Cartoon of big man scared by a bee, by Joana Miranda

Cartoon of big man scared by a bee, by Joana Miranda

(P.S. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!)

This past year was a bit of a roller-coaster for me.  The lows included lots of visits to many doctors, unexplained weight loss, and bouts of intense anxiety.  The physical cause of my symptoms is still somewhat mysterious to me, though the most plausible explanation (and the only one that was backed by actual medical results) is changing hormones.  Hello, perimenopause!

Along with lows, inevitably, come highs.  I’m happy to report that my “highs” have been very high indeed.  In fact, they’re the kinds of highs you want – not so much highs from happy times or pleasureful feelings, but ones that make you realize your own self-worth, and that help you to love the world and mankind more.

My journey to facing my fears still continues, but now it feels like more of an exciting challenge than a dreaded test.  In addition to continuing to do daily yoga (I particularly like the variety of classes that Boho Beautiful offers on Youtube) and mindfulness meditation (I use the Insight Timer app to track the length and frequency of my sessions), I’ve continued to keep focused with a steady diet of inspirational and helpful books.

I’m currently reading and really loving Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment by Ezra Bayda, and recently finished A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last by Stephen Levine.  Both of these books contain wonderful wisdom and tools for learning to accept and help redirect the power of the unending chatter that is our thoughts.

I’m also a fan of mrAnxietyfree and innerpeace.quotes on Instagram.

And if you haven’t already noticed, I’m truly dedicated to illustrating the funny and the human in the everyday life around me.   After all, we’re all in this together, or, as Mark Twain humorously put it…

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”


  1. Jen says:

    thanks Joana, this was exactly what I need today. I checked out the Boho beautiful, it looks really interesting. Hope you are doing well despite the perimenopause.

    • Joana says:

      Hi Jen, Thanks so much for writing! I do hope you like the Boho Beautiful offerings. In addition to the many different yoga videos (everything from easy to quite advanced), I’ve been doing the Boho Beautiful High Intensity Workout (HIIT), too. I liked her guided meditations, too, though I realized that mindfulness meditation – rather than mantra meditation – was more beneficial to me in the end. I didn’t mention my diet modifications in my post (or some of the other books I’ve found helpful for dealing with the anxiety), but if you’re interested, I’m happy to share. With all best wishes, 🙂 Joana

  2. Helen Reich says:

    I’m afraid I face my fears first by procrastinating…..when I finally decide that I have to address the thing that makes me uncomfortable, I try to do it one step at a time, telling myself that it’s not so terrible, and if it is terrible, I remind myself that I’m not the only one in the world who has to do that thing. It’s a shared awful experience!

  3. Martha Heiden says:

    I am sending you good wishes for the future. No more fears. I personally think it is hormones as you suggested since you are such a talented lady.

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