The Poetry of Loss

My son and I are driving into town for our weekly Friday morning special time and Suzanne Vega’s song “The World Before Columbus” comes on. It’s a song she wrote for her daughter that I used to sing to Everest when he was a baby, and these lyrics made me cry every time:

 

 

Those men who lust for land

And for riches strange and new

Who love those trinkets of desire

Oh they never will have you.

And they’ll never know the gold

Or the copper in your hair

How could they weigh the worth

Of you so rare.

They still make me cry. As we’re driving, I look over at him, so tall, fourteen, a pilot, an adventurer, a light of a human being, and I see the gold and copper that still shine in his hair. I sing along, tears forming as they always do. … Click here to continue reading...

The Fear of Getting Old

We live in an ageist culture. It’s not only that we’re terrified of death and hurry to sequester the topic away under the nearest rock or stuff it into the closest corner; it’s that, in a culture that reveres youth, beauty, and physical perfection, we fear aging itself. We fear the lines that inevitably appear on faces. We fear the roundness and softness of skin and bodies. We fear the gray hairs that sprout out as if to say, “Welcome to aging! No matter what you do, you won’t be able to fight the passage of time.” But we live in a culture that encourages us to fight it: to dye, exercise, and Botox the signs of aging away as quickly as they begin.

Like caring about what others think, absorbing other people’s lives, the fear of failure, and the addiction to perfection, the fear of aging is another byproduct … Click here to continue reading...

The Best Piece of Advice I Can Give You to Reduce Your Anxiety

Our era has been called the Information Age, the Technology Age, and the Digital Age. But it could also easily be called The Age of Anxiety, for anxiety is rampant and can manifest in so many ways: social anxiety, test anxiety, work anxiety, relationship anxiety, sleep anxiety, fertility anxiety – just to name a few. There are many ways to address anxiety, as I discuss at length in my blog and courses, and at the core of my work is the understanding that in order to heal from the root, we need to address anxiety from the root, which means understanding that anxiety’s symptoms – intrusive thoughts, worry, insomnia, physical symptoms – are messengers from the unconscious designed to grab our attention so that we will turn inward and pour the light of compassion and curiosity into our shadow realms. This is not fast or easy work, but the fruits … Click here to continue reading...

“My Partner Isn’t Smart Enough”

“One of the big traps we have in the West is our intelligence, because we want to know what we know. Freedom allows you to be wise, but you cannot know wisdom. You must be wisdom… The intellect is a beautiful servant, but a terrible master. Intellect is the power tool of our separateness. The intuitive, compassionate heart is the doorway to our unity.” – Ram Dass

For those of you who struggle with the intelligence spike – “Is my partner smart enough” – I urge you to study this quote word-by-word. I’ve written about this spike on my blog and in my Break Free course in depth, but as it has resurfaced this week through the collective unconscious that reveals itself in my counseling room, it’s time to address it again from a different angle so we can shed new light on this important and pervasive spike.

As with … Click here to continue reading...

The Art of Patient Loving

Perhaps the area of our lives to suffer most from the increasingly fast pace of the culture is love, for the expectation of immediate results naturally leads to a belief that love should not only be easy, but that when there’s a problem, it should be remediated quickly. Love doesn’t work this way. The truth is that when it comes to intimate relationships – with partners, friends, and children – very few things come quickly or easily.

As I’m decades away from my own battle with relationship anxiety and many of my long-term clients are now swimming in their own troughs and trials of early parenting, it’s on the front of the parent-child relationship that the need for patience appears most prominently in my life. For there’s a loud and pervasive expectation in the current parenting culture that says that when there’s a challenge with a child, it needs to … Click here to continue reading...