S2 E5: Strengthening Mixed-Faith Relationships

One of my favorite things about this episode is honestly how these women talked about their partners. They shared about some really tough, uncomfortable, or scary conversations they had with their partners, and how those led them to strengthening their relationships, and better understanding one another.

All three women also have different experiences, which I think is so valuable in this conversation: One is an active member of the LDS church whose husband is no longer practicing; One woman navigated her husband leaving the LDS church, then she herself made that same decision a couple years later; and another married a non-LDS Christian, and is currently on her own faith journey. Three very different experiences, and one very meaningful conversation. I loved chatting with these women so much!


I clearly have not been doing show notes for this season of the Looks Like Wandering Podcast… whoops! But I had to cut down this episode quite a bit, and wanted to make sure I mentioned some resources these women had to offer, if you’re navigating a mixed-faith relationship as well!

First off, therapy was mentioned multiple times in this episode, and I just want to give a quick amen to all of that. I believe therapy is so important for individuals and couples—and even if you don’t think you need therapy, it’s so great to even learn how to communicate better, sort through small concerns, or just have someone to talk to, and help guide you through thought processes, or other life things.

It may take a couple/few tries to find the right therapist for you. Don’t be afraid to walk away and try another therapist if you don’t feel like you’re benefitting. In my own life, I can only remember one therapist who I felt wasn’t hearing what I was saying—and I can remember a couple therapists who I LOVED and who truly helped me navigate tricky situations in my life. If you don’t feel like you’re clicking with your first therapist, try another. It’s worth finding the right therapist for you.

OKAY! On to the other resources that these women mentioned, that I wasn’t able to include in the episode itself:

Marriage on a Tightrope Podcast -A podcast specifically about navigating a mixed-faith relationship.

Spiritual.Sojourn on Instagram

Jody Moore (Life Coach), and the Better Than Happy Podcast

Dr. Julie Hanks, Psychotherapist – Instagram / Courses


If you haven’t already listened to the episode, you can do so through the player at the top of this blog post, or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify! Thank you again to Nikki, LeAndra, and Kathryn for sharing. I’m so glad we had this conversation!

LLW Podcast S2: Navigating Faith Journeys!

I didn’t have any plans to bring back to the Looks Like Wondering Podcast—I didn’t rule it out, but I just didn’t have any plans to.

…But here we are! Welcome to Season 2!

This season, instead of career paths or life paths, we are specifically talking about navigating faith journeys and transitions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In other words, we are talking about navigating a faith crisis honestly and openly, and how to lovingly support those who choose to leave the church. While we are specifically talking about this in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am almost positive that most of what we talk about will be applicable to anyone of any faith. All are welcome. 

I want to start by sharing about my own faith journey, and why I ultimately decided to stay in the church. In upcoming interviews, this will NOT be our focus, but I want to help normalize faith journeys, doubts, and questioning—and show that you CAN experience these things and remain active in the church. Then I’m going to share my views on how to show Christlike support to friends and family members who decide to leave. This WILL be our focus moving forward.


I, Allie Barnes, have DOUBTS, GUILT, and SHAME. I touched on this lightly in my book, Not According to Plan, and I talk about navigating a culture crisis as a guest on an upcoming podcast episode (of a yet-to-be-released podcast!! But I’m sure excited for it!), but I want to dive more into the nitty gritty here.

I began experiencing doubts even before the pandemic hit. Even before I lived alone and had a LOT of time to think. And even before I left Northern Utah, where I had been solid in LDS culture for over a decade. 

For years, I have felt guilty for wanting to ditch church after sacrament meeting. I struggle with social anxiety, so even before church began—even SATURDAY NIGHT—I often felt stressed about being surrounded by people for hours. In this way, I admit, having a break from in-person church over the last year has been a huge relief to me.

I would also feel guilt and even shame for my sins—and the sometimes lack of guilt I felt over them. I had slipped into an “if-then” mindset—If I kept this commandment, then I will get this reward—but more often it would turn into, If I don’t do this, I will disappoint God. This was a huge struggle specifically with dating and intimacy through my 20’s. I talk a bit about this in chapter 4 of my book. 

Gratefully, I have had a lot of time to let go of this mindset—but that’s a topic for another time. The point is, I regularly felt the heaviness of guilt—even if I knew the atonement was there, even if I would tell anyone else that they are worthy of everything in the world. I felt like I was hiding. Even now, I feel like I don’t fit the mold of what I imagine the “ideal-Latter-Day Saint” would look like—but I’m gratefully more okay with that, and with my relationship with my Heavenly Father.

There are also some things I struggle with on a doctrinal level. For example, I don’t quite believe that God would prevent other passionately devoted Christians from living with Him someday, in the highest levels of heaven, just because they hadn’t gone through a specific building—the LDS temple. I just don’t know. There is so much goodness in the world, and in so many other faiths—and I think God knows that.

As I said previously, I have decided to remain an active member of the church. There is still so much that I don’t know, but I’m more okay with that now. I’m practicing being uncomfortable with unknowns, and savoring the grey areas. And I’m remembering the things I DO know: that we have a loving Father in Heaven, and a Mother in Heaven who I want to learn more about. I know the Bible and Book of Mormon are testaments of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith saw a vision—I feel a confirmation of that every time I recite the words out loud from Joseph Smith’s record of this vision: “I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun…” You can read Joseph Smith’s full account in the Pearl of Great Price, another record in the back of the Book of Mormon.

However, there are still some things about the culture that worry me—and a big part of that is how we view and treat people who have left the church. I grew up hearing that we are the ONE true church, that we have the FULLNESS of the gospel, and that we are called to “rescue” those who have left the church. I now cringe every time I hear the word “rescue” in this context.

I don’t think that most people who leave the church are being “deceived,” or following Satan. I believe that most people—both in and out of the church— are simply trying to find a way to connect with their Higher Power in a way that feels right to them. If we do want to create a welcoming environment, it will not be by guilting, shaming, belittling, excluding, manipulating, or coercing. If we want to create a welcoming environment, it will be by becoming truly Christ-like.

During His earthly ministry, I don’t think Christ made anyone His project. I think He genuinely loved people, with no ulterior motive. If they chose to follow Him, great. But if they didn’t want to follow Him, I don’t think He ever stopped loving them. I don’t believe that Christ’s love is dependent on membership status, worthiness, if they stayed for all 2 hours of church, attended every Relief Society activity, or whatever else we may expect of the people around us.

I think He just really liked people. I want to be more like Him.

I want people to have left the church to feel like they can share their feelings with the people they love. I want them to feel welcome at church potlucks. I want them to know that they are accepted and loved just as they are—that this acceptance and love isn’t dependent on them being a certain way or following a certain path. I believe that that’s the kind of love that Christ offers, so why shouldn’t we?

In the next few episodes, I will be interviewing people who have left the church. The conversations won’t be about WHY they left, but about how we can better show up and love them. How we, as members, can create a more Christ-like culture around this circumstance. And the conversations will be initiated by me, an active member of the Church.

I hope these healthy, respectful, and kind conversations will help heal some of the hurtful culture surrounding people leaving the LDS church. I hope that active members of the church will feel open to listening and learning.

Again, my highest priority is to keep these episodes and conversations respectful and kind. I intend to create a safe space both for the individuals sharing, and also for those listening.

I want to share some resources that I found while I was going through my own faith journey—or as I like to call it, culture crisis—last year. These resources helped me expand my vision of discipleship and of the love of God.


Resources

Episode 238 of the Jody Moore Podcast: God’s Thoughts about You with Kurt Francom. This episode taught me that God is NEVER disappointed in me—and how Kurt shared this belief is just incredible. I highly recommend this episode if you want to better understand the infinite depths of God’s compassion.

Camille Osborn spoke about navigating a faith crisis at SALT Summit in fall 2020. She shared that there are actually MULTIPLE aspects to the church—such as culture, doctrine, organization, etc.—and identifying what areas we struggle with can actually help us remember the areas that we DON’T struggle with—or something to that effect. I wish Camille would share more about her insights, because they are SO insightful and helped me so much.

I also began following some Instagram accounts of incredible women looking to promote vulnerability and openness in the LDS culture. @RosieCard opens the door to difficult conversations about topics such as politics, racism, and more. It’s refreshing to see someone talk about these issues respectfully and openly—especially when I didn’t feel like I could talk openly about them with many people in my life.

The Instagram account @certain.women also regularly cultivates conversations specifically about LDS culture. According to their bio, they’re “A safe place for all active, post, and somewhere-in-the-middle Mormons seeking to positively change Church culture.” I LOVE THIS PAGE.

I recently found Chelsea Homer (@chels_homer), who has shared about her faith journey at the hashtag #sundaychatswithchels. Again, it is just so refreshing to hear someone talk openly about this topic.

A couple months ago I wrote about creating more authenticity in the LDS church through vulnerability. That article is in many ways tied to the purpose of this podcast.

Lastly, the thing that finally, after months of questions, helped me feel like I still belonged in this space: Monica Packer sharing about her faith journey on her podcast, About Progress. She shared in 2018, then again in 2020 (I listened to 2020 first, but technically it’s good to go in chronological order).


Thank you SO MUCH for listening. I don’t have set days or times when new episodes will be released, but you can find all updates by subscribing to this podcast, following me on Instagram @lookslikewandering, or subscribing to my email newsletter at allieabarnes.com or lookslikewandering.com. 

<3

2020 Recap + 2021 Anticipation

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I did a lot of stuff in 2020. From playing music again, to writing a book, and more. A lot of projects. But if you read between the lines, you saw what was really happening… 

In January I fell into a deep depression—the deepest of my life—but gratefully started feeling better by mid-February. But then, COVID. Because we didn’t know much about the virus—and I’m sure that we are still learning more about it all the time—I chose to be safer rather than sorry. I followed all social distancing recommendations. I didn’t get closer than 6 feet away from any person for almost 7 weeks. It was tough. 

Work was also tough. At the beginning of the year, I was in a position that required me to meet with different business owners. Obviously that became more difficult with the pandemic. My contract position ended at the end of June, and then it was just hard to find another job. I went from reduced hours to no job. Because it was a contracted position, I didn’t qualify for unemployment. And to be honest, toward the end of the year, I was hesitant to look for jobs in the region as I began to think seriously about moving…I just didn’t know where to yet. 

I was so productive this year both because I needed to be for my mental health, but also just because I had a lot of time on my hands. Others were working full time jobs or caring for loved ones and I was just…alone. Nearly 24/7. (Plus Felix the cat in June).

I didn’t have a reason to wake up in the morning. And I say that not in a super depressed way, but in a neutral way—there was just nothing and no one commanding my attention. I eventually recognized that I was using creativity, productivity, and accomplishment to fill a void***. I don’t think that’s very healthy—seeking external accomplishment and validation—but it was working, and I knew it was just for a season.

Now, the seasons are changing, and I am so grateful.

While I’m very proud of all that I created and accomplished this year, I’m so eager to move to a city where I will be so close to family, and people who might as well be family. To be in a city and home that, I anticipate, will feel like the sweetest exhale. To actually have a reason to wake up in the morning.

***I want to quickly note that while I recognize that my creativity and productivity were filling a void, I feel like I received inspiration for each of my big projects this year: I had the recurring thought to start writing my book back in March; while I was trying to uplift with my podcast at the start of the pandemic, I felt another recurring nudge to begin teaching yoga again, to use my skills for good in that way; …but I think the music was just a fun project. 🙂 

A few weeks ago I had a realization that while I had the opportunity to work on many personal projects this year, next year is going to be about how I can help others with their projects. I already have a couple projects lined up and I feel so grateful and excited to be a part of them.

It’s been interesting to suddenly push pause on my own projects. Each time a personal project idea comes to my mind, I immediately tuck the idea away for later without a second thought. This is exactly where I’m meant to be. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

I am grateful for 2020, and I feel excited, peaceful, and hopeful for everything to come.

P.S. My latest article for Healthy Humans Project is about developing resilience for 2021. It’s a topic that has defined much of my year, and one that I care a lot about. 

Chapter 2: The Lowest of Lows

Hi friends! I know a lot of people, myself included, are struggling right now in different degrees and for I’m sure many different reasons. Life is tough, but then add in a pandemic and everything else going on this season, and it can just feel like too much sometimes.

The biggest purpose I had in writing my book was to help others feel less alone. I thought it could be useful to share Chapter 2 of my book, all about my own deep depression, in a blog post for anyone to read. I share about one of the lowest points in my life that actually happened earlier this year. At the bottom of the blog post I have a couple resources for you.

If you want to read how I’m specifically managing my mental health during the pandemic, you can read my article on Medium about that: “I’ll Be Eating Frozen TV Dinners for Thanksgiving, and I’m Genuinely So Grateful.

I hope this helps. And lastly, I’ll leave you with a thought I originally heard from Natalie Norton: Pain is a tunnel, not a cave. Just keep going. There is light at the end of the tunnel.


“…we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of  the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better  land…” 2 Nephi 10:20 

While I’m still very glad that I moved into my own place, moving to a city without knowing anyone prior—and living  alone—was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I honestly thought I’d be okay. I had moved before. I moved to Provo, Utah when I was 19, and then served a mission in Kentucky  and Tennessee when I was 22. But only later did I realize the  one thing I still had during those big moves: community. 

I still had extended family near Provo, roommates in Provo, and companions during my mission. When I moved to  Cedar City, I knew absolutely no one. And try as I might, I just  couldn’t find my community. I went to church and everyone  was very friendly, but I knew it would take a while to click with  anyone there—friendships often take a little while to develop. I met some great people through my job, but those meetings were brief, infrequent, and within a business setting. At the  end of the day, I’d still walk into a quiet, empty house and be  absolutely alone. 

It was crushing. 

It was so hard facing so many new things all at once:  within a week, I moved into my new house, started my new job, and began the online MBA program. I moved in on January 8. I cried every day for at least a month. 

As I entered February, the loneliness felt increasingly heavier. For the first time in my life, I began experiencing suicidal thoughts—though I don’t think I had any intention to act on them. But the thoughts were there, and they terrified  me. I cried harder, wishing someone were there. Not just over the phone or video chat, but HERE, physically beside me. 

I want to describe the pain, but I don’t know if I can. It felt like my whole soul was being crushed. I wanted to disappear. Each day felt so long, and I couldn’t imagine starting a new day all over again. I prayed that a loved one would come visit, but no one did. I asked perhaps three different people if they could come visit me, but I don’t think they realized the extent of my  depression. I don’t think they realized how overwhelming the  darkness was. 

While relief didn’t come in the ways I asked for, I was grateful for the quiet reminders that God was still there. One afternoon, as I collapsed onto my bedroom floor in tears, I had the thought to look at my “Come, Follow Me” manual. That week the curriculum centered around 2 Nephi 6- 10 in the Book of Mormon. A particular heading in the manual  stood out to me: Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I can “cheer up” my heart. It referenced 2 Nephi 10:20 in the section.  I had the thought to look up that scripture.

At this point in the Book of  Mormon, the prophet Jacob is testifying to the people. He shares about the journey that his family had taken to the Promised Land, following revelation and not always knowing  where they were headed—which suddenly felt very familiar to me. Jacob said: 

And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful  God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and  not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off;  nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our  inheritance; but we have been led to a better land… (emphasis added) 

I was not cast off. I had been led to a better land, even  though I couldn’t see it at the time. Even though I was still in  the deep end of depression and loneliness, this scripture  reminded me that God had a purpose for me in Cedar City. Logically, I knew that. 

Emotionally and mentally, though, I very quickly fell back into the deep end. 

I still wanted to die. Honestly, the biggest reason I didn’t end my life was because of my student loan debt, as silly as that sounds. I had never had this kind of debt before—I’m so grateful that my parents paid for my undergraduate degree,  but I was determined to do my graduate studies on my own. I didn’t want to put this debt on them. Also, what parent wants thousands of dollars of debt from an MBA program that their kid wasn’t even in for two weeks? Not to mention the stress of  dealing with the house I had just signed a year lease on. 

But really, the main thought in my mind was that student loan debt. And thank goodness for that. 

I had met a handful of people in my neighborhood at that  point, but no one I felt particularly close to. Still, on a very dark Monday night, I kept thinking that I should reach out to Linda, my new Relief Society President. Feeling like I had very little to lose at that point, I texted Linda, simply asking if she was there.  It was all I could say. 

Within minutes, she responded. I simply asked for a hug  and she gladly and eagerly agreed.

A few minutes later, Linda and another neighbor, Heidi, appeared at my front door. As soon as they walked in, they  hugged me. That was the first physical contact I had had with anyone in days. We sat in my living room and just talked—not necessarily about how sad I was, but just about life, and getting  to know one another. I finally stopped crying. 

Heidi’s husband came over a few minutes later to give me a priesthood blessing. The four of us continued to chat until everyone left. 

Two days later, Linda doorbell-ditched treats at my door.  A few days after that, she organized a group of women, most of  whom I had just met briefly before, to take me out to lunch for my birthday. I had been trying for weeks to feel okay and couldn’t for the life of me find my footing in this new place. It turns out, all I needed to do was find the right person to reach  out to. 

If someone seems to be struggling and asks you to come  visit, please do everything in your power to go be with them. Be that right person. 


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 

1-800-273-TALK (8255) 

Crisis Text Line 

Text HOME to 741741 

More resources available at idontmind.com 


Not According to Plan is available on Amazon
(ebook for $2.99, paperback for $12.99)

We Have More Influence Than We Realize

This post is not about political candidates. It’s about how I’m finding peace in the midst of everything going on right now.


I really struggle with contention and division. Whether in relationships or politics or what-have-you, contention will cause an immediate rise to my stress levels, trigger my fight-or-flight, and it’s not uncommon for it to end in tears.

I’ve never cared about politics until this year, and boy, is it exhausting. It’s that contention and division. There’s just so much of it right now. For a while, I was choosing my “fight” response (or rather, adamantly reminding everyone to fact check and refer to factual and unbiased news outlets). More recently, I turned to my “flight” response, choosing to just hibernate for the next month or so until the election is over (COVID-19 prepared me for this! I’m totally good being alone!). But neither of those really get me anywhere—or get anyone anywhere.

While my blood still occasionally boils and I regularly have to talk myself down, I’ve realized some things that are helping me feel a lot better about the election. If you want to feel more peace, this blog post is for you. If not, feel free to ignore it.


Two things that are helping me feel peace:

  1. We each have the incredible ability to bring peace and happiness into our spheres of influence. From ourselves, to our families, our neighbors, our communities… we have the greatest say in what happens there. This is true no matter the outcome of the election.

If we are concerned about tax rates changing, we still have a say in how we choose to budget and spend our money, even if that looks different next year. If we don’t feel that the country’s leadership is doing enough in a certain area (poverty, homelessness, sex trafficking, women’s rights), we can choose to volunteer our time or donate a portion of our income to private organizations championing those causes. If we are struggling financially, there are still private organizations that can help, including food banks, job coaches, or other resources. If you’re a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you have help available to you, and I know that goes for other religious organizations as well.

If there are other situations that you are concerned about, I invite you to think prayerfully and creatively about how you can make a difference in those areas. I honestly believe we have more influence in our families and communities than we sometimes realize.

  1. A gal I follow on Instagram (@rosiecard) has said multiple times that if we hear a piece of news that seems too outrageous, scandalous, or terrifying…it probably is. Check the facts. Do a simple Google search. Look at what other news outlets are saying or, even better, go directly to news outlets that are factual and centered (check the Media Bias Chart to see what news organizations those are). When you choose to look at news organizations that report ONLY the facts without commentary, YOU can create your own opinion as to what is REALLY happening.

I say this noting that I used to read CNN for my national news, which is less fact-based and left of center. CNN is the left’s equivalent of Fox News. Even though I often agree with the commentary on CNN, and it kind of warms my heart to know I’m not alone in how I’m feeling, I now choose to go straight to NPR, Associated Press, or Reuters—top and centered on the media bias chart. 

I’ve also talked to people who choose to read Fox News AND CNN, making sure they see what both sides are saying about an issue. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this as well, as long as you keep an open mind.

Especially during this season, it seems that some media is trying to scare people into thinking one way or another, which I don’t think is correct or ethical. Often, the truth is not nearly as bad.

And if it is, you can still choose how you respond. Go back to point #1. How can you be a positive light in your world?


I hope this helps. Again, I’m sharing these two realizations in hope that it helps bring you some hope and peace of mind. Whatever happens—in the world, in politics, in relationships, in your homes—you are still going to be okay, and that you still have a great impact on your personal sphere of influence.

I WROTE A BOOK!

My book, Not According to Plan: Becoming whole without a husband and other unexpected paths, will be released by October 20. It’ll be available on Amazon.com. The book, in the LDS nonfiction genre, is about developing resilience and finding joy when life doesn’t look like we thought it would—and while this book is marketed toward LDS women, there may be some principles in here that a wider audience could relate to. *P.S. I also added in some stuff for unmarried LDS adults, because there just isn’t enough written from that perspective. So I’m lifting where I stand!

For the most up to date info, follow me on Instagram @lookslikewandering. Here are a couple of posts I wrote over the last few weeks to celebrate little milestones:

I started writing a book on March 8, after ignoring promptings to begin writing it for weeks prior. I finished the full draft of my book on Saturday, August 29 at 11:10pm and sent it off to two friends to edit. I took the second photo at 11:24pm, after working the last two evenings—including the last 4 continuous hours—to edit this draft. Those last two nights left me emotionally drained. There were tears. It feels heavy. I spent most of Sunday in bed and 90% of my meals were sugar-based. And then, the text from my editor Melissa

“So I totally read your whole book last night. 😱😱😱 ITS SOOOOOO GOOD!!!!! I planned to read a chapter or two in bed. Nope. Had to read it all! That opening. Man. Sooooo good! It’s so great.”

And it all feels worth it.

Cover photo and design by Maddison Weber

So much of this book came from spiritual promptings and impressions—from the initial idea, to the title, to certain chapters—and I dragged my feet through so much of it! 😅 Haha!

Despite my resistance, I couldn’t ignore it, even just for the fact that I’ve made it a life goal to never ignore anything that could be a spiritual prompting. God says write, so I write. There’s a greater purpose to it all, even if I can’t see it yet.

I wrote this for you.

“Not According to Plan: Becoming whole without a husband and other unexpected paths” will be released by October 20.

Mentoring, pt. 1!

A couple weeks ago I met with my new friend and business coach Camille Osborn to chat about what’s next for Looks Like Wandering and how to move forward with it. I needed to more clearly define my audience, she said, and what I bring into their lives. We took notes and made lists as we talked, and only as I was pouring over those notes days later did I finally start to connect the pieces: I can help women learn to thrive even when life doesn’t look like they thought it would.

Even though my life doesn’t look like I thought it would, it is still so dang good. I don’t have a husband, but I have the dearest, most loyal friends and family. I don’t have children, but I have a handful of “nephews and nieces” who I adore. I don’t hear footsteps running in and out of my house all day, but I’ve brought life into my home regardless. And in between all of those big things, there were seasons of depression, anxiety, betrayal trauma recovery, confusing spiritual impressions, unknowns, and more that sent me to my knees. There are some things we can’t control, but there are so many more things that we have direct influence over in our day-to-day lives.

As part of this shift for Looks Like Wandering, I’m going to push pause indefinitely on the podcast. I’m also taking down some of the free downloads that I had created, and will instead share those, as applicable, with the people I meet with and mentor one-on-one. There are still a few t-shirts left, but I haven’t decided if I’m going to restock those again or not. Those are back on sale until they sell out.

I’m planning for LLW to shift to mentoring / coaching / supporting women through unexpected trials. I’m still working out the details, but in the meantime, I’d love to start meeting with women to chat about what they’re going through right now, and exploring options and tools to help them move forward. I’ll be offering free 30-min sessions for the next couple weeks to just try this out. Please send me a message and we’ll put something on the calendar.

As Camille was so kindly encouraging me in this pursuit, I mentioned my hesitation–am I really qualified to help women through their toughest moments? And she reminded me that yes, I totally am. Because I have been there. Because I already show up for my friends every day as they go through this own trials.

And, icing on the cake, I do have some qualifications that actually support the work I do:

I have a BS in Family Studies and have continued my study of healthy relationships (with self and others) as a regular contributor on healthyhumansproject.com.

I am a certified yoga instructor with experience working with women specifically in that capacity. I also have a bit of experience with chakra therapy, if you ever wanted to explore that!

I have personally worked through betrayal trauma recovery and attended a support group for family/spouses of addicts for several months. If you are experiencing betrayal trauma, girl, I’ve been there. And you’re going to figure out how to move forward, however that looks. I’ll support you in any way.

I also have experience as a caseworker for the State of Utah, and have also earned a certificate in Substance Use Disorder Counseling. I’ve been beside people in some of their lowest moments, and have also seen their resilience and strength. Whatever you’re going through, you can get out of it.

If you want to work with me, send me a message on Instagram @lookslikewandering and we’ll set something up! Can’t wait to get to know you better!

LLW Ep. #19: When things don’t go as planned, with Jayne Preciado

We’re talking to Jayne Preciado of @habitual.joy on Instagram. She shares her story of moving abroad to China to teach earlier this year, then having to leave suddenly upon rumors of the borders closing because of COVID-19. We talk about how to cope when things don’t go according to plan, about finding joy in the season we’re in, and more! Thank you so much for joining us, Jayne!

June 2020 Updates: Podcast, Postcards, T-Shirts, Yoga, and a Newsletter!

A lot has happened since I last posted. As I shared on Instagram, I no longer felt interested in posting about career paths or anything related to business when COVID-19 happened. And it seemed like most of you guys were feeling the same—in an Instagram poll that I did toward the beginning of social distancing, most people said that they were worried about emotional strain more than anything else. While I was already moving in that direction anyway, COVID confirmed it. The latest two episodes of the podcast were call in episodes. My hope was/is that with these episodes, those who are social distancing can feel less alone in their experiences, both the good and the bad. That we could all feel a sense of community. Here are those episodes, if you haven’t already listened to them:


I’ve surprisingly been doing okay. I struggled through a very deep depression earlier this year, and I think that helped me be ready for the several weeks of being alone during COVID. I was experiencing, and have been experiencing, many highs and lows as many others are, but I feel like I was prepared, and I’m grateful for that. (I never would have thought that I’d be this grateful already for that terribly low season earlier this year.)

A lot of things are in the works, as my focus has been changing with Looks Like Wandering. The podcast is still happening. I have people lined up to interview, but haven’t done that yet. I apologize. I’m trying to balance quite a few things right now, and I haven’t done great with that one.

We have been doing a campaign on Instagram: use the hashtag #lookslikefindingjoy to share the daily joys you are creating in your home, and I’ll send you a pack of 3 Finding Joy postcards, beautifully designed by Alexis of @figuringslowly. Full details here. Once you’ve shared the hashtag the required 5 times, please DM me and I’ll send you your postcards!

I’ve also designed a couple t-shirts, with the help of my dear friend Heidi. They are currently in production and I’m taking pre-orders for them now. More info about those here. (*Note: If you’ve done the #lookslikefindingjoy giveaway, your pack of postcards also came with a 10% discount code for the shop. You can add that to the existing pre-order discount).

I am also excited to share that I’ll be teaching yoga again, this time over on Patreon. I want to give a little background on this. I am a 200-hour certified yoga instructor, and used to teach regularly up in Utah County. I really enjoyed it, but was barely making any money doing it, and missed practicing yoga just for myself. I grew more in debt as I continuously did not ask to be paid what I was worth as an instructor.

I really care about providing value, and I truly believe I am doing that with this. Yes, it costs money, but in exchange, I will be sharing short yoga videos every weekday, consistently. That is the baseline, and I intend to add more value in any way I can. And I do still have free yoga videos online: a few years back, I filmed a whole beginner’s yoga series on Udemy, and recently set that as a free course. While my teaching style has changed a bit since then, it’s still there as a free resource.

My Patreon is entitled “5 Minute Yoga with Allie.” Every weekday, I will be sharing 5-10 minute yoga videos as a jump start for your day, as a way to wind down at night, as a warm up or cool down for other physical activity, or really anything. It is me showing up for you consistently. I promise, it will be worth the investment. And if it’s not, simply cancel your subscription anytime. I know my efforts are worth being compensated, though, and I feel really good about that exchange.

I do want to give one more thought on this, a little behind the scenes of this project. I’m planning to record all of the videos ahead of time, then post them each day. I’m still figuring out some mental health issues, and if I did have to record or teach live each day, there are days when I simply wouldn’t be able to show up for you. Some days I need to step back, and that is totally okay. Pre-recording these videos is beneficial to both you and I.

Lastly, I am starting a newsletter for Looks Like Wandering. When you subscribe (on the sidebar on the website) you will also be able to download “The Wandering Guide,” a list of journaling prompts to help you consider your next step forward in any area of your life. If you follow Looks Like Wandering and want to make sure you get the first updates, special deals, etc., join the newsletter. I won’t send things out often, but when I do, you’ll be the first to know—and it won’t get lost in an algorithm.

Thanks for sticking around, friends! I’m excited about everything I’m working on, and I’m so glad that you’re part of this community.

Allie Barnes