Category “change & challenges”

How to Spot Abusive People and Stop Getting into Toxic Relationships

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

When it comes to dating, I have always been drawn to people who made me work for their love and validation. Despite the fact that I, like anyone else, wish to be with somebody that loves and supports me, I have always somehow managed to attract the opposite.

My relationship history has been fraught with rejection, feeling unworthy, and trying harder to win love and approval. Every time I felt criticized or undervalued, I would look inward and ask myself what I could do to make my …

How to Embrace Your Sensitivity and See It as a Strength


“Sensitive people feel so deeply they often have to retreat from the world, in order to dig beneath the layers of pain to find their faith and courage.” ~Shannon L. Alder

Being a highly sensitive person can be rough in a world full of agendas, processes, rules, and numbers. Feelings and senses, being intangible and invisible, are often dismissed because not everyone experiences them in the same way. The intensity of those experiences varies, as well, depending on the individual, which makes it all the more confusing.

Living in a society all about speed and efficiency, feelings can often be …

Emotionally Numb and Physically Disconnected? DDD May Be the Problem

“Of all things, it would seem, make friends with depersonalization. Enemies within consciousness never work, and only escalate the problem. Befriend it, consider it part of life to work with it. We can’t expel it or cancel it. When we try, the pressure makes a volcano out of it. This is true of so many things, it must be true of DDD too.” ~David Hench

Do you ever feel like you’re not feeling anything, although you know that you have feelings? That you’re operating on autopilot, more like a robot than a living person? That your self is hiding …

The World Is Not My Enemy – Why I’m Trying to Let My Guard Down

“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the centre of meaningful human experiences” ~Brené Brown

From a young age I learned that the world is not a safe place—that there are bullies out there that want to harm me and that I have to watch my back. I developed defense mechanisms in order to protect myself, or perhaps those mechanisms had been there all along, programmed into my psychology by millions of years of evolution.

Maybe these mechanisms served me in certain situations as they did my ancestors; telling me when to fight and when to run away. But as I …

How My Son Taught Me That Crying Can Boost My Mental Health

“And some days life is just hard. And some days are just rough. And some days you just gotta cry before you move forward. And all of that is okay.” ~Unknown

Over the years I’ve built myself a bit of a reputation as “the emotional one.”

I was always the first to cry at weddings, and that included my own. At that one I barely stopped throughout the ceremony! And as soon as I’m beyond the half-way point of any good holiday, it’s inevitable that a pretty epic sob is waiting in the wings.

At this point I should probably …

How Meeting and Re-Parenting My Inner Child Helped Me Love Myself

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” ~Oscar Wilde

The journey to meeting, loving, and re-parenting my inner child was a long time coming.

In 2018, I went through a devastating breakup. I’d been through breakups before. They suck, they hurt, some of them left me in deep abysses of sadness for a long time, but this one was something different.

I can honestly say I felt levels of pain I did not know were survivable for a human being. Many days, I did not want to survive; I couldn’t imagine continuing to be in that …

How I’m Winning Over My Inner Critic by Letting It Exist

“Winning the war of words inside your soul means learning to defy your inner critic.” ~Steven Furtick

We all have that voice in our head, the voice that’s always negative about ourselves. Our inner voice.  Our inner critic.

The one that tells us we’re not good enough, not smart enough, not attractive enough. That voice that continuously compares us to other people, so we come up lacking and feeling less than.

Sometimes that voice is our own. Other times, and for some people, maybe those of us who have felt unloved or disliked by a significant person in our …

What I Really Mean When I Say I’m Fine (Spoiler: I’m Not)

“Tears are words that need to be written.” ~Paulo Coelho

It was lovely to see you today. I haven’t seen you in such a long time. So much has happened since the last time we saw each other.

You asked me how I was. I politely replied, “I’m fine” and forced a smile that I hoped would be believable. It must have worked. You smiled back and said, “I’m so glad to hear that. You look great.”

But I’m not really fine. I haven’t been fine for a very long time, and I wonder if I will ever know what …

3 Reasons to Stop Worrying About Your Negative Thoughts

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Do you ever catch yourself being critical, judgmental, or full of fear and worry? And do you ever worry about how many negative thoughts you have? If you do, this post is for you.

We’re taught that negative thoughts are bad, that they’re “toxic,” they “lower your vibration,” keep you stuck, and so on.

We’re taught that in order to feel self-assured and confident, we should banish negative thoughts from our lives. Kind of like, goodbye, negative thoughts; hello, higher vibration, better boyfriend, nicer car, inner peace, …

How I Stopped Putting Everyone Else’s Needs Above My Own

“Never feel sorry for choosing yourself.” ~Unknown

I was eleven years old, possibly twelve, the day I first discovered my mother’s betrayal. I assume she didn’t hear me when I walked in the door after school. The distant voices in the finished basement room of our home drew me in. My mother’s voice was soft as she spoke to her friend. What was she hiding that she didn’t want me to hear?

I leaned in a little bit closer to the opening of the stairs… She was talking about a man she’d met. Her voice changed when she spoke of …

How I Created Opportunities in a World Full of Obstacles

“I really want to, but I can’t because [add semi-valid reason here].”

That’s a template sentence to let yourself off the hook.

It’s not copyrighted, so feel free to use it any time you want to let go of your dreams and not feel bad about it.

Honestly, it hurts me every time I hear someone say it. I see it for what it is—an excuse.

Every single one of us has ambitions, hopes, dreams, and goals. We fantasize about them on our commutes to work and before we sleep. We talk about how we will one day achieve …

Recognizing Our Human Goodness May Be the Most Radical Act We Can Take

Most of us can be way too hard on ourselves, when life is already hard enough. We spend our days taking an inventory of all the ways we’re falling short, tell ourselves we’re not good enough, and even question our basic goodness, as if there’s something wrong with us at our core. I know I’ve done this countless times before.

When I respond harshly instead of pausing before reacting or make a mistake I keep making over and over again, it’s easy to conclude I am fundamentally bad or damaged, or else I would more consistently do better.

Then, waddling …

The Relief of Letting Go and Living Fully Despite My Anxiety

“We only live once, Snoopy.” ~Charlie Brown

“Wrong. We only die once. We live every day.” ~Snoopy

I am an anxious person. I haven’t always been though. When I had my first child, fourteen years ago, it was the week after my father died. My son was born and went right to the NICU where he spent the first fourteen days of his life. In that moment, I changed. I’d already had one miscarriage. I couldn’t lose anyone else.

Man, life is fragile. I spent the next decade making sure he played on the swings at the park, but not …

Why We Often Fail When We Set Big Goals and What Actually Works

“You do not rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.” ~James Clear

If you pull up any popular motivational video today, you’ll probably hear things like “Set big goals!” and “Aim high and don’t stop until you get there!”

After watching a video like this, you may get inspired and start mapping out your plan to leave the 99% in the dust.

And typically, because you’re riding a wave of motivation, you’ll write out these monstrous, Mount-Everest-like goals. These goals paint a picture of your life that is so exciting that …

Where Our Inner Critic Comes from and How to Tame It

“Your inner critic is simply a part of you that needs more self-love.” ~Amy Leigh Mercee

We all have that critical and judgmental inner voice that tells us we’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc.

It tells us we don’t do anything right. It calls us stupid. It compares us to other people and speaks harshly about ourselves and our bodies. It tells us all the things we did or said “wrong” after communicating or connecting with someone.

Sometimes it projects criticism outward onto others so we can feel better about ourselves. Other times we try to …

If You’re Trapped Under a Pile of “Should” and Tired of Feeling Unhappy

“Stop shoulding on yourself.” ~Albert Ellis

I was buried under a pile of shoulds for the first thirty-two years of my life. Some of those shoulds were put on me by the adults in my life, some were heaped on because I am a middle child, but most were self-imposed thanks to cultural and peer influence.

“You should get straight A’s, Jill.”

“You shouldn’t worry so much, Jill.”

“You should be married by now, Jill.”

“You should get your Master’s degree.”

I could go on forever. The pile was high, and I was slowly suffocating from the crushing weight on …

How I Developed Self-Worth After Being Sexually Harassed and Fired

“Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.” ~Unknown

In my early twenties, I was a food and beverage manager at a nice hotel in Portland, Maine. About a month after I started working there, they hired our department director, a man twice my age whom I would report to.

At the end of his first week, we went out for a “get to know each other” drink at a loud and busy bar. As we drank and chatted, he was physically very close to me. I told myself it was because of the noise.

His …

I Was a Bulimic Nutritionist, but I’m No Longer Ashamed or Hiding

“Shame derives its power from being unspeakable.” ~ Brené Brown

I felt like a hypocrite. I would tell my nutrition clients to eat a salad with vegetables, then I’d go home and scarf down an entire pizza. After guilt and shame set in, I would purge and throw it up.

I think I became a nutritionist partly so I could better control my relationship with food. If I learned the secrets behind eating I could biohack my way to putting the fork down, losing weight, and finally being happy. This was back when I thought thinness equaled happiness.

It’s taken …

FREE Online MindBody Therapy Summit for Healing and Well-Being, June 2-6

Hi friends! I’m excited to let you know about the MindBody Therapy Summit, a FREE online event, presented by the Embody Lab, that’s coming up next week.

In this inspiring 5-day summit, running from June 2nd through June 6th, you’ll hear from some of the most impactful healers, teachers, and researchers at the intersection of wellness, spirituality, psychology, embodiment, and somatics.

What Is MindBody Therapy?

MindBody therapy helps us understand and shift what gets in the way of being free, happy, and fully alive.

While traditional therapy focuses on verbal processing and cognitive meaning making, MindBody …

5 Life-Changing Pieces of Advice I Would Give to My Younger Self

“I’d go back to my younger self and say, ‘Lighten up. Take it easy. Relax. Don’t be so anxious about everything. Try not to have today stolen from you by anxiety about yesterday or tomorrow.’” ~Bill Nighy

I believe there is great power in looking back at our past to learn from our experiences, mistakes, and regrets.

The Spanish philosopher George Santayana remarked, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” I might add that the history we need to study the most is our personal history so that we don’t keep making the same mistakes over …