Let’s Stop Pathologizing Anxiety, Shall We?

“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  ~ Albert Einstein

Is anxiety always pathological? I think not.

As someone with a previous history of panic attacks that seemed to arise out of nowhere, I can say that I am very familiar with the experience of an anxiety that is persistent and disruptive to everyday living, and an anxiety that can be difficult to trace to a specific origin.

But I think automatically labeling all anxiety as pathological is unhelpful for a myriad of reasons.

Most notably, anxiety is your body trying to send a […]

Announcing the Curious & Curiouser Podcast

Oh hey! Guess what? I started a podcast!

I know! I’m super excited, too. This project was birthed out of a random tea date with a friend, Tracey, who also happens to be a brilliant woman with a private therapy practice here in Portland, Oregon.

After wanting to secretly start a podcast on my own for at least a year, I was happy to learn that Tracey was also interested in embarking on such a project, and that we had similar visions for how that […]

I Don’t Know Either

We’re all searching for some sort of certainty except that certainty isn’t something that exists in most cases.

Even in science, something is true only until it isn’t.

Take last week, for example, when two major discoveries were made about how the body functions.

The first demonstrated that the cerebellum — a large structure located at the back of the brain — is more complex in its function than previously thought. It has long been believed that the cerebellum operated largely beyond the arena of conscious awareness, controlling motor function and sensory input only. But now, scientists have shown that […]

You Don’t Have to Be Certain to Be Helpful

I’ve decided that being a relatively content human is often about learning how to hold two contradictory truths in your brain at the same time without imploding.

What do I mean by this?

Well, let’s start with an example — namely, me. Because I am a total contradiction in so many ways.

I am largely a science-y, show me the evidence, where’s the proof kind of person. And yet, I absolutely believe that intuition trumps intellect in many situations. I also study both neurobiology and astrology in my spare time (what???), and while I am ridiculously grateful and content with my life, I am […]

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    New Body, Old Programming: Why It’s Ok to Love Your Body Regardless of Your Size

New Body, Old Programming: Why It’s Ok to Love Your Body Regardless of Your Size

“If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” ~Charles Bukowski

Earlier this week, a few hours after waking up, I made the rare (in my case) decision to jump on the scale in my bathroom and find out what I weighed on that particular day.

Why? I seriously have no idea. Curiosity, I suppose.

It had been over a year since I last weighed myself. And before that? Well, let’s just say I’d spent the previous decade intentionally evading scales and asking to be weighed backwards at the doctor’s office, afraid that knowing the pounds and ounces of my own body might result in […]

Make Your Joy Non-Negotiable

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~Desmond Tutu

To say that I have been feeling a general lack of hope or positivity or joy over the past few weeks would be to greatly underrepresent how awful I have actually felt much of the time.

Because what is taking place in our country right now is both disheartening and terrifying, rage-inducing and saddening, and is just completely overwhelming in scope.

I have found myself bursting into spontaneous tears at the dinner table, waking at 4am consumed by anxiety, and finding it […]

What Bravery Looks Like

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~Brene Brown

Last week, I confessed to a dear friend that I am secretly holding onto the belief that I am the least brave person I know.

She literally laughed in my face when I said this to her.

Which made me laugh. And then made me love her even more.

Because, you know what? She’s right. I am brave. And my resistance to allowing this to be true in my life and my failure to give myself actual credit for all of the courageous things I have accomplished […]

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    Where Do We Go From Here? Some Thoughts About the Year Ahead.

Where Do We Go From Here? Some Thoughts About the Year Ahead.

“Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” ~Neil Gaiman

This past year was a paradigm-shifting year for me.

For a lot of folks, I think.

It brought so much buried shit to the surface in my life personally, it sort of feels like 2017 is going to be all about sifting through the mess, trying to make sense of what’s in front of me without completely losing my mind.

I think this happened on both a national and a global scale as well.

The beautiful thing about getting all this shadowy stuff out where we can see it, is that we’re now forced to actually engage […]

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    We’re All Below Average Sometimes: On Compassion, Kindness, and Not Becoming a Narcissist

We’re All Below Average Sometimes: On Compassion, Kindness, and Not Becoming a Narcissist

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ~Desmond Tutu

Last week, I had a drink with a friend — a wise, wise woman who also happens to be a very talented therapist — and she recounted for me a story about suggesting to a client that perhaps happiness isn’t actually what we should be chasing after in this life.

What if happiness isn’t the goal?

My friend said her client’s mind was blown. But also:  There was SO MUCH relief in realizing that she didn’t have to be happy in […]

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    Your Art is Essential. (Or, On Being Creative In Times Like These.)

Your Art is Essential. (Or, On Being Creative In Times Like These.)

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” ~Osho

One of my favorite things on in the internet right now is Brain Pickings — the magical creation of a super inspiring woman, Maria Popova, that serves as a daily celebration of creativity and contribution, and our capacity to cultivate more meaningful lives through collaboration and cross-pollination and the intentional expansion of our […]