Fear is a part of life. Sometimes we can keep it at bay, but eventually, with certainty, it will creep in like a red tide on an otherwise calm beach. We try to run, but it's faster than we are. We try to hide but it discovers all of our hiding places. Eventually we realize that the only way to ... Views: 228
I could have titled this post with any of the phrases I hear every day from my clients and course members:
"I wish she was thinner."
"I wish he was more successful."
"I wish she had better skin."
"I wish he was more assertive."
"I wish she had a different voice."
But this is the ... Views: 223
We are addicted to our stories. The thoughts come in and take us away on their magic carpet promise of arriving in a land of certainty, where the vulnerability and pain of life can't touch us. We learn early to climb aboard this carpet because, as young people, we usually don't know how to ... Views: 252
We hear a lot about the importance of loving ourselves these days, and how we can't love someone else until we truly love ourselves. While I don't entirely agree with that statement (adult attachment theory shows that it's through secure attachment to loving others that we feel loved and, ... Views: 223
My yoga teacher has said this phrase dozens of times, but one morning it went in differently and landed in the places where breath meets bone, where sinew aches with loss and the water in the pelvic bowl of my hips shimmered like a moonlit lake. The words traveled along ancient blood-lines to ... Views: 255
I often receive a version of the following email:
"Is indifference a sign of relationship anxiety? My partner and I haven't seen each other in two weeks and I feel nothing. I've shut down. I don't care if we split up. My partner even cheated on me and I felt nothing. I don't seem to care ... Views: 283
At the end of one of the interviews in the E-Course, when I asked the interviewee what she would like to say to those who are still in the trenches of relationship anxiety, she responded quite simply with, "Hang on. Hang on. Hang on." Those words have offered a lifeline to countless people who ... Views: 375
Most people are familiar with the heart-aching pain of grief. Most people can identify the empty thud of loneliness. Most people know when they've been pricked by the green-eyed monster of jealousy, or taken under the thick, gray blanket of shame. But how often do we talk about longing?
In ... Views: 299
These are statements I hear quite often in my practice: I feel like I’m lying when I say I love you to my partner. I feel like a fake, an imposter, like I’m leading him/her on. If I don’t feel love, how can I say it? And I’m not always feeling it. In fact, it seems like more often than not I’m ... Views: 556
I wish I had been given one. I wish we all had been handed a Love Manual in a class in high school, and taken levels two and three in college. For there are basic laws and practices we could have learned that would have made the path of intimate relationship so much easier had we only been given ... Views: 535
Love cannot be measured. It cannot be placed in test tubes in a science laboratory or placed on the great scale of life to determine whether or not there’s enough. The anxious/sensitive mind longs for a definite answer to the questions that swirl through its brain - Do I love you enough? What is ... Views: 782
Sometimes an anger surges up in me about how abysmally this culture guides and takes care of its members around transitions. We expect engaged women and men to put on a happy face from proposal through honeymoon, ignoring their innate need to grieve the loss of their singlehood and honor their ... Views: 738
We have an idea in this culture that you either have it or you don’t: You’re athletic or you’re clumsy; you’re a great orator or you stumble over words; you’re talented artistically or you can barely draw a stick figure; love comes easily to you or you struggle to find flow in relationships. ... Views: 552
A few weeks ago I met with two women from my spirituality group. They had never been to my home, and as we stepped onto the deck to begin our meeting they both remarked on the beauty of our land. I found myself qualifying and explaining about the dirt and weeds: “It was a lot more beautiful ... Views: 551
“Our eyes are not viewers; they are also projectors that are running a second story over the picture that we see in front of us all the time. Fear is writing that script. Now fear is going to be a player in your life. You get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, ... Views: 766
We hear a lot about the power of gratitude lately. There seems to have been a hundredth monkey leap in consciousness, a global awareness that gratitude is a powerful and relatively easy way to sweep out the propensity toward negativity and connect to what’s good and right in our world.
For ... Views: 712
There is a room in your heart where sadness dwells. Each story of sadness lives there like a stagnant, frozen particle of light waiting for you to see it, to hold it, to wrap it in a blanket and bring it tea. When you visit your grief place with love, the particles of light start to shimmer and ... Views: 704
At the core of each human being rests a heart full of love, tinged with sadness and aching with longing. Some would say this longing points to our awareness of our original separation from a divine source, the knowing that we are all one yet painfully separated from each another because of this ... Views: 758
One the many problems of living in an image-based, superficial culture is that we learn to take life at face value. You have a dream about having sex with someone other than your partner and you latch onto the most obvious interpretation that you secretly want to have sex with someone else. You ... Views: 717
A few weeks ago my family and I spent five days up in the mountains. Overall, it was a lovely vacation, with much laughter, hiking, game-playing, and boating. But for some reason my husband and I were in one those spells when we bumped heads at some point each day. Perhaps it was hormones or ... Views: 668
If you follow my work you know that I view anxiety quite differently than most people. Instead of seeing it as something to eliminate as quickly as possible – usually with medication – I see it as the soul’s way of communicating, via the vessel of the body, that something is awry inside and is ... Views: 751
We all carry within us a well of Self. We can’t see this well, but we know when the waters are clear and full or when they’re low and flecked with the dark matter of the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves. We know when the waters are warm from the time, interest, and compassion we pour into ... Views: 748
Inspired by the courageous, wise members of my July 2014 Trust Yourself program. Quotes from the forum reprinted with permission.
My family and I were driving into town last summer when we saw a blue van pass by with the words “Mr. Pool” printed on the side.
“There goes Mr. Pool,” I ... Views: 672
“I’m just an anxious person,” I often hear my clients and program members say. The statement underlines a common globalization belief intrinsic to many who struggle with anxiety, which is: I’m anxious, I’ve always been anxious and I’ll always be anxious. In other words, anxiety is just in my ... Views: 501
When fear pricks the heart it flies in the face of every message about love we absorb from the culture: that love should provide a safe haven against the storms of life; that love should be easy; that love and fear are mutually exclusive, and that if fear enters the picture it means something is ... Views: 444
There is so much pain in this world. There’s personal pain that often takes the form of anxiety, depression, addictions, and intrusive thoughts. There’s the physical pain of illness, injury, and disabilities, both short-term and chronic. There’s relationship pain when we endure conflict with ... Views: 562
Light fading, time passing, big boy is ten, baby isn’t a baby and the time for having babies is over. The pregnant woman in the check-out line and it’s eleven years ago, pregnant with my own belly of hope and love, on the threshold of everything new and exciting. There was pain then, too, but ... Views: 558
We all long for a peaceful life. We search for peace through the mediums that our culture sells: through spending, watching television, searching the Internet, finding the “perfect” partner, having a baby, and a variety of other misguided methods. We even meditate, practice yoga, and attend ... Views: 1171
A baby is born. You gaze upon the baby and see an angel’s face, impossibly smooth skin still flecked with gold, hair like spun silk, clear eyes, and then the smile that breaks your heart into a thousand pieces. You see the incarnation of goodness, the flesh definition of purity and light. You ... Views: 796
I’ve been thinking a lot about projection lately, especially since many of my engaged and newlywed clients have been perseverating on the thought, “I don’t love him/her.” This is such an important and complex topic that I’ve written about it several times, but let me say it more clearly here: ... Views: 709
Fear’s entire mission in life is to keep you safe from the risk of loving. It sees love as a dangerous cesspool where the invisible sea creatures lurk beneath the dark surface, waiting to snatch you into their murky waters. Fear believes that if you risk your heart through committed loving you ... Views: 2294
One of the slogans in the 12-step programs is One Day At A Time. In the life of someone enduring a transition - whether in the midst of a break up, becoming a mother, trying to conceive, or retiring - a more appropriate and helpful phrase is One Moment At A Time.
This topic recently emerged ... Views: 846
At some point in my counseling work, I hear a recurrent belief or thought that surfaces for my clients. It’s the belief that tends to wreak havoc on my client’s psyche, the one that’s been with him or her since childhood. Most people are so fused with this false belief or negative thought that ... Views: 791
Living with kids close to nature and on a creek, I find that my fear-mind has many opportunities to reveal itself. In spring, when the creek swells to river stature and rushes in white-lipped rapids, I worry that one of my kids will somehow escape through the gate and… In summer, as we gleefully ... Views: 1220
A few weeks ago had a great session with the man I’ve referred to as “Matthew” in these posts. We’ve been working together for quite some time and have uncovered layer upon layer of false beliefs that are contributing to his unhappiness. But in this particular session we uncovered what I believe ... Views: 966
During my search for new recipes for my little vegetarian son (who declared he was a vegetarian about nine months ago; you can read about it on my blog), I stumbled upon a beautiful and inspiring book called, Healthy at 100, by John Robbins (author of Diet for a New America). As my current life ... Views: 1195
At the heart of transitioning consciously is the willingness to grieve. Sometimes grief arises unbidden as a pang of emptiness; sometimes it wells up in a bubble of memory about a former house; sometimes it appears as a longing for a past experience or stage of life; sometimes it comes barreling ... Views: 1017
My son is still struggling with his nighttime fears. He’s been engaged in this battle for a year and a half and, while he’s no longer in a state of terror, the fear creeps up steadily enough to prevent him from falling asleep easily. We’ve introduced him to every technique and tool we can think ... Views: 837
“Something valid and necessary takes flight when it senses deep attachment, and this flight also seems so deeply rooted as to be an honest expression of soul. Our ultimate goal is to find ways to embrace both attachment and resistance to attachment, and the only way to that reconciliation of ... Views: 730
Transitions, like grief, have their own timetable. Despite one's best efforts to rush along the difficult feelings and anxious thoughts, each person will traverse the terrain of transitions according to their own internal needs and rhythm. While major life transitions like getting married or ... Views: 694
“Perfection is for the Gods; completeness and wholeness is the most humans can hope for.” – Marion Woodman
One of the most common and pernicious beliefs among my engaged and newlywed clients is that they’re supposed to marry their perfect match. While they may be rationally aware that ... Views: 921
Around the sixth month of my pregnancy with my second son, my hip locked up to the point of debilitating pain. I had experienced something similar in my first pregnancy, but the second time was more extreme and I knew I needed help. I booked an appointment with a bodyworker and hobbled my way to ... Views: 794
When I first began doing research for Conscious Motherhood - both the book (yet to be published) and the website - I was struck by the recurrent theme among new parents about how challenging it was to let go. The specific area of challenge differed from each person, ranging from letting go of ... Views: 753
My clients call me with a variety of anxiety-based questions (many of which I’ve discussed in previous articles): Does my anxiety mean that I don’t love my fiancé enough? How do I know that I’m making the right decision? Is there someone out there who’s better for me? Does the fact that I’m not ... Views: 1664
Most people in an intimate relationship will, at some point, find themselves stuck in a projection about their partner. Projections are a bit challenging to define and even more challenging to see it when you’re in it. In Wikipedia’s words:
“Psychological projection or projection bias ... Views: 3531
Transitions provide continual opportunities to practice the art of the letting go. At each new threshold, the task is to let go of the old lifestyle, identity, and belief systems that are no longer serving us so that we can gracefully move into the new stage. The adolescent lets go of childhood. ... Views: 2960
When my grandparents got married in the 1930s, I’m quite certain neither one of them had the kind of engagement anxiety I see among people today. My grandmother did experience grief about leaving her mother and two sisters and the difficult feelings were displaced onto her wedding dress and veil ... Views: 3389
Transitions render us more vulnerable emotionally and psychologically than during other times in our lives. Being in a transition means that we are between stages and identities: no longer single but not quite married; no longer a non-mother but not quite a mother. These in-between zones are ... Views: 2962
While I was researching and writing “The Conscious Bride” thirteen years ago, I simultaneously took notes and interviewed for the obvious sequel, “The Conscious Groom”. But when I presented the idea to my publisher they said that there simply wasn’t a male market for that kind of book. Perhaps ... Views: 1839
When my clients are struggling with engagement anxiety and marriage fear, they often ask what they can do between sessions to help alleviate their suffering. I offer a variety of specific exercises depending on the details of the client’s story, but there is one exercise I suggest to all my ... Views: 3353