Yes, You Were Meant to Meet That Snake on the Road.

The pavement on the rural road was riddled with cracks, and at first that’s what I thought it was … a sinuous gap stretched before me like a finish line. I had ten more minutes left on my Memorial Day weekend run, and I was deep into that hypnotic running trance. My feet lifted and fell, lifted and fell. Thoughts rose and receded; Katy Perry’s “Roar” scrolled through my mind. It was my story, after all – the story of a girl who loses her voice then gets it back. “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath ...
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6 Ways to Get Rid of Perfectionism Even When Excuses Abound

“How did you start to get rid of perfectionism and make the steps to become an author? How did you transition from living your “past life” to the life you have now?” Here’s what I know: Perfectionism is fancied-up fear. To paraphrase Liz Gilbert in Big Magic, it’s fear in a fur coat. Perfectionism may seem classy and high-functioning, but deep down it’s just you being afraid. How to overcome fear in four words? Ground yourself in love. That’s the larger principle, but what does it look like to LIVE that truth, day in and day out? Here are a ...
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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 ...
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The Healing Power of Animals: You Need to Read with Julie Barton (Plus a Dog Medicine Book Giveaway!)

If you love your pets and believe in the healing power of animals … if you were a child who treated your stuffed animals as sentient beings … then you won’t want to miss this interview with Julie Barton, author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself. When I read the last chapter of Dog Medicine, my husband found me curled up on the couch sobbing. He tried to take it away from me, but I said, “No, no, it’s good crying!” …
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When You Want to Apologize for Existing

“I say ‘I’m sorry’ a LOT, usually when it’s not necessary. I apologize for existing.” “I’m so tired of fighting myself … For the last 17 years I spend my days in service to precious elders and give all that I can, yet inside me I feel like I am never, ever enough. The perfectionist in me doesn’t seem to be silenced.” “I’m so very, very, very tired Caroline! …. I’m at war with myself and know deep down I don’t have to be.”* …
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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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They Tried to Make Me Go To Rehab, and I Said Yes.

Friends, do you remember back in March when I wrote to you – albeit indirectly – about the blizzard that hit my life? I’d prefer to keep that crisis vague and metaphorical; it suffices to say that I went through something tough. That’s one reason why I’ve been quieter than usual on the blog this year. (That, and writing a book.) When I wrote about the hard time, I described it as “a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight”, and it was. But there was still hope. I just couldn’t see it. First, I needed to take a ...
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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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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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