Posts by Alison Cook

Controlling others or confident leadership?

By Alison Cook | October 3, 2018

Would you rather lead by controlling others. . .or by empowering them? The answer to this question is pretty obvious. Controlling others gets a bad rap, and for good reason. Controlling behaviors can lead to manipulation, abuse of power, and boundary violations. On the other hand, we do want to have “self-control” and we also...

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The 5 signs that your desire to please others has become extreme

By Alison Cook | September 26, 2018

The desire to please others isn’t all bad. But when the desire to please becomes extreme, it keeps you from tending to a more vulnerable part of your own soul in need. When you focus always on the needs of others, you risk neglecting your deepest desires. You also may be avoiding your fears and...

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The 7 most common protectors that keep us from connection with others

By Alison Cook | September 12, 2018

You know the feeling. . .You’re at the dinner table with the people you love most, but you’re not really present. Your mind is a million miles away. Maybe you’re mentally scanning your to-do list or replaying the tape of that hard conversation you had with a friend earlier that day. Maybe you’re berating yourself...

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an extreme emotion

How to Identify a Part of Your Soul in Need

By Alison Cook | August 8, 2018

If you’re struggling with an extreme emotion, a hurting part of your soul might need your attention. Typically, an extreme emotion, such as anger or anxiety, or an overwhelming compulsion, such as over-thinking or people-pleasing, is a cue that some other more vulnerable part of your soul needs your attention. Let’s say you’re feeling irritable,...

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thriving in chaos

You can thrive in summer, even when your schedule is falling apart

By Alison Cook | July 30, 2018

I always struggled to thrive in summer, even before I had a family. On one hand, I enjoy the happy chaos, but my soul tends to take a beating without the natural rhythms of a school year. In the absence of a set structure, I default to adapting my day-to-day routines around the needs of...

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How to bring peace to others

When you want to bring peace to others

By Alison Cook | July 24, 2018

We want to bring peace to others. Unfortunately, our loved ones’ struggles often trigger our own troubling emotions, making it difficult to be of real help. When someone shares a need or frustration, the following four types of responses are common but not always most helpful. Do you recognize your own go-to method here? Agreement....

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Taking a You-Turn with Your Emotions

By Alison Cook | July 17, 2018

There was such a strong response to this devotion I recently wrote for Proverbs 31.org that I wanted to share it here to continue the conversation about coping with our most challenging emotions. Let me know about your own journey in the comments! ~Alison   “The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding...

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how to hold sadness in your heart

Guest Post | Kimberly Miller

By Alison Cook | July 15, 2018

The wonderful Ann Voskamp featured a post by my co-author, Kimberley Miller, recently.  It’s called “When You Need to Know How to Hold the Overwhelming Sadness in Your Heart,” and it’s a moving and inspiring reflection about finding peace amidst chaos and grief. I think you’ll like it. Let us know your thoughts below or over...

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How to improve connection

How to Regain Connection to God, Others, and Yourself

By Alison Cook | July 10, 2018

We want to be close to God and to others. . . but did you know that connection starts with you? We all crave the experience of being seen and loved for who we really are. And we rejoice when someone we love lets us in to see them for who they really are. Such...

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An Interview with Bible Gateway

By Alison Cook | June 23, 2018

Throughout the process of writing Boundaries for Your Soul, Kim and I often used Bible Gateway to search for passages and to compare and contrast translations of the Bible—it was an honor to be on their blog!  You can read the full interview with Jonathan Petersen And, just for fun, I put a few excerpts below: What...

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calm your emotions at the ocean

Three Steps to Healing Painful Emotions

By Alison Cook | June 15, 2018

The first step to healing painful emotions is to focus on them. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s true. I didn’t really learn how to focus on and heal painful emotions until I was well into adulthood. It’s not that I didn’t have painful emotions, don’t get me wrong! It’s just that I was adept...

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