Tagessays

You Don’t Have to Accept Someone’s Gift

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“If someone offers you a gift, and you do not accept that gift, to whom does the gift belong?” Ask yourself, “Why would I allow something that belongs to someone else to be a source of my resentment?” — 21 Days to Master Success and Inner Peace Someone behaves in a jerk way. Is that your stuff or theirs? Someone acts in a bizarre way. Same thing, your stuff or theirs? Let...

Emotional Labor

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A few stories from the last few weeks: 1.) A couple of weeks ago, I spent a couple of hours (dispersed over the course of the day) on the phone with my sister, discussing career options and weighing the pros and cons of each of them with her. Over the last half of the day, between calls, I came up with a solution for a situation within my own life and business and texted her asking if she could...

Start Now

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Life will never be perfect, so just begin moving in the direction of your dreams. Life will catch up—or it won’t. Doesn’t matter. At least you’ll be making a go of it. Regrets don’t have to go far back (although a lot of times they do). My most recent ones: first, last year, going in a career direction I knew in my gut and heart was wrong for my life, and second, not...

Not Everyone Will Like Your Art (It Has to Be Okay)

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For the next year, I’ve made a commitment to a second project. When it’s running full throttle, I have to give it the bulk of my time. But I also have to write (have to), so while I’m committed to that other project, I’m forced to keep tighter reigns on my writing commitments. I don’t always like it, but there is a hidden benefit to it: there’s no pressure. For...

You Can’t Control Everything — Keep Going

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I changed web hosts and rebuilt my website a month ago. It wasn’t in the plan. Either way, I’d outgrown my original setup and needed to make a change. So I did. Almost immediately, I started having trouble with the new host. The site was offline as much as it was on, and when it went down for two days in my last week with the company (the final day for nearly twelve hours), I knew I...

Gratitude and Loving the Ones You Love (Even When It Feels Impossible)

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My relationships have seemed more challenging in recent years (actually, maybe all the years, but I think my tolerance for those challenges has fallen off more recently). Sometimes, it’s just hard to love the people you love, you know? I came across the best reminder for maintaining gratitude, even when your relationships are less than ideal. It’s by Berni Xiong in her book, The Year...

The Magic Feather: Are You Waiting for Validation to Create Your Art?

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I was reading Berni Xiong’s book, The Year of the Brave Bear, when I came across this quote (which, oddly enough, was the same message I heard just yesterday from James Altucher, author of Choose Yourself — it’s a theme this week): We wait to be chosen. We wait for others to tell us we’re good enough. We seek validation from people before we proceed with our grand idea. — Berni...

The World Will Be a Better Place If You Create What You Want to Create

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“The world will be a better place if you create what you want to create.” —Dan Norris, Create Or Hate Sometimes I wonder why I’m so fixated on creating things (and on writing, especially); there are days when it feels painful and pointless. (Am I some kind of a masochist?) Making art hurts. I look around at all the creators who’ve gone before me, and while I sometimes hear...

Motivation: What About the Days When You Don’t Want to Create?

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I tried everything I could to write today. I tried setting my intentions. I wasn’t “in the mood” to write (the most non-justified justification a writer can make), so I figured if I got it out of the way first thing, I’d be less likely to skip it entirely (or come up with more excuses why I could). Except my web host was experiencing an outage. No problem, I wasn’t...

Playing Small

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The suppression of who we really are in our relationships causes comparison and the side effects are shame and playing small. — Lori Harder, A Tribe Called Bliss Playing small. Reminds me of another quote: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to...

Thorns in the Flesh: The Essence of Creativity (and Personal Growth)

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The essence of creativity lies in a sensitivity to defects. — E. Paul Torrance While reading Why Fly? A Philosophy of Creativity, I came across the idea of “thorns in the flesh,” which, in the author’s words, means “finding answers to questions, no matter how ridiculous or impossible those questions may at first seem.” He suggests never ridiculing or suppressing the...

Ordinariness: And Why Your Life Is (and Isn’t) So Special

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It is a quotidian mystery that dailiness can lead to such despair and yet also be at the core of our salvation. We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are. — Kathleen Norris, quoted in Liturgy of the Ordinary I’ve been thinking a lot lately about ordinariness. It started a couple of...

Without a Friend in the World (Can We Talk About Loneliness?)

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My relationships have always mattered to me a great deal. I’m an INFJ (first sign), and I was the oldest child of a broken family (my parents divorced when I was young, and out of a well-kept secret fear of my siblings being separated, I took on the role of keeping us together). As I grew older, I figured out that (a) that’s not everyone’s priority (relationships and staying...

The (Un)Glamorous Life of a Creative

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For most people, when they think about creativity, it conjures up images of exploration and fun and freedom. The day-to-day life of the creative, however, is far less exciting. Case in point, I was studying (it’s how I spend most of my days, not writing frenetically on my typewriter in my upstairs writer’s loft, even though I actually do have an upstairs writer’s loft —...

How to Not Suck at Relationships (Baby Step #1: Know the People You Love)

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I’ve been reading a book called Relationships Are Everything: How to Not Suck at Relationships & Make a Dent in This World. If you’d asked me before starting this book what was most important to me, I would have said my relationships. I’m less than a third of the way through the book now, and I’m starting to change my mind. My relationships have felt a lot trickier lately (say, over the last...

The Have-To of Creativity

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I’m reading the book Why Fly? A Philosophy of Creativity by E. Paul Torrance. One of the first quotes that stood out to me was this: “To be creative is to be unpredictable and the unpredictable always makes us uneasy. We like to be able to predict because we feel safer, more secure, more in control of things.” How this plays out in our lives: (From ourselves) I want to create...

Don’t Waste Creative Energy

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I was reading David Kadavy’s book, The Heart to Start, (yes, I’m stuck on it lately) and read the following quote about criticism and bullying: “Criticizing others wastes energy we could be using to grow. [He quoted someone who said], ‘I’ve never found a bully that was doing amazing things with their life. Successful, happy, well-emotionally-balanced people don’t have time...

Your Ego Fears Your Art (Or Why Your Art Is Stupid)

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From David Kadavy’s book, The Heart to Start, “If you start making your art, you’re going to expose your self to discomfort. You’ll have to resist distractions to do the work, you’ll have to struggle through doing work that doesn’t yet meet your standards, and you’ll have to face criticism to make your work better.” And that’s just a few reasons why you’re not creating your art. Still, if you’re...

Guiding Quote

A house extends skyward.
Like a tiny but proud cathedral,
it wishes to generate the highest
and the best in its inhabitants.
— John Truby

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