Letter from a Capsized Boat: My Plan for Life after Tuesday

(Sent with my newsletter last week) Dear friends and students, I suspect I may never forget the details of this last week, seared into my memory through shock and mass anxiety. Wednesday morning on my commute, the disappointment of several passengers was palpable. Their expressions were downcast, and their bodies were quiet without the usual manic smartphoning. There’s a sense that as our world rearranged itself Tuesday night based on the number of votes, our bodies and heads are slowly rearranging themselves to catch up. Some of us feel elated and vindicated, others…continue reading →
How to Be Nervous

How to Be Nervous

There is plenty of advice on how not to be nervous: by breaking big tasks down into actionable steps, for instance. In fact, there’s a whole industry of bloggers and app developers to help you feel more prepared and in control. But what doesn’t get a lot of press is how to deal when things are out of control (you know, like most of the time). So I thought I’d let rip a few hundred words on how to be nervous since even an organizational black belt will sometimes find themselves with sweaty…continue reading →

Video #6: Waiting to Exhale (Is Not a Good Idea)

Waiting to Exhale may be a good title for a movie, but it's bad advice for our breathing and well-being. In this three minute video, number 6 in a 10 part series, I'll show you a short breathing exercise that you can do to develop a full, refreshing, and relaxing breathing cycle, to help shed stress and provide more oxygen to your body. Try this exercise at work, on the subway, or – for added challenge – while watching "Waiting to Exhale." It's truly portable! You can watch the entire series on this…continue reading →

Video #5: When Should I Get Out Of Bed?

When you're not feeling well, whether it's an acute sickness or chronic condition, how do you know when it's time to get out of bed, part with the sweatpants, and return to the hive? What's the difference between resting, healing, and avoiding the demands and responsibilities of life? Also, how much Game of Thrones is too much? These are the questions that have been circulating in my mind over the last week and a half as I've been recovering from a surgery (I'm doing really well). I was given some fairly concrete prohibitions…continue reading →

Video #4: Eyestrain? Tension headaches? Try this.

Do you suffer from eyestrain and tension headaches? Would you like to learn a simple method for relaxing your vision and stimulating your natural posture? Would you like that advice in less than the time it took Lincoln to say the Gettysburg address? If so, click the video above and learn how you can take a big step towards decreasing overall tension in your face and head. This is a vitally important topic given how many hours a day we are all now looking at screens, many of which are getting smaller.   This…continue reading →

Video #3: To Heal, Catastrophic Thinking Can (And Should) Be Stopped

In this third video in a 10 part series, I answer the question of how meditation has changed my healing process. One clear example is the (everyday) phenomenon of "catastrophizing." This is when we take an uncertain situation – for instance, some pain, injury, or emotional crisis – and we imagine everything getting much worse, like a runaway train. By the end of the daydream (it could all take place in 10 seconds in our mind), we feel drained of hope and are tense with fear. Meditation helps cut catastrophizing thinking before it…continue reading →
The 4 Biggest Myths about Learning to Swim

The 4 Biggest Myths about Learning to Swim

Learning to swim is a major bucket list activity, and for many people it stays on that list far too long because of basic misunderstandings about what it takes to swim. Recently, I met a woman in her 40s who was ashamed to admit that after months of group lessons, she still couldn’t swim more than a couple yards without total exhaustion. She described herself as “unteachable,” and figured that she just wasn’t a “water person.” As I worked with her, it was clear that she had as much swim capability as the…continue reading →
Unhooking Shame from Pain: A Way Out Of the Cycle

Unhooking Shame from Pain: A Way Out Of the Cycle

Pain is tough, of course, but the thoughts and feelings which pain can stir up are the real nightmare. In my own history and my private practice teaching adults with pain, feelings of shame are never far behind a chronic pain condition. In our culture, it seems easy to interpret pain or loss of function as a personal failure. We look around at gluten-loving, sedentary, slouchy coworkers and think: why don’t they have pain? I’ve tried so hard, done all my stretches and exercises, watched my food and drink, and still, my body…continue reading →
Reduce Stress and Distraction through a Short Body Scan

Reduce Stress and Distraction through a Short Body Scan

You’ve heard of 8 minute abs, but have you heard of an 8 minute body scan? Me neither; so I created this short embodiment practice that you can practice on your own when you’re feeling lost in worry, or perhaps a bit frantic and out-of-body. In this audio, I’ll guide you to include the felt sensations of your body, from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. This requires no special powers of concentration: just two ears and about eight minutes which, by the way, is the approximate time…continue reading →
What No One Told Me about Chronic Pain

What No One Told Me about Chronic Pain

The pain is the easiest part. In my mid-20s, I consulted an orthopedist when my wrists started to feel warm after typing. He recommended ice packs and ibuprofen. In a thick Brooklyn accent, he asked, “You wanna take a couple days offa work?” The couple days stretched into months, and then years. Though neither of us knew it, this was the beginning of a chronic illness, and his prescription for Advil seems almost quaint to me now. The pain spread from my fingertips to my neck, and I couldn’t press a button or…continue reading →