Books Articles

Developing Self-Awareness as a Parent

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Developing Self-Awareness as a ParentFor parents, being self-aware is key for connecting to their kids. When parents aren’t self-aware, they might get caught up in their own emotions instead of being present with their children. They also might not recognize that they’re unconsciously repeating the patterns of their own childhoods in their parenting today.

As Carla Naumburg, Ph.D, writes in her book Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters, “The coping skills and autonomic responses we develop over the years are like the air we breathe. More often than not, we don’t notice that air until it’s choking us.”

How to Detach from Both Criticism and Praise

Friday, November 7th, 2014

joy in the new yearCriticism stings. Many of us may be so focused on protecting ourselves from the potential pain of criticism that we start to tailor our work — and our lives — to avoid it. We may let criticism dictate everything from the ideas we bring up in a board meeting to the passions we pursue.

Interestingly, we do the same with praise. We get so used to positive feedback that we may change how we act. And, when we don’t receive the accolades and applause, we start questioning ourselves and feeling like failures.

It’s Not That I Stopped Thinking…

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

It’s Not That I Stopped Thinking…I’ve often attributed my success in managing bipolar disorder to the meditation practice I added to my treatment regimen years ago. While there’s no doubt that the noticing involved in meditation has helped me head off major episodes of mania and depression, I changed something else in my life at about the same time I began to practice. This adaptation may have equal weight in my wellness. What did I change? I stopped reading fiction.

ADHD and Women: When Your Senses Are Extra Sensitive

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

ADHD and Women: When Your Senses Are Extra SensitivePsychotherapist Terry Matlen thought she was losing her hearing. Every time she’d talk on the phone, she couldn’t hear what the other person was saying if other sounds were present. Even a quiet TV and a loved one talking hampered her hearing.

But when she went to get tested, she actually learned that she has better hearing than most people her age.

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s Creativity

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

5 More Ways to Cultivate Your Child’s CreativityLast month I interviewed Tom Sturges, a music executive and mentor, about his tips for cultivating creativity in kids. This month I wanted to share some great tips from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cameron, she penned a bestselling book on the creative process called The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity. She’s also a novelist, playwright, songwriter and poet.

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process “Creativity is a gift, from life to us,” according to Tom Sturges in his book Every Idea is a Good Idea: How Songwriters and Other Working Artists Get It Done.

It exists in various forms and flavors, but all of us have it. And when we tap into our creativity, he writes, it is then that “we are most human.”

Owning Our Dark Sides

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Owning Our Dark Sides All of us have a dark side. This dark side includes qualities we don’t dare reveal to others. It’s the traits we are ashamed of and embarrassed about. It’s the traits others have rejected. It’s the traits we believe deem us undeserving or unworthy of love.

You may be judgmental, weak, angry, lazy, selfish or controlling. You may hate this about yourself. Or you might’ve buried these traits so deep you don’t even realize they exist.

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive Change

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive ChangeGood questions can be powerful in life-changing ways. They can spark exciting ideas and inventions. They can spark personal discoveries, which lead to fulfilling, meaningful lives.

According to historian David Hackett Fischer, questions “are the engines of intellect — cerebral machines that convert curiosity into controlled inquiry.”

Author and journalist Warren Berger includes Fischer’s quote in his fascinating book A More Beautiful Question. In it, he shares inspiring, interesting stories of people who’ve asked powerful questions and created innovative businesses and changed their and others’ lives for the better.

The Power of Curiosity: 3 Strategies for Staying Curious

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / James JordanAs kids we’re insatiably inquisitive. Everything — from cups to cupboards to dirt to our own hands — fascinates us. But for many of us, as we start getting older, we lose our appetite for curiosity.

And yet curiosity is powerful. It adds color, vibrancy, passion and pleasure to our lives. It helps us solve stubborn problems. It helps us do better in school and work. And even more so, it is our birthright, as Ian Leslie writes in his book Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It.

You Have the Right to Say No

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

You Have the Right to Say NoSo many of us end up saying yes to activities, events and even ideas only to regret it. We end up answering questions that are too personal or downright rude. We let people into our lives who don’t deserve to be there.

Or we say no, and then worry — endlessly — if we really have the right to decline a request or invitation, to stop spending less time with a friend.

According to authors James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher in their new book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness, not only do we have the right to say no, we have an entire Bill of Rights for doing so.

Overcoming Shame to Connect with Your True Self

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Overcoming Shame to Connect with Your True SelfEach of us experiences shame.

“[I]t is part of our human condition,” writes author and therapist Darlene Lancer, LMFT, in Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You.

Without good coping skills, we may feel like failures when we don’t meet our own or others’ expectations, she writes. In fact, shame can even prevent us from being our true selves. Shame often starts in childhood. It can even get passed down from generation to generation.

Dealing with Depression: Mindfully Turning Toward Negative Thoughts & Feelings

Monday, August 4th, 2014

depression-have-an-upsideDoes this sound familiar?

I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m anxious, I start thinking of ways I can be in control. So many little things have been bothering me lately, which only makes me madder at myself for letting them bother me. I wish I were different. When I get upset, I start thinking about what I did wrong. About what’s wrong with me.

These are all examples of aversion. “Aversion is the drive to avoid, escape, get rid of, numb out from, or destroy things we experience as unpleasant,” according to authors John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress.

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