On this page you will find articles, free audio and video, and other resources that may give you tips on working toward healing and growth. Whether you struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, or addictive behaviors, no matter the struggles you come here with, this is a place for you to get some tips to support you.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 · 8 Comments
A little while ago I wrote a post around the importance of learning how to practice self-forgiveness. In that same vein it is essential to learn how to practice forgiveness no matter what. This may sound extreme, but let me explain. Forgiveness, as you may have heard or experienced, is simply the act of letting go of the burden that you carry from another person who has hurt you out of their own pain, ignorance or confusion. It’s a practice of freeing up your energy to focus on things that incline toward your own health and well-being or the health and well-being of others.
There’s a saying:
“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get hurt or die.”
The reality is holding onto resentment, literally keeps our cortisol running and makes us sick.
The wonderful thing about forgiveness is it really only takes one to tango. You only need one person to forgive – you! You don’t even need the offender.
Right now, if you have someone you’re holding a grudge against or are resenting, imagine the two of you tied together in a tug of war and imagine the cord being cut…you no longer have the tension of the rope, you are free!
Of course it’s not often this easy and it’s a practice to forgive, but what else is there to do? Hold onto the resentment so we continue to suffer? We’ve already been hurt, why continue to inflict further suffering on ourselves?
“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”—Paul Boese
If you are open to letting go of the resentment-habit and opening up to a better future, play with the following short forgiveness practice from The Now Effect: Continue Reading →
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 · 7 Comments
One of the greatest, most unproductive and destructive mind traps many of us face is self-blame. It’s as if the brain doesn’t know what to do with the uncomfortable feeling that’s there and it projects it inward. I’ve never seen a single example where self-blame is constructive. We all make mistakes in life, some greater than others. But there is a simple truth in life that is worth understanding, we all do the best we can with what we know in any given time.
It could never be any other way.
There’s a simple thing to practice that can bring us back to our senses with a bit more self-compassion. This inevitably will lead to greater ease, understanding and refocus us on a more constructive path of health and well-being sooner.
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.
No matter what you’ve done, it doesn’t serve you or anyone else to stew in self-blame. What would serve yourself and others more is moving into a place of understanding and making peace with yourself. From this space you are better able to more constructively serve yourself and others.
In Uncovering Happiness I share a very personal story where in my twenties I was incredibly destructive to my mind and body. I would be constantly caught in a web of blaming myself for the things I would do – only to do them again.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 · 1 Comment
Sometimes the most profound statements come out of children’s books. One of my favorite Dr Seuss books is Oh, The Places You’ll Go! It seems to tell the story of what it is like to be human. It brings you through all the experiences in life: the triumphs, the doubts, the confusions, the depressions, the fearful moments and the moments you stare your difficulties in the face and overcome them.
Another fantastic book that goes straight to the truth of it all is We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
If you haven’t read it, it’s a picture book where a family goes on a bear hunt and they keep coming across these obstacles from tall grass, to swamp, to spooky forest, etc.. and each time they say, “You can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you’ve got to go through it.”
This is life.
As it’s said, life is full of 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. Try as we might to avoid those sorrows, we often have to allow them to pass through. Optimally we do this as a training ground to build the muscle of self-compassion.
Here are some powerful anti-depressant and anti-anxiety (and happiness) side effects of Self-Compassion:
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 · 1 Comment
At a 2014 press conference at the Toronto Film Festival, actor Billy Murray was asked by the press, “How does it feel to be you?” His response was nothing less than perfect!
“Let’s all ask ourselves that question right now: What does it feel like to be you? What does it feel like to be you? Yeah. It feels good to be you, doesn’t it? It feels good, because there’s one thing that you are — you’re the only one that’s you, right?
So you’re the only one that’s you, and we get confused sometimes — or I do, I think everyone does — you try to compete. You think, damn it, someone else is trying to be me. Someone else is trying to be me. But I don’t have to armor myself against those people; I don’t have to armor myself against that idea if I can really just relax and feel content in this way and this regard.
If I can just feel… Just think now: How much do you weigh? This is a thing I like to do with myself when I get lost and I get feeling funny. How much do you weigh? Think about how much each person here weighs and try to feel that weight in your seat right now, in your bottom right now. Parts in your feet and parts in your bum. Just try to feel your own weight, in your own seat, in your own feet. Okay? So if you can feel that weight in your body, if you can come back into the most personal identification, a very personal identification, which is: I am. This is me now. Here I am, right now. This is me now. Then you don’t feel like you have to leave, and be over there, or look over there. You don’t feel like you have to rush off and be somewhere. There’s just a wonderful sense of well-being that begins to circulate up and down, from your top to your bottom. Up and down from your top to your spine. And you feel something that makes you almost want to smile, that makes you want to feel good, that makes you want to feel like you could embrace yourself.
So, what’s it like to be me? You can ask yourself, “What’s it like to be me?” You know, the only way we’ll ever know what it’s like to be you is if Continue Reading →
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 · 1 Comment
I’ve been in the midst of developing the new free e-Course 21 Days of Purpose that is meant to support a key and radically important natural anti-depressant from Uncovering Happiness – Purpose/Compassion. Creating purpose is a process of understanding your personal personal values and how to put them into action in ways that serve something greater than yourself. In developing this 21 day course and starting to go through it, really amazing things have happened for me, the primary one being that this awareness and motivation to live with purpose and compassion is often on my mind.
I love this, it’s really amazing how having giving on your mind creates a feeling of empowerment, connection and happiness.
I’ve been developing an online symposium on Uncovering Happiness where I’m interviewing a number of different people, for example, Byron Katie, Rick Hanson, Dan Harris, Dan Siegel, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach and so many others. I’ll launch this sometime in April or May (I hope).
During an interview with Byron Katie she said, “If you have something valuable, you have to give it away, you just have to.”
We can allow our minds to pick that statement apart (and they’ll want to) to find the holes in it, but if you just take a moment and lean into what she is saying here, where do you notice this is true?
How would you feel if you started giving a little more?