All posts filed under: Body & Mind

Mindful Anger Management

First published on Huffington Post on May 3, 2012 The other day I was driving down the road feeling peaceful and happy. Life was good. All was right with the world. As I signaled to change lanes, the driver next to me wouldn’t let me in, and impulsively, I reacted. I yelled sarcastically, “Thanks a lot!” Then I called her a name. I proceeded to get angrier because I missed my turn. Then I paused and observed how ridiculous I was — in two seconds I had gone from joyful and content to angry and yelling at a stranger. Have you had a similar experience? Have you ever snapped at someone because the perfect order of your world unexpectedly went awry? We all have our strategies for dealing with anger — some healthier than others. When we unconsciously lash out at people, it can be hurtful to both them and us — or just plain embarrassing. Recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama had this to say about anger: “The first drawback of anger is that it …

How I Broke All the Rules — But Still Quit Smoking

First published on Huffington Post  on September 3, 2011 I was a smoker for 28 years. This month I celebrated one year smoke free. Even though I tried to quit many times before — probably 20 to 30 times in the last 10 years — this time felt different. This time it stuck. If you are struggling to gain your freedom from cigarettes, I hope I can give you a few new tactics to try. This is what made the difference for me, once and for all. In many of my past attempts, I tried the usual tips and tricks. I set a quit date, threw out the ashtrays and elicited support from friends and family, but in the end the standard methods didn’t bring me success. So this last time, I broke nearly every rule but still managed to quit. So what made the difference? I finally challenged the belief that I needed a cigarette. “I need a cigarette.” Smokers say or think this all the time in any number of ways. If I …

On the Path to Self-Discovery With the Duchess of York

First published on Huffington Post, 2011-05-20 I’ve always liked Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. Perhaps it is that she came on the scene when I was a teenage girl and infatuated with the royal weddings, like girls today. Perhaps it was her curly hair, which matched my own. Or her slight chunkiness, which also matched my own. Over the past decade, it’s been sad to watch what seemed to be her spiral downward. Last year, when she was caught on tape in the alleged bribery scandal, it appeared we were witnessing her self-destruction. However, as I watched Oprah’s interview with Sarah last week, I felt hopeful for her again. She still seems a bit shaky and just a little bit desperate, but she also appears to have found at least the trailhead of her own path to self-discovery. Interspersed throughout the Oprah interview were clips from Sarah’s upcoming series on OWN, “Finding Sarah,” where she is counseled by Dr. Phil and Suze Orman to help her find her way. While I’m not a big fan of on-camera therapy, especially …

Letting Go: How to Release the Past

First published on Huffington Post, 2011-02-26 A dear friend of mine cannot seem to let go of an old hurt. His marriage ended in the 1970s, and she passed away a few years ago, but thoughts of his ex-wife are still very fresh in his mind. We will be having a conversation, and something unrelated will trigger a memory. Attempts to steer him in another direction usually fail. He is simply unable to let it go. Stories from our past, unforgiveness and regret distract us from living fully in the present. But how do we let things go and move on? We all hold on to hurts from time to time. I realized recently I was holding on to a project that had not gone as I had hoped. I wasted way too much energy stewing over what had happened and why. I replayed the project in my mind many times — somewhat compulsively. Nothing could be done about it now; the project was over. I needed to learn from it and let it go, trusting …

Good Enough Just as We Are

  First published on Huffington Post, 2010-12-01 More than a year ago a good friend sent me an email that I’ve saved in my inbox. Every now and then I open it. It always makes me smile. She wrote: “Just a reminder, in case you forget: You are perfect in every way. Say it. Know it. Feel it.” I can’t remember what prompted her email, but most likely she noticed I was caught up in self-doubt, as occasionally happens. When expectations are high, deadlines are looming, and my responsibilities are piling up, I tend to get anxious, overwhelmed and unsure of myself, which is exactly the opposite of what’s needed. Feeling inadequate is generally a success-killer. We all suffer from insecurity at times, but when our internal dialogue turns nasty and mean, it undermines our happiness and our ability to grow and succeed. For me, the chain often starts with a vague sense that I’m not getting enough done, even though I am “doing” all the time. I’m the mother of two boys. I’m a …