Do this one thing for more powerful conversations

What if we are missing out on meaningful connection because we keep jumping into reporter mode? What Photographers Do I was a yearbook editor the year our...

Little Kids Driving You Crazy? Think About These 2 Things.

You cannot afford to miss this if you are in the trenches of parenting young kids right now! Sitting on the other side of my parenting journey, with a 24, 22...

The Biggest Career Mistake You Can Make (Avoid This At All Costs)

I can proudly say I’ve accomplished many of my dreams — from writing two books to speaking on stage in front of 1,000 people. To a large degree, I owe the...

The Productivity Guide to Getting WAY More Done

“Why can’t you get that work done?” “What’s wrong with you?” “Just apply yourself.” I used to hear that all the time, and then I’d look around at my messy...

The Words We Choose Make A Difference

Clarity counts I’ve been reminded of the idea of clarity many times over the past few days. I learned to pick my words carefully when I was teaching. Before...

Kurt Vonnegut’s Lessons on Writing And Life

5 Lessons on Writing and 5 Lessons on Life From a Creative Genius “I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has...

Mornings At The Methadone Clinic

Fighting my addiction versus fighting myself. The doors opened at 5:00 a.m. Most of us addicts were ready and waiting an hour earlier, forming a haphazard...

The Hole In My Heart

Let’s get back to finding value in others. There’s a hole in my heart. It’s not a medical condition though, it’s completely spiritual. I discovered it one day...

Here’s a Quick Way to Tell if You’re a Critical Person

3 questions to ask yourself before you talk I have a problem. And this is how I found out about it. Remember that cute triad of questions people ask...

Why It’s Good to Cry

A baby cries when it is in need of nourishment, care, or a simple nappy change. However, adults are taught from a young age that crying is weak. There are...

Embracing Failure As An Integral Part Of Life

No one wants to fail. In particular, no one wants to fail multiple times. But everyone does. I, for once, have failed so many times, I could not believe how...

When Life Becomes Facebook Official

Social media, for some people, is now where life comes from. It is the actual newsreel of their lives, and as they scroll, they note their friends’ “Most...

Freedom of speech: has the blessing become a curse?

Why it matters what we do with our freedoms and liberties Freedom of speech: has the blessing become a curse? Why it matters what we do with our freedoms...

I’ve Been Living A Lie For The Past Decade

It’s like waking up to realize someone else had lived your life and did a crappy job, but at least now you’re free. It’s not easy to accept an idea which...

How to be Humorous in Everyday Life.

Life is short, smile while you still have teeth. How to be Humorous in Everyday Life. Life is short, smile while you still have teeth. Image...

The Paradox of Weakness

“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.” — Jean Vanier I grew up...

Do Yourself a Favor: Focus on What Matters

Cleaning up your time will ultimately clean up your life. We all can relate to times that seem to be in complete chaos. Mornings are dreadful. Nights aren’t...

A Lifetime of Von Willebrand Factor and What it Can Look Like

As a child, I was a bit of a tomboy. I was reckless and rough on the playground and loved playing baseball during recess. Typically on the team we created, my...

The Biggest Lie About Abortion

The hashtag #youknowme is currently trending on Twitter. Busy Phillips started it. She asked women to tell their personal stories about abortion. This is an...

You Are Who You Think You Are: How Your Identity Shapes Your Life

The words you put after ‘I am’ determine the quality of your life.” It’s so simple and profound, yet many of us don’t realize how much of an impact our...

The Stages of Breaking Up

I know I have been writing a lot lately about my recent breakup from a 9-year relationship, and I would like to say I am sorry for inundating you all with my...

Why Life is like a Journey on a Train

and the mystery of not knowing at which station we get off  …with its stations …with changes of routes …with accidents. Life is like a journey...

Be Mascara-on-a-Bad-Day Brave

My eyes meet their match in the mirror, and I’m struggling to keep my hand from trembling as I swipe on a coat of mascara that I know all too well isn’t...

10 Principles to Strengthen your Prayer Life

Is your prayer life everything it needs to be? When you are in crisis, do your prayers make a difference? What have you accomplished lately in prayer? Jesus...

Watching Yourself Return, One Piece at a Time

Have you ever lost yourself?  That may be an odd question, but I am sure many people know what I am talking about. You hear from friends, “I miss the old...

6 Things Every Writer Should Do Before 6 AM

The early morning has gold in its mouth — German proverb I am about to reveal to you the secret of massive productivity and inevitable success. It involves...

Getting Over My First Book Rejection

After I cried a little, this is what I did. When the email popped up on my phone from an agent I queried last week, I didn’t open it at first. Instead, I...

Show Me How To Make The Best Choices ~ Twelve Quotes

We all need help in making better choices. Isn’t that true? Quotes act as guiding post down the road of life. Sometimes we need a word to course-correct our...

Success Starts Outside Our Comfort Zones

There are two ways of living this life — in our comfort zones or out of them. In the words of Steve Harvey, If you stay in your comfort zone, that is where...

Why are you letting a little rain stop you?

Let it do its thing. You do yours. We have a saying where I’m from. The only thing rain stops is cricket I guess the American equivalent will be baseball....

lcaroline depalatis

 

Author Spotlight: Caroline DePalatis

 

See more of Caroline’s work here

We’re Dale and Caroline, a husband and wife team of adventurers, bridge-builders, creatives, cross-cultural enthusiasts, educators, readers, travelers & writers. We like to spend our time doing life with our family, connecting with those from other cultures, learning & making stuff & getting outside whenever we can. We love the magic of discovery and are happiest when we get to experience new people and places, especially overseas, but also in our own backyard.

Visit Caroline on her website YourGlobalFamily.com.

Bring your questions for @yourglobalfam to #PubChat on Twitter on Wednesday, May at 22nd at  8 pm Central.  

 

How I Plan To Write My Heart Out

In the middle of feedings and diaper changes Forget the big plans I had big plans for my maternity leave. Living in Canada means I get a full year (now with an option of 18 months) off work.  Twelve glorious months to write. I was going to write my...

How Emotional Trauma Drives Nearly Everything We Do

Every one of us is in pain; every one of us wants to be loved. We act the way we act because we want the hurting to stop. “Pull over! Pull over now!”  In a rage-filled tirade, the driver in the car next to me screams in my direction as he tries to force me...

Is It Bad To Want To See A Psychologist?

Deep down, we all know the answer. All my life, I’ve been told by my family and close friends that talking to a psychologist means you’re sick. That something is wrong with your mind that it’s shameful. When we talked about someone meeting a psychologist, it was...

Stop Giving Fat People Your Free Advice!

Kindness works best, folks. We aren’t allowed to insult disabled people. We aren’t allowed to be racist. We aren’t allowed to dislike people of different faiths. We can’t hate women. Fat people are all we have left to shame! Why do fat folk get shamed? People have no...

5 Steps to Become a Paid Writer in 5 Weeks

In the past year, I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars from my writing. (I made a whopping $40 total in my first 4.5 years). Obviously, I’ve learned a thing or two!).  I discovered you can earn money from your writing very quickly, if you know what to do. ...

Why Writing Is One of the First Things I Do in the Morning

And Why You Should Try It Writing is a time for me to flesh out my thoughts — all the ideas that I’d previously thrown down on some random sheet of paper. There is a sort of relief that I feel once I put these things down on paper. And writing earlier in the morning...

Reaching Cacao

 The Day I Pushed a Taxi up a Mountain in Nicaragua Above the cloud forests in Nicaragua is a tiny village where coffee and chocolate grow wild. It is extremely remote and difficult to access.  I traveled there recently to explore the viability of a future...

How Habit Stacking Works (And How To Start Using It Today)

I’d heard of habit stacking for awhile. Do this one thing and then it leads you into another thing. But I just didn’t get it.  As someone who is in the “productivity writing niche” you’d think I’d get a brochure in the mail. Nope, I didn’t.  So it wasn’t...

Work it Right, Not Work it Hard - The first lesson I learned from my life at a very young age

I was born in the last year of three years of Great Chinese Famine, and when I was still a child, just starting to understand the meaning of a life, my family was impacted by the Great Chinese Culture Revolution, which probably the reason why I was so thin and weak...

The Curative Power Of Face-To-Face Interaction

In the networked world produced by technology evolving at an ever-accelerating rate, we are more interconnected than ever, in ways that give new meaning to the concept of “face time.” We enjoy fantastic scientific advances and conveniences that extend and enhance...

Do this one thing for more powerful conversations

What if we are missing out on meaningful connection because we keep jumping into reporter mode? What Photographers Do I was a yearbook editor the year our school first used computer software to submit our layouts. It was 1993 and we were embracing the future. ...

read more

Little Kids Driving You Crazy? Think About These 2 Things.

You cannot afford to miss this if you are in the trenches of parenting young kids right now! Sitting on the other side of my parenting journey, with a 24, 22 and 18-year-old, I pinch myself. Weren’t those days of constant diaper changes, breastfeeding hurdles (many!),...

read more

The Productivity Guide to Getting WAY More Done

“Why can’t you get that work done?” “What’s wrong with you?” “Just apply yourself.” I used to hear that all the time, and then I’d look around at my messy house, my endless list of to-dos and wonder how people manage to get it all accomplished. I’m good at Angry...

read more

The Words We Choose Make A Difference

Clarity counts I’ve been reminded of the idea of clarity many times over the past few days. I learned to pick my words carefully when I was teaching. Before that time, I was not so careful to only write or say what I meant. I spent most of my teaching career working...

read more

Kurt Vonnegut’s Lessons on Writing And Life

5 Lessons on Writing and 5 Lessons on Life From a Creative Genius “I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds...

read more

Mornings At The Methadone Clinic

Fighting my addiction versus fighting myself. The doors opened at 5:00 a.m. Most of us addicts were ready and waiting an hour earlier, forming a haphazard line outside while sharing stories of their drug addictions. Each person had a worse story than the last with...

read more

The Hole In My Heart

Let’s get back to finding value in others. There’s a hole in my heart. It’s not a medical condition though, it’s completely spiritual. I discovered it one day out on a mountain trail running. It had been yet another frustrating week in my full-time job. Trying to...

read more

Why It’s Good to Cry

A baby cries when it is in need of nourishment, care, or a simple nappy change. However, adults are taught from a young age that crying is weak. There are other ways to bind our frustration. Our hearts have been closed to feel our emotions through crying. I have...

read more

Embracing Failure As An Integral Part Of Life

No one wants to fail. In particular, no one wants to fail multiple times. But everyone does. I, for once, have failed so many times, I could not believe how unlucky I must be. There must be a higher being up there who enjoy looking down at me stumbling around. So what...

read more

When Life Becomes Facebook Official

Social media, for some people, is now where life comes from. It is the actual newsreel of their lives, and as they scroll, they note their friends’ “Most Recent” posts, in order to stay in touch with their little world.  In many ways, it is sad that we all have...

read more

Freedom of speech: has the blessing become a curse?

Why it matters what we do with our freedoms and liberties Freedom of speech: has the blessing become a curse? Why it matters what we do with our freedoms and liberties Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash Freedom of speech is our unalienable right. Or is it?...

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Why are you letting a little rain stop you?

Let it do its thing. You do yours. We have a saying where I’m from. The only thing rain stops is cricket I guess the American equivalent will be baseball. When we use this saying, it really applies to our party culture. If it starts to rain during an outdoor event, no...

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The Value of a Good Reputation

“Just because you didn’t put a name to something does not mean it’s not there.” — Jodi Picoult When I meet people, it is often revealed early in the conversation that I am a middle school teacher. This revelation often carries with it a stunned look from those I...

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How we read today makes me treasure it even more.

How reading evolved has never occupied much space in my mind. During my schooling, I was made vaguely familiar with the history of the text and moveable type. Yet, how we read never garnered much focus. This has radically changed in recent years. Silent reading is...

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This is Why AI Will Create Better Politicians.

What if your future president or prime minister is a robot? This is Why AI Will Create Better Politicians. What if your future president or prime minister is a robot? Image Credits: Pixabay.com If you had the opportunity to vote for a politician you totally...

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From Monster to Mother

Mother’s Day can be an emotional day for many.  Some mothers have lost children, some children have lost their mothers, and some of us, like myself, have had strained or broken relationships with their moms over the years.  Lately, as I have made some life...

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How the world is different for ADHD people

Here are some thoughts about having ADHD and how I have related to it over the years. A look into the private world of ADHD.  It is a real condition, but I am not convinced it is an illness. It may just be different than the norm. There are some positive...

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The Deacon’s Bench

This is a true story…word for word (names changed to protect the innocent) I was at a loss for words.  Could it be true? I turned to look at my friend but he was looking up at the windows and appeared as bewildered as I felt. The windows were covered in...

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Mom, What’s Wrong With You?

Talking to my daughter about mental illness. My 12-year-old daughter and I have about a 20-minute ride to her middle school every morning. We usually fill the time with music as she plays me songs from her playlist on her phone. She laughs when I say I don’t know some...

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I’ve Been Living A Lie For The Past Decade

It’s like waking up to realize someone else had lived your life and did a crappy job, but at least now you’re free. It’s not easy to accept an idea which shatters your entire worldview. Some people choose to deny. Others decide to confront and retaliate against the...

read more

How to be Humorous in Everyday Life.

Life is short, smile while you still have teeth. How to be Humorous in Everyday Life. Life is short, smile while you still have teeth. Image Credits: Pixabay.com Humor is one of the most important things in everyday life, chiefly because it is through humor...

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The Paradox of Weakness

“I am struck by how sharing our weakness and difficulties is more nourishing to others than sharing our qualities and successes.” — Jean Vanier I grew up watching the Charlie Brown specials. When I hear the first line of, Christmas Time Is Here, even as an adult, I am...

read more

Do Yourself a Favor: Focus on What Matters

Cleaning up your time will ultimately clean up your life. We all can relate to times that seem to be in complete chaos. Mornings are dreadful. Nights aren’t any better. Days are longer and more stressful than ever, as you pace around thinking about what you’ll have to...

read more

Breaking Up With a Friend

Yesterday I broke up with a friend.  This friend — I’ll call her Debbie— and I had met shortly after I’d discovered drugs in my house and that my husband of six years, significant other for nine, had been secretly abusing drugs for nearly our entire...

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Who Are You? What Makes You “You”?

Start acting like the person you know you should be “You’re unique.”  It’s a line you’ve probably heard a million times, but have you ever let it sink in?  Nobody on Earth will know what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Every thought, experience and feeling...

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Death, Resurrection and Discipleship

Jesus tied much of his teaching to the cross, especially when it came to being a disciple. We are journeying through everything Jesus did and said. The passage we read today in Matthew presents some challenging ideas. What do they mean and what are we to do in...

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You’ll Win With Your Words When You Lose Your Self-Doubt

Tips for writers who want their words to stick. So you grab your laptop, open a fresh browser tab, and make your way to a fresh canvas on which to type away with your thoughts. You’re used to this routine by now. After days of practice, you’ve come to terms with your...

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The Hidden Costs of Success No One Ever Talks About

Nothing’s free. Is success worth the price? You’ve been drudging through your existence for some time now. You’re older, have fewer aspirations, and are more resigned to your fate. You think back to the times where you seemingly had it all — freedom, hope, dreams you...

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Vulnerability Scares Me to Death

Facing this enemy takes courage “Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.” Brené Brown I have a confession to make; I abhor the movie, The...

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My Nine-Year-Old Self Still Cries Sometimes

But now it’s easier to feel better Life was hard when I was a kid. It’s not so hard now, and for that I am grateful. These days I have the time to look back and think about the troubles I went through as a kid. Nobody bothers me about them, and in writing about those...

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Leaving My Worry Chair Behind

Learning how to trust God As a young believer, I had to learn how to trust God.  It wasn’t natural for me. It isn’t natural for any of us.  Just as toddlers exert their free will before they can say it clearly, we like to “do it by our self!” American...

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The Biggest Lie About Abortion

The hashtag #youknowme is currently trending on Twitter. Busy Phillips started it. She asked women to tell their personal stories about abortion. This is an issue I believe will end up in the Supreme Court as a challenge to Roe v. Wade, and the outcome is unsure for...

read more

The Stages of Breaking Up

I know I have been writing a lot lately about my recent breakup from a 9-year relationship, and I would like to say I am sorry for inundating you all with my journey. But, I am not sorry I am writing about it.  I am not only writing ABOUT it all, but I am also...

read more

Why Life is like a Journey on a Train

and the mystery of not knowing at which station we get off  …with its stations …with changes of routes …with accidents. Life is like a journey on a train. Meeting halfway  The other day, not so long ago, I boarded a clean, polished train from...

read more

Be Mascara-on-a-Bad-Day Brave

My eyes meet their match in the mirror, and I’m struggling to keep my hand from trembling as I swipe on a coat of mascara that I know all too well isn’t waterproof. I wish for waterproof mascara while I give myself the talk that I will not cry today. Not yet. Not...

read more

How to Overcome Leadership Failure.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Bill Gates’s first company was a failure.James Dyson tried and failed 5,127 times. Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company. The list of leaders who suffered ignominiously is...

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Shining Through

I’ve lived with her for over forty years and, still, she gets me into trouble. I’m sure I would never fall for these traps if it weren’t for her. Well — almost never. It all started innocently enough. “I need to pick up a few books at the used-book store, dear. Would...

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The Surprising Upside Of Being A Perfectionist

Perfectionism can actually be quite wonderful. “What’s your biggest weakness?” You’ve probably heard that it’s no longer considered a wise move to respond to this common interview question by saying, “Well, I’m a bit of a perfectionist”. Being organized and...

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Day 2: Threat of School School Shooting in Progress

Honey, text as often as possible. Love, Mom No student should stare down the barrel of an assault rifle at school.  Did you miss the threat of school shooting yesterday?  While the planned threat did not happen at our school, it did happen in...

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What Every Introvert Should Do To Live A Great Life

For some people, solitude is the air they breathe Isaac Newton formulated the law of gravity alone, without brainstorming or group discussions. Famous composer Frederic Chopin gave only about thirty public performances in his lifetime, preferring instead to play for...

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What is the Definition of You?

If you were to look yourself up in a dictionary, on a page where you are clearly defined, what would that look like, and why?  How are we all defined?  Is it our career? Our family? Our culture? Our skin color? Our partners? Our values? Our religion? Or...

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Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word

Like Lust, Hate, and Fear Today, my heart breaks. So many stories from strong, stubborn women, fighting for their place in the sun. Fighting to be heard. Fighting through the hurt and pain of past abuse or failed relationships to make their own way in this often...

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The One Failure That Really Scares Me

I’m afraid of having lived in blues and greys when I could’ve lived in reds and orange.  When I think of failure, three ways of defining it make sense to me. The first one is failing to live up to what society expects of me. The second one is failing on what I set...

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I Never Meant to Hurt Her

A story about my mom If you ever saw the movie, Big Fat Greek Wedding, that was my life in the making. We even owned a family Restaurant, actually a Snack Shop. At twelve, I was already behind the counter learning to be a waitress.  In our home, there was no...

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Pick a Side, Any Side - Just Not Both Sides

Word of the day: Commitment This idea really struck me while I was in the shower. I sincerely don’t know why, but this seems to be the place where most of my ideas flow. …But back to the point. Commitment is a thing that I now (thankfully) understand. It’s no longer...

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10 Principles to Strengthen your Prayer Life

Is your prayer life everything it needs to be? When you are in crisis, do your prayers make a difference? What have you accomplished lately in prayer? Jesus is our example in prayer. His life was a life of prayer that teaches us. We can see from Jesus example the...

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Watching Yourself Return, One Piece at a Time

Have you ever lost yourself?  That may be an odd question, but I am sure many people know what I am talking about. You hear from friends, “I miss the old you”, or “Where did that person go, who used to be __________” (insert quality here).  Well, over the...

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6 Things Every Writer Should Do Before 6 AM

The early morning has gold in its mouth — German proverb I am about to reveal to you the secret of massive productivity and inevitable success. It involves maximizing your time and accomplishing more in a few hours than most people accomplish in a week. It is a...

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Getting Over My First Book Rejection

After I cried a little, this is what I did. When the email popped up on my phone from an agent I queried last week, I didn’t open it at first. Instead, I stared at the subject line in the mental space between hope and disappointment. I’d just sent the query a few days...

read more

Show Me How To Make The Best Choices ~ Twelve Quotes

We all need help in making better choices. Isn’t that true? Quotes act as guiding post down the road of life. Sometimes we need a word to course-correct our steps in making good choices. I can’t get over how my life has taking weaves, twist and turns on even...

read more

On Refusing to Be Ill

And what do to when this no longer works Okay, fine. I’m ill.  It surprises me that I am even considering writing this post because I am not allowed to be ill, I have never been allowed to be ill, and part of me is sure that if I just refuse to be ill, I...

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Today there will be a Shooting at Your School

#SeeSomethingSaySomething They saw it on the newsChildren sent out to schoolTo get a brighter futureSent backDead― bellatuscana, Pavo This morning I dropped my daughters off, each at her respective school. We all notice an increased police presence. There were...

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The Inspiring Life of Fearless Inayat Khan

The spy princess who crushed the Nazis. She was a princess. A guerrilla fighter, trained in bomb-making, sabotage and secret communications. But above all, she was a war hero. Indian princess-turned-spy Noor Inayat Khan is one of the most underrated figures in...

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Reading Saved My Life

Not only because I can understand the medication instructions I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember. From the time when my bookcase was filled with Little Golden books to today when I can find the best writing in the world here on Medium. I grew up in a...

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Dealing with a Partner with Anger Issues

We all get angry. It’s a normal emotion.  Sometimes we’re angry for very real reasons: our rights or boundaries are violated, we get cheated out of something, our purse gets stolen.  But what is important is how we deal with that anger.   Some of us...

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Rejection Is For Writers

There are certain disappointments every writer must face. So you think you want to be a writer? Quit your terrible day job to write whatever you really want to write? It doesn't have to be an impossible pipe dream. Sure, it’s tough. You have to be willing to put in...

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Don’t Let Your Past and Future Steal Your Present

Dwelling on the past can lead to regret and guilt that drive away our ability to enjoy the moment. This morning while I was walking, I ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in three years. We’d met when she and her husband were house-hunting in our neighborhood. Now,...

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She’s Got What I Want…

Or has she? She. Is. Gorgeous. Trendy cut-out bikini, tanned body, laughing with friends in the pool. Every man’s gaze is on her. Beautiful face, thick glossy hair, pert breasts and pretty much everything I want right now. She’s twenty-ish and totally carefree. I’m...

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Is it Selfish to Find Your Own Happiness?

Life can be tricky. There are twists and turns, challenges and triumphs, accomplishments and failures, and everything in between.  But, are you HAPPY?  Even with the changes and pressures that life can throw at us, it is imperative that we continue to check...

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Asking for Help is Not a Weakness

Knowing your weaknesses is a strength “Sometimes it takes more courage to ask for help than to act alone.” — Ken Petti “Help!” I have grown up hearing this word in multiple places. The Beatles sang about it, Gilligan yelled it while sinking in quicksand, and...

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This is How You Find Your Voice

During my sophomore year in college I took a political science class taught by the former Ambassador to the Ivory Coast. Twice a week he’d amble into a windowless room with a lesson plan clutched against his wiry frame. I’d watch carefully as he tossed his notes to...

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What Is The Best Advice To Improve My Hearing?

I’m going deaf and I do not like it one bit. “I shall hear in Heaven.” — Ludwig Von Beethoven I was speaking before seventy religious leaders in Poland. I heard the beeping in my ear when my hearing aid battery died. Standing before them I said, “I run on batteries...

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7 Things I Wish I knew Going Into College

When I first got to college I had gotten one piece of good advice from my cousin; don’t buy textbooks unless you absolutely need them. But they didn’t tell me everything I needed to know about school; Some things I had to learn on my own. I don’t know about you but...

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How to Stay Productive and Get Results Under Pressure.

Pressure comes from within and so must be mastered from within. Let us admit it. Nobody performs well under pressure. A lot of us think we do, but we don’t — or at least, we don’t perform as well as we could perform. And in their book, in their book, “Performing Under...

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How I Plan To Write My Heart Out

In the middle of feedings and diaper changes Forget the big plans I had big plans for my maternity leave. Living in Canada means I get a full year (now with an option of 18 months) off work.  Twelve glorious months to write. I was going to write my...

read more

Want Kids Who Will Like You as Adults? Read This Now!

The struggle – but necessity – of thinking into the future No question. It’s hard to think that far in the future for most parents. I know it was hard for me. But fortunately, my husband and I landed in a lecture that deeply affected our thinking on this when we...

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How Vulnerability Deepens Relationships

Hint: Vulnerability doesn’t make you weaker Graphics by ConsciousEd After having conversations like this, I was able to build deeper and healthier relationships between my friends and I. We broke down barriers, made it ok to be vulnerable, and cared deeply for each...

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The Unusual Creative Benefits of Insecurity & Self-Doubt

Are you having doubts about the quality of your work? Do you feel like your creations are never quite good enough? All creatives struggle with insecurity. How do you find a way to move past it and do the work you’re meant to do? Maybe you shouldn’t think of your...

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The One Thing You Need to Level Up Your Parenting

If you miss this as a parent, you will discover a disconnectedness in the parenting journey. And kids who may not wanna “hang” with you as adults.I When you are knee-deep in all the stuff of kids, it’s tough to get the larger picture. But there’s much value in doing...

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Truths of a Cosmic Mom

I get it now… My mother was not like other mothers. Looking back, I can see that she was actually living in a cosmic sphere that only casually intersected with our suburban life. And the cryptic sayings she imparted, that sounded so ordinary, held uncommon wisdom. To...

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At the Gate, Anxious About Seatmate Roulette

Will the gods be kind? Obsessing on the preflight to London. At the Gate, Anxious About Seatmate Roulette Will the gods be kind? Obsessing on the preflight to London. Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash At the crack of dawn arrive I arrive at JFK courtesy...

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How to Say Goodbye to Procrastination From Now On

Overcoming your procrastinating self starts with managing your procrastinating habits. Most of us want to get a lot done—and fast. There are deadlines to meet and other tasks to get to, so time is obviously of the essence. But most of us also struggle with the...

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The 2 Littlest Words Causing the 4 Biggest Problems

Most relationship problems, and you could even say most sins in the world, come down to problems with this one thing. Boundaries. And most boundaries problems come down to the refusal to either hear or say one of two little words. “ Yes” and “no.” [The concepts in...

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Don’t Be An Easy Target

The dart called, Doubt, can be fatal In a fight, your doubt is a target of enemy’s attack. ― Toba Beta When I was around the age of 10, my brothers and I got some dart guns. These plastic weapons had darts which had what looked like suction cup points. ...

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Wanted: Peace, Hope, And Forgiveness!

It has happened so many times, You would think I’d be an expert by now. Perhaps in some areas. But despair is not an area in which I wish to excel Yet it seems to call me all too often, and certainly with more intimacy than is welcome or necessary. Having just gone...

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I Just Quit My Job To Write Full Time

The beginning and end of an era. When I started my medical transcription career 25 years ago, I was a young wife looking for a job where I could stay home with my future children. My first job was with a small transcription company run by a lady named Mary Lou. She...

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Why The World Needs More Honesty

Don’t be afraid to share your life experiences. My grandmother was an ostrich. She spent most of her life married to a verbally abusive alcoholic. My grandparents’ house came with its own “drinking room”, which was actually the basement. My grandfather shut himself in...

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How To Jump-Start A Ripple Effect Of Good Deeds

A gift everyone can afford to give Dorothy Day was an aspiring young author, but she struggled with alcoholism and depression. It was only after admitting her flaws that she got her life back by shifting her focus from herself to others.  In 1933, she founded a...

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When Understanding Hurts

What do you do when knowledge and understanding hurts? “Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” -Albert Einstein When I was in high school, I went on a summer mission trip that held life-changing moments for me. Not only did I visit multiple countries, I...

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Ego- The Lifeblood of My Story (and Yours)

The key to my writing is my ever-growing ego.  There, I finally said it. (Thank you, Dr. Freud.) And believe me, if you knew me, my personality, and my life story, you would understand the irony because, well, self-confidence and me haven’t exactly seen eye to...

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How Failures Can Make You More Creative.

Creative Work Relies on Failure. It’s normal to fear to make a mistake. And that’s completely natural, according to Hilda Burke, an integrative psychotherapist, and life coach. “I think it’s innate to want to know the answers, to know whether our efforts will pay off...

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Would You Like to Catapult Your Success?

Try this interesting technique. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?  Think back to your teenage years — ah, the good old days, sorta.  Perhaps you were a rebel without a cause, ready to stick it to ‘the man’ and start a revolution. ...

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Autism and Humanity

I recently read This is Autism by Karen Smart. It is a great read, very human. It made me think back over my son’s life and about my interactions with people who have disabilities. My son is nearly 22 and was diagnosed with autism/learning disabilities when he was 2....

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7 Pieces of Terrible Writing Advice You Should Never Follow

There’s no shortage of terrible writing advice on the internet. This puts you in a tough spot. You want to build your writing career. You’re motivated, but you’re looking for clearcut steps to find your voice, build an audience, and become the great writer you imagine...

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You Should Have a Writing Schedule

Writing Is Work, Too “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle In the days of me working a traditional job, there were times when I absolutely hated it. I had to get up at a specific time to be ready for work. Everything...

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How to Become the Best in the World At What You Do

I’ve decided that I want to become the best writer in the world. This is a goal I’ll never reach. I mean, you have Hemingway, Plath, Bukowski, Rowling, King, R.R. Martin, Gladwell, Kafka, Gilbert, and a slew of other writers from ancient to contemporary that are much...

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What Jesus Said About…

I can picture Jesus walking through the countryside teaching his disciples. He gave them short little snippets to help them remember, often repeating himself. Today, his words are recorded so we read them repeatedly to remind ourselves of all he taught. Three short...

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Want to immediately change your life? Fix the basics.

In Ray Dalio’s book Principles, he covers a lot about his personal life, goal setting, and decision making. The second part of the book covers his Work Principles, but there are a few lines in the first part of the book sums up his quality of life.  Having the...

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Birth Story By Grandma - Part Three

In the last two parts of this story (which you can read here and here,) we see baby Autumn born into a chaotic, vulnerable situation. It’s no surprise she found herself in foster care. Social services told Julie it was on a temporary basis. I was visiting my mother...

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Risks Are Meant to Be Scary

Learning to embrace the challenge of moving when standing still is far more comfortable. How boring would life be without a sense of thrill? Even the movies we watch portray the idea that in order to do more with the life we have, we have to take chances. Those...

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To Be Happy Is All That Matters

Life is so much better when you’re happy After the Declaration of Independence in 1776, hundreds of disgruntled people filed lawsuits against the American government and against other citizens. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the American Declaration of Independence...

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Want To Be More Creative? Try Desperation

Okay first of all, I don’t need you to hang off the edge of a cliff like the picture above to get more creative. Let me tell you a quick story. 18 months ago I was a mess financially. I had been writing on Medium for a year already and had more than 10,000 followers,...

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Moments Spent Running from Failure Won’t Solve Anything

A Startling Lesson from a One-Year Old Over this past weekend, I got a chance to spend quality time with family. We celebrated my niece’s first birthday. And I’m mostly sure she knew what day it was. Balloons were everywhere. Toys were everywhere. And when it was all...

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I Showed My Butt to Twenty People in the Last 36 Hours!

And I'm really proud of them You haven't seen anything from me for a while, and that's because I have been a poorly bunny. Not just a bit ill, I have had to have minor surgery. What I had is very common but we don't speak about it, because its embarrassing. Which...

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The Dying Art of Thinking

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Autocorrect and predictive text is...

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When You Feel the Need to Justify Something

It’s usually just a poor excuse “It is in the nature of the human being to seek a justification for his actions.” -Aleksandr Sholzhenitsyn As a teacher, I have seen my share of excuse notes from parents. Most of them are typical, “Please excuse Bobby from school...

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How Emotional Trauma Drives Nearly Everything We Do

Every one of us is in pain; every one of us wants to be loved. We act the way we act because we want the hurting to stop. “Pull over! Pull over now!”  In a rage-filled tirade, the driver in the car next to me screams in my direction as he tries to force me...

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How Does Power Reveal Character?

What Types Of Power? Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.Abraham Lincoln, 16th United States President, 1861–1865. There is a universal need to exercise some kind of power, or to create for one’s self the...

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Why You Need to Believe In You

Doing things because they’re easy doesn’t make you stronger. It makes you weaker. My days as a high-school teen was consumed in sports. It was the life I had lived since I was a kid. I’d come to hate that life as time progressed, however. Not the sport, but those in...

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Grieving a Divorce: A Year Out

What we grieve for is not the loss of a grand vision, but rather the loss of common things, events, and gestures. Ordinariness is the most precious thing we struggle for. — Irena Kelpfisz My ex-husband, who has lived with his mother for the last six months,...

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We Need To Talk: How To Have Meaningful Communication

So others will listen In one popular TED talk, the deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard presented persuasive arguments for why more money should be spent on deep-sea research. Among many other facts that he shared, two, in particular, were attention-grabbing. The first...

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The VW Speed Collectors

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It is almost too fast to understand. I’m in the parking lot of a Target Store in San Jose, CA. It is 8 pm on a Thursday. We are at least a two-hour drive away from Oakley, CA with good traffic. “Never steal one within thirty miles of...

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How to Walk Through Transition with Intention

Honor Your Limits. Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing. Celebrate Small Wins. Long ago, settlers were the adventurous ones, trading in their sweat and safety for the promise of a better life. These days, “settling in” rarely involves danger. But it does still demand...

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The Importance of Mindset - How to Get it Right

What do you think about? Where do your thoughts dwell? What activities are most important to you? The apostle Paul said: “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col 3:2) Our mindset governs how we live our life! Our mindset must be right if we are...

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How To Stay Positive In A Negative World

feel better without drugs or therapy We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.Stephen Covey When you look at the world around you, what do you see? Do you see beauty, hope, and possibility? Or do you see destruction, despair and delusion? It all depends on...

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How I Stopped Hating Myself

It was the lowest point of my life. I was alone and living in the back bedroom of my coworker’s trailer. Everything I owned was long gone, including my car which the police confiscated for an expired tag and suspended license. This is my penance, I decided, for all...

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The Most Heartbreaking Gift a Student Ever Gave Me

The $1.00 gift that cost a fortune “A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.”  — Johnathan Huie My dream: Becoming a Teacher Since the time I was a small child, I have always dreamed of becoming a teacher.  My plan was to teach and give the...

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Why You Are Not Defined by Your Actions

Our neighborhood’s polling place is the local elementary school. When I voted in the last election, I saw a huge banner hanging in the school cafeteria that read, “You Are Defined by Your Actions.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I get it. The school is...

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The Art of Mentoring 

Navigating the waters of independence, individuality, and interdependence can be very tricky. As adults, we feel as if we should be able to navigate through most of life’s storms and trials on our own. When we can not- ego kicks in, tells us that our independence has...

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Relentless Forward Movement

Deciding to Pick Up and Move On There is something about moving forward that can’t be explained any other way than we are getting somewhere. For some reason though, so many people are paralyzed with waiting expectantly for something that there is hardly any chance of...

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I Doubled My Productivity With One Simple Change

You can too if you’re willing to think differently I like simplicity. I always have. But, there have been a lot of times in my life when I have found myself in the midst of a storm of complexity. I also enjoy getting things done. Even before productivity became the...

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How Do People Come to Know Who Jesus is?

My faith journey as well as the disciples and others In 1999 I had a moment of clarity (hopefully I have had more moments since then). I remember driving under a bridge in our city and I heard these words plainly: “What are you doing, Jan? What is this life...

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Suspended, not Concluded

Further Saga of ‘The Strike’ Today, the 26th of April is the last day of the teachers’ strike…ending three weeks of Polish kids, K-12, not going to school.  “What!? Surely you are putting us on!!” you say. We couldn’t be so lucky 🙁 I’ll give it to you...

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This is How AI will Stop You from Quitting Your Job

And it is quite terrifying. It’s Friday afternoon and one of your employees asks for a private meeting. Before you even close the door, she tells you she’s found another job and is leaving the company. How will you respond? Who will cover her responsibilities? What is...

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Is It Bad To Want To See A Psychologist?

Deep down, we all know the answer. All my life, I’ve been told by my family and close friends that talking to a psychologist means you’re sick. That something is wrong with your mind that it’s shameful. When we talked about someone meeting a psychologist, it was...

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What To Do When You Have No Idea What To Do

📌 Be clear regarding your values.  “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” — Roy E. Disney A wise choice might be easier if you’re aware of your values.  Whenever you’re stuck, return to your values and take another crack...

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Growth Is Not Just About Talent

Depending on your abilities alone will do more harm than good. I thought I was the best guitarist on earth. I’d mastered a few chords here and there, gained some seasoned advice from a close friend who had his share in the music industry, and pumped myself up full of...

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Putting The “I” Second: Listening

How do FBI negotiators manage life and death —  by listening. Our world is all about the “I”.  Reality television populates our networks and it revolves around the life of a few characters. It hyper-focuses on the way the world circulates around this narrow...

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Here’s What Happens When You Stop Being Jealous.

Every moment you spend being jealous is a moment wasted. We don’t have much time in this world. The most successful and renowned individuals have often commented later in life how surprisingly fast it all went. You don’t have time to be jealous. If you constantly look...

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They Were Searching For Him

He could hear them. They were outside the camouflaged entrance to the bunker, looking for signs of a hidden door. It wasn’t their first attempt. There had been many sweeps of the area over time, some as close as this one. None had been successful. None could be...

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Learn to Laugh at Your Problems

Everybody else does… Every once in a while, no matter how hard you try to see that tired old glass as half-full, it’s not. It’s completely empty. Nothing to do but throw it into the fireplace, excuse yourself from the company, and retire for the night. ...

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Selfishness Nearly Ruined My Life

Examining the relationships we currently have and our own self-centered tendencies. The most amazing thing happened to me last year. I was given a token of appreciation from my older brother and his wife. That may not seem like a big deal to you. But for me, that...

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Is Being Positive Unrealistic?

The alternative is pricey “Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”  Hamlet, Act 2 Scene 3 — William Shakespeare It has been a while since I read Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, yet so...

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Out of the Ashes

Beauty for ashes, gladness instead of mourning Fire! “Sir, Ma’am…fire!” We popped out of bed disoriented and pumped with adrenalin. In the early morning darkness, somewhere around 4 am, Susan and I ran out of our room and saw the fire’s glow at the other end of the...

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How To Banish Your Inner Critic

Liberate yourself from the judge within Do self-critical thoughts keep you trapped or stuck in a rut? If so, you might have something in common with a white tiger named Mohini. Mohini lived in the National Zoo, in Washington, DC, in the 1970s. After being kept in a...

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Before you go, make sure you don’t miss these:

I Never Meant to Hurt Her

A story about my mom If you ever saw the movie, Big Fat Greek Wedding, that was my life in the making. We even owned a family Restaurant, actually a Snack Shop. At twelve, I was already behind the counter learning to be a waitress.  In our home, there was no...

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Pick a Side, Any Side - Just Not Both Sides

Word of the day: Commitment This idea really struck me while I was in the shower. I sincerely don’t know why, but this seems to be the place where most of my ideas flow. …But back to the point. Commitment is a thing that I now (thankfully) understand. It’s no longer...

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Overwhelmed? 4 Simple Steps to Regain Control

Have you ever felt there’s too much weight on your shoulders? Maybe too many ideas in your head, too many tasks on your to-do list, with little to no time to pursue them all? Your worries buzz and hiss and rumble in a tidal wave of overwhelming pressure. Suffocating....

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A Black Hole Breakthrough and More Mysteries of the Universe

The first time I wrote about black holes was in 2010. This and many other thoughts went through my mind when I read yesterday about a major, seemingly inconceivable breakthrough regarding the first photo of a black hole. The author of this MIT Technology Review story...

At the Rugby with Ben

What I learnt from taking my autistic friend to a sport I know nothing about He’s standing in his West Tigers jersey, track pants and cap with an orange over-sized foam fist. Waiting. We’re catching a bus to the ANZ stadium in Homebush.  ‘Hey Ben! Ready to watch...

How to Create Interesting Characters (in Short Story Writing)

The Essential Elements of Character Building “What does your character want, what is his dream, what shape has it, and how expressed? Given expression, this is the dynamo of his life, and your life, then, as Creator.” — Ray Bradbury Who are your characters? What...

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