Launch Day: I Was a Stranger to Beauty is Here!

Oh, happy day! Thanks to ThinkPiece Publishing, my new Kindle Single* is here! It's titled I Was a Stranger to Beauty: A Story of Special Needs, Simplicity, My Brother Willie, My Friend Miguel and A New Way of Seeing the World. (I'm fortunate to have a fantastic publisher who shares my affinity for ridiculously lengthy subtitles.) *If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry! You can read Kindle books with Amazon's (free) Kindle Cloud Reader. If you have Amazon Prime, you can also borrow the book through Amazon's Lending Library. *** This book is the story of a family moving ...
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When You’re Not Sure What’s Most Important: A Course in Priorities, Courtesy of John Franklin Stephens & Tim Shriver

Reading at L'Arche I settled down at my desk to start my workday, plunging into administrative tasks. Deep down, I knew that this wasn't the best idea, but I didn't feel like writing. I didn't have any 'good' ideas. But then I started feeling guilty. Why hadn't I called my friends in the Northeast, where Hurricane Sandy hit? Granted, I knew they were safe, but I wanted to hear their voices. So I made a few calls. But then I felt guilty that I wasn't getting work done. I thought, My inner perfectionist is having a field day ...
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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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Feeling Uncomfortable, Unwelcome, Unprepared? Good News: You’re Not Alone.

Once upon a Christmas, Pedro* and I set off for church. I'm spending the holiday with L'Arche in part to get a chance to see my husband (whose holiday schedule has him sharing time for up to 13 hours a day) and in part because the L'Arche members are a part of my family. I've spent my last five Christmases with them, so when my friend Pedro sets his heart on going to mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral, I open my heart and say yes to accompanying him there. We take a few wrong turns in the labyrinthine parking garage, ...
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Launch Day: Love’s Subversive Stance is Here!

It's the day you've been waiting for; Love's Subversive Stance is finally here! I'm proud to offer you this ebook, which contains 90+ pages of stories to help you go deeper with your most challenging relationships. If you want to say YES to standing on the subversive soil of love, pick up your copy today! Some early reviews: "The more I read of this book, the more I love it. It's really a beautiful collection of stories." -Allison McGinley, Be Not Afraid "Congratulations! I love the book...beautifully laid out." -Arvind Devalia, Make It Happen "...All I can say that it ...
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What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

This past week, I vacationed with my husband's family at Lake Martin, Alabama. I had brave, active days:  driving a WaveRunner, tubing and water-skiing. Yes, water-skiing. For my first day out, however, it would be more accurate to say, "I went out into the water, wearing skis, with every intention of water-skiing." I managed to get to a standing position maybe twice. Mostly, I fell down. As my failed attempts continued, I felt a connection between my attempt to ski and every task or relationship that I've been tempted to give up on. I thought of my brother, ...
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Trapped By A Problem? How Active Receptivity Can Set You Free

When you want to solve an intractable problem, you probably do what I do:  dwell, ruminate and obsess. Yet I've noticed that when I'm frantically seeking a solution to a difficulty, I rarely receive one. Yet this does not translate to:  "Since I don't know what to do about my [job search/medical condition/insane schedule], I'm going to do nothing." Giving up gets you nowhere. But if madly scrambling for a solution isn't helpful....and giving up won't do...what's left? There's a middle way between striving and passivity. It's called active receptivity. It means that you work toward a solution while opening ...
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Looking Past Limits (With Caroline Casey)

Today's post features a remarkable speech by an even more remarkable woman, Caroline Casey. Her accent is lovely and her speech is powerful. Moreover, her message is intimately connected with the mission of A Wish Come Clear, and so I'll simply say, you must watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyBk55G7Keo I don't know about you, but I can't watch this without crying. My tears started when the specialist asked Caroline, "Why are you fighting so hard not to be yourself?" "Do you love what you do, Caroline?" "What did you want to be when you were little?" By asking her these questions, the specialist ...
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