A psychiatrist once told me that when people reach a breaking point with a mental health issue, they tend to deal with it in one of three ways: The religion part was the surprise punchline but after a few beats it made sense. If a […]
The Anatomy of a Panic Attack
This is a story about a panic attack that threw a top-level, high-performing, rock-solid leader for a loop. For decades she’d been the person — at work and home alike – everyone turned to for steadiness, for staying power, for perspective, for answers. I will […]
How do you take your help: with or without a hug?
In the 15 years we’ve been together, my partner Gary has done maybe seven things that have irritated me.* On average, that’s about one irritation every other year: in other words, kind of amazing. And so, when “Irritation #8” came along last week it took […]
What would nature do?
If we were just starting out at the beginning of time and didn’t know much about how to thrive, we would need to look no further than nature for instruction according to Janine Benyus*. Just by looking closely, we would see that nature, among many […]
What’s portable and delicious but potentially pernicious?
To answer that riddle, you must know the meaning of the word pernicious which I didn’t at the time I was coming up with a title. It just popped into my head, as gifts from above sometimes do, and strangely enough was exactly the word […]
A thousand tiny humble things
When I was younger, I was overtaken by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in a way that sometimes made me nervous to get in the car for fear I might do something impulsive when PMS was behind the wheel. I made an appointment with my OB/GYN but […]
A natural response to an urgent call to action – be it in our minds or real — is to bring the energy of that frenzy into our body and go turbo fast. And if you are already high-twitch, well, we can go from zero […]
A Blessing for the Lives We Actually Have
“Blessing” is one of those words I avoided for the longest time. I would never say, “Bless you,” when someone sneezed because, for one, I didn’t really know what it meant, and for another, my family didn’t do that. We didn’t say anything at all […]
Lonely But Not Alone
Leo Bird knows what it’s like to walk into a cafeteria and be faced with what might seem like a mild dilemma: where to sit. Except it’s not mild, not mild at all. Leo, the college student son of one of my longtime/lifetime friends, was […]
Remember Why You Like Me?
After a long job-seeking rejection streak, one of organizational psychologist Robert Cialdini’s clients started asking one simple question at the beginning of a job interview which immediately ended his rejection streak. This person went on to get better jobs in his next three interviews by […]
Abracadabra. The (Delusional) Stories We Tell Ourselves
I once knew a couple who took stock of their marriage every year to decide if they were going to renew the contract. There is something ghastly about undergoing an annual performance review of your love, but it does speak to the need to ward […]
Who We Are With Money and How to Handle it Sanely
“There’s an old saw that goes something like this: It used to be that a happy man just had to make a hundred bucks more than his brother-in-law. Now because of social media, we have to compare ourselves to literally everyone. So that’s fun.” That’s […]