On Call-ins, Ableism, Regret, and (not) Flying with Covid

On Call-ins, Ableism, Regret, and (not) Flying with Covid

Two weeks ago, I wrote you a letter sharing that I got on a plane knowing I had covid. I discovered that fact about a half hour before leaving for the plane, and I decided to fly. I now regret that decision. I shouldn’t have flown, and I wish I hadn’t. At the risk of...

four lessons from getting sick with covid

four lessons from getting sick with covid

I consider myself a diligent mask-wearer. And yet, on the morning of my flight back from Ireland, I tested positive for covid. -Did I get it on the night in the bar in Dingle when I kept my mask off to sing and enjoy a grand craic? -Was it when I shook my tour guide’s...

Medicine for our journeys to the underworld

Medicine for our journeys to the underworld

I wrote this a couple of hours before learning about Roe vs. Wade decision. I’m stunned (which I’m learning is a different sensation than surprised) and sad and I’m wondering how you’re doing. As I discussed with a client today, all the feelings are appropriate, from...

Why I Believe in Shoulds & How I Became a City Councilor

Why I Believe in Shoulds & How I Became a City Councilor

In early April, in the midst of finishing my manuscript, I received a text from my city council president. (I live on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Pocumtuck people in present-day Greenfield, MA, which with 18,000ish residents, is the biggest city in our...

How to Assess the Value of an Offering

How to Assess the Value of an Offering

In my Career Clarity Group this past week, a participant asked this question: How do I assess the value of my ideas/offerings, both from a monetary perspective and a “what does the world need” perspective? Perhaps you’re facing a similar question. Finding a work-life...

How to Identify Your Strengths & Gifts

If you’re like a lot of my clients, you might struggle to recognize and appreciate what you’re good at. Perhaps you learned to brush off compliments, downplay accomplishments, and avoid bragging from a young age. When you tell people about a success you have, you...

The Difference Between Wishes & Commitments

The Difference Between Wishes & Commitments

When many of my clients start working with me, they have wished to change their lives for a long time but haven’t yet committed. A wish sounds like: It would be good if I… I’d like to… I’ll try to (fill in the blank with something that’s unrealistic given the time or...

If it Feels Hard to Imagine

If it Feels Hard to Imagine

When I invite clients to imagine the future they long for, they sometimes become flooded with feelings of overwhelm or draw a blank. When I inquire deeper, these clients often share experiences of trauma, such as being laid off from a previous job or neglected as a...

Your Ideal Clients

Your Ideal Clients

These questions are particularly for helping and healing professionals who are growing their own businesses. If that’s not you, you can skip this section (or you can play with the questions for fun!). Grab your journal and a pen. Settle your body. When you’re ready,...

How You Might Show Up for Social Change

How You Might Show Up for Social Change

Change can feel much more possible when we choose one or two places (organizations, communities, issues) to focus our efforts. For example, for the past few years, the body I’ve chosen to focus my organizing efforts on is my town—Greenfield, Massachusetts. As part of...

Your Ideal Working Conditions

Your Ideal Working Conditions

Your ideal working conditions include: Your ideal schedule, Where you want to work, and The people you want to work with. To discern your ideal working conditions now, I invite you to get your journal and a pen, and write down what arises in response to the following...

Your Minimum Requirements for Self-Care

Your Minimum Requirements for Self-Care

Self-care pioneer, Jennifer Louden, calls the baby steps we need to regularly take to be healthy and happy the minimum requirements for self-care.[1] Although all humans need certain basic things—sleep, food, movement, water, air—different people have slightly...

How to Identify Your Core Values (Step-by-Step)

How to Identify Your Core Values (Step-by-Step)

In Theater of the Imagination, renowned storyteller Clarissa Pinkola Estés tells listeners that the English word self stems from the Old Germanic word, selb, which originally meant to be saturated all the way through.[1] When we live in alignment with our values in...

Why We Turn Away From Our Bodies

Why We Turn Away From Our Bodies

When you and I were born, we obeyed our bodies. When we were sad, we cried. When we were content, we cooed. Tuning in to our bodies’ signals was and still is our birthright. However, soon after we were born, most of us began disregarding our bodies’ messages. For...

What do you need and want?

What do you need and want?

When I ask what you want and need, I’m not talking about pursuing an endless hunger for material possession or following your bliss at another’s expense. I’m not advocating entitlement or believing you have a right to something that harms another just because you have...

The Space at Which I Can Love You & Me Simultaneously

The Space at Which I Can Love You & Me Simultaneously

To act in solidarity, we must honor our capacity. If you’re like many of my clients, I imagine that you have a tendency to deplete yourself responding to the heartbreaking enormity of our unmet collective needs and yet still not feel like you’re doing enough. Deep...

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the earth

There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the earth

A story has taken off like wildfire, peddled by many a self-help teacher and career coach. This story asserts that everyone has one true purpose or passion or calling and that to create a happy and purposeful life, we must figure out what our purpose is and devote our...

A Practice to Free Yourself from Double Binds

A Practice to Free Yourself from Double Binds

Dancing in the Both-And When we look closely, we see that all life expresses itself in polarities—pairs of apparent opposites that depend on each other to create a whole: Cold / Hot Night / Day Birth / Death Quiet / Loud Active / Passive Giving / Receiving Chaos /...

What Makes Therapy Effective?

What Makes Therapy Effective?

In the 1960s, Eugene Gendlin, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, set out to discover what made some types of therapy more effective than others. After looking into many methodologies, Gendlin eventually found that the most significant factor contributing to...

Life deserves our thank you

Life deserves our thank you

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi first discovered the experience of flow as a young boy while playing chess for hours while interned in an Italian prison camp during World War II. Years later, Csikszentmihalyi pioneered the field of Positive Psychology, and in 1990, he...

Four Reasons Why Feeling Good Matters

Four Reasons Why Feeling Good Matters

1.  Healing & Preventing Burnout I believe that one small reason we’re at the point of imminent global self-destruction is that changemakers have a hard time sustaining our energy. Too often, we overwork, over-give, overdo, get resentful and curmudgeonly, get...

Stuckness is an attempt to meet a need.

Stuckness is an attempt to meet a need.

Stuckness is an attempt to meet a need. When we realize that a part of ourselves is resisting change, it’s normal to want to kick them off the bus or force them to behave.[1] But if you’ve ever tried to get rid of a part of yourself or punish it into conformity, you...

Honoring Our Needs is an Act of Rebellion

Honoring Our Needs is an Act of Rebellion

To keep showing up and do so in a joyful, nourished way, we must learn to honor our needs. And yet, at first, acknowledging what we need and want can be so hard. Here’s are some reasons why: You and I were born with the ability to know what we needed and...

What is Solidarity?

What is Solidarity?

I propose that we make solidarity a verb. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, solidarity entered the English language in the early 1800s, from the French solidarité meaning “communion of interests and responsibilities, mutual responsibility,” from solidaire...

My Call to Honor My Needs

My Call to Honor My Needs

When I was nineteen, I traveled to Colombia with Witness for Peace to learn about US intervention and mobilize my fellow US citizens for change upon return. I visited a church where the priest was killed while giving a sermon, traveled to subsistence farms that had...

What Yes, No, and Maybe Feel Like

What Yes, No, and Maybe Feel Like

I invite you to recall a moment when you felt full of energy and like everything was working effortlessly. Remember how you felt in your body. What did your lower body feel? Your upper body? Your face, neck, and head? What temperatures do you feel in your body? Is...

What You Need When You’re Lost in the Wilderness

What You Need When You’re Lost in the Wilderness

I invite you to imagine that your plane has just crashed in the middle of Siberia. What do you want to make sure you have in your backpack? Even if you have good food and warm socks, if your plane ever crashes in the middle of Siberia, what you’ll really need is a...

What is a Calling?

What is a Calling?

Although most people think of a calling as a specific vocation or career, a calling is more than that. A calling is a longing to take on a new challenge that honors a need that is larger than yourself. Your calling may be paid work. Or your paid work might provide the...

Self-Mediation 101

Self-Mediation 101

To mediate between two or more parts who are pulling in different directions, it helps to distinguish between needs and strategies. In Nonviolent Communication (NVC), they define needs as the universal qualities necessary for fulfillment and wholeness. Needs are why...

We need rest.

We need rest.

Imagine a river that’s run dry. It’s the middle of a severe drought, and nothing is moving. Next, imagine a stagnant, polluted river full of rotting debris. The stench invades your nostrils, and there’s a feeling of sluggishness in the air. Finally, imagine a...

8 Reasons Why You Might Struggle to Take in the Good: Part Four

8 Reasons Why You Might Struggle to Take in the Good: Part Four

This article is a continuation from 8 Reasons Why You Might Struggle to Take in the Good: Part One, Two, and Three . 7. Evolution programmed our brains to focus on the negative. Let’s imagine that you’re living thousands of years ago. You and your family are hanging...

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