Life simply requires that you keep showing up. — Marie Forleo

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I keep a journal where I complete a daily morning exercise called Morning Pages. (If you are a creative or a writer, you might benefit from this exercise developed by Julia Cameron). Every morning, almost without exception, I write three (or more) longhand pages about nothing, everything, or anything. Think of it as a Seinfeld script: a lot of stuff about nothing.

But, in reality, these daily nothing pages are something. They are my life. They are me, showing up day after tedious day. It’s my declaration to the…

There is more to life than increasing its speed — Gandhi.

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If I had my life to live over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax…I would eat more ice cream…I would try to have nothing else — just moments…instead of living so many years ahead of each day. — Nadine Stair

It’s a common sentiment. Things people say when they’ve reached their golden years or the end of their days due to an unexpected illness. I should have…I wish I would have…life goes so fast…

We’ve heard that we should stop and smell the flowers, take time to be present, and enjoy the little things in…

‘Should’ is the modern woman’s shackle.

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‘Should’ is the modern woman’s shackle. It ties us to guilt and shame and “never good enough.” — Mary Gallagher

I have my list of personal ‘shoulds’ and I am sure you do too. I’ve carried them around like a ball and chain. They kept me bound to societal pressures, family expectations, religious rules, and my own unrealistic expectations of perfection.

Our ‘should’ lists can contain the hard stuff: I should call the friend I lost touch with; I should visit my mother-in-law; I should lose 35 pounds. …

Trust in the magic of provision

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I have a fascination with stories about hikers who tackle trails like the Appalachian Trail (the AT) or the Pacific Crest Trail (the PCT). I’ve read dozens of these stories from the famous memoir, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed to the story of Grandma Gatewood, the first woman to solo-hike the AT, to the entertaining account of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I’m enthralled with the adventure, the dedication of these individuals, the humorous and touching stories they each bring to their walks, and the lessons they learn along the way.

One theme that repeats itself over and over…

How to find the wholeness that’s still there.

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The singer and artist, Jewel, in her autobiography, Never Broken, said this:

I know that a spirit cannot be broken any more than water can be broken, or any more than air can be split apart. It can only be perceived as broken…And believing that we are broken is the same thing as being broken. — Jewel

Have you ever perceived yourself as broken? Flawed in a way that can’t be redeemed? Broken in spirit and trapped in the cycle of regret, shame, feeling stuck? Do you see yourself as marred and beyond repair?

You are not broken, cannot be…

Winter’s crown jewel

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Oh, February,
What you lack in length
you make up for in tenacity.

Smile sweetly,
last in line
a coiled snake
waiting for your moment,
You strike.
A woman scorned,
you’ll have your say.

We try to reframe you
with hearts and holidays
and heritage stories
But your truth is this:
Winter is yours.

A frozen heart
shows little mercy.
Skills sharpened by
eons of time and practice.

You covet your clutch,
icy fingers cling to your calling.
Never denied.

Purpose crystallized in stillness
You envelop and enfold
our world in white and gray.

Never wavering in your intentions —…

What are your takeaways, lessons learned, and gifts from last year?

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We’re well into the year 2021 and most of us are hoping and praying for a departure from the pain, stress, and confluence of challenges that 2020 brought. But before you rush headlong into this new year, why not reflect a bit?

If nothing else, 2020 was the year that neutrality became obsolete. A year that the fence straddlers could no long straddle and the behind-the-sceners could no longer stay hidden.

Everything was exposed, and just by going out in public, we showed on our faces something that we valued. Some wore masks and told the world they valued safety…

You define the value of your writing

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Is there value in writing even if you don’t earn money from it? It’s a conversation I started with my writer’s group last week.

A handful of us get together each week and spend an hour writing and talking about our lives as artists, writers, creatives. We’re called Writers on Fire and we’re led by Nikki Tate. There are some incredibly talented ladies in this group and I am revived every time I spend 60 minutes with them.

Last week Kathi said she was intimidated to write for so long but now that she is writing every day she’s “filled…

Become a court-appointed special advocate

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I didn’t initially understand why God placed something in my heart that created a love for foster children and orphans. I found myself drawn to donate to causes that help children who are at-risk due to poverty, war, family disruption, or cultural disadvantage.

It seems natural, of course, because God is the defender of orphans. In my case, though, it’s personal. It feels like a way to honor my father. I’m still working on writing his story; it’s a hard one to tell.

Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house. (Psalm 68:5, MSG)

My father…

Make room for joy

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Every so often it has to be done. That hall closet or your master has to be cleaned and straightened out. It’s getting so you can’t fit anything in there and it’s a hassle just to find what you need each day.

Closets are the receptacles of our unfinished business.

Just hide it away for now — I’ll deal with it later, we tell ourselves. Later only comes when we’re forced to reckon with our messes.

The only way I’ve found to effectively clean my messes is to dump everything out and see it plainly for what it is. Poking…

Mary Gallagher

Simplicity guru, nature lover, loyal friend, literacy coach, dreamer. Pick more daisies!

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