Turning Away from Anxiety

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If you’re like most people, you’re feeling a bit anxious. Anxiety is skyrocketing all over the world, and I’ve spent the last couple of years focusing intensely on it. 

Truth be told, I’ve spent most of my life focusing intensely on anxiety, because I’ve always been an anxious person. On most days, I’d wake up panting and shedding like a scared terrier. I still do, sometimes. But now I know how to stop.

I’ve written a whole book about this (Beyond Anxiety, due out in January 2025) but in the process I learned a lot of tricks and hacks. My favorite isn’t prana yoga or meditation—they’re wonderful […]

Magic at the Corner of Intention and Invention

I recently went to Costa Rica for the first time. Twice.

Of course that’s not literally true. There’s only one first time for everything. But something happened in regard to this adventure that I’ve noticed many times, in many areas of my life. Things magically double up.

Here’s how this goes: I feel a strong pull to do something, usually for no apparent reason. After daydreaming about it for a while, I set out to make it happen. Then, circumstances seem to arrange themselves to give me the thing I’ve just created for myself. It ends up coming to me two [...]

Lessons from Hadestown . . .

I recently had the chance to see Hadestown, a Broadway re-telling of an ancient Greek myth. Spoiler alert: I’m going to tell you the ending, but it’s been out of the bag for thousands of years, so I don’t feel too bad about it. 

The story follows a young man named Orpheus, whose girlfriend, Eurydice, gets swept off to hell by Hades, god of the underworld. When Orpheus follows her, Hades makes them a deal: They can leave, but only if Orpheus walks just ahead of Eurydice and never looks back. 

Hades knows that this is a particularly efficient form of [...]

Adventure Stories and Artist Dates

Tolstoy wrote that “all great literature is one of two stories: a man goes on a journey, or a stranger comes to town.” 

I believe this is true of our life stories, as well. Every life-changing idea I’ve ever had about my career came to me while I was traveling. And many of the “strangers who’ve come to town” to meet me have become the most important people in my life.

Travel turns the pages of our lives, creates new chapters, gives us our most exciting stories, and turns us into the heroes of various sagas. 

This is true for me even [...]

Reasons to Create for No Reason

A few years ago I decided to write an allegorical book about a lost woman and a friendly boar. If you’re not a writer, you may not realize how odd this sounded to my agent, editors, and publishers. 

“An allegory?” they said. My proposed book wasn’t just outside my usual genre, it wasn’t in any genre at all.

“A boar?” they said. People can be so judgmental of tusked animals.

“But why?” they said. I was an established self-help author. Why throw away my time and energy on a book so odd no one would even know where to shelve it?

“No reason,” [...]

What Can You Do When Things Fall Apart

We live in a time of death and rebirth.

Over a hundred years ago, William Butler Yeats wrote in his poem “The Second Coming” that things were falling apart and that “the best lack all conviction, while the worst/ are full of passionate intensity.”

He was writing about a world ravaged by the effects of World War I and the Great Influenza Epidemic of 1918, which had managed to reach just about every corner of the globe.

A century later, things are falling apart at a level Yeats couldn’t have imagined:

How to Turn Away from Fear

“Inspiration” has several meanings. One is simply “drawing breath.” Or it can mean having a new idea. Or it can mean being “in-spirited,” filled with peace and grace from the mystery. All these meanings are related. In fact, the word “inspiration” is a three-step recipe for ending anxiety and living joyfully in a difficult world.
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