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 #8. Sanity & Smartphones: an Unlikely Pairing

Why do we feel so depleted after time on the computer or with our smartphone? These tools, which offer such promise of productivity and connection, can often feel as if they rule us and not the other way around. In this short video, my 8th in a 10 part series, you'll learn the third step of my three-step process for adding more health and sanity to the way you use your devices. This step is all about how we can make a "clean break" from sending emails, checking notifications, etc. so we can…continue reading →

Video #7: This Will Put You to Sleep!

Dear people who sleep, This seventh video in my 10 part series is my response to a student who's been having trouble going to sleep recently. She would lie in bed worried whether she would be able to fall asleep, and find herself cycling through tomorrow's activities with dread knowing that she'll be exhausted. My advice is to try using a skill taught in the Alexander Technique called inhibition (not in the Freudian sense), which helps to quiet our nervous system and take some of the pressure and tension out of a given…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 →

#2: Help! I’m In Pain & What Should I Do?

What should I do if I am in pain? Here are three simple steps to reduce your pain, stress, and stop feeling like you need to police your pain and body all the time. 1. Acknowledge the pain. Take a breath, allowing what is here in this moment (including your dislike of it). 2. Notice your thoughts, especially judgmental thoughts and imperatives to "fix" the situation. 3. Connect with your desire to change. What do you really want? Try to just feel the intention without putting pressure on yourself to make it happen.…continue reading →

What Good Is Chronic Pain?

How is life with chronic pain different or the same as life without? Is it worse? Better? The first video in a 10 part series where I answer questions from viewers and students about the body, well-being, and the journey to greater health (in less than the time it takes to brush your teeth). Quote from the video: "Chronic pain is practice for being human."continue reading →