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Balance

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Three years ago, I set out to change my life because something didn't feel right. People were quick to say I didn't seem to be happy, but that was a simplistic observation. I can look back on it now and offer this: I wasn't as happy as I thought I should be in light of what I had accomplished. I also wasn't living all of my values and I wasn't allowing myself to be human, which meant I was out of balance. It led me to question who I was and whether I was proud of myself. It led me to question what my values were and if any of them had remained the same. Did I have new values, good or bad, that I picked up from my experiences? Did I really want to be influenced by others and was I associating with good people? A year after I had left my post as a marketing and financial development director in Illinois, I was still asking myself the same question with new surroundings. On August 1, 2018, I posted this pair of images on my then-private Facebook feed. I was experiencin

Survivor's Guilt

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If I call myself a survivor and if I admit that I feel guilty, at least we know I moved forward! Whenever I make a decent advancement in life, I begin to feel more confident. At the same time, I feel nostalgic about the past and I feel an urge to reconnect with people. It helps assuage the guilt I feel from relocating and leaving people behind, which I mentioned in Getting Around . Rarely, if ever, do I know from the outset of my journeys that I will only be somewhere temporarily . I have always anticipated staying permanently in a new place (or staying permanently upon return to an old place). For some reason, it's important for me to admit that and to declare that I really want a sense of permanence; I don't want to be a gypsy or a vagabond. Over the past few years, I've had to embrace being in a perpetual state of transition even though I didn't really want to be. I don't know why it must be a part of my journey, but it is. And I made a vow to seek out the joy i

Pluck Happiness

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Every now and then, I stumble upon a quote that's not only a glimmer of truth but one that really resonates with my experience in life. I don't know if I've written about it publicly before—to explain succinctly the progression of my thoughts and the logic around things that were so personal and emotional—but I think I can now. "I used to think it was great to disregard happiness, to press on to a high goal, careless, disdainful of it. But now I see that there is nothing so great as to be capable of happiness; to pluck it out of “each moment and whatever happens”; to find that one can ride as gay and buoyant on the angry, menacing, tumultuous waves of life as on those that glide and glitter under a clear sky; that it is not defeat and wretchedness which come out of the storm of adversity, but strength and calmness." —Anne Gilchrist I made life decisions with the knowledge and resources that I've had at natural junctures. To have done nothing, or to

Progress

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Progress...yes, I'm making it. I'm not bent out of shape about everything I haven't accomplished yet. When I step back from my own reality, it's easier to see that I've been setting the stage for the action that is soon to begin. Setting the stage, for me, is carving out my own space to cultivate the freedom to let my creativity flourish. Some routine is necessary. Some community-building is helpful. But I must keep reminding myself to consider the difference between engagement and entanglement. It was imperative for me to redefine engagement so I could set myself free. I used to want to commit to every new thing in a long-term way, but now I'm pausing to consider whether there is a "light" version of new things, and so I ask myself, "Can't you just try something without making a commitment? Would that be so hard? No, it's not hard at all; it's actually easier. Wow. This is mindblowing to me." Every. Single. Time.

New e-book: 30 Days to Authenticity

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It had never occurred to me to be fake on purpose. Years ago, however, I began to realize that in my advancement in life, I had made some compromises when it came to my values. A major tipping point in my health and a spiritual awakening became a catalyst for change. When I went back to my roots and embraced "the good, the bad, and the ugly" about my heritage, I learned how to appreciate the things that made me who I am to begin with—no longer evaluating them and filtering them out to present an ideal version of myself that I could never live up to. For some, letting go of the pursuit of perfection might be the best path toward being more authentic. For others, it might require letting go of a set of beliefs passed on to you from previous generations that you have adopted without much reflection. No matter what you have to unlearn to become "fully you," my first e-book can help you do that with something small. What you post online has the amazing power to