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Only Connect!

EF Forster famously wrote “Only connect!” in his 1910 Novel Howards End to mark the 100 year Pre-Anniversary of a time when we could be digitally connected with our iThingy at all times, day and night, alone or with others, on the subway or while at dinner with friends.  Sure, at the time his prose were interpreted as a call to connect with others, and connection with others was the only reason to get up in the morning.  But we know better, don’t we?

“Friends don’t let friends lose their capacity for humanity.”

Sadly, it seems being connected with our digital gadgets can have a real impact on our ability to connect with others through a withering of our capacity for empathy.  A friend passed on this interesting article about the neuroscience behind the harm we are doing to ourselves when we spend too much time plugged in, rather than being tuned into the people around us.  Worth a read!  Original article here.  

Positive Psychology:  What it is, What it is Not

Here is a great description of what’s so great about the science of positive psychology.  My only quibble is that Martin Seligman once again is elevated above the many others who have been a part of this movement.  No doubt we owe a lot to his hard work and publicity, but “co-founder of the positive psychology movement” tends to make it sounds like there was no movement before him.  And turns out Buddhism has been talking about the same principles since a good bit before Seligman arrived on the scene.  But I digress!

Don’t Forget Your Star Player

Okay, I’m not endorsing all the language used here.  But with all the non-official authority I can muster I am endorsing Katt Williams as a self-compassion ambassador!

http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/super-soul-sunday.html

Brené Brown on Super Soul Sunday

Okay folks, set your tivos for 11amET/PT this Sunday. Oprah has another great Super Soul Sunday coming up this week.  Brené Brown!  Fist pump!  This episode is not to be missed. (Okay, or to be missed and watched on the internet later.)

Authenticity Advice from A Vulcan

Long before Brene Brown came on the scene, Dr. Spock (okay, Leonard Nimoy) was on making the case for connection with others starting by letting go of who we want to be and embracing who we are.

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spock advice 2

Don Miguel Ruiz will appear on on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday this morning at 11 am EST.  I can’t wait!  Click here for Oprah’s webpage for the this episode.

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Transitioning Into You

February 20, 2013

Annika Penelope Gives Us A Peak Behind the Curtain

This blog post by Annika Penelope – read it!  She is wonderful at communicating the cultural pressures that we ALL need to get over before we can be happy with who we are. Yes, it’s about her transition.  Trust me – this post is also about something much more universal. It is about the cultural pressures we all face to be someone different than who we really are.  You will be glad you read her writing regardless of your own relationship with your gender.

Eating Disorders and Transitioning Genders:  What We ALL Can Learn From These Experiences

Of course recovering from an eating disorder and transitioning between genders are two completely different experiences.  Completely.  So don’t get me wrong when I talk about the things that I have learned from working with people on these two unrelated topics.

It is precisely because they are such different experiences that I find any similarities in these paths to be remarkable.  We live in a culture that thrives on making us feel bad about ourselves.  We are bombarded with advertisements, airbrushed images, reality TV shows, and so much more, all sending messages that beauty equals happiness, and anything less than a continual quest for physical improvement is akin to sin.  This cultural pressure to focus on our appearances – specifically to focus on continually “improving” our appearance – takes a toll on our self-esteem.

Recovering from an eating disorder and successfully transitioning share this one thing in common:

Success requires finding and then tossing out the pressure our culture can put on us to be someone who we are not, in order to finally love who we are.

The Culture Of Authenticity

The first step in escaping the death grip of our cultural pressures is to recognize that there is no right way to be a male or female.  Each one of us finds a new way to be the gender that we are.  Some gals love flamingos and pink.  Some gals are pilots.  I know one gal who is a pilot AND loves flamingos and pink.  Is she less of a female than me for working in a largely male dominant profession?  Is she more of a female than me because she likes pink flamingos?  Of course not.  As Annika says in her post, “You deserve to live an authentic life.”

  • Living authentically means recognizing that our cultural does a poor job of telling us how to live authentically.
  • Living authentically means recognizing that how someone else chooses to dress or what they choose to do has nothing to do with what is right for you.
  • Living authentically means recognizing that there is no one point that we are all moving towards.
  • Living authentically means recognizing that you choose what is right for you and your body.  Even if it is scary to let go of pressures to be something else.  Especially if it is scary to let go of pressures to be something else.
  • Living authentically means letting go of the idea of life as a destination, and begin to enjoy the journey of becoming.

The Only Way Is Love

February 14, 2013

Lynne Hurdle-Price at TEDx-Women 2012

It seems fitting to share this post on Valentine’s Day, a holiday that can be so distracting from what love really is.  Starting my morning with this talk felt like a serendipitously poetic antidote to the trappings of this holiday.

Lynne Hurdle-Price starts strong and ends stronger.  While this talk is about bodies, it is also about something much bigger and profound. If you happen to be human then this talk is well worth watching through.

I want this woman to be my friend.  And dance partner.

A Perfectly Normal Survey

February 12, 2013

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A Perfectly Normal Survey Request

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/perfectlynormal

I need your help!  I’m trying to get 1,000 people to complete this TOTALLY ANONYMOUS survey. This survey is part of a larger project I am doing that evaluates some reasons why so many of us are trying hard to create the life we want, yet we still don’t feel great about ourselves or parts of our lives. My hope is this survey and project will lead to new ways for us to talk about how to feel better.

I’d like to get a lot of diversity in my sample (geography, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification), which is hard from my little burg in North Carolina.  I am hoping you might be willing to participate and, if it’s not too terrible of an experience, help get the word out by passing the link on to others.
The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. Please only complete the survey one time.

Thank you so much if you have the time to participate!!  If I could I would repay your kindness by giving you that glitter pony you always wanted.  Sadly, logistically it just won’t work.  But please know I am very grateful.

Here, is that link one more time.  :)

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/perfectlynormal