Do you have a place where you like to sit and think about life or meditate? This is my place. I often come outside in the mornings before Avery wakes up to drink my coffee and look at the pool. It seems silly, but the symmetry of the clean lines, the color of the water, and the protective wall of the cypress hedge calms me down and grounds me.

Sometimes I'm thinking about nothing more than what I'm going to make for dinner, but lately I've been looking a little deeper. Meditation for me is rarely about clearing my mind. It's more about deep navel-gazing and thinking about what I've learned about life and how I can continue to grow.

I took a big break from my personal Facebook, and I know that it's so cliched at this point, but I find that I function much better when I am away from that outlet. I have noticed a tendency in myself to get into disagreements and be the Devil's Advocate way too often, and I wanted to get away to examine why I sometimes cross the line into self-righteousness instead of passion. I don't feel I'm better than others, but I realize that sometimes I can come across that way. It's hard to see ourselves objectively because it fights against our innate tendency to protect our ego, but it's necessary.

On the flip side, I think there is way too much emphasis, especially for women, to always be positive. Human beings are complex. We get sad. We lose our tempers, and we say things we should not. We aren't always full of positivity, big smiles, and happiness. I think there's way too much pressure to be perfect online and in real life, and I'm just not okay with that. I think there is room for vulnerability and honesty with ourselves and with others.

All those kinds of thoughts go through my brain when I'm out here. I don't know if I'm ever better for it, but listening to the sounds of the birds in the trees against the hum of the freeway is my brand of white noise, and it soothes the chaos, if only for a few moments.