True Recovering Perfectionist? Then Press Play!

“We fear losing other people’s approval. We’re so scared of that, that’s so terrifying to us! But what actually hurts a lot more is when we completely reject ourselves.” This is a quote from my recent appearance on Claire Barton’s podcast, in an episode titled True Recovering Perfectionist. …
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You Have Permission to Walk Out.

Friends, a few quick notes to start: A Wish Come Clear celebrated its four-year blog anniversary on January 16! I had every intention of publishing that day, but life got in the way. In the past week, I’ve faced a host of physical issues. (I’ll spare you the details, but don’t worry, nothing is serious, just unpleasant.) Naturally, I did not appreciate this. Who enjoys letting go of their plans, taking pills, and slowing way down? Not me. However, there is a silver lining. I’ve had practice letting go of judgment and self-blame and choosing kindness, which is a spiritual ...
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Perfectionism Doesn’t Protect Us: The TEDx Video!

Friends, today is the day! The video of my 4-minute TEDxBirminghamSalon talk, Perfectionism Doesn’t Protect Us, is now live on the TEDx Talks Youtube channel. I must admit, I’m nervous about sending it out. It was one thing to get up in front of a hundred people and give this talk; it’s another thing to email it to all of you. But then I remember: you were the ones who helped me to find the courage to give this talk in the first place. You were the ones who encouraged me to tell the truth about my struggles with perfectionism ...
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Don’t Hold Those Coins So Tightly, I Beg of You: A Story

I’ll tell you upfront: this is not my proudest moment. No, far from it. It’s been over ten years, but if I try I can still summon back the anxiety, the scarcity, and the fear that flared through my mind. Picture this: I am seated at an outdoor café table with my three closest friends. Our backpacking trip is coming to a close, and we’ve just finished a meal of savory crepes in a small village in France. I love this place because it reminds me of Belle’s village in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and also because the crepes ...
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That Whole Gorgeous and Terrible Pageant

Watching people's professionally-produced videos can be ... challenging. Back & forth, back & forth ... Even though I know better, I usually think, Dang, that person really has their life together! They glide through their days with a soft glow surrounding them ... no zits, pit stains, or problems! That is so not my life ... As you've probably guessed, A Wish Come Clear has a new video in the works, thanks to the talented team at Armosa Studios. But excited as I am about sharing the video with you, the behind-the-scenes story comes first. Why? Because I ...
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Beware the Laundry: A Guide to Writing & Relationships

"I sure need encouragement to write. Help." This photo always makes me smile, because, dude, where's the typing paper?! Credit: Kevin J. Fischer A dear friend recently wrote this to me, adding, "I hope you can shed some light on how I can get started." So I thought I'd, you know, write an answer. And I thought I'd publish it here because writing is about relationship. Writing is an interplay between what's in your mind and what's on the page, between the stories you tell and the stories you live. And so it's no surprise that the most ...
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School Lunches (and the Path of Liberation)

In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says that, if you're not sure what to write, you can start with school lunches. And so today I am remembering the sound of crinkling brown bags, and the insecurity of youth. Lunch was a litmus test. Would you fit in? Were you acceptable? Lunchtime at Vassar (much less stress) I remember being harangued in elementary school having whole-grain bread on my sandwiches when white bread was all the rage. One girl would say, "Ew, what are those weird things in your bread? Are they bugs?!" She was referring to sunflower seeds, ...
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In a Dark Time, Do You Dare to Welcome the Stranger?

About a year ago, I encountered a few words that changed my life. When we first met as roommates, we weren't sure we had a thing in common. Nearly 10 years later, her friendship is a treasure. You know what I mean -- it's the moment when a lyric from a song or a verse from a poem suddenly shoots right through you. It's that AHA of recognition that comes when you read something and say, "That's it exactly." This happened to me last year when, after leaving a stunning photography exhibition featuring actors and actresses with developmental ...
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When You Feel Like Giving Up … Welcome to the Family.

There's nothing like a learning something new to show you the truth about yourself. Long-time readers may recall a post entitled, "What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up." It's the story of how, last July, I faced the challenge of learning to water-ski. This year, I have to say: water-skiing ain't got nothin' on learning to drive a stick-shift. (Even though we've moved to Alabama, I don't talk like that. Yet.) *** Learning stick-shift has been like traveling back in time -- once again, I am 16, and I have no idea how to drive a car. My ...
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Your Own Improbable Peace: 4 Suggestions For Serenity

I keep telling my husband that we jinxed it. First, there was a mention of Vincent's* upcoming birthday. (Vincent always has some kind of medical emergency on or around his birthday.) Next, there was the way we said, "Finally, a quiet weekend at home. A normal, peaceful Saturday." You see where this is going, right? We were awakened by the L'Arche emergency line on Saturday morning. Vincent had stroke-like symptoms, and an ambulance took him to the hospital. It turns out that Vincent didn't have a stroke (thank God), but that he needs further tests to determine what's happening. And ...
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