How to listen without acting like a complete fool


 Real listener

… Real listeners don’t charm, flatter, provoke or interrupt…
They suspend the self and listen.
~ Michael P. Nichols

A pet peeve of mine is when I try to express myself verbally and the listener cuts me off. This happened a couple of nights ago and was explained away with the words: I already know what you’re going to say… you always repeat yourself… you’re going to tell me X, Y and Z. Well guess what? Wrong. That wasn’t what I had planned to say. And I don’t always repeat myself. Similar topic, but that’s not the point. Nichols’ quote also states: ‘Listeners who pretend interest don’t fool us for long—even though they sometimes fool themselves.’ Newsflash: When we feign interest, we appear insincere and self-absorbed. But, when we offer our sincere attention to another, we humbly convey—without words—that they are important to us and what they have to say matters. I have work to do in this area, myself.

Do you feel heard today?

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Taking the plunge is not for the faint of heart

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Take the plunge

In any given moment we have two options:
to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.
~ Abraham Maslow

During my yoga practice the other day, the instructor praised me. Not for a flawless asana. Not for holding the pose the longest or for my kick-ass yoga shorts. No, he commended me when I fell out of the posture. ‘Good job, Chrissy,’ he said, as I caught myself before plunging into the mirror. Although my practice proved more grace-less than grace-full, I did the one thing the teachers encourage students to do: fall forward. This means I moved somewhere new—I stepped into growth. Yes, I fell, but I fell forward, the result of stretching more than I kicked. Had I fallen backward, my body would’ve missed out on what it feels like to dig deeper, which ultimately leads to muscle memory. Each time we seek safety over growth, I believe we set ourselves up for loss versus gain.

Which step will you take today?

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When the wind gets knocked out of your sails

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Wind in your sails


So, do it. Decide.
Is this the life you want to live?
Is this the person you want to love?
Is this the best you can be?
Can you be stronger?
Kinder? More compassionate?
Breathe in.
Breathe out and decide.
~ Meredith Grey

You’re going along feeling ‘on point,’ looking good, making progress and then someone says something that knocks you down a peg or four. When it comes from a close friend or relative, it’s a double whammy. Those feelings of I’m not good enough, I’m unforgivable, I can’t do anything right return with a vengeance. But you take a deliberate look at yourself and realize that, although there’s room for improvement, you like the person you’re becoming. So you resolve to shed that which holds you back and remind yourself not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Then check out my latest guest blog post to begin pursuing your passion regret free today. And breathe.

How do you add wind back into your sails?

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How to boost your confidence today

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Boost your confidence

A couple months ago I was invited to byline a guest blog post for my alma mater’s literary publication. Although I’ve contributed pieces in the past that have garnered positive feedback, I agonized over this particular post for weeks. I even consulted my big sister, a freelance editor, for her expertise. While I pen my own blog, there’s something unnerving about putting myself out there where former professors and peers and other literary critics might take a peek. Perhaps it’s because my prose has been limited to on-the-job copy edits and interviews—or lack of balance in other areas of my life—but confidence in my writing ability has plummeted. Let’s be honest: No (wo)man is an island, but we must first be our biggest advocate. When I approach my day wearing a smile (even a manufactured one) and slip on a positive attitude (along with my sassiest heels), the world sees what I want it to see. And I begin to, as well.

What boosts your confidence?

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