Anxiety and Numbness

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I often receive a version of the following email:

“Is indifference a sign of relationship anxiety? My partner and I haven’t seen each other in two weeks and I feel nothing. I’ve shut down. I don’t care if we split up. My partner even cheated on me and I felt nothing. I don’t seem to care about him/her at all anymore. Doesn’t this mean that I’m not with the right person? Is this normal? ”

Normal? Yes. Talked about? No. Used as evidence by our culture that it’s time to break up? Absolutely. It’s at this point in a relationship that, when you poll friends and family, they will unanimously say, “Hit the road. You’ve clearly fallen out of love.” Oh, the good-ol’ “fallen out of love” excuse for jumping ship on a good, loving, secure relationship. Once you use that card, you don’t have to convince anybody why you’re walking … Click here to continue reading...

21 Principles of Conscious Transitions

I love writing my blog, and love being able to offer tools that can help people find their still point, their inner sense of home, and their serenity. Along these lines, I’ve compiled the 21 phrases I find myself saying over and over again to my clients and course members into one post.  Perhaps one day I’ll compile my writings into a book, but for now, this simple post will help readers navigate through my site and find the underlying principles of my Break Free From Relationship Anxiety E-Course – which offers the full, comprehensive, and in-depth scope of this work – more easily.

1. The Anxious-Sensitive-Creative personality type.

2. Anxiety is a messenger that comes bearing gifts.

3. Intrusive thoughts are distress flares.

4. Whatever we water will grow.

5. The initiation of relationship anxiety.

6. The three stages of transitions. (Read my free e-book using the second link on this Click here to continue reading...

Television and Anxiety

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If you’re a member of my Break Free From Relationship Anxiety E-Course, you know that I follow a holistic model when working with anxiety. This means that in order to break open and discover what’s embedded inside the messenger of anxiety, we must address the four realms of Self: cognitive, physical, emotional, and spiritual/soul/creative. When anxiety and intrusive thoughts hit we ask, “What’s needed in these four realms of self? Which realm is asking for my attention?” Anxiety and intrusive thoughts are the distress flare. Our loving and compassionate action is the response.

In order to do our inner work and even slow down enough to ask what’s needed, we need to create time and space in our lives. Yet when I ask people how much time they’re spending turning inward, they often say, “I just don’t have the time.” Tell me your day, I respond. “Well, I … Click here to continue reading...

The Need for Certainty

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Last Tuesday we were riding our bikes in gorgeous, 70-degree spring weather. On Wednesday we woke up to a foot of snow and a power outage. There’s a saying in Colorado that goes, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait fifteen minutes.” This is true every day of the year, but it’s never more true than in spring.

I find the temperamental weather here both fascinating and disconcerting. Growing up in Los Angeles, where it’s 65-70 degrees practically every day of the year, I came to rely on the consistent weather as a source of comfort. If I went to school wearing shorts, I knew I would come home wearing shorts. But here, we can leave for the day wearing shorts and come home wearing full winter gear.

Yet when I drop into the teaching, I know that living with these weather patterns has furthered by ability to deal … Click here to continue reading...

Is My Partner Right For Me?

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Among the many questions that plague those suffering from relationship anxiety, the question “Is my partner right for me?” tops the list of last-night ruminations.

As with so many intrusive thoughts, we must first recognize that the question is coming from the ego, the part of ourselves that demands certainty and operates under a black-and-white mindset. Right implies wrong, which plays directly into the ego’s need for certainty and, thus, the illusion of safety. The ego believes if we can answer these unanswerable questions, we can avoid the “fundamental ambiguity of being human”, a phrase that Pema Chodron uses to so aptly describe the discomfort that is an intrinsic and unavoidable part of the human experience.

However, much to the dismay of the ego, life doesn’t come in neat packages that can be divided into black-and-white answers. One of the ego’s sole missions is to try to control outcomes, so … Click here to continue reading...