21 Tips For An Amazing 2018


Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’
~Alfred Lord Tennyson

Every January is a divine gift of newness. No matter what the previous year brought into your life, a new year is a grace gift where you are reminded that it is possible to author a new chapter, paint on a fresh canvas, or sing a new melody.

It has been said,  “You can’t fix a problem with the same thinking that created it.” So, here are 21 practices that will clear the way to engage and create a greater future and present.

  1. Start each day with 10 minutes of meditation and/or prayer.
  2. Refuse to check your electronic devices until you have centered your soul after you wake up.
  3. Before you leave your home, ask God to make you a blessing to someone each day.
  4. Talk less, listen more. Pause and think before you respond to make sure you are truly listening to the other person, perhaps you will choose to respond far less.
  5. Commit to writing down at least one gratitude a day in a journal before you go to sleep. This will help you wake with gratefulness and less stress.
  6. Practice the ancient art of smiling every day, your soul will thank you.
  7. Own your mistakes and say “I’m sorry” quickly when you blow it.
  8. Ask yourself why you respond the way you do to people’s behaviors before you respond. I call this a moment of holy curiosity. Your reactions tell you more about you than you realize.
  9. Exercise a little every day, even if it is a few short walks during your day.
  10. Determine to get 8 hours of sleep each night, “game-changer alert!”
  11. Consider a Whole-30 type diet, eliminating sugary food and drinks.
  12. Drink water-water-water, half your body weight in ounces. Water is life.
  13. Grow in your generosity. Donate to charities and humanitarian groups that work to eliminate poverty. I’d recommend http://www.planetchanger.org  🙂
  14. Read a book every month. I like Sacred Space 🙂 I will be posting my list of recommended reads soon!
  15. Write down your top 3 goals. Post them where you can see them. Do one thing each day that connects to those goals.
  16. Choose kindness over rightness
  17. Choose grace over judgmentalism (pull that log out of your eye!)
  18. Choose to assume positive intent towards others when things get dicey.
  19. Limit your screen time. Break your smartphone addiction. You don’t need it in the bedroom. Turn it off, and check it in and leave it alone! You’ll be okay I promise. In fact, you’ll be better.
  20. Learn to say “NO” Life is full of many good things that keep you from the best things. Does the opportunity align with your top 3 goals? If it doesn’t just say no,
  21. Love. Pray daily that you motivation which fuels your actions would flow from love and compassion.

Grace and Peace to you in 2018



The Problem With Binary


I have said it, written it, responded with it many times…”you are missing the point because you are stuck in binary thinking.” There are many reasons for binary thinking, and not all binary is wrong. However, those who have a rigid black and white view of everything very often miss the point of a conversation because life tends to find her roots in shades, mystery and truth.

My daughter Emma, wrote a post recently titled Binary that caught my eye. As I read her words I thought, “Well done Emma, I like what you are saying and the voice you are writing in.” So enjoy reading through Emma’s thoughts on Binary. You can keep up with her on http://emmaelizabethwright.wordpress.com



What is a word that describes the middle ground between black and white? What about a word that describes the middle ground between big and small? To me, at least, the answers were obvious. Black and medium. When I thought about other opposites though like relaxed and anxious or love and hate, I couldn’t find an indisputable answer.  There are many shades of love, and many shades of hate, and no one clear place to land in the middle.

I like to think of myself as this incredibly complex person, who hovers over the median lines of issues and debates. I like to think that politically “I’m a moderate,” and that I don’t have brown hair, but I also don’t have red hair, so it must be somewhere in the middle. (Which I call auburn). I like to believe that I am a sweet person, but that I am also intimidating and commanding to appropriately suit the situation. Yet, I like to think of Mother Theresa as a good person. I also like to think of her as a Christian. I like to think of her as a woman. For some reason, I do not like to think of her as not a perfect representation of a pair of opposites. In my mind she isn’t a good person who could potentially struggle with something, she is strictly good. Its not just her that I do this for, though. For example,  Ted Bundy is evil. My dentist is nice. The lady behind me in line is impatient, and the barista at Starbucks is bubbly. I polarize people’s traits and then define them, which made me realize that perhaps people do the same to me. I got quite afraid of the reality that I am I able to be so easily boiled down to concrete, binary elements.

Thinking in binary terms can cause you to manipulate, incorrectly define, and limit yourselves and others. It then provides the increasing opportunity to fail and the inability to meet expectations. It is obviously detrimental to ourselves to think like this, but it also can cause damage to those who care about us who just cant jump through our hoops.

It frustrates me when people think that I am so easy to figure out. I’m not. I am not black, and I am not white. I am not simple and easy to define. Trying to explain me will make you miss out on getting to know the actual me. By limiting me to your schema and stereotypes, you chose the me that you get to know, and you miss out on who I really am. People don’t crave to be defined, I believe that they seek to be understood. I don’t want someone who can tell me that I tend to overreact, I want someone who will look at my overreaction and understand certain things make me short tempered. When you think of me in binary terms, you can also manipulate me into something I’m not. You can make me be better than I actually am, or much worse. Either way I am set up for failure. If it is decided I am perfect, then the disappointments will pour in because I’m flawed and I will undeniably fail you. If you think negatively towards me, then I could fall into a perpetual cycle of trying to please and prove myself when it is already settled in your mind that I am concretely bad.

This happens to me, but I engage in the cycle and I do it to others. He is a good guy, or a bad guy. I like them, or I don’t. When I have made my decision, it is made and it would take much earth shaking to make me change. I put people into the perpetual pleasing cycles by having higher than possible standards. By trying to define other human’s actions, I have limited them as people, and made the environmental context the sole reflection of their personality. I have also decided to only see the good in people and ignored the pain and hurt that they cause in my life. I am beginning to see the beauty in the gray, though. I am beginning to see the beauty in saying things like, he is unkind when he needs to feel guarded, instead of  just labeling him mean. I am beginning to see the beauty in the opportunity the middle ground gives me when I am getting to know people.

I challenge you to also lessen how much you think in binary terms.