For any of you non-Millennials who didn’t happen to grow up with Harry Potter, a Hippogriff is a chimerical sort of beast. It’s a creature with the wings, head, and front talons of a bird and the hind legs and tail of a horse. They’re pretty fierce.

They’re also a walking (and flying) contradiction. Which makes them the perfect visual for what we’re musing about in this week’s #ClarityGem …






We so often default to limited, “either/or” thinking:

“I can’t set a boundary with this person because I love them and don’t want to hurt their feelings.”

“I’ve got a few extra pounds, so I must not be healthy.”

“I don’t like my job, even though I have a lot to be grateful for, so I must be ungrateful.”

But humans aren’t that limited. We’re complex. We have a huge emotional range and a capacity to make perfect sense of contradiction. Which means that we don’t have to believe in “either/or.” We can choose to believe (and act) according to “both, and.”

Which turns all of the above into:

“I love this person, and I’m going to set a boundary with them.”

“I’m healthy, and I’m carrying a few extra pounds right now.”

“I don’t like my job, I’d like to move on, and I’m grateful for all that I have in my life.”

It’s not a matter of black or white, right or wrong, true or false. You’re a human, which means you’re allowed to be a living, breathing piece of complexity. One doesn’t have to cancel the other out … it can all be true.

twitter-bird Just because one thing is true, doesn’t make something else false. Both can be true! #ClarityGems

How is this #ClarityGem sitting with you today? Leave us a comment on the blog to let us know!


Sometimes it’s just better to avoid long blog posts and cut straight to the point!

Think of #ClarityGems as your weekly shake of the good ‘ole Magic 8 Ball … you never know what might bubble up and how it might be exactly what you need to hear today.

And instead of just a beautiful, inspirational, and shareable image (which is a nice start), we’re giving you some quick thoughts about how to interpret it … because inspiration without action is pretty, but kind of anti-climatic.

Tweet it, share it on Instagram, or forward it along to someone who needs to hear it today … and tag us (@ClarityonFire) to let us know how this Gem is inspiring you!

Much Love,

Kristen + Rachel

P.S. For a great conversation around this topic, we suggest you check out Jess Lively’s interview with Brene Brown. Make sure to listen all the way to the end, which is when they really dive in to complexity, contradiction, and the whole “both, and” thing. Really good stuff!

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  1. Thank you for sharing!! Jess’s interview is a good listen.
    Boundaries are just really hard to set.

    My favorite thing that Brene said was:

    “I love you enough to have an uncomfortable conversation with you about what’s ok for me and what’s not ok. Because I care about you and respect you too much to let this turn into resentment, gossip, or talk about this behind your back. I’m not going to do that, I care about you too much. Here is what what I need…”

    1. I love that too, Rachel! It’s so important to re-frame boundaries as a thing that can actually be *loving* and respectful, and something that can actually honor a relationship.

  2. Hi Kristen+Rachel!

    I found your website from an article Kristen wrote for Levo about finding your passion when you don’t know what it is. Let me just say that the passion profile quiz was an answer to prayer! I am so thankful for your work. I recently quit my job without having something lined up ( which I know is not always the best decision, but it was for me) to cut ties with a toxic job and take the time to re-discover who I am; my strengths, my talents, my passions. Thanks to the quiz I feel like I have direction in my job search. I will definitely be sharing the quiz with family and friends!

    Thanks so much,

    1. Hey Jessie,

      Wow, I’m SO happy you found us and the Passion Profile Quiz … and seemingly at the perfect time, too! It really means a lot to hear that our work is inspiring you. 🙂

      Congrats on having the courage to quit your toxic job. I’m sure it felt scary to do what you knew was right for you, even when it didn’t make logical sense to everyone around you. But now you have the time, space, and energy to regroup and get clear on who you are, what you value, and what you want to create next in your life and career. You have the perfect mindset right now!

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