The Four Magic Words (You’ll Never Guess)

If you’ve already read my new book, You Don’t Owe Anyone, then you know that I’ve dreamed of becoming a published author ever since I was six years old. When my first grade teacher helped our class make our own hardcover books, I was hooked. She told us that authors were people whose job it was to make books. I thought that nothing could be cooler than that. (My first book, age 6) (My new book, age 35) Fast-forward about 30 years. After decades of diligent reading, writing, and study, that original dream has come true today. You Don’t Owe ...
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After 10 years, we’re done (with martyrdom)

A Wish Come Clear is 10 years old this week. I published the first post on January 16, 2011. To quote Captain Awkward – a fellow 10 year blogging veteran – this makes the blog “1 bajillion years old in blog years.” In hindsight, it’s easy to see that starting the blog was a good choice: It’s now a thriving community with thousands of kindred spirits gathered here. You, dear ones, are the reason that I wrote (and got a book deal for) my forthcoming book, You Don’t Owe Anyone. Yet there were plenty of reasons why it was crazy ...
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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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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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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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You Need to Hear These 6 Words Today

“Walk like you’re one inch taller.” Dawn, my new physical therapist, was coaching me to walk properly last week. She’s helping me to improve my posture and alignment in order to heal from birth injuries. As you’d imagine, I’m taking this work seriously. I’m on time for every appointment, giving each exercise my all. But those 6 words nearly stopped me in my tracks. The ears of my soul perked up, like a cat at the sound of kibble. That’s what my body feels like when it hears something true; my inner animal snaps to attention. …
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Decision Making Is a One Way Street

I’ll never forget the night I drove across the George Washington Bridge by accident. It was 2010, and I’d just dropped some friends off at a train station in New Jersey. In a moment of distraction, I missed my turn on the unfamiliar, dark streets. That’s how I found myself on a one-way road heading straight toward the bridge and into New York City. There was no changing course or correcting the mistake. If I wanted to get home to New Jersey, I’d need to pay the $8.00 toll, cross the bridge, then get back on course. Now, this was ...
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Torn Between Personal Growth and Career Success?

“How do I know when I need to focus more on personal growth, and when to focus more on career success?” This listener question from The Clarity Course Series illumines a popular assumption. We believe that our personal growth doesn’t feed our career success, and vice versa. But what if we can’t separate them into neat boxes? What if they’re intertwined? …
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Making Time to Go After Goals

“How can I have the confidence to make the time to go after my goals when my brain tells me they are frivolous?” “How can I be more efficient with my use of time … and fit exercise into an already packed schedule? [Housework, part-time employment, half-time Ph.D. studies, dependent elderly father 90 minutes away refusing to consider moving into care.]” Boy oh boy, could I relate to these listener questions from The Clarity Course Series. Though our circumstances are different, I know what it’s like to work big goals into an already-full life. …
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