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The Gentle Art of “The Respawn” | Diary Entry #2

Aspen's method for bouncing back both epically and softly.

Diary Entry #2

Ahhh yes, respawning.

I remember when I first respawned….

...what a beautiful time.....

Well hey there buster! Welcome back to my cyber-headquarters!

Relax your shoulders, take a deep breath, and let’s get to WORK!

Perhaps you’re thinking “respawn…? ...As in the context of video games?”

Well..... yes and no.

Long story short, I became hyper-fixated on using this term to describe my daily healing process and later realized it actually makes a lot more sense than I even realized…

….and it’s silly!

So I need to share this company secret with you. SHHHH!!! It’s about to get juicy.

Firstly, let’s dive in to understanding what it means to “respawn”:


verb (used without object)

(of a character or item in a video game) to re enter an existing game environment at a fixed point after having been defeated or otherwise removed from play.

So, in essence, to respawn is to rise from the scattered-ashes of your trauma and bounce the *redacted* back.

You are the character, the game environment is your life, and you’re returning to your peace after feeling defeated or being removed from your playful, expansive mindset.

We all possess this power within us, sometimes it may just need some dusting off and a juicy, hot spotlight.

As the director of the show, you have enough on your plate already, ESPECIALLY with all these INTERNS running around rampant and feral, causing pure mayhem by bringing you hot instead of iced coffee….(sorry, personal issues, anyway….)

Allow yourself to ask for an extra hand from your trusted stage crew of supportive friends if you need it. They are there to support you and vice versa!

Why this is important:

It’s always kind of…hmm…sent me into ORBIT??? that there isn’t more of a public-discussion about the importance of making a “I’m In Crisis” master-plan while you’re feeling stable and grounded. We must learn how to make friends with our shadows and feel our pain in safe ways. If there’s one thing I've learned in my nearly-26-years here on this stage, it’s that flops are inevitable.

What’s a flop, you may ask? Take a look at this, my guy:

Number 2 is the definition I’m referring to. If you’re alive today in this capitalist-driven-dystopian-hellscape, you’ve likely felt like a complete failure at some point in time.

And the hottest secret of them all?

Deep-existential-dread-WHYYYYYYCRUELWORLD-feelings are universal.

Even the most “healthy” seeming, “together” seeming baddies have bad-brain-days. THANK CAPITALISM FOR THAT ONE BOOOOOO!

By owning your flops and allowing space to move through pain, you are loving, trusting, and not judging yourself. This type of self-love and care has a ripple effect on the people around you! When people see you shine despite the battles you’ve faced, they’re going to wonder how you did it.

If you’re still reading this, something tells me you’re a bit intrigued. If this is calling to you, it is for you, and it’s your time to give yourself some love.

My secret-weapon of choice for self-love is shifting to curiosity instead of judgement when I feel intense emotions.

Instead of:

why am I so sad ugh I’m just awful and a burden

see if you can bring yourself a new perspective by questioning the response, saying things such as...

hmm…I’m feeling really sad and like I’m being a burden to my friends, I wonder why I would feel bad expressing my true feelings to my friends…am I worried they are not going to know what to say? Why is that a problem? Hmm…maybe I need a little extra validation when i’m sharing about intimate things…I’m going to think on that more!”

Think of yourself as a little mad-scientist that is analyzing the behavior as a COMPANY PROFESSIONAL!

ALSO, if you ask me, pain and heartbreak are direct evidence of immense passion and care. We feel strongly about things that ignite us. Sensitivity is strength, and not everyone has it naturally.

Now, HOW does one respawn and plan when you’re already in a bad place? Luckily, my OCD/Virgo-rising-combo makes me,

for lack of a better word……


…so I have a whole rESPAWN GUIDe that I compiled of effective methods I use baby! AND like all the top artists of our time, I’M gonna LEAK IT!


STEP 1: Set up your safe-sanctuary

When we experience trauma/pain, our bodies wind themselves into a pretzel, and we can easily shift into fight/flight/fawn response mode. The version of you that shifts to that space is not likely a version of you that can efficiently problem-solve or plan a way out of it, so making a plan while you feel like you is a great idea. The most tangible first step I usually take is making physical space to feel safe and calm.

To do this, I personally:

  • Burn incense and essential oils (I’m currently on a eucalyptus-kick)

  • Play music that makes me feel calm! (My current go-to is Archy Marshall’s album “A New Place to Drown” from start to finish. Check it out here! )

  • Turn off any aggressively-bright lights and turn on my ambient-vibe lighting (Combo between a blue galaxy projector, pink lightbulb, himalayan salt lamp, depression lamp hehehe, and a little horse lamp :P )

  • Change into comfortable, non-constricting clothing (and incorporate something silly into it, usually my black bunny ears or boa)

Step 2: SAFELY be sad/angry/unhinged/irritated/etc.

The "Front-Lines-Essential-Worker-In-A-Global-Pandemic Meltdown of 2020TM

Let yourself feel through the extremes! It is uncomfortable to do this, but we can demonstrate to ourselves that we are capable of sitting in discomfort and still come out the other side.

Our society is taught to try to cheer people up and distract them when they are in pain.

That’s basically like putting a band-aid on a broken bone: all it does is make it not as visible, but the evidence of the injury is still present and not healing properly or efficiently.

The more you use that still-broken-bone, the more damage you will end up with in the long run.

I suggest having a few sensory fidget-y things around your space so if you start to spiral, you can ground yourself with something soft or squishy. Five Below is a GIFT from the Goddesses for the sensory-needs.

If you need a quick solution, try holding an ice cube or taking a shower if you're able to. These will help to ground you and remind you that you are in the present feeling that way, not the past.

Overall, you can feel it all. You are safe <3

Step 3: Start making a plan.

Now that you’ve acknowledged and validated yourself, you can start on your evil master plan…MWAHAHA!

It helps me to first make a huge master to-do list brain-dump with every possible thing I can think of that needs to happen, just to get it out of my mind to clear some space.

Then, I go in and make a little “production timeline” of key deadlines that are finalized/important. This could be things like appointments, project deadlines, classes, work schedules, meetings, set-plans, etc.

Then, in the morning, I spend 10 minutes

shifting into the day by determining what I need to accomplish that day and making a loose plan.

Now, this “plan” doesn’t have to be detailed or huge. If you don’t have a lot going on during a certain time, think about scheduling a variety of self-care activities in AS IF it’s an appointment. Self care can be as simple as sitting on some grass looking around or as extra as a full spa-day luxury package: the choice is always yours!

It’s also helpful when I’m forgetful and on auto-pilot to do a Sunday or Monday weekly-game plan where I write down everything I have set that week on a sticky note, and then spend 10 minutes each morning preparing my daily plan from that “main menu”.

**PRO TIP: make sure you stay REALISTIC. Don’t set expectations that are too daunting on yourself and then beat yourself up. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY! If things don’t go according to plan, that is ok. The plan is a suggested outline and a brainstorm, so don’t let it get in your head if it gets altered. Listen to your intuition and include “buffer time” in case you get tooooo far off schedule at some point.**

Looking for some structure? Use my daily and weekly planning templates! Visit my Gift Shop on Etsy to download yours:


You’re ready for takeoff, even if you don’t feel like you are! A general outline is better than nothing, and can help you track your progress on the things you want to and have to do. Now, you’re ready to rage!

Change out of your depression outfit and upgrade your avatar to an outfit that brings you confidence, a sense of comfort, and/or a good laugh.

Keep your daily plan somewhere you can see it and be sure to cross off completed tasks for a serotonin boost!

Make yourself a playlist of songs that are physically IMPOSSIBLE for you to be sad while listening to. For example, Roll Up by Wiz Khalifa…Hotel Room Service by Pitbull….they’re JUST not crying songs….ya know?

(Respectfully, of course.)

Try out my “pull me out of the darkness”-anthem’s playlist when you have to respawn quickly to complete an obligation:

Me and My Besties!! <333 (from L->R: Kaelan, Emily, Me, Cameron)

Step 5: Ask for help! (can also swap places with step 4)

One of the most heartbreaking mis

-conceptions in this world to me is the idea that asking for help is a “weak” thing to do.

Here’s the top secret-secret…..

asking for help can be literally essential!

Human's generally operate best in collaboration with others, as everyone has their strengths and weaknesses that can be used together to move through the world more swiftly.

Do you really think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got THAT swole completely with ZERO help at all??!?!?!?


At some point, we all need, or could benefit from, an extra hand on deck. I challenge you to love yourself the way you love your friends and ask for that support when you need it.

If/when people are stumped on what to do or say to support you, that doesn’t mean you should shut down and never ask again.

Instead, try to gently guide them by communicating what you need or think could help.

We can work together to co-create a world we don’t want to run away from!

WOOOOO! Now you’re ready to plot your respawn: look at you go! You’re killing it and I support you through this transformation <3

Comment below why YOU are ready NOW to respawn so I can hype you up!

This week, my first ever PODCAST!!! (whaaaaat!) will be dropping, along with a holiday gift-guide that isn’t basic and annoying, and some new juicyyyyy templates 🙂

If ya like what ya see, give her a share! Violate your NDA and spread the company secrets…..I won’t tell the boss…..(SIKE!!! I AM the boss, and THIS is what would YOU do!?!?!?)

With respect, love, and a constant intrusive thought about if "the worlds smallest bagpipe" exists yet, I wish you a good night, and a happy respawn! <3


Aspen :P

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