Spirituality Articles

Breath Practice Made Simple

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Flickr/Mae ChevretteBreath is your most accessible and portable tool to calm and center yourself. Breath techniques are ancient and are practiced world-wide in different religious and spiritual practices, as part of various healing modalities, and in yoga, martial arts, and other physical activities.

The breath is always with us, but we generally take it for granted.

8 Building Blocks for Resilience

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

8 Building Blocks for ResilienceResilience is the ability to adapt to stress and change,  to bounce back and rebound from negative experiences and the wear and tear of daily life. Resilience is a skills set that may be learned and practiced and benefits grow and accumulate over time.

These are a few of the myriad ways to build and reinforce resilience:

8 Steps to Like Yourself (More)

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

87a01aa040aa5b1967988e93a55a8c9cNotice the word “like.” I’m not going to be so bold as to introduce eight steps that will have you love yourself. Baby steps, right?

For some, self-love is a no-brainer. They grew up in homes where LOVE was the predominant four-letter word. Some possess too much, and like Vanity Smurf, are most comfortable with a mirror in hand. These are the loud talkers, who think that everyone 20 feet behind and ahead of them should hear what’s on their mind.

I have been working toward self-like for 25 years now and think I have about 25 more to go before I’m truly comfortable in my own skin.

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in Psychosis

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Letting Go of Imagined Symbolism in PsychosisIn the midst of a psychotic episode, whether the result of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, one of the main motivating factors in our jilted decisions is the imagined symbolism in meaningless circumstances or objects.

I can remember when I was out on the streets of New York and Boston, deep in the midst of a major psychotic episode. I was convinced I had a mission to bring peace to the world, and though I was destitute, I wandered around following signs and colors and motions of passersby convinced there was some deeper symbolism or meaning in these insignificant things.

Awakening to Ourselves As We Are: The Essence of Mindfulness

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

by Hans-PeterThe renowned psychologist Carl Rogers famously said, “The curious paradox is that when I can accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

This statement is as simple as it is profound — and yet not easy to implement. Yet it embodies a principle that is a key to both psychological health and spiritual growth.

Some Things We Might Learn from Robin Williams’ Death

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Plato Bust“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato

As shock waves resulting from Robin Williams’ suicide begin to settle, we might reflect upon what we might learn from this tragic event.

Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and author of the classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning, reminds us that we may sink into despair and depression unless we find meaning in tragic circumstances. What meanings and wisdom might we gather as we mourn the loss of one of our great actors and humorists — and by all accounts, a kind and generous human being?

Strategies for Self-Compassion

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Strategies for Self-CompassionRalph Waldo Emerson, one of the New England Transcendentalists, was very influential for me as a teenager. I have found many of his essays and aphorisms to be very useful, both personally and professionally. The one pearl I have gotten the most mileage out of is from his essay Love, written in 1841: “Each man sees over his own experience a stain of error, whilst that of other men looks fair and ideal.”

When we compare ourselves to others, we may feel better or worse. It may be more useful to minimize comparison and instead consider our connections to one another and all life forms on the planet if we are working toward building a healthier relationship to the self.

4 Steps to a Deeper Gratitude

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

relationship-happiness-gratitudeWe know that feeling and expressing gratitude is a good thing. But what needs to happen inside us so that we’re more mindful and present for the experience of gratitude? How can the experience of gratitude open us to life more deeply and connect us more intimately with each other?

Cultivating Gratitude: Beyond Narcissism and Toward Connection

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

gratitudeNo doubt, our parents worked tirelessly to get us to say “thank you” when someone offered a gift or did us a favor. Most likely, they succeeded in getting us to mouth these words. But while we internalized proper etiquette, did we understand the purpose behind uttering thanks? To what extent did we develop an inner sense of feeling and conveying genuine gratitude?

Gratitude is a corrective to our sense of entitlement. One aspect of narcissism is the belief that we deserve to get without having to give. We feel that we’re entitled to fulfill our needs without being troubled by perceiving another’s world and responding to others’ needs. Our attention is fully absorbed within a limited and narrow sense of self.

The Power of Positive Feedback

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The Power of Positive FeedbackI recently wrote about the importance of receiving – and how letting in good stuff is often more difficult than giving. But this is not to minimize the value and power of extending ourselves in generous ways to others.

How often have we felt devalued, unappreciated, and criticized? A basic human need is to be valued, seen, and appreciated. When this longing goes unmet — when our basic value and goodness are not recognized and reflected back to us — we may find it difficult to value and affirm ourselves.

Considering Having Sex? 10 Factors to Consider…and Maybe Say No

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

man stress bed with partner bigst

My last blog’s topic was about the varied reasons people have sex, which led a reader to ask me: “When is the right time to start a sexual relationship?”

This is a difficult question to answer because there isn’t a set recipe of “right or wrong” timing. This decision depends entirely on each individual’s own values, interests and attractions.

It is actually easier to tell you when starting a sexual relationship is likely to lead you to difficult consequences, rather than when it is okay to go forward.

3 Ways to Develop a Spiritual Practice

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

3 Ways to Develop A Spiritual PracticeThere are just as many thoughts and definitions of spirituality as there are people. That’s because spirituality is highly personal.

“How I define it is different from how you define it,” said Polly Campbell, a blogger, speaker and author who specializes in spirituality, positive psychology and personal development.

She described spirituality as a profound physical, emotional and intellectual awareness of her core self, as the connection to all that she is.

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