“The intensity of the pain depends on the degree of resistance to the present moment.” ~Eckhart Tolle
I was in pain.
My legs hurt, I felt nauseated, my heart thumped hard and fast, and I labored for every breath.
I was halfway up a steep, three-mile hill, and I was so exhausted I could barely keep my bike upright.… Read More
“I’m stronger because of the hard times, wiser because of my mistakes, and happier because I have known sadness.” ~Unknown
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and prescribed anti-depressants when I was twenty-one years old. I refer to this point in my life as the “Dark Ages.”
Leading up to grad school, I’d suddenly become afflicted with incomprehensible despair.… Read More
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” ~Nelson Mandela
Of all my fears, there are many that I imagine others would consider to be a little silly, and no big deal to tackle.
What they may not realize, and what I sometimes forget, is that many of these little, silly fears are really raindrops from a massive, ominous cloud: the fear that I will seriously injure myself, and maybe cause my own death.… Read More
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.” ~Carl Jung
I’ve experienced many degrees of anger throughout my life.
There’s the fleeting and mild kind of anger that hit me when I realized I forgot to pack my toothbrush, or when a friend was tardy again for our morning hike.… Read More
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust
It’s taken me a while, but I have finally learned to appreciate aspects of my own impatience.
For a long time I did not like this quality about myself. I am still working on becoming more patient, because impatience and I go way back.… Read More
“Anger always comes from frustrated expectations.” ~Elliott Larson
I was recently watching my younger son play in a golf tournament. We had extensively prepared for this tournament over a period of several days. His technique was finely tuned. The game plan for attacking the course was in place.
The first two holes went wonderfully.… Read More
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Karen Kaiser Clark
Of all the people who have passed through my life over the years, the one person I remember the most was this old, ornery man who seemed to have the personality of a mule. Stubborn to the core, with a straightforward approach to everything, Phil was a difficult man to like, yet I learned to love him.… Read More
“Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny.” ~Steven Pressfield
Altering your life in the smallest or grandest way is so simple, but it requires you to do something you likely are already doing all of the time.… Read More
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
A few years ago, when my younger son was about ten, the reality of the losses that go with living in this beautiful but flawed world suddenly hit him.
I’ll never forget the conversation. This was a child born two months before 9/11, and since we live in a New York suburb and my husband worked across the street from the Twin Towers, what was a loss for so many has been my son’s reality his whole life.… Read More
“Our lives improve only when we take chances and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.” ~Walter Anderson
Growing up in a small town in Western Canada, I was known as the kid who accomplished things.
I was the well-mannered and conscientious child who skipped grade two, was at the top of her class, played three musical instruments, took ballet lessons, French lessons, swimming lessons, and any other lesson in which I expressed an interest.… Read More
“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take action. Take action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron
I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. From the time I was very young, I would worry about things—my life, my parents, my house, the state of the world.… Read More
“The best way out is always through.” ~Robert Frost
Earlier this year my partner, our son, and I all moved to Santa Barbara from Oregon. People move all the time, but for us it was a huge step.
My partner had a new exciting dream job and we were eager to experience the sunshine of California.… Read More
“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” ~Steve Maraboli
My fourth grade teacher was named Mrs. King, and she was a no-nonsense, fairly stern presence who enforced the rules and kept us kids in line. I was a timid kid who wouldn’t have dared to break rules anyway, and I assumed that Mrs.… Read More
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” ~Criss Jami
Wanting to avoid pain and shield ourselves from it is natural—and, by the way, completely not possible, because as we close up to protect ourselves against pain, we also block out the light that reflects from it.… Read More
“Be what you are. This is the first step toward becoming better than you are.” ~Julius Charles Hare
In a few months it will be the two and a half year anniversary of my mental breakdown.
I don’t really celebrate the date, partially because I don’t know it—it’s not the sort of thing that you remember to mark on your calendar—and partially because my entire life since then has been a celebration of what I began to learn that night.… Read More
“You gain courage, strength and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Finding my passion made me fat.
Not fat in an “I have to wear a Homer Simpson Mumu” kind of way, but in an “I eat cookies and chocolate all the time and I’m not sure what happened to my muscle.… Read More
“Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” ~Aristotle
At the end of the day, when I feel completely exhausted, it often has nothing to do with all the things I’ve done.
It’s not a consequence of juggling multiple responsibilities and projects. It’s not my body’s way of punishing me for becoming a late-life jogger after a period of laziness.… Read More
“Think of all the beauty that is still left in and around you and be happy.” ~Anne Frank
At first glance, the happiest person I’ve ever met appeared to be a simple man. There didn’t seem to be anything particularly sophisticated or spiritual about him.
Srulik was five-feet tall, with a big round belly and a wide smile permanently plastered on his face.… Read More
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~William S. Burroughs
Sitting in my office I stared at the email in front of me.
My heart sank.
All energy and joy left me, to be replaced with confusion, anxiety, and a deep sense of frustration.… Read More
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” ~Joan Borysenko
After years and years of living with anxiety, I can’t tell you exactly what I have been anxious about.
Is it a pervasive thought about how my life will end? Is it a constant worry about my financial security?… Read More