Entering Midlife: A Personal Post

Dear Readers: In the early days of this blog, I would share more frequently about my personal life, specifically around raising my children. As the blog evolved and my audience grew, I felt more private about sharing my day-to-day experiences, and also felt a need to protect my sons’ privacy. But now, as I’m entering midlife, I feel called to share a bit about what’s happening in my inner world. This is my next transition, and it’s a big one and a long one. When I turned 43, I felt like I had walked through a portal, much like I felt when I got married and became a mother. Something inside me was turning upside down, and, as always, I needed to write about it in order to make sense of it. 

Everything I’ve learned over the past two decades about transitions is buoying me as I walk through this … Click here to continue reading...

Shrink Fear Grow Love

When the fear-fog clears, when the projection that has kept him separate from you and sealed a barnacle over your heart finally shatters, you see your partner as if for the first time. Not only do you see her clearly, in all of her sweet and simple splendor, but the delusions of separateness fall away, and you can see how under the hooks of

hair or

teeth or

height or

education or

ambition or

boredom or

do we have enough to talk about or

he’s wrong for me or

she’s not attractive enough or

I’m always irritated or

mannerisms or

humor or

social fluidity or

so-called chemistry

lives the voice that says:

I have loved you all along.

In those moments of clear-seeing, like sunshine after rain, it’s as if there is no “me” or “you” but only us, or maybe it’s fully me and fully you that makes the … Click here to continue reading...

What Should Love Feel Like?

At least once a week, a client asks, “I know that love isn’t all butterflies and fireworks, but what should it feel like? Since I’ve never seen a healthy relationship and I’ve never been in one, I have no idea what it should be like.”

I usually balk at the word “should”, but I know what they’re getting at. They want me to offer some kind of template or description of a healthy relationship so that they know if they’re on the right track. How sad it is that most people are bereft of this model! How tragic, really, that because our culture doesn’t offer these templates we’re left groping around in the dark, grasping at some idea of “healthy” and most often left feeling like we must be doing something wrong or that our relationship is wrong in some way. As Alain do Botton writes in The Course of Click here to continue reading...

“I Wish He Was Taller”

I could have titled this post with any of the phrases I hear every day from my clients and course members:

“I wish she was thinner.” “I wish he was more successful.” “I wish she had better skin.” “I wish he was more assertive.” “I wish she had a different voice.”

But this is the one that came through a few weeks ago in a session with a client (*shared with permission), so we’ll start here: I wish he was taller. What’s embedded in that sentiment? How we respond to the unbidden or undesirable thought once it arrives determines whether we walk down the path of learning and discovery or get stuck in the tar pit of anxiety. It’s that one crucial moment that defines the choice-point and makes the difference. Here’s how our dialogue unfolded:

“When I first saw him I thought, ‘I wish he was taller,’ my client … Click here to continue reading...

Longing for Desire

Most people are familiar with the heart-aching pain of grief. Most people can identify the empty thud of loneliness. Most people know when they’ve been pricked by the green-eyed monster of jealousy, or taken under the thick, gray blanket of shame. But how often do we talk about longing?

In the container of my virtual office, I hear about it many times a week:

I long for a baby.

I long for a partner.

I long for my mother.

I long for my father. 

I long for the parents I never had.

I long for my childhood.

I long for a house.

I long for community.

I long for a best friend.

I long for God (or spirit, connection to something higher, whatever term works for you).

I long for a different climate.

I long for a different city.

I long to be single.

I long to feel alive.

I Click here to continue reading...