Tag Archives: psychology

War and Peace

To escape the news recently, I’ve been immersing myself in 19th Century novels, and one theme keeps coming across: the destructive human obsession with social status. In Tolstoy’s War and Peace, for example, Prince Andrew Bolkonski, infatuated with dreams of … Continue reading

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Learning from Silence

There’s nothing like a 7-day silent retreat to shut you up. I don’t mean just during the retreat, when, of course, you’re supposed to be quiet. But even after. I’ve found that since returning from a week-long meditation retreat in … Continue reading

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Coaching for “Wholeness”

I have mixed feelings about social media, and often feel more assaulted than supported by what turns up on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. But there are always exceptions, and I’ve noticed that Maria Popova’s thoughtful and far-ranging blog Brainpickings … Continue reading

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How To Deal With Annoying People

I was on a conference call the other day, when a familiar voice started talking. Within seconds, my blood started to boil. It wasn’t so much that the person was saying anything particularly wrong or offensive; what she was saying … Continue reading

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Love and Activism

A few years ago I was on a nonprofit leadership training retreat, when everyone had to go around the circle and declare their “purpose.” This was the sort of exercise I dreaded, so I scrambled to come up with something … Continue reading

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It’s Not a Package Deal

One of the problems with being a cynic is that, when you’re trying to learn something new, it’s easy to focus on all the things that sound wrong or silly or otherwise questionable and to disregard the entire lesson or … Continue reading

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A Hole in the World

I came across Portia Nelson’s wonderful “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters” recently and wanted to share it here. It encapsulates perfectly the challenging and often painstaking process of changing our most entrenched and destructive patterns of mind.   “There’s a Hole … Continue reading

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“Killing People is Too Superficial”

I love riding my bike, but lately I’ve noticed that within minutes of setting off on a ride in the city, I usually want to kill someone. I love the feel of the breeze, and the ease of getting around … Continue reading

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The Power of Positive Psychology

I’m taking a certification course in “positive psychology,” and I’ve realized lately that I feel a little sheepish telling people about it. There’s something about the idea of studying something so unabashedly “positive” that sounds a little silly, fake, Pollyannaish. … Continue reading

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Balancing the Terrible and the Beautiful

Anyone involved in social justice work of one sort or another, whether providing direct services or advocating for better laws and policies, will find themselves spending an awful lot of their consciousness wallowing in the world’s muck. It can be … Continue reading

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