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Showing posts from September, 2017

Tuned In Versus Zoned Out: Race Day Blunder Turned into Wonder

Today I received a gifted blessing in the disguise of minor adversity. For one hour, 48 minutes and 46 seconds, my mind was unoccupied with anything but what it chose to focus upon with no distractions to influence my thinking. In other words, I forgot my earbuds for the half marathon this morning.

For any reader who is also a runner of long distances and uses the time like I often do to enjoy an audiobook, podcasts, or pump up music, you understand the way my stomach plummeted into my shoes when I realized this dreaded error. As I boarded the shuttle in the cold, dark atmosphere of 5:30 a.m. all I could note were all the intelligent companions who would never have thought to forget such a lifeline. But then Sara sat down beside me.

For the twenty minute ride to the startline in Two Harbors, I learned that she never runs with buds. She and her husband, who are also educators, run this race together every year as well as multiple others. They train together and that partnership means …

Every Day is Awareness for Survivors: It's How We Use It--Suicide Prevention Week 2017

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"And the good news is I'm better for the time we spent together and the bad news is you're gone." Diamond Rio

The above lyrics tie my heart in a knot because my brother Scott pointed them out to me in August 2000 after we buried one of our most loved and treasured shared people. Our other brother's very best friend from childhood had completed a suicide, and my entire family was rocked to the core. My brother Scott made me promise I would never even think of doing such a thing as he hugged me fiercely in a too tight grip that I still recall scared me a little. He had that way about him. He loved fiercely and lived vividly.

You may notice the past tense of that statement.

In a terrible twist of our life plot, my brother completed his own suicide on December 2, 2014. It was an absolute shock to my other five siblings and parents. In retrospect, maybe we could pull some signs together here and there, but there were no glaring actions or statements that would signal …

Taking Off the Mute Button and Walking in Vulnerability

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” 
― BrenĂ© BrownThe Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Vulnerability has been my go to for authenticity to start out this year, and I am thriving in it. To put our true selves out there can be one of the most daunting and scary risks we take. The reality is that the past few years have done much to mute my true self. Between a rash of personal trials and what seemed to be a relentless storm of professional challenges, I began to retreat to safe zones periodically. To essentially live a little less vibrantly and a little more shaded. However, that's not how I am hardwired. I have always been the one to burst into song, laugh too loudly, and go boldly into the world with a fierce belief in the best versions of the people around me. So…