Staying Sane in the Time of Coronavirus: Leslie Davenport on mental and emotional well-being

10 Things Minimalists Don’t Do

Whether your own desk is clear or your bookshelves are overstuffed, consider trying out these ten things that minimalists don’t do: 10 Things Minimalists Don’t Do

Radical Self-Compassion

Tara Brach is one of my favorite teachers. Here she talks about loving ourselves into healing with the practice of RAIN: Radical Self-Compassion

Nature, Nurture And Your Politics

When most of us think about how we came to our political views, we often give a straightforward answer. We believe our stances on taxes, immigration or national security are shaped by those around us — our friends, parents, teachers. We assume our life experiences are the root of our political ideologies. But what if there is something deeper in us that drives the music we listen to, the food we eat — even the politicians that we elect? This week, we explore the role of biology in shaping our political identities: Nature, Nurture And Your Politics


Life as we find it…

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, smok...


“Life as we find it, is too hard for us it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it, we cannot dispense with palliative measures. There are three such measures; powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery, substitute satisfactions, which diminish it and intoxicating substances which make us insensitive to it.” Sigmund Freud

Go to the source of this quote: Sigmund Freud Quotes | Famous Sigmund Freud Quotations – Page 3


Want to see HUGE CHANGE in your life?

I frequently curate ‘pattern interrupts’ like the one above from Karen Salmansohn at and I love her mind and her images. Did you know she is also a beautiful thinker? Here’s proof…

You can get there by making small changes daily. After all, it’s easier to be a saint for 15 minutes, than to be a saint for 2 hours. Right? Of course!  I’m personally a big fan of small daily changes – which means I’m a big fan of “Kaizen” – which is a Japanese word which pithily summed up means: “doing small changes over time which create huge life changes.”

With all this in mind, I want you to do a Kaizen Experiment. For the next month commit to devoting a tiny 15 minutes a day to a new improved habit- and tweak your way to a happier life. The good news: You can always find an extra 15 minutes in your day!

More good news: Brain researchers Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang believe if you can train yourself to stay disciplined for a mere 15 minutes a day doing a specific task – eventually – over time – you will become a more disciplined person in general – and be able to do a habit for far longer than 15 minutes!

The Brain Research Cliff Notes: Aamodt and Wang have discovered that a human brain‘s overall willpower capacity increases like a muscle every time a human practices even a little bit of willpower — for even 15 minutes — because the human is literally strengthening their brain‘s neural pathways.

Meaning? If you want a toosh of steel, exercise your toosh muscles a little daily! If you want a discipline of steel, exercise your discipline muscles a little daily.  On an amusing note: Aamodt and Wang mention in their report how increasing “a human’s overall willpower muscle” can begin with something as simple as disciplining yourself to brush your teeth for two weeks with your non-dominant hand.

Well, instead of having you brush your teeth differently, I want you to brush up on doing “that thing” you know you need to brush up on! For example: Yoga stretches. Jumping rope. Organizing closets. Meditating. Gratitude journaling. Staying in closer loving touch with friends/family. Reading that NYTimes Best Selling book. Reading that cute picture book to your child at bedtime. Writing that book you want to write. Writing that business plan. Looking into a family vacation. Creating a vision board (then happily staring at your vision board) etc…
Basically, sometimes the idea of doing something new to change your life can feel so overwhelming – that you wind up choosing not to do anything at all. However, if you commit to doing a tiny 15 minute habit a day – moving one tiny 15 minute step forward a day – you will happily discover changing your life is not as overwhelming as you‘d thought.

Start today. Right now. Start to do “that thing” you know you gotta do – for just a mere 15 minutes of doing. No excuses. You can find 15 minutes. I promise you that if you can do this 15 minute habit tweak daily for the month, over time you’ll want to do this habit more and more – and over time you’ll find yourself smiling more and more – because both your discipline and your happiness will increase substantially.

By the way, I believe thereʼs a secondary reason why discipline for changing your life increases when doing small 15 minute habit changes over time. Youʼre creating what I call “identity shifting.” Basically, when you start doing a new disciplined live-improving 15 minute action, your identity begins to shift to see yourself as a disciplined life-improving person.

Your subconscious starts to say: “The old me did not used to have discipline. But lo and behold, now this new me does! I be da boss of my cerebrum, baby!” Thereʼs even a famed psychological theory called “Cognitive Dissonance” which explains this identity shift. The Cliff Notes On “Cognitive Dissonance”: We humans donʼt like to have a disparity between our thoughts and our actions — so when we change our actions, we change our thoughts to match them.

For example: If Human A starts to do a loving action for Human B — through Cognitive Dissonance — Human Aʼs brain will start to tell them “Geez, I must surely like Human B if Iʼm now doing a loving action for them!” As a result, according to studies on cognitive dissonance, Human A will wind up liking Human B a wee bit more.

Likewise: If you force yourself to do positive, disciplined actions, then your brain — via the perks of Cognitive Dissonance — will start to tell you, “Geez, I must be a positive, disciplined person if I am doing positive, disciplined actions.” Eventually you will wind up being a wee bit more positive and disciplined!

Source: Want to see HUGE CHANGE in your life? – Karen Salmansohn

I hope Karen doesn’t mind that I shared her post in its entirety on my blog. You can find her site by following the link and she has books full of pattern interrupts and other great thinking available on

Click to buy…

If you like By the way,  for those of you keeping score at home this is post number 5,000 on this blog…

Michaelangelo and The Creation of God

Here’s something to ponder over the weekend. Was Michelangelo sending a ‘secret message’?

Get the scoop here and tell me what you think about this below: The Creation of God | Psychology Today.

Sixteen Strategies for Combating Rumination

Did you know that goats and cows and other animals that chew their cud are called ‘ruminants’? You learn all kinds of thinks living on a farm! Think about that image as you ruminate about rumination!

Conquering ruminative tendencies can make a big difference in your wellbeing.

Shakespeare said, “Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.”  Many great thinkers and philosophers have articulated, in one form or another that altering your thoughts is the key to wellbeing.  Mind Shift, a technique in The Creativity Cure involves transforming self-defeating thoughts into life affirming ones.  It is possible.

When something terrible has happened it is tempting to ruminate. Over-thinking is a way of trying to attain a sense of mastery or a feeling of control when you feel trammeled, helpless or victimized.  There is a tiny hope that you can get somewhere if you just get to the bottom of it.  Accept that trying to understand what happened is often not a good investment of your time. Some people’s actions will never make sense so you will not uncover a satisfying answer. Pondering other subjects rather than ruminating allows your mood can change. Your creative thoughts can emerge.” Get more here: Sixteen Strategies for Combating Rumination | Psychology Today.

Don’t chew the cud of your past! Stop ruminating and move on…

See Your Imperfect Self As Precious

Leslie Becker-PhelpsLeslie Becker-Phelps writes:

As a therapist, I am often faced with people who struggle with feeling essentially flawed in some way. They are quick to take responsibility for their errors or to blame themselves for problems with friends. And, they experience their struggles, mistakes, and imperfections as proof that they are lesser as a person.

As I listen to them, I know that when they look in the mirror, they do not see the value in them that I see. It is this negative self-perception that is the real source of their torture, not the daily issues that loom so large for them. Being overweight, shy, depressed, or socially awkward may cause them great pain; but I see this pain as a distress that requires caring – not condemnation. Making mistakes at work or becoming upset with your children is just part of life. After all, there’s a reason that “It’s only human” has come to be an expression. No one – and I mean no one – handles everything well all the time. And everyone – and, again, I mean everyone – has things they really struggle with.” Get more here: See Your Imperfect Self As Precious | Psychology Today.

Elevator Groupthink

I am wondering how I would react. Interesting post over on Brain Pickings: Elevator Groupthink: A Psychology Experiment in Conformity, 1962. via Elevator Groupthink.

One way to Stop Being Disappointed

English: Pigs in Mud A sow and piglet on the n...

Have you ever heard the expression ‘Doing _____ is like wrestling with a pig; you get dirty and the pig likes it’. Steve Pavlina writes:

If someone is late about 70% of the time, and you expect them to be on time, that’s a rather foolish prediction, isn’t it? They may be on time, but they probably won’t be.

What many people will do is get angry with the friend who’s frequently late. Does this usually change that person’s behavior? Perhaps sometimes, but it usually has little or no effect. The person will most likely continue being late at roughly the same frequency.

Wanting a person to change doesn’t change their behavior. It’s more likely to cement the behavior in place since people tend to resist others’ demands of them.

Instead of resisting your predictions, a more sensible approach is to accept them. Accept that your friend will probably continue to be late most of the time.

Note that this doesn’t mean predicting that your friend will always be late, so you can be pleasantly surprised when they’re on time. That would be inaccurate as well. It means accepting that you don’t really know when they’ll show up and that most likely they’ll be later than they say they will. Predict based on reality, not on overly positive or negative expectations. In many cases your prediction will be a spectrum of possible outcomes with some being more probable than others.

Now your friend may change their behavior over time, but when such changes are going to occur, you’ll typically see advance evidence of them. Is your friend committed to becoming more punctual? If so, is there any physical evidence other than empty promises? For instance, when you visit your friend’s home, do you see books like How to Be Punctual lying around? Does your friend share details of their efforts to change? In other words, do you have some solid evidence that this habit will in fact be corrected?

Let me put this another way. If someone said they’d bet you $100 that your friend would be late most of the time for all get-togethers for the next six months, would you take that bet (meaning that you’re betting that your friend will usually be on time)? If you wouldn’t take the bet, it’s fair to say you expect the old behavior to continue.

If there’s no evidence of change, then your best prediction of future behavior is past behavior. In this case, the past does equal the future.

If your current prediction is that the old behavior is likely to continue, then go ahead and project this expectation forward in time for at least a decade. In the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, it’s reasonable to expect that this pattern will continue year after year for at least the next 10 years.

Now do your best to accept this prediction without resistance. Don’t try to alter it for emotional reasons.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, so if you’re clear about the past behavior, you can reasonably expect that it will continue as-is for the most part, absent any serious commitment to alter course. Change is always possible, but entertain the possibility that it may not happen.

Now with this newfound acceptance in mind, how does that affect your relationship with your friend? Does it mandate that you kick this person out of your life? Not necessarily. What it means is that you can now account for the likelihood that this person will be late most of the time. This means your decisions will be more intelligent since they’ll be based on more accurate predictions, not on false hopes.” via How to Stop Being Disappointed.

My old friend RJ always says that when it comes to people what you got is what you’ll get; we can hope that people change but to expect otherwise is an invitation to disappointment. Stop wrestling with pigs!!!

Is Your Life “Bucket” Leaking?

A plastic yellow bucket.

“Each of has a psychological “bucket.”

It’s our inner reservoir of positive energy that enables us to engage other people with good will, kindness, consideration, generosity, care and concern, acceptance, and respect.

And all of our buckets are leaky, to some extent or other.

At those times when our buckets are pretty well topped up, and not leaking very much, we feel good about ourselves and we’re likely to act in ways other people experience as “nourishing” – we help them feel good about themselves.

And when our internal buckets get leaky, we’re more inclined to treat others in ways they experience as “toxic” – we say and do things that cause them to feel offended, insulted, ignored, devalued, disrespected, unappreciated, or unloved.

Most of us manage to keep our buckets fairly well topped up, most of the time. Some days we’re more “up” than others, but over the long run most of us realize the value of expressing this positive energy to those around us.” Get the rest here: Is Your “Bucket” Leaking? | Psychology Today.

Are You Resilient Enough?

Psychology Today Features. Get more here: Are You Resilient Enough?.

The Top 10 Habits of Grateful People

“‘Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” — Henry Ward Beecher.

It is no secret that gratefulness is correlated with life satisfaction and happiness. Countless research findings, particularly in the rapidly emerging field of Positive Psychology, have shown that gratefulness and life satisfaction go hand in hand.  Those who tend to be more grateful rather than bitter are generally more positive, more satisfied with their lives, and will be able to see the silver lining even on cloudy days.Despite this intuitive understanding of the importance of gratefulness, all too often when life throws us curve balls, this grateful mindset all but disappears. It certainly is easier to be grateful when you are on a winning team and things go in your favor. However, the true test of resiliency and gratefulness is when life does not go your way. If you find yourself losing more than you are winning, and can’t seem to get over past regrets, disappointments and life’s injustices, gratefulness is overturned by a sense of injustice. Experiencing loss, frustration and even trauma, especially if we feel blindsided, certainly can make it difficult not to indulge in negative feelings.  After all, we might wonder, when things go wrong what really do we have to be grateful about? No matter what happens to us, if we “dig deep” we often can find that there is really plenty to be thankful for in our lives. The following are the 10 top habits of people who remain steadfast in their ability to be grateful, and can temper the blows life gives them with an unwavering “attitude of gratitude” mindset: The Top 10 Habits of Grateful People…Even In Tough Times.

Is Your Spouse Really Your Best Friend?

Kennedy marriage

A few weeks ago I curated an article from Michael Hyatt on ‘How to be your spouse’s best friend’. A few days ago, I found this article in Psychology Today by author Isadora Alman who has an interesting perspective and some good advice:

With any client’s first visit, usually presenting with some aspect of a relationship concern, I always review other aspects of their life – general health, the work he or she does and feelings about it, other people in their life (family, friends), what recreational activities are pursued, and if the person has enough time for him or herself.  Almost always the answer to this last question is “no”.  While all the other aspects of a life I ask about may have some bearing on a relationship issue, this last one always does.

Most of us these days lead frantic lives with demands for time coming at us from all directions.  Priorities have to be assigned and almost always personal needs beyond the most basic of food and sleep are often swept aside.  Even then, many people are not eating well or getting enough sleep so a half hour a day to simply take a deep breath of fresh air is just not there. Time to connect with a partner about how your day went or what’s on your mind in general is left, if it happens at all, to a few groggy moments before sleep takes over.

Let’s say, however, that one does manage to schedule a movie or a meal out.  What if your partner prefers a different movie than the one you want to see, or a different type of restaurant food?  What if he or she would prefer not to go to a movie at all but to a sports event or an art museum?  Do you forego what you want for the sake of couple harmony?  If so, no wonder you might be feeling lonely although coupled.  You’re living your life via someone else’s choices rather than your own.

An oversimplification perhaps, but I strongly feel that you need to be your own best friend.  Your own needs must be given some priority so that, as a fulfilled person, you can then be in a position to be more generous with your partner and others around you.  If you’re feeling lonely and not getting the support, sympathy or help from your spouse that is the very definition of friendship, look elsewhere – for a friend, usually same sex, and not place that burden of such expectations entirely on your spouse.  If you are feeling too much closeness within the coupled bonds, take what space you need for maximum enjoyment of life….and for maximum enjoyment of your partnership as well.  Two people who each have their needs met, who take responsibility of fulfilling their own needs, will make much better and more interesting partners to each other.

Source: Is Your Spouse Really Your Best Friend? | Psychology Today

Disappointed Someone? It’s Okay. Get Over It.

“When we are the one responsible behind disappointment, we find ourselves poked by both ends of a double-edged sword – on the one side wounded by disappointment in ourselves, and the other traumatized with guilt towards the party affected.

But like toothaches and awkward puberty, we have to accept the fact that we are all bound to the possibility of disappointment, be it by ourselves, family, friends or co-workers; or by circumstances beyond our control, such as bad timing or a chain of events that eventually domino-crumble down our path.

Disappointment is an essential part of our growth and self-discovery, and despite being uncomfortable and hurtful, teaches us to trust ourselves, recognize our strengths and weaknesses, and let go of our hold on perfection.

By actively avoiding disappointment onto others, sometimes we set ourselves up for more failure and pain instead of less, or none at all.

We understand that like people, disappointment comes in many different shapes and sizes. While we don’t reproach the remorse that comes with our wrongdoing (hey, that’s a sign of empathy, right?), we’re definitely not down with the idea of indulging in continuous self-pity over a missed deadline or a forgotten detail.

So here are some tips you can apply in your personal or work life on how to overcome the emotional self-flagellation that comes with having disappointed someone.” Get more here: Disappointed Someone? It’s Okay. Get Over It..

Detachment means “freedom from emotion”

The Way You Make Me Feel
The Way You Make Me Feel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Letting someone else’s behavior determine how we feel at every turn is irresponsible. Our emotions should be determined by us, not by someone else. But no doubt we have spent years confusing the boundaries that separate us from other people. Whether at work or at home, we have too often let someone else’s “insanity” affect how we behave and how we feel.

At first, it may seem insensitive not to react to others’ problems or negative behavior. We may fear they’ll think we simply don’t care about them. Learning that it is far more caring to let other people handle their own lives takes time and patience. But with practice, it will begin to feel comfortable. In fact, in time it will feel freeing and wonderful.

I will work on detachment today, knowing that in time the rewards will come. 

About those choices…

"I am not what has happened to me.  I am what I choose to become." Carl Jung

via About those choices………….

Who You Spend Time With Is Who You Become

This post from Mastin Kipp is so compelling I curated it in its entirety…

Community is everything. If you want to see a preview of your future, look to who you are hanging out with. This isn’t some moral statement about your peer group, it’s more of a vibrational or elevational statement.

You see, we live in a literal Uni-verse. That means that we become what we think and what we think is greatly determined by who we spend the most amount of time with.

Do you spend time with people who are constantly trashing your dreams? If so, then after time, you begin to believe their doubt and their fear; not because their doubt and fear are true, but because we are creatures of habit and our subconscious mind begins to absorb what we hear, especially the feedback from people we love and spend a lot of time with. And if you start to believe their doubt, then soon you will begin to take action from that belief in doubt and BAM – the manifestation of the belief of doubt becomes real. Not because it’s true, but because the belief of doubt became your dominate thought pattern and that thought pattern influenced your actions and your actions produced the outcome.

The outcome of our lives begins within us. If we water our dreams with doubt, then we think doubtful thoughts; take doubtful action and our lives become a living testament and proof of our belief. Then, what many people do is take this “proof” and use it to further justify their initial belief. But you see, what they’re missing this whole time is the fact that their initial thoughts of doubt is what created the outcome of doubt. They unknowingly participate in their own demise.

But, this can be prevented by hanging with the proper community of people. Let us hang with people who uplift us, who encourage us towards our dreams and who challenge our thought patterns. Let us not surround ourselves with people who always agree with us, but rather people who support our growth by challenging our beliefs and helping us break through to new mental and spiritual ground so that our lives may be enriched as a by-product.

Look around. Who are you spending time with? And more importantly, who are you believing? If you have a dream, do you believe people who are living their dreams and thus know the TRUTH about what’s possible, or do you take advice from people who aren’t living their dreams and thus will tell you it’s not possible.

Who you spend time with and who you believe is a major factor that will determine whether you are successful or not. Our aim should be to hang with people who are loving, who believe in us, who challenge us to go to the next level and who inspire us. Life is far too short to hang with people who are always negative and who want you to stay bitter and pissed off like them. It takes a lot of humility to admit when we’re wrong and to grow past our limiting beliefs. Let’s surround ourselves with people who support our growth, not necessarily the way we want, but most certainly the way we need.

Source: Who You Spend Time With Is Who You Become

Now, aren’t you glad you found this? I am!


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