Category: The nature of thought

What to “do” with your scariest thoughts

I got up to change the baby’s diaper last night and when I came back to bed, something seemed off about my husband. He seemed to be sleeping unusually still. I couldn’t hear or see him breathing.  My mind immediately raced to what life would be like if he were dead. Read the rest on

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How to drop the extra (mental) weight

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” -Thich Nhat Hanh Most people I know are carrying extra weight—and I’m not talking about gaining a few pounds.  I’m talking about the mental and emotional weight we lug around with us. We carry it everywhere—like a backpack full of bricks—and it

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The simple analogy that might change everything

When you have a scary thought, it’s really no different than having a nightmare. Even after a horrible nightmare, when you wake up and realize it’s not real, the emotion begins to fade pretty quickly. There might be some lingering emotion into the morning, but rarely much. “It was just a nightmare, it’s not real”

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Conducting the Symphony of Shoulds

I recently spent an entire week writing down all my thoughts that began with the words “I should”. I went through a lot of paper. Some were blatantly obvious. They flowed from my head and straight out of my mouth, like when I told hubby, “I should be working, it’s almost 9am” as we cleaned

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Are you doing what’s normal or what’s natural?

I have a beautiful new client who wants to feel better. She has a lot of circumstances in her life that no one would wish for. Because of those circumstances, her well-meaning friends expect her to be in constant misery. Her dear, benevolent friends believe that happiness and peace of mind come from the outside-in.

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First, do no (more) harm

When you feel really bad, fixing things, feeling better, or getting back on track can be way too tall an order. Sometimes the best you can do is to focus on not making things worse than they already are.  In Wired for Joy, the affirmation is: ‘Minimize Harm’. When things are just a little bit

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More Truth about Approval-Seeking

Trying to gain others’ approval—or even just worrying about their opinion of you—is a bit of a pandemic. If you are one of the stricken, this comes as no surprise. If you’re immune to this particular affliction, consider yourself blessed. I’m constantly thinking about new ways to lessen approval-seeking. New ways to quiet the voice

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A New Way to Make a Wish

Willow and I have a girls’ day routine. We go for a long walk and I take her to a park she loves because there is a fountain there. She stands on the ledge of the fountain. I give her a penny and tell her to throw it in and make a wish. “What’s a

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Are you messing it up, or do you just not know any better?

I love studying the science of happiness, ways to help people out of pain and how to maximize success, whatever that looks like for you.  But there is a down side to all of this self-help. Besides the fact that it can be taken to imply that you need “help” (which you don’t, btw), teaching

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How to truly help someone

Your rational mind knows this, but I’m speaking to the irrational part: You can’t take on other people’s pain. You can’t grieve for them. There is no amount of tears you can shed that will lessen theirs. When my kid is sick, there is no amount of sick I can make myself (with worry, no

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