Dr. Amy Johnson Blog’s

Relationships

Love Comes More Naturally than its Opposite

“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion.  People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” –Nelson Mandela     I […]

Truth or Turbulence?

Shirley has been a flight attendant for 40 years.  When she was very young and new on the job, she was badly hurt in some turbulence. She was afraid to fly for a while after that experience. One day a passenger noticed her fear and asked her about it. She admitted to being afraid and […]

[Video]: Why is my Friend (who has Stage 4 Cancer) More Peaceful Each Time I See Her!? A Striking Example of the Power of Understanding.

I’m always having conversations with people about the fact that we feel our own mental dialogue, and only our own mental dialogue, all day every day. Life is an inside-out experience, coming from within our own minds, not from the world around us or from the things happening to us. And I totally get that […]

A New Look at Better Relationships

Relationships: the source of the vast majority of pleasure—and pain—for the entire human species. A couple years ago I taught this 30 minute class on having  easier, more rewarding relationships. Yes, it’s old, but I recently revisited it and I felt called to share it with you again, two years later. And yes, I know–there have […]

How we Create Problems for Ourselves (and How to Stop)

“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” ~Ram Dass  I just returned from a four-day trip with my family. It was my own family of four (my husband and two kids), plus my mom, my two sisters, and my brother-in-law. It was great. We get along well and have fun […]

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 […]

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, […]

How to Fall in Love with People

I’ve always been insanely curious about people. For literally as long as I can remember, I’ve read about characters in books and watched people around me in fascination, wondering how they see the world and what drives them to do what they do.  Curious and interested as I was, I wouldn’t say that I necessarily […]

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, […]

How to Hear What Someone is Really Trying to Say

My son Miller—now 3 years old—learned to climb out of his crib at a ridiculously young age.  Thanks to the magical technology of the video monitor, we’d watch our 16 month old baby put one chubby foot up on the side bars, pull himself up with freakishly strong baby biceps, and hoist himself onto the […]

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. […]

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 Mental Calming Effect of Commitment

Meet Dave.  When Dave was dating his girlfriend Debbie, he had a lot of complaints about her. Dave said Debbie was negative. She never saw possibilities, only problems. She expected too much of him. Dave said Debbie was hard to live with at times. And yet, something kept Dave hanging on. In time, Dave asked […]

One Simple Question for Happier Relationships

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 […]

A New Way to View Your Recurring Problems

I have a friend — let’s call her Sarah — who has been having the same argument with her husband for 20 years.   She and her husband talk about it regularly. She and I talk about it regularly. The three of us have even talked about it. They really want this argument to stop. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Married with Luggage

My friends Betsy and Warren Talbot have written a new book about how they got their failing-fast marriage back on track. Not just  back on track, but seriously, positively, thriving.  They happened to sell all of the possessions and travel the world together in the process (but you certainly don’t have to do that part.) […]

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 […]

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 Letting Go Can Save Your Relationship

There is a lot to be said for leaving well enough alone. Hands down, we feel most compelled to request “a talk” with our partner, deliver a “constructive” criticism, or give unsolicited “feedback”, at the peak of our own emotional storm. When our mood is low and our defenses are high is when it feels […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How to never feel resentment again

Clients try to convince me that resentment naturally builds in relationships over time. They say so as if it’s a given. It’s not. George Pransky’s book The Relationship Handbook taught me the one, simple thing that leads to—and away from—resentment. When you focus on yourself and how their behavior affected you, you feel resentment. When […]

The Thing about Mean People

I don’t believe there are mean people.  There are wounded people who appear mean. And there are insecure people who appear mean. And yet, it’s not like I remember this all the time or apply to everyone I meet. It’s easy to have compassion for some people and harder to have compassion for others. As […]

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 […]

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 […]

What’s so scary about being single?

“Someday, someone will walk into your life and make you realize why it never worked out with anyone else.” —Anonymous I talk to a lot of single women. It’s pretty rare to find one who wants to be in a relationship, isn’t in one and is perfectly relaxed about it. There is usually some fear […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why you aren’t asking for (and getting) what you want.

“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”  -H. Jackson Browne I talk to clients every day who want something from someone else, but they aren’t asking for it.  They are living in a limbo of sorts…wanting, craving, hoping, but not doing anything about it. They might want their […]

Relationship 911 Tip #2: How to ask for what you want

I’m back with another tip from Relationship 911. (If you missed 911 Tip #1 Give what you want to Get, check it out). You know you can’t change people. If you could, everyone around you would be exactly the way you want them to be and your relationships would all be simple and perfect.  I’m […]

Relationship 911 Tip: GIVE what you want to GET.

Want something from a relationship? More of something? Less of something? Here’s exactly how you get it. Lean in real close… GIVE it. Confused? Watch the video. And if you have a relationship that could use some Radical 911, sign up for the course later this month here Here are the full details for the […]

Addressing the Right Person so you don’t take it out on the Wrong Person

Did you catch Bishop TD Jakes on Oprah’s Lifeclass a few weeks back? (You can watch most of it here if you’re interested). Jakes was talking to a woman about speaking her mind with her brother. Finally telling him how she feels so that she can move past her resentment and get on with her […]

It’s All About You

Do you know it’s all about you? Yep. Sorry. But there is good news, too…

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