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Kayleigh Stack

Activist, Writer, & Ethnographic Researcher

New York City

Kayleigh Stack

NY-based writer, blogger, ethnographic researcher, human rights activist, & Provocateur

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Sustainable Resiliency

When we are busy it’s easy not to pay attention to what our animal body wants and craves- human connection, love, authentic touch and being held by a consciously developed community. It’s easy to inundate our body with all the distractions that our society has gilded us with by way of acceptable coping mechanisms. Coping mechanisms that assist in operating at a pace, and at a distance from ourselves and others, that becomes painfully sustainable. Painfully sustainable because often when stopped, we can find ourselves in the minority, as very few do, can, or will take pause. But this pain, whether we grab the caffeine or wine, or schedule our evenings and weekends with more projects and to do lists, does not just disappear because we have swept it under the rug or have materialized and accomplished more things and friends. As we have seen from the various people in the prime of their career who have taken their own lives despite their worlds being depicted at nothing less than perfect, the feeling of disconnect prevails if time is never taken to make a conscious decision to stop and reconnect with what is of utmost importance. And what is of utmost importance is often not what we think, which itself can be terrifying when an entire identity has been created on concepts we have believed to be important most of our lives.
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Are we getting it wrong?

The liminal spaces in which momentary sighs of relief arise are so often not within the soils we’ve been turning. The traditional economic structure that has constructed our education, politics, and community lives have for many, led them to believe that purpose, pleasure, and belonging are found somewhere “out there”.
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Do Something Little & Be Inspired

It’s a simple notion, however, simple things can be the most difficult to implement as all too often we are lead to believe there needs to be grandiose change to bring new vigour to life. In moments of monotony of routine or existential despair the thrill seeking begins in the directionality of ostensible greener grass. This desperate hunger arises in efforts of recapturing magic and awe inspiring life-breathing purpose. At these times of restlessness, seeking travel to faraway lands become self-warranted, the compulsive desire to participate in organized collective celebration with extravagant parties ensures, and the option of adultery- something once a far fetched notion- presents itself as a reasonable solution for the mere sake of self-revitalization.
Inspiration & Personal Development Link to Story
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Showing Up for Oneself

I’ve done it twice before, but the old adage still rings clear in my mind “third time’s a charm”. I tried it at 21, fled the Big Apple with zero intention to return again. Thinking I’d attempt the post-college nomadic life, living abroad with high hopes that I’d fall into either a passionate relationship or a passionate career abroad. Setting down roots in another country and perfecting a language that was foreign to my own always had its allure. In no less than a year of this pursuit I found myself washed up on shore, questioning what I was to do with my life at 22, while simultaneously kicking myself in the arse for not having inquired about such things sooner. “Sooner” being before I fell victim to the all too common middle-class-American-high-school-graduate decision of complacently pursuing a Liberal Arts degree in effort to just “get it over with”, so the ponzi scheme goes.
Inspiration & Personal Development Link to Story
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The Gift Of Dissatisfaction

What do you do when boredom strikes or a suffocating amount of dissatisfaction permeates you from the inside out? The coping mechanisms that many often resort to in the effort to diffuse such feelings are all too readily available, in fact often warranted and advertised as attractive options. Another painfully dissatisfying day at the office in that job you never wanted to begin with but managed to score by way of nepotism right out of college? Grab a drink, it will dilute that beautifully rich fuel of appropriately placed dissatisfaction into a past memory, until tomorrow at least.
Inspiration & Personal Development Link to Story
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Its Never Too Late To Give up

As paradoxical a title that this might appear, I have discovered to be truly successful at our own personal happiness, it is in the realizing that giving up is a readily available option at any moment in time. Ironic I know. Our entire life we are confronted- nearly bombarded- by the mantra of “never give up”. We have built a culture out of efficiency- efficiently and effectively doing things before it's too late. Even after hearing all the stories of people who have been on their deathbeds only to realize their entire life’s work-ethic of going into obtaining titles, accolades and accomplishments meant nothing in the end. How most people in this end of life scenario comment on how they only had wished to simply have spent more of their time with loved ones, or dedicated more of their life to exploring their creative outlets. Anyone who has dealt with major life upheaval or a threatening health crisis will say the same. The very pulse that has kept me going over the years is the fact that I have become closer and closer to realizing that the key to personal freedom lies dead center in the fleshy palms of our own hands. I believe this is the key to healing all our wounds as well- in the acknowledgement of what is and what isn’t working. How to say no to a past-self- perhaps an inadvertent insidious self. This past self is the self that has established as sense of nostalgia deep in our bones that may or may not be based on reality, as is often the case in the human mind. These blissful mental images and movies tend to take the creative license in glorifying a past image or event that never truly existed. It is in the clinging on to this past self that can maintain an illness, injury or emotional wound as it continues to stay associated to a certain ideal, identity, career, relationship or standard only true in the terrain of the mind. In fact to heal, it can be as simple as relinquishing ourselves of this past identity. This relinquishing has profound power to open us to the unlimited possibilities that exist at any moment in time, as long as we are able to truly absolve that which tetters us to the past. I think this is healing. Over the past couple years in my own seeking to heal, let go and move on, I have become increasingly interested in how people become who they are. There has been three characters along my journey who specifically got my attention in regards to this inquiry: a mechanic in San Diego, a wood sculpture in Vancouver Island, and a bookstore clerk in New York. What did all these people have in common? They all gave up, so to speak. They all used to be something entirely different and each one at a very poignant time in their lives came to a decision that giving up was the only viable option that could offer them their happiness. What does this mean? Well, the mechanic gave up his career at a prestigious university as a biology researcher for what he considered a better life of beach living and more socializing. The sculptor left his career of practicing Law to escape to the redwoods and learn the fine art of wood-manship. And the bookstore clerk made the exodus from his career as a historian to a less academically demanding life that still nurtured his desire to read and learn, only at his leisure. The lessons that these individuals has shared with me, unbeknownst to themselves, was that even though one might have invested money and countless hours and precious decades into building a career, an identity, and a purpose, if the summit ascended doesn’t feel appropriate or in alignment, then it is okay to try another journey. It is in the giving ourselves the option for taking a different path that can bring levity to an unhappy immediate situation. This is the most selfless act we can do- to be our most authentic gift in the world. As it is those very selves, not the roles or the masks behind titles and experiences, but instead our best selves that will inspire and change lives. When I was teaching teen circus arts up in Northern California at the age of 25 one of the fathers asked what the next step for me was at that point in my life. I gave him a long laundry list of my hopes and dreams, that was delivered with a frantic energy of needing to implement my plans all at once. He looked at me kindly with eyes that had seen far more years that were possible for me to comprehend at that stage and said “life is long, enjoy it.” So I’ll leave you with this, life is only short if that is the mantra we have been singing to our weary souls. It is the elders and the wise that understand that no matter what physical barriers time might entail, its the nuances of discernment, the unpredictability of attraction, and the liberty of the endless possibilities to the creative spirit that reminds us- no, in fact, this life is long, enjoy it. And if you stop enjoying it due to the miraid of things that shake the human condition, perhaps it can be in giving up a piece of you associated with that past self that you can in fact give more options and opportunities to a future life and a future you.
Inspiration & Personal Development Link to Story
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Be Disciplined

Success and discipline often seem to go hand-in-hand. The general rule of thumb is that through discipline, the road to success will be smoother and more gratifying. Practice and do-diligence are the main ingredients for expertise and an awarding talent; talent generally believed to be a gateway to open up doors to opportunities for a successful, robust career.
Inspiration & Personal Development Link to Story
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Santosha

“Contentment is a bit different from simply being happy. We usually think of happiness as dependent on a set of circumstances. Contentment, on the other hand, is not dependent on anything, It’s a sense of not needing or wanting things to be different in order to be okay”. -Jillian Pransky from her book “Deep Listening”
Inspiration & Personal Development Link to Story

About

Kayleigh Stack

I am a New York-based human rights activist, writer, and ethnographic researcher deeply passionate about society, arts, technology, and culture in NY, the sociology of love, sex, and partnership, feminism, women’s rights, gender, and issues around social inequality.

As a writer and researcher I know myself to be able to deliver high quality, well vetted content, both sophisticated and accessible to a company’s specific demographic of readers. I am highly creative in the ability to offer alternative perspectives to a commonly read subject, revitalizing and bringing new life to a popular circulated topic.

In addition to women’s rights, human rights, social inequality and gender issues, my personal interests also involve climate change, stories around civic duties to generate global environmental initiatives, health and wellness, and narratives that inspire collective incentive to do more good in the world.

While these are the subjects I believe my background of anthropology, sociology, and alternative healthcare to be most suitable for, I am also highly versatile and enjoy being challenged in a variety of topics.

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Skills

  • Culture Writer
  • Blogger
  • Human-Rights Activist
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Writer