(published on Facebook April 26, 2021)

Personal Ruthlessness

Last week, on retreat with the International School of Temple Arts, I learned a whole lot about myself. I came to understand some of the ways in which I’m my own worst enemy — the ways in which I sabotage becoming who I want to be.

One of those ways is storytelling.

I spend a lot of my days telling stories in my head. Stories of victimhood and heroism, righteous anger and anxiety. Probably because I grew up mostly alone, with only the stories in my head to comfort me and help me make…

[originally posted on Facebook April 1, 2021]

Hey You Beautiful Humans

I’m really craving intimacy right now, in the larger sense of the word. I’m wanting to connect, verbally and non-verbally, around the complexity of what lies within us — the beauty and the challenges.

I’m feeling this desire for intimacy with other people, and I’m also feeling this desire for intimacy with myself, which is new.

I’m beginning to see this relationship with me as its own thing, to be nurtured and cherished. — To tell myself what a good job I’m doing, how proud I am of me, to hold me and…

[originally published on Facebook January 2, 2021]

Lessons in Death

n the last year I’ve learned some things about holding the experience of death. The second one I learned by doing well, and first one I learned by doing less well than I would have liked.

I’m sharing my lessons, in case they help you.

- Sometimes you don’t get the tomorrow you’re expecting with someone.

So if you can, let people know in each moment you’re with them that they matter to you, in whatever way feels good and true.

And if you can’t always do that, because we’re human and sometimes…

[originally published on Facebook December 27, 2020]

Love Letters to Friends

Over the last few years, I’ve started writing love letters to friends to tell them what I appreciate about them. It feels so good to give someone I love an enduring expression of what they mean to me — showing them that they matter deeply to me, that I see the beauty they bring to this world.

I was inspired to write another such letter today during my weekly session with my friend Dan, where we do something nice for someone else. We were talking about how we check our social media and…

[originally posted on Facebook November 19, 2019]

Thank you, Male Allies/Guy Friends

A couple of days ago, I wrote a post about my frustration with (some) men and commitment. Lively, nuanced debate ensued. But one guy, a friend of a friend whom I’ve never met (and since unfriended) wrote an alt-right, incel-driven diatribe about women that makes me sad and angry, and afraid for us all.

I decided not to engage him, thinking “what’s the point”, and “I don’t have the energy for this shit.” I saw some of my male friends engage him, and I almost wanted to tell them not to bother. This…

[originally published on Facebook December 13, 2019]

Lessons from Old Men about Success

I’ve been sick the last couple of weeks, and watching a lot of documentaries on famous people (men, really) — Hugh Hefner, Steven Spielberg, Arthur Miller, The Grateful Dead.

What I’ve learned, in no particular order:

1. To succeed at a high level in any pursuit seems to require a long-term, single-minded output of effort that is not conducive to healthy relationships with spouses/partners or children.

My take— If that’s the tradeoff, I prefer healthy relationships.

2. These men were sometimes afraid, sometimes screwed up big time along the way, and kept going…

[originally posted on Facebook December 19, 2019]

My Best Friend’s Girl (Women and Competition, Pt. 1)

I’ve been wanting to write about women and competition for a while. I want to open up this part of myself, and ourselves, because women judging and competing with other women is so common, and so toxic. It’s one of the most hidden places in our souls, and I’m a little afraid to open it up. So for now, I just want to start the conversation — with my experience, and with yours. Let’s share these hard parts of ourselves.

Today I’m beginning with a positive story that happened earlier this week —…

[originally published on Facebook February 4 and 6, 2020]

I Get By (and Thrive) with a Little Help from my Friends

I have a request of my friends:

If you see something, say something.

I know that’s supposed to help us spot terrorists in an airport. But I’d like you to help me spot the terrorists in my soul, lurking and plotting to blow up my relationships with myself and others

I’ve had a couple of profound experiences of self-awareness this week prompted by the compassionately honest comments of good friends.

Most recently, a friend sent me this message — “Rachel, the way you phrased that last message makes me want to…

[originally posted on Facebook February 15, 2020]

Me and Social Media Posting

Awhile back, I was tired of feeling less-than as I looked at other people’s shiny, happy lives on Facebook. And even worse, I knew I was probably doing the same thing to other people with my shiny, happy photos. So I made a conscious decision to post mostly about my own internal challenges, and the path of growth and exploration that I’m on. I thought that Facebook could be used for transformational good and connection instead of perpetuating a culture of superficiality and not-enoughness.

I wanted to prove to myself that I could…

[originally posted on Facebook April 19, 2020]

You Virus Motherf**ker

[Disclaimer — Sometimes people get worried when I share the full extent of my feelings. I think it’s because we mostly don’t. So, this post is a snapshot of me, at the top of this collective corona coaster, when the future looks terrifying and nothing will ever be ok again. There are also times when, on the way down, fear turns to joy and possibility, and I start to enjoy the ride again. But this is the part of me that wants to be seen right now.]

This post isn’t for everyone.


Rachel Ratliff

Fuck it, I’m writing this.

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