6.9 Editor's Pick
December 18, 2019

Elephant Journal’s Very Best of 2019.

2019 was a painful year.

But within that pain—division, raging fires, fearful floods and the growing, belated understanding by the masses that Climate Change Is A Thing…life went on, with its little sweet joys, its challenges, its tough Fridays and tired Tuesdays. Elephant battled on, beneath the boot of Instagram and Facebook, which are killing all blogs and media.

Not only did we battle on, we did so with our mission ever in mind, taking careful yet bold steps forward. Why? Because as the world shudders, our mission—that is your mission, too—to be of benefit—becomes all the more beautifully urgent.

May 2020 bring some overdue action, truth, and accountability. May the joy in our basic human nature flower into compassion. May we be of benefit! ~ Waylon

PS: All that matters is that we vote in 2020. The fate of our planet, and species, and all other species depends on this vote. No pressure (!). Just show up, vote. Get your friends to. Vote truth, and eco-responsibility—vote urgently, and for love. Vote.

Your dear Editors at Elephant gathered all our very best reads of 2019. Here they are.

Here are some words that called to our beating hearts, that inspired us, that helped us live more mindfully and present in 2019:

(As chosen by our merry band of editors, these are Elephant Journal’s best of 2019.)

> I Suck as an Environmentalist (& You probably Do Too).

> Two kinds of Love.

> The 10 Nonnegotiable Needs that must be Met to take us from Emotionally Starved to Satisfied.

> For the Women who Hold Too Much.

> How a “Hook-up Girl” Grieves the Loss of a Lover.

> A Pema Chödrön teaching for when Life Doesn’t make a Damn Bit of Sense. 

> 13 Green Things Waylon Does.

> The Wounds our Mothers Give Us.

> On Speciesism: our Discrimination of Nonhuman Animals.

> Real Awakenings are Not Elegant—they are Messy, Ugly, Shattered & Raw.


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> Forgetting our Roots is the Disease of Modernity. The Struggle of an Adult Adoptee. {Chapter 3}

> Grief is a Journey: reflections 20 years after my Mom’s Suicide.

> How I Redefined Home by building my own Tiny House.

> A Morning Letting Go Ritual.

> Toni Morrison: The Meaning & Measure of Life.

> The Truth about Consent: Why it’s Simpler than you Think.

> The Real Sh*t no one tells you About your Postpartum Body.

> 3 Powerful Practices for Healing the Broken Child inside Us.

> 4 Tools to Release our Inner Zero-Waste Superhero while On the Go.

> Sweet & Savory, Grain-free Butternut Tacos (with Hemp Seed Cream). {Recipe}


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> Break their Dryer & 3 Other Tips for Moving in with a Partner.

> Why I Don’t do “Good Vibes Only.”

> Am I Depressed or just a Really Negative Person?

> What I Learned from my 16 Failed “Marriages.”

> F*ck Positivity. Real Growth happens in the Darkness, Triggers, Anxiety & Pain.

> Love is Not Enough: Why we Can’t Always Be with a Soulmate.

> Elephant Journal, a Runway & a safe place to Land.

> How to Live through the Grief that lasts a Lifetime.

> AA Didn’t Save Me.

> We deserve a Life Participation Award because this Sh*t is Hard.


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> Art you can Eat: Spiral Vegetable Pie. {Recipe}

> Why I’m Not Shaving a Goddamn Thing this November.

> Moving on is Messy, Hard, Beautiful, & Brave—it is All of This.

> How Embracing my Wrinkles teaches my Daughter what a Life of being Well-Loved looks Like.

It’s Okay to want to Live a Slow & Quiet Life.

> For the Women Who Fear their Own Strength & Power.

> If you’re a 90s Kid, this is the Soundtrack to your Childhood.

> 62 Words to help us Sit with the Heavy Stuff. ~ Ryan K. Russell

> Breaking the Silence: 14 Traits of Adult Children of Alcoholics. 

> Brave or Stupid: the F*ck it Moments that Change our Lives.


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> To the Women who Give Themselves too Easily.

> The Side of Sobriety we Don’t See: Staying Sober through Motherhood.

> Is Feminism really for All Women?

> Micro-Cheating & Intimacy Bypassing: the Truth about Back Burner Relationships.

> The “Change your Whiny-Ass, Change your Life” Rule.

> The Best Vegan Cookies You’ve Never Had. {Recipe}

> Leonard Cohen’s Soothing Words for when you feel like a Complete & Utter Failure.

> 10 Things I Celebrate about Solitude after Two Years of Divorce.

> There’s a Gaping Hole in my Bucket: Healing a Lifetime of Addiction.


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> Japanese Gangsters, Porn & Weed: a 10-Day Silent Retreat.

> The 4 Words that keep me Motivated Every Damn Day.

> I wasn’t a Victim. I was just a Slut.

> Cooking Oils: why PUFAs need to Stay Out of the Kitchen & your Body.

> The True Face of a Relationship Healing from Alcohol.

> F*ck Minimalism. F*ck Modern. Give me Joyously Cluttered, Antique, Upcycled, Repurposed.

> I was Diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder & No, I’m not Crazy.

> 6 Signs it’s not you, it’s your Burnout.

> Ghosting, Icing & Simmering: How Modern Love has changed how we’re being Rejected.

> Marriage is Crazy but we make Perfect Sense.


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> Love from Another is Unsustainable: We Change, we Lie, we Age, we Die.

> Living our lives with Passion: 5 lessons from a Dying Friend.

> I Refuse a straw, I drive less, I bring my cloth bags—& they set the Amazon on Fire. Why I still have Hope.

> How Not Giving a Sh*t Landed me my Husband.

> My Sweet, Boring Life.

> Equality does not Mean we are the Same.

> “The Clitoris is not a Button, it is an Iceberg. Welcome to my TED Talk.” {Adult-ish}

> I used to be an Ugly Girl.

> How to Create Space for more Revelations, Big Ideas & Breakthroughs.

> When things Don’t go to Plan, Remember the Good Stuff.


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> Consent & Confusion: a Man’s Perspective on Sex.

> When you Fall in Love with a Foreigner.

> 10 Ways to F*ck before you Die. {Adult}

> The Night that Changed Everything.

> When a Gay Man Dates a Married Straight Guy.

> Everything Eckhart Tolle taught me about Love.

> 7 Cliché—but Surprisingly Wise—Lessons I Learned in AA.

> The Dirty Truth behind Kissing: A Story of Bacteria & Attraction.

> Can you spare 60 seconds for Gay & Transgender Rights?

> Deep Inner Work is the New Sexy.



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> What a Smokin’ Hot Older Woman has to say to Women in their 20s & 30s.

> Unconditional Soul Love 101: Can we still Love Someone even if it Doesn’t Work Out?

> For all my fellow Bad Moms.

> The Alcoholic Lies that we are all Guilty of Believing.

> You can Love them & Still Want to Have Sex with Other People.

> Equality does not Mean we are the Same.

> The 8 Things your Therapist wants you to Know.

> Is this Depression mine or my Ancestors’?

> I am a Whore—& I am Unashamed.

> F*ck Gratitude Practices: Why I’m unapologetically Ungrateful in a season of Gratitude.


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> Why Getting Herpes was One of the Best Things to have Happened to Me.

> Rage is Scary, Primal, Shameful—& that’s why it Needs to be Heard.

> Jin Shin: How to Heal our Emotions with our Hands.

> Self-Help is Killing Us—Literally.

> 3 Quotes to carry us through Despair.

> How awesome it is to be Single. As in alone. Mostly.

> Remember This when you feel Fat, Unlovable & Not Good Enough.

> I Sat Down for Dinner & my Husband Died.

> The Hypocrisy of Loving Puppies & Eating Piglets.


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