Make the Call, Take the Nap: Your Body is Worth it

Caring for your body isn't as simple as the magazines make it out to be. The choice to care for your physical self can be very difficult. For example, if you're parenting young children, caring for an aged parent, or managing an ongoing crisis, giving care to your body might seem impossible given what you need to do for others. But at other times -- even in the midst of such challenges -- self-care isn’t impeded by visible roadblocks. Sometimes you have every opportunity to take a nap or go to a yoga class … and you just don’t. There’s ...
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Instructions for Life: ‘Listen to the Rhythm. Don’t Be Scared.’

If you've never seen the movie Strictly Ballroom, I recommend that you remedy this oversight immediately. It’s hard to explain why I love the film. It has something to do with the fairy-tale feeling it evokes, with its over-the-top costumes and generalized insanity. It has something to do with the fact that it’s a family favorite, that I grew up quoting it. But it’s more than that. I love Strictly Ballroom because it’s a story about active rebellion and the gift of doing things differently, getting perspective and attending to the essentials, and celebrating and accepting people as they are. ...
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What Holds You Up? Or, the Hands that Frame Your Risks

Photo Credit: Ashley Baker I hopped on my bike and started pedaling, determined to arrive on time. I'd left home a little bit late, but I could still make it on time if I tried. Even though I was moving quickly, I savored the crisp autumn morning around me. It was a perfect day for yoga in the park, a donation-based event hosted by Shoals Yoga. As I pulled up to Wilson Park, I heard bells chiming the hour. After locking my bike, I pulled out my yoga mat and joined the other yogis on the grass. Glad ...
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Relationships Matter, Not Things: An Interview with Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens

This week, I'm thrilled to feature an interview with Tammy Strobel of RowdyKittens! (Tagline: Go small, think big & be happy.) RowdyKittens is one of my favorite blogs, because Tammy shares stories of her everyday life and the challenges and joys inherent in her relationships. Our interview focuses on how simplicity connects with cultivating stronger relationships. Tammy talks about the ways in which simplicity played a part in her caregiving journey with her mother and her stepdad, Mahlon. (And yes, Tammy met Bootsie, AWCC's very own rowdy kitten!) We also talk about Tammy's new book, which launched this week to ...
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The Caregiver’s Paradox, Or, Treasures of the Incomplete

**Note: A Wish Come Clear will return with new posts on Monday, Sept. 17th!** We are living in an unfinished space here in Alabama, and that comes with challenges. We entered a season of renovation when we arrived in July, and we've accomplished a great deal in just a few weeks. (And by 'we', I mean my husband, who has done the lion's share of the work.) We tore out the entire kitchen, and we're finishing a new one now. Extensive plumbing and electrical work has been required. Any cooking beyond the toaster-oven variety has been impossible, which means we've ...
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Commitment Is (Not) For The Birds, Or, Show Up and See What Happens

Sometimes, it's all too much! I'm going to tell you a secret: I don't always feel like showing up to write posts every week. Much as I love to write, sometimes, I just don't feel the love. My mind kicks in with complaints: "Again? Can't I skip it?!" Often, I feel resistance because I'm scared to write about what's most alive in me, but other times, I just want to play hooky from the written word. And I have a feeling that it's true for you, too. It can be hard to summon the dedication it takes to ...
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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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I Wanted To Blend In, But Special Needs Mean Standing Out

She leaned toward me as she said, "I'd always wanted to blend. You know? I never wanted to stand out. And when I had my son, I knew that I would have to lay that down, and it was hard." Photo Credit: Brian Taylor Photography My new friend Kristy was sharing her experience as a mom to a child with special needs, speaking about her challenges in a straightforward, matter-of-fact way. It takes courage to speak one's truth to a (relative) stranger, and I admired her for it. I leaned in, listening. "I know just what you mean," ...
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Would You Dare To Go ‘All In’ On A Dream?

There's something magical about deciding to go all in. Photo Credit: Brian Taylor Photography In that moment when you make the heart-pounding decision to commit to doing whatever it is you most need to do, energy starts flowing through you. Things happen to make you feel as though you're not alone, as though Something or Someone is blessing your efforts. It's as though a mysterious force actually wants you to succeed. This is both unnerving and exciting. Just a year ago, I dreamed (and feared the dream) of becoming a full-time writer. I longed to work on projects ...
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Get Outta Here, Guilt: Staying Close While Saying Goodbye

Here's my theory: moving is like throwing a stone over the lake of your life -- eventually, the ripples reach to every part of the water. I arrived at this idea as I talked with my mom this week. In the course of conversation, she said, "Your brother keeps forgetting to say "Alabama" instead of, "Washington, DC" when he prays." Every night at supper, Willie prays: "Thank you God for heaven and for prayers, and for food, and for my sister Caroline and Jonathan in Washington, DC ... " Remembering this, I felt a sinking sense of guilt; not only ...
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