How to actually live on purpose

Riddle me this: How do you proofread the book you’ve spent five years writing — a book about how you don’t owe anyone a fake, better-than-human version of yourself — without being a total perfectionist about it? When you’ve put your heart and soul into the work, when it MATTERS, how do you not question every comma, every turn of phrase? How do you move forward with the process rather than getting paralyzed by perfectionism? In case you haven’t already figured this out, this question has been dogging my heels this week, as I proofread my forthcoming book, You Don’t ...
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Please tell me we can do better than this

This Sunday morning, I am up before the sun. My toddler daughter and I have breakfast; I clean oatmeal from places I didn’t even know oatmeal could go. Once I corral her into clothes and miniature sneakers, we head out the door. It’s one of those beautiful fall mornings when the sun is warm and the shade is cool. I push our little girl in her stroller, watching her feet kick as we walk in the direction of her favorite park. We pass only a few people; it feels as though the hushed, sunlit town belongs to us. We play ...
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The Most Likely Way You’ll Take Back Your Time

Having a baby has changed the way I make choices. Time with Baby Girl McGraw is such a big YES for me that it puts every other decision into sharper focus. “Do I want to take on this project?” turns into, “Do I want to trade an hour with our long-awaited little one? Do I want to source childcare for this time? Is it worth it to me?” I’m hooked on the fierce clarity. But the challenge, of course, is to translate thought into action – to LIVE from that place of integrity. Is this something you struggle with, dear ...
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You get to trust your intuition

Dear readers, if you missed last week’s missive, please go there first. It’s time to listen and learn from the people who are doing the hard work of shifting and healing systemic racism. Also, when that email went out, the blog post link to Krystle’s free offerings was outdated. Learn more about Krystle’s work at her website. Thank you to everyone who listened and wrote in, I’m grateful. *** Whenever I ask for your feedback, a significant percentage of you say that you want to hear more about honoring and trusting your intuition. So that’s what I want to talk ...
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If only you knew (what it’s really like to write)

Over a dozen of you wrote to me last week to share how much the missive meant to you. Thank you. As I read message after message, I shook my head and thought, “Wow. If only they knew.” Then I realized that perhaps it’s right that you DO know. The morning I wrote that missive, I did not bounce out of bed with a smile. Like so many other parents in this COVID time, my husband and I have been caring for our baby for 2 months without outside help, while both running our businesses. We’re thankful to have that ...
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There is a way, and you will find it.

Have you ever had a strong sense that there was something you were meant to do … but then second-guessed that knowing, because you couldn’t see how it would work? Ever spent time in silence, getting clear on what you yearn for … and then felt a vicious wave of doubt knock you down? I get it. I see it in my own life, and in my work with private coaching clients. Often we pretend that the problem is not knowing what we want … when the truth is that we DO know, we just don’t see a way forward. ...
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All the things we need to drop (and one that remains)

Do you remember the 1998 movie You’ve Got Mail, when Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly were both so darn PSYCHED to read their email? For all their differences, the characters had this in common: They loved logging onto AOL, hearing those dulcet dial-up tones and the voice saying, “You’ve Got Mail!” And after they deleted the spam, typically they only had ONE real email waiting for them. I woke up with that image in my mind the other day: An near-empty inbox. Just one message that really meant something. …
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So I Wrote You a Fairy Tale (For Real)

I started writing a book back in 2015. After about a million rewrites, I’m very happy to share that You Don’t Owe Anyone will be published by Broadleaf Books a year from yesterday, on April 20, 2021. It’s a book about what happens when you decide to free yourself from the weight of expectations, both internal and external. It’s one woman’s story of trying so very hard to be perfect, then learning to trust herself instead. It’s a modern twist on divine grace; You Don’t Owe Anyone is what happens when you realize that you have no relational debt to ...
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I used to keep this quiet

There’s a quiet, poignant scene at the beginning of Eat Pray Love, where Liz Gilbert reads a line from a Louise Gluck poem: “From the center of my life, there came a great fountain…” This is what I think of when I go for daily walks with Baby Girl. Each morning, we set out with the stroller. On our way home, I steer us toward the fountain downtown. The closer we get, the more attentive Baby Girl becomes. We circle the perimeter, and her eyes go wide. I can only imagine what she’s thinking, what it feels like for her ...
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I couldn’t get this off my mind

There is a man who lives down the road from me in Alabama. Let’s call him Andy, because that is nothing like his name. One of the very first things you’d notice about Andy is that he smokes. His clothes smell of it, and he has a metal pail on his front porch where he drops cigarette butts so they don’t light the house on fire. Most evenings you’ll see him out there, standing by door and smoking. He’ll wave to you politely through the puffs. …
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