The Next Right Thing

By Emily P. Freeman: Writer, Listener, Creative Director

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Category: Christianity

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Beth W.
 Aug 23, 2018
These short podcasts are my favorite way to start a Tuesday. Emily challenges me to slow down. in a world that seems to speed up every year this space is a breath of fresh air and encouragement to pursue God and implement self-care.


For the second-guessers, the chronically hesitant, or anyone who suffers from decision fatigue, best-selling author and host Emily P. Freeman helps create a little space for your soul to breathe so you can discern your next right thing in love. Because out of the thousands of decisions you make everyday, chances are a few of them threaten to keep you up at night. If you're in a season of transition, waiting, general fogginess or if you've ever searched "how to make a decision" on the internet, listen in.

Episode Date
64: Acknowledge Your Soul

We don’t want to wait until the other side of Christmas to finally pause and say, hello soul. I’ve missed you this month.

Instead, we work to create space now. For a few minutes today, we’ll make room, we’ll take a moment to acknowledge our soul and remember the miracle of God With Us.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Dec 18, 2018
63: Make Room

During Advent, it’s true we wait expectantly. It’s also true we’re preparing for an arrival. 

What does preparation look like for you today? Might it include creating some space? Making some room? Clearing some clutter - and not just the kind you can see?

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Dec 11, 2018
62: Sit Down on the Inside

If you want to find relief from seasonal anxiety, I would love to help. 


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Dec 04, 2018
61: Look Back - How Reflection Can Help You Make Better Decisions

Our choices define our lives - not just the ones we’re carrying now about our future, but also the ones we’ve already made in our past.

Wouldn’t we do well to bring them to mind and see what they have to teach us?

In this episode I’ll share my own simple rhythm of reflection in hopes that it could inspire you to come up with your own.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Nov 27, 2018
60: Start Before You're Ready (PLUS A Big Announcment!)

Starting before you’re ready moving even when you’re not sure where you’re going is only possible when you have a next-right-thing mindset.

Today I'll share a story from my own life and, in the process, offer what I hope will be as fun an announcement for you to hear as it is for me to give.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Nov 20, 2018
59: Find A Quiet Space

It’s possible to be surrounded by silence everyday and completely miss the point. It’s also possible to lead a full, loud life and still receive the gifts God has to offer us in the pockets of silent time we can find.

You can be busy and soulful at the same time. The key is in paying attention.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Nov 13, 2018
58: Welcome Silence

In 2012 singer John Mayer had surgery on his vocal chords and was ordered not to speak for two months or sing for six. His healing depended on his silence. 

While his need was physical, perhaps silence is required for all kinds of healing: the wounds of the body and of the soul. Today's episode offers a short practice to help ease into silence, one small moment at a time.

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Nov 06, 2018
57: Don't Dread Your Weird Life

To take action and make a decision requires something of you. But make no mistake — putting decisions off require something too, and that may be even more expensive. 

Links + Resources:

Oct 30, 2018
56: Focus on One

Focus is hard because there’s both so much going on and often not enough information. When you have a big idea but aren't sure where to start, listen in. 


Links + Resources From This Episode:

Oct 23, 2018
55: Learn to Walk in the Dark

There’s a skill to walking in the dark: you have to go slow, trust what you know, and take it one step at a time.

After the winds and rain of hurricane Michael knocked out power in the city, we navigated our way through our dark house, not a beam of light from a street lamp or a night light or even the moon.

Whether darkness comes as an absence of light or a waning faith, the way to walk through it is by doing the next right thing.

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Oct 16, 2018
54: Find Someone to Mother

In a world that seems to only value a twisted kind of angular strength, let’s find ways to receive the curves, to be nurtured by God and one another.

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Oct 09, 2018
53: Allow the Present to Be Imperfect

The rest from decision fatigue doesn’t descend upon me when my work is finally finished. Instead, it comes slowly as I'm willing to allow the present to be imperfect.


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Oct 02, 2018
52: Grow as You Go

Decision fatigue can creep into our life for any number of reasons, but one isn’t as obvious as some others.

When change rises slow or comes up from behind, it can turn your life a different color so gradually you don’t realize it until you compare things to this time last year. 

Discover what slow change might be happening within or around you and see if that might help clarify your next right thing.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Sep 25, 2018
51: Choose A Pastime

If you are feeling overwhelmed, carrying a heavy decision, or live with what seems to be a growing imbalance between the work you do during the week and the rest you’re supposed to be doing on the weekends, choosing a pastime could be a worthy next right thing.

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Sep 18, 2018
50: Go Forward

Last year I decided to enroll in grad school. But first, I lost sleep, asked everyone's opinion, and made myself crazy. Here's what happened next.

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Sep 11, 2018
49: Collaborate

Making the decision to move forward with an idea is hard enough, but one thing that can keep us feeling especially stuck is trying to move forward with a decision alone because we are afraid.

When it comes to collaboration it takes a certain amount of courage to say yes to an invitation. But for some of us it takes courage in even greater measure to extend the invitation in the first place.


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Sep 04, 2018
48: Receive the Waiting Time

As we continue to make our way through an ever changing set of circumstances, the seasons will keep rolling on, bringing with them both dreaded and hoped-for hellos and goodbyes.

You may be holding on to a hopeful vision for your future, but perhaps you're questioning what that means for today. What do we do while we wait for seeds to grow? Listen in.

Jul 31, 2018
47: Receive One Another

When someone around us is struggling, what is our next right thing? Listen in.


Jul 24, 2018
46: Receive the Shadows and Light

Both the light and the shadows have an important role in our lives and embracing them both helps us grow towards our next right thing.


Links + Resources From This Episode:

Jul 17, 2018
45: Receive a New Beginning

We want see evidence of growth in our lives, but it can be discouraging when we can't figure out how to release old habits.

Perhaps true maturity and a growing faith show up not in our ability to stand up straight and blameless, but in our willingness to turn, again and again, back to the face of God.

Links + Resources From This Episode:


Jul 10, 2018
44: Receive Healing

If you know you need to make a move but something is holding you back, listen in.


You can read the transcript to this episode here.

Instagram: @emilypfreeman


Jul 03, 2018
43: Receive Silence

Psalm 139 is a familiar chapter, but what does it take to let your heart be searched by God and be led in the everlasting way?

It sounds lovely, maybe a little terrifying, but mostly out of reach. Maybe it isn't as hard as all that.

Maybe we just need a little bit of silence. I hope these few minutes will lead you right to it.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Jun 26, 2018
42: Receive Peace

Studies show our brains process spoken and written language differently. 

We may often sit to read scripture, but how often do we allow scripture to read us?


It might be surprising how a small amount of intentional time can begin to smooth out the chaotic edges of your soul.

This continues our summer series of still moments.

Jun 19, 2018
41: Take A Breath

When we take a deep breath, it sends our body a message: You're going to be okay.

In the beginning, God breathed life into mankind -- breath was the beginning. So it makes sense this is the first step to decluttering the soul, especially in the midst of transitions as we learn what it means to begin again.

Today I'll share how I am working to maintain the integrity of my own offering to you by creating some space for my own soul to breathe.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Jun 12, 2018
40: Keep Your Rest

Beneath our hectic schedules, our proud accomplishments, and our self-sufficiencies, we simply long to be loved and cared for right where we are, no strings attached.

Maybe in these few minutes we have together, our God will father and mother us in all the ways we need the most.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Jun 05, 2018
39: Don't Give Your Critic Words

The voice of the critic can keep us from our next right thing. But not all critical voices are created equally. Here's help to discern who to listen to and who to ignore. 

A few links from the episode:

May 29, 2018
38: Zoom Out

This one simple sentence from a New York pastry chef could help you shift your perspective and take your next right step. Listen in.

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May 22, 2018
37: Take a Hometown Tour

With our full schedules and daily concerns, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with even the slightest disruption to our routine.

With that in mind, today’s suggestion might seem counter-intuitive:  disrupting our routine can sometimes be exactly what we need to get unstuck.

May 15, 2018
36: Stay in Today

Two things guaranteed to make your day more complicated: unawareness of your current situation and exaggeration of your future inability to handle it.


Here's one simple practice to help you stay in today and simply do the next right thing.

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May 08, 2018
35: Be Kind (with Candace Cameron Bure)

When you're on a roll in Hollywood, you don't leave the industry. But that's exactly what actress, producer, and author Candace Cameron Bure decided to do.

In the midst of the fear and second-guessing, one character trait remained certain throughout her life and career transitions - kindness.

Listen in as she shares her story, because when you're in the midst of making a big decision, it helps to hear the decision-making process other people go through. 


Links + Resources From This Episode:

May 01, 2018
34: Pick What You Like

The decisions that add to our fatigue aren't always big and significant ones. Sometimes things in life that are meant to be fun and delightful - choosing a paint color, wrapping a present, picking out plants - turn out instead to be one more decision we feel incapable of making.

What is the next right thing in situations that overwhelm us but shouldn't? How can we move forward as a beginner in areas where we may not feel a lot of confidence but wish we did?

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Apr 24, 2018
33: Gather Co-Listeners

If you are facing a big decision that could lead to a new start, perhaps you don’t need a collection of gurus as much as you need a a group of co-listeners. Here’s how I found mine.


Find show notes and a complete transcript at

Find me on instagram @emilypfreeman


Apr 17, 2018
32: Stop Collecting Gurus

At a time when I felt pulled in many directions, I realized I was looking outside myself for a plan when I needed to look inside for a vision.

My email inbox told me the story and this time, I had the good sense to pay attention.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Visit The Next Right Thing for a complete transcript of this 12 minute episode.

Apr 10, 2018
31: Be A Beginner

It's one thing to experience a new beginning, to usher in a time of new roles, new adventure, and new season of life. No matter what kind of new beginning a transition might bring, it also brings a new identity for us: a beginner.

I've discovered I don't love being a beginner. I'd rather be an expert, thank you very much. But being a beginner is an unavoidable part of life transition.

Let's close the gap between the joy of a new beginning and the dread of actually being a beginner by simply doing the next right thing.

For Writers!

Apr 03, 2018
30: Hold One Thing at A Time

The way we move through our days is a lot more instinctual than we care to admit. We like to think we have clear reasons for things when in fact, most times we are feeling our way through.

Do I feel safe? Do I feel seen? Do I feel heard? Do I feel in control? Do I have what it takes?

On the surface, the decision could be as simple as deciding to join the PTA or not join the PTA. But deeper down and further in, it isn’t always quite so clear cut.

Today rather than tell you one of my own stories or the story of someone who has inspired me, I want to guide you through telling yourself your story, particularly as it relates to a decision you’re carrying.

New! Grab the free downloadable Practice Guide: How to Make One Decision at A Time right here.

Mar 27, 2018
29: Remember the Real Art

When you hold a dream – to craft a song, write a book, open a shop, get a degree – it can be hard to let it go even when the dream no longer fits. It feels like more than a loss, it feels like failure.

But it doesn’t have to. In fact, what if the letting go was actually a making room?

The real art isn’t the song, the book, the shop or the degree. The real art is something more, something deeper, something good. 

Today I'll share a story of a couple who realized their next right thing was to let a long-held dream go. But because they understood the real art, the dream lives on.

Download a complete transcript at

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Mar 20, 2018
28: Stand on Your Head

Any de-clutterer knows the only way to make room is by letting stuff go. It's true for your house and equally true for your soul.

Today I'll share 3 ways standing on your head can make room for something good - even if you never physically get upside down.

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Mar 13, 2018
27: Stop Rushing Clarity

If you are distracted and overwhelmed by a particular decision and you just can't seem to move forward, you might feel like either something is wrong with your process or something is wrong with you.

Neither one of these has to be true. In today's episode, I'll share two things you can let go of today that will help you take your next right step.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

If you prefer reading to listening, download a transcript of this episode right here.

Mar 06, 2018
26: Choose Connection

Doing the next right thing in relationships starts with how we enter a room. It can mean the difference between connecting with them or comparing ourselves to them.

Fair warning, today’s episode is brought to you by some healthy self-reflection and a dash of narcissism. It's for a good cause. I hope you'll stick with me.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Feb 27, 2018
25: Come Home to Yourself

The only person you’re guaranteed to be with every day of your life is you. Maybe your next right thing is to make some peace with yourself and come back home.

Feb 20, 2018
24: Look for Arrows (Not Answers)

When I have a question, the first thing I want is an answer. Sometimes answers are fairly easy to come by – How do you make pizza? What should I wear today? Who can drive to piano practice?

But so often, the questions we have in life that give us trouble are the ones that aren’t so linear. In my experience, these usually have to do with things like faith, vocation, and relationships.

Today I'm sharing about a time in our life when my husband John and I desperately wanted answers but what we got instead was a series of arrows. This is a story of where they led.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Feb 13, 2018
23: Release Your Agenda

How can we discern our next right thing when we're confronted with unpredictable people? Today we'll explore the difference between a loving intention and a fear-based agenda. 

More From This Episode:

Feb 06, 2018
22: Embrace Your Limits

When you finally find, name, and move toward the things you feel most called to, you will quickly discover some roadblocks in the form of some kind of limitation like time, money, fatigue, or support.

Instead of fighting those, perhaps your next right thing is to embrace them.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Visit The Next Right Thing Podcast show notes to download a complete transcript of this episode.

Jan 30, 2018
21: Find A No Mentor

What do you do when you can't make a decision and you’re too close to even know what you want and don’t want?

You need to find a No Mentor and eventually, learn to be your own.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Jan 23, 2018
20: Ignore With Intention

With computers in our pockets, the truth is we all have low-grade anxiety that messes with our ability to discern our next right thing.

Today I'll share practical steps to take to eliminate of one of the most common anxiety triggers: the ones that show up in our feeds, our follows, and our online accounts.

Mentions in this Episode:

Find a complete transcript for this episode right here.

Jan 16, 2018
19: Choose Your Absence

In January it's tempting to search the horizon for what might be next and open ourselves up to new opportunities.

But decision fatigue can set in when every opportunity that comes our way seems to have potential. How can we choose which opportunities to take and which ones to pass up? That's today's episode.

Links + Resources From This Episode:

Jan 09, 2018
18: Wait With Great Hope

Astronaut Scott Kelly was the first American to spend 340 consecutive days in space. But the night he returned home, the news cameras were looking in another direction.

In our last episode of 2017, we'll take a few moments to consider what it means to wait with great hope during one of the busiest months of the year.

Mentions in this Episode:

Dec 05, 2017
17: Let It Count

When it comes to discerning your next right thing, maybe this one small word will make a difference for you as it has for me.

Visit for a full transcript and a copy of today's prayer.

Mentions in This Episode:

Nov 28, 2017
16: Walk Slow and Carry Questions

During the holidays, the transition from our regular schedule to extended time with family can be great in theory but more difficult in practice.

Here's one simple step you can take to help you be a sane person with your people this week.

Mentions in This Episode:

Find complete transcripts at

Nov 21, 2017
15: Name the Narrative

In 2014, Nancy Writebol was one of the first Americans diagnosed with the Ebola virus infection in West Africa.

What happened after that could provide surprising comfort for anyone who feels stuck or discouraged in the midst of a hard time.

Visit for resources mentioned + a full transcript.

Join our little tribe at and say hi on instagram @emilypfreeman.

Nov 14, 2017
14: Know What You Want

Knowing what you want is not selfish; it's actually crucial to making decisions. It builds confidence, hastens healing, and is a gift to the people you love.

Visit for resources mentioned in this episode + a full transcript.

To connect beyond the podcast, join our little tribe at for weekly reminders to help create space for your soul to breathe so you can discern your next right thing in love.

Nov 07, 2017
13: Quit Something

We usually save this conversation for January, but maybe we need it now more than ever.

If you feel busy but not productive or rushing to get somewhere but never feel like you’ve arrived, it's time to focus on what is essential.

To connect beyond the podcast, join our little tribe at and find me on instagram @emilypfreeman

Mentioned in This Episode:


Oct 31, 2017
12: Practice Presence

Scattered and rushed doesn't have to be the norm. Listen in for one simple way to gather yourself and practice presence today.

Come join our little tribe for even more help to create space for your soul to breathe: and find me on Instagram @emilypfreeman.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Oct 24, 2017
11: Wear Better Pants

Perhaps today, your next right step is simply to release something you no longer need so that you can move one step closer to becoming who you already are. And no, this episode title is not a metaphor for something else. Today, we need to have a talk about pants.

Visit the and click on episode 11 to download a copy of today's prayer for self-acceptance.

Find me on Instagram @emilypfreeman or here:

Oct 17, 2017
10: Be Where You Are

If your to-do list feels never ending, here is one action and one question to help you take your next right step today.

Visit The Next Right Thing Podcast for show notes + full transcript + more resources to help you create space for your soul to breathe today.

For weekly reminders to do your next right thing, join our community right here.

Oct 10, 2017
09: Listen for Specifics - Moving Forward After Tragedy

This week, our country grieves after the horrific mass shooting Las Vegas. We belong to each other. But how do we move forward together without losing hope or becoming overwhelmed that we can't do anything at all?

One way to discover your next right step in the aftermath of tragedy is to push away blanket statements and generalities and instead, start to be specific.

To print out today’s prayer and/or a complete transcript of this episode, visit The Next Right Thing Podcast.

You can also find me on Twitter + Instagram.

Mentions in this episode:

Oct 03, 2017
08: Expect to Be Surprised

Fear of choosing wrong or missing what's best can lead to an obsession with clarity and the quick fix.

Today’s collection of stories shows how often the best parts of life can't be planned and how God often works in small surprises in the midst of the long haul.

If you’ve left a review or just want to say hello, visit and tell me so I can thank you directly!

You can also find me on Twitter + Instagram.

Mentions in this episode:

Sep 26, 2017
07: Faithfulness, Fame, and the Gift of Obscurity

Fame is messing with us, interfering with our ability to discern our next right thing because maybe we're waiting for the next big thing. What a singer, a cyclist, and a make-believe boss have to teach us about faithfulness, fame, and the gift of obscurity.

If it seems like the people around you are taking big steps while all yours feel small and inconsequential, listen in.

Visit for show notes + a full transcript. Find me on instagram @emilypfreeman

Sep 19, 2017
06: Know the Power of Naming

Sometimes indecision is the result of a busy schedule or a hesitant personality. Other times, though, it's because there is something within us that remains unnamed.

In today's episode: what a robocall and a New York chef have to teach us about the power of naming to help us take our next right step.

Visit for show notes + resources mentioned. Find me on instagram @emilypfreeman.

Sep 12, 2017
05: Offer Your Work With Hope

It can be easy to dismiss our work as ordinary or even unimportant, especially when we consider all the pain and heartbreak in the world around us.

How can we simple do the next right thing in our work when it doesn't seem like enough? That's today's episode.

And here's that offer I mentioned to help you have a sane September:

The Quiet Collection - set your mind before you start your work.

Find me on Instagram @emilypfreeman + show notes at

Sep 05, 2017
04: Record What You Learn

Indecision is often a direct result of overwhelm. Even the most grounded and professional among us can suffer from decision fatigue given the right circumstances.

In today’s episode, we’ll take a look at what happens in otherwise sane people when we are hit with unexpected overwhelm and I'll share a few tips to ease the burden of hustle when it comes. And it always comes.

Visit for resources, a transcript and a free gift. Find me on Instagram @emilypfreeman

Aug 29, 2017
03: Make the Most Important List

There's at least one major flaw with the typical pro/con list. In today's episode, I'll share how you can make a different kind of list that will help inform all future decisions.

Visit for show notes + a full transcript. You can find me @emilypfreeman on Instagram + Twitter.

Aug 22, 2017
02: Do This Before Every Hard Decision

Is there a decision you know you need to make but you keep putting it off? There could be many reasons why this particular decision is giving you trouble, but I want to offer one question you can ask that could help you move forward.

Access show notes + a full transcript at and find me on Twitter + Instagram @emilypfreeman

Aug 15, 2017
01: Become A Soul Minimalist

When a decision requires the deep work of discernment, it can be difficult to move forward when our minds and souls are filled with clutter. Let's talk about what it means to be a soul minimalist and how it can help clarify the decision-making process in just 5 minutes a day.

Visit for show notes + a full transcript of this episode. Find me on Instagram @emilypfreeman

Aug 15, 2017
Introducing The Next Right Thing

Created for anyone who struggles to make decisions, it's a brand new podcast! Because I'm never more open to advice, guidance, direction, and discouragement than when I have a decision to make. Maybe you too? Inspired from the commonly quoted advice to simply "do the next right thing," let's move forward together to discern what that might mean. To learn more and download a transcript, visit

Aug 07, 2017