To Seek the Impossible Dream

How important is it to you that your life has meaning, that you be happy, that you find enduring love? Almost everyone has had the experience of seeking some deeply craved experience, but finding it impossible to achieve. We may ache profoundly to reach the particular state.  Yet, attempting it directly cannot win it for […]

Gratitude is Simple but Not Natural

Feeling grateful offers a cascade of benefits. It brings amazing effects on mood and astounding improvements in both mental clarity and creativity. Physiologists can see its enduring positive influences on the immune system, multiple hormones, and overall vigor. Nonetheless, our natural state is worry. We scan our lives for what is broken, unfinished, or threatening.  […]

The Gift My Grandfather Gave Me

My grandfather gave me a gift one afternoon, when I was still an adolescent.  His gift was largely responsible for my choosing the path of a therapist. At the time, this grandfather, my mother’s father, was seventy-something, and his older brother had just died. We were sitting outside together, and he suddenly looked at me […]

The Story of the Man and the Tiger

There is a man being chased by a tiger.  Considering this, things are going relatively well, in that he has not yet been caught. However, as you may have noticed, this is not exactly his day, and his path ends in a cliff, dropping off in front of him.  Being a resourceful fellow, he notices […]

The “Big Fist” Theory

Do you know about the Big Fist Theory? It goes like this:  invisible above you lingers a giant but quiet fist, just waiting for you to enjoy yourself. As soon as your life takes an upturn, the fist awakens, crashing down to smash away your happiness. Some people knowingly believe the Big Fist Theory, thinking […]

What to do when forgiveness is out of the question

Forgiveness provides relief to all concerned, when it is possible.  Often it is not. The previous post addressed the specific conditions required for the psychological experience of forgiveness, and we saw that it is a two way process. The fact of this experience is a wonderful gift to human relations.   Forgiveness restores wholeness to a […]

Sep. 23, ’11: The Psychology of Forgiveness

You have learned that it feels better to forgive.  Have you ever heard how to do it? We read and hear much about forgiveness as an advisable goal.  As we know, it is difficult to live with grudges. They do much more harm to us than to those who have injured us. Yet, at some […]

Sep. 16, ’11: Do You Have Pendulemia?

Do you have pendulemia?  As you are a person, you sometimes do.  It is the cause of most errors of judgment, so it is worth knowing about. The phenomenon consists of a rigid dichotomy of choices, like a cognitive pendulum, hence the term “pendulemia.”  As an effect of high stress, I have referred to  it  […]

Sep. 9 ’11: Finding and keeping your balance in work/play, parenting, and past/present

Last week I described a technique (“Reciprocal Discomfort”) that can guide us in how to balance life.  You may want to read it before this post, because this week we are going to apply it.   We will survey some of the life arenas in which people can fall out of balance and show how last […]

Sep. 2, 2011: How to Achieve Balance in Your Life

Previously, we contrasted balance to perfectionism as life-goals.  Yet, how can one achieve such balance? We all recognize that the middle road is best. So we often hear: all things in moderation; seek the golden mean; find the middle ground; balance your priorities. All this sound good, but brings a challenge. One reason we need […]