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Do You Know the Sound of Your Own Voice?

I slouched in the back seat of the parked car as the rain poured down outside, blurring the unfamiliar buildings around us. We mostly sat in silence except for the occasional sigh of I don’t know. They all look good. What do you think? We’d had a fun morning despite the rain and the traffic, but now it was time for lunch. The treat of going out together somewhere special was overshadowed by the monumental task of choosing a restaurant.…

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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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How Do You Know If You Are Growing?

I’ve been working my way through the daily journaling questions in Hannah Braime’s book, The Year of You. One morning recently, I wasn’t satisfied with any of the answers I was writing down. I thought of you and wondered how you might respond. How do you measure personal growth? How do you know when you’ve grown as a person? Would you take a moment right now to think about how you’d answer?…

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I Thought I Didn’t Know

You know how sometimes a certain idea or phrase starts showing up everywhere you look? Lately, I’ve been noticing a message jumping out at me from books, articles, podcasts, and conversations. Take action. Take a step in the direction you think you might want to be headed and see where it takes you. If fear is what’s holding you back…maybe you should give it a try. It seems like good advice…for someone else.…

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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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How Happy are You?

I had an interesting conversation with someone about a pattern she’d noticed in her life. After about six months in situations that initially seemed great, she’d start feeling stuck and questioning whether it was what she really wanted. This realization got her wondering, can we ever be 100% happy? It’s a totally natural thing to want to be happy. Although there are differing opinions about the worthiness of happiness as a primary goal, I think most of us deep down would like to be happy if we can.…

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Journaling: Getting Started and Continuing

It’s only in the past few years that I’ve started journaling consistently. Before that, I didn’t journal unless I was really upset about something (or had just gotten a new journal). Now, most days, I try to write three pages of stream-of-consciousness (adapted from Julia Cameron’s morning pages). Honestly, most of what I write in those pages is repetitive and boring. But I’ve found it helpful to practice showing up and writing every day.…

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What’s Really Holding Us Back? Two Big Reasons We Avoid Journaling

My journal has become such an important tool for me that I don’t know how I managed before I started journaling consistently. It’s where I’m most honest about what I really think and feel. But as much as I love journaling, I also sometimes dread it. Just because it’s valuable to look beneath the masks we wear, doesn’t mean it’s not scary or painful. I hear from people who would like to have a journaling practice but something keeps getting in the way.…

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What Do You Need During This Season?

I don’t know what the seasons are like where you are, but they are very pronounced where I live. Summer is hot and humid. Winter is cold and snowy. Spring teases us with its repeated thawing and freezing until it finally transitions from a muddy mess to an abundance of green. Autumn brings vibrant colors and a refreshing crispness, along with the foreboding of another winter to come. We’re moving into autumn again and I’m trying to enjoy one of my favorite times of year without getting distracted by thoughts of the frigid starkness that is coming.…

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What Tools Do You Need to Get Yourself Unstuck?

About five years ago I felt completely stuck in my life. Most days I just did the minimum necessary to get by. Each day looked much like the last. I was working a job I’d never wanted. While there were parts of the job I’d come to appreciate—namely, some of the people—the stress of working under poor management, low pay, and years of fighting to get enough sleep on third shift had taken their toll.…

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