How Far Would You Go To Live Your Purpose?

I still remember the moment I knew that I could live in Alabama. My husband Jonathan and I were visiting the Southern town where we live now, walking hand in hand past the elegant public library. Not much was happening on the outside, but from within a simple knowing arose: I could walk to this library. This could be our hometown. We could live here and be happy. …
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From Ugly Cry To Deeper Why (Vulnerable Video)

Ever have one of those days when you feel like a total failure at life? Ever get so down and discouraged that you’re tempted to give up on your goals and dreams? Me too. But fortunately, that’s not the end of the story. …
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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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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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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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How to Persevere When Rejections Knock You Down

It’s the moment every writer knows and dreads. When I finally open the email, it’s just as I feared. My essay wasn’t chosen; try again next time. No matter how many times this happens – and for writers and artists, it happens a lot – I still feel a swirl of emotion. Depending on how much I wanted an acceptance, I’m by turns frustrated, disappointed, or angry. If you’ve received such a rejection, then you know the feeling. It’s as though you’ve offered your best wine to an honored guest, only to see them sniff the glass and turn away. ...
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To the Writer Who is Just Starting Out

To the writer who is just starting out: before we talk about blogging or book deals, let me tell you a story about Maroon 5. One of my closest friends from Vassar once told me about how he saw Maroon 5 play before they hit the big-time. It was at a bar in Boston, as I recall. I was quite impressed, because at the time, “Songs About Jane” was everywhere. It played at parties, at my on-campus job, on my roommate’s computer. Maroon 5 was a big deal then, and they’ve become a bigger deal since. But the people in ...
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For You, If You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

It's a bright, beautiful day, but I'm not really seeing it. The world looks bleak. A bombing at the Boston Marathon, a city-wide manhunt, ongoing violence and terrorism the world over ... the hate seems very heavy, and the love feather-light. Part of me wishes I could be a small child again, blessedly unaware of all this. And what is the deepest wish of a child but to be safe, held, home? *** Photo Credit: Brian A. Taylor Photography And that calls a story to mind. To begin, I should tell you that I co-led the opening of ...
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Are You ‘Silent About Things That Matter’?

I celebrated Valentine's Day by doing something I've never done before: calling animal control. It all began when I started learning to drive our stick-shift truck. During 'driving practice', I'd have (metaphorical) blinders on. It was me against the truck, and the battle demanded every bit of my focus. Meet Curley, the sweet puppy I grew up with. Gradually, I started looking around as I drove. When I did, I noticed an elegant German Shepherd with mournful eyes. She'd bark at me, but I could tell her heart wasn't in it. She was chained to a tree. She ...
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The Dance of Disconnection (And Some New Moves)

You’ve probably had this happen to you. Coffee & connections, 2012. Photo Credit: Sarah Bayot You see a person you love after an extended time apart. It's wonderful to reunite. You feel so fortunate to have this friendship; you’re sure you’ll keep in touch. And then you go home, back to your everyday life, and you don’t call them for months. This isn’t something you do on purpose. It’s just that one day you wake up and realize that you're disconnected, despite your good intentions. At this point, you have a few options. You can: A) Shrug off ...
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