It’s Back

I’m in tears right now. A few years ago I deleted this blog. I was 100% sure I was done blogging about cults and dealing with Internet hate.

In truth, I was done with so much: politics, hateful comments, and people stealing my goddamned intellectual property without crediting me or asking.

But after deleting the site, I had some regrets. As a writer I felt a twinge of guilt deleting 512 posts. Let’s say each averages 700 words. That’s 358,400 words GONE. That’s the equivalent to several books, although truth be told, just because it’s the length of a book doesn’t mean it needs to be a book.

So recently I’ve been writing a lot more. (You can find out why I quit blogging and just recently returned to writing here on my Huffington Post blog.) And I started telling people, “Oh yeah, I blogged at My Cult Life for years.” They’d ask for the link. I didn’t have one. I deleted the site and it was redirecting elsewhere.

I started feeling like I might have made a huge mistake. Here was all this history – about me, about my writing, about my research – and it was gone.

The problem is that I’m somewhat tech savvy but the minute I regretted it (almost after it was gone) I didn’t know how to restore it. I didn’t even mean to delete the site. That was an accident. One shouldn’t mess with her files if one isn’t sure what she can delete and can’t without losing all her content.

I had backups but they were in SQL not WXR. I didn’t know how to convert them and Bluehost isn’t what it used to be as far as helping inexperienced people like me. I couldn’t find any information online except to go into phpMyAdmin (which could wreck my whole site if I messed it up), create a new database (which I was clueless about), and upload it. Then what? It took several hours before I figured out how to edit some files and it was actually quite simple from there.

But this trial and error process took two days and a lot of frustration. Even an XML or CSV conversion using plugins weren’t working so well and the pro versions were pricey.

Thank goodness I’m persistent. I saved myself some money and look…the blog is back!

Now you’ll notice that my photos aren’t uploaded and that means there’s a lot of broken images. Images that are broken in 512 posts, so bear with me as I fix them or delete them.

Also, you’ll notice that I no longer blog at I’ll remove those links with time, as well. I do have another blog called, which has some new writing, but we’ll see if that’s necessary to keep since I have this one.

Anyway, I hope you’ve been well and I’ve missed you all!

Drop me a line. Say hello.



Finding Your Passion

In case you missed this post from my Facebook:

Years ago I set out to draft a novel and ended up becoming a blogger. I am still working on my novel, but it’s a SLOW process to create a good book.

Blogging, though, is an instant connection with readers and for me, it’s simple. It’s something I can sit down and do as easy as breathing. It’s a safe social outlet for an introvert like me.


I love this quote from Oprah because every time I blog, I feel a little guilty inside. Like I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing. Or “wasting time” with a less noble profession. But there’s nothing more exciting to me than a blank blog post and making connections with people around the world. It inspires me. It excites me.

So, maybe Oprah is right. Maybe it’s in doing what we aren’t “supposed” to be doing that we find our real talents and passions.

Like this post? Read more here on the original blog.

The Urge to Nest


This originally appeared on Read the piece here. This is Part I of a series about turning thirty, getting closer to my family, and finally deciding to settle down. Read Part II here and Part III here

Something happened when I turned thirty.

I started missing my parents, even though I lived two hours away. I worried about their health. My friends’ parents were having major health issues and passing away at young ages and my own parents were starting their annual physicals and colonoscopies, sometimes with discussions about “what they found.” I began to realize that they weren’t going to be around forever. I was growing up and they were growing older. I could feel myself aging.

I started feeling the need to settle down and the urge to nest. I wanted to find a home I could stay in for decades, instead of an apartment that I changed from time to time. I was single, and not 100% sure I really wanted kids, so I adopted a rescue puppy. I didn’t realize she would make me want to both have a child and make me question the idea of having kids all at once. A year has passed now, and we have survived the puppy stage. We’ve house-trained. We’ve obedience trained. Kids might not be so hard, right?

During college, I promised myself I would publish at least one book before getting pregnant. It was one way to keep me focused on working toward my dreams. But as I aged, and as my second set of friends started talking about having kids (the first set of friends started having kids around their mid-twenties), I started wondering what it would be like to be pregnant with my closest friends who were pinning things to their Babies! boards on Pinterest). I also started wondering what I was actually waiting for.

Love, of course. I was waiting for love. But I was also simultaneously avoiding it.

I was also waiting to move away from L.A. where most of the men I met didn’t want kids…probably because many of them were still so immature. I figured if I stayed in that city I would have to be a single mom and the single moms I knew (who did amazing jobs raising their kids) cautioned me at how hard it was. I knew they were right. I had been a nanny in my early twenties and even that was difficult.

But more than babies, I wanted to fall in love like I had only a few times in my life. The last time I’d fallen in love was when I was twenty-six and he’d moved away. Sometime after the move and our failed attempt to keep a long-distance relationship working, we’d broken each other’s hearts.

He and I had met through a mutual friend in my hometown and we were instantly swept up in love. Within a month, we’d made love in one of the most intimate moments I’d had with a man. We’d watched baseball games together. We’d dressed up together for romantic dinners. And then at the end of that month, he told me what I already knew: that he was moving and we’d have to say goodbye soon–at least until he could afford to move me up there. He told me he wanted me to visit soon and he followed through with sending me a plane ticket to come for my twenty-sixth birthday. While I was there, we laid on the couch together and he gave me a simple, pink heart diamond necklace and we kissed each other in a way I thought meant he’d be the last man I kissed.

He wasn’t.

We fell apart for reasons that usually exist when you attempt to do a long-distance relationship. Sometimes, no matter how much in love you are, the timing is wrong and the distance makes it complicated. But I knew from experience with him that there were good men out there; men who wanted a family and kids; men who treated women well; men who were honest about who they were and what they wanted. As I entered my thirties, I knew I needed to stop dating men who weren’t like that. I needed to reevaluate who I’d been dating and sleeping with. But more than that, I needed to understand what my desires were telling me. I was ready to find someone amazing. I was happy in nearly every area of my life except this one missing piece and except for the itch that kept reappearing: I wanted to settle down and find someone to start a family with.

Image from Pinterest.

Read Part II here and Part III here


This post originally appeared on You can read the original post here


Image via Pinterest

It’s not easy to find. It’s not easy to grasp.

Sometimes I’m in the middle of a project and I see clearly. Other times I’m unable to see past the cloud of information I’ve inevitably absorbed while doing hours upon hours of research.

To gain clarity and perspective, I step back. I breathe deeply. I take a long walk and usually call my mom or a dear friend. I reflect. I stay still. I breathe.

A Few of My Favorite Things

This post first appeared on You can read the full post here.

We all know Pinterest is the online version of Hoarders. But I love it. I wasn’t that interested in it until a friend/coworker started sending me funny pins that neither she nor I wanted the whole world to see. Or they were inside jokes about that time we both had a major issues with the same person and what we really wanted to say. I took that same “insider” approach to my relationship. I started sending him mushy love quotes daily so he’d have virtual love notes to read over his morning coffee when I couldn’t be there. My pinning has spiraled out of control and I love it. It’s a refreshing hobby. I also use Pinterest for private mood boards to store creative collections and ideas for art and writing projects.

Here are a few of my favorite boards, which are also some of my most popular boards for people to follow.


Follow Lisa Kerr’s board {Love} on Pinterest.


Follow Lisa Kerr’s board Weddings/flowers/parties on Pinterest.



Follow Lisa Kerr’s board Style on Pinterest.


Follow Lisa Kerr’s board The Great Outdoors on Pinterest.

How do you use Pinterest? Share what you do in the comments below.

My New Blog

As you may have noticed, my last five posts (one, two, three, four, and five) have been quite different from the usual cult/religion writing I’ve done in the past on this blog. For about two years now, I’ve toyed with the idea of closing this blog and I made several attempts to do so. I’m a writer and not all writers stick with the same genre their entire lives. I felt it was time for me to explore my pre-My Cult Life love of art, romance and other subjects, but I never felt like this blog was a good space for that. I was sad to see this chapter close, though.

I wasn’t quite ready to move on and I also needed to spend more time in the creative zone with my ideas to see where this new desire was taking me. Taking a new direction blogging can be a complicated endeavor. One that shouldn’t be done in haste. So, after two years and a lot of planning, I’m ready to move forward with my new blog. It’s simply called Lisa Kerr: Life, Chronicled.



The important thing for me was to have a name that didn’t box me in (like “My Cult Life”) to a specific subject. It can be very hard to change directions when the spirit of the blog (and readers) expect one niche topic all the time and that’s what happened here. (Not that this niche topic wasn’t insanely interesting. It was.)

It was also important that the new blog helped me do what I’ve loved doing sometimes on this blog and other times on Facebook: chronicle my daily life. I think I’ve found the perfect way to move forward.

Of course I’m excited to discover where my writing will take me and what new skills I’ll discover as a writer–reporting and writing about cults has been limiting creatively. While I don’t regret starting this blog or where it’s taken me, it hasn’t been an artistic outlet; it’s been a therapeutic and healing outlet. Those things are essential to life, but sometimes we need to close one chapter before we can discover the full beauty in another chapter.

I hope you’ll join me on this new blog journey, even though it will be void of religion, cults and politics. Here are a few posts to start you off with:

  1. Clarity
  2. A Few of My Favorite Things
  3. Finding Your True Talent
  4. The Great Outdoors
  5. A Few Mini-Disasters We Handled in Stride

And you can find my updated social media accounts on the new blog, as well.


Trust What You Think

I’ve owned Writing Down the Bones for quite some time now, but whatever it was that made me purchase it, wasn’t there when I needed to sit down and read it. Sometimes, however, books come into our lives at the perfect season. I think this is the perfect season for this book.

Natalie Goldberg writes in the preface that the book is backed by a two-thousand-year-old practice of studying the mind. She writes “the more we understand the human mind, our basic writing tool, the better, more secure we can be in our writing.” How true is this. In fact, I think that’s partly why I’ve struggled with my writing so much in the past two years–my mind was doing things that were (for me) unpredictable. I wasn’t in control or connected with my mind–it was a chaotic, dangerous space for me at the time. But if writing is anything, it’s about trusting yourself, your instinct, your mind. It’s that simple. There’s nothing more to it. When you lose that trust with yourself and your instinct, you can’t grasp what you need to say; instead, you grasp for straws, you second guess, and you falter at the one thing you should be in control of: your mind.

Goldberg gives the following “wish” (and my paraphrase) to those who read her book: that you come to know yourself, feel joy in expression, and trust what you think. 

There is nothing more essential in life and in writing than those three things. Today, I wish them for you as well as for me. Happy Writing to all my fellow writers!

My One Big Flaw

embraceAs transparent as I think I am, I’ve always had this lurking flaw. When people come too close to me (emotionally), I pull back entirely. Sometimes I retreat. Other times I get angry. Of course I’m afraid of being hurt. We all are, aren’t we? But I deal with this on a really deep level. It’s made it pretty easy for me to be single, but now I’m not single anymore and I think about this a lot. I just finished showering and all I could think about is how terrified I am to let this guy in–really, truly inside. I think about a lot of the people I didn’t let inside; how I’ve pushed a lot of people out or back further. I’m not sure how to bring this up to him without making him afraid and I’m not sure when I should start therapy for this even though our relationship is new. Maybe I’m overreacting or over-thinking, like I so often do. Maybe the best thing to do is relax, as I have been the past few days, in his arms, wrapped around me as I go to sleep. And just let him kiss me on the forehead, brush my hair back from my eyes, and wrap his hand around mine. I can sleep soundly when I’m there and I don’t even feel badly for saying I’m letting him rescue me from myself just a little bit.

If I Were Being Honest

heart windows

I might say that I were running from some of the best things that have happened to me.

I might say I was running from my readers.

I might say that I was running from the intimacy of this place.

I might say that I’m afraid of people watching, speculating, critiquing me from up close and from afar.

I might say that I’m so afraid of making mistakes, that I don’t do anything at all.

I might say that I haven’t felt any emotions for the past two years and I kept myself that way on purpose–because the ability to numb myself was far easier than to see myself publicly fall apart.

I might say I hid.

I would definitely say I hid.

I’ve been hiding from every request, every reader, every “fan”, every person who is exactly like me–just sitting on the other end of the screen.

And for that, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t give you more. I’m sorry I ran when it got hard. I’m sorry I didn’t have the answers you needed, or that I needed for that matter.

I can’t say definitively that I’m back, only that I think about you and about us nearly every day. I talk about you often. I bring you up in job interviews, in therapy sessions, in conversations with my mother. And I try to cry, but I couldn’t cry until today when I read about another blogger wanting privacy in her life and I realized that there are no right ways to pull back from the public once you were so intimate with them; but sometimes it’s the healthiest thing to do. Sure, I put my career at risk and I’m not sure it will ever fully recover, but I had to take a break. It wasn’t the threat of suicide that was the problem–it was the threat of living with this suffocating paranoia and anxiety.

I had to breathe again. I had to learn to trust real humans face-to-face again. I had to learn to sit on my mother’s couch and talk about something OTHER than this blog and my issues with it. I had to walk into her kitchen–hearing the sound of the pan sizzling and smelling the roasted vegetables in the oven–and sit down on the bar stool and know that I was welcome again; because whatever hit me over the past two years did so like a fast train and I haven’t been able to recover friendships and relationships that  matter to me so very much.

If I were being honest, Blog, I hate you. I hate you so much. But if I were being more honest, Blog, I love you. You’ve taught me so much. You’ve forced me to grow through the pain. You’ve forced me to make mistakes in public. You’ve forced me to retreat, to be silent, to simmer. You’ve reminded me how much I love poetry and the Great Outdoors. You’ve reminded me who is important to me and how to hold them closer than I ever have before. You’ve helped me hope for love and find it. And most of all, you’ve helped me come face to face with the woman in the mirror and realize that she’s not so bad after all.

Taking Our Time

I’m no stranger to falling quickly and wanting to move fast when dating. But I also made it to thirty without being married because I never actually followed through with those steps, mostly because it didn’t quite feel right with those people. You know the reasons it wasn’t right–there was a different reason for every person and I’m sure you’ve experienced some of those reasons. It just wasn’t a good fit and didn’t seem like the payoff was worth the risk. Or deep down you just didn’t believe the person’s words because their actions said something subtly different.

taking your timeI love this quote. There’s something magical about feeling relaxed about taking your time with someone (not that I’m not going “squee!” inside constantly and doing ridiculous shit–because I AM). But there’s something nice about being able to tell yourself that this could be a good person to actually take your time with–not because you have doubts and want to make sure he’s the right one, but because you’re enjoying the chance to fall in love with someone and you don’t want to rush it or slow it down–you just want to experience all of it as it comes.