Do You Risk Reaching Out?

Have you ever received an invitation that made your heart say YES before your mind could even catch up? Ever had such a strong gut feeling that you needed to be at this exact place, doing this exact thing?

That’s how I felt when I was asked to give the keynote speech at this year’s Heart of L’Arche Fundraising Breakfast in Arlington, Virginia on April 25, 2018.

Titled, “Risk Reaching Out,” this talk was part of a program that helped raise over $135,000 to support the L’Arche Greater Washington DC community.

L’Arche is a worldwide nonprofit that creates homes where people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities share life together.

(I served in various roles there for five years, and it’s where my husband Jonathan and I met. The people there are family, and they are with me wherever I go.)

Click here to watch the keynote talk on YouTube, or press play below. I also include the approximate text of the talk, so you can read along.

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When You’re Feeling Lost, Walk The Beauty Way (Our Seven-Year Anniversary)

We all know how it goes.

We wake up in the morning, and from the moment we open our eyes, something feels “off”. There’s a barrage of anxious thoughts about work and laundry and that text we forgot to respond to yesterday.

Where did these thoughts come from? Why are they slamming us now, before our feet even touch the floor?

We don’t know. We just know that there’s already a feeling of dread within, and we haven’t even looked at our email or news feed yet.

We feel lost and afraid; what can we do to bring even the faintest glimmer of peace into ourselves, much less this troubled world?

Fortunately, the universe is always sending us answers, always gifting us with teachers.

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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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