would be my yoga practice...
I still have so much to learn! 
The problem with sitting in a silent meditation for me, with only my breath, is that I dissociate. 
I'm a pro at leaving my body, so that was not working. 
Instead of using an alternative, I berated myself for not being able to meditate "right." 
I asked a friend from teacher's training, who specializes in meditation, and also happens to be a psychologist, if I should continue to keep trying. 
Even though in my heart, I knew I should find an alternative, like guided meditation, I needed someone else to tell me it was okay, and she did. 
I don't  have to be perfect. 
I need joy to teach yoga, but joy was missing. I get stuck in a feeling, and fear that it will last forever. 
I'm definitely not the most rational person in the world. 
I talk the talk, but I do not always walk the walk. 
I should mention that one by one, our boys are moving out. 
Every morning, I walk by empty bedrooms, and although I love that they are moving toward independence, it is different...
I will be 50 in August...
am I even a grown up? 
I'm still working on that, so it feels incongruous with reality. 
I'm taking my sweet time...
I want everything! 
I want to take care of myself, but to be coddled, and it changes from moment to moment. 
Is this how you feel?
Do you feel like your heart is breaking from joy and pain, and that you don't even know the difference?
Do you? 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

About Caring

I saw this coming... 
I noticed the fatigue, the aching, the tightness in my chest suggesting a panic attack was imminent. I knew I needed to slow down, and had even planned a spring break breather. Fortunately, or unfortunately, my body is on it's own schedule, and spring break wasn't soon enough. The first sign was an unattractive fever blister, followed by the full blown flu. Thank you, Universe! I get it! There is always a lesson, and as my life came to a halt, I had no choice but to listen. 
I love being a caregiver. If you give me a chance, I will wrap you in a warm hug, and tell you how amazing you are. I'm not nearly as comfortable being the recipient, and that may be an understatement. While being sick, my lovely friends offered support, soup, pep talks, and love. When asked if I needed anything, I refused. It didn't matter. I was still well taken care of. I was embraced with care at every turn. Complete strangers cared for me, and it brought me to tears. I have arthritis in my hips, and I needed a steroid injection. On Monday morning, I went to the pain clinic here in town, ready for the giant, terrifying needle. The nurse who checked me in was soft spoken, and kind. She asked if I wanted a warm blanket while I waited. I said, "No, thank you." She draped a warm blanket over me anyway, placed her hand on mine, and smiled. The doctor and his assistant came in and talked with me. The assistant was a yoga teacher, so we chit chatted about yoga, and then she took me back to the doctor. Everyone was incredibly kind, and that kindness began to swell inside of me. That swelling feeling usually means tears, but I fought the good fight. I had the injection, and afterwards, again they asked if I wanted a blanket, or juice. 
"No, no, I'm fine, but thank you..."
Still, I was covered with a cozy blanket, and handed a cup of orange juice. My blood pressure was taken a few times, and when I was on my way out, the nurse who had been with me the most grinned, and whispered, "What is your favorite color?" She disappeared, and then returned with two pale purple tulips wrapped in green tissue paper. My throat was tight, but I managed to thank her as I left with my husband.  I'm uncomfortable with people caring about me, but it touched me deeply, and it made me think of how often I refuse kindness. Why? It is wonderful! As if that wasn't enough, when I returned to the studio to teach yoga on Thursday, my students were the sweetest! At the end of my class, I found two students cleaning up my room, and sweeping the floor for me. Accepting care feels awkward , but I am deserving of care, and as always, I learn from strangers, as well as my friends, family, and students. 
This life is...

"The person you'll have the hardest time opening to and truly loving without reserve is yourself. Once you can do that, you can love the whole universe unconditionally."

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Deserving Pain

I have been in pain for weeks, clenching my jaw through yoga practices, and doing the opposite of what I tell my students to do, which is to listen to and honor their bodies. It isn't the first time I have pushed through pain. Emotionally and physically, it is how I lived for a very long time. Although recovered from anorexia, the toll it took on my body has left my bones and joints weak from osteoporosis. I developed osteoarthritis specifically in my hip joints, and eventually they will both need to be replaced. I manage the pain with medication, but occasionally need steroid injections to decrease the inflammation. I have been teaching a lot of classes, and physically exhausting myself. The added pain is wearing me down. I went in to see the orthopedic surgeon, and the nurse took my temperature. I had a fever of 101.8. I have no idea why. I don't have a cold or anything. I just feel exhausted. I love teaching yoga, but it is difficult when you don't feel well. I'm feeling down today because I couldn't get the injection with a fever. I started to beat myself up with negative self talk, as if the anorexia was a choice, and I brought this all on myself. I know better, but I went there for awhile. Eating disorders are mental illnesses, and not a choice. I don't deserve to be in pain, and I worked hard to get where I am today. I gave myself a pep talk, and I know it will all work itself out as long as I don't allow myself to be defeated by my own mind. Impeccable self care is needed, along with compassion and patience. All of those are a challenge for me, but I can do it!