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The celebrity version of yourself

Too often we fear revealing ourselves as flawed, writes Ana Marie Cox in the June 13, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. We create a gap between the “celebrity version” of ourselves and the version we prefer to keep hidden. That’s why we often are so generous to others. “When we see that messy, […]

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Normal confusion

“A certain number of people have arrived at a standard confusion that is considered normal,” R.D. Laing, psychiatrist and author, once said. Laing also stressed, “There are an infinite variety of human experiences, but certain societies limit the number of acceptable experiences.” When I heard Laing speak in 1972, I filed away my notes. I […]

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Take a break

Did you eat too much? Did you say something that you wished you hadn’t said? Did the holiday fall short of your expectations of perfection? Are you tired? Give yourself a present: Take a break. Go for a walk. Call a friend. Take a nap. You’ll feel much better.

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The perfect myth

“There is no universal agreement on perfection,” says author Elizabeth Gilbert. “There are people who think the Sistine Chapel is gaudy and Hemingway is a hack.” Perfection, Gilbert explains, is aspiring to something that literally does not exist. Elizabeth Gilbert was featured in the October 2015 issue of Southwest magazine.

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Phenomenal Woman

Maya Angelou was a Resolute Woman—and a Phenomenal Woman, and I have always liked her poem “Phenomenal Woman.” Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size. But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of […]

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Better yourself or accept yourself?

“All of us would probably like to be slimmer, smarter, richer, more popular, more successful,” says Jessica Lamb-Shapiro in her book Promise Land—My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture. “To what extent should you accept yourself for who you are, and to what extent should you attempt to better yourself?” Fayteen and I think that this […]

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Be your best

Try to be your best—not the best, says Kay Wills Wyma, author of I’m Happy for You (Sort of…Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison. And always remember that most people are so consumed with themselves that they aren’t looking at you. I heard Wyma discuss her book in an interview on “Think” […]

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Self-knowledge or self-preoccupation?

Fayteen and I always have thought that self-knowledge is a good thing. But, author Elizabeth Dreyer, in her book Accidental Theologians, offers an interesting question. “When does the desire for self-knowledge become self-preoccupation?” –Joy

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Lead yourself

To be a leader, you first have to lead yourself. That was the interesting conclusion from a leadership workshop that I attended at the National Girl Scout convention last month. The workshop leaders talked about your “inside” self and your “outside” self—and also your social self and your essential/authentic self. You can be a powerful […]

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No perfect heroes

Today we want our heroes to be perfect, says filmmaker Ken Burns. Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, the two presidents featured in his new PBS series, were great presidents, but they were not perfect people, Burns stresses. They were complicated people. He wants us to look beyond the easy caricatures we use to define historical […]

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