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Issue #16  //  Right There with You 💞

If you’re new to our e-news, welcome! We’ll make your inbox happy biweekly with personal development thoughts, episode roundups and takeaways, things we text each other, and stuff we’re loving right now. Thanks for being a part of our tribe.

- Glennon Doyle via @sillylara

From Melia:

It happens every time.

I share something especially transparent – on social, on the podcast, or in this newsletter – and when I hit publish, I wonder, “Is that too dark? Too raw? Too much?”

I go over each word in my mind, feeling what Brené Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover” coming on. I worry that people will judge me and think less of me, that they’ll see me as incompetent, a downer, a little nuts, too intense, or wheeeew, kind of a mess. I wait for a response – something, anything!

It happened during the Reschool Yourself project when I wrote about how overwhelmed and stuck I felt. It happened just this past week, when I posted on Instagram about having a Wobble Day. Quoting my horrendously abusive inner critic and talking about going to therapy – not sometime in my distant and less enlightened past, but now – triggered my anxiety about what people would think. 

But like they do every time, kind and compassionate responses drifted in from friends and strangers, variations on:

“I really needed to hear this today.”

“I know exactly what you mean.”

“Thank you.”

In other words, I heard what Elizabeth Gilbert describes as “a chorus of voices saying, ‘me too, me too.’”

A friend asked me for the name of my therapist, and I thought, "If being honest can result in even one person loving herself more, any angst I feel about revealing too much is worth it."

There still may be people out there who think, “Whoa, Nelly. That’s a lot. She's a lot.” And that’s okay. As Glennon Doyle says, “You will be too much for some people. Those aren’t your people.”

She goes on: “Sweetie, maybe it's not you, maybe it's them. There are people for whom your too much will be exactly enough. Don't become less. Find those who want more.”

So let’s be more. More authentic, more fully and honestly ourselves in all of our complexity – at home, at work, with friends, and on social media. Let’s free each other of the secret burdens we carry alone by saying, “Hey, it’s not just you. I’m right there with you.”

🎙 Latest Episode: #24 - The Shame File

Shame is something we all experience (except sociopaths!), but no one wants to talk about. We give a brief overview of Brené Brown's research on shame – why it's harmful, how it affects us, and how to overcome it.

And we share how shame shows up for us (hint: The Shame File is an actual document Melia keeps), plus steps we can all take to identify our shame triggers and begin to free ourselves of them.

👉 Steal This Tip: Transform shame into healthy guilt.

Shame and guilt are very different. Guilt can be a positive motivator, while shame never is.

Brené Brown says you can tell them apart like this: Shame is a focus on self; guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame is, “I am bad.” Guilt is, “I did something bad.” Guilt: “I’m sorry. I made a mistake.” Shame: “I’m sorry. I am a mistake.”


Episode #18: How Our Language Shapes Our Reality🎙

The language we use matters, especially when talking to and about ourselves. We explore the ways our words shape the way we think, feel, and act, and how to use them to empower ourselves.

Listen to the episode.

😄 Things We Text Each Other

via @willmcphail4

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

From Melia:

  • Writing Away Perfectionism
    Gill and I both love Anne Lamott and her book on writing, Bird by Bird. Darren happened to come across this Brain Pickings post on why perfectionism kills creativity, and I loved this quote about how writing and reading connect us to our human family:

    “Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”

From Gill:

  • Podcast Crush
    We are both fans of journalist/podcaster/media entrepreneur Manoush Zomorodi (check out ZigZag, Note to Self, and Bored and Brilliant). So I’m very excited to hear she’ll be taking over for Guy Raz as the new host of TED Radio Hour. More Manoush, yes!

In Our Ears  🎧

From Melia: 

  • Russell & Brené Get Deep
    Who knew that Russell Brand was such an insightful person (I had the same thought about Dax Shepherd), and that this interview with Brené Brown would be one of my favorite conversations of all time? In his podcast Under the Skin, they cover ground from parenting toddlers with loving but consistent boundaries – where has Choice Theory been all my life? – to how humanity can get itself back on track. It’s funny and relatable and you will love it.

From Gill: 

  • Postmodern Jukebox
    Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
    is my current soundtrack for everything. The band puts a vintage swing spin on modern pop songs, from Sia to Soundgarden, and the result is just so delightful. It even makes me like songs I wasn’t crazy about the first time around (anyone who can make “Stacy’s Mom” palatable wins a prize).

On Our Plates   🍽 

From Melia: 

  • Almond Joy Cookies
    If you love coconut + chocolate like I do, you will love these easy four-ingredient cookies. I had no idea that a cookie could taste exactly like an Almond Joy! I think they're gluten-free, too (check to make sure, GF friends).

From Gill: 

  • Instant Pot Butter Chicken 
    I’m an Instant Pot devotee, and I’ve been hearing about this magical IP butter chicken recipe for months now. I finally made it, and it deserves the hype. It’s easy and super flavorful (and saved me from ordering takeout). I recommend serving it with rice, naan and steamed veggies.

If you like the Semi-Together podcast, why not share the pod with a friend who would enjoy it? You can also become a patron here.  

Until next time! 


Melia & Gill 😘😘

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