Dr. Amy Johnson Blog’s

Archives (before mid-2012)

4 Tips to feel Less Stressed about the Uncertain Future

“The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with.” ~Tony Robbins “Uncertainty” may be one of the least popular places to hang out. I hear this all the time from my clients, friends, and truth be told, from the voice inside my own head. Certainty […]

If you’re a newbie, you have no business judging.

There once was a tennis coach who told his students they were not allowed to make any judgments of their swing until they had hit at least 1000 balls. (I heard this from Michael Neill, my coach mind crush). Before 1000 balls, it’s all just practice. They are newbies, beginners in every sense of the […]

Is it really self-sabotage?

What’s the truth about your self-sabotage? Are you really out to get yourself? Or do you simply need a little more thought, awareness, and maybe a new plan?

Are you Handing it Over on a Silver Platter?

In her book Life is a Verb, Patti Digh says, “We give up our power to the very people who took it from us in the first place.”  Right on, sister. If you’re upset with Them about what They did, didn’t do, or should have done, you’re giving Them a lot of power, aren’t you? […]

If your Mind was a Swimming Pool…

I have a favorite new visual for calming my mind and getting to the “bottom” of things. Like the bottom of a swimming pool, actually… It’s calm at the bottom of things. The trick is keeping the waves down so that you can notice the calm. Can you float on the surface all still and […]

What’s Not Said

For everything that’s said, there are a million things unsaid. Two people I know of died recently. I wanted to tell Holly’s husband and children how much I liked and admired their wife and mom. How peaceful and calm and scared and human she was. But I didn’t. I wanted to tell Angel that I […]

Overcoming Perfectionism: Perfect or F*&k It

This is a repost of a video blog I filmed back in November of 2010. That’s old. And I filmed it in my car, waiting to go into the dentist. But that imperfect style is the point, as  you’ll see… Here’s a purposely imperfect post dedicated to my awesome client whose family story is “Perfect or […]

God Says Yes to Me (by Kaylin Haught)

God Says Yes To Me  I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic and she said yes I asked her if it was okay to be short and she said it sure is I asked her if I could wear nail polish or not wear nail polish and she said honey she calls […]

How big is your universe?

Let’s say you want a convertible. What you really want is to get more sun and somewhere along the way you decided a great way to get more sun would be to drive a convertible. As soon as you made that link, your mind starting tuning into all things convertible and now all you know […]

Keep your Dreams Clean

“Your goals minus your doubts equal your reality” – Ralph Marston Exactly. In graduate school I studied the way information is mentally represented. How concepts are stored and processed and retrieved. I’m actually going to put that knowledge to use here because the way you mentally represent your dreams and your doubts is important. It […]

How to Shred the File called “All the things that might go wrong”

“Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their mind called ‘All the things that could go wrong’—Marianne Williamson Do you remember what life was like before you had a file called “All the things that could go wrong”? Do you remember what it was like to wake up with not a care […]

Everything you ever Needed

One of my favorite topics is Need. I love it when people tell me they need something they don’t have. Or when they argue that their needs haven’t been met. How could either of those possibly be true? If you truly needed something that you weren’t getting–and you’re still alive–then you didn’t really need it. […]

Why things get Worse before they get Better

When you’re embarking on growth or change, there’s a massive force holding you back. I’m not talking about the ruts in your brain that encourage you to go along with old habits, although those are forces, too. Our brain becomes programmed in certain ways and it takes some momentum to push through those ruts in […]

10 Tips for Dealing with Difficult Family Members

You’re sitting around the Christmas tree, or the Menorah, or the fruitcake and bottle of scotch, with your family. Everyone’s in a great mood, grateful for this time together. The glimmer of holiday lights reflects off the blanket of white, fluffy snow.  Alternating scents of pine and apple pie waft thorough the house. Your family […]

What to do when Positive Affirmations feel Negative

I love positive affirmations. But only when I’m feeling good and want to feel even better. When you feel good, affirmations feel like a healthy stretch into what could be possible. Things like “I love and accept myself” or “Good things are coming my way” feel kind of…true. Or potentially true, at least. And when […]

Self-Esteem isn’t all it’s Cracked up to Be

Holding yourself in high esteem seems really important, doesn’t it? For good reason, I admit. It’s nice to think positive thoughts about yourself and that’s exactly what self-esteem is: making favorable evaluative judgments about good ole’ you. Self-esteem is about the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself. And as you know, thoughts and beliefs […]

Worst Case, Best Case, Doing Nothing and Having a Plan

I was recently listening to a smart guy talking about how we get paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. He was teaching how to use fear and uncertainty to clarify what we want and move forward. For example, let’s say your inner voice is nudging you toward leaving your current partner but you’re really unsure. You […]

It’s happening FOR you, not TO you

When something isn’t going the way I think it should, I try to remember it’s happening for me, not to me. What’s the lesson this thing is here to teach? How is this helping me grow? How is this situation perfect? It’s another way of asking all those questions, except its statement, not a question. […]

How to Get a Miracle (and How I got over my First Love)

After 4 years together, my first love and I broke up during our first year of college.  It was mutual and somewhat expected. I took it surprisingly well at first. Until—just a few weeks after our break-up—I found out he was already dating someone else. Someone we both knew. Someone he had been friends with […]

The Lies We Tell

I was recently interviewed for a story on The Lies We Tell Ourselves, which got me thinking a lot about our common, everyday lies.  There are classic and pervasive lies, like “I can’t” and “I’m too busy”. “I can’t” and “I’m too busy” are lies because there is almost nothing we really can’t do or […]

What was your most useful failure?

My friend posed this question on Facebook. I love it. What was your most useful failure? I’m sure I’ve had a lot of life-saving failures. But two come immediately to mind: 1) Abhorring my first career out of graduate school. I was a trial consultant helping corporate defense attorneys craft lies to win their cases […]

I Choose to live in Easy World

I read a book by Julia Rogers Hamrick called Choosing Easy World: A guide to opting out of struggle and strife and living in the amazing realm where everything is easy.  Wait a minute…we can just opt out of struggle and strife? There’s an amazing realm where everything is easy? In a sort of epiphany, […]

Are you harshing your own buzz?

All the coolest research says making small progress on the way to a big goal makes us happier than actually reaching the goal. When we reach those stepping stone mini-goals, our brain rewards us with a quick hit of dopamine. In case you’re not up on your neurotransmitters, dopamine is the bringer of pleasure and […]

Success is sooo much more likely than failure

You might not believe me at first but I swear it’s the truth…. We’re infinitely more likely to succeed in life than to fail.  When you really think about it, much more goes right than wrong. Even on your worst day ever. This doesn’t feel true because—in a totally protective and adaptive way—we’re inclined to […]

Changing your story: An unbelievable personal tale

Technologically speaking, it’s been a hell of month. I wouldn’t believe it if I wasn’t (barely) living through it. It all started August 9th when hubby, Willow and I were driving from Detroit to Montreal. We purposely chose to do the 10 hour drive during a work day so that I could work most of […]

Choose again

*This post is Part II in a two part installment on making choices. Here’s part I.*  Most decisions in life are reversible. If you don’t like the choice you made, choose again. If you pick the wrong college or the wrong major or the wrong career, so what? Choose again. If you choose a paint color […]

There is no perfect choice

*This post is Part I in a two part installment on making choices* Ever noticed how easy it is to get worked up when you’re choosing between options? Last week a client was struggling with the choice between being induced or letting her baby come on its own, both of which (given her health history) […]

How to change the world

(I didn’t write this one…Illuminated Mind did. Originally titled “Change the world by Being Who you Are”) It’s easy to think that we don’t have an impact. It’s easy to say “I’m too small” or think that what you do doesn’t matter. That’s a lie. Every action you take ripples out into the world. Yes, […]

The cast of characters in your life

Every once and a while I talk to someone who asks permission to end a friendship. They say something like, “Is it really okay that I stop calling?”, or “I can’t just ‘break-up’ with her…can I?”  Here’s my view on relationships: Life is like a play—there are many scenes and a rotating cast of characters. […]

Wouldn’t THIS be wild?

What if all humans were equal?  Not just created equal…what if we couldn’t help but remain equals our entire lives no matter what happened to us or what choices we made?   What if all the evidence we use to separate ourselves from others; all those facts and all that proof we use to decide that […]

You’re doing exactly what you want to do

I hear a lot of people say that they want to do things they’re not doing. I say they don’t really want to do those things. They only think they want to. Like, you might say, “I’d really want to write a book” or “I’d love to be a long-distance runner” but if you don’t […]

Guilt is the love of staying stuck

Guilt is an interesting emotion, isn’t it? It’s the same as regret, basically, except guilt involves an extra dose of “I suck” that plain old regret doesn’t always have.  Guilt is choosing to feel badly about something that’s done and over. Arguing with reality because you chose to believe it should have of went down […]

stuck, STUCK, Stuck

I can’t tell you how many people tell me each week they’re stuck. It’s probably the most common complaint I hear. Although I know it’s annoying, I first clarify that although they might feel stuck, they are not actually stuck. Unless you sat on spilled super glue or stepped into quicksand, you’re not really. Everything […]

How to believe in your positive qualities

In the newsletter a few weeks back I told you was reading a book called The Shadow Effect. “Shadow work” is relatively common in the self-help world…it’s about delving into and coming to fully embrace your shadow parts. Your shadow parts are similar to what you might think of as flaws or faults but that’s […]

Truth or “La, la, la”?

We were at dinner with friends the other night—our friends (another couple) and their teenage daughter. Our friends had just returned from a vacation where they left both teenage daughters at home. I asked the one that was having dinner with us, “So did you and your sister throw some wild parties while your parents […]

The truth about drama

Do you attract drama? If you have a lot of drama-filled people or situations in your life, I’m going to say something you won’t like.   It might be time to look in the mirror. Yes, they may be crazy. I totally give you that. It may honestly, without a doubt, be all their stuff that’s […]

Is it good for you?

Life is good. Like, really good. Happy and joyful and awesome. 15 years ago, I would’ve never believed it could be like this.  Bobby McFerrin singing “Don’t worry be happy” went right over my head, but Loverboy’s “Working for the weekend” was on repeat in my boombox. I looked right past all those yellow smiley […]

My future life coach…

How old do you feel?

This is one of my favorite questions. Particularly when someone (me included) is feeling scared or overwhelmed.  How old do you feel right now? When you’re looking at a pile of stuff to put away and a list of stuff to do and you can’t bring yourself to do just one thing, how old do […]

Releasing it? Or Avoiding it?

My client Patty says she’s afraid of conflict. She often runs away and avoids speaking up in the hopes that her problems go away on their own. She doesn’t call it running away though. She calls it turning the other cheek. She tells me she’s being Enlightened. I correct her. Don’t lie to yourself, Patty. […]

Look away….is your problem still there?

My man Michael Neill says: Think of a problem. Now ask yourself, would this problem still exist if I stopped thinking about it?  (I have such a huge mind crush on this guy it’s not even funny.) Go ahead, try it. Real problems remain, even when you stop thinking about them. In fact, real problems […]

Where’s your inner honey badger?

Yeah, I know this video has been viewed by like 15 trillion people. And I got to it late, so chances are excellent that you’ve already seen it. But the honey badger is one of my current idols and he can be one for you, too. “The honey badger is the most fearless animal in […]

I Am

I saw a movie last week that described everything I believe in and all the topics I’m most passionate about. It described it all in a way I rarely can. It’s the kind of stuff I try to teach my clients and discuss with my family and some of my friends and on my blog. […]

What to expect when you’re NOT expecting

The part of my practice devoted to working with women who are having a hard time conceiving has been growing quickly. I love these women. LOVE. A lot of  new readers have found their way to this blog from some of the fertility-related events I’ve been speaking at.  So  I wanted to re-post parts of […]

Peeling back the layers

We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are. We see it through layers of stuff. Stuff like beliefs, fears, memories, opinions, ideas about what we think will make us happy. Those layers pile on top of each other and bury our core self. You know, the core you that […]

Moving forward by walking away

At one point in my life I moved a lot. Without fail, a couple weeks before my moving date I’d meet a great guy who was firmly planted in the city I was moving away from. Or I’d meet some fun new friends, or discover a hidden gem of a restaurant I never knew about […]

Dealing with people. The Enlightened way.

Let’s say, for example, you’ve started dabbling in Enlightenment. You’ve embraced your power and dropped the victim stuff. You realize you’re responsible for your own happiness and while others make your life better, you don’t need them to have a better life. A common issue often comes up at this point. How do you handle […]

Why you don’t love yourself more. And how to.

Improving self-love and decreasing the desire for approval are part of my life every single day. I’m either helping other people through it, or I’m working on my own issues with it. Constantly. We love ourselves just fine at first. Then something happens. I remember this vividly from my own childhood. I’d have an idea […]

Is there one general piece of advice?

In the movie How do you know? Reese Witherspoon asks her therapist: “Is there one general piece of advice that can help almost anyone in almost any situation?” Good question. What’s your answer? You may not be a psychologist or a life coach and you may not help people find their way in any formal […]

Distinguish True Intuition from Ego-Mind-Chatter

It’s a common confusion. You feel an inner nudge. There’s a voice. But can you trust it? How do you know? Is it really the deep voice of intuition, or just the mind? The guidance of Truth…or ego? I’m often unsure, just like you. But I’ve been working on it for quite a while now, […]

The paradox of self-help

I’m obsessed with paradox lately. You know paradox—a statement that seems contradictory but really isn’t. Two (or more) things that appear to be mutually exclusive but both are actually true. My favorite paradox is this: You are whole + perfect + enough as you are right now and you can be better. If you have […]

What was the Big Ass Disaster (BAD) that shaped the rest of your life?

Humans assign meaning to everything. That’s what we do. Our brains are wired for it. So here’s what happens: A Big Ass Disaster (BAD) occurs when you’re a kid. It’s often the first really negative or scary thing you remember. (It might be a fight among your adults, or your dad moves out, or a […]

My BAD. As another example for you.

…In case you’re stuck, I’ll share another example. One from my life. It’s not my primary or earliest BAD, but it’s one off them.  My mom was dating a man I strongly disliked. I thought I’d be really mature about it and have a talk with her about finally dumping him. I was about 9 […]

Does Anyone NOT Think They Should Be Doing Better?

Okay, time for an unofficial survey: Does anyone out there not think they should be doing better than they are? Yeah, I know you’re all Enlightened and stuff and you don’t use the word Should. Me neither. And you don’t compare yourself to others. And you know that where you are is exactly where you’re […]

Life Isn’t Fair

Read this. It’s really good. Here’s the gist: A woman was feeling disillusioned, frustrated, tired.  (We’ve all been there, right? I was there most of yesterday.) She was railing against her predominating thought: “Life isn’t fair”. Her very smart coach gently pointed out that life isn’t fair. Because it’s not. Of course. Believing life should […]

Fight for your Right to Party. Not to Worry.

I get this question all the time when I’m helping people with chronic, habitual fear and worry. “But isn’t worry helpful, to some extent?” they ask, fighting for their right to worry. “Isn’t it protective?” From what do you think you need protection? The fear that your mind made up to begin with? Yes, that’s […]

How to Skip to the Fun part of Enlightenment

The Universe sent me a note the other day. Here’s what it said: For millenniums, Amy, the path to enlightenment has been made up of many steps. Most commonly, it begins with festering misunderstandings that lead to pain, the pain then leads to growth, growth leads to clarity, clarity leads to fun, fun leads to […]

It’s On

This is it. There’s nothing to wait for. You’re not getting ready for anything. You’re not in preparation. This is it. There is no “when…” or “if…” Dot, dot, dot isn’t real. Life is NOW, it’s not waiting for dot, dot, dot. If you’re waiting for anything before you start living full out or being […]

How to Stop Being Afraid–Even when the Whole World Thinks you Should Be

This is a piece written by Anna Kunnecke. Anna lives in Tokyo. I begged Anna to let me post this here. Well, she’s very kind and said yes right away so I didn’t have to really beg. But I would have. If you’ve coached with me, or if you read this blog, you know what […]

Is Life Harder or Easier since College? Fitting in vs. Belonging

March 17th used to mean drinking all day.  I’m not even exaggerating. I’d spend the day with a large group of people—a few real friends and hoards of acquaintances and virtual strangers. We’d start the bar crawl at 7am and end around 2am on March 18th. It was fun. At the time, I truly believed […]

The Quest to Figure Them Out

“Why would she do that?” –Everyone on earth, at some point “What did he mean by that thing he said?” –Anyone with a pulse and heartbeat We all try to interpret the words and actions of other people. Partly because we’re curious, armchair psychologists. It’s interesting to ponder their inner workings. But it’s not always […]

A Coaching Session about Fear

I’d like to share an email exchange between me and one of my clients. I’m sharing this with her full permission and blessing. I’m sharing it because her feelings are so common, so real, so human. I hear these same thoughts all the time—in my own head and from the mouths of others. We agreed […]

Why it’s hard to Give to people in pain

This post by Danielle LaPorte took my breath away. I had been feeling awful about it already, so maybe that’s why. I’d love for you to head over and read her wisdom on why we resist giving to people in need. Why it sometimes takes extraordinary courage to give. And then come back here. And […]

How to be Adorable

**This post is an updated version of an article previously published in my weekly newsletter. So if it sounds vaguely familiar, now you know. ** If you want to be adored—and let’s face it, who doesn’t?—be adorable. I used to wonder what people meant by the phrase, “You have to love yourself before anyone else […]

How babies experience emotion and why you should act like a baby.

Have you ever watched a baby experience emotions? Babies can’t tell stories so their emotions are clean. They feel pure emotion without any narrative. For example, if you take away a baby’s favorite toy, they just feel sad. They feel, “I want the toy and it’s not here so I’m sad.” Period. They don’t feel, […]

Do you Manufacture Worry?

It takes courage to be happy. It’s very human to be afraid of the uncertainty of life. Afraid all the good stuff you have is going to end and you won’t be able to cope. Brene Brown talks about the panic that sets in while she’s staring lovingly at her sleeping children. From “aren’t they […]

What Aaron Rodgers was thinking. And more important, what he wasn’t thinking.

A few years ago, Brett Favre stepped down as the Green Bay Packers starting quarterback. To say that Green Bay loved Brett Favre is kind of like saying Charlie Sheen loves parties. Walk into any junior high school in Wisconsin and you’ll find classrooms full of 13 year old boys named Brett after Favre brought […]

26 Paths to Enlightenment

What is Enlightenment, anyway? Enlightenment gets a bad rap. It’s a scary word. It sounds kind of holier-than-thou and all…I don’t know…special or hard or for-Buddhas-and-Yogis-but-not-for-you. Enlightenment isn’t any of those things to me. It’s not about being silent or meditating or being at peace when things outside of you turn to shit. It’s about: […]

A Cure for Envy

I’m experimenting with a new theory. It’s a way to transform envy. Because feeling envy is not fun and I know there’s a more Enlightened way. You know how you react when your envy is triggered? I’ll share one of my cases: I’m kind of jealous of this awesome woman I know. I feel it […]

34 Things I’ve Learned in 34 Years

It’s my birthday. This always seems like a good time to take stock of some of the things I’ve learned. I’ve been wanting to keep a list, anyway. You know, a list of things to remember on a regular basis. Reminders about what’s important, what works and what doesn’t. Because you can’t count on your […]

Here’s a Visual for You

Since I’ve been writing more about my family, some of you have messaged saying you’d like to see a picture. And I know that when I’m reading personal blogs, pictures make them so much more real. Real is good. So, here you go.  Here’s a picture of my little family around the holidays this year. […]

How I Sabotage my Marriage

Humans love stability. And balance. So much so that even really good changes can feel uncomfortable. Winning the lottery, getting the staring role in that television drama, publishing your book…awesome, but panic-inducing, too. Just like thermostats, we have a set point. Diverging too far from our internal average leaves us feeling vulnerable. And vulnerable is […]

5 Reasons to Write Things Down

I’m a major list maker. I love the clarity that comes from getting thoughts out of my head and the concreteness of seeing them on paper. I love having the mental space to switch gears without needing a nap.    Clutter in any form robs your energy—too many thoughts bouncing around in your head is mental […]

Do What you Want, When you Want to

I haven’t been following my own advice lately. I’ve caught myself struggling through things that don’t feel easy or fun. And passing up things I want to do, so that I can do more of what I think I should do.  Sucks. This way of being doesn’t feel good. It’s frustrating to muscle through tasks […]

Can We Really Have It All? Maybe. Here’s How.

As little girls, we’re told we Can-Have-It-All. Martha Beck says: We can have it all…except sleep. Courtney Martin says: They tell us we can do anything, but what we hear is that we must do everything. So, can we have it all? I’m exploring this in my own life. The Problem Here’s my current, typical […]

Taming the Thoughts with David Trotter

I was recently interviewed by David Trotter of Launch52. (Check out Launch52. It’s cool. His free Guide to Re-launch your Life is very personal and very concrete). We gab about my ebook Taming the Thoughts that Run Wild, how to Tame your own thoughts, how to experience complete emotional freedom in your life, and how to […]

No one is Paying Attention to You

People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think they do. It’s a law of the universe. Okay, maybe not of the universe, but it is a law of human psychology. It’s called the Spotlight Effect in social psychology. There’s a study where college students are asked to do something super embarrasing…wear a Barry Manilow t-shirt […]

Responsibility vs. Blame

Do you know the difference between responsibility and blame? Responsibility is empowering. It’s powerful. It’s all good.  When you take responsibility for your life, you put yourself in the driver’s seat.  When you take responsibility for having hurt someone, you accept what you did so that you can learn from your mistakes and move on. […]

Happiness in the Everyday-ness

You know this, but if you’re anything like me you could use a reminder: It’s the little things, the every day moments like grocery shopping on Saturday mornings, tucking the kids into bed, coffee breaks on Monday afternoons, that make up a life. Don’t get me wrong; the big things are great, too. But they’re […]

When your Parent Can’t Give You the Love You Deserve

I knew I’d write about this someday, but it wasn’t supposed to be now. Then a friend confided in me that she was scared to death that her mother—who doesn’t show her much love or approval—was right about her. And someone else turned to me when her relationship with her parents unraveled because they couldn’t […]

When Fear Is Good

If you want to be happier and more enlightened, consider scaring the crap out of yourself once and a while.  We’ve all heard Eleanor’s famous advice, ‘Do one thing everyday that scares you’. But why? I’m always droning on and on about the importance of doing what feels good; of throwing out the shoulds and […]

Practicing Gratitude

This was originally called, ‘Be Grateful’. Until I thought about how Being Grateful and Practicing Gratitude, are two very different things. Being Grateful is often a momentary feeling; a one-shot deal. It happens when you’re waiting for a root canal and you suddenly feel profoundly grateful for general anesthetic. Or it’s your turn around the […]

The Small Stuff of Happiness

Think about the Little Things that contribute most to your wellbeing and happiness. They’re little, yes, but this is big. Although I like to get all deep and write about profound concepts like knowing you’re good enough, accepting reality, not complaining, self-love, being present and mindful…the truth is, real day-to-day happiness is often in the […]

We’re All Connected

You’ve heard we’re all connected, right? I remember the first time I heard this. In a quantum physics-type book during my first year of college. We’re all connected? What does that mean? You mean I’m not my own completely independent individual? Not an island among other islands? Nope. We’re all con–nec–ted. We know from physics […]

Do You Care what Other People Think of You?

I traffic in fear. Much of my day involves hearing clients’ fears. The most popular? “Joe Schmoe won’t like me”. They’re worried about what so-and-so thinks of them, or they’re doing X—which they hate to do—because another person’s opinion matters so much. Worrying about approval from others is an epidemic. Maybe even a pandemic. People […]

Create your Life by living like everyday is Halloween

Dressing up and Playing make believe rocks. Maybe we could all do a little more of it in our everyday life. You know, as a way to create what you want. Act as if and before you know it, you’re not acting. Hope you enjoy my buggy guest host… Want some help playing ‘make believe’ […]

Are your requests really unreasonable?

I recently wrote an article for my eZine on non-attachment. In it, I tell the story of a client who decided to live the motto, “What will be, will be”. Empowering, right? Well, sort of. He took that laid-back, wait and watch stance to mean that he should stop choosing, stop creating, and start reacting. Reacting rather than […]

Lucky You

I just saw an article about a man in Missouri who won the lottery…twice. Two separate lotteries, a few months apart. He says he’s lucky. Are you? Where do you think luck comes from? Is it in your genes or based on your star sign or the result of karma? Do we play any part […]

Much More to Presence

Mindfulness is what we practice to cultivate presence. Presence is the state of being totally immersed in what’s right in front of us. The perk of presence that I usually focus on is that fear, worry, negative thoughts fall away. This is because those things do not exist in the Now. They are completely and […]

Projection. And Parenting.

Projection is fascinating, isn’t it? When I looked up the definition of projection I saw a lot of stuff related to television screens. So I’ll clarify—as if it’s necessary in this blog—that I mean psychological projection. You know, where you attribute your feelings or thoughts to someone else. You assume they think and feel the […]

You don’t hate yourself

I have this client I love. I love all my clients, actually…that’s what happens when people get really honest and authentic and start working on their stuff. It’s really hard to not love them when they’re stepping into that. And when I’m paid to see them as Who They Really Are.  But I digress. Anyway, […]

Sitting with Negative Emotion

I feel something quite a bit. I call it bored, although I know that’s not really it. Restless, maybe. But it feels worse than restless. Uncomfortable in my own skin. Like it’s dangerous or just really unpleasant to Be Me in that moment. It’s a restlessness that makes me want to move, be busy, disassociate, […]

The Morning Flood

How do you win?

Every family has a way of keeping score. Often unspoken—but sometimes blatantly official—there are rules for what’s good and bad; what’s right and wrong. I call it The Family Game. Each family has their own game and they make up the rules for how you win. The rules are passed down from generation to generation. […]

Give Yourself Some Sound Advice

I get very reminiscent in the fall. Do you ever look back at the person You Were at some point in the past and think of what you might tell that person now?  From Who You Are today, what would you tell the You of 10 years ago? Ten years ago, I was starting my […]

Change the Channel

I have conflicting feelings about television. Of course I don’t believe there’s anything inherently bad about TV. But that’s not saying much, because I also don’t believe there’s anything inherently bad about crack. Which actually isn’t far off the mark, as far comparisons go. My issue with TV is that it’s so easy to cross […]

Another one of my most favorite things ever

 So I have this belief. And like all of my beliefs, it could very likely be completely untrue. But my belief is you aren’t reading my blog over Labor Day weekend. You’re out doing important stuff. And, it’s just my opinion, but I happen to think that the post I just wrote is one of […]

One of my most favorite things ever

Okay, I know many of you have seen this already. But oh my God do I love this little girl! So, watch it again. Smile. Laugh. Let it inspire your own Rampage of Appreciation. What do you love? What would it take for you to be this excited about your life? I think it only […]

Ask and you shall Recieve

I went for a walk the other day, not feeling so great. I was filled with worry and self-judgment. Did some self-coaching that morning and it just wasn’t giving me the relief I was looking for. The worry was around getting pregnant again. Or more accurately, the fear of not getting pregnant again. The self-judgment […]

The Emotion of Books

I love books. When I was growing up my mom made a living as a hairstylist, doing hair from a salon that was attached to our home. She worked most of the day most days of the week, just far enough away for me and my sister to get away with a lot but close enough to […]

Affirm and Add

One of the training tools we used in my training to become a master coach was improv comedy. The word “improv” incites sheer panic for a control freak like myself. Standing up in front of these people, whose approval I cared way too much about, trying to be funny on the spot? No preparation, no […]

Whose Underwear are you Wearing?

Isn’t it cool that there are people who are really passionate about algebra? And chemistry and dry cleaning and accounting? Thank God for those people, because I love a good dry cleaner and it would suck to have to do that myself. Think about all the people who are stuck doing stuff they don’t love. […]

Compare and Despair

To whom do you compare yourself?   Your neighbor? Your siblings? Who you were 10 years ago? The vision of who you thought you’d be today that you formulated 10 years ago? Who would you be today if you were unable to compare yourself with anyone else? Please don’t skip over this; it’s not a rhetorical […]

How to Speak your Mind and still be Enlightened

A question came up the other day. It’s one I hear from clients pretty often, too. “How do I speak up for myself and still be Enlightened?”                                                      First, let’s define Enlightened. Enlightened is when you’ve been working on your stuff for a while and you realize that you are the only one responsible for your […]

Signs from the Universe

If you’ve coached with me, you’ve probably heard me talk about the metaphor of sticks and birds. In the practice of creating anything, its common to go through a period where you have a lot of near misses. You  intend for more money and find out you’re getting an unexpected check for $1000, only to […]

What to do with your patterns

You’ve uncovered some of your patterns. Now what? Patterns, like fears, are kind of like zoo animals. They don’t respond well to taunting. And they didn’t do anything wrong, so there’s no reason to be mean to them, anyway. Please don’t use them to beat yourself up and don’t get mad at them or blame […]

Inspired Action

In the article Whose Underwear are you Wearing? I talked about my theory that if everyone had a career that matched what they loved to do, the world would fit together like a puzzle. Everything would run smoothly, effortlessly, and there’d be no such thing as a rude salesperson. Everyone would excellent at what they […]

How you do Anything is how you do Everything

I’ve been drawn to this expression for a while, not really understanding it intellectually but totally getting it on some intuitive level. It felt right on, even though I didn’t understand what it meant. Does it do anything for you? It’s all about patterns. For example, how do you react when you’re confronted? Do you […]

Being Unhappy in order to Get Happy

This has been touched on in previous posts but it really bears repeating. And I’ve never delved into to this extent. This comes up a lot and it’s really important. So listen up. You don’t need to make yourself unhappy in order to affect change. You don’t need to milk your stuckness in order to […]

Why I Told the Truth

I experienced something really, really cool this weekend. How to release the pressure and watch your painful story disintegrate before your eyes. The way you “release the pressure” is to Tell the Truth. It was Saturday, my family and I had just returned home from a typical afternoon: took baby to one of the Chicago […]

Mantras and affirmations and cake, oh my!

When I gave birth to my daughter, I was all hippie-ish about it. Because I knew that my body would function perfectly the less I interfered, I wanted a natural, intervention-free experience. One of the books I read during my pregnancy was Ina May’s Spiritual Midwifery. It’s full of stories of women who lived on […]

What a mess!

I have serious issues with clutter. I hate it; makes me feel icky. When I’m visiting someone who has a lot of stuff—and that stuff is out where I have to see it—I get claustrophobic and start looking for the door. I’m talking about physical stuff, like those old plastic cups that came from the gas […]

The Relationship Manual

I often talk to clients who are furious about how someone has treated them. They assume the other person should have known better. For example, a girl complains that her boyfriend didn’t have her favorite wine on hand for their anniversary dinner (although she never mentioned wanting it), or that her girlfriends should’ve known she’d need […]

Can you embrace feeling like sh*%t?

Where did we get the belief that we’re supposed to always feel good? We’re not. Feeling like shit once in a while makes our life so much better. It provides contrast. It shows us what we don’t want and motivates us to find what we do want. In nature there is chaos before clarity. The […]

Self-Love: To my Daughter

I asked my husband the other day what he thinks is most important for our daughter to learn. If he could have her learn just one life lesson, what would it be?  He said to be kind to others. That sounds nice and I get where he’s coming from. But as someone who coaches women […]

Check Your Head

Every morning during my workout, my mind goes to the same place. Unfortunately, it’s not a place I’m excited about. My morning routine triggers thoughts about an unpleasant situation with a family member. The first thought of this situation usually strikes when I’m brushing my teeth, but I’m able to refocus my thoughts and set […]

Let it go, already

Many people seem to think that forgiveness has something to do with the “bad guy” who did something wrong. I’ve heard people say they won’t forgive for all kinds of reasons:   The bad guy doesn’t deserve forgiveness. He doesn’t see the error in his ways. He did the bad thing intentionally. It’s unforgiveable. As if […]

Are you Good Enough?

Not being Good Enough has come up a lot with clients lately. Maybe it’s the time of year. New Years resolutions are officially abandoned, income taxes remind us of our financial “worth”, it’s almost swim suit season…a million little things seem to highlight our inadequacies. People feel badly about themselves. They rack their brains for […]

Don’t make it happen; allow it to happen

I’ve noticed that things go much more smoothly when I give up control and just let them happen. Unfortunately, I am terrible at this. I’m not kidding…as much as I study and teach this idea (and it’s a lot, trust me), it’s the hardest lesson for me to learn. Have you heard the saying, “you […]

Give Thanks. Bust a Move.

In the past week I’ve heard two clients and one stranger on the train say some variation of the following: “I don’t want to get too excited yet…I’ll celebrate when I’m sure it’s going to work out”. Have you ever thought this? I asked one of my clients what harm there was in getting excited […]

What if Everything is Perfect?

What if everything that happens is always for our greatest good?What if the difficult people in our lives are there to help us grow, losing your job only opens you up to something better, and going through a painful divorce or break up allows you to learn things you couldn’t have otherwise. If this were […]

Something freaky is going on…Part II

So how was your love fest? Here are some of my experiences: The most obvious effect of practicing Loving Kindness is that it feels really good. Once you get over the initial weird factor and are really starting to generate compassion, you melt into the feeling and you’re high. High on love. There, I said […]

Something Freaky is Going On…Part I

I’ve been running an informal experiment with some very freaky results. Loving Kindness Meditation–called Mettā in Buddhism–is something I’ve dabbled in for the past couple of years. The practice can be pretty simple—it basically involves conjuring up feelings of love and compassion and mentally bestowing them upon yourself, specific others, then humanity in general. I’ll […]

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