Dr. Amy Johnson Blog’s

Awareness

Navigating Anxiety and Worry in Uncertain Times

It’s easy to worry your way through these uncertain days. Binge watching the news. Binge eating and drinking everything in sight. Numbing in whatever way brings you momentary comfort. It doesn’t have to be that way. Although your outside freedoms may be limited, your internal freedom never is. And although there are a million things […]

Misread Signs (It’s The Opposite of What You Think)

I knew someone with a very sensitive stomach. The tiniest bit of worry and she’d instantly feel sick. She cursed her stomach. Saw it as a weakness, a flaw. She wanted her stomach fixed. Her mind was full of potential ways I might help her toughen up her wimpy tummy. Could we train it to […]

The Time Song Showed Up

Feeling unhappy is a habit. What else could it be? It’s not your nature. It’s not a feature of your conditions or surroundings. It’s not dictated by your DNA. It’s simply where your mind goes. You unknowingly picked it up at some point, the way you unknowingly pick up an accent or a virus. It’s […]

Nothing You Think is The Truth

Imagine yourself a chef. There is an infinite number of meals you could conceivably prepare, with a staggering number of ingredients available on this planet. And you, as a human being, are part of an even more infinite (it’s possible, trust me) source of creativity and brand new thought. Words can’t begin to describe the […]

Big Change this Year is About Seeing More, Not Doing More

It’s amazing how things change.  Thirteen years ago, I rang in 2006 with a group of friends in Chicago. We had tickets to an event that included a four course meal followed by a night of drinking and club-hopping. Early in the second course of our dinner, I started to feel sick. I managed to […]

It’s Right There

Time and time again, I’ve seen that when we set aside a few minutes to be quiet and fall out of our thinking, there is an incredible feeling waiting on the other side. Without exception—in groups I’ve led and in those I’ve participated—when the room falls silent and our minds fall silent-er, at least a […]

A New Era

Our understanding of how human beings work is undergoing a pretty massive transformation. Love, compassion, and understanding used to be qualities we could bring into our lives to combat the very real problems of separation, confusion, and disconnection. Now we know that love, compassion, and understanding are who we are. They can’t be absent. Separation, […]

The Definitive Guide to Staying Stuck in a Habit

You’d like to be painfully stuck in a habit, addiction, or compulsion? Do you want change that feels like a tenuous, uphill battle? You’re in the right place! I’ve felt stuck in several of my own habits and I’ve talked with thousands of people who say they are stuck in a habit or addiction themselves. […]

New Year, Original You

“New Year, New You” is a marketing hook used to sell all sorts of things this month.  It’s also one of my least favorite phrases ever. I’m not saying there is anything inherently wrong with it. They are just innocent little words. And I’m not saying there is anything intentionally salesy or manipulative about it. […]

The Content Blob that is You

I recently heard an actor being interviewed about her process for getting into character.  She explained that she creates a history—in her own mind—for the character she needs to become. The movie script points toward some history, of course. But this particular actress goes beyond that. She vividly imagines her character at various moments in […]

Horizontal versus Vertical: Which Kind of Change are You Inviting?

It can look like people don’t change. Or at the very least, like they don’t change easily.  That’s not true though. We are constantly changing, naturally and effortlessly.  We are wired for change. Our understanding of life is constantly evolving—just look at how radically and naturally your world view and understanding has changed from the […]

A Paradigm Shift over 100 Years in the Making (and you have a front row seat)

We are standing at the cusp of a new understanding of the human experience.  The field of psychology has always lacked a paradigm of unifying principles. “Hard” sciences like physics and chemistry have laws. There are basic principles—like the laws of motion in physics—that underlie and unify every discovery within those fields. Everything in physics […]

 What Are You Not Seeing?

There’s a common phenomenon among students of this understanding I study and share.  We’ve seen some things about life that have been really helpful. We’ve had insights that have made clear what was previously murky. We’ve found relief from suffering at times, and we’ve probably all had the experience of laughing out loud at how […]

You Don’t Have to Fix the Past in Order to Have a New Future

The future is completely open, and we are writing it moment to moment.” ~Pema Chodron My family recently drove from Michigan to North Carolina—twenty hours roundtrip. To entertain themselves, my five-year-old daughter Willow taught my three-year-old son Miller to play rock-paper-scissors in the backseat. Miller learned the hand signals and got the overall concept pretty […]

Finding A Soft Place to Rest

This article was originally published in July 2016. There’s an inner churning that happens.  Or a circling, perhaps. Like a dog circling the rug, looking for a soft place to rest. That circling is what happens when a mind is disturbed. I don’t mean disturbed in any sort of stable or unhealthy way. Disturbed is a temporary […]

Playing the Game: A short story about Willow and Buddha

While I was at the Three Principles Global Community conference last week, and really kind woman stopped me in the lobby. She told me that she loved the story below so much that she was going to include it in her holiday cards this year. Really?! Well, that’s pretty awesome. I told Willow, the star of […]

Are you Stronger than a Marshmallow? (And what that says about breaking your habit)

Back in the early 1970s there was a psychology experiment done at Stanford. It’s been dubbed “the marshmallow experiment”.  Here’s the CliffsNotes version. Kids around the age of 4 were brought into a room and sat at a table. In front of them was a single large, fluffy, delicious marshmallow on a plate. The experimenter […]

Making Choices with Brand New Thought Rather than What’s Already on Your Hard Drive

We’ve all been in that place of thinking we need to decide or figure something out that we just can’t decide or figure out. We can’t see what we can’t see, until we can. But what do we do in that period of not seeing? We often scratch and claw at an answer, trying desperately […]

The Enormous Benefit of Seeing Life as a Mystery

“The mystery of life is not a puzzle to be solved, but a reality to be experienced” –Frank Herbert  Most things in life seem to fall into one of three categories: Things we think we understand Things we know we don’t understand, and Things our smart little human minds have never even fathomed I strongly […]

Whose Mind is It Anyway? A Video Interview with Two Cool Authors about an Amazing Book

I don’t have enough space here to list all the wonderful things about the book, Whose Mind is it Anyway? by Lisa and Franco Esile. But I’ll list a few:  This little book sneaks essential truths about human life into a FUN, quirky, creative package. You’re likely to experience an inner space and quiet–the voices […]

Fixing the Illusion

“Many therapies work on fixing an illusion…. You don’t need to do that. Come out of it altogether!” –Mooji If you were in my Truth class in the past couple of weeks, you saw my chattering teeth.  They are my new favorite prop to demonstrate how our minds talk, talk, talk, talk, talk constantly. Just […]

What We’re Really Recovering From

Recovery and change used to look very complicated to me.  Binge eating, bulimia, depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia, low self-esteem, obsessive thoughts…they were all different in my mind. All very unique, each requiring their own brand of specialized attention. And recovery from any of them was a gamble; a better-get-lucky, roll of the dice. I thought […]

How to Live with Your Mind at Ease: An Illustration

The fluid, easy, common sense way of being in the world that I write and speak about is both incredibly deep and profound, and also incredibly evident and obvious.    It is life-changing and core-shaking, and at the same time subtle and gentle. I’ve seen people grasp these truths and become literally unrecognizable, shocking everyone […]

What if Nothing You Ever Thought is the Truth?

Oh geez, here I go again telling you that your mind makes stuff up. But I want to take it a step further, because I really want you to grasp the enormity of this. What if everything you’ve ever thought–simply by virtue of it being a thought that passes through your mind–is biased and slanted? […]

Why You Need to Know that You are Always Already Home

We all have one singular motivation for everything we do in life: we want to feel at home.  There are a million ways you might express that one universal desire. You might say you want to feel like yourself, know your true self, be relaxed and on purpose in life… …you might say you want […]

Habits are the Solution, Not the Problem

There’s something quite intuitive about the fact that the more attention we pay something the more a part of our experience it becomes.  Shower your plants, children, hobbies, or relationships with attention and they not only thrive, they become a bigger part of your life. Stare at–or even just think about–that cut on your leg […]

People Wobble, but they don’t Fall Down

I used to think ‘balance’ was the most boring word in the dictionary. I wanted to be off-the-charts, not perched in the middle of some bell curve (which is what I naively thought balance meant).   I was perfectly willing to accept myself as I was, as long as I was doing as well as […]

Soften around the Hard Parts

Six years ago when I was preparing to give birth to Willow, I wanted to do things as naturally as possible.  And I was scared. I had heard mostly birthing horror stories from the women in my family, all focused on what could (and sometimes, did) go wrong.  None of them spoke about the miracle […]

The Monkey on Your Back

I’d love for you to join me for what promises to be an enlightening, candid conversation on Tuesday, March 15th about finding true freedom from habits and addiction. I’ll be chatting with success coach Steve Chandler. If you don’t know Steve, he’s the author of 30 books and his newest project, called Death Wish, is […]

Look Inside, Not Outside. Really.

We experience our inner world, not our outer world. The nature of the human mind and consciousness is such that it’s not possible to directly experience something other than what our own mind is creating and bringing to life.   I’m not saying that we put our own subjective spin on what happens out in […]

To Speed Up or To Slow Down?

I once heard that humans are the only living creatures that speed up when we’re lost. All other animals in nature slow down.   Non-human animals instinctively stop and regain their bearings if they aren’t sure where they are or where they are going. They slow way down, letting their mind settle and allowing clarity—and […]

Getting in Front of the Pull

The image to the right is my new favorite way of thinking about how the machine-that-is your-brain will lead you through life, if you let it.   Your brain is brilliant. It’s capable of incredible feats of intellect, memory, and logic. It keeps your body humming along and it has successfully kept you alive long […]

What does Inside-Out Really mean, Anyway?

At first glance, it looks like the world around us determines how we feel.  It looks like: Your cat runs away = you feel sad.  If your cat hadn’t run away = you’d feel better. And that’s probably true about the cat. I mean, it’s not true for everyone, always, across the board. But in […]

Are you Going through Life Putting Stakes in the Ground?

We humans love to put metaphorical stakes in the ground. Our minds crave certainty and efficiency. As a way of feeling more certain, we love to label, classify, decide, and generally believe that we know what’s what. Here’s how this can look: Liz was struggling with a binge eating habit. To help her move past her […]

Are you Life’s Annoying Backseat Driver?

My husband is a major backseat driver.  To his credit, he tries hard not to be. He is quiet while I’m driving. It’s not like he’s screaming directions or barking orders at me–at least not since that last mid-trip “discussion”… But he definitely tries to drive from the passenger’s seat. Every time I pull into […]

You Get What You Get (and don’t throw a fit)

A couple years ago Willow came home from preschool repeating something her teacher had said in class. “You get what you get, and don’t throw a fit.” Maybe you’ve heard this before. I hadn’t, and I instantly loved it. Not only because it put a stop to a lot of “it’s not fair” arguments (it […]

Rising Above What No Longer Serves You: A Conversation

I wanted to share a webinar I did in July. The topic was Rising Above What No Longer Serves You. (That also happens to be the theme of this year’s Being Human Weekend Workshop.) I really, really loved this conversation, especially where it goes in the second half as the other participants join in. I know it’s […]

It’s Called a No-Brainer for a Reason

A couple years ago I went to a 4 day event in La Conner, Washington.  Choosing to go was a complete no-brainer. But following through on my choice was very hard for me. It felt hard to decide that it would be okay to leave my kids for 4 days (with their extremely responsible father […]

I Don’t Always Know What’s Best for My Daughter. Or Myself.

Willow started kindergarten last week.  All summer, I listened as the moms in the neighborhood talked about the teachers at our local elementary school. Many of those moms are teachers themselves and all of them have children in the school already, so they had a lot of context I didn’t have. Which means I didn’t […]

The Trick you Fall for Every day of your Life

**This article was originally published here in October 2014** Imagine that you wrote yourself a really mean letter, detailing all of your flaws and faults.  You put the letter in the mail, addressed to yourself.  A couple days later, it arrives in your mailbox. You read the letter. While it probably doesn’t feel good—it might […]

The Truth about Questions and Answers

There’s a saying in A Course in Miracles that is something like this: all questions are from the ego. Only the ego wants to know.   The ‘you’ that you really are underneath the questioning mind has no questions. It has no beef with what’s going on. It doesn’t need anything that is not clear […]

How One Woman Saw A New Truth

The beautiful piece below was written by a former client of mine. She, like all of us, is on learning curve in seeing how things work. At times her learning curve has been steep; other times a bit more flat. But she’s fully in this conversation, looking with curiosity and hope toward what there is to […]

It Only Works One Way

One of my favorite things about understanding the way our mind creates our experience is that it’s so simple.  It only works one way. The spiritual energy that is alive in all things makes it possible for thinking show up within us. That thinking is brought to life by our consciousness in the form of […]

Watch this short video about the 2015 Being Human Weekend Workshop

Please watch this 9 min video about the Second Annual Being Human Workshop in Ann Arbor this October. I’m really excited about it and I hope you’ll take the leap and choose to join us for a life-changing weekend. You can find out more here (after you watch the video, of course!)   Ready to sign […]

When it’s Time to do Something, You will Know

At times, it might feel like you need to run your own life. It can feel like you need to be constantly looking out so that you don’t get yourself into some mess. Predicting and preventing problems so that you’re not constantly solving problems. Nearly every day I talk with people who are asking themselves […]

The Story of the Magic Oven

Imagine there’s an oven. A magic oven!   The magic oven has a timer that you can hear from wherever you are. Even the timer is magic because you don’t have to set it—the oven is so wise and so magical that the timer simply sounds off when your delicious creations are complete. Pretty magical, […]

A Conversation about Depression

I just learned that someone I only sort of know, but greatly admire and respect, is experiencing depression. I’m not sure it’s right for me to reach out personally at the moment. We aren’t close and I didn’t hear this news firsthand. But there a lot of things I’d like to tell her, if I […]

Crying with a Cookie in Your Hand

Much as it pains me at times, my kids are growing up. (If you’re new here and you aren’t familiar with Willow and Miller, check out Being Human. Or these favorite, favorite, favorite posts.)  They are still amazingly present little balls of life, but I see them getting caught up in their thought-created inner worlds […]

Want to Experiment with Letting Go and Letting Life Lead the Way? Join me for The Surrender Experiment!

I recently read a book that blew my mind. It’s called The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer (the author of The Untethered Soul, a book I reference and recommend at the end of Being Human). The Surrender Experiment is the true story of what the author experienced when he stopped trying to control everything that […]

A Video Interview sort of about Anxiety, but Really About Being Human

My client and colleague, David Hamilton, recently interviewed me about understanding and ultimately having a different experience of anxiety. But as these conversations tend to go, what started off as something kind of specific to one human experience (anxiety) quickly expanded and unfolded into a look at the bigger nature of being human. David and I […]

The Search for Instant Relief

I can’t tell you how often I see people looking for instant relief.   They wonder why their understanding doesn’t always help them in the way they think it should. “I hear you”, they say, “so why don’t I feel better?” Or, “I think I get what you’re saying but that doesn’t help me now. […]

There are No Problems in Reality

The fact that all is well in the outside world—that there are conditions and circumstances but not problems, per se, out there—is something I’m continually discussing with people.   It’s quite simple, actually. And when people are already in a nice feeling, they see it right away. There’s something that just feels true about truth, […]

The Truth about Thinking About Yourself

“The day you cease to travel, you will have arrived”—Japanese saying I heard somewhere  The more you think about yourself, the less content you tend to be. You intuitively know this to be true, don’t you?  It works in reverse as well: the more content you are, the less you tend to think about yourself. […]

If you Want to See Something New, don’t ‘Turn to the Hows’

One of the biggest obstacles to hearing something insightful and helpful is what I call ‘turning to the hows’.  Imagine we’re talking; just chatting it up about life. Maybe you’re telling me about the strong cravings you have for a drink at 3 o’clock every afternoon, or you’re telling me about your panic attacks, or […]

Why It Might Look Like People Don’t Change

It can look like people don’t change. Or at the very least, like they don’t change easily.   That’s not true though. We are capable of gigantic jumps in understanding; enormous leaps in consciousness that leave us feeling as if we’re living a completely different life even when nothing externally has changed. Of course, these […]

Why I’m Not Proud of Myself for Ending my Habit

I am unbelievably grateful that I am no longer caught up in my former binge eating habit.  But when someone asked me last week if I was proud of myself for leaving it behind, the question caught me off guard.  I don’t feel proud at all. Pride isn’t the right word. Pride puts me in […]

That Thing your Mom Always Said about You? It wasn’t Actually about You.

I recently spoke with a woman who was holding herself back because she was afraid that if she was too successful, she would make others uncomfortable. It was the old “Who do you think you are?” mentality—who did she think she was to do big things in life? Those weren’t her thoughts or her questions. […]

Problems Don’t Have Roots

Problems don’t have roots.  They aren’t deep-seated. Just the opposite is true, actually. Any and all problems you might have are—relatively speaking–quite shallow. They are right there on the surface, created by (and existing completely within) the current moment in which you experience them. When the thought that brought those problems to the surface fades—as […]

How you are Different From, and also Exactly like, Everyone Else

Human beings are all the same.  We are also extremely different. See, all humans have the same basic nature. We’re working from one universal operating system, just like 1000 people who have a brand new iphone. Before pictures, apps, and downloads start happening, those 1000 phones are the same. Fresh out of the box, humans […]

The Brain is Fascinating, but Don’t Stop There

The human brain is a pretty incredible organ, as far as organs go.   It is a remarkable, complex piece of machinery. And, it is a physical thing we can touch, observe and understand. Although we now know that it can change throughout life, it is still somewhat fixed, already formed, and bound by certain […]

Waiting to See what you Might Do

There is an idea I’ve been playing with lately—especially in the midst of visionaries, New Years’ resolution-ers, and game-planners. It’s the idea of waiting to see what you might do.  Waiting to see what you might do is in contrast to deciding what to do. It’s the opposite of mentally making a choice, or coming […]

Why Willpower Doesn’t Work

I just found out that my upcoming book (it’ll be published by New Harbinger this time next year) will be called The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking any Habit. Although I wouldn’t have necessarily thought to describe it as a “no-willpower approach”, it is an accurate description. It’s not that […]

An Invaluable Understanding

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 […]

Seeing Something that Changes Everything

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.  The basic principles are the same ones I write about here each week, and the ones around which my upcoming book on ending […]

Your Problems are not about You

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. […]

You Are Far Less Stable Than You Think

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 […]

No Need to Fix Everything

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 […]

Your Best Thinking Got You Here

There is a popular saying in addiction recovery. Your best thinking got you here. You did what you did …you’re always doing what you’re doing…because it seemed like the thing to do in that moment. Your best thinking got you here. That doesn’t mean part of you didn’t know there was another way. When you […]

It’s Okay to Have No Goals and Want Nothing

Maybe you’ve had a time in your life when there were no particular goals you were working toward and nothing in particular you were dreaming about. When, if someone walked up to you on the street and granted you a wish, you’d need a few minutes to place your order? I have clients in that […]

The Promise in all of this Crazy Stuff I Write About

When I first read this short blog post by my friend Bonnie, I knew I’d want to share with you all at some point.  She writes about the evolution so many of us go through. I went through it too, very similar to how Bonnie describes it. Imagine this—maybe you can relate:  You’re floating through […]

The One Source of All Human Experience

A few weeks ago a friend said something to me—when I was in the thick of some very heavy thinking—that resulted in a huge wave of comfort and relief.   He said, “…thoughts are an expression of universal energy, always fluctuating and finding the best course.” I understand that insights are as subjective as our […]

If I’m so Resourceful, Why Can’t I Figure out How to Feel Better?

The people I work with are smarter than your average bear. They are resourceful, bright, successful people. The other day, a man I find especially bright and resourceful (if I had a question about anything I’d ask this guy, knowing he could find the answer in a flash), told me he was looking for a […]

Where Advice Falls Short

Have you ever wondered why we’re so set on taking advice from others?   When we ask someone else what they think or what they would do, we get their wisdom, their perspective, and a plan of action that would work for them. We do not always get wisdom, perspective, or a plan of action that […]

A Super Entertaining Story about Silence and Peace

I’d really love it if you’d read this hilarious and entertaining article.     My friend Lisa wrote it about her year of silence. Her year of silence was a long time ago, but as you can imagine, spending a year in silence is kind of a big deal in one’s life. So it took […]

Do You Think You’re in Denial?

The concept of denial is a somewhat unfortunate one. Not because people don’t sometimes push things they don’t want to face out of their awareness. They surely do.  But because we innocently use the concept of denial to make our mental health look like a problem. When you’re not suffering to the degree you think […]

How to Float (A Song I want to Share with You)

One day several months ago, a woman named Jen reached out to me to let me know how much she loved Being Human.  She heard something really profound in the ideas in that book (ideas that I take no ownership of, by the way. They are universal principles, not my unique thoughts). Jen heard something […]

Doing Nothing as a Problem Solving “Strategy”

It can be confusing to hear me say ‘do nothing’, or that ‘there is nothing to do’ with regard to many of the things we consider problems in our lives. When problems show up as things that need fixing, doing nothing can feel ineffective at best; like resignation or powerlessness at worst. When I talk […]

What a New House has Shown Me About Being Human

We just bought a house.   It’s a great house, but it also needs a lot of work. Some of the work is relatively small — like painting every ceiling, wall, door, baseboard and square inch of crown molding — while some is much bigger — like a complete kitchen and master bathroom remodel. We’ve […]

Don’t Solve Your Problems, Transcend Them

A wise, brave client just shared with me that the way she prays has changed.   Instead of praying for a solution to her problems as she has for the past 50 years, she’s recently found herself praying for a change in perspective. Instead of praying for the motivation to write her book because that […]

Is Wisdom Really Just Your Common Sense?

It’s easy to see that there is an intelligence behind life.  We’re powered by something larger than ourselves. We all call it different names and think of it in unique ways, but nearly everyone of any background, culture, or religion (or lack of religion) tends to agree on some beyond-human force that inexplicably grows trees, […]

How to Live with your Mind at Ease, Reveling in the Experience of Being Alive

Michael Neill shared the poem If by Rudyard Kipling on a call I was on with him a few weeks back and it struck me as an excellent thing to share with you. The way of traveling through life described in the poem is entirely possible. It is the promise of the sort of understanding […]

Falling in Love with Any Work You Do

Like most high school and college students, I went through a lot of summer jobs.  I was a hostess at Applebee’s. I worked in a Ford Motor Company plant where I drove a hi-lo, picking car parts to ship off to assembly plants around the world. I was a bartender at a dive bar outside […]

Your Communication Style is Never the Problem

People sometimes contact me for help with “communication problems”. They typically claim that their communication is being misunderstood by the people in their life, and they want to me to teach them to communicate more effectively. Or they say their relationships are suffering from poor communication but they haven’t the foggiest idea how to communicate […]

When You Think You’re Not in Love Anymore

I bet you’ve known someone whose feelings shifted and they decided they were no longer in love with the person they used to be in love with. Maybe it’s even been you. When you fall out of love, it can really look like the person you used to love changed. Something that was once there […]

How to Find Clarity When You’re Confused About What to Do

“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” ~Cicero  You know that state of confusion where you feel really unsure about what to do—you’re talking about it with all of your friends, making lists, weighing options, lying awake all night? As truly confused and unsure as you may feel in those moments, you’re not. You […]

FREE Call — Bouncing Back to the Surface: How to Experience Ease by Doing Nothing

“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.” –Sydney Banks   There is so much less to do in life than you might think. Have you noticed how sometimes, when you’re not trying or doing anything in particular, you find yourself bounced back […]

Peacefully, Gracefully Annoyed

I realize I sound a bit crazy when I talk about having bad days that aren’t so bad (as I do here. And here).  It is so comfortable and…different…to not fear what you feel. To really get that whatever is going on for you is human, perfectly okay, not the least bit meaningful, and on […]

Podcast: The Voice in Your Head

“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.” ~Sir Anthony Hopkins I have a special treat for you-my voice! Okay, my voice may not be all that special but I thought you might get […]

You Can’t Think Your Way to Positive Feelings (and you don’t have to)

Positive feelings are built into who you are. They are part of your design, they were in your original blueprints, they come pre-installed when you were born.  You can’t think your way to positive feelings, at least not in any real or lasting way. You can think happy thoughts and feel happy feelings, or think […]

Evidence That You Are Well and Always Will Be

“On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do” –Eckhart Tolle I was recently speaking with a friend about what it feels like to connect with your underlying, always-there, state of well-being. I attempted to describe the indescribable—the feeling underneath the mental […]

Just Tell Me What to Do, and I’ll Do It

As much as we may say we want the freedom to do as we choose, it often looks easier to be told what to do. “Just tell me”, they say, “should I apologize or not?” “Is it okay that my spouse and I fight, or does that mean something is wrong with our relationship?” “What’s […]

A Love Fest with Life

Willow regularly has little love fests with whomever is around. They usually contain a handful of the following very enthusiastic declarations: I love my Mommy and Daddy! I love everyone in the world, even the people I don’t know yet! I love my brother so much! Miller is such a cutie baby, he’s my favorite […]

The Story of Little Mind and Big Mind

Let’s talk about two minds: Little Mind and Big Mind. Little Mind is your personal thinking. It is the thinking that you grab onto and identify with; the subjective, biased thought that occurs to you and results in your own unique view of reality. Big Mind is…well…it’s not that. It’s something else; something a little […]

Why Life gets Easier when you Steer Clear of Self-Help

I used to read a lot of very traditional self-help. It wasn’t always the case—but it also wasn’t rare—that I’d close the book feeling a little worse than when I started. Searching for answers outside of yourself can be a desperate cycle of getting your hopes up, being let down, and blaming yourself. Self-help sometimes […]

Why I’m naming my book Being Human (even though you told me not to)

My second book is nearly done. I’m going to be totally honest without concern for how this sounds: I think it’s really good. I am super proud of this book in a way I never really was with Modern Enlightenment (which may have had more to do with post-pregnancy hormones than the  book itself, but […]

Can’t we all just Get Along?

There are some people you can’t easily avoid, much as you might like to. That’s the bad news. The good news is that they don’t have to get under your skin quite the way they do. No offense, but they get under your skin because of how you think about them, not because of who […]

So What if You Don’t Know?

“Sometimes questions are more important than answers” –Nancy Willard It always amazes me how much meaning people attach to the innocent little state of uncertainty. Actually, “I don’t know” is an innately neutral statement of fact pertaining to a single moment in time. There is never anything inherently bad, scary, or ‘wrong’ with “I don’t […]

“Making up” your Mind. And Allowing it to Change.

There’s nothing more attractive than a mind that’s willing to change. Because think about it—a mind that is fluid and moving, not dug in, entrenched or made up, is a guarantee that your experience is going to change. It’s a promise that you won’t stay upset for long, that things are always changing, and that […]

How to avoid the Ups and Downs of life

Stuff happens in life. You’ve probably noticed.  Stuff happens to you without your approval and beyond your control. That’s the way of it. Yet, most of the people I talk with want the ups and downs to stop. They are searching for a way to keep life in the “up” territory to avoid the “downs”. […]

Decisions, decisions

It’s pretty amazing what people do because they think it will give them a better life.  They wake up insanely early and go to bed insanely late. They go to college, they set goals. They work hard or they refuse to work hard. They decide to be ambitious. They get married or they stay single; […]

3 Unconventional Tips for Forgiving and Letting Go

This is a fantastic article by my friend Lisa Esile. “The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment.” ~Pema Chodron Forgiveness is good, right? I don’t mean in a heal the planet kind of way—I mean in a selfish, me me me kind of way. We want to let go of our resentments […]

The link between focusing on yourself and depression

I remember hearing about some research once that linked self-focus—thinking about yourself a lot and making things that happen out in the world about you in some way—with depression. The more you think about yourself, the more depressed you are. There are obviously a lot of missing variables here. This doesn’t mean that focusing on […]

Become a Team and Have Much Better Relationships

“We may have all come in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” ~Martin Luther King Jr. I once had a totally commonplace, uneventful thought that transformed the way I viewed relationships. I’m not sure that it was mine; it certainly wasn’t anything groundbreaking or unique. I may have read it somewhere, I […]

Make the Most of Anything

Time moves. Quickly. Quite unfairly, it often appears to speed up the older you are. But there is a way to combat that time-fly that doesn’t involve a time machine. It’s being fully in your life today. Moving right in, inhabiting your moments and experiences. Here’s an easy rule of thumb: Experiencing your thinking about […]

Do you need to heal your past?

Do you think there is something from your past that needs to be healed? I used to believe that the past required healing. But when you think about it, how could that be? The past is over. It’s nonexistent today. How could something that doesn’t exist need anything? The past only comes up today in […]

On figuring it out

What percentage of your day do you suppose you’re in your head, trying to figure something out? Maybe you’re thinking about what’s for dinner or using concepts and memory to solve a problem at work. Maybe you’re trying to arrive at the best way to discipline your kids, ask your boss if you can leave […]

Showing Up Dumb

It’s endlessly fascinating to me to notice the filter of thought that floats over the screen of my awareness. So much of that thick thought filter is a) Basically the same as yesterday b) Based on something that happened in the past, or c) Stemming from beliefs I formed long ago that most likely aren’t […]

From nothing, something. (One of my huge a-ha moments).

Who are you, really? I think it’s a pretty safe bet that if you find yourself reading these words right now, you see yourself as something much bigger than a collection of blood and guts and skin and hair. You’re obviously not your body. It’s probably just as likely that you don’t view yourself as […]

Want to get lucky? Here’s how.

Things happen to us that we can’t control. All the time. But we do have some control over what we bring to the table: how we prepare, our qualities, our attitude. And we do have some control over how we respond to those chance things that happen to us. It’s like the old joke about […]

Life with no memory

I heard a story about a guy who had no long-term memory and very little short-term memory. He kept a journal. By the time he wrote in his journal each night, he had pretty much forgotten everything that had happened that day. He was living in a perpetual state of present moment awareness. As it […]

A story about presence: Traveling with my kids

Traveling with children is totally enlightening. I live largely in my thinking. This is my experience: Thinking… “We have three, maybe four hours between wake up time and time for Miller’s first nap.  Two to three hours once you factor in breakfast and baths. What should we do? We should go to the beach. Will […]

What to do with the pain. (Our true nature).

When our thoughts drift to- and fixate on- horrible events in the world, we hurt.  If you pay attention, you’ll notice that your thoughts will also drift away from those things and you don’t hurt in those moments.  Even in the middle of unspeakable pain, thoughts part like the clouds and the sun peaks out […]

Spinning through outer space

In his book The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer says something so obviously simple and true that it’s been messing with my head ever since.  (Truth is astonishingly simple. Always.) He says we’re sitting on a planet spinning through outer space. Oh yeah!  I forgot. Did you? Maybe it’s partly my line of work, but I […]

Yes, you can change the past.

I know for sure that the past can change. Your experience of life—past, present, future—comes from what you are thinking in any given moment. In the world of form…where things are solid and objective events go down in the books, I suppose the past is not easily changed. But in the world of experience (which, […]

Gratitude for Being Human

Here’s what I’m grateful for right now: being human. The whole of it. Everything that being human entails. I used to think being human kind of sucked most of the time. With our habitual patterns that run on auto-pilot and our irrationally fearful thoughts and our unpredictable emotions. Human-ness felt like a big hassle. I […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Igniting change with exploration

Have you ever come across a word that ignites something in you? A single word that delivers a viscera punch, while something deep inside of you responds “Yes!”? ‘Explore’ is that word for me. Explore! Explore encapsulates almost all of my great, personal loves in life. Read the rest on All Things Girl…

Are you ready to wean? (It’s okay if you’re not)

We’re in the process of weaning Willow from her pacifier. Let me clarify what I mean by “the process”.  We took it away 10 days ago and now we’re dealing with the sad, disruptive, horrible fall out. She loved her Nuk. It soothed her, comforted her, put her right to sleep. She misses that soothing […]

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Here’s something I’ve been re-learning lately: Just because I can doesn’t mean I should.  Just because I can get up to exercise at 6 every morning does not mean I should. Just because I can work until midnight does not mean I should. Let this be the new anthem of the good-girl. The perfectionist, over-achiever, […]

How to be more consistent

A client recently asked for some motivation. Specifically, she wanted to be motivated to consistently take some actions that she was currently being inconsistent about. Even more specific…how ‘bout I just tell you exactly what she said? Client: “I exercise sporadically, I make efforts towards finding a new job sporadically, I take care of my […]

The Importance of an Empty Future

What’s in your future? Hopefully, not much. When your future is empty—as in wide open, blue ocean, blank slate—you’re sitting pretty to put whatever you want there. Most of us do not have an empty future. Most of us have a jam-packed future. Do you know what it’s full of? The past. We drag all […]

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 […]

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