All posts by

Shawna Ainslie

by Jera Brown Long before I was sexually active, I was drawn to the Biblical stories of outcasted women—the woman at the well, the woman who anointed Jesus’s feet with perfume, the woman for whom Jesus drew a line in the sand. I think I’ve always felt isolated. I identified with those women because it took me a long time to accept myself as I am, and it took even longer to show others who I am so that they could accept me. A few weeks ago, I tattooed a

I joined Hoosier CrossFit (HCF) at my lowest point of body confidence in 2013. I couldn’t get my toes up off the ground when I jumped. I was out of breath from walking. “Healthy” was a pipe dream I decided to try for because not trying was the same thing as giving up. While I’m a cautious individual, often shy at the outset, I don’t give up easily. I left the gym in 2014 due to surgical complications, and rejoined in 2016. Again at my lowest point. Again, not giving

I’ve experienced vivid nightmares throughout my life. As a child, my mother taught me lucid dreaming. I began changing my dreams before they fully woke me, before I popped up in bed, heart pounding, sweat-soaked and choking back a scream. As an adult, I forgot how to alter my dreams. For a time I felt safe in myself and the dreams eased. This summer, the nightmares returned. I no longer felt safe. For three months I struggled to sleep. The fourth month, I began to pay attention. My dreams spoke of

I write myself a letter at the end of every year. While supporting a friend in writing her own letter, my 2015 epistle dropped into my hands. I was surprised. It was in a pile of stationery I sift through regularly, yet I hadn’t seen it until it materialized, one corner of the envelope poking into my palm.  For the first time I can remember, I was afraid to open it.  I didn’t want to see what I had written because 2016 was a very hard year. It was far

Dear Readers, Please excuse the silence on this site. I am currently developing other projects such as The Survive Your Story Holiday Writing Guide and my business site (link forthcoming). I’ll have new content up here as soon as possible in the New Year. In the meantime, please peruse the archives to find something old that is also new or find me via #LinkYourLife. Thank you for your faithful readership. I can’t wait to share my latest projects with you! xoxo, Shawna

You aren’t quite done with your holiday shopping and you are out of ideas for what to buy. Here are some great options for last minute purchases. Most of these items are available with two-day Prime shipping on Amazon, which means your picks need not be rushed. Take some time with this list and see what feels just right. For the Host/ess A diffuser is a wonderful gift for anyone’s home. It is simple to use. Just add water and, if you like, some essential oils. I wish I had one

Whether you are observing a holiday or not, this time of year can be spirit crushing. Memories tend to rear their heads. Accessibility to (and desire to access) family becomes a point of reflection. Old patterns arise and we get mired in the struggle not to play them out again. We are rediscovering, redefining and setting our goals as we enter the next chapter of our lives. It doesn’t help that 2016 has been rife with conflict and disaster. Many of us would strike this year from history if we could.

I’m excited to be hosting this week’s #LinkYourLife Community Roundup! This roundup was born of a challenge posed to the #LinkYourLife community through our Facebook group several weeks ago. The idea is to highlight the amazing voices within the group through an elective share thread. This has been wonderful because our Twitter share community has grown so large it is a very difficult to pull every share into a roundup.  A smaller pool of shares allows for deeper reading of each piece. This, in turn, allows for deeper connection. Now for

I cannot recall what prompted me to write this post originally. I am happy to say since its conception I have become better at trusting others. It isn’t easy to expose my vulnerabilities, but it has proven worth the effort more often than not and even when relationships go off-script into uncharted, painful territory. There is much we can learn about ourselves by considering our reactions. I am resharing this because it had a very positive reception–several thank you emails appeared in my inbox in response.  As we move deeper

I adapted this recipe from the Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook Frijoles Charros recipe. This cookbook has been a staple in our family for three years now. I bought it during a period of financial difficulty and have not had any regrets. Slow cookers can greatly reduce the weekly grocery budget in addition to allowing you to “set it and forget it” but still have a meal at the end of the day. If you were to flip through my copy of the book, you would find I have

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