Who are your gurus?

WWJD? (stick with me, I promise…)

Do you remember those bracelets and t’s showing off this slogan in the 90’s? I always thought it was relevant – despite how my views on religion changed since then, Jesus is an example of radical moral behavior, and a perspective to consider when facing any situation.

As an empath, INFP, highly sensitive person, I find it helpful to have some guides to consider when I’m facing something difficult, or just plain confusion. Sometimes, I need a reminder of my own pillars of value, to look to when my own position feels swayed by all the sensory input coming from everywhere else. I’ve also found it difficult to connect with distant mystical figures, say, in the past, growing up in the Catholic church. I much prefer to have “gurus” that are here on Earth, living in this time, to serve as my guides.


You’ve already heard me talk about Gretchen Rubin (a writer who studies happiness and human nature), and if you’re close to me in real life, you would also know that I’m a bit taken with Davey Havok ( musician, writer, actor, possible enigma?). I also have a ton of respect for Dr. Ginevra Liptan (doctor with fibromyalgia and founder of the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia). Let’s take a look at what I connect with in each of these individuals, and why I find them to be helpful reference points.

Gretchen Rubin

Image is from Gretchen Rubin’s website :

I really admire the way she can succinctly address an aspect of human nature. Her investigative nature and growth mindset are exemplary. The conversations she leads are full of curiosity and wonder, and often lead to greater self-knowledge. Gretchen’s focus is on making her life, and helping others make their lives, happier – and she is truly great at this.

Gretchen devised a system of looking at people and their tendencies that can be super helpful in navigating relationships of all kinds. She understands that the best way for one person to do something isn’t always the best way for another, and supports people finding their own best ways. Between writing books, reading books, podcasting, and live videos, she’s somehow also accessible, engaging with her readers, watchers, and listeners all the time. I feel like she’s a real person I can connect to.

Some things we share: interest in happiness, human nature, and growth. Connecting with the senses, enjoying smell, color, quotes, curating

One of the reasons I find Gretchen’s work to be helpful is because when I’m struggling, I want to figure out something that works better. I don’t want to stay in the struggle, and Gretchen is a role model of figuring out your own system, what works for you, and believes in the importance of that.

Another huge thing is Gretchen’s focus on enjoyment in life. She’s been a point of reference as I navigate deconstruction of harmful and painful ideologies.

You can find everything Gretchen Rubin, by clicking here to visit her website.

Ginevra Liptan

Image from Dr. Liptan’s website:

I came across Dr. Liptan and the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia years ago, around when I was seeking diagnosis. After being dismissed for years by doctor after doctor who would not believe what I was going through, it was validating to find a doctor who struggled with the exact same facets of the medical community. My husband and I have considered multiple times, moving to be near her and the Frida Center – Just to have someone who understands how to treat me.

Dr. Liptan has a wholistic approach to treatment, and views the doctor/patient relationship as a partnership for health. I wish she could hold a giant mandatory conference with all of the medical community about Fibromyalgia, what it is and how to treat it. However, she has written a manual for patients and their doctors, which I suppose is a much more reasonable approach 😉

Things we share: Patronage to Saint Frida, jewelry making, valuing of community, having fibromyalgia, being intelligent women on a quest for knowledge and healing, entrepreneurial spirit

Looking to Dr. Liptan has helped me deal with having fibromyalgia, and finding the right treatments to help. I believe in what she’s doing – I’ve donated some Frida themed jewelry I made for an art auction for the Frida Center, and am an affiliate for Frida Botanicals.

Davey Havok

This image was taken by Josh Massie at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Go see more of his awesome work at Scattered Pictures !

OK. THIS MAN IS GORGEOUS. Let’s move past that.

AFI is one of my all time favorite bands, and I’ve loved every side project Davey’s been involved in, or song he lends his voice to from other bands. Punk, rock, electronic, hardcore, new wave…it all resonates with me. Not to mention he’s an amazing performer – who has also somehow found time to do film and stage acting, and write some novels. PROLIFIC.

Some things we share: Fall children with Nov. birthdays. Stardust. Fire signs. Not eating meat. Catholic upbringing. Being straight edge. Painful, romantic, mysterious insides. Interest in fashion and expression.

One of the reasons I’ve always been able to turn to his work for comfort is that it doesn’t shy away from the deepest and painful emotions, that particular darkness. In fact, his work honors it, and values what we learn there. Being someone who is always in pain, who is sensitive both physically and emotionally, I’ve found myself able to draw on Davey’s conviction and combination of strength/vulnerability.

You can check out a Spotify playlist with a bunch of Davey’s music here:

Now that you’ve heard about mine, I’d love to hear about your “gurus” and how they guide or inspire you. Are they real and present, from a past time, or fictional? Let me know!