Joy to the Boy

PEOPLE, IT’S TIME TO SET MEN FREE!

I started my career back in the 90s writing about the way social change was tearing women apart. Twenty years later, I think women have made huge strides toward an altogether new way of viewing themselves and moving through the world. Our wonderful tribe of coaches is made up almost entirely of women who have found ways to be true to themselves no matter what society tells them.

Now, it’s time for our boys.

Even when I was researching the crisis of role stress for women, I could see what was coming for men: while [...]

Lame Animal Totem: Possum

Having just returned from another amazing African STAR (Self Transformation Adventure Retreat), filled with magical people and astonishing animal encounters, I’m even more obsessed with non-human creatures than usual.

Anyway, I’m getting a bit confused by the number of different of meanings various sources associate with a given animal. Do bats really represent the ability to navigate in the dark, or is that a toad attribute? Does the lizard outside my window mean I need to relax in the sun or be more compassionate?   Furthermore, it seems odd to me that no negative qualities are ever associated with any animal. I mean, really—malaria mosquitoes? Plague rats? [...]

The Truth About True Love

When I was 20, I got a fellowship to travel mainland China gathering folktales for my undergraduate thesis at Harvard. I was expecting the kind of stories I’d seen animated in Disney films: handsome prince and beautiful maiden overcome evil and unite in a happy-ending marriage. To my astonishment I found that this archetype is incredibly rare in Chinese folktales–they always ended with the protagonist getting rich.This was the first time I realized that my experience of romantic love was just one more set of socialized beliefs. Some of them made me very happy, and still do. The presence [...]

Easy Does It

Life is hard. We all know that. It is one of the primary beliefs that helped you gut it out through school subjects you hated, your soul-vampire of a job, and the years when your children, your partner, and your parents all depended on you. When I read through the journals I have kept sporadically throughout my life, I can see how acknowledging that life is hard helps me survive and overcome obstacles.

But, something weird is happening.

It’s not just me; it’s also people I work with, people I coach, and friends from all walks of life. We are being [...]

How to Stop Procrastinating

Ugh! I’m so full, I can’t breathe!” says Rose as she finishes her cheeseburger. “And I’ve got to lose weight. … I think I’ll have the crème brûlée.” Across the table, her oncologist friend, Linda, lights up, handling the stress of treating cancer patients by smoking like a chimney. Meanwhile Barb is complaining about her 27-year-old son, Randy. “If he doesn’t get a job and move out soon,” she says, “I don’t know what I’ll do.” Rose and Linda know what Barb will do—she’ll keep cooking and cleaning for Randy until she dies of old age. 

In their book The Knowing-Doing [...]

Get Out of Jail

Recently, I had the chance to watch the movie Instinct in which Anthony Hopkins plays a primatologist who “goes native” with a group of mountain gorillas. When humans kill his gorilla family, he goes berserk, kills some of the attackers, ends up in an African prison, and refuses to speak for years. Finally, a psychiatrist played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. breaks through and hears the story of Hopkins’ adventures.

This movie is based on the book Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, which I think all humans should read. The film has powerful implications about the 20th century, especially the great machine of industry that is our [...]

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