Ever Wish You Had Permission to Just Be Human?

Did you know that certain Native American artisans weave small, purposeful mistakes into their blankets?

It’s true. Some master craftspeople include intentional slip-ups in their best work. Why? Because they believe that the ‘mistake’ is the very space that allows Spirit to move in and out of the fabric.

Take a moment and let that sink in. Then ask yourself …

What if the very mistakes you wish you hadn’t made could be openings for Spirit in your life?

It’s a subversive question, especially for a personal development blog. The stereotypical personal development site is all about the elusive quest for an ideal life.

But let’s get real here. We’re human beings, not paragons of perfection. We all wrestle with fear, self-recrimination, and shame.

I spent years terrified of making mistakes. Here’s my rap sheet: honors student, team leader, high-achiever, and recovering perfectionist.

Fortunately, I’ve realized that the real question isn’t Will I screw up? Rather, it’s How will I allow Spirit to move through the fabric of my life?

A Wish Come Clear is a personal development blog for real people who make mistakes, fall down, and dare to rise again.

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You Don’t Owe Anyone An Interaction: The TEDx Talk

Here’s one way I could tell this story …

A few months ago, I was accepted to TEDxBirmingham’s All Star Salon. I worked hard and delivered my 5-minute talk, You Don’t Owe Anyone An Interaction, on September 13, 2016.

In the talk, I addressed concerns over my viral blog post of the same name. I discussed how, in this age of hyper-connectivity, we can still give to others without getting burnt out. Today, I’m thrilled to share the video with you!

That’s one version of the truth.

But there’s another version that I want to entrust to you.

There are a lot of overly simplistic success stories out there. According to these triumphant narratives, all you need to do is work hard and believe in yourself and eventually you’ll live your dream and never doubt yourself again.

But what if that story doesn’t ring true? What if you give your best effort and you still don’t feel good enough?

What if the spotlight reveals your weakness rather than your strength?

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Your Truth Will Set You Free

Friends, this is the approximate text of a talk I gave at Living Spirit Church on Sunday, July 31, 2016.

Truth and Lies

Photo Credit: geralt, Pixabay

You’ve heard the platitudes …

Honesty is the best policy.
Tell the truth and shame the devil.
An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.

They make it sound simple, don’t they? As if telling the truth was so straightforward. But for those of us who are accustomed to covering up, getting real is … complicated.

When you start speaking up after years of silence, you’ll discover the land mines in your psyche. You probably won’t even know they’re there until you step on one.

The anger and sadness that you stuffed down years ago will rise to the surface … and you will be tempted to turn away.

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Boundaries are a Girl’s Best Friend

If your energy is dragging and you need a boost, here’s my favorite trick: Set some boundaries on your time and attention.

Step away from something that doesn’t feel right for you and put your focus elsewhere.

This can be terrifying in theory, but when you actually do it? What a rush! This practice has the power to increase your energy like you wouldn’t believe.

For example, recently I decided to try an experiment on Facebook, as I’d noticed my mood dropping whenever I signed in. (Since I’ve been dealing with some health issues, being mindful of my energy has become even more important lately.)

Given that I use Facebook for client-based work and also to maintain A Wish Come Clear’s page, quitting entirely wasn’t a good option. But being on social media drained me daily.

For a long time, I didn’t understand the problem. After all, I’d already unfollowed people who posted triggering content or a disproportionate number of “Which Harry Potter character are you?” quizzes.

Eventually I figured out that simply seeing status updates from hundreds of old friends and acquaintances is hard for me. It induces a kind of compassion fatigue.

When I think about how many people I’ve said hello and goodbye to over the course of thirty years, I sometimes choke on the bittersweetness of it all.

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