PLAYLIST / “2019”

I’m a firm believer that every aspect of ambiance and our senses is important. When curating an event I don’t just look at the food or decorations; smells, sounds, textures, colours, the entire feng shui of a place comes into account because we experience with all of our sense. To leave out these details is to deprive a part of that experience.

I think that the internet is the same way – I can’t bring all of you into my home to sit on my velvet couch, to hug you, to let you smell the earthiness of freshly watered plants or the palo santo I’ve burned.

But I can bring you into my mind with words, I can bring you into my space with photos, and I can bring you into my moods with sounds. So as a new addition to everything I do here, I’m adding in an audio sector. This will cover playlists I’ve curated or found with songs and sounds I love, podcasts I’m on, and spoken word pieces I’m working on.

Every year I make a playlist that I add to for the entirety of the year. There is no specified mood other than everything on this playlist, at some point in the year, has spoken to me. Whether it’s a new-to-me song or an oldie that suddenly hits home. It acts as a time capsule for the moments and memories of the year. I know that whenever I listen to these playlists they become a portal to versions of myself.

So here is this years, still being updated so that you can get an idea of who I am and what speaks to me in this time frame. And hopefully you find pieces you’ve never heard of and sounds that are new to you that make you feel as well.

If you’d like to follow me on Spotify to keep updated and follow these playlists you can find me by searching “forestgreenwell” in the users section of the search.

If you want to see what I’m listening to daily, follow me on instagram for my spotify story updates.

Full Moon In Libra

A journal entry / 430AM / Bathroom Floor

Is this what I get? Is this what I give? Is tender so much heavier than hardness? Perhaps it is just more difficult to move through; a sinking surface that remind us of decay. Perhaps when you ask me if I am okay it is more for you and your peace of mind than knowing what I am going through.

I do ask for purpose. I do ask for words. To flow through me is to wade through them and I am lost in marshes of thought. Will you ever decide to come find me? Is my appetite for attention and healing the demise here? Now I can see the greatness, and also the detriment of my own actions from behind something that is greater than myself.

Brilliance is so often pain. Painstaking that is, as it is piercing and vast. Why does brilliance feel so fucking lonely? Why is it that people want to see so much of me that they are willing to leave me shattered? Is it too overwhelming to clean up or am I a welcome disaster? A fun house mirror, distorted from its own image; shattered.

The full moon is my friend but she keeps me up and she keeps me waiting. My hunger has me rampant – I am starving. For attention. For fulfillment. For forgiveness. For you to charm me. How did I get to be the bad guy? Why is my softness so alarming? Is it because you must pay close attention to my ripening? Is it because you find in my undoing, your own disarming? Is it because you can no longer throw me in your bag to decide when you are ready for me? Because I demand attention or I will start rotting. That I require focus while my juice adorns your fingers, running. This body will look like a battlefield even if there is no fight. Tenderness requires tending to. All darkness turns to light; to find its way out of its own black holes. To work within the magnetism of its own dualities, a wholeness that leaves us raw. I am aching. In my stomach, in my neck, in my heart.

The moon wants my company so I suppose tonight we won’t part. The exhaustion is temporary and so is my pain. But it does make me wonder if what we are doing is in vain? And if it is, is that really so bad? Usually my vanity is all that I have. Maybe that is why I now feel so empty – because often we are so full. My insecurities are not a fighting force. Yet, so often it is my greatest curse. And how can anyone take my pain seriously when I lay it out so eloquently? Like it is experienced to be consumed? I suppose these are my dues. If I can get the words out right I think there will be no fight. And there isn’t – but there is nothing to fill that space either. The chasm between us is something that is growing bigger.

Maybe I am an island, maybe I won’t let anyone on shore. I cannot expect to hoard all my lovers in my gravitational pull. Maybe we are all this lonely and I am the only one who can describe it and we make a permanent choice for temporary glimpses into emotional entertainment. Maybe that is all companionship really is, not taking the trip between ourselves too often but waiting on the shore and wishing we did. Is this all we are here for? To be within reach enough to pull us out of ourselves, but never staying long enough to do more than collect each others shells? In this one I can hear you screaming, but in this one you are laughing. The contrast is so different and I keep both so I can remember the reality.

My Casual Relationship With Rape

Originally written for herHABITAT in Spring 2016.

Although it’s not the most digestible piece to read, it is significant. Talking about these things and being able to choose how I frame them is important. It’s not meant to be a sob story – and it isn’t a sob story.

It’s a piece on personal power and how we choose to show up in the framework of our own experiences. We get to choose, over time, what and who and how we want to be. I choose to be a person that empowers others with my voice. Who lets you know you don’t have to stay silent, nor do you have to speak up either. I want to be a beacon for the choice everyone has in themselves to decide what is right for them – not dictate their actions based on masses and media.

These days, I don’t think too much about these experiences. At one time they were consuming. I was defined by them. Now this piece serves as a reminder for those times as well as this time, right now, where I am empowered by all of my choices – including the choice to publish this.

TW for sexual assault.

I was 15 the first time I was sexually assaulted.

I had a no-hook up rule for anyone in my school and I held to it well. I never dated anyone I went to high school with, only kissed one of my peers, and generally kept my sexual relations well out of the city. I didn’t want drama or awkwardness. Yes I had a lot of crushes and people I wanted to kiss and people I wanted to want to kiss me but that never manifested.

I like things simple. And the simple truth is that I was forced to give a blow-job to someone who’s name I had just learned when I was originally trying to keep my friend from the embarrassment of hooking up with him when it was rumoured he had a girlfriend. It’s pretty simple that everyone had known what I did when I walked back to my friend group with tights ripped at the knees, and also at the crotch where he tried to penetrate me multiple times in a fucking parking lot.

I went back to my friends house that night, a bunch of girls piled into a living room on a fold out and cried. Not one single person took me seriously that night, no one believed me when I had told them what happened. I was drunk and emotional and had seemed really eager! I think I ended up making the journey back home that took over an hour that night even though it was well past midnight.

Turns out I was right to not want to hook-up with anyone I went to high school with. For weeks after his friends – that I had never spoken to before in my life – called his name after me every time they saw me walking down the hall. The girl that he had been rumoured to be dating and assured me he wasn’t called me a slut and I failed math that year after feeling too threatened and depressed to go to school.

But this was not a hook-up. This was sexual assault. And they thought it was funny. It wasn’t serious –  like my casual relationship with rape that was fast blossoming.

About a year later I was drinking in my best friends basement. I had had a weird year with newly formed phobias like thunder and lightning, and being touched – specifically picked up. Whether it was my mom, my grandparents, or my friends that I had hugged 100 times and trusted completely. We were with her boyfriend of the time, his best friend, and a few other guys.

We played drinking games, and were probably all more drunk than we should have been, and the room was a mess of intoxicated, hormonal, teenagers. My best friend and her boyfriend went upstairs and she whispered to me that the bathroom was the best place to go before departing. When you’re 16 hooking up with your best friends boyfriends best friend seems to make sense regardless of anything. It’s romantic. Like a movie. And so we made-out furiously and I climbed on top of him and we did end up fucking in the shower. Which was painful I soon learned and I asked him to stop. And he asked me to give him a blow-job to which said no to because I was still traumatized by gravel in my knees and names echoing after me in stairwells. After he begged me and pushed me down I complied reluctantly and stopped 30 seconds later because I couldn’t breathe.

I told him I was tired and drunk and just wanted to go to sleep, and if he wanted he could cuddle. I went to her sisters bedroom. I looked for the comfiest, unsexy clothing I could find and won with track pants and a hoodie. Not long after he crawled into bed and spooned me hard. Which turned into grinding. Which turned into him sliding down the track pants and trying to penetrate me once again because he “couldn’t sleep if he had blue balls and it was too painful” but shoving his penis into me dry and bareback wasn’t in so many more ways – especially for me.


I spent from 3AM until 5AM sitting in her driveway crying. And when I was sure everyone was asleep I crawled back into her basement and slept until they all came down in the morning. When he left he looked me straight in the eye and said “well, it was nice meeting you” and gave me a sheepish smile. He had no fucking idea what he had done, and truthfully it took me a couple of years to understand that what he did was rape. It was all very casual.

When I was 18 I was in BC. It was my first time travelling. My first time doing something that felt good for me. The end of high school was a mess, I had gotten out of a toxic (but well-meaning) and dependant relationship and I was trying to learn about what I wanted from life; what I could give back; what made me who I am. I spent 2 weeks in a small town with one of the people in my life that I’m closest to and we went rafting, hiking, ate SO much food, dressed up as men and got incredibly fucked-up at a town gender bender party. We had a fantastic time if you sans the hangovers.

One of these days we went on a hike with a guy who was pretty new to town. This transitioned into plans to see a waterfall with his best friend, followed by a truly fancy dinner which we were all under dressed for and ended up costing us all more than 100$ each. We drank too much wine, drove back to the town we were staying in, grabbed a bottle of gin and rounded up some more locals. We drank gin and juice from the bottles by a pond and laughed and told sad stories and bonded. We were all becoming close in that way that drunken people do. The way any people do when they open up.

We wandered back to one of the shared houses the guys were living in and after puking in the toilet realized I was too drunk. It happens. They put me in bed and since it took 5 minutes to walk anywhere in town the person I was with asked if it was cool if I stayed? Truth be told the five minutes seemed harder intoxicated than hung-over.

“Take care of her!”

It was all a joke. Until I woke up naked next to a guy I barely knew and had no recollection of how I had gotten there or what had happened. He went down on me that morning and we “fucked” – in other words I lay there in still-drunken disbelief of what was happening while he went in and out of me.

Not all rape is violent. You don’t always know when it’s happening. It’s hard to wrap you head around. You do not feel like a changed person all at once. Your world doesn’t always shatter. Sometimes it splinters and you slowly pull out the pieces – sometimes waiting while your skin pushes it back to the surface. You try and rid yourself of it, and sometimes it takes a while for it to be apparent what exactly that means.

I got up and went home and told my friend what had happened. I made her come back with me to ask if he had used protection – which he hadn’t. I asked him why he thought it was okay and he said he didn’t know. He had woken me up and I seemed “down for it.” And when I told him I was black out drunk, that I didn’t remember anything, he looked shocked but it didn’t register with him that he had raped me. Just that maybe I wasn’t on the pill (but that was okay too because he remembered to pull out, obviously).

I felt a deep, unshakeable shame. A few years later when I found out my friend and my rapist were dating I felt it again. Every time I see a picture of their serious relationship I remember the casual time I was raped, the time that she said “well it wasn’t that bad” while trying to reassure me about the lack of violence. When I was asked to support the union, I felt shame. When trying to understand the logic of just how exactly the fuck that even started up, I feel shame. Maybe for not understanding? Maybe for trusting her so much? For not being mad even if I’m not accepting? I don’t know.

I’m 20 now. No person will ever touch me without my consent. I will no longer feel shame because of boys who forced me to my knees, or who apparently didn’t force me at all. It’s pretty simple – rape is rape. It’s changed me, I’ve grown from it. I wouldn’t say it’s made me a better person, or that it had to happen for me to learn vital life lessons.

There is nothing to justify these experiences happening, and I’ve made a commitment to knowing that everyones voices, everyones experiences are heard; are made to feel valid; are reassured that rape is not casual – it is serious – and that they have a right to the freedom of speech when they felt the freedom of their body was taken from them.

– Forest Greenwell

SYMBOLOGY / Heart-On-My-Sleeve Denim Jacket

I’m a sucker for symbolism. My love and belief for symbology is everywhere in my life – from my tattoos, to the colours of the food I eat, to this vintage Levi denim jacket I’ve had since I was a teenager and have overhauled.

Having unique pieces of clothing and being able to display my personality so literally and outwardly is important to me. Fashion is something I have a LOT of fun with, and is an essential element of my every day life. From classic basics to the funkiest extremes, I’m the person who loves a well-fitted white t-shirt as well as leopard print bicycle shorts. I’m not the kind of person who would thrive with a capsule wardrobe, although I do value the same guidelines of buying high-quality, sustainable garments. I’d rather have one white t-shirt that I wear for years than several that are never quite right or fall apart quickly.


I try hard to up-cycle as much clothing as I can, but with this piece in particular I was able to bring a lot more elements into that idea. While pins and patches are common on customized denim, I also went in for extra pockets, charms, and beading to tie it all together and make sure every inch will one day be stitched with good intentions and care.

Most of what is on this jacket I’ve been coveting for a while waiting for the right opportunity to use it, or knowing that one day I would finally sit down and add all the details to this jacket. I’m all or nothing so adding things over time didn’t appeal to me much – I wanted to sit down and truly transform this piece.

It features a broken quartz crystal necklace from my friend Rowan Morrissy that I sewed under the collar and filled with salt, a gold humming bird pendant, a red velvet drawstring bag, and a hamsa bead just to name a few.


I love symbology. I live by it, as it’s a deeply rooted part of my spirituality. I use it to read cards, find peace, and work with the energies in my day-to-day life.


Red is a colour of passionate love, seduction, violence, danger, anger, and adventure. For me it also represents fire and speaks to my sun sign, Leo.

Earlier this year one of my good friends told me that in the Chinese Zodiac, when it is the year of your sign (which this year is for me, as I am a Pig) that you are supposed to wear red every day to ward off bad luck and bring good luck. I’m a sucker for a good superstition and also believe that we let determine what we want to be true in our lives. I decided to take on this idea and have had red nails since she told me nearly 2.5 months ago. But amongst that belief I also added a lot of red to this jacket. It’s a colour that makes me feel seen and powerful, and I like the added element of luck. There is red stitching, red roses on each sleeve, the magician tarot patch with a significant amount of red, and a velvet bag as an “inside pocket” for holding crystals and keys.


In tarot, roses are considered a symbol of balance. It seemed only fitting to put two red roses on the cuffs of my sleeves. As long standing symbols of love, romance, deep feelings, timelessness, devotion, wisdom, and intrigue. It is seen another time on my jacket in The Magician patch – the symbology of 3 roses relates back to Free Masonry and the idea of “three-fold” which is a belief in Wicca that all energy you put into the world comes back to you three fold. Each rose in free-masonry stands for love, life, and light.

Have a rose on each sleeve also symbolizes a balance of giving and receiving – the dominant hand (for me this is my right) signifies the sun, masculine energy, and giving. The less dominant (for me, left) signifies feminine, the moon, and receiving energy. This speaks to me as a symbol for being able to give and receive, and to find balance in what I give to others to make sure I also give it to myself.


Hummingbirds have many different meanings across many cultures. My own personal beliefs and spirituality are kind of a mish-mash of everything that makes sense to me. While I do refer to myself as a witch, or Wiccan, I really don’t feel that any label truly represents the fullness of my own personal beliefs. That is part of why I share what I know, am learning, and am taking on in my own world. I think it’s important to share these small wisdoms to help others know that we are always the true, ultimate creators of our worlds.

Hummingbirds are seen as healers, messengers of good luck and joy, love. They bring peace and guidance on ones journey. I love having that protection on my being, and knowing that it is gold is a deeper reassurance still.


While I personally find all of these fairly obvious, I realize that is because I immerse myself in this culture and understanding. Gold has a strong relation to money – who would have guessed?!

This is another colour near and dear to me – it’s one of the only metals I wear (I always have on my great grandmothers wedding band on my right hand and a hoop in the third piercing of my left ear), and I also relate gold back to Leo, even more-so than red.

It is associated with illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, and wisdom. There is a strong theme across this jacket and its meaning – I have found myself always subconsciously attracted to these colours and themes and to see where they line up and work to create stronger attractions of such things is beautiful and powerful to me. It is also associated with prosperity, wealth, success, achievement, and triumph.


Although there is only one piece of quartz on this jacket, I think it’s important to note. Quartz is a “universal” stone. It can take the place of any energy that you channel into it, and can be used in place of any other stone in a ritual. It is meant to be a purifying and energy amplifying piece of earth. I love having it on my person to be able to remind me of what my own energy is (which can be hard sometimes in a busy world as an empath). I had a broken quartz pendant from Sage that a friend had gifted me. I filled it with pink salt for grounding and purifying hoping each of these elements would amplify each other and hid it under the collar of my jacket.


On my sleeve. This is such a cliche but I love and live by the idea of baring my soul. It is so hard to contain myself. I have always been a deeply emotional and sensitive person who has a lot of care and compassion for others. I bare my feelings and experiences to the world often and in very raw ways (uh hello two self-published books of poetry, whaddap!). This patch has a gold outline and embodies shatters of red explosions and flowers.

It feels like it’s saying passion is always possible; love largely and freely; where you plant yourself you will grow, light surrounds you, you have good intentions. I really love this piece and my boyfriend was the one who suggested its placement. I made it into an elbow patch as a reminder that my goodness is always something that I can lean into. That an open heart will protect the hard parts – not that an open heart itself always needs to be protected. It reminds me that true vulnerability takes deep courage.


I’ve been fascinated with hamsa’s for years. My first tattoo I wanted to get an ornate hamsa all down my side. While I’m glad now I didn’t go that route, the significance is still strong for me.

In many religions – rooting from ancient Egypt – it represents the hand of God. It is a protective sign bringing the owner happiness, health, good fortune, and luck. Facing upwards (which is how I have it) it is a universal sign against evil. Facing downwards it symbolizes fertility and answers to prayers.

In buddhist and hindu cultures it also represents the chakra system, and the five senses. There is so much depth and richness to these symbols and cultures that have influenced me for as long as I can remember. Even as a child I was heavily swayed by colours, imagery, and even names.


Third eye is, for me, a direct correlation to the chakra system. This sits below the collar of my jacket, in the central area of a circle tattoo on the back of my neck. It is a well recognized symbol for higher consciousness, inner realms, enlightenment, and spirituality.

It’s a symbol my grandmother has always worn and sworn by, and she has passed that belief on to me. Its placement for me also represents seeing wisdom in the past, growth from personal experiences, watching my own back – in other words following and trusting my intuition, and that often the paths to higher places lay unseen to us.


A symbol we often see around halloween, that is traditionally from Mexican culture. It is a part of their celebration of the dead and used to represent those who had passed in their family to honour the departed soul.

I hand beaded my own patch, closely relating the bright glitters and patterns of traditional designs. It symbolizes death, which in turn is life and change. For me it’s a reminder that rebirth is just as important as death, and that in order to have all the goodness we idolize that we must be willing to look equally on the shadow side and appreciate the work to be done there.

It feels like I am protected by those in my life who have passed, as well as ancestral energy that may be following me. I like the idea that my energy field is filled with security, wisdom, and protection from energies that have known my own for likely longer than I’ve been in the physical body.


There are so many little tidbits that have crept their way in – the Ouija board is an interesting one as I would never use it in my personal practice but I like what it symbolizes for me. Being open to energy – letting it in and out, being able to listen to and trust the happenstances of the universe and find messages in everything.

There is a patch of the sky which reminds me of the significance of life, but also where I want to aim – that there is so much possible and so much that is reachable.

There is a lot of velvet in my jacket as well – from a forest green patching across the shoulders to a red draw-string pouch. These for me say luxury, sturdiness, and depth. I also have a few pins including one that says “psychic” and another with 3 tarot cards. I love the symbology of three, and tarot is an incredibly important part of my life that introduced me to my spirituality and deep love of symbology.

There are many symbols we all carry and create privately. Whether it’s an inside joke, a colour that has always soothed us, or just something that we hold dear. It’s powerful to infuse our days and possessions with importance. I find that when I overlap my beliefs and passions I create a stronger energetic webbing in my life. I’m able to keep more of myself close and the things that don’t resonate with me out. There are many reminders to me of who I want to be and how I want to portray myself.


This piece was first published on herHABITAT and then featured in the Fear issue of Feels Zine.

You are twenty.

You pay your own bills, “fill” your own fridge. You work a mediocre job that some days when you think about it you feel grateful, and others you feel like you need a life raft.

You have “goals”. You write, you read, you try to educate yourself on the world and how you fit into it, how to understand it.

There are days that are effortless. The ambition and productivity comes naturally. You scribble in your agenda and the inside of your wrist all that you’ve accomplished that day, your to-do list and activities for the next, who you need to call. You think “I am basically invincible. Things are not perfect but everything is temporary and I will always be okay”.

You get home. You’ve just had a the perfect Autumn Sunday – a movie, a drizzly bike ride, mediocre food. Spent 3 hours in bed touching and talking and not moving more than fingers across backs. You departed; finally, dutifully.

Once home you notice the dishes in the sink that you forgot about, the clothes on your bed that you left in a pile when you rushed out the door accepting you wouldn’t look perfect and that was better than being late.

You sigh; take off your pants, say “fuck it, tomorrow” to the dishes, scoop the clothes onto a chair while stepping on something sharp. There is a stale corn chip on your floor, but you don’t remember eating them in here. A little blip makes itself visible in your mind, the radar of recognition, though it’s too faint to see what it is.

Curling up on your bed with the last 15% of your laptop battery you check all that you’ve missed – the Facebook comments, the posts you want to share; the word docs still open from all the notes everyone was drunkenly writing last night as a gaggle of friends had professed their deepest selves reciting poetry, singing, swigging from full bottles because they “did not need glasses to define “full” or “empty”” for them.

You wander, in fatigue and pleasantness from the day. There is a pang in your stomach that was once hunger maybe, but is now nausea. You haven’t noticed it’s been nearly 5 hours since your last meal, but it’s the end of the night. You’ll get a snack in a minute (when you can pull yourself from the glowing grip of your screen.)

You think about this feeling in your stomach. Another blip appears. You scroll, lazily. You think about writing. Another blip. You think about tomorrow, all that you’ve promised yourself you would do: bank, run, get -blip- keys, do dishes, finish laundry. You think about what you said to your mom yesterday when you were angry. Blip blip. You think about the email you sent her. You close your Facebook tab. Blip.

You close your eyes, your stomach saying “so what now?”. You think about work in a couple days; Do you remember how to close? Will it be busy? Blip. You don’t want to go. Blip. You think about your anxiety -blip- and how it has hindered you in the past. “But tomorrow I will be okay. And the day after that as well.” Another promise to yourself. Blip blip.

You start to jiggle your leg, but it’s awkward so you rub your feet together. Compulsively. They are cold, you do this when you’re trying to fall asleep. Blip..

You start to think of all the things you would rather be doing. Blip. You think, with guilt about the dishes in the sink and the stories still open in the dock on your computer, refusing to close them because it feels the same as defeat even though you won’t touch them with intention for another few weeks. Blip. The clutter on your home screen drives you crazy, but you refuse to close the tabs. Blip. It’s not that late, you could probably get in a load of laundry and then shower.  Then you can get the dishes done too. Blip. Maybe even a quick sweep. Blip blip.

You notice you’ve started to flex your fingers, that your body is covered in goosebumps. You put on sweatpants and a knit sweater and start walking back and forth across your room -blip- picking up discarded articles of clothing, hanging them up and folding them or putting them in the laundry. Blip. You’ve started the rhythmic counting in your head that you picked up in fourth grade when you started percussion. One, two, blip, four, blip, two, three, four, one, blip, three, four…

You whip your head around. What did you just hear? Was that the front door closing? Is someone home? You realize it was nothing and become aware of the heavy beating in your chest, your shallow breathing. Blip. (Were you doing this before?) It was probably nothing you reassure yourself -blip-, as you pick little pieces of chip and paper off the ground that have collected there since last night. Blip.

You start to think about the untidiness of your apartment. Blip. The untidiness of your life. When was the last time you worked out? Is anxiety considered a disability? Blip, blip. Can you apply for anxiety disability? Blip. You tell yourself you’re not disabled. You’re having a bad day (bad night at least). It’s been a long month. You just need a good cry, you hold too much in. Blip.

So you let yourself cry. It starts off like a tap that hasn’t been used in a while, spitting out water. Your breathing gets faster again, and a sob builds up in your body as you curl yourself up into a ball. You tell yourself to let it all out and the water turns from cold to hot.

You start to feel dizzy. The weight of exhaustion on you now. You want to stop crying. Your hands are shaking, your nose is running, there’s a wet spot that takes up most of your pillow: saliva, snot, and tears. You get up to walk it off, to signal to your body that it is time to stop. (blip, blip, blip)

This is when you start to hyperventilate. The shudders that rock your body as you try to steady your breathing come in shorter spurts. It feels like your body is being buried under 10 feet of sand and you have an oxygen tank that will only last ten minutes to dig yourself out. You grasp at your arms, a weak attempt at hugging yourself. Or pinching yourself. Something. Your fingers stiffen, and your goose bump covered body is sweating profusely but you don’t feel anything. You can’t think anymore.

You convince yourself that you’re a burden; that no one can help you. They’re going to think you’re doing it for attention. No one calls someone when they’re having a real panic attack. They won’t be able to help you anyway – you’ll always have panic attacks and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just let it go, get up and move on. You thought yourself into this so it’s not even real. These small, mean thoughts circle themselves around your brain. With the rest of the sane energy you have you bat them away. You try to call your mom – no answer. You call her boyfriend – no answer. You call your best friend – no answer. They don’t want to talk to you, they have more important things to be doing. You know you do not have what you need to calm down, and you know they won’t either, but someone needs to know that if you don’t start breathing properly in the next 5 minutes you might not make it. If you don’t hear a voice that isn’t your own, you might not make it.

You stop trying to reassure yourself, stop trying to help and the only thought is “I’m going to die if I don’t start breathing”  – but it isn’t even a conscious thought so much as a fact that you’ve come to understand in that moment. You curl into a ball on the ground, rocking yourself back and forth. Drooling onto your knees, fingers clenched into tight fists at the side of your head. You try to yell but choke; your frustration and fear is paramount.

You start crying so hard that you almost gag, and you know you would vomit on yourself because you can’t move to make it to the bathroom, or even the garbage pail across the room.

Your phone starts buzzing. You can barely move an arm to hit the answer button, and you cannot muster a “hello”. Your best friend is on the other side “Hello?! Forest? Are you okay?!” and you sob pitifully and spit onto your screen, managing to moan out a “No”. The next 10 minutes consist of you regaining and losing your breath, and you’ve heard “it’s going to be okay” at least 20 times. When you can finally muster “I’ll be okay”, barely audible through the congestion and sharp intakes and rushing in your ears. You end the call when you realize you can think again.

You whimper, your breathing shudders as you try to gain control again. Your body feels like it is filled with the sand you were being buried under. You peel yourself away from the floor after a year; hanging head, breathing deep, flexing fingers. Hair sticking to your face, sweater sticking to your back.

You laugh sadly and looking the mirror in the bathroom at your red, puffy eyes and face. At the sticky smears of salt water and saliva, the two solid streams of snot that grace your cupids bow and crystallize on your upper lip. It is the face of an oncoming head ache that contradicts the almost-euphoria of being able to breathe again. You think “I hate public displays of anxiety”.

How To Live In 400SQ Feet

I’ve always been blessed with large living spaces – at least relative to where I’m at in my life and where I live. In Toronto I had an apartment of over 1200sq feet which I shared with my roommate and her giant Husky/German Shepard dog Kessel.

When I moved to Halifax I lived in a 2 story house that was at least 1600sq feet. I spent 4 years of my life living in large spaces that I always felt the need to fill out and personalize and have things for these areas. Which is fine because I like things – I wouldn’t say I’m a minimalist or a maximalist. I like spaces that are filled well and with purpose. I find empty space almost eerie, but cluttered space claustrophobic.

Then I moved into a bachelor apartment. I went from at least 5 rooms to live in to one giant one – two if you count the bathroom. I moved because of necessity for my resources and emotional health. Before I would have never considered it – I always felt that having separate rooms was entirely necessary. I didn’t know how I would function in a “confined” living space. Turns out I’m the most functional.

My couch has a storage under the seat where I put all of my extra blankets and bedding, and is far enough from the floor to store large floor cushions under. I don’t have space for an arm chair in my home so I rock with the bohemian seating a lot – especially if I have large groups of people over and put my bed away for more floor space.


Continue reading


As originally seen on SLAE, an online magazine. Find the original post here.

All content was created and written by me.


It’s Aries season for most of this month, which rams itself right into the beginning of Taurus season. There is a lot of strong headed-ness in the month ahead and you can tell it’s going to be affecting most signs with the amount of swords that are in the reading. Swords are a card that deal with the intellect and everything that comes with it – ideas, knowledge, anxiety. Its cycle is one that starts with using our brain and lapses into losing control of our brain – inevitably being controlled by our thought patterns and fears. 

Pairing with the overhang of swords in April, we also have an abundance of even numbers in this chart. 14/24 cards are even numbers, while only 2 sit at odd. It is believed in some cultures that numbers have a deep significance; they hold their own souls, colours, and meanings. Twos represent partnership and harmony, fours stability and planning, sixes are a symbol of beauty of the heart, eights are for abundance and hard work, 10 for completion and constant change (which seems contradictory, but they balance each other). So with all of this in mind, what we’re seeing in April is ultimately a time of intuition. It’s a time of looking inwards to harmonize with ourselves, our current beliefs, and working towards our own personal ideals. In fact, this might be what the next 4 months look like for you. As Jupiter is about to station retrograde, the energy of this planet is emphasized inwards. All retrogrades have something to teach us, and although they get a bad wrap for being challenging times they help us grow in the areas they push us. Jupiter is the planet of luck, growth, expansion, optimism, abundance, and understanding. Retrograde doesn’t mean all these things go away – it means that they’re focused inward instead. It’s going to highlight places of lack and blockage in these areas from the inside out. 

Are you seeing the pattern? It shows up in the stars, in the cards, and in the numbers. It’s a time of personal growth and expansion. Of doing the work, but on ourselves more than out in the world. When we take this time to focus in ward there is a lot more understanding of where all these qualities show up and how much our own attitudes dictate our futures. 




6 of swords – this is a card of letting go of mental burdens. Whether it be ideologies you no longer relate to, anxieties you’re ready to put to rest, or just tasks that don’t need your focus at the moment. You don’t always need to have fuel to add to the fire – sometimes having too much going on can stifle you instead of helping you grow. Give yourself room to breathe.


Ace of cups – sometimes feeling emptied out isn’t a bad thing. It can give us a place to assess what we want to be filled with. What our new beginnings look like. You get to choose what you come to the table with and what you let yourself be moved by. When dealing with big emotions – especially ones we’re letting go of, it can feel hard to let ourselves be vulnerable to new joys and sparks. Is it real? Is it here to stay? Don’t hold on so tightly, and enjoy the ride for what it is. 




2 of pentacles – talk about juggling act. You’re finding the balance in your work life. Pentacles are about material wealth and our physical world. There is a lot of focus on what your work can bring to your life and what your life can do for your work. What about what can your work do for you?


8 of cups – you’re walking away from emotional burdens. Things that you’ve loved and held on to for a long time are no longer serving you. It doesn’t matter if your cups are full if they aren’t ones you want to drink out of. Finding a place of emotional fulfillment and joy in yourself and for yourself will be this months work. Not for how it looks, how it fits into your life, or how much it makes sense. Clear your emotional state and start fresh.




7 of wands – you’ve got a lot of passion. Ideas and manifestations coming out every end of your being. But sometimes the things we want are too much. Sometimes they come too fast and it’s overwhelming and we’re not sure where to begin with it. You have a lot coming for you and your first instinct is to fight it and be overwhelmed.


4 of swords. This card depicts inner peace in our mental states. While there is so much new –  so much the world wants from you – you’re finding yourself in a state of panic. You’re allowed to take time to consider the options. You’re allowed to turn all that child-like energy inwards and find those moments of peace. It can be hard when there is so much external stimulus, but if you learn now the next 4 months will be full of inward growth instead of outward struggle.




6 of swords reversed – There is a lot you need to work through. Upright the card is of letting go (as you can see in aries) but reversed it’s almost like you’re taking these things inwards – and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Sometimes we need to open up and be vulnerable with ourselves about our true feelings, thoughts, and anxieties so that we can authentically move forward with them.


The devil – you’re going to have to face your vices at one point or another, and this month it might be extra hard. Even though you’re taking so much inward, to actually do the work of changing what you recognize is a whole other story. You’re a cancer, you value comfort. This can show up in a lot of different ways. With Jupiter retrograding it can look like a lot of excess – excessive laying around, excessive eating, excessive drinking. Ask yourself what you really need not what you really want. Making these choices now will pave the path for the future when healthier choices become a habit instead of a struggle.




4 of swords – Peace of mind is your middle name right now. Or at least your second one. Whatever it is that you’re doing you’ve come to terms with the good and the hard of it. There is a sense of steadfastness about your ideas and thoughts. You’re supported in your mind and don’t need to fight with yourself. Sinking into the Jupiter retrograde and going inwards is just fine by you, as you get to be in your own spotlight and look at all that you’ve done this year already.


4 of cups – although you’re at peace with your thoughts, there is still a sense of apathy lurking around the corner. A sense of unfulfillment. While your head is good, your heart seeks more. It’s not a lack of gratitude, but maybe your natural sense of grandeur needs to be pulled back a smidge right now, Leo. There’s nothing wrong with the noblest pursuits but if your lofty goals are causing you pain then maybe you need to sit that pride down and have a conversation with it about gratitude. 




8 of cups – you’re ready to walk away from emotionally burdening and draining parts of your life. No more jobs that don’t fulfill you. No more relationships that don’t appreciate you. You need to feel grounded in your heart space, not suffocated in it. This is a time of saying “no thank you” to things that, after long consideration, no longer add value to your life.


4 of swords – it’s easier said than done to feel good about walking away from things that aren’t for us. While the act itself may be doable, it’s often our own internal repercussions that hold us back or stop us from moving forwards. It’s a difficult, but perfect time to go inwards and recognize that maybe we need to clear out our personal, internal spaces just as much as we need to do that in the physical world.




8 of pentacles – you’re ready to hunker down and get to work. There is no one who can make what you do happen in quite the same way and you’re well aware of it. But with spring comes that energy that keeps you moving forward and all of your hard work will be met with ideal conditions to get it done. This is a time of focus, especially when you have a solid plan or team on your side that gets your vision. You are the maker of your world.


2 of pentacles – although you have so much energy and will to hunker away at work, you still have other obligations. Homes, families, loved ones, and perhaps other businesses that need your time and energy as well. Balance is going to be challenging this month, so although you’ll be getting a lot done you’ll also be falling behind in other areas if you’re not careful. 




King of Swords reversed – you like to be in control, we know that much. Especially of your emotions – this card is an upheaval of the control of your emotions. And maybe that’s what you need – to see what you’ve been holding back at authentic face value and be able to move forwards with it. To not have to put such a heavy burden on yourself or hold everyone to such a high standard. No one needs you to be perfect – the pressure it takes to achieve that isn’t worth putting yourself through. Instead, work on being authentic. Upfront. Speaking your mind as it is, when it is instead of letting feelings fester.


10 of swords – letting go of your ego is always hard, but especially right now. As a water sign you’re deeply emotional and relate yourself to your feelings. If you can’t let something go, you can’t let that version of yourself go either. We are all reborn every day. You’re allowed to be almost exactly the same as you were yesterday, but truthfully you’re not. Being able to let go of things that don’t serve you is hard but rewarding. Let go of those feelings that you’re holding onto for the sake of it. Stop comparing your current self to old failures. Be here now. 




Strength – you’re moving with compassion for yourself and your challenges in this month. Instead of hiding from the hard things, you’re instead looking at how they can be cherished by you – and you them. It’s a card of internal resilience and understanding. You’re going to find strength in facing your obstacles with kindness, they’re not to be demolished but understood.


6 of cups – sometimes its easier said than done to share the good stuff. It’s easy to get into a routine of only sharing what is necessary or when we need help, but it’s good practice to let the world know all that you’ve cultivated. It’s not gloating if others are inspired by you. It’s not chauvinistic to be proud of yourself and to share the knowledge of how you got there with others. You’re allowed to share any part of yourself that you please, but you’re encouraged now to share the stuff that you hold dearest to you.




King of swords – you are finally seeing it all come together – all the pipe dreams and layers of work and workshops and practices are coming together into the master idea. You’re on top of what needs to be done, at the peak of where all these ideas have led you. Even though it’s time to turn inward again to prepare yourself, you’re in a position of power. There are many people who look up to you and for your insights.


Justice – Sometimes it can be a blessing to see all things so clearly and without judgement, but in this case it’s holding you back because nothing feels complete or perfect. Sometimes we need to have a little bias towards ourselves so that we can feel like what we have to share is worth it. That we’re the only person who will share all of what we know in the ways we know it. Don’t let your ability to see through things stop you from sharing your own wisdom.




6 of wands – you’re in a place of reverence, whether its coming from yourself or your community. You’re ready to lead and are being ushered into the position with grace. To some it seems like you’re on a high-horse, but really its a place you were asked to be more than a place you asked to be.


Wheel of fortune – with anything possible, this sends your creative mind whirring. Sure, this is where you are right now but where will you be next week? next year? Is right now fruitful for those futures? Try staying present. It can be hard when the ability to think in many different directions is what makes you unique, but it can also be a burden when you can’t focus on where you’re at right now. Make moves for the present moment, it’ll support your future how it needs to.




9 of swords – all of your anxiety and heavy feelings are coming from your head! You’re totally safe, but you feel overwhelmed and burdened. It’s okay to feel this way, and it’s a good time to crawl into yourself and expand into these parts to let some light in and shake off the dust. But just know that whatever story you’re telling yourself, you’re the narrator of. You can change the tune at any time.


The world – this card is a depiction of harmony. Its the feeling of being at one with your universe. While you’re in the process of observing all of these things that burden you and what to fill the space with, it can feel like there’s an imbalance. Sometimes being off kilter is exactly right. Sometimes we’ve muscled our way in sideways and have become so used to it that we don’t realize which way is actually up. You feel disoriented in your life at the moment, but that’s because you’re in the process of undoing things that harm you and moving away from that as your norm. 

If you enjoyed this and want more of this content, follow me on instagram @edgarallanfoe and subscribe to updates for the site! You can also book your own tarot reading here.

Can You Feel Your Energy?

How to feel

When I look back on the past year, the only way I can summarize it is “woah”. I spent 4 months in yoga teacher training, moved across the country twice, fell in love, worked my ass of for and then shut-down my NFP, had about 17 different jobs… If you know me or keep up with anything I write you already know these things.

There have been a lot of new learnings and awakenings in my life but I think the most significant one is the awakening to my own energy. Or more specifically, the power I have over my own energy.

Whether it’s being able to protect myself from unnecessary vulnerabilities (like leaving a yoga class to a busy, Toronto street) or just looking at what my thoughts are and taking accountability for how they affect my life. There are thousands of moments that I’ve been transformed in and by during this time of understanding.

I recently made some pretty big career changes. It involved facing my fears and my intuition head on. Letting go of a false sense of protection and security for a more intuitive path. I quit my “regular” job in a field I’ve worked in for ~5 years and have had since my move to Nova Scotia. I wasn’t giving up any kind of substantial amount of money – working for 12.50 an hour as a barista after coming from a province where minimum wage was well above that isn’t something to make me consider sticking around for. But my concerns were more in the realm of “Can I support myself with just myself?” and “Is what I’m doing important?” and “What if it’s not the work? What if I’m just lazy and will find an excuse in anything that bores me after a while?”

It’s true, I need to be stimulated. I need creative release. I need less routine but more to-do lists. I am a productive worker on my own, I can definitely get shit done. But the smallest things throw a wrench in my day and my energy. Knowing that I have to do something that I don’t find intuitive or fulfilling has a panic brewing in the back of my being. Not because of my thoughts, but because I know intuitively that this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing.

Intuition vs. Anxiety

I’ve had to battle a lot with this idea of intuition. When is it your gut and when is it anxiety?

I think I’ve been able to break it down to two main factors.

Intuition: There is little to no logic. You don’t have to think your way in or out of it. There is just a knowing.

Anxiety: There are reasons. You’re able to think of why or why not. There are excuses and “logic” but very little feeling.

I intuitively know that I should be working on my personal brand. That I shouldn’t be putting time or energy into other people or businesses right now. That I will be and am supported in making these shifts. That this is what I’m supposed to be doing and it is important work. These are not thoughts, necessarily. These are words I’ve put to the feelings I have when I am doing all of these things.

My anxiety tells me that I need all my side jobs. That I need to run other peoples social media and still be nannying. That I will not be able to financially support myself. That people do not want to support me in this transition and that it’s essentially a pipe dream to think that I, as a person, am a brand. That I, as a person, have an impact to make.

How do we get out of these loops? How do we trust?

I think it’s the same as anything – the same thing I learned with writing. You just do it.

I’m not in that 100% supporting myself mode yet. I am still hanging on to tiny tendrils of support by others. But I did quit my main job. I am saying no to things that don’t serve me. I am not letting other people steer my time or energy or path. I am aware of what I have to give and where it will best flourish. There are many small, internal steps that go into these processes more than external. Quitting my job is one move – making sure I feel emotionally, mentally, and financially stable enough to do so is another thing.

focusing and honing

Even though every choice I make has brought me closer and closer to that feeling of union with my life and my purpose, there is something still terrifying about embodying that completely. For me, I think it stems from the question “What if I don’t always feel that way?” which is to say, what if there is a time I am so embodied and then I lose track and find myself lost again? What if it feels so good and then one day… it doesn’t? The fear of living from this place of wholeness is rooted in straying from it.

This comes from other places of loss in my life and I have to reconcile those projections and also understand that growth means being uncomfortable. It means constantly chasing that feeling – the feeling of floating just below the surface of the water, with enough breath, being able to see the light shining through. You know what I’m talking about. I think the thing is that we always have to come up for air at some point, but it doesn’t mean we can’t go back under.

Focusing on why I am afraid, why I don’t take the leaps yet, and honing in on the realities of my own circumstances and experiences help me to understand that I always have a choice. If things don’t go right, I have a choice to go back to work elsewhere. But I also have a choice to stay stuck in places that rub me in the wrong way for just long enough that little parts of me start to blister and burst. This surface that I long to lay under slowly seeping out of me. I do not have a cup to fill, but more a pool. An ocean. Everything needs tending to, even a dharma requires maintenance.


There is a photo a friend took of me recently where a kind of rainbow appears in it. The rainbow is only two colours – red and indigo. In the chakra system this represents the root chakra and the third eye chakra. Together they form a balance in energy that encompasses everything I’ve been working on.

The Root Chakra represents career, money mindset, and sense of belonging.

The Third Eye Chakra represents intuition, sense of purpose, and direction in life.

A friend asked if she could shoot me in my apartment for her portfolio, but also used it as a double up to hone in on my personal brand. It highlighted the work from home lifestyle I have, as well as my tarot reading and new book Under The Callous. The shoot made me feel powerful, feminine, creative, and embodied. I could see myself successfully doing the things I love without having to make ends meet in other ways. In fact, I could see myself not thinking about making ends meet at all. I saw myself focusing on growth and trusting being supported in that.

So, when I got the photos back and those colours appeared it spoke to me. It was the most literal reminder life could have given me, saying “Hey, you’ve got this. You’re onto something here. Keep moving forward.”

These are the themes I’ve been working on fiercely this past year. I want a life that is supported, and guided, by my intuition. I want a life of abundance, joy, and success. I want to see the manifestation of my thoughts and beliefs. And I know it will continue to happen because it already has. I know it will happen because I believe it – because I have chosen it.

I’ve had no plan to get where I am now. There is no master guide or external resource that tells us the best way to do things or what to choose for our lives. The compass of our own intuition is the best and most reliable tool to hone. It brought me to yoga, which brought me to Halifax, which brought me to writing my second book and moving into my own apartment.

Communities and spaces were created and opened that couldn’t have happened if I was following a “plan” – my plan was to be a successful owner of a NFP and working towards early “retirement” so I could write. Now I’m closer to where I want to be and further from my ego’s idea of success.

I don’t have any advice that you haven’t heard before or doesn’t sound entitled. I will tell you that I believe our lives start first from our minds. If we truly believe we have enough, are successful, live abundantly then the true state of these beliefs manifests for us. Mastering our thoughts is endlessly difficult but powerful in its simplicity – like most things, I’d say.

For me, it is not about saying “I hope for this, or I wish for this.” It is saying “This is going to be my future. I know this like I know my name. I am choosing this energy”. I encourage you to try it – the hardest part is believing it. The easiest part is trying.

Why Do We Talk So Much About Endings?

We have trouble staying present. Whether its anxiety about the future or depression about the past, it seems culturally we have a focus outside of ourselves and our current – almost always.

We talk about our game plans for the future and the jobs we will leave, when we will move, when all the chapters that are currently building those futures will cease. We talk a lot, also, about the end of relationships.

I used to date a guy who would always say “one day when we break up”. I don’t think this was the demise of our relationship as he also peed in bottles in my attic and used to tell me and my roommate that we “stole his maturity” but I think it primed me from the beginning that it was never that serious, or to at least not take serious things seriously.

My best friends have been in a relationship for 6 years. At 23 that’s a long time – high school sweethearts romanticized. Like anything there are pros and cons to this, and even though I’m close to them both separately and as a unit, there are obviously things I don’t see, know, or understand.

I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for just under 6 months. At this point it feels like things will last forever when its good, and like it could fall apart at any whim. This is not because of him or our relationship, but because there is the behind the scenes notion that I think a lot of us experience. That feeling of no time is ever enough, no amount of experience or attachment is enough. This could be because my parents are divorced or it seems like the only reason people I know seem to stay together is out of obligation more than want. Perhaps it does come down to that. Perhaps I romanticize that I will want to be with a person for the rest of my life – not just feel like it’s my best option.

My best friends hypothesize about what would happen if they broke up. How each of them would react, how it would change them and their lives. I sometimes wonder if you have been together for so long that you stay together for everyone else – this is a thought I have about my grandparents. I understand the urge to want to still feel like we have an option at an independent life. That if something did or does happen we will still be able to be whole.

I think these inquiries into “what will happen if” bring about a lot of questions for me, most of them hard to answer.

Do I feel just as much myself with this person as I do alone?
Am I giving up experiences being in a relationship?
Am I gaining enough in return?
Would I really be able to pick myself back up again? Would I want to?
Why do I feel the need to have a sense of permanency in my relationships?
How do I keep a sense of identity?
How can I find fulfillment in the now instead of always looking to the future?
Will I be whole again if I do not have this person?
Does this person make me whole?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking about the future, and potentialities in the future. I think in the way that it can be painful to link our futures with another person and to rely on them to attain certain goals, it can be just as painful to not do this. It seems like we have no sense of security – not even within our relationships. We lack security within ourselves.

A important thing I’ve learned before coming into my current relationship is that I am whole. I will always be whole, and so will my life. Wholeness does not always mean a feeling of fulfillment or that things are “large”. It means that whatever in me and my life exists wholly in each moment. My partner is not my “other half” that completes me, but my equal that creates their own part in our relationship. I exist wholly within this structure. This structure fluctuates as we both grow and let go of parts of ourselves. We are equal because we both contribute to the making of this relationship we exist it – but we are not our relationship. Our relationship is us.

This concept, or whatever you want to call it, has been revolutionary for me. Although there is balance and a sense of completion around my partner, I also feel complete by myself. In this moment. Right now. As I enjoy a glass of wine and cry at queer eye and feel totally at ease alone in my bachelor apartment. As my partner is at basketball and going to his own respective home to live out his own life for the next 24 hours in his own completion.

So, again, this brings me back to this question of why do we talk so much about endings? Why is it so important? What is so scary or unattainable right now? Do we even realize we’re in this conditioned state of making moves for an end that is just as fleeting as each moment of building, or are we willfully looking towards something because we’ve lost the ability to be in a state of wonderment at the now?

This can be about relationships, jobs, books, meals. We truly relish how things turn out. Although the uncertainty is what keeps us involved in getting there, it is also what makes the certainty we have that these moments we are immersed in special. I wonder, where is the recognition for what is so enticing about the present that is provokes us to be curious about how things turn out?

I don’t think it’s wrong to wonder, but I do think there could be more focus on what makes right now important. How this moment is also an end as the other begins. How once this glass is emptied my feelings of warm cheeks and a full heart will evolve with it. How I can sit with myself in a completely different way under my current circumstances than I would have or have fathomed a year ago.

Hypothesizing our future can be interesting, beautiful, and wondrous. But inquiring about our present and if we are truly showing up in a way that makes us proud to be the person we are in this moment I think is just as worthy. What do you want to do right now? What are the experiences you want to work towards? What are you, in this moment, willing to sacrifice? What is it you are willing to expand?

The present is amazing. Talk about it. It is just as transformable as every ending.