Consistency & Happiness

Consistency is nothing more or less than learning the art of being happy. Unfortunately, society has conditioned us to believe that happiness comes from something outside of ourselves: The right house, or the right car, or the right clothes, or the right spouse, or the right job. But what if happiness came from somewhere else? What if we could learn […]

Memories: Making the Pieces Fit

There are many types of memory. Let’s talk about two of them: Implicit Memory and Narrative Memory. Implicit memories are memories about specific events. What did you have for breakfast this morning? What outfit did you wear yesterday? Which people did you talk to today? The answers to these questions are implicit memories. Narrative memories are memories that try to […]

Process Addictions

A process addiction is similar to a substance addiction, except that instead of being addicted to a drug, the person with a process addiction is addicted to a cluster of behaviors. Examples of process addictions would include eating disorders, sexual addictions, and gambling addictions. A process addiction is an addiction to a process or a pattern of behavior. Emotional aggression […]

As I Think, so I Feel

“People feel disturbed not by things, but by the views they take of them.” –Epictetus, 1st Century Philosopher As Epictetus reminds us, as I think, so I feel. Thoughts cause feelings and feelings can cause behaviors if we let them. Events and circumstances serve to trigger thoughts, which then create feelings. Events and circumstances do not cause our feelings. The […]

The Perfection Triad

Perfectionism can lead to difficulties with emotional aggression. Sometimes emotional aggression occurs because we expect others to be perfect. Sometimes it occurs because we expect ourselves to be perfect. But what does ‘perfect’ really mean? When I teach an ecospirituality group, I often ask several students to describe their ‘perfect’ day. One might say that a perfect day would be […]

Controlling Others

“Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others.” -H. Jackson Brown Jr. Controlling others is an attempt to make others responsible for our own emotional states. The actions that happen in our lives lead to a response. That response is a set of beliefs and behaviors about what just happened. When I act on […]

Internal Validation vs. External Validation

`“If it’s never our fault, we can’t take responsibility for it. If we can’t take responsibility for it, we’ll always be its victim.”` -Richard Bach, author Internal Validation is the art of validating ourselves. We all like to be validated. It’s why we have relationships in the first place. We enter relationships so that others can support us emotionally. This […]

Externalization: Experiencing the Person, not the Problem

One way to live a life of compassion is to see the person, not the problem. This is done through externalization. If we are able to take the viewpoint that the person is separate from the problem, then we are able to experience the person, and not the problem. Such a perception sees the person as separate from the problem. […]

The Pygmalion Effect

In the Greek myth of Pygmalion, an artist falls in love with a statue he has created. The great sculptor Pygmalion creates his ideal woman in marble. The statue is so beautiful that he falls in love with her. In the myth, his love for the statue is so powerful that the statue springs to life and becomes a real […]