Pursue Happiness or Practice Acceptance?

We live in a pro-happiness world. No, seriously. I am not a hermit. I know that there is a 24/7 barrage of bad news right now. But surely you have figured out that this is Read More

Peace, Grace, Uncertainty & Challenge

As some of you are aware, my father passed away this week. He is pictured above with my mom and my son about seven years ago.

I am deeply grateful for all the messages I Read More

Four Reasons I Meditate (Happiness and Performance Did Not Make The List)

Sometimes I do it in my living room. Sometimes it is on an airplane or in a hotel room. Sometimes it happens at the beach or at a park. I have even done it in Read More

Our Practice – Not Our Circumstances – Defines Us.

Yesterday I talked to a nurse at the rehabilitation center where my father is staying. She is helping me arrange a visit for my mom to see my dad through a window.

On my morning walk Read More

Why We Don’t Call Piano Practice Self-improvement: How Self-Help & Happiness Strategies Are Making Us Anxious & Lonely

I think the human brain is a truly miraculous thing. It has the ability to reshape itself based on behavior. This is how we grow skill. When someone practices the piano, their brain builds new Read More

Mindfulness and The Mixed Blessing of Imagination

Theo Jansen designs beasts that are animated by the wind. If that makes no sense to you, then watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qdr5vZ5btU

His imagination, and his ability to bring his ideas to life, is remarkable to Read More

Are We Losing The Heart of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is everywhere. You cannot pass a magazine rack or read the news without coming across some mention of this ancient and recently popularized practice. It is being introduced in schools, medical treatments, and businesses Read More

Mindfulness & The Industrial Happiness Complex: Why The Gospel of Comfort & The War on Discomfort are Making Us Miserable

I have spent about 30 years studying, teaching, and coaching the principles and practices of wellbeing. My search began in response to my own struggles with anxiety, perfectionism and insecurity. My life’s experience has led Read More

Freedom From Discomfort: Working Peacefully and Powerfully with Stress, Anxiety, Reactivity, Overwhelm and Every Other Form of Discomfort

Karen had an intense crush on Oscar all through high school. Her friends often reminded her that she was free to talk to him – or even tell him how she felt. Just the thought Read More

Up To It: Compassionate Confidence as an Antidote to Anxiety, Stress, Avoidance & Reactivity

How different would your life be if you really trusted yourself?

What if you knew in your bones that you had the internal resources you needed to deal with disagreement, disapproval, discomfort, disappointment, setback, loss….

What if Read More

“Tell Me More”​ — Practicing Listening & Understanding When You are Triggered

Imagine a moment in a debate where a Democratic candidate responds to a Republican candidate (or vise versa) with something like “Let me see if I understand your point” and then reflects back what she Read More

The Courage and Self-Compassion to Receive (and Really Consider) Feedback

“This is bull.” I have had these three words directed at me twice while speaking in public. The first time was several years ago. On that occasion I did what I have done many times Read More

The Freedom and Power of Acknowledging Our Mortality

We are each going to die. Ouch. What a first line to a blog post. While this is not a popular thing to acknowledge or discuss, it is a simple truth of human existence. Unless Read More

How Human Is Your School?

Think about this past week. Consider the challenges you faced and dealt with in your own life. What percentage of these challenges were resolved with academic knowledge? What percentage of these challenges were inner-personal or Read More

10 Minutes That Can Make Your Life More Peaceful & Joyful Everyday


These thoughts are inspired by time spent with a young man who is earnestly seeking a meaningful and fulfilling life. I have known him since he was a little boy, but have not sat down Read More

How to Enjoy Life

“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” ~ Viktor Frankl

You can be overwhelmed, underwhelmed, or just plain whelmed. You can be disgruntled (upset), but you Read More

Enough. The incredible practice of knowing that you are up to it.

“You are enough.” This is a popular sentiment in the self-improvement world. But what does it mean exactly? I think of it this way — you can deal with whatever happens. Maybe not perfectly. Maybe Read More

Mindfulness Practice: Cultivating the Love We Seek

Since I was quite young, I can remember feeling an emptiness in the middle of my body. A longing. It seemed to go away when I received praise, appreciation, or affection. So, over time, I Read More

Four Ways That Mindfulness Meditation is Just Like Life


I started meditating about twenty-five years ago. I began because I was struggling with anxiety, doubt, and insecurity, and my coping strategies were often more destructive than the emotions I was trying to avoid. So, Read More

The Blessing of Not Beating Yourself Up

Here’s a glimpse into my life. It starts with sitting in an airplane in Chicago for two and a half hours while they fix something related to one of the engines. I am actually not Read More

Mindfulness: Working Peacefully With A Reactive Nervous System in a World Full of Triggers

I have a reactive nervous system – what I mean by this is that little things in the environment can trigger a strong reaction in my body. In fact, until I was in my early Read More

“You’re one of us” — Observations of Humanity

Yesterday I was in the Newark airport. I had some time before my flight, so I stopped by the meditation room in my concourse. When I walked in, there was a young woman praying the Read More

“We’ve Done The Mindfulness Thing”: Teaching Students To Use Their Attention Skillfully

“We did the whole mindfulness thing.” This was an assurance from an educator that I met at a national conference. She went on to tell me about how they had had people come in and Read More

There Is No Lesson Here — It’s Just Awesome

Recently I was meeting with a group of pre-kindergarten students in Oregon. I was teaching them some practices for paying attention. We began by closing our eyes, sitting still, and listening to sounds. Each time Read More

A Baker’s Dozen of Small Choices for a Kinder, Happier & More Fulfilling New Year

My coaching centers around unconditional well-being — these are the aspects of our quality of life that are not dependent on our circumstances. These are dependent on what we practice regardless of our situation.

How Read More