It is OK to Choose the Heart of Gold Instead.

Tis the season for a slew of blog posts about the importance of slowing down and savoring.

It’s that time of year when writers feel compelled to publish essays on what really matters.

Don’t get me wrong; I love these posts. I’ll link to my current favorites throughout this essay. But it’s easy to read beautiful, elegant sentences and then revert to my usual habits.

So this Advent, I’ve clarified what I don’t want: I don’t want to lose sight of beauty. I don’t want to be a moving target, to look up after New Year’s and wonder, incredulously, Where did the time go?!

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You Are Meant to Rise Again.

“This is not a competition,” the TEDx organizer told us.

“We’re calling this Salon an audition for TEDxBirmingham, but remember that this is your TEDx talk … and one or two of you may be invited to present at the larger event.”

I nodded, feeling a blush creep up my cheeks. I’d been caught red-handed, thinking competitive thoughts. Taking a deep breath, I reminded myself that it was a tremendous honor to give one 4-minute TEDx talk.

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In Which I Break the Rules & Go Cold Turkey

Nobody likes being sick.

A few weeks ago, I faced a fourth case of shingles, my least-favorite and most-recurrent illness. And my body was in great shape compared with my thoughts.

You see, I was struggling with a scarcity mindset regarding our readership here. I’d become overly attached to the goal of reaching 1,000 subscribers, so much so that I couldn’t feel the tremendous abundance that is already here.

To be fair, this 1,000-subscriber fixation didn’t come out of nowhere. It was fueled by the advice of myriad big-time bloggers, many of whom actually say, You’re a blogging nobody until you get 1,000 subscribers. If your number is below 1,000, don’t mention it anywhere on your site – smaller numbers scare people off.

The implied rule is, “Tuck your tail and be ashamed of your blog until you get the shred of legitimacy afforded by the number 1,000.”

So … this is me breaking that rule.

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Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Have you ever had your life get flipped, turned upside down?

No, really – I want to know. This isn’t just an excuse to quote the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song. I want to know if you’ve had every shred of confidence swept away. I want to know if you’ve stood in the clearing, terrified of the emptiness around you.

And most of all, I want to know if you’ve come through stronger than you were before.

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