Hi. I’m Ally Hamilton.

I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of New York City, and moved to Los Angeles in 2001. I live in Santa Monica with my family and a dog named Chewy who looks a lot like a muppet and has no spatial awareness at all. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, it’s the main way I make sense of the world and of myself. I’ve written two books, Open Randomly: Fortune Cookies for the Soul, and Yoga’s Healing Power: Looking Inward for Change, Growth and Peace. You can probably tell from that second title that I’m also a yoga teacher. I’ve been practicing and teaching for twenty-eight or twenty-nine years. I’ve lost track, but it’s a long time.

I could tell you a lot of stories from my childhood (and I have and will here on this Stack). It was really good the first few years, and then a lot of things went wrong and it was not so good. The not-so-good things wreaked some havoc. I thought I was broken for a long time. I chased love, I twisted myself in knots - it was kind of a mess. Eventually I untwisted myself in life, mostly by twisting myself on a mat. There’s a longer story there. The point is I don’t feel broken anymore, but I know how utterly awful it is to feel that way. To feel like you’re alone, or royally screwed up in some unfixable way, or unlovable at your core. I know what it is to accept treatment far below what you want, to bend over backwards or try to shrink yourself to make other people happy. I did it all. It hurts.

For me, writing is a way to send up a flare in case you’re walking on a dark path and need to know someone is out there who cares, and has maybe been where you are, or somewhere similar. I’ve found we are all a lot more the same than we are different. I’m glad you’re here.

I’m currently working on my third book, a memoir. This is the book I’ve been wanting to write the whole time. I’m almost done with the second draft. I also have a yoga-and-wellness website called YogisAnonymous.com where I have about a million yoga and meditation classes for anyone who is looking for some tools to heal. I’m not a zealot, yoga might not be your thing. If it is, though, check out the Retreats + In-Person Events section because maybe you want to meet me somewhere in this amazing, wide world.

Whatever brought you here, whether it was the writing or the yoga, I’m happy to meet you. I called this publication “Come As You Are” because I always loved the idea of those parties. I don’t know if anyone ever had one or if they’re urban legend, but I love the idea of people showing up in pajamas, dress clothes, happy, sad, whatever. Of course, in reality, if someone texted me on a Tuesday night and said, “Hey, I’m having a party, come as you are!” I’d be like, “Fuuuuuck no.” I said I liked the idea, not that I’d actually want to go to one. I’m an introverted extrovert, or an extroverted introvert. Whatever I am, I don’t want to go to a party with zero notice. The point is, however you are, I’m just really glad you’re here. And I use an occasional f-bomb so I figured we should get that out of the way.

Last thing - I publish a weekly essay on Thursdays and then I do a podcast about the essay topic on Saturdays. I love hearing from you. Thanks for meeting me here, looking forward to spending time with you.

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Whether you’re a member of Yogis Anonymous, you’ve been following the old blog for years or you found me through my books, please know I adore and appreciate you. I wanted a place where we could all meet up, connect over Notes if you want to, and be in touch in a more immediate way. If you decide to sign up for a paid subscription to support my writing, thank you so much, I appreciate it. Turns out teenagers eat a lot and like to do things like go to college. Regardless, all personal essays and news about future book events will be happening here.

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How much do childhood wounds shape who we become? What does it mean to heal? How can you be a deeply feeling person in this world and not lose your mind? We'll get into all of that and more. Thanks for spending some time with me.

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Personal essays, conversations and the weekly newsletter from Ally Hamilton, author of Open Randomly and Yoga’s Healing Power, and owner of YogisAnonymous.com