General

Fueled By or Ruled By?

Do you know the difference between something that inspires you and something that controls you? Can you tell the difference between motivation and compulsion? It's not always easy to tell the difference.

Time Trip Tips

Living 'here and now' is not easy to do for any significant length of time. We are constantly being swept back into our remembered past or forward into our imagined future.

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Ten Will Get You Fifty

People obviously seek psychotherapy or counseling to make changes in some part of their lives, and nobody wants to engage in a lot of effort for only minimal benefit.  I sometimes use the phrase "ten will get you fifty" to describe situations in which a small effort can yield a large reward.

Make Your Bed

It’s difficult to know exactly what each day will bring for you to face: if life shows us anything it’s that uncertainties abound and challenges may spring up when least expected or desired.  Sometimes it may seem like every minute is filled with a task to accomplish…..a need to meet…..a fire to put out.
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Wisdom Quote: It's Never a Straight Line

"It's never a straight line."  -Geri Larkin

We think the shortest path between two points is a straight line. While this may be true in physics it is seldom the case in personal growth. You don't go from your starting point to your destination without detours, obstacles, curves, roadblocks, false starts, setbacks and other barriers to your goal. That's just how a hero's journey unfolds (and in case you've forgotten or have never been told, that's what your life is about).

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Everybody's Weird

I had a client recently who said "I just want to feel normal." I certainly understand the sentiment and yet my reaction when I hear this fairly common goal is mixed. Generally I find that the underlying desire for "normal" is a need to feel OK in your own skin, to feel accepted and acceptable. At the root is some combination of shame and exhaustion: shame (the wellspring of most dysfunction) at feeling somehow defective and exhaustion at trying so hard to achieve an elusive peace of mind.

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Two Types of Power

Many years ago I read a little book called "The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How To Recognize It And How To Respond", by Patricia Evans. I still recommend this book (despite its unfortunate tendency toward anti-male bias) for its admirable job of highlighting the many types of verbal abuse. These include many subtle forms that may slip by unnoticed, such as discounting ("Oh, that's nothing"), blocking ("I don't want to talk about it"), diverting ("That's not the real issue, this is"),and trivializing ("Whatever"), all of which reinforce an unbalanced power dynamic.

Confusion Equals Progress

Recently I thought I heard someone say these words: "confusion is progress."

Maybe that's not, in fact, what the person actually said, but that's what the words sounded like to me. As I pondered these words I became more confused about what they meant, so I spent a few moments in a state of reflection while smiling that I found myself confused about a statement about confusion!

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10 Steps To Better Emotional Health

Picture of man climbing steps

The hectic pace of life can present a real challenge to the maintenance of good emotional health on a day-to-day basis. It’s no wonder that many of the most-prescribed medications treat symptoms related to stress that arises from “lifestyle” problems such as insomnia, high blood pressure and cholesterol, depression, sexual dysfunction….. the list goes on and on. But a few simple steps can help preserve emotional balance in the face of all the challenges and demands of modern life. Here are ten suggestions to help you insure the maintenance of good emotional health in your daily life:

Now or Later?

True conscious growth is often difficult to achieve. Whether it's exercising regularly to grow stronger physically, studying a difficult subject to gain deeper knowledge, facing deep fears to transform to develop greater courage, going through the discomfort of withdrawal to break free of addiction or working through an emotional conflict to improve a relationship with a person you care about, there is generally a lot of pain on the front end. The first push-ups are the hardest.

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