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 ...
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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, Your Truth Will Set You Free. 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 ...
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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. …
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Feeling Judged and Controlled? Question Your Inner Cruise Director

When Jonathan and I went on a cruise to Bermuda with my family several years ago, the piped-in, controlled voice of Cruise Director Carlos drove me crazy. Now, this was a lovely cruise. It was a privilege to relax and have my towels folded into animal shapes every night. However, the oft-repeated, overly-enthusiastic announcements just did not work for me. (I’m an introvert who jumps like a startled deer at the sound of a ring tone.) Several times a day, Cruise Director Carlos would blast over the loudspeakers, reading the rundown of social events with forced good cheer. After a ...
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Wanting to Leave is Enough

Let me guess: it used to be good. That job, that relationship, that volunteer position … whatever it was, it started out fine. But over time, things changed. Or maybe you did. Either way, you’ve got a secret: wanting to leave. …
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Stop Believing Shame’s Lies (and a Giveaway to Help!)

Let’s face it, shame is sneaky. You want to stop believing shame, but it engulfs you like one of J.K. Rowling’s Dementors, those terrifying wraiths that drain happiness. Soon you’re locked in what author and researcher Brené Brown calls a shame spiral. …
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You Don’t Owe Anyone An Interaction

Have you ever beat yourself up over not responding to every message you received in a day? Me too. I know how it goes. On one hand, you’re tired and overwhelmed. But on the other hand, there are emails! Texts! Calls! All demanding a response! If we check in with ourselves, we can sense which messages require our attention. However, we have trouble heeding that inner knowing because it conflicts with what we’ve been taught … If someone writes, we must write back. If someone starts talking, we must converse. If someone moves in for a hug, we must embrace. ...
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The Only Life You Can Save.

What if the only life you can save is your own? Something happened to friends of mine this past week. I won’t go into detail, because it is not my story to tell. The short version is: People I love are being unjustly excluded. And I’m angry about it. Writing that last sentence is a big deal for me. See, for a long time I was convinced that feeling anger meant that I was a ‘bad’ person, lacking in compassion. And I wanted so much to be (and to be seen as) ‘good’. So whenever anger arose, I tried hard ...
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This Makes God Smile.

Friends, I’m going to share an excerpt from a new book with you today. But if hearing the words “daily devotional” makes you want to bolt, I understand, because I feel that way sometimes too. Daily devotionals and I have a checkered history, as they tend to trigger perfectionistic thinking. If I’d miss a day, I’d start to feel bad about myself, thinking, Shouldn’t I be more disciplined? And at some point I’d start comparing myself to the author, thinking, Shouldn’t I be ‘more spiritual’, more like so-and-so? Then I’d end up feeling like I’d failed at loving God if ...
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You Are Meant to Rise Again.

“This is not a competition,” the TEDx organizer told us. “We’re calling this Salon an audition for TEDxBirmingham, but remember that this is your TEDx talk … and one or two of you may be invited to present at the larger event.” I nodded, feeling a blush creep up my cheeks. I’d been caught red-handed, thinking competitive thoughts. Taking a deep breath, I reminded myself that it was a tremendous honor to give one 4-minute TEDx talk. …
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