Take the Time to Learn More about Your World This Summer

Paul and I were delighted to spend a week in Yosemite in May. It was the first time we were there without a fire going on and with the waterfalls in full force. We hiked to the top of Nevada Falls and kept our eyes open for bears. If you haven’t been to Yosemite, I…

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My Unexpected Lesson from the Fabric Store

I learned to sew when I was in fifth grade, and I never stopped. My eighth-grade graduation present was a sewing machine, and I quickly turned into Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink and made all my own clothes during high school. When I turned sixteen and was able to get my first paying job,…

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What Began as a Gesture Turned Into Something I Truly Enjoyed

My in-laws live in Manchester, England, and we don’t get to see them every year. My mother-in-law, Delia, is someone I consider a friend and pal, and she loves to take pictures of all her adventures. When she came to visit several years ago, I decided to surprise her and be her photographer without her…

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3 Spring Cleaning Ideas for the Mind

If you’re like me, you feel a tinge more hopeful with room to dream when you look out the window and see the days getting longer and warmer as we edge our way to full-bloom springtime. Even our ancestors shared these positive feelings of anticipation with festivals and ceremonies. Egyptians went so far as to…

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Want to Avoid Burnout? Design Your Best Year with This Quick Audit

It’s that time of the year when we’re back at it. Back to school, back to work, and back to everything. But what is “everything,” and how do we go about creating it intentionally? The story that follows gives you a glimpse at why I’m sharing five “energy buckets” and how to audit your own energy…

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How Do You Keep Yourself Inspired?

I started taking piano lessons (again) in June, but before I tell you why, let me give you some backstory. When I was nine years old, my dad retired from the Chicago Post Office and used a huge chunk of his savings to buy a Baldwin upright piano. He dreamed of playing “House of the…

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Recover Your Creative Energy Without Constraints

When author Julia Cameron came out with The Artist’s Way in 2002, I had just left my job and was branching out on my own. I was a little lost and feeling pretty untethered. I gave her Morning Pages technique a try, and twenty-one days later, my entire business plan (unbeknownst to me) was laid out. Morning…

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Bathe in Benefits to Your Well-Being

Many of you know my love for the Chicago neighborhood where I was raised. Stoops outside our front doors were practically windows into our souls. Sharing milestones and events of the day, and simply passing the time with neighbors strengthened our connections to life and each other. My stoop was also gateway to the outdoors….

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Learning Gratitude from City Drains

I had no idea that volunteering to take care of a city drain on our block would mean so much to me. Last winter, we northern Californians had record rainfalls. By January, 23 trillion more gallons of water fell on us than usual, and it was far from over. Up to this point of record…

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Does Your Vulnerability Drown You or Lift You?

If you keep up with trends on leadership, you have no doubt noticed that vulnerability gets a lot of attention, and for good reason. Vulnerable leaders tend to have greater self-awareness, and they find that it’s easier to build new relationships and strengthen the ones they have. Great relationships, of course, are the glue that…

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