Drop The Case

Who are you prosecuting? The Practice: Drop the case. Why? Lately I’ve been thinking about a kind of “case” that’s been running in my mind about someone in my extended family. The case is a combination of feeling hurt and mistreated, critique of the other person, irritation with others who haven’t supported me, views about

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Back to Basics

What’s fundamental? The Practice: Back to basics. Why? In middle school, I thought it would be cool to play a musical instrument, and picked the clarinet. My wise parents rented one rather than buying it, and I started practicing. (In the garage because it sounded pretty screechy.) After a week or two of doing scales,

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Wake Up To Good News

Are you exaggerating sticks while downplaying carrots? The Practice: Wake up to good news. Why? “Tell the truth.” It’s the foundation of science, ethics, and relationships. But we have a brain that evolved to tell lies to help us survive. As I’ve written before, over several hundred million years our ancestors: * Had to avoid

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Don’t Rain On The Parade

Why do we have cheerleaders? The Practice: Don’t rain on the parade. Why? Let’s say you’ve had an interesting idea or moment of inspiration, or thought of a new project, or felt some enthusiasm bubbling up inside you. Your notions are not fully formed and you’re not really committed to them yet, but they have

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From Shame to Self-Worth: Development of Shame Spectrum Feelings in Childhood

Welcome to the third and last part of the series, From Shame to Self-Worth. Last week we discussed the Neurobiology of Shame here and we started with the Introduction here. This week we will learn that shame is a very primal emotion, one that has a lot of traction in the mind. As we grow up,

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From Shame to Self-Worth: Evolutionary Neurobiology of Shame

This week we will continue from last week’s introduction in the From Shame to Self-Worth series by gaining an understanding of the evolution of shame. [As we go through this somewhat intellectual material, try to make it real for yourself by relating it to your own everyday feelings of inadequacy or guilt.] Have you ever scolded

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From Shame to Self-Worth: Introduction

In this three part series, we will look at where shame comes from, in human evolutionary history, and in personal development. There also are three quite powerful exercises in seeing through, releasing, and replacing (with worth) any feelings you may have along the shame spectrum. The spectrum of feelings in the territory of shame include:

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Speak Truly

What’s in your heart to say? The Practice: Speak truly. Why? It’s been said that the most powerful tool for physical health is a fork (or spoon), since the choices you make with it determine the good or bad things you put into your body. In the same way, perhaps the most powerful tool for

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Notice You’re Alright Right Now

Are you basically OK? The Practice Notice you’re alright right now. Why? To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved strong tendencies toward fear, including an ongoing internal trickle of unease. This little whisper of worry keeps you scanning your inner and outer worlds for signs of trouble. This background of unsettledness and watchfulness is

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Forgive Yourself

Are you hard on yourself? The Practice: Forgive yourself. Why? Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, King David, the Buddha, everybody. It’s important to acknowledge mistakes, feel appropriate remorse, and learn from them so they don’t happen again. But most people keep beating themselves up way past the point of

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