Anger has a bad reputation because people equate feeling angry with doing angry things. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Feelings are not facts, nor are they a call to action. Feelings are not good or bad. They’re just comfortable, uncomfortable or neutral. The art of anger is to be so angry that you can hit someone in the head, but you don’t hit anyone, or cause any harm. Instead, you find a healthy way to express your anger, where nobody is harmed, including you. The art of anger is to experience it, and still make good choices.Read More
I believe the path to healing lies not in rejecting the parts of ourselves that we find painful or distasteful. I believe to feel whole, we need to learn to love all of the parts of ourselves, including our wounded selves that have adopted these negative beliefs and patterns. The task, then, is to learn to love ourselves, not in spite of our wounds and perceived shortcomings, but with all of it. This path involves learning to offer ourselves the same kindness and compassion that we would offer to a wounded child.Read More
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on your experience in the present moment, without judgment – just being with what is. It’s about accepting ourselves, our feelings, our experience, and knowing that we’re okay. It’s easy to believe that just because we’re experiencing difficult feelings – anger, sadness, frustration - that something is wrong and we have to make a change. But what if it’s alright to feel whatever we feel – pleasant or unpleasant – and we’re still okay, even if it’s uncomfortable?Read More
During a meditation retreat I attended, one of the teachers read a teaching in which the Buddha reminded us to "breathe easy."
It's easy to forget about our breathing. In fact most of us never think about it at all, unless we're having trouble with it. But if you pay attention to your breath, you may be surprised by how much it changes as your state of mind changes. You might also notice that you can change your state of mind by changing the way you breathe.Read More
Dave had been clean and sober for 17 years when his father died of alcoholism. He’d been through addiction counseling and psychotherapy. He regularly attended meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, stayed in touch with his AA sponsor and diligently took the necessary steps to stay sober. In fact, it had been more than ten years since Dave had felt the urge to drink or use drugs.
Dave's father was a maintenance alcoholic. He lived alone in a one-room apartment with a bed, a chair, a television and his collection of empty bottles. He drank himself to oblivion every day. Eventually, he drank himself to death.Read More
Are you making sacrifices for someone else’s happiness and not getting much in return? Are you so focused on taking care of other people that you are sacrificing your own physical, emotional or financial well-being? Are you afraid that people won’t love you unless you take care of them?
If the answer is yes to any of these, you may be codependent.Read More
My old friend Chris Primesberger posed an interesting question recently in a post on Facebook:
“Not a big deal,” Chris wrote, “but why can't we say someone died anymore? Passing is what someone does to overtake a slower driver on the freeway.”
I’ve actually pondered this question quite a bit. I’m a grief counselor, and I rarely hear people say someone has died. It’s usually that someone has “passed,” or “transitioned,” or “crossed over.” It seems that in this culture, we’ll do almost anything to avoid using the “d” word, like a name that must not be spoken.Read More
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive approach to trauma treatment. People who have been traumatized experience profound and disturbing symptoms, including anxiety, depression and disturbing and disruptive memories. The relationship between trauma and memory can be difficult to navigate. We don’t always know what triggers a traumatic memory. But for trauma survivors, such memories can feel intrusive and re-traumatizing. It can feel as if the traumatic incident is happening again.Read More