It's hard, being a person! Now, don't get me wrong. I love being a person, too! It's one of the best things I've ever done. We all, however, without exception, have real challenges to face, and so we need real compassion.
Why Your Huge Breakthroughs Don't Stick
About that huge breakthrough you just had. Could it, perhaps, have been more of a peekthrough? If so, you need ways to get from this glimpse of what's possible to an integrated, sustainable way of being that will last.
Making Friends With Your Inner Critic
Who needs an inner critic? They’re mean, and they make you feel bad. Like all aspects of your consciousness, however, your inner critic has an essential role to play. In order for it to play that role, you first have to make friends with it.
The Grief Cheatsheet: 6 Essential Reminders About How to Grieve
In communities where crying is discouraged and endings are not properly honored, we have had to rediscover how to fully and honestly grieve. Here are six useful principles to remember as we grieve together.
When you're triggered, your connection with the present is replaced by a state of unconscious reactivity in which you totally confuse the present and the past. Learn to distinguish the present from the past, and you can become less triggerable over time.
Don't (Just) Get Angry
You Are What You Repeat
What are the things that you do every day, over and over again? Do the things you repeat contribute to you becoming the person you most wish to be? The fabric of your life is composed of these repetitions. Out of what materials are you weaving that fabric?
What to Do When You're Feeling Sorry for Yourself
When you're feeling sorry for yourself, there's something you're after, something you genuinely need. Want to find out how to get it? All you need to start is a memory of someone or some situation that has really done you wrong. Got one? Awesome! Click play to learn what to do next.
Are You a Leader?
Are you a leader? Some people answer with an unqualified yes; some wish they could be leaders; some wonder why they would ever want to be a leader. Leadership is for everyone. If you, or your clients, are not leading in your life, there's some important work for you to do.
Which Story Do You Want To Tell?
Life is an ongoing choose-your-own-adventure story. Thinking about the kind of story you'd like to be able to tell about your experiences later can help you make choices about what to do, and how to do it, as you go throughout your day.
If you want to develop your will, it needs exercise! Taking on deliberate challenges gives you an opportunity to exercise your will. Just the practice of getting to the other side of challenging activities helps you believe you can do it. And there are some tricks to help you get stronger along the way.
The Ecology of Rest
How much do you let yourself rest? Is it as much as you need? Because we learn to value ourselves on the basis of our productivity, we tend to get less than the ideal quantity of rest, and much of the rest we do get is not quality rest.
A Few Degrees Difference
Small changes can make big differences. We underestimate the power of small adjustments. Often, you can get where you want to go by adjusting course just a few degrees. This video suggests four principles to keep in mind while making small changes.
States, Stages, and Peak Experiences
Peak experiences give you a glimpse of what's possible, of who you might become at a later stage of your development. Once you've had the experience, it keeps pulling you in the direction you wish to grow. For maximum growth, seek out peak experiences, and then help create them for others.
We have been brainwashed into believing that our beauty is conditional, and, unfortunately, we never seem to quite meet the right conditions. There's some deconditioning we've got to do, to see ourselves and each other more clearly. Once we clear our vision, we really are surrounded by beauty.
The Anti-Manifestation Manifesto
Using only the power of your thoughts, you can wish for anything you want! To go from wishing to getting what you wish for, however, takes more than mere thinking. Have you fallen into the manifestation trap, believing that if you think hard enough about what you want, you'll be able to get it without needing to act on your own behalf?
Thwarting Loneliness on the Path to Transformation
The Dangers of Oversimplicating
Articles on Personal Growth and Transformation
Depression, Anxiety, and the Mismanagement of Aliveness
Could the thing that depression is not enough of, and the thing that anxiety is too much of, be the same thing? If you are able to meet and overcome life's challenges, you will be suffused with a feeling of aliveness. If you fail to meet life's challenges, and you will be faced with one of the two fundamental dilemmas of aliveness.
5 Ways to Make Your Life More Like Burning Man
Burning Man provides unusual opportunities for freedom, self-expression, immediacy, creativity, and community. These opportunities need not be so unusual. The best part of Burning Man can be available everywhere, every day.
High Quality Crying
Crying has a purpose. Something is trying to happen when you cry. When it fails to happen, you're left feeling worse. When it succeeds, you not only feel better in the moment, but you are positively changed by the experience.
How to Sleep
Sleeping is a skill. Not everyone knows how to sleep. You can develop this capacity by learning to release emotional tensions that interfere with sleep, and to alter your state of consciousness to be more sleep-promoting.
5 Ways You'll Get Dissed by Burning Man
Paths to Liberation
Addiction as a Path to Liberation
Disturbances in our lives, like addiction, seem to be in the way of our liberation. If we know how to look, our addictions can show us what our souls are seeking, so we can meet those needs in more integrated, less destructive ways.
Depression as a Path to Liberation
It's easy to lose the path to liberation. How can you find it again if you're busy walking in the wrong direction? Luckily, some disturbances in our lives stop us in our tracks, prevent us from continuing going the wrong way. Almost nothing is more effective at stopping us in our tracks than depression.
Anxiety as a Path to Liberation
Anxiety is what you get when you outgrow your working model of the world. Anxiety is the stuff that leaks out when your working model of the world starts bursting at the seams. Anxiety is what compels you to come up with a bigger, better model.
Free Your Mind
The Witness Meditation
This meditation is designed to strengthen the witness. By witnessing your sensations, emotions, thoughts, and experiences, as they come and go and shift and change, the part of you that doesn't change, the witness, becomes stronger.
Follow the Absurd
There are ways you don’t fit in, beliefs and behaviors of yours that are outrageous, ways the world is that have never made sense to you. Let these lead the way, and they can show you how to make your unique contribution.
Decolonize Your Mind
We have become complicit with the mental regime installed by our colonizers. We can't easily tell which thoughts are ours and which ones we were programmed to think. To decolonize your mind, you have to question some of the most basic ideas you take for granted.
Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable
Because of discomfort's essential role in creating change, it's a good idea to get comfortable with discomfort, yours and others'. What causes discomfort, and how should you work with it when it arises?
How to Live to 300
I've got a proposition for you about your lifespan. Since you don't know how long you're going to live anyway, how would you like to hang around with me for the next two or three hundred years?
Openness to Experience
Have you had any firsts this week? Y'know, firsts: things you've never done before, new experiences, new experiments. Firsts help you to cultivate openness to experience, a personality trait that makes life far more interesting and growth far more likely.
Living an Off-Trail Life
Trails exist not just in the physical world, but in our minds and in our relationships as well. How have you learned to limit your very thoughts and ways of relating to the paths that were laid out for you before you got here?
The Dangers of Oversimplicating
Courage Makes You Safer
Some scary things are just a part of everyday life. You can't avoid them, so instead you have to figure out how to respond to the things that scare you. Courage is not most people's default response to fear, but, paradoxically, it turns out to be the response that makes you the safest.
With the right kind of support, fear can be discharged as you're feeling it. You can let yourself feel it and express it so that it moves through you, leaving you more capable of doing things that scare you. This video is an authentic demonstration of discharging fear while rock climbing 13,000 feet up on a mountain ridge.
Chilling Out, Freaking Out, and Checking Out
When fear becomes too much to handle, you have three options. You can check out, shutting down to escape an otherwise overwhelming experience. You can freak out, shaking, screaming, and otherwise expressing the fear to get energy moving. You can chill out, calming your system down and diffusing the emotion.
Slowly Approach the Object of Fear
There is a formula for overcoming fear. The process of overcoming fears (in forms such as phobias and post-traumatic stress) has been one of the most replicable and scientifically-validated techniques in the entire world of counseling.
Videos on Counseling and Coaching
Don't Fix Anything
In the world of ordinary conversations, when someone has a problem, someone else offers advice or tries to solve it. When nothing better is available, this seems pretty good. We have something much better available.
How To Be Biased
Admit it; you're biased! Maybe you've learned that as a counselor you're not supposed to have biases, but that's just not possible. Since you're going to be biased anyway, you might as well choose how to be biased.
Making Friends with Your Clients
Can counselors make friends with their clients? Should they? Here are some reasons why people have been told that counselors shouldn't become friends with their clients, and some even better reasons why they should.
Finite and Infinite Coaching
Coaching is a metaphor that comes from sports. Sports are finite games. As a result, most coaches, without realizing it, are finite coaches. Finite coaches help their clients achieve goals. Infinite coaches go much further.
Teaching Couples To Be Allies
As a couples counselor, the most powerful thing you can do for the couples you work with is to teach them to be allies for one another. After all, they spend far more time with each other than they ever will with you.
Why Counseling Should be More Like Dating (and vice versa)
Dating and counseling share the goal of creating an unusual depth of intimacy in an unusually short period of time. To be a compelling counselor, do the same things that make you an appealing person to date.
Don't (Just) Get Angry
Overcoming oppression is one of the key things your clients need your help to do, yet they may not understand the ways they've been hurt and limited by oppression. That makes it all the more important that YOU understand it.
Feeling Stuck? Try Enlightenment!
Why should only a few people at the top of the spiritual pyramid have access to enlightenment? Enlightenment is for everyone! All you need to do is have high expectations for yourself and your clients, and follow a few simple steps.
Articles on Counseling and Coaching
Don't (Just) Get Angry
Thinking for Yourself About What's Ethical
Following rules does not make a person ethical. Becoming truly ethical calls on you first to distinguish between real (proactive) ethics and cover-your-ass (defensive) ethics, and then to think for yourself about what's right.
Varieties of Change in Counseling Relationships
Like it or not, we keep changing. Counseling is about facilitating deliberate and desirable varieties of change. Knowing the differences between healing, growth, and liberation will make you a more effective change artist.
Don't Trust Your Feelings: Somatics and the Pre/Trans Fallacy
Somatics has helped the disembodied field of counseling to get back on the ground. Just because something is somatic, however, doesn't make it helpful. Integrating the body with other levels of human experience is the real goal.
Videos on Relationships
The Life Cycle of Relationships
Have you ever been in a relationship that's ended? Understanding the stages of the life cycle of relationships can help you make sense of why they end, and how to better enjoy each stage along the way.
The Other Safe Sex Conversation
The other safe sex conversation starts with an obvious, and yet not-so-simple, question. Once you start asking it, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.
How to Flirt (with everything)
There's a secret to flirting. When you flirt, you suggest that there's a possibility around the corner, something exciting and good and mysterious that could happen. If you flirt this way with everything, everything flirts back!
The original model of friendship seemed like some pretty good stuff until the upgrade came along! Friendship 2.0 makes a richer, more deeply satisfying kind of friendship possible! Three qualities characterize the deeper variety.
The Intimacy Equation
How do you create intimacy? It's not hard to do. I've distilled it down to a simple addition problem. Here's how to put two simple components together to perform profound relational arithmetic .
Your Partner Is Not Who You Think They Are
You and your partner want different things. If you're assuming that you're just similar people with momentarily competing needs, you're missing something. Your partner is not who you think they are.
How To Be Attractive
Did you grow up learning that some people are just attractive and others just aren't? As it turns out, you become attractive when you become more and more yourself, when the full you-ness of you shines through to your outward form.
Getting Good at Getting Rejected
The path to an awesome life is paved with rejections. To practice asking for what you want, so that you keep getting better results, also means you'll get rejected a lot along the way. Since rejection is a necessary part of the process, you might as well get good at getting rejected.
How to Fulfill All Your Sexual Fantasies
Sexual fantasies reveal to us some of our deepest desires. Every last one of your sexual fantasies can be fulfilled. You just have to know what fulfilling them means, and it doesn't mean what you think it does.
How To Make Friends With Anyone
Here are three simple steps for making friends with anyone: 1.) Assume they want to be friends. 2.) Meet them where they're at. 3.) Shower them with love.
Deep Dating: The New Rules For Creating Intimacy
Thwarting Loneliness on the Path to Transformation
Articles on Relationships
Why Men Are So Obsessed With Sex
Boys are conditioned to be men. This conditioning cuts us off from intimacy, our feelings, and our bodies. If sex is the only place we can access these parts of our humanity, we will continue to be obsessed with it.
6 Steps to Completing Relationships
All relationships end. We live in a culture that pours energy into beginning relationships well, but not into ending them well. It is possible, at the end of a relationship, to resolve everything in need of resolution.
Which do you prefer: conditional or unconditional love? Though unconditional love is what we ultimately need, conditional love seems to be what most of us seek most of the time. Are you ready to kick the conditional love habit?
Deep Dating: The New Rules For Creating Intimacy
Ending Jealousy Permanently
Naming Is Framing - Ending Jealousy Permanently (Part 1)
How would you like to no longer experience jealousy? Impossible, you say? How can we ever be free of our basic human emotions, you ask? Well, we can't. Fortunately, jealousy is not a basic human emotion. Part 1 of 6.
If you stop using the word "jealousy", and instead pay close attention to what's actually happening underneath the label, what do you notice? This is not an easy question to answer. It takes a kind of mad curiosity about your own experience to really notice what's going on.
The Loving Yourself Project - Ending Jealousy Permanently (Part 3)
Insecurity is learned. We internalize the belief that we are inadequate and act on it by being hard on ourselves. Like all the structures of meaning that keep suffering in place, it can be dismantled and replaced with something better. The Loving Yourself Project is a set of practices and beliefs to replace the ones that make up insecurity.
The Deepening Intimacy Project - Ending Jealousy Permanently (Part 4)
We fear there will not be enough love for us. Belief in the scarcity of intimacy has self-fulfilling consequences. The Deepening Intimacy Project is a set of practices and beliefs to replace the ones that make up scarcity.
The Enjoying Aloneness Project - Ending Jealousy Permanently (Part 5)
Loneliness is some hard core business. Codependency can be a helpful protection against feelings of loneliness, but it has some unfortunate side effects. The Enjoying Aloneness Project is a set of practices and beliefs to replace the ones that make up codependency.
The Loving What Is Project - Ending Jealousy Permanently (Part 6)
Do you ever feel like a victim, either of circumstances, or of what you think other people have done to you? The Loving What Is Project can help you practice accepting that what happens simply happens, and that change is inevitable.