The Critical Moment to Break Free From Anxiety

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  – Viktor E. Frankl

If we could slow life down to micro-moments, if we could literally alter time like a movie turning it into sloooooow moooooootiiiooon so that we could elongate the critical moment when our mind veers off like a runaway locomotive and instead redirect it to stay on the smooth track of clear thinking, everything would change. As challenging as it sounds, that’s exactly what we must do if we’re going to rewire the brain to respond to the stimulus that sends the anxious mind into overdrive.

Let’s break this down with a common example of how this shows up in relationship anxiety:

“I’ll receive a text with a loving gesture, maybe a flirty emoticon or something sexy, and I’ll feel … Click here to continue reading...

Season of the Fallen Flower

It’s the season of the fallen flower. It’s the season of heat when the rising temperatures cause the petals, so vibrant and alive just a few weeks ago, to wilt. It’s the season of paradox: we bask in summer light and longer days yet the hands of darkness are stealing away the light minute by minute; we revel in the heat yet when it reaches a crescendo and breaking point we seek shelter indoors. The winter of summer. The emotional paradox of this season is that when there’s heat there’s an expectation of joy – beer and BBQs, swimming pools and parties – and yet there’s an undercurrent of sadness because we sense, especially the highly sensitive ones, the loss of light that begins after the summer solstice, and we feel in our bones the interplay of life and death.

We live in a culture that desperately seeks to avoid … Click here to continue reading...

Love is Like Flying

It’s 2:20 am. We’re on a red-eye flight on our way back from a family vacation when the captain announces, in a very calm but urgent voice, that all passengers must fasten their seatbelt. Nearly everyone is asleep anyway. For the past three hours I’ve been nodding in and out of consciousness while sitting upright with a six-year old splayed across my lap. Not exactly the position most conducive to sleep. But now I’m wide awake.

The pilot did sound particularly urgent (or is that just my hyper-vigilant, highly sensitive mind reading into things?). And that’s a strange sound coming from the engines (or are those my highly sensitive ears crossing into fear territory?). And then the turbulence hits. It feels like the plane dropped about ten feet and we’re rocking side to side, like a roller coaster. But this is no roller coaster. We’re 33,000 feet above the ground … Click here to continue reading...

Living by Your North Star

When you live by your North Star, you care less about what other people think.

When live by your North Star, you rely on the well of wisdom inside to help you make decisions both big and small.

When you live by your North Star, you have a clear sense of direction that guides your daily and moment-by-moment actions. It’s like being on autopilot in the best possible way, trusting in the rhythm and wisdom of your body as you flow with a life force that you trust instead of resist.

What is a North Star? It’s the outgrowth of filling your well of Self with warm, clear waters. What is a well of Self? It’s the place inside that is nourished by turning inward and attending to your physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual realms.

Everything in our culture encourages you turn outward and look to others for your … Click here to continue reading...

Action Diffuses Fear

Given the terrifying unraveling of events in our world recently, it’s not surprising that many of my clients have spent a portion of their sessions talking about their fear, sadness, powerlessness, and hopelessness. As my clients, course members, and readers are highly sensitive people (possible even highly HIGHLY sensitive), when the world seems like it’s falling apart, they’re going to feel it in the deepest folds of their hearts. How can people commit such atrocities, they ask with tears in their eyes?

I don’t have the answers. I can’t even hypothesize about how the world has devolved to this state. The underlying reasons are complex and multi-layered, and must draw on every facet of our internal and external realms: psychology, spirituality, sociology, economics, politics, ecology, religion. We desperately want to understand this so that we can fix it, and address it we must. But as that’s not my area of … Click here to continue reading...