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Episode 60: Embracing New Tools for a New Season (with Shauna Niequist)
What do you do when the story you’re living suddenly doesn’t fit anymore? What happens when your story gets rewritten in real time—and you have no backspace button you can push? We’ve all been there in one way or another. So has author Shauna Niequist. Like many of us, Shauna has been in a season of unraveling and reweaving. A few years ago she, her husband Aaron, and their two boys left their hometown of Chicago and moved into an 800-square-foot apartment in Manhattan, where they knew exactly eight (!) people. Shauna and Emily talk about how to embrace the changes you asked for and the ones you didn’t, why we’ll never stop learning things (and why that’s a great thing!). Above all, Shauna reminds us that life as we know it is going to change. It’s not easy. It’s definitely messy. But sometimes, those changes can be beautiful too.
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“It's okay to still be a learner. In fact, it's great! It's such a wonderful, life-giving way to walk through the world and say, ‘I'm not an expert in this, but someone is, and I can ask for help. I can continue being curious, and I can try something and get it wrong and then make it right and then try again.’” – Shauna Niequist
“If you need everything to be extraordinary or perfect in order to be happy, you're going to wait forever.” – Shauna Niequist
“If you can be the kind of person who finds beauty and hope and redemption and meaning even while things are falling apart around you, that's a good longterm plan for living your life.” – Shauna Niequist
Shauna’s Recs for a Fun New York Day (with kids!)
- American Museum of Science and Natural History (bonus points if you watch Night Before the Museum before you go!)
- Take a three-minute walk to Shake Shack for burgers and fries (yum)
- For Beatles fans, stop by the Strawberry Fields Memorial closeby in Central Park
- Of course, visit Levain Bakery for tasty treats
A Blessing for Your Week
When things don’t feel like they’re working the way they should, may you have the courage to say, “Maybe it’s time for a change.”
When the things you thought were true about you don’t fit anymore, I hope you have the boldness to say, “I’m writing a different story with my life.”
And if people don’t agree with your new story or the new tools you’re using to write it, I hope you have the wisdom to say, “Thank you for letting me know — this is working for me right now, and I’m going to continue on this path.”
Simplicity Tip of the Week
If you have the feeling that maybe things aren’t working the way they used to, or you can’t quite figure out how to move forward, it may be time to seek a little help. Shauna did that. I did that too. I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve been seeing a therapist for a couple of years, and I can’t tell you what a difference that’s made for me.
Maybe it’s time for you to talk to someone else about new tools you can use in this season. Maybe it’s a therapist, or maybe it’s a mentor who’s been in your shoes before, or someone who’s an empathetic listener. Even if their experience doesn’t completely match ours, it can do a world of good when we realize that we’re not the only ones who have struggled—and that we’ll settle into our new season and new story sooner than we realize.
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