Mom’s Don’t Have Time To Write: I Needed to Get Back to Caring for Myself, but First I Needed to Get Out of My Pajamas

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Dara Levan Article in Medium.

Can you believe I hadn’t had a proper pedicure in eighteen months? No joke. I deemed manicures and pedicures a luxury that I couldn’t indulge right now. Who has time to sit, sip, schmooze, and soak when we are all just trying to survive? But as I have grown into motherhood and my late 40s, I’m realizing that pausing is self-care. It’s self-love. It’s self-nurturing. Don’t we need that now more than ever? Cracked, painful feet and jagged toenails didn’t fuel this revelation. My husband did. Before I share what he said, let me be clear that I live with … Read More

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Where Do You Seek Solace?

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Dara Levan Vermont Recreation Path 2021

Revise. Edit. Tweak. Overthink. Write. Excavate. Repeat. I love being in the flow. It’s tough to step away. Yet when I do, much becomes clear.  How was your week? I couldn’t center myself after hours of writing. Weird, too, because I write to process, connect, and sift through emotions. When I get into a creative flow, I go somewhere else. Like a different dimension in which I let go. But this time, it wasn’t that sort of floaty feeling. It was something different that I couldn’t quite identify. Rather than a release or a whoosh of inspiration, I felt jumpy … Read More

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Sensing A Presence.

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Rocky Dog by Dara Levan

I thought I was doing well. I walked into the laundry room and didn’t have a meltdown. I drove past the vet’s office, instead of choosing intentional detours.  No more suffering. No more meds. No more middle of the night trips to the animal hospital. I felt a sense of peace when we said goodbye to Rocky in August. Then Thursday night barreled over me. A sudden sorrow that triggered a trail of tears. What the actual fill in the expletive! My husband and I snuggled on the couch, watching “The Morning Show.” I don’t even think there’s a dog, heck, any … Read More

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Grown & Flown: To My Freshman Son – Why Aren’t You Happy To Be Home?

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Grown and Flown Dara Levan Article

I am excited to share my article that was published in Grown & Flown! This site is one of my favorite sources for wisdom regarding parenting teens and young adults. I’m thrilled and grateful to be featured here. If you have kids age 15-25, please check out and follow @grownandflown. The daily bits of advice and insights are relevant, inspiring, and relatable.   My personal piece is called To My Freshman Son, Why Aren’t You Happy to be Home? It challenges a common expectation that many have regarding our college aged kids once they’ve flown the nest and return again. I wrote about the recalibration and emotional reset that happened when my son came home last month. … Read More

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Flow or Freeze?

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Dara Levan Blog November 2020

As I write to you, I cannot believe we’re halfway through November. These past eleven months have felt like living in a time capsule that travels at two speeds. It’s either speeding uncontrollably like a train derailed. Or, it’s moving at a frustratingly slow pace. The photo (above) I took last month. In the midst of fall, an intense yet brief hailstorm pelted ice onto the crunchy leaves. I watched in awe, and its significance became clear. Two seasons merged unexpectedly. I’m grateful for witnessing this fleeting moment. Do you flow or freeze? As autumn leaves and winter arrives, I realized this could be a metaphor for … Read More

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Medium: A Mid-Term Exam

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Medium: A Midterm Exam by Dara Levan

I wrote my latest article for Medium after surviving a tsunami of tears and mom meltdowns. I share about lessons learned from parenting, letting go, and the impossible task of preparing for all of life’s tests. I know I’m not alone. I hope you enjoy this quick five minute read and that it speaks to you in some way.  Read my full article below (or click here!). From my heart to yours,

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Silver Linings

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Dara Levan Image October 2020

I’ve been struggling lately. I sat, simmered, and stood. Staring at the computer screen, I retreated and returned while deliberating what to write. For those of you who know me, I always find the silver linings even during the toughest times. But it’s been challenging. It’s been lousy. It’s been a pendulum of emotions that swing from high to low and back again. Our country, the UNITED States of America, is divided, divisive, and discombobulated. Is this truly our nation? It feels foreign and frightening. With every news nugget and flash of photos, I shake my head in disbelief. And as you may also have experienced, it’s gotten personal, … Read More

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Turning August Around

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August 2020 by Dara Levan

The Grateful Dead song, “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been,” could be the anthem for 2020. I am thankful we are on this trip together, friends! I hope you are safe and well. Buckle up as I share about my rocky road and wacky, wild few weeks. Where do I begin? I think a bit of background is needed. August has historically been a tender, tough month for me. I dread it every year. My husband’s beloved mother, two grandmas, dear friends’ parents and more souls I’ve loved have exited in August. Sadly, just last week, I attended two Zoom funerals. Those moments added … Read More

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Thrive Global: We Are Halfway Through The Year – Let’s Revisit Our Resolutions.

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Dara Levan Article in Thrive Global

It’s the beginning of July. We are halfway through the year. Sit with that statement for a moment. Stop what you’re doing and let that realization sink in. Did you ever imagine we’d be quarantined? The word “quarantine” has become part of my daily conversation. It’s as if an invisible force struck a match and lit our world on fire. Social media is ignited with intense posts and comments, which trigger fear and anxiety. I keep hearing and reading about “enough with 2020.” Just like an uncontrolled wildfire, there’s a collective energy burning through our well-being. It is scary and … Read More

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Medium: Fatherhood – Beyond Biology

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Medium Article Fatherhood by Dara Levan

Leisurely breakfasts and lively dinners will celebrate dads on Sunday. For some people, Father’s Day is joyous and jovial. However, this is not the experience for all children, regardless of age. This is a tough topic about which to write. But it is a painful reality for many in our world. The seemingly perfect, posed pictures on social media can unintentionally hurt. Chipper cards and sappy commercials can also cause unexpected triggers. Whether you lost your dad years ago or recently, this holiday can resurrect painful emotions. And I know others who ache because their father may be living, but … Read More

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