Posts by Shelly Johnson

Shelly Johnson is a writer with a PhD in philosophy from the University of Kentucky. One of her primary personal and philosophical interests is how we can learn to love ourselves and each other better to bring about positive change in the world. She teaches ethics at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky and is the author the blog Love is Stronger. She is also the author of three books on logic and critical thinking—Argument BuilderDiscovery of Deduction and Everyday Debate.

Shelly Johnson's Website

How Mindfulness Helped Me Become My Own Best Friend

“With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.”  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I am not a good friend to myself. This realization shook me as I was riding the bus home one day from the local university where I taught.

This realization had been building for some time, but it struck me powerfully that day. I was teaching a summer class on Asian philosophy, and we were reading the Sayings of Buddha. We had been discussing a passage about a monk watching his feelings.

The passage …

How I Overcame the Stress of Perfectionism by Learning to Play Again

“What, then, is the right way of living? Life must be lived as play…” ~Plato

I am a recovering perfectionist, and learning to play again saved me.

Like many children, I remember playing a lot when I was younger and being filled with a sense of openness, curiosity, and joy toward life.

I was fortunate to grow up in Oregon with a large extended family with a lot of cousins with whom I got to play regularly. We spent hours, playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, drawing, and building forts.

I also attended a wonderful public school that encouraged play. We …