The Problem with Self-Improvement

Sooner or Later You Must DO Something In the late 1970s, long before self-improvement became a thing, I was traveling in Europe after 2 years of college and struggling with what to do next. Sitting on the beach at the Black Sea, one of my companions told me the following: Say you want to sail …

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I Am Empowered

A Peek into My Process to Conquer Insecurity and Self-criticism People who know me often describe me as strong. I’m calm in a crisis, champion the underdog, and have been strong-willed since childhood — just ask my sisters! What most don’t know is that I have a deep-seated fear of both failure and success. As …

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Breathe

In. Out. In. Out. Take another breath. In. Out. One more time, slowly. In. Out. Everyone is tense. Anxious. It’s like we’ve collectively forgotten how to breathe. Count to four and breathe in. Then breathe out slowly on another count to four. Maybe stretch it to eight. I snapped at a store clerk today and …

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Living With the Hard Questions

When the answers are absent or unfathomable In journalism, you’re taught to ask the six questions for any story: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Scientists tend to concentrate on the What, When and How, with the others feeding into that mold. Philosophers and spiritual leaders look more for Why and Who might be …

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Alone And Strong

I was twenty years old when I learned I could be alone and strong at the same time. The Setting I was volunteering in a Christian youth hostel in Amsterdam, Netherlands, after travelling Europe for three months. In some ways my upbringing had left me naïve and vulnerable. But the year and a half in …

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The Problem with Change — is Us

Change is inevitable. We all know that. So why do we fight it so much? From the moment we emerge from the warm, quiet security of the womb, we are bombarded with differences, and we cry. Lights, noises, and new sensations all announce that our world has changed, and it never stops. Not until we …

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Walls Within and Walls Without

Why are people so passionate about walls? In an age of airplanes, drones, mass media, and the internet, physical walls are obsolete in the face of terrorists and opposing ideas. But walls abound, between nations, between neighbors, and within our own selves. As a child, I grew up learning that emotions weren’t allowed. “Quit crying, …

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