How mindfulness keeps your “dark-side” in check

We all have a "dark side"...everyone of us does. Under the right amount of stress or pain, we can all succumb to dark, pessimistic thinking that results in ugly  words or actions. Our biology sets us up for this. Negative (a.k.a. fear-based) thinking is a "safer" option in survival terms. It keeps us on own toes when we're in real danger. But dark-side thinking and attitude...
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Use fear at the right time

Isn’t it amazing how much your thinking can change with your mood? When my fear is triggered, I can question things that in any other moment I know are quite secure. It’s something to respect about our humanity. Fear doesn’t just change how we think. Fear changes what we think. Fear activates a kind of supercomputer that runs through an astounding number of possibilities, ch...
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How to be vulnerable and strong at the same time

  At our core, we are all vulnerable. It doesn’t matter how tough, sarcastic or stoic we’ve learned to be. We can’t be authentic but not vulnerable at times. In relationships, vulnerable feelings like sadness and fear draw us into connection with others. They create our appetite for closeness. But without the proper attention, our vulnerability can drive communicatio...
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How Mindfulness Improves Attention Problems

ADHD and other attention problems are emotional. They are frustrating for loved ones, teachers and coworkers. And they cause guilt for those who suffer from them. This is a personal issue for me. As a child I struggled with attention for schoolwork, and I was ashamed of it. I remember feeling like an alien watching my classmates quietly work on assignments. I just couldn...
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What to Say When: “You’re afraid someone is angry with you”

This weekend my husband and I stumbled into a conversation that turned our nice dinner out into a frosty misunderstanding. We were talking about something light and nostalgic, when somehow one of my comments gave my husband the impression that I was trying to “pick a fight” with him. I wasn't. In my mind, I was recalling a memory. But soon after I experienced what felt like an ...
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How to have a good relationship with your anger

Anger serves an important purpose, but it must be managed. When we're angry, we may say things we later regret. Or we may not advocate for our needs by speaking up if something is bothering us. If either scenario fits for you, here are some ways to keep things in balance when it comes to anger: Get to know your personal anger signals. Maybe you internalized the idea...
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Five Lessons I Had to Learn to Be Better In My Relationships

I stand before you on this Valentine’s Day, immensely grateful for the wisdom I found rather late in my life. I turned 40 this year. And if I could tell my 20-something self that I would be 36 before getting married, I probably would’ve lost my marbles. Or more likely, I wouldn’t have believed it, because I was blind to the relationship truths I’m going to share with you today…...
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The 5 Surprising Benefits of Anger

Anger often gets a bad rap. It’s the feeling that we often judge as “wrong” or “bad.” But we can still get really angry... Scary angry at times. I've certainly been guilty of that myself. Just ask my husband. For a long time anger was only visible to me (and everyone else) when it was big...inaccurately big. I couldn't see my anger at the lower intensities, so it eventually...
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5 ways to be more self-compassionate

Instead of judging yourself harshly when you….Feel Angry…. Appreciate that anger is information. Anger tells you that you are reaching a tolerance limit and you need something. You may need distance from someone or something. You may need to take action, adjust course, or need to eat, rest or connect with someone for support. Instead of judging yourself harshly when you….Mak...
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Commit to a ‘Judgment-Free January’ (a FREE e-course)

  As you wade through the many articles, blogs and products promising to  help you lose weight, win that promotion, and every other goal you might have for the new year, I invite you to consider one more resolution: Join me in committing to a Judgment-Free January - a FREE email course you can begin throughout the month of January. Judgment, the harsh emotional k...
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20 Signs You Are Invisible in Your Relationships

Do any of these things sound familiar? You feel like a lot of things in your life need changing. From the outside, it probably looks to others like your relationship with your partner or spouse is more okay than it actually feels. You feel taken-for-granted at work and/or home quite frequently. When you think about mindfulness, it honestly seems like a waste of ti...
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This shift makes a huge difference

Do you feel like you're giving a lot... to your partner, family and work... but it's not hitting the mark like you thought it would? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. There was a time in my own life that I felt this way. I thought that being my "best self" meant I should focus on others as much as possible. I worked in the helping professions, and I spent a lot of tim...
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The power of our autopilot

Don't underestimate the power of your autopilot. Learning to drive a manual-transmission car is the best metaphor I can think of to explain the relationship between the conscious and auto-pilot parts of your mind.  Automatic transmissions may work just fine to translate your intended direction via the steering wheel, gas pedal and brakes. But people are often drawn to th...
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We will never force change

A poem I wrote early in my work in addiction treatment .... We will never force change It comes from within and runs from pressure We can only believe in the goodness that bears us all And the connection that can open with anyone With the right patience & acceptance All the clichés whirl around my head With meaning I can’t believe was absent When it comes to self-im...
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Why feeling stress is necessary for happiness

If you ask yourself  "How do I feel right now?" Is there a ready answer? Very often, to be successful in our society, we must pump up our thinking abilities.  Many of us lead very rich thinking lives and we certainly benefit in practical ways because  of it.  We must be able to problem solve and analyze and wordsmith.  So if you are a skilled thinker, it can be easy to s...
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The Do’s and Don’ts of Persuasion

  It may not always seem like it, but fundamentally we all change in a similar way. Ideally in childhood our parents let us experience an appropriate amount of uncomfortable consequences when we acted out. By experiencing this discomfort, we identified our own personal reasons why the behavior (or misbehavior) was not in our best interest. And ideally, this mechanis...
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How to find your authenticity

In a great 90's movie, "City Slickers", the weathered and wise "Curley" torments Billy Crystal's character by promising the answer to one of life's greatest questions..."What's the meaning of life?"  Even my ears perked up at the thought of this answer somehow being delivered by the end of the movie.  Eventually Billy Crystal's character does come to his own understanding of th...
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