How to Shatter the Myths that Are Keeping You Stuck

A great deal of my work centers around shattering myths about love, romance, and intimacy that cause untold amounts of anxiety in relationships and sexuality. If we start with the very basic “doubt means don’t” slogan that permeates the culture of romantic love, we see immediately what happens when we dismantle this pernicious myth: we’re free to experience the very common and often necessary doubt that arises in the face of real risk, and we realize that the more we make room for the doubt, the more it shrinks. This is the paradox of acceptance: once we accept what we fear most, the fear eventually falls away.

But the myths that keep us stuck aren’t only centered on love. We carry myths about friendship, myths about work, and myths about life itself. If only our early educational years focused more on the reality of life and less on the … Click here to continue reading...

Wisdom from my Niece

I’m thrilled to share that our niece, Victoria Russell, has launched an incredible podcast called “Perennials Podcast“. I could not possibly be more proud of her, and I was deeply honored to be her first guest on the topic of “The Wisdom of Anxiety.” Victoria blew me away with her graceful and thoughtful interview skills, and she gently guided us into rich and vulnerable territory where we both shared aspects of our journeys with anxiety that the other hadn’t heard before! Victoria is an old soul in a perennial body, and she’s offering a beautiful gift to the world with this podcast – wisdom that extends far beyond the decade of one’s twenties. This podcast is for everyone.

A bit about her: Victoria is devoted student of life and learning. Over the past several years, especially since graduating from college in 2013, she has immersed herself in … Click here to continue reading...

The Scars of First Heartbreak

There’s nothing like the first. The first family. The first friend. The first kiss. The first job. The first baby. The first heartbreak.

The first time or experience or relationship lays the groove of a blueprint for how we navigate later, similar experiences. Our first experience of a family that occurs in our family of origin creates a groove in psyche called “family”, much like the groove in a vinyl album. When the needle of a later experience sets down on the groove of “family”, you will automatically think about your family of origin, and the overarching feeling of what it was like to be in your family will color your expectations of current or future family. Likewise, our first experience of marriage is often our parents’ marriage; what we learned, saw, and absorbed there affects our expectations, hopes, and fears around our own marriage possibly more than any other … Click here to continue reading...

What You Choose Determines What Comes Next

Transitions, as breaking and renewal points, offer choice-points that determine how we unfold into the next stage of our lives. Many people find me during their wedding transition when when they’re broken open not only by relationship anxiety but also by the earthquake of feelings that erupt because of the transition itself. The same is true for the transition into parenthood, career changes, moves, and deaths. Because we’re not schooled in the language of transitions and we’re terrified of big feelings, people tend to feel burdened by what feels like an unfair onslaught of anxiety: “Why does everyone else seem to happy when I’m so sad and anxious?” My response, as I’ve shared many times here and in my courses, is, “You’re one of the lucky ones. You’re being shown your core stories, and the seeds you plant now toward healing the flawed stories will serve you in your next … Click here to continue reading...

The Tumultuous Twenties

*Note: If you’re past your twenties, I invite you to share your thoughts and insights in the comments section about what helped you get through that decade, what you learned, and what wisdom you can import to those still struggling through that difficult decade.

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“Recently, I met a women in her early twenties who was deeply depressed. Looking at her, I saw myself fifteen or twenty years ago. I recognized every desperate feeling, every horrified thought. I asked her why she felt so sad. She told me she felt misunderstood by her father, who didn’t’ want to pay for her therapy or for her to move to another city. She said she was trying to make her way through the world but kept falling down. She couldn’t stay with any career for very long; she felt fat; she felt inadequate; she felt embarrassed and kept thinking that other people … Click here to continue reading...