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When Integrity Felt Like Lying

For years, hearing the word integrity squeezed the air out of my lungs and clenched my hands into fists. Somewhere along the way, I had come to define integrity as making sure my words and actions aligned with what someone else said was right. If my thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs lined up with that standard, then living in integrity would be easier for me. If not, then the pain and struggle of having to overcome who I was inside was just my punishment for not being good enough.…

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Is it Time to Say “Not This”?

I used to wear jeans and a solid-colored t-shirt nearly every day—long sleeves in winter, short sleeves in summer. This can be a comfortable, versatile wardrobe choice. I didn’t, however, choose those clothes for ease or because I felt like myself wearing them. I chose them because they helped me feel safe. Generic clothing choices didn’t draw attention. While there wasn’t much to compliment about my attire, there was also little to criticize.…

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Six Words We Must Be Able to Say to Love or to Lead

Last week I was traveling with my husband’s family. It was a lot of fun and we made some great memories. It was also completely exhausting. I have to admit, I didn’t do a very good job of keeping up with my non-negotiables. Now that I’m home again, it seems like I should be able to get right back to work. The truth is…I’m still tired. Part of me wants to pretend I never get tired or cranky.…

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When Others Think Your Growth is a Step Backward

Last summer, I chose to step down from leading a discussion group. I was no longer sure I fully agreed with some aspects of the beliefs and teachings held by the organization. For a time, I’d tried to avoid showing how I had changed. I didn’t want to risk losing relationships. I didn’t want them to think less of me. So I pretended. I played my role. After a while, however, I couldn’t stand the difference between who I was and who I was pretending to be.…

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An Eye-Opening Truth About Belonging

We sat around the circular table, discussing. Everyone else seemed to freely share their answers, stories, questions, and opinions. I concentrated on my breathing to keep the tears from falling. No one seemed to think like me and, yet again, I felt like an outsider instead of one of the group. I had told myself that it was ok to be different, that I didn’t have to be like everyone else to belong with them.…

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But…What if I Don’t Want to be a Badass?

It seems to be one of the aspirational labels of the moment. Podcast guests are introduced as total badasses. Courses promise to help us unleash our own inner badass. Memes abound that celebrate badassery. While part of me thinks being a badass would help me feel powerful and confident—and who doesn’t want that—there’s also a voice inside that questions whether I really want to be a badass and what it means about me if I don’t.…

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How to be Yourself in Each Role You Fill

We all fill a variety of roles in the course of our lives. I’m a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a writer, a friend, a citizen, a dog owner, a homeowner—just to name a few. I’ve also claimed the roles of employee, coworker, manager, student, leader, musician, artist, athlete, and dancer. Some roles don’t come with official titles, but are implied—good girl, smart one, responsible one. What about you?…

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Who Do You Want to Be?

Every Sunday I review the previous week and plan for the next. I look at practical matters like places I need to be and things I need to get done. I also reflect on how the things I’m doing or not doing are helping me or hindering me in my efforts live out my values and work toward my dreams. One of the questions I ask myself each week is Who do I want to be?…

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Why We Feel the Need to Explain Ourselves and Justify Our Choices

I’ve realized that I put a lot of energy into trying to explain my decisions. Sometimes those explanations are an honest attempt to connect with another person or to step a little further out of hiding. Often, they are a result of my own self-doubt and desire for people to like me. I’m honored to be at Tiny Buddha exploring the reasons behind the urge to explain ourselves and ways we can explain out of respect (for ourselves and others) instead of fear.…

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I Needed to Change, But Not in the Way I Thought

When have you felt trapped in an identity that didn’t feel quite right? It can be hard to change the way we are perceived when everyone around us seems to think they know exactly who we are. A fresh start somewhere new can seem like our only chance to become who we really want to be. Today I’m over at The Possibility of Change sharing about a time when I needed to change, but not in the way I thought.…

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