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    Best Practices for Sleep: Part 2

    Posted on October 25, 2022 by Jenn Zatopek

    In my work as a counselor I often see how my clients struggle to sleep well, which is why I created this short blog series on getting good sleep. Sleep training is needed for all us, especially since modern life is dictated by late nights and electronic engagement rather than by the rhythms of nature as it was in the distant past.

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    Love in all Directions

    A Joshua Tree against mountains and blue sky at Joshua Tree National Park

    GUEST POST FOR FATHOM

    Posted on September 12, 2022 by Jenn Zatopek

    In March, my partner and I drove to Southern California to meet one of my online friends in real life. At first blush, our road trip celebrated the deepening bonds of friendship amid the spectacular landscape of the Southwest. But upon reflection, I realized the trip represented a more universal longing: as I traveled out west, I pursued a future my past self thought was impossible.

    Our trip began on an unseasonably cold Friday morning in Fort Worth. My husband and I packed our luggage, road food, and supplies, and drove across the state, past wide-open golden brown prairies, small country towns, and fields of crops with pivot irrigators to the smelly oil fields of West Texas. When we stopped for gas in Odessa, I tried photographing the enormity of the bright blue sky above pump jacks but failed to capture the stark beauty amid the ruinous landscape. . .

    I’d love it if you would click here and read the rest over at Fathom Magazine

    Image: Joshua Tree National Park, Jenn Zatopek

    Best Practices for Sleep: Part 1

    Posted on September 13, 2022 by Jenn Zatopek

    After years of trying and failing to sleep well, I completed a course in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) last year, which has radically transformed how I sleep. Since September is Suicide Awareness Month here in the states, I wanted to share my knowledge of CBT-I with you so you can sleep well too. Read more

    On Trauma and Healing: Part 2

    Summer sunset at Mount Bonnell in Austin.

    Posted on July 28, 2022 by Jenn Zatopek

    Although unprocessed trauma affects us deeply, I can’t help but think about the unexpected gifts that reside there, the burgeoning awareness that this life one lives at the heat and cold of trauma is not the full story but one that has shaped us into who we are. This is why these hard memories come to us unbidden, seeking liberation and learning for you. The fact that you are reading this essay tells me that you are drawn to that which will help you open to healing. 

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    The Gift of the Holy Spirit

    Red poppies against a blue sky.

    GUEST POST FOR THE GLORIOUS TABLE

    Posted on June 2, 2022 by Jenn Zatopek

    As I consider the wondrous gifts of Pentecost, I am humbled by God’s amazing compassion towards us, but I’m also reminded of recent loss. During the second year of the pandemic, I lost three close friends, all Christian women who ended our connection in terribly damaging ways. How grievous it is to lose a friend—as heartrending as losing a lover, a parent, or a beloved pet.

    How can followers of Christ act this way? Don’t we have the Holy Spirit? Of course, I know I have spoken harsh, angry and hurtful words when my feelings overwhelmed my ability to listen to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. So how can we practice our faith in compassionate ways, even when someone has prompted strong emotions within us?

    I’d love it if you clicked here and read the rest over at The Glorious Table. 

    Image: Unsplash

    On the Blessings of Nature

    Posted on May 28, 2022 by Jenn Zatopek

    I wrote a well-written essay two years ago and stalled out on publishing it here on my blog. Why, you ask? It was not chosen for publication at several online magazines I submitted it to, and I felt ashamed of it. Why am I publishing it now? Because we need to honor our gifts and do the opposite of our shame and fear! It’s never to late to put your work out there, even if it’s a few years late!

    I wrote this essay about a month before the Covid-19 pandemic swept through our land, writing away in my tiny windowless office at the university I worked at. I hope you enjoy this blast from my past and that you take time to share your wondrous art with the world!

    ***

    On the cusp of spring, I attended a small women’s retreat in a neighboring county. Nestled in a hilly suburban neighborhood, the parkland spans over 600 acres of fertile woods and prairies in the middle of the ever-expanding Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Upon arrival, I prayed for courage and left my car, joining the other women at the small clearing on the far side of the woods. All had welcoming smiles for me, and I was again surprised, dismayed, and relieved that my lively imagination—while trying its best to help me cope by envisioning the worst—was (thankfully) wrong again.

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