It’s tempting to offer these words of “comfort”, but there’s a much better way to support someone going through a tragedy.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

We’ve all been there. We’re sharing a particularly painful or confusing experience with a friend and our struggle is met with the almost-inevitable cliché, “well, everything happens for a reason.”

The phrase, while almost always well-meaning, effectively shuts down the conversation.

Instead of encouraging an authentic, possibly-helpful dialogue, the adversity is unceremoniously summed up. What can possibly be said in response?

Saying things happen “for a reason” is actually a very natural, human response. It’s uncomfortable to be present to other people’s pain. We want to help, and it’s hard when someone’s problems just cannot be fixed.

It’s our attempt…

Believe me, I wish there were an easier way

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Empathy is quite certainly enjoying it’s day in the sun.

It’s the trending trait, with everyone rallying around and talking about how important it is. You can find online quizzes, articles, books and more around this current hot topic.

All for good reason, of course. Empathy is what connects us to each other. It helps us feel seen and relate to the experiences of others.

Empathy is, quite simply, the ability to understand the feelings of another. It goes a step further than sympathy, which is merely caring for, and feeling sorrow for, another’s pain.

Even if you haven’t been…

It benefits others, but benefits you even more

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A few years ago, I wrote a post on my blog all about how to best use Pinterest as a blogger.

Pinterest, at the time, was my blog’s main traffic source, and I wrote a comprehensive post sharing exactly how I use the platform to receive maximum traffic and engagement. I shared numbers, stats, and income.

Not long after, a fellow blogger friend questioned whether this was a smart idea. Her point was a fair one: “You’ve worked hard to gain your expertise in this area. Now you’re just helping your possible competitors.”

It was a common argument, and one…

This is what to do instead.

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The self-care business is booming.

Everywhere I look, there are tips, products, TED talks and social media posts about the importance of self-care, and the consequences of not getting enough.

I have nothing against self-care, per se. I took a recent quiz entitled “How High Maintenance Are You?” and scored almost embarrassingly high. Truth is, I like my massages, my freshly manicured nails and my complicated lattes. I enjoy my boutique barre classes and my afternoon walks.

I’m here, however, to share an alternative, possibly divisive, viewpoint, which is this:

Let’s focus less on our increasing need for self-care, and…

Let’s debunk the myth and go deeper to answer the question, “who am I?”

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Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

I’m a writer and a maker. More specifically, I create content for my two sites, contribute here on Medium, as well as create physical and digital products for my Etsy shop.

Like most people, I find it difficult to separate who I am from what I do. My work is my passion. I’m captivated with not just the results, but the work itself.

It pushes me, challenges me, and makes me who I am. Or does it?

A Question of Worth

As a…

Leaning in to what’s most important in a world obsessed with productivity

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“Every day is a new day, and ultimately, I have to figure out what works each day.” -Nathan Chen

I sit down with my calendar and plan out the next few weeks. I schedule in kids’ activities, workouts, writing, blogging, marketing, meal prep-all those tasks that need a slot in my schedule if I want them to get done.

This is, after all, what life coaches, business advisors and productivity experts recommend. Schedule your days to make the most of them.

Many of you do this too, I imagine. And it’s all well and good, of course, except there’s one…

The very skills you use as a blogger are the building blocks for success on other platforms

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

I’ve always considered myself more of a blogger than a writer.

I do believe, though, bloggers are absolutely writers.

I will admit, of course, there are differences.

Blogging is definitely one type of writing, but to find success as a writer, on platforms other than blogs, you do have to switch your focus and technique a bit.

I’ve been blogging for about a decade, and have had my blogs monetized for about eight years. Monetization comes in the form of two major categories: ads and sponsored posts.

Very recently, I joined Medium and decided to see how and if those…

This is your new mantra when you get stuck in a nostalgia spiral

Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

I’ve found myself doing it a lot this week.

Last night, for instance, I scrolled through years of messages and images on my Facebook feed. The night before that, I had a dream involving an old college friend I no longer speak to.

In short, I’ve been in a nostalgia spiral, of sorts.

I’ve been thinking of past relationships and friendships, the minutiae of which is lost in the mists of time. The gist of it, though, is this: I’ve been mourning people and relationships no longer in my life. And it hurts.

What Could Have Been

Maybe this is you, too?

Maybe you…

We’ve all been there. Here’s how to move on.

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A good friend invited me to her new home this morning for coffee.

The new home is about double the square footage of her last place, and she was having trouble figuring out the placement for some of her furniture, art and accessories.

After about an hour of deliberation, moving things around, and creatively using pieces already in her possession, we relocated several key pieces of furniture and art, and hopefully came up with something both visually appealing and functional.

My friend is remarkably creative and has a great eye for color and design, but, sometimes, it takes a fresh…

Let’s aim to do this instead.

Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

I’m talking to a good friend about how life has changed since Coronavirus.

It honestly feels good to state out loud and acknowledge how our quality of life has decreased in this era of COVID. Our jobs, kids, schooling, summer plans…nothing is safe, and there seems to be no end in sight.

I’m betting you can empathize.

My friend, however, did not. “Let’s look at the bright side! You are so lucky for so many reasons. Let’s focus on that, instead!”

She had good intentions, but her false cheer rubbed me the wrong way.

Turns out, there’s a name for…

Linda Smith

content creator | creative | coffee-enthusiast | Enneagram 9

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