When Will I Feel Better?

When you’re neck-deep and soul-soaked in anxiety, when you’re having trouble eating, sleeping, and basically functioning, when the love you formally felt for your partner has been eclipsed by indifference, doubt, or numbness, when intrusive thoughts invade your brain day and night, you will inevitably ask, “When will I feel better?” This question hits at the onset of anxiety when the symptoms are full-tilt misery, it hits when the excruciating first set of symptoms starts to abate, and it hits when people find my work and sign up for my courses. “When will I feel better?” they ask, with desperation in their voices.

My response: It takes time. As we live in a culture that conditions us to expect immediate results and relief this is soften a difficult concept to accept. Hungry? Order fast-food. Lonely? Send a text. Need a sexual release? Watch porn. Have a headache? Pop a pill. … Click here to continue reading...

Feelings Are Messy

As humans in an uncertain world, we seek certainty in a variety of ways. We ask questions that are fundamentally unanswerable. We ruminate and obsess on a single thought (otherwise known as intrusive thoughts). We Google and text and seek reassurance in a variety of increasingly technologically oriented ways. When I see someone falling into these common mental habits, the first question I encourage them to ask themselves is, “What are these thoughts/actions protecting me from feeling?”

We’re so identified with spending thousands of hours in the realm of thought that oftentimes this question doesn’t make any sense. What do you mean “protecting” me from feeling? What I mean is that somewhere along the road of growing up, somewhere between the innately healthy relationship that babies have to their emotional life and the disconnected relationship that most adults have, we learned that one way to manage the messy, amorphous, … Click here to continue reading...

An Interview with a Course Member

Lake Phoksumdo, Dolpo, Nepal

Over and over again, the feedback I receive from my 30-day course participants is that one of the most impactful and life-changing aspects of my courses is hearing from and connecting with other people who are going through the exact same struggles. Despite the worldwide web, we live more isolated than we’ve ever lived, which leads to the sense that we’re the only one struggling with our particular brand of challenge. Because of the role I hold, I swim daily in the common notes that compose the pain of the human song, and I write about those themes as much as I can on this blog. But there’s something about hearing people’s stories on the live, group, weekly calls that transcends even the power of the written word.

Along these lines, I’d like to share an email interview I conducted with a Trust Yourself graduate a … Click here to continue reading...

Death, Eventually

There it is, beneath the thoughts, the chatter, the doubt, the irritation, the barriers against love in all of its varied manifestations: the fear of loss, the fear of change, the excruciating awareness that we will, all of us, ultimately, be separated from the ones we love. At times it seems one of the cruelest realities of life on this planet: that we can love so deeply, but eventually we will separate. Yet as much as we can rail against life, beat our heads against the walls of the universe, argue, bargain, and rage, at some point we need to come into acceptance of death if we are to live our lives with any measure of peace. Death is what is, and to resist what is leads to suffering.

And yet… the more sensitive you are the more acutely aware you will be of death’s many faces, and the more … Click here to continue reading...

Longing for Aliveness

It’s often during this time of year in the Northern hemisphere, when the entire natural world is quivering with a restlessness to birth itself anew, when the animals are shaking the last snowflakes off their backs and the flowers are poking their heads above ground, that the projection of, “I’m not attracted/in love enough with my partner” emerges loud and fierce in my work with clients.

Why would this be? Why would the transition of seasons cause the projection about attraction and in-love feelings to rear its familiar, compelling, and insistent head?

Let’s break it down:

Transitons, for the highly sensitive among us, activate grief, restlessness, and vulnerability. This is true for the larger life transitions – getting married, moving, buying a house, having a baby – as well as for the ones that receive little to no attention in this culture: dusk and dawn, birthdays, and the change of … Click here to continue reading...