I started this Year of Wonders with my eye on Faith and Trust, those two elusive qualities that once lost are hard to win back.

But it feels, after more than a year of probing and prodding, that 2018 and 2019 have taught me more about Boundaries.

So limiting. So narrowing. Aren’t boundaries actually the opposite of trust? Faith, the opposite to groundedness?

No, no, and no.

It is in groping my way blindly through the unfamiliar and feared arts (astrology, tarot, trance) that I am finding a path to myself. I am what I have most to trust. My boundaries are what stop those forces outside me from dissolving that trust, their incessant whispers and insistent shouts like an invisible force.

OK, OK, but this is an author’s blog! What does this self discovery have to do with writing books?


As I found my spirit loosening up with tentative practices of sharing itself, I saw clearly that I was dividing myself: the Inner Self that was open to forest sprites and deeply moved by the voices of the silenced and their stories of injustice; and the Outer Self that projected confidence, reliability, and professionalism as its best traits into the public sphere.

Why was I hiding one from the other? Why was I not being authentically in the arena–as Brene says--with all the truth of myself?

Because I didn’t trust that Inner Self not to fail me. Business books, author blogs–they all point to that Outer Self as the one who will Get the Job Done (and I lurve to GSD). But Outer Self was getting me nowhere, spiritually. I was losing sight of why I was in that public sphere in the first place.

brene brown rsa short blame

This was me, rumbling with vulnerability.

What was the goal of Inner Self, anyway? To be a daring leader, to speak truth, to foster compassion, to help turn the tide that threatens to destroy our frail barque, to be seen as walking my talk, to be seen–period.

For this to happen, Inner and Outer have to merge. My books have got to glow with the indignation and pain and powerlessness that I feel, living in these times. My boundaries must guard against those whose opinions I do not value.

Remnants as a series has always been about injustice and oppression, and the small, cherished victories of the underdog in a time of social upheaval and political turmoil. Perhaps that hasn’t been apparent because of the love and humor and steadiness woven in. But the point is, it’s there. Now; then–all of it exists together.

You CAN live a life of joy while embracing the struggle for equality. Now, then, always.


Images via oprah.com and RSA Shorts