A friend was telling me about how hard it is for her to ask her family for what she wants. “I mumble and kinda slide from the room, hoping I can get upstairs to my writing before anyone asks me for something.” I got halfway up from my chair and mimicked creeping from the room. […]Continue reading
Long ago when I was in my ontological coaching training, I learned this interesting theory: humans are always in a mood. Moods are the background tone of our lives, but we easily forget that we are in a mood and, instead, we believe we are our moods and that our moods are fixed and will never change.Continue reading
Since writing my book Why Bother? I have developed a new skill: sussing out the despair mindset.
I instantly spot it in conversations with friends, on social media, and in op-ed pieces.
It’s so tempting to agree with a friend complaining about her marriage, with someone saying the election in the US will be stolen, or with my own mind whispering, “Everyone pays attention to so-and-so’s new book and not yours, so just give up.”Continue reading
Margaret Talbot, writing for The New Yorker this week about boredom, quoted Tolstoy, “boredom is a desire for desires.”
When I read that, my entire body came alive. I had to get up and pace around my office. Because what I know with all my being is we fall into boredom, ennui, existential “why bother?” when we lack a relationship with desire.
As a culture, we mostly have no idea how to want, because desire has become so perverted. It’s something we have to own or perfect or excel at or dominate, or it’s only for certain people.Continue reading
This has been a year of cancellations, disappointments, loss, and a lot of “well, that’s-not-going-to-happen either.”
At first, I fought this. I kept scheming, “If the April retreat won’t happen, surely the September one will,” and “The spring family trip for Aidan’s graduation can’t happen, but we can all get together this fall.”Continue reading
I am clearly NOT a believer in boot camps, pushing yourself relentlessly, or any kind of yelling at your sweet self.
Because that kind of approach never produces the long-term results you want and often sends you skittering back to draining habits, self-judgement, and procrastinating as a way to manage your anxiety.
All the research shows self-kindness and self-compassion are much more effective for making real change.Continue reading
To quote my friend and brilliant coach Michele Woodward:
“There is just too much going on.”
I speak to people almost every day – students, clients, neighbors, friends – who are overwhelmed by all that and more.
By everything that needs fixing in the world on top of their own listlessness, fear and uncertainty we are all feeling.
We may have no idea what to do to help. The issues are all SO big. We are so tiny.Continue reading
Last week, I asked you to study how you procrastinate so we can change self-harm into true self-care. If you missed that, go here.
I also promised we would do something with your observations. That’s today.
But first, remember: you procrastinate to take care of yourself, not because you are lazy or unorganized. However, this only you takes care of present-day you, while frustrating, even hurting, future you.Continue reading
Procrastination is self-care turned self-harm.
It’s a way of coping with difficult emotions and moods.
For example, while writing this, I procrastinated by watching a short video on YouTube about a Chinese couple dancing together to help the husband recover from depression.Continue reading
If there is one single idea that I believe we need to reject as humans, it is the idea of being done.
The promise that someday, somehow, somewhere, we will arrive where we will finally be… finished. Gleaming with, if not perfection, then with enoughness.
Existing in some kind of steady-state of peace, success, creative output, or whatever it is you seek.Continue reading