Dysfunctional Family Bingo

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The holidays are high season for life coaches. Here in the States, the festivities start with Halloween and go on all the way through New Year’s Day, when we drag ourselves out of bed and recommit to normal life. At any time during those weeks, the pressure is on: we must be happy while spending time, money, and energy we don’t have on people who may or may not deserve it.

I’m not trying to “Bah, humbug!” the season. I love the holidays. Thanksgiving, in particular, is one of my favorite times of year. But I’ve had my share of holiday family drama, and I’ve coached […]

Dysfunctional Family Bingo

2 Comments

The holidays are high season for life coaches. Here in the States, the festivities start with Halloween and go on all the way through New Year’s Day, when we drag ourselves out of bed and recommit to normal life. At any time during those weeks, the pressure is on: we must be happy while spending time, money, and energy we don’t have on people who may or may not deserve it.

I’m not trying to “Bah, humbug!” the season. I love the holidays. Thanksgiving, in particular, is one of my favorite times of year. But I’ve had my share of [...]

What You Need to Know to Age Beautifully

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I was lying on the floor with my eyes closed, diligently practicing a yoga posture called shivasana (“corpse pose”). Some say that this is the hardest to master, but I thought I was doing pretty well. Not to boast, but yoga teachers often take me for dead no matter what pose I’m attempting.

Anyway, as I lay there a random idea came to me. “How strange,” I thought, “that this body had three children.” Then I realized that it actually hadn’t. Since all our atoms are replaced every seven years, not an atom of the body I have now was present when [...]

In Order to Move Forward, We Must Learn to Be Still

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“I’m sick of people telling me I’m going to save the world,” said my friend Eliza over coffee. “I know they mean it as a compliment, but it feels like one hell of a burden.” A charismatic activist, thought-leader, and author, Eliza (not her real name) gives people hope and confidence when both are in short supply. No matter what horrific mass shooting or eco-crisis comes up on the news, Eliza finds a way to help people believe everything will be okay. Her energy seems boundless. It isn’t.

“I’m just so tired,” she told me. “I’ve been doing so much [...]

Getting Unstuck

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Right now, I’m beginning—all right, planning to begin—several new projects. I’m going to launch a new fitness routine, declutter my closets, and start working with a new editor on my current book. It’s all hugely exciting, and I’m feeling so… stuck.

I don’t mean literally, of course. I’m physically free to start any of these projects at almost any moment. But my mind has been working overtime to convince me otherwise. I keep getting bogged down in what internet guru Zefrank calls “the terrible space between zero and one.” I know I want to do some awesome things—I can almost [...]

To Stay Present, We Must Accept Change

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A couple of weeks ago I boarded a plane from London to Philadelphia and immediately sensed something weird was going on. Our flight had been delayed for hours by mechanical problems, and I expected everyone, including the crew, to be tired and grumpy. Instead, the flight attendants appeared to have been drinking some sort of love potion. They practically leaped to assist us passengers as we arrived. They smiled into our eyes, joked with us, said things like, “Honestly, if there is anything I can do to make this flight more comfortable, please please let me know!” I’ve always experienced flight attendants as [...]

How to Track Your Life’s Purpose

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Why should you care about rhinoceros tracking?

I thought you’d never ask.

At the moment I’m at a South African game park called Londolozi, running a change-your-life retreat for a few hardy souls who’ve joined me from all over the world. They’re here to find or clarify their sense of purpose, so that they can follow it with more energy and less effort. The quickest way I know of doing this is to make them track a rhinoceros.

Like finding your life’s purpose, tracking a rhino can be baffling, discouraging, frustrating, and even frightening. But precisely because it’s so difficult, it can [...]

When Life Wallops You, Turn It Into a Personal Revolution

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A friend of mine recently experienced something I call a “life wallop.” You’ve probably had a few wallops in your own life: a relative you funded through rehab calls, high as a kite, asking you for bail money; an elderly parent, lost in dementia, snaps something brutally cruel; you see your ex on a date with your next door neighbor.

“I feel like a truck hit me,” said my friend. “It’s so stupid—I know I should just shrug it off, but I can barely get out of bed. I’ve been working so hard to evolve into a stronger person, and [...]

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