Thursday, December 1, 2016

So this is thirty...

      So this is thirty. I haven't been writing much because what you probably don't know is that my new job is to write. It's silly and something I fell into and I'd like for this blog and my many, many years of needing to express myself and tell stories to go into me finding this path. Once a storyteller, always a storyteller. I like to believe that this is true. Since I was young, I have had so much to say. More than most can keep up with. With that, I either entertained and wowed you or sent you running for the hills. Either way, I've learned from the cues and have worked to know where I fit in and when not to speak but when to write down. It started with journals, then poems, then songs, then this blog, more songs, and then I stopped. I transitioned from vomiting feelings on the page to thinking more strategically for an audience and thinking about my brand what I wanted to say to people who follow me. I don't know who realllly follows me, but if I wanted to have a following, it all comes down to content. SO, in the last few years I've worked on my content. What will the people want to read about? What are my feelings about these things? Can I be funny? So then I realized, you can't always just write it all down in one run-on sentence. You need a point...I guess. I began to organize my feelings and write a little smarter.

       I soon fell into digital marketing and crowdfunding. What once was an emotional outlet, was now a job and I suddenly had to be perfect at it. "Fake it til you make it," they say. And I did my darndest and now here we are. I tell stories for a living. What is better than that?

       From my professional experience, I know how the entertainment business works, the psychology and strategy of crowdfunding, and now I'm deeply immersed into capital raising, IPOs, and REITs. Who would've thought this glass case of emotion would be pitching to the likes of the Fortune 500 and writing copy for brands? I definitely did not think I'd be here. I definitely have surprised myself. Then why do I still feel like I'm failing? I have gotten soooo far. I grew up thinking, give me fame, or give me death. Seriously, I'm not kidding. I put on the makeup, I put on the show and I loved every single second of it. I miss it. I miss the stage deeply like a craving you can't appease. And when I have it for one song, I'm me (a different me, but more me, I dunno), and I'm energized. I do know that as an adult and through some therapy that that version of me was definitely hiding. The older I got the harder it was to hide. Real life gets in the way and suddenly it's too hard, and you're too tired, and getting out of bed seems like the hardest thing you'll ever do. Taking off the mask and discovering who I was separate from my girlish dream was a very difficult thing to do. I realized that I didn't want fame at all. I wanted to be free of all the emotions of my childhood, free of my sadness, free of myself. How is it that even as a kid I knew that if I didn't slow down to think, it wouldn't matter and all the glory of the stage would glaze over all the bad stuff...I mean that is one hell of a coping mechanism. It took me until I was about 24 to slow down and look at myself and to look at all the feelings and really find out what it all meant. Why aren't I happy? Why am I not auditioning? Why aren't I famous yet?

       I remember a time in college when it was a time to go out and I had nothing to do. It was a party night and no one had called and I couldn't reach anyone and felt alone and forgotten. I remember being so angry that no one had called me. I remember being so afraid of just being by myself. I needed a constant distraction. I constant numbness from what I would feel if I actually let myself be alone with my own thoughts. There were no iPads or iPhones or Netflix. I didn't have wireless internet and Facebook had just started allowing pictures. Believe me, there wasn't a distraction. I could only play like two songs on the guitar so that only held me for so long before I went out of my mind. I was so angry to be alone. I was forgotten. I was afraid. And this was only ONE silly night in college yet it was the end of the world. I look back on that feeling, that evening and I remember it like it was yesterday. It's part immaturity and also a complete lack of my connection with myself. I was always a very self-aware kid, but in college, I relied on everything around me to make me happy. Everyone else was the reason for why I did or did not have fun. I was needy and clingy and wore my heart on my sleeve. After graduation I still felt lost and afraid and I wasn't getting anywhere. I was terrified of a lot of things but mainly terrified of being alone with myself, being alone at all.

       Here I am tonight, alone in my cozy apartment, writing this blog. I'm completely content alone with my own mind. I still get restless and antsy because that is just who I am. I have an energy. I'm constantly looking for places to expel it, employ it, absorb it. This is also why I pull my hair out and struggle with Trichotillomania which is at its worst right now. At least I'm no longer terrified of my own voice. I can finally say that after 30 years. I didn't get here on my own. But I did decide to. I decided to do the work. I learned about my anxiety and depression. I learned what my needs and wants are. I learned that all the small stuff is small stuff and to let things go. I am more forgiving and less angry. But I am always tired. Tired because it's a constant fight to keep the negatives away, the sadness away, the anxiety away, BUT I know what I need now.

       I learned:

  • I don't need to be famous or rich or whatever to be better than my past or to escape from being ordinary. 
  • I don't need an audience to appreciate my singing and songwriting but it's always nice. 
  • I don't need to be anyone other than myself. 
  • I do need to continue to surround myself with people who bring me joy and not pain. 
  • I do need to be more forgiving of myself and my flaws. 
  • I do need to pay attention to my body when it is telling me to slow down and rest. 
  • I do need to feel loved and cherished. 
  • I do need to take risks. 
  • I do need to continue to love myself.
  • A cat makes everything a little bit better 
It feels really good to write something for myself. Not for an audience, not only for you, lovely reader, but for me because I needed this. I needed to let it all out so I can come up with some funny sassy something just for you and get back to my content managing at work tomorrow where I'm going to kick some ass.

Happy December, bitches!
Xo, alexinhwood
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Candwich is back...back again!

The Candwich - Sandwich in a Can
The Candwich - Novelty? Gag Gift? Joke? Lunch? I'd say all of the above. This "sandwich in a can" is definitely silly and weird and I can't tell if it's the best thing in the world or the worst thing in world. Irregardless, I have had the opportunity of working with the Founder, Mark Kirkland, or as some call him the "Earl of Candwich." He is a genuine person and truly wants to give back and help "can" hunger. Mark is no stranger to controversy and has had his fair share of hiccups along the way in building his Candwich-opoly.

A Viral Sensation
Candwich went viral in 2010 when the New York Times broke the story about a rogue investor who ran a Ponzi Scheme and stole upwards of $145 million from creditors who wanted to invest in Mark One Foods Corp, Candwich's parent company. It took a long time to settle with creditors but Mark has successfully regained control of Candwich and wants to bring his sandwich in a can back to retail stores and to aid in disaster relief efforts across the globe. The viral sensation inspired many articles, taste test videos and opinions about Candwich and the purpose of canned sandwiches. WHY? Why does the world need sandwich in a can?

Social Proof - The New York Times - Eater - AV Club 

Disaster Relief
It is simple. FEMA wanted to order 1 million Candwiches during Hurricane Katrina but Mark One Foods was not in production at the time and couldn't produce such a large order. There is the demand to have these shelf-stable (for more than one year) Candwiches available, especially in times of need. Just think of the amazing work Candwich could do with the Red Cross, Haiti, Louisiana and many other places where food may be scarce and displaced residents need access to sustenance and aid.

Now Available on Indiegogo
The good news is that Candwich is back, with what could be considered a comeback with a crowdfunding effort on Indiegogo. Not only can you pre-order Candwich for yourself, you can send as a gag gift to a friend or even just donate to charity. The goal is set for only $10,000 which I believe is certainly doable. I think that many people may not see passed the novelty or the "sandwich in a can-ness" of this campaign, but I truly believe this company exists to do some good and to in fact make lunch fun. It's no doubt that kids love peanut butter and jelly and like a Lunchable, the ability to make their own sandwich at school. The key here to see the big picture. A company and product like Candwich needs to exist. That way when disaster strikes, we can send 1000 Candwiches to people in need. The infrastructure is there for the vending machine world (and hey you can even buy a vending machine of Candwich on Indiegogo) because they are in cans, the same size as soda pop. There's a new can, new branding, and new flavors. What's not to love?

Campaign link

Get Involved
It's very easy to get involved with this campaign. Just head on over to Indiegogo and get a six-pack (or two) of Candwich and donate to a Food Bank.

But Is It Tasty?
As a crowdfunding expert, I got in on this early. I have tried the PB&J Grape, the PB&J Honey, the PB&J Almond Hazelnut Butter, and the Apple Turnover. I liked every single one of them. I would eat them on a trip, on a hike, or when I'm really hungry. Seriously, I am not joking. I tend to eat silly snacks like bread and peanut butter anyway or even a tortilla with butter and salt. How is this different? It's not. The sweeter pastry type flavors I think will always be my favorite and I absolutely love the Justin's brand peanut butter packets and chocolate hazelnut almond butter packets. I'm not a Nutella fan, but that stuff is delicious. Apple Turnover is so good and even better if you heat it up. I've heard that guy like the Honey BBQ Chicken more as it has a beef jerky/slimjim kind of texture. If they keep rolling out classy PB&J and make those apple turnovers, I'm sold. People keep asking if it's loaded with preservatives. They have ingredients and nutrition facts available in their FAQs on Indiegogo and I can easily see that they use less sodium than a Cup of Noodle. If you can drink a can of sugar and sodium (also known as a soda pop) you can eat a Candwich and be just fine.

Bottom Line
Is it worth it? I say yes! Candwich is back. Pre-Order Today on Indiegogo and Make Lunch Fun!

A photo posted by Lucy Dorado (@lucyinthegymwithweights) on

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Help My Family Care For My Momma | Generosity Fundraiser on Indiegogo

Hi! We are Monica's daughters. Many of you may know that our mom, Monica Way, recently spent 5 days in the hospital this last week for a still unknown cause of swelling and high blood pressure. She was able to come home on Tuesday and now another journey begins. Recovery. 

What Happened and What We Know
Monica was experiencing painful swelling in her neck and feet two weeks ago. After an urgent care visit, she took some Benedryl and managed the symptoms which seemed to disappear. Then on June 8th, the swelling returned even worse and she felt light headed and in pain. She then went to urgent care where they checked her blood pressure which was reaching over 240. This put her at risk for a stroke. She was given an ACE inhibitor to manage her blood pressure.  Luckily she did not have a stroke.

ACE Inhibitors can cause angioedema which is mild to severe swelling in the neck, throat, tongue, hands and feet in like 0.1 to 0.7 of the people taking this drug. This happened to her exactly and she was admitted to the hospital. Her tongue swelled too large along with her bronchial area so they have to put her on a breathing tube and sedate her until the swelling went down and she could breathe again on her own. They were 15 seconds from a tracheotomy. She is so lucky they got the tube placed just in time. She was in the ICU until Sunday, June 11 with round the clock care until the swelling finally went down and allowed her to breathe. Doctors continued to monitor her in the recovery wing until Tuesday, today. The thing that scares us most is that we still don't know what caused the swelling initially or why her blood pressure was so high, but we do know that she cannot have ACE inhibitors. Lesson learned and now we have a long way to go.

Our mom works part-time at Macy's and now cannot work for an extended amount of time. She needs to be able to pay her rent, bills and medical expenses incurred from her stint in the hospital in addition to the new tests, doctor visits and medications that she now needs to purchase. Because the doctors do not know what caused her throat, neck, feet and hands to swell, she must carry an epinephrine pen (epi pen) with her at all times in case this type of reaction happens again. Those cost around $600.

More About Monica
Monica is many many things. You can also call her Mo. Perhaps her most beloved title is that of mother and grandmother. Currently her son, Grant is at US Air Force Base Military Training in Texas. One daughter, Alexandria, lives in Los Angeles pursuing her dreams and her oldest daughter, Danielle, is a proud new momma to 2-month-old Lane Owen and 2-year-old Nolan Scott. Monica is a lover of love, faith, and kindness and let's face it, she's got a great sense of humor (yes even dirty jokes). Mo has been a survivor for years of Fibromyalgia which is a neurological auto-immune illness that creates pain symptoms and reactions throughout her body when there is no cause of stimuli for that pain. Every day is a blessing, yet every day there is mild to severe widespread pain to endure and overcome. FM also amplifies any amount of pain to an insurmountable amount of pain. Her recovery will take longer and be more painful because of her chronic condition. It has already been a huge struggle to work 4-hour shifts at Macy's but she showed up and did what she could to pay the bills. Our hope is that soon her disability status will be approved. It continues to be a lengthy process as Fibromyalgia is just becoming understood by the medical community and the state.

How You Can Help
We would love your support to help make our mom's life a little bit easier. She needs to pay her very large and outstanding medical debt that continues to accrue because of this recent hospital stay and it only stands to get larger with her new ailments and her chronic illness. This includes bills for the ICU, emergency room, recovery room, tests, blood pressure and pain medications, a supply of epinephrine pens, meals, chiropractic care, allergy specialist, stress tests, pain management care, and so much more.

Family is Our World
We don't know what we would do without our mom. This medical emergency gave us a scare and we are dedicated to making sure our mom has the care she needs to live simply and healthily. Our fear is that our whole family will crumble under this debt trying to pay these bills and that she will have to go without an epi pen or pain meds and be at risk once again to this possibly recurring reaction (angioedema). Your help would mean the world to all of us. We wish we had the means to let her live with any of us or get her the necessary care. We just do not have the resources.

Even $5 goes a long way and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It's very hard for us to publicly ask for help. We are truly looking to help our mom, Monica, can live the life she deserves and together, we can make it happen.

We will need the funds immediately as we book medical appointments, order medications, pay down her bills and schedule checkups that require co-pays and out of pocket costs. Her HMO doesn't cover very much and we need the epi pens as soon as possible to prevent another edema episode.

We are so thankful you landed on this page and we are eternally grateful for any support. Even a share, a like, a tweet will help us reach more people who may have a buck to spare for a family in need.

Thank you and God bless!
Danielle and Alexandria

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Crowdfunding Cannabis: Inside the Cannabis Industry’s First Attempt at Equity Crowdfunding via Leafly

Crowdfunding Cannabis: Inside the Cannabis Industry’s First Attempt at Equity Crowdfunding via

This article is sponsored by Med-X, Inc., an emerging cannabis company working to secure equity crowdfunding for its venture. By innovating all-natural products, Med-X will provide safe and healthy cultivation practices and education to the emerging $3 billion cannabis industry. This article was originally published on on 1/15/16. 

On June 19, 2015, the floodgates of equity crowdfunding were opened with a historic legislative provision: Regulation A+ of Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012. And with cannabis among the fastest-growing industries in America, it was only a matter of time (and a short one at that) before the two nascent industries collided. On December 16, 2015, Med-X, Inc. became the first cannabis company in the nation to kick off an equity crowdfunding campaign.
Signed into law by President Obama, the JOBS Act tasked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with developing and enacting regulations that both “facilitate capital formation and promote investor protection,” with an eye toward bolstering the national economy. With the SEC’s enactment of Title IV, individuals without accreditation became eligible to invest directly in private companies for the first time since the 1930s. Unlike on standard crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, equity crowdfunding allows investors to receive a compensatory stake in the company, instead of the company amassing money given freely by participants.

In effect, the SEC’s decision opened the door to millions of accessible dollars that private companies hadn’t been allowed to reach for, let alone touch, in the past. Yet this money wasn’t just ripe for the taking. Before becoming the first cannabis company to pursue it, Med-X spent years laying the groundwork for a multi-faceted company that not only earned the qualification from the SEC but also appealed to an intrigued yet tentative audience of potential cannabis industry investors.

The Making of Med-X

Med-X was officially founded in 2014, but co-founders Matthew Mills and Dr. David Toomey, along with Med-X board member Dr. Allan Kurtz, had been networking together since 1999, and the idea for Med-X had begun percolating as early as 2011. Explains COO Mills, “We decided when this sector started to ripen, ‘Hey, we could create a lot of jobs and get cannabis into a more natural state where it’s safer for everyone.’” Given the medical background of Dr. Toomey and others on the team, the company took a natural “first, do no harm” stance on medical cannabis, espousing principles of health and education and positing that the products used to grow and cure medical cannabis should be strictly regulated.
In the five years leading up to the company’s official launch, the founders worked on research and development of the Nature-Cide All-Purpose product line, Med-X’s all-natural and exclusively licensed insecticide. Nature-Cide All-Purpose was registered with the EPA in all 39 of the required registration states, and the product began to receive acceptance and approval from the agricultural departments of states including Washington and Colorado for use on cannabis. At the same time, Med-X set out to expand into cannabis education and cultivation. The company launched The Marijuana Times, a digital media magazine, and built a laboratory for the cultivation, extraction, and research of concentrated high-CBD medical cannabis strains.
The funding for these initiatives didn’t come out of thin air; prior to the passage of Title IV, Med-X had already launched an equity offering that targeted traditional private investors and secured an initial round of funding. Still, the Med-X team was keeping an eye on the rollout of the JOBS Act, and making advanced plans to pursue equity crowdfunding. “One of the reasons why we were the first is because we were preparing for it,” says Mills. “Back in 2014, we launched an accredited investor offering that enabled us to do a general solicitation of investors. We knew Regulation A+ was coming, but we wanted to be ready.”
Before any companies, cannabis or otherwise, could pursue equity crowdfunding, they would need to qualify with the federally-administered SEC. Given cannabis’s problematic presence on the federal government’s list of Schedule I drugs, Med-X was aware that the nature of its business might be a sticking point. Still, it was among the first to apply and receive qualification once Title IV had been enacted.
“We were astonished by the rapid response from the SEC [on our qualified application],” recounts Mills. “The response was very favorable to us. We were surprised by that, and so was everybody else…As far as we know there were only two other companies that were qualified prior to us, neither of which was in the cannabis industry.”

Cannabis Investment: Why Equity Crowdfunding?

Shortly after Title IV went into effect, equity crowdfunding marketing agency CrowdfundX (unaffiliated with Med-X) accepted Med-X as one of its inaugural clients. Given that Med-X had seen success in securing traditional funding from accredited investors, the team is frequently asked why it chose to pursue equity crowdfunding, too.
“We’ve been asking ourselves the same question,” says Mills, who explains the conclusion the group reached: “Think of people who invest in companies to say they were a part of it even without getting equity – what will it be like when they get equity? People want to be a part of this kind of thing.”
This spirit of inclusion mirrors the communal spirit that has traditionally surrounded and supported the cannabis industry regardless of its legality. Admittedly, as the first cannabis company to pursue these sorts of investments, Med-X must contend with the newness of equity crowdfunding (and accompanying confusion over rules and regulations), as well as potential hesitations of would-be investors as they consider whether to participate in an industry that has yet to be legalized federally. Still, Med-X contends that its team’s combined years of experience in natural product development, digital media, medicine, and finance will be enough to quell investor uncertainties.
To date, Med-X has received over $1.2 million in reservations. While these indications of interest are non-binding, they do suggest that Med-X’s conjectures aren’t unfounded. There indeed seems to be a receptive market for crowdfunding cannabis and an engaged community willing to bring legitimacy to a highly stigmatized industry.
To learn more about Med-X, visit their equity crowdfunding campaign page at
Disclaimer regarding forward-looking statements:
MED-X, INC. does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA). The company does grow cannabis for research and development purposes only.
An offering statement regarding this offering has been filed with the SEC. The SEC has qualified that offering statement, which only means that MED-X, INC. may make sales of the securities described by that offering statement. It does not mean that the SEC has approved, passed upon the merits or passed upon the accuracy or completeness of the information in the offering statement. You may obtain a copy of the offering circular that is part of that offering statement from.
MED-X, INC. 8236 Remmet Avenue, Canoga Park, CA 91304
You should read the offering circular before making any investment.
This campaign may contain forward-looking statements regarding predicted business performance, operating results, financial condition and other aspects of the company, expressed by such language as “expected,” “anticipated,” “projected” and “forecasted.” Please be advised that such statements are estimates only and there is no assurance that the results stated or implied by forward-looking statements will actually be realized by the company. Forward-looking statements may be based on management assumptions that prove to be wrong. The company and its business are subject to substantial risks and potential events beyond its control that would cause material differences between predicted results and actual results, including the company incurring operating losses and experiencing unexpected material adverse events.
Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Best News for Independent Artists and Musicians - Gigmor

I remember loving to sing more than I loved most things.  I remember not knowing why people kept asking me to sing for them.  I thought they must just like Disney movies as much as I did.  Then people started to pay me with ice cream to sing more.  Before I knew it, I was on stage.  Well an altar, because it really began in Mass singing hymns in a choir. 

When people keep applauding, you don't stop.  You don't stop when the crowd loves what you have to offer.  On top of that, singing and performing, that's the only time I felt at peace, the only time I was completely myself.

I certainly do miss these feelings.  I have played at the Parish Room at the House of Blues on Sunset Blvd where I earned my first $100 for performing at a real venue.  A gig I got because I knew someone at Live Nation who happened to book the venue and happened to see my Facebook post about wanting to play gigs.  Another time I played an open mic night at the only bar in a one lane town in Hope, Alaska and brought the bar to sing along with me to a cover of Joan Osborn's "One of Us." Other live shows were open mic nights and National Anthems for college and professional sports games.  All this after 15 years of musical theater, I still struggled with the idea that I could make a living as singer.

I taught myself to play guitar over seven years.  Still not perfect, but it enabled me to write my own songs and perform them.  I always knew I would "make it." Whatever that meant. I can imagine a lot of musicians have trouble putting their guitars away. Or if not away, at least not played as often or out of the house.  And my two guitars collect dust and my microphone rests in a drawer with all the cords neatly packed away.

I thought this was where my life was going until Gigmor.  

Gigmor is a musician only social platform. Now we've all heard of ReverbNation and other platforms and God knows we've all used craigslist to find band mates or gigs, but I feel hope that there is a solution out there for indie artists.  We love to perform.  We all have day-jobs.  Maybe that can change.  Maybe I really can rock the casbah!  And maybe even I can make a few bucks, or more than a few, fingers crossed.

Right now, Gigmor already has a social platform that connects musicians to each other. Which is great.  You don't have to scour the internet of everything, you are only looking for performers.  It really does narrow down the search, by a lot.  I am also less scared as a female to look for band mates, because Craigslist is pretty scary.  

Gigmor has just announced that it is partnering with MUSIC BOX San Diego where the venue will book Gigmor Artists directly from the platform for gigs.  This is a great opportunity and hopefully just the beginning of a long list of venue partners that will aim to discover new talent and provide paying gigs for emerging artists.  I really am excited.

The MUSIC BOX, takes place of the former, ANTHOLOGY, and increased their capacity from 250 to over 700.  It's a great new venue and I look forward to checking it out, and hopefully maybe even playing a gig there!!  

It's amazing to think that someone out there is trying to bring the music business into the 21st century. Finally, someone is on the side of the artists, the music creators, the people who just want to sing! For so long record companies and executives are the only ones who make the big bucks and by then they've molded their indie artist into a cash machine.  I just want to play the way I want to play.  I want to feel the hot lights.  I want to connect to audience with my stories and my voice that has been silent for too long.  

This is the kick in the butt I needed to get out there and play again.  Thanks to Gigmor, I think I'll plug in that amp, set up the mic and rock on.

Gigmor is currently running an equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine.  When funded, Gigmor plans to use the funds to build a mobile app and develop the platform into a digital booking engine, where bands and artists can book a gig directly.  Never before have artists and venues been able to connect.  Gigmor aims to provide matching and ratings (GigScore) based on proprietary metrics to aids talent buyers in hiring the right bands for their venues.  

Fear not, my fellow indie musicians: CHANGE IS FINALLY COMING!  

Check out this video that explains what they are up to here 

My Gigmor Profile





Monday, July 6, 2015

The Very Best of Sharks! #Sharkweek






Imma EatchYo Legs...Dunna, Dunna... FAMILY GUY SHARK





A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on





Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Taking on the Pain of Others Can Cost You Your Health

Do you take on the pain of others?  Does a sad Facebook post from an acquaintance bother you for days on end?  Do you lie awake at night worrying about the troubles of your family and friends and wish you could make their problems and sadness disappear?  Is your emotional health taking a toll because you spend so much time caring for the distant pain of the world around you?

YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL KIND OF PERSON, but there is a healthier way to show empathy and care for the ones you love.

You may be thinking...but I am always weighed down by this pain and the events and ailments that burden my friends.  How does this make me special?  Aren't I just a worrier?  Why can't I just let all these emotions go?  Why can't I be happy, and can I, when I know there is so much suffering?  Why am I so sensitive to everything around me?  Why do I feel like I notice things about people and feel them and others don't?

It is very possible that you are an Empath and a Highly Sensitive Person. An empath or healer if you like that term, truly takes on the pain of the people around them.  Empathy is just that and is not something everyone possesses.  I know people who cannot feel empathy at all and do not understand why a person would care that deeply about another.  That saddens me, but it also makes me envious at times that they don't feel constant pain and sadness by absorbing the world's pain.

There is a healthy way to be an empath and from what I am learning, it takes some effort and understanding that you are gifted.  An empath should not feel burdened by this gift, but blessed that their soul has the capacity to embrace other souls.  The thing to remember is that it is NOT your responsibility to ease others pain, or take it on for them.  As mental processes go, you may feel that if you ignore your friend's suffering, it is like you don't care or aren't acknowledging that they are going through a hard time.  But holding onto these emotions will end up becoming physical ailments from the toxic nature of negative thoughts and feelings.  Think of it this way.  If you feel sad for a friend, it doesn't take away their sadness.  No matter how you react or hold onto their suffering, they are the ones that must overcome.  As an empath it is wise to feel compassion and let them know that you understand, but to let the pain and weight pass right through you.  Holding onto years and years of other people's pain, seriously can cause chronic illness, depression and much more.

A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on

I am very interested in this topic since I am surrounded by empaths and have at times been one myself.  My mother and sister share this beautiful quality and literally lie awake, feeling the weight of the world.  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great social tools, but can also make this worse.  Hearing about a friend's miscarriage, divorce or loss of a loved one is information we take on just by logging into our social networks.  On top of that, the news and other worldly problems are in our faces every day and not from the television, but on our mobile phones.  We are bombarded with messaging and bad news.  How can one stay above the water with all this weight?

Let it go.  Let it pass.  Feel the pain for a second and let go the responsibility of feeling that pain.  The more you indulge the worse you will feel and while you are sympathetically trying to understand and make the world a better place, the problem will still be there because it is not yours to solve.  It's almost selfish to try to take away another's pain.

Pain begets learning.  A person must overcome their own obstacles to truly learn and build the tools THEY need to keep on going.  Trying to take away that process, will never benefit the sufferer, and suffering for them doesn't make them suffer less.  Take a breath.  Tell them you understand.  Listen.  Love.  Open your arms.  And then walk away and visualize the pain pass through you.  Do not hold onto it.  Do not try to make it smaller.  Do not wallow in it's sadness and give their pain, power over your happiness.

It is okay to be selfish.  A selfless person is rarely happy, fulfilled, or healthy.  It is unhealthy to lose oneself completely.  A proper empath is self-aware of their gifts and learns to use their gift of love and exercise compassion for those around them.

If you feel like this is a path you would like to read more about, I definitely recommend reading

Self-Care for the Self-Aware: A Guide for Highly Sensitive People, Empaths, Intuitives, and Healers by Dave Markowitz.

Stay tuned for more on this topic as I discover more on my own path.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Trich: From the Beginning to Where I Am Now

My journey has been an odd one since January 2013...when I began to feel a change in my hair texture.  I don't know if the change occurred because of natural aging and hair does over time or if it was the addition of anti depressants to my daily routine.  I have always been a fidgeter, a nervous type of person.  Easy to startle and not fond of being poked or tickled or touched without warning.  Since I can remember I have loved the softness of my hair and have always played with it, braided it, unbraided it, braided it again and just always twisting and twirling.  I never thought anything of it really and only a few people seemed to notice.  As I got older, I looked a little childish twirling my hair so I began to pay more attention to it and lessen that habit around others.

Well, in 2013, somehow my hair texture was different and as a certain hair twirler, fidgeter, OCD type person, I began pulling out and inspecting these hairs.  They were soooo curly, so different, so course compared to my perfectly straight and smooth head of hair.  To me they just did not match, or feel pleasing to me while I twirled and braided.  So out they went.  It seems that I didn't quite understand it and didn't need an explanation really until I had created a wider part and two small bald spots on my head.  I felt like a crazy person that I could let this happen, when my hair meant so much to me.

Since that time, I have struggled with Trichtillomania or Trich and we call it.  It's not OCD but more like the lack of impulse control and it's something I have had to face straight on.  There is no ignoring it and I don't know if I'll ever have a 100% no pull life, but I hope to.

For the last 5 years, I have done a lot of soul searching.  I've worked through crippling anxiety and hopeless depression and come back from it.  I am healthier now than I have ever been and with a better understanding of myself an an appreciation for my unique gifts.  I've worked with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which certainly has helped my battle with anxiety and depression and has become a safe place to grow, ask questions and to not feel so alone.  Because of this self-work, I feel a certain calmness that I never thought was possible, thanks to my "ME TEAM."  I call them my "me" team because they are all there for me in my corner to help me become my best self.  My Therapist doesn't psychoanalyze me. She listens.  And man, what a different a life can be when you have someone to do just that. Listen.  We are working together to realize the triggers of my trich and ways to forgive myself for how harsh I am on my own flaws and failings and to better love the imperfections that make me who I am.

In 2014, I was diagnosed with ADHD and suddenly everything made sense.  Another member of the "ME TEAM" has made it possible for me to slow down, listen, absorb and complete things.  I never thought it would be possible, and now it is.  Now I am not fighting to say something in a crowd, or interrupting people, or acting out, or doing so many things I thought I needed to do, because I can think beforehand.  Once I realized this and tested out which cocktail would help me be my best self, I began to see the possibilities of a real career.  I had the ability to finish a project without breaking down and to handle stress more easily.  I was able to listen contently to someone explain something and share their stories without me trying to bud in with my opinion so I wouldn't forget what I wanted to say.  I also realized so much why I worked better while playing with my hair, or biting my nails or tapping my foot, because I always needed my brain to be stimulated so I could focus.

While I got healthier on the anxiety/depression side of life and got rid of my eating problems, the anxiety or the whatever it is, comes out in the form of trich.  Whatever I can't control or understand or manipulate, I know I can ease some type of imbalance my making my hair more perfect, by locating imperfections and removing them.  It's a feeling of success and then immediately a sense of failure, because I pulled out another beautiful strand of hair, contributing to another empty spot on my head.  I don't want to do that.  I don't want to have this problem.  But it happens without me knowing.

So how does one retrain themselves to not do something they know they do, but they do without thinking?  I've joined online communities.  I've heard of people shaving their heads and joining support groups and attending conferences.  There\s a unique network of us that have BFRB's or Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors.  From hair pulling to skin picking to much more, many people struggle with BFRB's and are not sure how to get through it and are surrounded by families and friends that do not understand and offer little support.  To stop, is not something you can just do.

It makes me sooo sad to hear stories of teens living with their parents who just make their child feel worse because of this odd problem.  Making a trich sufferer feel bad about their habit doesnt make ANYTHING BETTER.  "Trichsters" as we have been known, are very sensitive people and already are trying their best to be better.  Compassion is what we need and support.  Tell us we are beautiful and help us on bad pull days.  If someone comes to you for help, listen.  Punishing a friend or child for having these odd BFRB's only makes them feel more alone and more imperfect.

A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on

To be pull-free or pick-free is a goal for all of us, but it's the habit that gets in the way and there isn't enough research to pin-point why we do what we do.  Instagram has been a helpful tool for me to connect with others and to also share my days with those who are on the same path.  It's hard to admit to have this odd problem, but we are all human and none of us are perfect.  Each of us has some weird thing, quirk, or issue we wish we didn't.

Do you have trich?  Do you struggle with this also?  Feel free to email me @ and connect with me on my social profiles.  I think we can all help each other stay strong and to support each other.  You are not alone.  You are beautiful with or without eyelashes or eyebrows.  Wigs are fun and so are clip ins!  No matter what your journey may be, I am here to help and I understand.  But remember: LOVE THYSELF
A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on
I plan to share more of my progress and I am working to grow back the bald spots and aim to be pull-free.

Please follow my Twitter and Instagram for posts and updates regarding #trich and other wellness tips.

The following books/products and people are helping me with my journey and I would recommend each to anyone that suffers...


Buy it on Amazon



Oil Reflections Anti-Oxidant Smoothing Oil

Buy at
VIVISCAL Hair Filler Fibers
Buy at

Buy on website
Great for trouble spots and ways to make hair seem thicker


Excited that my hair is growing longer. I finally can get it all up into a cute bun for bad pull days when I need to get it out of my way. Sitting and watching TV and driving are my biggest challenge since I'm not doing anything with my hands and naturally go to play with hair and braid it or feels it or my go to " put it up and then take it down and then put it up again" that drives my family crazy because it's distracting and also seems so unnecessary to them. When my ADHD meds wear off, I have trouble at home when I'm relaxing and don't have enough focus on much of anything. I am mindful and working all these things because I cannot wait for the day when there are no bald spots to hide and my hair is thick and fluffy again! #roadtorecovery #trich #nopullday #anxiety #wellness #ADHD #supportoninstagram #hairapy #lovethyself
A photo posted by Alexandria Embleton (@alexinhwood) on