Why Your Super Ego is not a Super Hero

Most Super Villains have hideouts. You remember the Nightclub Lounge, base operations for the Penguin, or the Ha-Ha-Hacienda, lair of the Joker, both arch-enemies of Batman. Or there was LexCorp, headquarters for Lex Luthor, nemesis of Superman. But even Batman hid out in his Batcave, and Superman occasionally escaped to the arctic Fortress of Solitude, the planet’s memorial to Krypton. read more

The Truth about Self-Loathing (and How to Cure It)

I’ve parented four teenagers, and am still in the process of raising two. One of whom just went to college, so my level of influence on her is quite limited, but there’s still the sense that I have some role in her life, even if mostly to support her in her own path. If I could be an octopus mother, I would. read more

How to Face Your Fears Without Needing a Flashlight

I learned, in my recent move across the country, that I have an obsession with flashlights. I counted twelve flashlights total once I unpacked everything on the California side of the move. A few were still in their packaging, and some had expired batteries. That’s a flashlight for every room of the house, including the bathrooms, plus the garage and car. read more

On Being Naked and Ready for the Leap

I’m taking a leap. It’s a leap of faith, basically, that my life will be as good as it is now on the other side of the leap. And I know it will, but it doesn’t mean it's been easy, or there hasn't been serious stretching involved. And here’s the leap. read more

How to End Difficult Conversations in Record Time

I have a colleague who practices the Japanese martial art aikido, and after many years of practice finally earned his black belt in his late 60’s. He attributes the delay in earning this distinction to the fact that it took him a long time to overcome the habit of wanting to resist his opponent. He discovered that when you resist your “attacker,” you restrict the energy you have available to fight your opponent. Life is like that. read more

Mastering Crucial Conversations As If Your Life Depended On It (Hint: It Does)

Do you ever find yourself trying to communicate with someone who isn’t hearing anything you say? Perhaps they talk over or interrupt you, or even worse, make you feel bad for saying what needs to be said. Or maybe you try to share something important, that really matters to you with a partner or coworker, and they ignore you or walk away. read more

How to Make Stressful Decisions without Taxing Your Brain

I’ve had to make some pretty tough decisions in my life. I remember deciding whether to take a job midway through my career. It offered better pay and more flexibility to handle my small children, but it wasn’t the work I dreamed of doing. It was a hard decision and I won’t forget the struggle associated with it. You’ve probably had a similar time in your life, where you were struggling with a big decision and feeling anxious or stressed about how to move forward. read more

How Stuffing Your Emotions Is Like a Demolition Derby

Recently I hiked with my family to the foot of a majestic waterfall near the top of the Colorado Rockies. The melting snow on this blazing hot day yielded a roaring tumult that eventually wound down to a rumbling creek and then into an alpine lake. It was a spectacular scene- the raw beauty and force of nature. Yet, as it wound its way down the mountain, the water had to make its way around large trees capsized by years of spring runoff. read more

How to End Suffering Without Being Pollyanish

Have you ever awakened early on a summer morning, anticipating a warm sunny day outside, only to find that the luminous weather forecast had turned cloudy? At least for me, serious disappointment can set in when I see the overcast sky and the needle on the thermometer left of center, especially when I’m feeling a bit moody after a long winter and rainy spring. read more

How to Lose the Shame Without Hurting Yourself

Recently, with the honest feedback of my family and their generous way of sharing all the ways that I annoy them, I realized that I spend way more time offering them advice and guidance than they need from me. It’s a habit learned when my children were small, and it spilled over into other parts of my life (my spouse concurs). Yet, if the rolling of the eyes is any indication (not to mention the outright complaints), they’d be delighted if I never offered insights, lessons learned or tips for survival. Ever again. read more