Quote of the Week

“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate.”

—Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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Quote of the Week

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“‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.”

–Brene Brown, quoted in the Washington Post

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” To “I Am Enough”


Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Quote of the Week

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Find Emerson’s Essays at your local bookstore

Mug available from AlexisScottDesigns on Etsy

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Bridge the Gap: Start a Conversation, Change Your Perception

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Inner Space/Outer Space, 2014. For details or to purchase, please contact Alexis.

The public radio program On Being, as part of its Civil Conversations Project, recently aired an interview called “Repairing the Breach” (transcript). The show featured a white male Libertarian leader of the Tea Party movement, Matt Kibbe, and a black female millennial progressive leader, Heather McGhee, discussing how we can engage difference and better understand each other.

Near the end of the show (at 44:30), Heather brought up a conversation she had with Gary from North Carolina on a C-SPAN call-in show last year.  Gary called into the show, admitted to being prejudiced, and explained why he thought he held certain attitudes.  Then he asked Ms. McGhee how he could change, “to become a better American.”  McGhee thanked him for his honesty and offered suggestions such as getting to know black families, reading books about the history of African-Americans in the U.S., or attending a black church.  The video clip went viral.

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The Weekend Listen – Series Finale

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Happy Friday!  I want to give my sincere thanks to everyone who completed the reader survey.  Your feedback has been very valuable to me.  (If you haven’t taken it yet, the survey is still open.)

One of the things I learned is that most of you don’t listen to podcasts and don’t plan to start listening to them any time soon.  With that information in mind, I’ve decided to discontinue the Weekend Listen series.  A few of you commented that you do appreciate the recommendations and enjoy hearing about new programs.  If you’re in that camp, don’t despair — you can follow me on Twitter, and I’ll share some of my favorite episodes there.  Additionally, because the things I listen to inform my thoughts, I’ll probably continue to reference podcasts in my posts, using interesting interviews and discussions as launch pads for longer, more substantive posts.

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Understanding Our Beliefs and Forgiving Ourselves So We Can Move Forward Less Burdened

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Maya Angelou gave a slightly different version of her famous quote in reference to her own past: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” This sentiment is key to forgiving ourselves for our mistakes. We are all works in progress.

I used to tell myself that I had no regrets in life because every experience was a lesson. While that’s a nice thought in the abstract, there are of course things I wish I had done differently, words I’d love to take back, and decisions I would revisit if I could. When I look at my life today, I see how my present circumstances are largely the consequence of past choices and unquestioned beliefs. I like my life, and I’m generally happy, but I’m also aware of missed opportunities. While I hope I still have a number of years left on this earth, the possibilities for my life don’t seem quite as endless as they once did. I sometimes wonder what my life would look like if I had studied a different major, lived abroad, moved to a big city after college, pursued a different career path, chosen a different law school, not gotten married right after college, or made better financial decisions.

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Learn How to Meditate: An Introductory Meditation Class Recap

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Yesterday, I attended an introductory meditation class at the Appalachian Dharma & Meditation Center in Johnson City, Tennessee. It was a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I’ve participated in group meditation sessions before, and I’ve picked up meditation tips from various books, YouTube videos, podcasts, and yoga teachers, but I had never taken a class like this. It offered a nice overview of different meditation methods. The teacher, Jody Palm, identified herself as a Tibetan Buddhist, but I appreciated that the class material was secular in nature and free from the religious and pseudo-scientific claims I’ve sometimes encountered in yoga classes.

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