This Woman’s Work: The Blue Lagoon music video



Do you remember the movie The Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields?




This movie was made in 1980, a year before I was born. I watched it on television all the time growing up. To me, it symbolizes LOVE in the most pure and natural sense. 


Beautiful naked bodies running around a picturesque stranded island together.


When things get too complicated, I close my eyes and picture The Blue Lagoon. 


When my dear friend Libby Schug sent me her song This Woman’s Work, I nearly died. 


This Woman’s Work?!


Do you remember the movie She’s Having a Baby starring Kevin Bacon??




The scene in She’s Having a Baby where they use the song This Woman’s Work has HAUNTED me for my whole life. In fact, I used the song as a sound cue for my one act play “Women & Wallace” that I directed in college and almost suffocated the entire audience from the sheer emotional beauty. 


My mind went spinning in a few directions artistically but I could not commit to a music video theme for Libby so I asked her for input. 


Beach lovers.


Enter The Blue Lagoon. Most beautiful beach lovers of all time. 


Leave it to Rey Divine to have the right words to bridge the gap between the two concepts:





I hope you enjoy This Woman’s Work sung by Libby Schug!





PTSD & Rage: You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry


You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…


The story of the Incredible Hulk really affected me. David Banner was such a kind person until the incident that caused him to radically transform…into a monster. But David Banner, even when he was the monstrous Incredible Hulk, was actually a hero; he stopped the bad guys with his anger. 




The Incredible Hulk never hurt anyone who was innocent, only the bad guys. Even as a child in the 1980’s I knew that was an incredible mental fete, as David Banner was the victim of a scientific experiment gone very wrong and was often totally out of control.


Control. I’ve always wanted it. Obviously my little girl body could not transform into the Incredible Hulk, but there was always hope. Thanks to Stephen King and Drew Barrymore. 




Firestarter. Due to a scientific experiment gone wrong in both her parents, when this little girl gets angry, she starts fire with her eyes…fascinating. I practiced my glare for the rest of the 1980’s. 


But glaring is not the same as the Incredible Hulk, I still felt too small…things were still out of control.




Thank god the lady from Splash got angry and transformed into a 50-foot giantess in the early ’90’s. I needed that. 


By the time the early ’90’s rolled around, I was feeling totally powerless. Couple that with all the hormones and emotions of becoming a woman and understand that I felt very much like a freak.




Like Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf…before he realizes he is good at basketball.


So much hair…


Were it not for movies like these growing up, I probably never would have had my latest epiphany:


It’s ok to get angry.


It’s normal.


For many years, I got into a very nasty habit of telling myself that “I don’t get angry.” That was stupid. Of course I get angry, I am a human being; a very passionate human being. I am an empath, I am INFJ and not allowing myself to embrace my angry feelings actually made me very sick. 


I’m not doing that anymore.


I made a YouTube video about PTSD & Rage. Apparently the two go hand in hand. Like peas and carrots. 




As long as you do something constructive with your anger, it’s ok. Recognizing anger for what it is, enables you to choose NOT to do something destructive with your anger.  My new mantra about anger?




It just doesn’t matter. Thank you Bill Murray. Thank you Meatballs. It just doesn’t matter. 


This is my story. It’s mine to tell.





I hope you enjoy my new YouTube video!







p.s. ~ follow @rey_divine on Instagram and Soundcloud

Godspell & Grieving: Oh God I’m Bleeding


When I was in middle school, Lake Shore High School put on the best production of Godspell ever. I have never seen another version. No need.




I’ve been thinking about that musical A LOT over the past year.


Specifically, the part where Jesus is crucified.


Oh God I’m Dying…


I’ve been singing it to myself for at least a year…


I have a story to tell.




So I made a YouTube video called Godspell & Grieving: Oh God I’m Bleeding.




Because I had to. I had to shut this song up, that’s enough. I’m not dying.


I’m grieving.


Feels similar, I imagine, if your death were as slow and painful as possible.




In the video I describe toxic relationships using my favorite television series: Arrested Development.




I also act out the 5 stages of grief in a loop 3 times in a row…there is a giant stuffed panda bear involved. Totally normal stuff.




I know that this story has to be told because it is haunting both my days and my nights. I’m done. If you don’t have 6 minutes to invest then hear me now:



Set boundaries that honor your personal limits and have the integrity to keep your own promises. This is life. It can be whatever you make it. Make it as kind and loving as possible.




Please let me know what you guys think of my new video and please subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss out on my next special delivery ;)






Come Rain or Come Shine (Practice Self Love)


2014 has been hard.


I made this music video for my dear friend, Libby Schug, today using the head shots I took of her last year in the Gardens next to the San Diego Zoo.






and quotes from Brene Brown:


“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”


“Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”
― Brené Brown


I can’t say it any better than that.


I did write another Haiku, though:



Parents don’t know how

to give children what they need;

they learn or they don’t.




HappySmartGirls interviewed ME!


I kinda want to cry right now.




I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’m an empath or the empath/INFJ combo, but I am GREAT at crying.


This time I’m talking tears of JOY, maybe a little pride mixed in, too.




Tomorrow I am producing a YouTube video in an effort to heal my tremendous GRIEF. Today I am practicing GRATITUDE by acknowledging the good that comes with the bad. My activism + volunteerism chronicled in both my blog and youtube channel has caught the eyes of Happy Smart Girls!





I found HappySmartGirls on Instagram and LOVE the empowering educational, health and wellness vibe. We became fast friends and agreed to interview each other. My interview launched today and I am just BURSTING with emotion. Read it HERE. This is what my new friend said about me on Instagram:








“A genuine, authentic, real life, spirit guide.”


Ugh, yeah, I cried tears of JOY when I read this.


I look forward to conducting my interview of the BFF duo that is HappySmartGirls but am even more excited about the blossoming of our FRIENDSHIP (yay!).


Let me know what you think of my interview by clicking the “Leave a Comment” tab next to the title of this blog (right under the date), I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts :)





Vision Boards: Organization, Healing, Happiness & Success


I’m super jel right now.




This girl’s vision Board:




I know, I know, as I said in my first YouTube Video, I am in LOVE with my vision board. My husband and I made our own for 2014 after I watched Lori Harder’s YouTube video tutorial and they are really inspiring, useful and quite beautiful.




Inspiring because those index cards represent my goals, dreams and healing exercises. Useful because I stare at this all the time when I am stuck and it motivates me to try and achieve a goal, even if that goal is to just BREATHE. Beautiful because we made those index cards with our precious hands, my husband and I, and then we decorated all around it with pieces that make us feel joy. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


So what’s the problem?


Mine doesn’t have a mirror. This girl gets to put her whole self inside her vision board (genius).


Just today, my husband told me on the phone he wanted to update his vision board this weekend. Fate. I am totally going to run to the store and buy a couple lightweight mirrors, like the kind I used to have in my locker in school) and update my vision board as well. Exciting.


If you don’t have your own vision board, I recommend you at least start THINKING about what you would put on it if you did. Make a list even. Goals don’t just accomplish themselves ;)





DIY stands for do it yourself




I am in love with my home all over again.


This always happens in the aftermath of a DIY…


(I didn’t know what DIY stood for until 2014, so I will just stop here and say: I got crafty).


In my first YouTube video, I mention that I am doing some serious nesting right now in my home and explain the health benefits of surrounding yourself with Beauty.




This is a Kelly Rae Roberts piece that I actually don’t own quite just yet, but am still making the message a daily practice. As you all know, I am obsessed with potting plants and Kelly Rae Roberts art right now. But that’s just a fraction of what I have going on over here. By nesting, I mean I am on a quest to make my home absolutely beauty-FULL. I go at my own pace, only work when I am creatively inspired and am ALWAYS thinking about a variety of projects/ideas and how to best implement them. It’s a mental exercise I really enjoy (you should try it!).


It wasn’t always this way. I actually did not nest at all during my pregnancy; that symptom from the what to expect book never paid me a visit. I have always had a sense of style, but was very traditional in my home decor, which is not even my personality. When I was 30 weeks pregnant and turned 30 years old on November 30th (Golden Birthday!) my friend Libby came to visit and told me:


You have got to decorate above your cupboards.




Shortly after my son was born, Libby came back to visit and told me:


I wasn’t kidding. I hate this, it looks terrible. I told you to decorate up there.




Obviously no one was impressed with my minimalist style. Libby whispered to me:


Let’s go shopping…


I started to nod my head uncontrollably and felt like a dog who wants to go on a car ride: ‘cited!


It was actually my first social outing since my son was born other than the dentist and I was pumped; we had so much fun at TJ Maxx Home Goods it was off the hook.


We decorated above all 3 cabinet areas in my kitchen and we were THRILLED.




That was 2012.  It took until 2014 for my husband to admit he was not thrilled with the area above the fridge. Why? He doesn’t know. Okay. So I started thinking about what would be the BEST thing for us? I thought long and hard and then I slowly began to execute my plan.


We like plants, so I wanted to have a nice green base. Went to the craft store and picked out a bunch of large green drapey fabric plant pieces. Decided while I was there that because I love hydrangeas and orchids, that I would be picking up fabric representations of those as well.  I got up on a ladder, used clear push pins and stuck all my pieces into the wall. Some of the green pieces I bought were so large, I cut them into 4 different pieces to cover the whole area.




It remained this way for weeks, maybe even a whole month until my lights arrived. I had to have a string of heart shaped paper lantern lights. Listen, if you feel that way, too, let me save you the headache and send you to Etsy where I got mine (this is also where I got the string of star shaped paper lanterns that I use in all my YouTube videos) because I could not find them in stores.




Clear push pins hold the lights in place and MIRACULOUSLY, there was an outlet in the top cupboard to plug into. My Husband drilled a hole into the top of the cupboard and fished the cord through so we can access the light plug by opening the cupboard above the oven. Easy.




Things remained this way for a few more weeks. The last step was the hard part. I had to figure out how to hang block letters in a whimsical manner that ensured high visibility of all pieces. My first thought was to string them all together like the lights, but that was a disaster because all the letters crashed into each other and spun all around; looked terrible. My second thought was to hang the lights from the ceiling using clear push pins and fishing wire. My husband put a special drill bit on the power drill and I went into the garage to drill holes into the tops of my letters, to string the fishing wire through. Ok, well, once hung from only the top, the letters still spun around constantly. My husband, who has the patience of a saint, climbed up the ladder to intricately tie down the bottoms of the letters with fishing wire and….drum roll please…






Do you LOVE it???




We do. Every day when we use that door to the left to exit our home and enter the garage, I feel the love. When I’m preparing meals, I look at the oven timer and feel the love. When we hungrily walk to the fridge, we all feel the love. I want my son to know that we VALUE LOVE in this household.


Beauty matters. Surround yourself with it.





Hug Yourself + Love Yourself = HEAL YOURSELF


Ever hug yourself?


I do.




I made a YouTube video about it today. I’m that girl.


Actually, I wrote the script for: Hug Yourself + Love Yourself = Heal Yourself, hours before learning some pretty heinous news.




I am increasingly intuitive like that; producing and directing this movie was healthy for my grieving process. I don’t know what else I would’ve done with my seconds, minutes or hours. I made the set and shot the footage in record time. I’d say this one was fast tracked for sure.




Last night I wrote my first Haiku:


If you’re deserted,

You can have extra dessert.



Also ate 2 brownies last night.


Full disclosure, I eat chocolate every single day.


I hope you enjoy my latest YouTube video and that you all start hugging + loving + healing your beautiful selves!




Journaling & Healing

Journaling is a fantastic healing exercise.

In my first YouTube video, I showed 4 of my journals and explained what I use them for.


In my last blog, I complained about how I only brought one of the journals on vacation (obviously to conserve space—traveling with a baby necessitates SO MUCH GEAR—right, who’s with me?).


My Feelings Journal.  A place I hope to fill with positivity and good feelings. Well, as I mentioned in my last blog, I had a bit of a rough go on my Rocky Mountain National Park vacay due to the triggering of my PTSD injury and, needless to say, my feelings journal took a dark turn.

And that is GREAT.


Because it’s just a journal. Better the journal take a dark turn than me, right? Listen, I struggled with journaling for a LONG time. Meaning: I did not want to take the recommendation repeated to me over and over that journaling my feelings will help me manage my PTSD symptoms (like RAGE, terror, loneliness, grief, etc).


I did not want to have a record of thoughts I feel are not me. Who says these things? Who feels this way? Are you sure you want to leave a paper trail of…this…???


I feel very strongly about journaling now because, as I mention in my YouTube video, PTSD RECOVERY, it has actually improved my overall physical health after 10 months of making it a daily practice.

I feel so strongly about encouraging others to do the same thing for their own health that I am willing right here and now to share a journal entry with you. An ugly journal entry to boot. Makes me look terrible.

Here it comes…

WARNING—this journal entry contains ADULT LANGUAGE—I would give it an R rating if it were a movie, but it’s just a journal entry in a blog, use your own judgment…

“Dear Sleep,

Fuck you. We’re not even friends. Every time I let go and go with you, you show me memories that grip me with the fear of imminent death. Over and over again. Like you’re trying to condition me, to strengthen some weird muscle. Well it doesn’t work like that. Cut it out. Fuck you, sleep. Stop showing me death. I will care every fucking time. You can’t break me, sleep, not after all I’ve been through, I’m too strong, I love myself. I do have a family, I made it myself. We are unbreakable. Show me that when I close my eyes. Truth. Reality. Right now in the present. Let it go. I’m sorry that happened to you. It’s over now. Love.

*Right after I wrote this, I went back to staring out the window. Full moon. So bright. Wishing I could see another moose walk by the house like last night. Saw a shadow behind me in the house. Told myself to be brave, it’s my husband or my son. Went toward the shadow in the darkness. It’s my son trying to get back into his own bed where his Dada is now asleep after a power struggle from earlier. “No blankets,” my son tells me sleepily as I help him get his butt back into bed and he curls up next to his Dada. I cover him up anyway, rub his back and he’s asleep immediately. I smile and walk back to the window and BAM—just like I wanted, a huge moose walks right by the house from the bright full moon-lit road into the woods. I’m smiling so huge, feeling all sorts of gratitude when suddenly a baby moose pops out and jogs the same path, following it’s huge mama. Whoa. Wish my husband could’ve seen it. Now I’m at 8 and he is at 7 total sightings so far and it is only day 4 of our week-long trip. Fuck you, sleep—you gotta stay up late to see the best life has to offer.”

So, that was one journal entry…


Ok, here is what I wrote the next day:

“We stopped by the petting zoo at the Ranch on our way back to our cabin and I found myself feeling better. I don’t have my self worth all the way back to realization yet, but it’s better. I deserve to live. A baby cow, a calf if you will, was kinda stuck in a corner with a rope in it’s face; I showed Jackson and another very interested little boy how to help the calf back out of the tight spot he seemed to think he was stuck in. Just like a cowgirl. I was proud of myself. The little boy became my friend and showed me how to feed the donkey and miniature horse because I said I was scared to. I did it. I was proud of myself again. I always make friends like that with children at parks because I pay attention to them and make them feel important, smart, interesting, and like they have a lot to offer. I do that because it didn’t happen for me. It wasn’t like that. I was so worried, so scared, so traumatized and nobody demonstrated care. Nobody asked. Nobody was kind to me. That’s why I ALWAYS made a joke out of my plight—so that someone would listen and respond. That’s it. If I could make them laugh, then I knew they kinda got it. If I told the truth without humor, people would just stare at me and then walk away. Awkwardly. Then I knew for sure I was weird. Not right. Not going to get any help. Ever. If I could make people laugh and show them I could make lemonade out of my lemony circumstances, then at least they would pay attention and know what was happening to me. Then at least I wasn’t all alone. I know now that I am all alone. We all are. But we can have MOMENTS of community, of understanding if we choose the right people to share with on a regular basis. Choose friends and family wisely.”


Journaling helps. I promise.



Hiking and Healing: Rocky Mountain National Park Style


When you live in the desert—summer vacay is essential for your sanity.


In my first YouTube video, I mention how my husband and I have a life goal of hiking in every National Park in America. Well, we brought our toddler to Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado in the hopes of, among other things, spotting moose!


It’s OK that I forgot to bring my National Park Passport because I got that park stamp 9 months ago when my husband and I came to celebrate our 10-year dating anniversary.




We saw zero moose on this trip in the Fall of 2013.




We had 15 moose sightings this time in the summer of 2014.








Every single time we saw moose, the hairs on my arms stood up, I got goosebumps, my heart would beat so fast and I would smile HUGE, much bigger than usual. Dream come true.






But I still have PTSD and I was a little nervous because the last time we were in Colorado, my PTSD was triggered, resulting in cyclical vomiting that lead to dehydration and a sexy anniversary out-of-State Emergency Room visit so that I could hook up to an IV, rehydrate and calm down my intestines. Cha Ching. (I am currently in the appeal process with my Insurance Company who decided that visit was not an emergency…it’s hard not to take personal that dehydration leads to death but whatever insurance company, whatever).


I don’t know why that happened to me last time I was in Colorado, but I was determined to not let it happen again. I have come SO far in my recovery process and the idea of bringing my toddler to the ER is anxiety provoking in itself.


Having my son along on this trip was a very different experience. He did not take a nap one day that whole week. He was so excited he fought sleep the entire time actually; waking at 6 a.m. every day like a rooster and succumbing to exhaustion around 10 p.m. after hours of “it’s bed time, Jackson.”


It shouldn’t matter, but the fact that the area we stayed in had no internet or cell phone reception threw me for a loop. In my first YouTube video, PTSD RECOVERY, I describe a myriad of Mind, Body & Heart exercises that I do to heal from my injury. Well, a lot of what I mention involves accessing the internet (Research, my nightly Meditation, my Yoga podcast, etc.!!) and taking that away was kind of devastating to me emotionally.


You see, I got triggered.


One of the symptoms that my PTSD presents is an exaggerated startle response. I have managed it for decades. Sometimes it is worse than others. Basically it means, I am WAY more startled biologically than the situation warrants.


So I’m sitting on the porch of our cabin and it’s after 10 p.m. but I’m still waiting for my husband to join me (meaning my son is still awake and it’s my husband’s turn to make him lay in the bed by staying there cuddling with him until he falls asleep).


I hear a noise behind me that seems like 3 adults very carelessly tramping through the forest in the dark. Not talking. Before I turn around, in a matter of seconds, I feel and think a million emotions and thoughts.


Terror. Calm down. Don’t scare them by screaming, calm down. Confusion. Yeah but why are they in my back yard? It’s a rental. I don’t know. Oppression. Why would 3 grown people walk so quickly and brashly toward your back porch in the dark at night without talking? Oh no. What can be used as a weapon…nonchalantly…so they don’t get mad in case they weren’t trying to rape you, just talk to you…in the dark…at night…in the woods…alone…no phones…so aggressively…


All of that and more in a matter of seconds…it was sickening. So I turn my head slowly to see what’s behind me moving so quickly and it’s a huge moose walking the length of our cabin.


My thoughts at this point are so erratic, I can’t describe them well enough to do it justice but I can tell you that I had an overwhelming VERY PRIMAL feeling that I was in the presence of a dinosaur.


“Dinosaur”…I whispered in my own head dramatically as I realized that, without thinking, I was already standing at the back door trying desperately to get in the cabin, get away from the 10 foot moose that was 10 feet away from me.


The doorknob betrayed me and WHY?!




Yeah, it’s my husband coming to join me, finally.




I guess at this point I am very much like John Candy in the end of the movie The Great Outdoors when he’s all “big bear chase me…”




And seriously, I don’t even go in the house; I am already intellectually ready to get my moose spotting on (though my physical and emotional needs have not yet been totally understood let alone been met) because I know how rare and special this is. And I’m trying…


Ah…PTSD. You bastard. Taking my moments and making them…difficult.


Honestly, this startling experience really set the tone for the rest of the vacay.


It seems so bratty, why can’t you just enjoy your dream vacation?




Impromptu pony ride in our pajamas? Why not.










Visiting with my lifelong friends who came up for one night of AMAZING memories:




But it wasn’t just the lack of internet or phone. No potted plants, no fancy bubble baths, no Jillian Michaels DVD’s, no vision board…limited to only one book and one journal (!?). Tough. Especially when my other PTSD symptom resurfaced: rage. Yup, I have it. RAGE. It came upon me suddenly, as it always does.


I try to manage my symptoms as best I can and rage is the easiest for me to spot because it’s so…not me. It’s not logical. It’s not kind. It’s not loving. It’s not what I want to be doing or feeling at all. So what I do in those moments is take a walk (a healing exercise that was, thankfully, still very much available to me on vacation).


I mentioned in a really kind, calm, casual way in my first YouTube video that I like to hike or take walks around the block—as a healing exercise. Please allow me to add this caveat: I am not kind, calm or casual when I am walking as a healing exercise. I am furious. When I am done walking (my body knows when it’s over) I am not furious anymore, I feel better.


Luckily, when the rage bubbling up finally surfaced, my husband and son were riding a huge horse together into the Rocky Mountain National Park and I was given 2 hours to do what I wanted without a toddler in tow. Perfect time to freak out. I don’t drive when this happens because it’s not safe. So I left the car keys with my husband and walked (stomped) 6 miles back to our cabin from “town.”


If I knew it was 6 miles I probably wouldn’t have done it, we had plenty more hiking we were going to do as a family later that day. But I am glad I did. I needed it.




I know now why Rambo walks alone. I mention in an earlier Blog post that Rambo First Blood is the greatest PTSD story ever told. In the beginning of that movie he is shown walking alone for what seems to be miles. Whenever he meets up with someone in that movie, the loneliness only seems to become more evident and it also intensifies. Me and Rambo have a lot to think about while we walk.




Was I doing positive mantras while I walked? Oh hell no. It was ugly…




Yes, I was looking at the Rocky Mountains thinking very dark thoughts. Until I heard an old truck slowing down behind me. I look briefly behind me to see a beat up truck approaching me with the passenger window down.


How tough is Rambo now? My first thought was: go ahead and try to murder me, stranger, I’m in the mood to fight right now. Very quickly, my second thought was much more intense: he’s not going to kill you Rachel, it’ll be worse…then my brain imagined all the scenarios that are worse…so when he said:


“It puts the lotion in the basket”




I was like: excuse me?


“I’m going to the Windy River Ranch, you want a lift?” Literally in the same deep terrifying voice as the killer (Buffalo Bob) from the movie Silence of the Lambs.


No thank you, I am super close to my destination (not true) and really enjoying the exercise but thank you for asking!


I smile and look him right in the eyes as if to say: don’t hurt me. He keeps driving. I realize now that I am 3 miles from my destination and it bothers me that I have seen so many R rated movies but also that we do live in a country where women are blamed for their rape. I looked down at my American Flag tee shirt like, do I look like a whore? Wedding ring is on. Check. Ok. Replay the movie Silence of the Lambs in my mind for the rest of the walk…think about how it sucks that women get kidnapped for the weirdest reasons.


Finally made it to my cabin and now have blisters on the balls of both feet. I cry. Hard. I begrudgingly drink water but feel way too upset to ingest food. I shower, I journal, I nap and when I wake up, my husband takes us out for ice cream.




I’m overcome with emotion as I watch my son’s face jumping off of a dock holding his Dada’s hand.






Over and over again.






It was here in this moment that I began to find myself. My mantras started to flow: this is your family, your family is beautiful, you belong here with your family, I love you, Rachel, stay here with your family who loves you.


Love yourself.




The journey is not always pretty. Be kind to yourself along the way.





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