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Path to Simplicity

Photo by Hannes Caspar
The simplest things are often the truest. ~Richard Bach

Several years ago I went through an unwanted divorce. I felt I was losing so much that was important to me – my marriage, the daily presence of my children, my friends in that former couples-oriented world.

I moved from the large 1700’s farm house I had been restoring for the past 15 years into a very small apartment. More than half the possessions I had accumulated during my life wouldn’t fit, and had to go.

And part of my identity went with them. The part that had been a “husband” was suddenly gone.

How to Stop Gossiping

Photo by Satu Knape
It is one of my sources of happiness never to desire a knowledge of other people's business. ~Dolley Madison

A few months ago I was speaking to my husband about a friend of ours who had made a purchase we thought was misguided. We spoke at great length, giving our opinion on why we thought it was a bad decision and questioning his judgment.

I remember feeling a little uncomfortable and a bit sad afterward. I felt upset, but I couldn’t quite figure out why.

A day or two later, my 30 Day Challenge group posed its usual question: What’s your challenge for next month? Immediately my heart said, Stop gossiping.

I balked at this; I got a little defensive even. I didn’t gossip! That was the kind of thing reserved for petty high school girls with nothing better to do. That wasn’t me. That’s not a real challenge.

How to Find Your Unique Strength

Photo by Hannes Caspar
We grow primarily through our challenges, especially those life-changing moments when we begin to recognize aspects of our nature that make us different from the family and culture in which we have been raised. ~Caroline Myss

When Oprah Winfrey interviewed Jane Fonda for The Oprah Magazine, these two amazing women touched briefly on the subject of caring about what others think of them.

Oprah: I’ve read that, like me, you’ve always struggled with the disease to please.

Jane: I used to walk into a party and think, Oh, my God, will I be interesting enough? Will people like me? Will I be pretty enough? Do I fit in? Now I go into a room and think, do I really want to be here? Are these people I want to spend a few hours with? It’s a big shift.

Oprah: How did you make the shift?

Jane: Hard work. Growing up.

Jane didn’t elaborate on her answer, and I’m not qualified to speak for her. But I think we can all relate to how she used to feel.

New Year Resolutions: Look Within

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo

I’m thinking about 2013.

… and have no goals. This is a radical declaration for me.

Historically, I spend a few days in December reflecting on the past year and envisioning the New Year. I would carefully organize my goals into categories of personal growth, finances, career, family, wellness, travel, and refine to ensure each one is specific, measurable and timely. I assess the goal like a test tube subject to be sure that it has all the appropriate elements of a ‘great goal.’

After circulating my Official New Year’s Goal Document to my BFF and husband as accountability allies, I move onto a vision board with inspiring words, favorite quotes, dreamy magazine cutouts.

I take goal setting very seriously.

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