One of the Most Powerful Questions to Cut Through Anxiety (Relationships, Health, Parenting, Friendship)

When addressing anxiety effectively, we must attend to all four realms of self: physical, emotional, cognitive, and soul – or body, heart, mind, and soul. Attending only to one of the four realms is helpful, but it won’t help you heal anxiety from the root. By “attend” I mean we need tools to work with all four realms, and the tool I’m going to share today will help you on the cognitive/mind realm.

When we’re caught in an anxious storm, it’s often because we’re caught in a story that is powered by fear. By the way, I prefer to talk about the key areas where our wounds constellate as “stories” instead of beliefs or thoughts because a story is a holistic word that encapsulates our whole self, and stories often live in the emotional body as much as the mental realm. These stories can vary depending on the theme of … Click here to continue reading...

The Intersection of Sex and Relationship Anxiety

If you’re familiar with relationship anxiety, you know that it doesn’t take much for a flyaway thought to send you into a tailspin of anxiety that then leads you to question if you’re with the right person. This thought could be, “I’m not feeling in love” or “My partner always irritates me” or “I’m not attracted right now.” Because we’re not properly educated both about how to work with thoughts and how relationships actually unfold in the real world (as opposed to the media world), it’s a quick jump from the normal thought to the assumption: “I’m with the wrong partner. There must be someone better out there for me.”

When it comes to sex, the situation is heightened, for the culture places the highest possible premium on the correlation between “great sex” or “amazing chemistry” and being with the right person. I’ll give you some examples about how … Click here to continue reading...

Explode the #1 Block to Healing from Anxiety (Relationship and Otherwise)

A few weeks ago, as I was cleaning out our closet, I stumbled upon a stack of papers from my grandmother. Most of the papers were familiar, but one unfamiliar packet literally dropped onto my lap, a stapled report for an adult-education class in psychology that she took in 1963 that I had never read before. The title was, “My Psychograph and Its Evaluation.”

It was like stumbling upon a lost treasure: A window into my past, my history, and my beloved grandmother’s inner world. Here was a twelve-page, carefully crafted essay written on delicate typing paper (this was long before the ease of computers and printers) where she analyzed the results of several different psychological tests. The results of the test in terms of numbers are irrelevant to me, but her interpretation and reflections reverberated inside of me on so many levels. Like many people of her generation, my … Click here to continue reading...

Am I the Only One Struggling with Anxiety?

People often ask me why they’re struggling with relationship anxiety or social anxiety or any other kind of anxiety when other people seem to glide through life more effortlessly. The subtext embedded in the question is, “Is there something wrong with me?” or “Why am I being singled out or punished?” In our culture that is dominated by the pursuit of the happy face and the false correlation of vulnerability with weakness, these questions and assumptions are understandable. But when you’re on a healing path, swashbuckling through the forest of anxiety and trying to find your way into more clarity and wholeness, the question only leads to shame. And nothing shuts down the essential resources of compassion and curiosity faster than shame.

So let’s dispel this shame by stating clearing and up front that everybody suffers. People suffer in different ways, at different times, and under different circumstance, but it’s … 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...