100 Things and Counting

I like to create challenges for myself. These challenges cover everything from walking one hour every day for a week to smiling at everyone I meet – an exercise which turned out to be really creepy.

Bringing Your Best Dish

This past year, while leading parenting groups in a women's prison, I met Dan, the facility's drug and alcohol counselor. He started every class with the following scenario: Pretend you are invited to a potluck dinner. What are you going to bring? Are you going to scrape together leftovers from the back of your refrigerator, or are you going to bring your best dish? The notion was intriguing and kept me exploring the question: "What does it mean to bring your best dish?"

A Week Without Lying

Have you ever seen American Idol where contestants audition for a coveted spot only to leave stunned when the judges tell them they have no talent? We watch and ask ourselves in disbelief, "Don't they know they are terrible?" Probably not. There are many potential reasons for their skewed self-perception such as denial, narcissism, unrealistic expectations, or maybe because friends and family have been telling them for years they are talented when they aren't.

If I Were a Street Sweeper

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespere wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Beware the Cuddle Drug

Some people smoke a cigarette after sex, some eat chocolate, and some have a drink. Don't waste your time reaching for a drug. You're already on one. It's called the cuddle drug.

Why Doesn't He Call?

Most dating women have at least one thing in common -- they often ask themselves why their date didn’t call back after such a great time together. I'm not going to answer that question, but I know just the man who can.

Why Wait?

I love the song "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw. Living life to its fullest is a great notion, but it certainly isn't very realistic on a daily basis. And, short of a near death experience, I can't imagine what would motivate you to make such a drastic and permanent life change. Luckily, you don't have to wait for a close call to change the course of your life. Instead, you can make small manageable changes that ultimately have a huge impact.

Here We Go Again

A friend of mine called last night to tell me about a promising new relationship. I was happy for her until she told me that her new guy might not be over his ex. Here we go again.

The Messages We Send

Most of us can raise our children in a safe and loving environment without feeling pressure to conform to dangerous societal customs. Unfortunately, that's not true for everyone.

Be Your Own Oracle part 1 of 2

In ancient times, oracles were revered for guiding seekers on life’s journey. Many leaders wouldn't make a decision without their advice. The truth is that we don’t need to seek the wisdom of others to help us make choices. We already have our own inner oracles that guide us at every turn. Our bodies are our counselors. They hold the key to infinite wisdom about people and situations. We just have to learn to listen.

Be Your Own Oracle part 2 of 2

In theprevious two installments of "Be your own oracle," we identified how our inner oracle warns us of potential harm using our bodies’ natural mechanisms. In this final installment we will learn how to access our inner oracles to help us with decision making. Here's how it works.

To Stay or to Walk Away

When I meet with clients, we create action plans in order to make decisions and to set and achieve goals. This week a client asked, "Is there a way to know if I should keep working on my relationship or if I should jump ship now?" Unfortunately, there are no formulas when it comes to love.

I Am Not My Face

In a perfect world, we wouldn't judge ourselves. But, we don't live in a perfect world and we judge all the time. It wouldn't be that bad except we feel terrible when we don't measure up to unrealistic societal standards that we often use as benchmarks for beauty, success, and value.

Does Saying No Make You a Bad Person Part 1 of 3

Does saying no make you a bad person? Absolutely not – you have every right to set limits. You aren't a bad person if: You say no to your daughter who wants you to replace the third phone she lost this year. You balk when your spouse asks for a free pass for a swingles weekend. You won’t clean your parents’ basement the one weekend you set aside for yourself. Saying no can often be emotionally healthy. It reflects a personal boundary you draw between acceptable and unacceptable, as well as what you are willing to do, participate in, or be subjected to.

Does Saying No Make You a Bad Person Part 2 of 3

In the last article, I talked about the importance of standing up for yourself and protecting personal boundaries. In this article, I cover the steps. It would be ideal if you didn't have to defend your boundaries in the first place -- if everyone respected them without prompting. Unfortunately, that's often unrealistic.

Does Saying No Make You a Bad Person Part 3 of 3

The first article of this three-part series highlighted the importance of personal boundaries. The second article covered the steps to protecting them. In this final article, I'll outline ways for you to identify whether or not you are a boundary violator.

Acting My Way To Happiness

I used to be a wreck – a tangled web of anxiety, creating, and waiting for catastrophes. On my 30th birthday I realized if I wanted a better life I had to change. So, I modeled myself after the 18th century philosopher, Immanuel Kant's mantra: act as if and your life will follow. Here’s what happened.

Emotional Cheating Part 1 of 2

We live in an easy access society where information, people, and instant gratification are just a mouse click away. We look up old high school sweethearts, text co-workers, and innocently "friend" the attractive person we just met at a bar. These actions are all part of today's culture, but are these fast and seemingly innocuous connections a slippery slope toward a new type of infidelity?

Emotional Cheating Part 2 of 2

Last week we talked about emotional cheating. It's when one person turns to someone outside the primary relationship for emotional intimacy, sexual excitement, or comfort, alienating the primary partner.

Ancient Wisdom Behing New Age Thinking

When I was in my teens and twenties I read new age books, saw gurus, and embarked upon growth oriented adventures from Sweat Lodges to 48 hour chants, to juice fasts to colonics. I thought I was edgy and new age, but in reality most of the spiritual adventures and books I read, while enlightening and new to me, were actually created from ancient rituals and philosophies.

Fantasy as Foreplay

Hormones fuel your sex drive. They also taper off as you age. Consequently, most people accept the inevitability that their sex life will eventually flat line. Don't pull out the defibrillator just yet. You can save your waning libido if you are willing to be proactive.

I Ask to Receive

I firmly believe in the power of words -- what we say to ourselves and to others matters. Although I am not religious, I also value prayer. My favorite has always been The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi "Make me the instrument of your peace." It exemplifies service and selflessness.

Try Something New

"I've learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances." —Martha Washington

Solutions for the Over Thinker

Do you make yourself crazy conjuring up worst case scenarios? Do you continually re-play interactions you've had? Do you personalize every comment you hear and obsess about different clever comebacks that you failed to deliver? If so, you may be an over-thinker.