The smell of baked bread. The scent of fresh oranges. The aroma of roses. We don’t need to be passing a bakery, slicing citrus in the kitchen, or strolling in a garden to get an immediate and pleasurable sense and the mere mention of these. If you want, you may even take a moment, right… Continue Reading Trauma 101: Aromatherapy
Change is hard. Big change is really hard. We’ve had an onslaught of big change recently, and many of us are reeling. First, Covid hit, and we had to adjust to social distancing. Masks. Lost jobs. Lost opportunities for education, at least temporarily, though how temporarily is anyone’s guess. Isolation. Or having to live in… Continue Reading Change is Hard: On BLM and the Pandemic
You’re in your first few months. So give yourself a break. Self-motivation isn’t easy. What is easy is listening to your depressed brain, which tells you you shouldn’t move. Continue Reading Got the Covid Blues? Why Motivation is Particularly Hard Now
First, don’t panic. We humans have been here before, many times throughout our history. And yes, temporarily, we’ll have to do without some items. But the vast majority of us will pull through. Here are some changes I’m making in my practice that are intended to help with this: I’m still seeing clients who feel… Continue Reading Covid 19 changes (Corona Virus 19)
She’s scaling the stony edifice of a Colorado mountain, a rope tied to her belt linking her with the Outward Bound leader above, and I am marveling at her. Like a spider monkey, she’s reaching out with strong arms to find the holds above, extending her legs wide for the support that the earth has… Continue Reading Too perfect? The case for imperfection
A new illness is sweeping this country, and you may have it! Answer the following questions: When a friend starts telling you their troubles, do you get a glaze in your eyes and look for the nearest door? When you see a post that describes a social injustice, do you immediately move on to the… Continue Reading Are You A Perturbaphobe? There’s Help For That!
Anxiety is not a choice. It’s not a characterological weakness. It’s a kink in your biological software. Sadly, the mood-as-a-choice crowd has been growing in the last decade or two, making it worse. Now, not only do you stutter in a crowd, have difficulty making eye contact, or find your obsessive thoughts getting in the way of rational decision-making, but you understand these to be signs of failure on your part. The shame, then, of being incompetent, unfriendly and untrustworthy, stupid, and my favorite absurdity, “attention-seeking,” makes it almost impossible for you to simply work with your physical self to heal it, because even admitting your anxiety is embarrassing. Once you can get past your shame however, and simply allow yourself with guidance to gently, compassionately step into your anxious body, you have the power to bring flow to the log-jam of chronic anxiety. Continue Reading Anxiety, Embodied: The Biology of “Mental” Illness
Our refusal to bring mental illness itself into the light of day, de-shaming it and thereby allowing those currently struggling with depression and anxiety to feel much more open to admitting their need for help, only sets us up for more shocking surprises, from Columbine to Parkland. We suffer from morbusanimiphobia! Continue Reading Here’s an Idea for Curbing Gun Violence: Stop the Nut-Shaming
Therapy is hard work. It’s so much more that talking about your problems with the fantasy that at some point, they’re just going to go away! If you don’t have the skill set for recovery, for catching your breath, for resting the body that produces thought, you’re probably wise to stay on the surface and out of that body. But you won’t heal. That’s what twenty years and over a thousand clients have taught me. The path to your healing begins with the ability to find your ease. Relax. Continue Reading Relax! The Case for Taking It Easy as a Path to Mental Wellness
For the last month, you’ve probably been off-schedule, regardless of how or if you’ve celebrated the holidays. Truth is, like infants, it’s surprisingly easy to get us humans off-schedule. In somatic terms, we become more disregulated. For many of us who have healthy-enough nervous systems, we can get back in gear with a few practices and some time. Many of us don’t even realize we’re doing it, when we cut out sugar, return to a regular bed-time, return to baseline on the amount of human contact we allow in a particular day. Come January 2nd, you step back into ordinary life. And while the season’s stressors are a relief to see in the rear-view mirror, most of us, even those who really hate this time of year, may feel a bit of a let-down. Somehow, the banal suggestion that one find a way to carry some wisdom, or some element of beauty, into mundane life feels lame.