Year: 2020

pink and white hydrangea bloom at sunset

A Novel Decision

You know that when I left full-time work, one of my goals was to write a novel. It’s a dream I’ve had for a long time.  For most of my life, I didn’t think I was worthy of being a novelist, that novelists were special people and I wasn’t one of them. I don’t believe …

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Gisele Bundchen

Salt Sugar Fat

Morning Routine will be our next topic, but it seems I have a pattern—I like to riff on a few things between topics. This riff was prompted by Gisele Bündchen. Have you read Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss? It’s about how Big Food uses those three elements to hook us. Thanks to our bodies’ …

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Summer flowers of orange and purple, lavender and green

A Pause Between

I like to pause between themes, to take a moment to rest at the top of the stairs, to take a deep breath. These posts this year started with an exploration into finding our true selves, and after forays into the coronavirus and racial justice, moved to navigating transitions. My first post on the coronavirus …

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Image of Bridges' Transition Model, showing Endings, Neutral Zone, New Beginnings, with overlap between the three phases

New Beginnings

And this is how this series on transitions ends, just as the transition from the Neutral Zone to New Beginnings ends, not with a bang but with a gradual sense of clarity. If the Neutral Zone is a swamp, you leave it as you leave a swamp. Not through the exit door, because there isn’t …

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Overhead view of fading hydrangea blooms in a brick planter

Keep vs. Cast Off

When you are coming through your transition, when you know where you want to go and are tangibly closer, when you feel you are almost near enough to touch it, you will realize some things about your things: There are things you need that you don’t have for this new version of your life. These …

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A line drawing of a circle with four arrows coming from it, in the four directions of the compass, with subheads: Spirit-Spiritually Aligned, Body-Physically Energized, Mind-Mentally Focused, Soul-Emotionally Connected

Your Compass

Last week I said, “If you know where you are and know where you want to go, if you have a map and a compass, you can effectively navigate the swamp.” Here’s the model I propose for a compass: Last week we focused on being wrong about where you think you are. But sometimes your …

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Google map showing part of the million-plus acres of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Navigating the Swamp

I’m struggling to write about how to navigate the swamp, because it’s such an intensely personal experience, much more so than YMMV.  What it feels like, how long it lasts, the questions that pester like mosquitos—all of it comes from within, not from without. If you know where you are and know where you want …

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A drawing of a circle with a dot in the middle with four squiggly arrows coming out of it, aligned to each of the four directions of the compas

The Whole Self

The Swamp works on the whole self—spiritual, physical, mental, emotional. Have you ever been in a canoe, and forgotten you were in a canoe, and stood to the side of the canoe, and fallen out of the canoe? The Swamp teaches awareness. And balance. I drew this diagram a long time ago, when I read …

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