Taglife lessons

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...

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...

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...

Trust (and the Players in Our Lives)

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“Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play. Embrace them all, and move on to the next act.” — Wayne Dyer, 21 Days to Master Success & Inner Peace I often worry about the people in my life, who they...

What’s the Point of Everything?

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You ever just stop and wonder what the point is to everything? It doesn’t even have to be with a sense of resignation or disappointment (although, for a lot of people, I think that’s the case). From a place of pure curiosity (and maybe in hopes of making the most of the time here), what is the point, really? Although I question most religious beliefs, I do believe there’s a...

A soul can be saved. The world won’t help much.

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A soul can be saved. But it will take softness and depth and space. The world won’t help much. — John Ortberg At the beginning of his book, Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You, John Ortberg quoted his friend, writer and professor of philosophy Dallas Willard, who said, “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your...

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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