Maintaining My Mental Health

During the pandemic people tried all kinds of things to protect their mental health, from cooking to eating and from exercising to TV binging. I knew that there were three things that I needed to thrive: spiritual connection, mental stimulation and human interaction. I found groups that gave me much more than I expected and also gave me the opportunity to make new friends.

Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice

With reverence, people refer to Thich Nhat Hanh as Thay, meaning teacher. He is a poet, story teller, great thinker and has published over 100 books. He has a unique ability to take what could be a complicated idea and using just a few words, make it understandable. Martin Luther King Jr. nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize and called him: An apostle of peace and non-violence. This facebook group has over 140,000 members from all over the world. In Thay’s words: The Buddha respected people’s desire to practice their own faith, preserve your Jewish, Christian or Muslim roots. That is the way to continue the Buddha’s spirit. If you are cut off from your roots, you cannot be happy

Ultimate Blog Challenge – Boost Your Blog Traffic

You don’t have to be a blogger to enjoy this group!
If you’re a blogger this program offers you incredible potential. The challenge happens several times a year and lasts one month. By joining you commit to posting one new post each day. During the challenge Paul Taubman, the creator, provides daily topics to help inspire your writing, but then says: Or write whatever you want! He is all about encouraging bloggers to express their thoughts their way. In the months that I’ve participated my blog visitors doubled and I picked up new followers. I’ve met people from many different walks of life and been exposed to all kinds of new ideas. I learned about courage from Cheryl Tondreau, Dr. Dominique W. Brooks and Kebba Buckley Button. I learned about  being a great mom from Martha DeMeo. I enjoy my memories of being a hockey-mom by reading Tamara Gerber-Stutz as she shares her sons journey and I adore Elisa Krantweiss Heisman. Roy A. Ackerman is brilliant and has given new depth to my understanding of every one of his topics. There are so many interesting people participating that even if you’re not a blogger, you’ll find one that you’ll enjoy reading.

The Garden is a world wide on-line community for women. I’ve met women from all over the U.S., Columbia, the U.K., Australia and more. Susan Brearly has created a place that fosters growth and connection and offers the opportunity to mentor or be mentored. All done while cultivating self respect and kindness for yourself and others. In what she calls Circles, you can connect with women who have the same interests that you do and you can also explore new areas of interest. If you have an interest that’s not being covered, you can start a Circle. A few of the Circles are: Business Sense, Radical Self Care, Comedy Writers, Film, Breast Cancer Sisters and LBTQIA. If you’re a writer there are several different Circles that you might enjoy. I’ve found all of the women that I’ve interacted with to be kind, respectful and curious. If you’re a woman and you’d like to meet new people, have deep conversations and explore old and new ideas; check it out!
In association with The Garden, I’ll be offering
‘Free Introduction to Meditation’
On Saturdays July 9 and August 6  at 9-9:30 am CDT.
Come relax and enjoy with us!
All groups are really about the people and the people in these groups have stimulated me intellectually, helped me broaden my outlook on life and made me laugh! Even though the outside world is opening up I’m incredibly grateful to have found these people and will definitely stay connected.


  1. Who knew that a random group of bloggers could represent support and inspiration through testing times?
    Thank you for the shout-out! I’m touched that my post contribute to your wellbeing!

  2. Thank you for the shout out! I adore you and your writing too. Community is everything to me – whether it is a writing one or a religious one or my neighborhood book club. It is what lifts my spirits even during these tough times. Hang in there! XO

    • Victoria Juster

      Thanks, Elisa! You’re so right. The pandemic seems to have forced us to learn how to build new communities.

  3. Victoria, what an uplifting post! Thank you for mentioning me! Oh my–our conversations outside of the UBC would not have been possible if not for the UBC. In fact, I just had an experience on which I would like your take. I will be in touch. All blessings!

  4. I was so surprised to see my name. Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough. as usual I love your post today. It seems like most of us got what we searching for in a Covid world. Zoom and other apps made it possible to connect with others in a new way. I’m intrigued by the Garden.

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts this month and after the challenge.

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