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Mirror, Mirror: The Power of Perseveration

I have the most fabulous conversations when I’m alone. Driving, exercising, flossing my teeth, I offer opinions and advice that would change the world, if only the people I’m talking to were actually there. One day I’ll laser-focus on a particular client, telling her exactly how to dump her awful boyfriend and develop some self-esteem. The next day I’ll masterfully elucidate how a friend should raise his children, or help the president better handle the media. So great are my powers of persuasion that I can go back in time, intercept Virginia Woolf as she heads out to drown [...]

Lame Animal Totem: The Blobfish

The Blobfish is a creature made of gelatinous tissue that allows it to float around the deep ocean floor, compensating for near-total lack of muscle by being totally nondiscriminating in its eating habits. Sound like you? Quelle coincidence! You and I have the same totem animal this month!

Blobfish energy is flaccid, weak-willed, and…I don’t know, whatever. When Blobfish floops and plurbles up through the plumbing of your subconscious and into the toilet bowl of your conscious attention, it’s time to relinquish all resolve, put on your bathrobe, and eat every last bit of pudding in the fridge.  If you can’t find [...]

Lame Animal Totem: Aardwolf

The Aardwolf, as I’m sure you know, is a stripy hyena-like creature from Africa that can excrete a full tenth of its body weight in one magnificent defecation. (How much would you excrete if you were an Aardwolf?  Would it be more or less than you can lift?)

A single Aardwolf can consume a quarter of a million termites in one night. Along the way, it slurps up a lot of sand and other assorted detritus, much like a child in Sunday school learning that God is infinitely compassionate, and will curse all who break certain dietary restrictions.

If you’ve inhaled [...]

How to Stand Up for Yourself

If Nu Nu had been bigger than a doorknob, someone would have shot him. He was like a tiny chain saw with fur, a snarling, fang-baring nightmare of a Chihuahua who viciously attacked anyone brave enough or crazy enough to go near him. Tina Madden, Nu Nu’s owner, was as saintly as he was diabolical. She never sank to Nu Nu’s level by reprimanding, much less punishing, him. She simply showered him with love and tenderness, believing that taking the high road would eventually dissolve Nu Nu’s wrath.

I’ve had clients who took a similar “high road” approach with difficult [...]

The Last Temptation of…You

A friend of mine called recently to say, “I’ve been offered a job I don’t want. The money, power, and prestige are huge. I’m not sure I have the guts to say ‘No.’”

If I’d had to, I would’ve shot him in the foot right then—anything to keep him from selling his happiness so cheaply.

Fortunately, my friend prevailed. He rejected all that power and money, knowing it would turn him into King Midas, surrounded by gold, yet lacking the warmth, tenderness, and joy that are his real life’s purpose.

I know many people who are having similar experiences. As they get [...]

Let Yourself Be Moved

The Third Task for Bewilderment: Let Yourself Be Moved

Lately we’ve been discussing the Tasks of Bewilderment, a series of exercises designed to help you become your wild self. Task One is Calm Down. Task Two is Don’t Swallow Poison (anything, from a food to a belief, that makes you ill). If you’ve mastered these two tasks, your life is already better than most.

People often protest, “But if I’m not acting out of fear and obligation, I’ll just sit around licking butter right off the dish.” Actually, once fear and poison are out of our energy, we begin to move like [...]

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