Zine Notes for “This Zine Isn’t Me”

Hello! If you’re at this page, that means you’ve received and read a copy of “This Zine Isn’t Me.” Thank you so much for reading!

Since the zine pages aren’t numbered, I’ll just start from the beginning and add notes as they come. 🙂

Spain. I blogged during my time in Madrid at Oh No She Madridn’t.

Korea. I wrote about my time in South Korea at Rebe with a Clause. Scroll down to the Archives; Korea posts can be found from August 2013 to August 2014.

(Note: That blog used to be rebewithaclause.com but I lost the domain in the fall of 2019—long story. So if you end up at some weird poker site or a page isn’t loading, just replace “.com” with “.net” in the URL and you should get back to the blog.)

France. I started working online for FluentU while teaching in Korea, and that’s how I was able to go to France—first for a 6-week language course, and later on a year-long tourist visa.

Here’s a little bit more about my French-learning journey.

Here are all my blog posts tagged with “France.” Or, if you want to read chronologically, start in May 2015 and work your way through September 2016.

Misperceptions of life abroad. While living in Korea, I took part in a monthly Teaching Abroad blog carnival. One month we wrote about the biggest myth of teaching abroad. My thoughts at the time can be found here.

Personal compass. Here’s a bit more background in the development of my personal compass.

To read the full meaning behind the compass, as well as stories from throughout my Personal Sabbatical as I put the compass to use, check out my ebook “Compass-Directed Moments.

To make your own personal compass, here’s a free zine!

(Another behind-the-scenes journey that was going on throughout this time was a struggle with my digestive health. That’s documented in my free ebook “My Decade Living with IBS-D.“)

Values. Here are the values I wrote about when I created this site.

Conservation corps. The corps I joined in Arizona was American Conservation Experience. I learned of the opportunity from the site CoolWorks.com.

Here are my blog posts tagged “ACE.”

The conservation corps I joined in Colorado was Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.

Here are six posts—from various folks, myself included—about our RMYC experience.

Trains on Main. I was introduced to the Rachel Naomi Remen quote which appears in the zine (“When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do”) while designing a train for a public art project in spring of 2017. In fact, I called my final creation “The Natural Thing to Do.”

Marianne Williamson. There’s a quote by Marianne Williamson in the zine as well, and want to be sure you’re aware she ran for President (2020), and shared lots of worthy plans, values, and visions with the world through her campaign. If you’re new to her, I encourage you to listen to this hopeful message from Marianne.

Diane. Here’s a quote from page 5 of Lori Gottlieb’s “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” which felt very relevant to this part of the zine (but which I first read after the zine was finished):

It’s impossible to get to know people deeply and not come to like them. We should take the world’s enemies, get them in a room to share their histories and formative experiences, their fears, and their struggles, and global adversaries would suddenly get along.


Ballads for Buddha
This album of solo piano music creates a beautiful atmosphere of space and peace. I listen to it often when writing, stretching, or connecting with myself. The entire album was improvised by my younger brother, Luke Thering, on a January day in 2017 while he reflected on Buddhist ideas.

I used to use this app for meditation and really liked it. Note: This app is free for teachers!

Here’s another app that has helped many folks get into meditation.

Waking Up
A friend of mine likes using Waking Up with Sam Harris for meditation.

Remember: You don’t need any apps to meditate! Just you and your breath.

Mindfulness in Plain English
This is a free book I recommend for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of mindfulness and Vipassana meditation.

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
This is another book I’d recommend if you’re interested in mindfulness.

Take a breath. Imagine a friend.

Here is my friend Brent Clark’s photography: Brent Goes Outside.
He has a Patreon page if you want to support his work.

Nature First Photography – The alliance for responsible nature photography

For logistical information on my thru-hike of the Arizona Trail, check out this page.

Turn down sources that feed off the boxes

I mainly wanted to share parts my social media/screens journey here, to show how long and gradual its been.

2007 – Get Facebook as a high school senior.

2012(?) – Get Twitter

2013 – “Forced” to get a smart phone when I moved to South Korea, as their technology is far ahead, so it’s required for daily tasks such as banking.

2014 – Leave Facebook at age 25. These were my reasons/thoughts at the time.

Begin working online for FluentU.

Fall 2014 – Walked 500 miles across the Camino de Santiago. This is my first extended period spent outside. I didn’t have phone service over there in Spain, either, so it was a month-long period of connection with myself and my surroundings. It felt excellent!

2015 – Get introduced to Alexandra Franzen‘s writing/work, and learn she uses zero social media (and her wait-list for writing clients is usually a year long).

Here are two worksheets she just shared at the start of 2020:

And here’s some more of her writing/work on the topic:

Start tracking my screen time with RescueTime.

Although I later I come to dislike all the time I’m spending in front of a screen for work, what I liked about the virtual job was that when I wasn’t working, I absolutely didn’t want to be on the computer. So, my non-work time was almost always non-screen time.

Fall 2017 – Sign out of Twitter account for a hiatus. (Hiatus ends up being over a year; I forgot all about the account.)

Fall 2017 – Join Instagram. Experiment with usage during the year.

[I joined ACE at this time, during which we had an 8/6 schedule: 8 days of work, camping out in the wilderness; 6 days off in Flagstaff. It was very easy to leave my phone in Airplane mode during 8-day hitches (no service out there anywhere, no need for it!) and see the contrast to how I felt during the 6 days with wifi at our apartment. Our apartment’s wifi was unreliable, so if I was working on a writing project or emailing, I would walk 30 minutes to the library and work through my wifi list. I really loved the feel of this routine. The high barrier to internet (a 30 minute walk away from home) made me very intentional with my online time.

I write about screen time in my 2017 reflection.

2018 – My summer and fall in RMYC, a 24/7 trail crew (always living out of our tents, camping) allowed me to continue this practice. I’d keep a wifi list in my notebook when I thought of things to look up or tasks to complete online. Then, when we’d have an hour or two of solo town time during weekend rec, I’d use a guest pass at a library and finish as quickly as I could, so I would have time to a) call a friend, b) paint, c) write snail mail, d) explore a bookshop in town, or e) anything else that didn’t involve sitting in front of a computer. Since alone time was so scarce in RMYC, I usually didn’t want to spend it at a computer.

Winter 2018 – Sign off of Instagram for last 10 days of the year. Mention Instagram/screens again in my year-end reflection.

2019 – Decide to disable Instagram account in January; this feels good. Sign back on for my birthday in April while thru-hiking the AZT. In June, completely pull the plug and leave the platform.

2019 – Realize my Twitter accounts were merely disabled back whenever I left; I delete the accounts completely. I’m social-media free!

Fall 2019 – Move into park housing with no internet. Go to library about once per week to use internet. Cancel Netflix at the end of 2019 and buy a disc-drive for laptop to check out DVDs from library.

These are just major events. There were so many small moments during these years where I noticed that I felt so much more at ease when talking with someone face-to-face or sending/receiving snail mail, for example, as opposed to reading an email, text, or Instagram DM. I noticed how good I felt when I spent time in the outdoors, and how various screens/content made me feel. I’d been aware of my online/screen time for years and years before I pulled the final plug, continually reevaluating.

This is what feels good to me at this point in time.

Turn up sources/content that allow space for nuance and humanity

Find our shared resource here: rebeccarosethering.com/nuance

Be vulnerable

Welcome to the world of Brené Brown!

Ask open-ended questions

100 questions to spark conversation and connection by Alexandra Franzen

Identify where you need reminders the most

How to Not Lose Your Shit with Your Family this Holiday SeasonJoy Junkie Podcast
Amy’s podcast episodes usually have really concrete, BS-free tips. I’ve listened to her family episodes before, and appreciated her examples.

More Joy Junkie Podcast episodes about family

Dip into shadow work

“The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford
This is the book I read as my introduction to shadow work. I thought it was a nice intro!

“Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power & Creativity of Your Dark Side” by David Richo
I haven’t read this book yet, but have read another by Richo which I really enjoyed, so I think this is likely a great resource.

Go outside, be with nature



A New Earth. I started reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” this fall as I was editing this zine. It was crazy (awesome) how often I would read about thoughts I’d expressed in the zine, so I kept adding quote after quote to the manuscript. I highly recommend the book if it looks interesting to you.

Don’t be turned off by the phrase “life’s purpose” in the title; it’s not what you might think it’s about.

Say Hello

Have any other questions about something you read in the zine? Have recommendations for our Nuance resource? Thoughts you want to share? I’d love to hear from you.

Email: rebeccarosethering [at] gmail [dot] com


Rebecca Thering
PO Box 941
Springdale UT 84767-091


Thanks so much for being here.

Deep breath in, deep breath out.

I wish you presence in your day!