What Happens When You Surrender to Stillness: A Story

It was the best birthday present I could have given myself: an hour to just be. There I was in restorative yoga, lying on my purple mat, posed to surrender to stillness. In case you haven’t tried it, restorative yoga is a sublime form of deep rest that releases tension on every level. I love my local studio’s class, but I don’t go much. The poses are deceptively simple, so often I convince myself I could do them at home. But of course I am a recovering perfectionist and workaholic, so you can imagine the result of that rationalization. ...
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Writing as a Road to Healing: You Need to Read with Addie Zierman (Plus a Night Driving Book Giveaway!)

“Begin not where you think you should be or with what you ought to feel. Begin where you are.” That’s the healing invitation extended by our next guest in the You Need to Read video interview series, Addie Zierman! Addie is one of my all-time favorite writers. She’s the author of two rave-reviewed memoirs about letting go of religious baggage and walking her own faith journey, When We Were on Fire and Night Driving. She’s also a speaker and a blogger who writes about faith reimagined at AddieZierman.com and she writes the “Ask Addie” advice column at Off the Page. ...
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The Risk of NOT Being Busy

When my husband Jonathan and I moved from DC to Alabama five years ago, the biggest culture shock wasn’t the Southern accents, but rather, the less busy pace of life. It was the stunningly slow turns that drivers made into parking lots. It was standing still at a four-way stop because everyone wanted to let everyone else go first. (As a New Jersey native, both of these drove me bananas. Just go already! You could not get away with these shenanigans in New York!) But the biggest change of all was the sudden halt of my own busyness. …
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One Sentence To Set You Free from Fear

Have you ever had your world turned upside down by a single sentence? Have you ever felt someone else’s words unlock a caged place within your heart and set you free from fear? If so, then this story is for you. It begins with me spending a month in a residential rehab called The Clearing. I am here for work – I’m a copywriter on The Clearing’s team, writing ebooks and essays – but I am also here for my own healing. (They tried to make me go to rehab, and I said yes.) On this particular day in workshop, ...
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What If You Stopped Making Yourself Miserable and Chose Joy? (6 Year Anniversary Video)

Happy Anniversary to us, friends! It’s been six years since the first post at A Wish Come Clear, so I recorded a video, What If You Stopped Making Yourself Miserable and Chose Joy? Click here to watch the video on Youtube, or just press play and read the approximate transcript below. *** Hello! I’m recording this video to celebrate A Wish Come Clear’s six year anniversary. I started this blog in January 2011, and wow, I am amazed at all that has happened since then. I’ve learned a lot, but one of the best lessons has been to focus on ...
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What To Do When A Blizzard Hits Your Life

Dear Caroline*, One minute I had a good life. I was happy, and my family was happy too. The next minute, we received some terrible and unexpected news. Without going into detail, I can say that it has been devastating … a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight. Surviving the present takes everything I have. I was in shock for a while. In a way I still am, but I’m getting through the days at least. Even though I still have a lot to be thankful for – a steady job, a safe place to live – it ...
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Want a Way Out of the Darkness? Start by Telling the Truth

Dear friend, You never know when truth is going to find you. Truth sets you free, and that’s the best news there is. But you need to do your part; you must open your eyes. You need to look around your small cell and see Truth next to you, ever patient, holding the keys. Truth is not outside; it’s there in the cell with you, close as your own heart. The Eagles had it right: So oftentimes it happens / that we live our lives in chains / And we never even know we have the keys. Sweetheart, I just ...
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You Can’t Just Do What You Want … Or Can You? Plus A Giveaway

Ever wish you had permission to do what you want, rather than what you’re ‘supposed to’ want? Even if it’s something that seems totally out of character? You’re a workhorse who wants a week off, or a couch potato who yearns to go backpacking. Or maybe you’re a shy, studious college student who longs to cut loose and sing karaoke at a bar. Okay, I admit it: that last one was me. I used to think that only really confident people could do karaoke, so I never put my name down even though I wanted to. But one fateful night ...
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When Hope Seems Lost, Remember This

When my brother Willie was diagnosed with autism, he was three years old and I was five. Neither of us had been to church yet, so I didn’t have much of a God concept. But somehow, I’d already arrived at a very clear idea of heaven. I used to lie awake at night and think about it, so eager for it to be real. I believed that heaven would be just this: a place where I could talk freely with my brother. It would be a place without the limits of autism on his part or lack of knowledge on ...
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What If You Refused to Stop Walking Homeward?

Let’s just be blunt: the last week has been hard. On behalf of us all, I’d like a cosmic refund. I’d like a do-over, our money back, and some free dessert for the table, please. Here in the McGraw house, multiple projects stalled, and I felt adrift and unsure. Then the feral cats chose our yard as the new kitty hot spot, leading to a flea infestation. Every time I stepped outside I received new bites, and I’m allergic to them. (Thank God for antihistamines.) Then I received some disappointing personal news. And after that I heard about the Oregon ...
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