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You are innately well - you always have been and always will be. If you're not experiencing wellness, you are innocently lost in a thick fog of thought. I can help you cut through the fog to reconnect with the peace of mind, clarity and confidence that are already within you.

I help women suffering from bulimia and binge eating disorder, using an amazingly effective, easy, brilliant new brain-based approach. You don't have to suffer any longer.

An Invaluable Understanding

by Amy on December 18, 2014

You’re never going to hear me tell you how to discipline your kid, when to ask for a raise at work, or what you should eat for dinner.

I couldn’t possibly know the answers to those questions for you.  I barely know them for myself at times.

What I can provide–which is enormously more helpful than giving advice–is an understanding of how our human experience is created. What it’s all about and from where it comes.

When you see how your moment to moment human experiences are created, you become infinitely better equipped to make excellent day-to-day decisions.  Your life runs more smoothly and choices make themselves because you see how it all works in a deeper, more meaningful way.

Let me give you an example. Imagine two mechanics. Mechanic #1 is new to the profession and has a limited understanding.

He can do all kinds of things…change your oil, replace some basic parts, rotate your tires…but he’s simply following the steps he was taught and going through the motions.  He does a great job on your oil change, but he doesn’t truly understand the ins and outs of how a car works so his power is limited to following rules, logic, and steps.

He asks for lots of advice from other, more seasoned mechanics because when something shows up that he wasn’t trained for, he’s unsure what to do.

Mechanic #2 has a passion for cars. He deeply sees and appreciates the intricacies of your vehicle. He gets it. He understands cars at their most basic level.

He can change oil, replace parts, and rotate your tires like the first mechanic. But when he does those things, he’s not following steps or doing what he was taught in mechanic school. He’s coming from a completely different place; he has a deep knowing of the Why behind the What and How.

Which mechanic would you choose?

Which doctor would you choose? One who knows how to remove your appendix, or one with a profound understanding and respect for human anatomy and biology?

The two doctors have very different grounding. The first is doing what he was taught. The second sees the bigger picture in a way that makes the specific steps effortless and obvious.

Which engineer would you rather have?  One knows how to read blueprints and build a structure that is unlikely to fall down, or one with a profound understanding and respect for the laws of physics?

Which way would you rather be? Armed with opinionated advisors, books, resources, facts, figures, and steps? Or armed with your own profound understanding and respect for the principles that underlie the human experience?  

With an understanding of how our moods, emotions, and behaviors come to be, advice is rarely necessary.  The specific to do’s will take care of themselves when you see that you have unlimited wisdom and common sense within you at all times, waiting to guide you through those decisions.

You come to see the truth about the mental confusion and emotion that sometimes obscure that wisdom.  You know that the confusion and emotion clears up on its own, so you no longer try to fix them (which only makes them worse).

You see that it is this simple: When you’re in a low mood, wait. Do little. Let it clear on its own because  low mood conclusions are highly biased and very suspect. When you’re feeling peace of mind, you can take your conclusions and decisions to the bank. They are trustworthy and helpful.

As you develop this deep knowing for what it means to be human, being human rises to a whole new level of ease, meaning, and joy.

If you’re going to take the time to deepen your understanding in your profession to become the best mechanic, doctor, engineer, teacher, manager, or parent you can be, it only makes sense to deepen your understanding of being human so that you can have the best human experience you can have.

Seeing Something that Changes Everything

by Amy on December 11, 2014

Last month I taught a class about ending unwanted habits, compulsions, and addictions based on the scientific the spiritual principles that freed me of my own binge eating disorder several years ago.  insight

The basic principles are the same ones I write about here each week, and the ones around which my upcoming book on ending habits will be based. On the spiritual side, I’m talking about the idea that we are infinitely healthy and habit-free spiritual beings having very human experiences; those experiences are impersonal and temporary, always changing.

On the science side, I’m talking about neuroscience finding that urges—the mounting tension that drives you to act out your habit or addiction time and time again—come from the unthinking, unintelligent lower brain.  Those urges are temporary; when you see them as the fleeting, meaningless signals they are, you can more easily choose to not act on them.  As you stop acting on your urges, they decrease in frequency and urgency until they stop coming around all together. When there are no urges to act on, you are habit-free.

Although I can write about these principles and we could discuss them in our class, words fall pathetically short. The understanding that allows people to see their habit in a new way—a way that renders it powerless—is not an intellectual understanding. It doesn’t come from conceptually understanding what someone’s spiritual awakening taught them, and it certainly doesn’t come from grasping some basic neuroscience concepts.

It comes from a feeling; a feeling of knowing or understanding.  A shift in perspective.  It comes from insightfully seeing a new truth about yourself and your habit.

People recover and change for good when they have some insight that leads them to see things in a different way.

The trouble is, when you tell a group of people who desperately want to end some unwanted habit that it’s about having an insight, everyone naturally clamors for the insight.  I did too.  It becomes “am I getting it?”, “what am I missing?”, “where’s my insight?”, “what can I DO to make insight happen for me?”

Quite ironically, constantly assessing how much you’re seeing prevents you from seeing much at all.

After a string of messages from participants in the class that revolved around where they stood in terms of “getting it” (some motivated, others frustrated), I shared the following message with them. I wanted to share it more widely with you too, because I think it is so common and so human.  We have all been there, either in terms of a habit or addiction, or just some part of ourselves that makes us uncomfortable and that we’d love to change.

***

“Many of you have reached out about ‘getting it’…some excited that you are starting to get it, and others frustrated that you aren’t.

‘’Getting it’ and ‘not getting it’ are far less stable than they might seem. In any given moment there are things we see and there are things we don’t see.  Our thinking and level of consciousness are always in flux.

“Sometimes we see a deep truth about the underlying system that sticks with us and seems to permanently move us to a new level of understanding. For example, I remember the day I learned a few basic things about baking…why baked goods rise and why they fail to rise, how baking powder was different from baking soda, what temperature and altitude had to do with it… Before that, most of what I baked turned out the way I wanted but every once and a while it didn’t and when it didn’t, I was thrown for a loop. I was confused; I felt like the victim of some invisible baking saboteurs who snuck into the oven and ruined my creations. But once I learned a few simple principles, I didn’t feel like a victim in the same way. I had a deeper understanding of the principles of baking and that understanding helped immensely. It didn’t mean I never made baking mistakes, but I could typically see where I went wrong and I no longer feel helpless or powerless about it. There was something to see. Sometimes I saw it, other times I didn’t.

“The same happened when I saw that my urges to binge were meaningless, programmed ‘neurological junk’ that would fade on their own. I got excited about experiencing them and letting them fade (because I knew that meant the end of my habit) and in many ways, things were never the same again. I still experienced urges for a while and it was still uncomfortable when I did. As a human being, our moment to moment thinking is what we feel so I felt my fair share of that moment to moment thinking. But the foundation had shifted such that I knew there were principles at play—similar to those principles of baking I had learned—that were reliable. I had a peek at the system and knowing about the system took away the panic and powerlessness. I still binged at times when the surface thought looked very real, but I knew the foundation had shifted nonetheless.

“If you feel like you are finally ‘getting it’, enjoy! Feel grateful for what you’re seeing, but don’t push it. Don’t intellectualize it or try to grab onto something because grabbing hold of an understanding is like grabbing hold of water—the tighter you clutch, the more elusive it is. Stay easy, in the feeling, grateful for what is showing up, and it will continue to unfold from there. Contrary to popular concern, you can’t ‘lose it’. You might not always be in touch with it, but it works at the level of your foundation so it’s not far behind.

“If you are in the ‘not getting it’ camp, know that you are NOT in a permanent place.  You don’t see it right now and when you don’t see it, you might feel powerless and like a victim of invisible saboteurs. But know that there IS something to see. In a sense, it doesn’t much matter that you don’t see it right this instant. There IS something to see. There is an explanation for what you’re experiencing; there is a system that underlies it that is logical, reliable, and makes perfect sense.

“Just as there are principles to baking, there are principles that describe our human experience and you will catch onto them at some point (especially given that you’re here, looking). So ‘not getting it’ is like saying ‘it’s raining’; it’s a factual statement about a temporary state that is completely beyond your control. The easier you are with yourself about ‘not getting it’, the more you open to getting it.

“BY FAR, the biggest obstacle to ‘getting it’ is having thought in the way; putting pressure on yourself to get it and evaluating your “getting it” vs. “not getting it” status. That’s like trying to clutch water and deciding you’re a failure when the water rushes past your fingers.

“You don’t have to focus there.  Instead, just stay open to your foundation shifting, keep looking at these truths with an open mind, willing to be wrong about everything you know, and I promise you’ll see something that helps you. You’ll know you’re seeing something helpful by the feeling. When you feel at peace, closer to your own home base, and things look simpler than they typically do, you’re in the feeling.

“You are all doing perfectly well, no matter where you are. I really mean that. There is enormous hope for you.”

One Simple Question for Happier Relationships

December 4, 2014

The statement “what were you thinking?!” is very different than the question “what were you thinking?” The statement “what were you thinking?!” says: you’re crazy, you’re wrong, you clearly were not thinking, you should have done things differently. The question “what were you thinking?” says: help me understand where you’re coming from… Read the rest […]

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How to Share the Truth (with Wisdom by Willow)

November 20, 2014

I get a lot of questions about how we can teach the things I write about to young children.   Raising children who see the truth about their nature, who are comfortable with emotion, and who know how their experience is created, is a big deal. It’s no exaggeration to say that this understanding could […]

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When we Fear Emotion

November 13, 2014

A woman was recently telling me how emotions were not okay in the family in which she grew up.   Feeling bad—and being honest about it—w as not an option. So she learned to pretend that she was feeling okay when she was not. She began to carry on as if everything were wonderful when […]

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Your Problems are not about You

November 6, 2014

I have a friend whose husband just walked out on her and her three young children. She is barely getting by financially, she has some mounting health issues due to the stress she’s experiencing, and she is caring for an elderly parent.  Her circumstances are tough in a way that I can’t pretend to understand. […]

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You are far less stable than you might think (and that’s good news!)

October 30, 2014

How It Looked Then  Fourteen years ago I found myself with a diagnosis: panic disorder. I was having up to 25 panic attacks a day.  Many days, I spent more time in a state of acute anxiety than not. The thing about diagnoses is that they suggest a whole bunch of stuff that may or […]

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No Need to Fix Everything

October 23, 2014

This article is by Judy Sedgeman. Please visit her site to read the rest…it is so worth the click over there. I know you’re going to love it too.  Lately I’ve talked with several clients who are sure that “fixing” something in their circumstances will bring them happiness. One is determined to find a job in […]

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Upcoming!

October 22, 2014

I hope you’re having a great October! I wanted to mention a few of the things you might be interested in, taking place in the near future:   Beginning October 29 (running for 3 consecutive Wednesdays): The Art of Being Human: Living with more Joy, Ease, and Meaning—3 week course ($57). In this three week […]

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The Perfect House (Which Rhymes with Spouse): A Poem by Sue Pettit

October 16, 2014

This poem was written by Sue Pettit and can be found in her beautiful little book of poetry called Coming Home. It is a perfect illustration of the simple truth that the only thing we’re ever experiencing is our own state of mind.   I’d been hunting for a house all day and nothing seemed quite right. […]

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