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Leah Pearlman finds inspiration for her comics through friends, teachers, and her own heart.

She is the artist behind the popular Dharma Comics, which explore love, life, and our connection with the world.

Her comics are simply drawn, but that’s only on the outside.

They are a refreshing reminder of the struggles we all deal with every day. Each panel holds a mirror up to our imperfections and reminds us that it's OK.


Excerpted from "Drawn Together: Uplifting Comics on the Curious Journey Through Life and Love" by Leah Pearlman. Reprinted by arrangement with TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. © 2016 by Leah Pearlman.

Leah has always been compelled to draw. Her journey to Dharma Comics started in 2010 when her father's cancer went into remission. She drew a simple cartoon with the text: “Thank you, Cancer!” and shared that drawing on Facebook. It had an immediate response online, and Dharma Comics took off from there.

"My experience is that through my art, I am healing."

"But I didn’t get here by pushing any pain away," Pearlman wrote in an email. "I got here by moving toward it. By admitting it, by exploring it, by sharing it, and by allowing myself to be helped."

The comics are full of depth, meaning, and complexity about the human experience. They reach out through the lines and grab the reader by the heartstrings.

“The essence, whether it’s anger, or loneliness, or adoration, is something everyone can relate to. And often, because we do get so tangled in the daily dramas of our circumstance we can all have trouble finding the essence. I think when people see my comics, sometimes they’ll [breathe] a sigh of relief and say ‘YES. That’s exactly how that feels,’” she wrote.

Get inspired by these 10 drawings from her recent book, “Drawn Together: Uplifting Comics on the Curious Journey Through Life and Love.”

Don't these comics make you feel great?

They're having a huge impact online and the book is finding a new, unexpected audience: children.

"I never drew these for kids, except perhaps my own inner child," she wrote, "and I’d love to connect more with [them] around the topics of self-love of welcoming emotions and whatever else they’re finding in the pages that move them."

These comics are an inspiring reminder that there is joy in everything. And that's worth celebrating.  

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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