Call the Witch by Its True Name

My favorite fairy tale when I was a child was Rumpelstiltskin, the story of a girl who makes a bargain with an imp-like creature in exchange for saving her life from being executed by the king. First she gives the imp a necklace, then a ring, then promises her firstborn child. But when her child arrives, she begs the imp to let her keep it. He says he will if she can guess his name. In deep distress, she wanders into the forest and stumbles upon the creature, who is hopping around the fire singing, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll go to the king’s house, nobody knows my name, I’m called ‘Rumpelstiltskin.'” When the imp arrives at the kingdom to claim the baby, the girl (now married to the king), says, “Your name is Rumpelstiltskin.” The imp is enraged, but the deal is broken and he has no choice but to … Click here to continue reading...

Anxiety is a Game of Whack-A-Mole

The anxious mind can latch onto almost any topic:

What if I don’t have enough money? What if my kids aren’t okay? What if I don’t get pregnant? What if I have cancer? What if I don’t love my partner enough and I’m making a terrible mistake? What if I don’t have enough friends? What if I’m gay? What if I’m a pedophile? What if I have an STD? What if there’s a terrorist attack ? What if I’m in the wrong career? What if the plane crashes?

How many of these thoughts have you struggled with? And have you found that you can resolve one thought only to find that another pops up in its place? That’s why anxiety is a game of whack-a-mole: if you whack down one mole (thought) without addressing it from the root, another will quickly … Click here to continue reading...

One Body

One of the most damaging spokes of the anxiety wheel is the belief that you’re the only one who struggles with the particular thoughts and feelings that dominate your inner world. In our “How are you? I’m fine” culture that worships the happy face and denies a truthful telling of what we’re really feeling beneath the surface, it’s easy to believe that you’re the only one who struggles. This is why when you do happen upon information or people who share the shadow, a significant portion of anxiety is lifted.

The truth is that we are all interconnected in ways that we don’t always consciously realize. The isolation that has overtaken modern life belies the reality of our interconnectedness and supports the ego’s mindset of separateness, which then causes us to tumble down the rabbit hole of shame. But when we have a veil-lifting experience – one that reminds us … Click here to continue reading...

Worry and Anxiety

One of the first questions I ask a new client who’s struggling with relationship anxiety is, “Did you have anxiety as a child?” It’s no longer surprising to me when the client says no because I can almost guarantee that she’ll answer affirmatively to my next question, “Did you worry a lot as a child?”

For some reason we don’t correlate anxiety with worry. Perhaps it’s because there’s still some stigma attached to the word anxiety, so culturally we latch onto worry as a more palatable term. Yet it’s essential to understand that worry is the mental manifestation of anxiety. Experiencing nameless dread or identifiable dread as well as being called “too sensitive” or “overly sensitive” as a child are other indicators that anxiety was likely present.

I ask this question because it’s important to understand that if you’re struggling with relationship anxiety it’s easy to blame your relationship … Click here to continue reading...

Worry is the Work of Motherhood

Last night, as I drove through the worst snow I’ve ever driven in, as my car fish-tailed around every corner and slid dangerously close to the edge of the road, a familiar state of worry set in: Would I be okay? Would I make it home? I’m sure I would have worried as a single person in that scenario, but being a mother adds an entirely new level of worry to any precarious situation. Would my baby be okay without me for a night? What if something catastrophic happened to me – would my kids make it through? etc etc. I flashed on a piece I wrote several months ago about worry and have decided to include it here today.

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