‘Wisdom comes with age’ is not just an aphorism. Life experience is one of our greatest teachers. As we move through life, we accumulate wisdom about who we are, what’s really important, and how we can live productively and happily.
With this in mind, I recently polled about 100 people, all over the age of 50, for advice on making the most of life. I studied their comments, looking for the particular mental attitude or belief underlying each one. …
“Never be afraid of the conversations you’re having. Be afraid of the conversations you’re not having.” — Susan Scott, Fierce Conversations
Have you ever struggled with saying what’s really on your mind? We all do. When we’re not being fully honest with others, it’s often because we:
However, problems occur when you don’t speak honestly:
Waning gibbous: the moon phase between full moon and third-quarter moon. A diminishment of light.
The worst part of perimenopause is the rage.
It starts as a slight edge, a bite that creeps into my voice. An irritated tone, a generalized impatience with my kids. I check the app on my phone with the little pink flower on it. Sure enough, it’s somewhere between 10 and 12 days until my next period is due.
I trade jokey texts with friends about my desire to build a PMS pod. A modern-day version of the red tent — where hormonal women can…
I’ve written a bit about my decision to move to Los Angeles in 2012 and how it changed my life for the better. I was 24 that year—young enough to take a big leap and old enough to make it work.
My journey to Tinseltown wasn’t about finding fame or “making it big.” What I sought was freedom and possibility. I’d seen how difficult it would be to secure the life I wanted in my small Appalachian town, so I headed west.
When I arrived, I resisted the pressure to get a traditional desk job and decided to take up…
There’s a lot to disagree about these days: politics, shutdowns, masks, travel restrictions, vaccines—you name it. And then there are the more mundane disagreements in everyday life, the little things, like setting the thermostat.
Someone wants to turn it down. You want it up. Someone says, “It’s too hot in here.” You say, “It’s not hot. It’s cold.” Before you know it, you’re in a silly argument. None of us need more aggravation, especially right now.
In order to express yourself respectfully and defuse arguments before they start, it’s important to understand the difference between facts, opinions, and toxic opinions.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” — Albus Dumbledore
As a writer, I’ve been well prepared for the voices that manifest in the course of birthing a story. Everyone from high school writing teachers to literary giants warned me to fight inner voices that stifle creativity. Most of them describe the same critical voices: there’s the cruel one that says, Your work is shit, the one who worries, What if your boss reads this? What if your MOM does? And of course, the one who…
A few months ago, I wrote a well-received article about using verbal aikido to avoid stupid arguments. Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art that uses the principles of nonresistance to neutralize an opponent. The philosophy can be applied to resolving differences of opinion without being aggressive or defensive.
Too bad I wasn’t able to apply it when I got into a meltdown with my wife recently.
But I was reminded that, as relationships mature and move through the romantic phase into real life, debris from the past will come up at unexpected times. …
I watched 10 minutes of American network news on January 2nd. The gloom and doom were in full swing: infections, political vetoes and overrides, deaths, and snowstorms. I didn’t stick around for the short feel-good story at the end that’s supposed to make me all warm and fuzzy after being shoved into a vat of burning tar.
2021 is off to a dark start.
Or maybe not?
It depends on what you know about black holes.
A black hole is a place in space where a tremendous amount of matter is packed into a very tiny area. Think of a…
Now more than ever, we need to find our strength, courage, and fulfillment from within. Real contentment is not — and never has been — a result of other people, places, and things. It’s within us, and there are practical ways to experience it. It all starts by being curious — wanting to know your inner world, what makes you tick, what makes you conscious.
Being conscious means to be awake, to be aware of one’s inner and outer worlds. …
The world is full of uncertainty right now, and many people are experiencing the ups and downs of adapting to new ways of living. I’ve had a few emotional dips recently, which took me by surprise—I’m generally an upbeat person.
But William Bridges, author of Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, has some compelling explanations for these ebbs and flows. He explains that change is external—moving from one city to another, for example—but transition or adaptation to change is an internal, psychological process.
Bridges describes three nonlinear phases of transition: endings, neutral zone, and new beginnings. Endings occur with significant…