Mental Health

How Art Has Changed My Life

Read Time: 4 min.

I was recently asked what experiencing a creative art taught me, if I could quantify its effect on my life, and what “good” came from it. As a self-proclaimed “arty farty” person, my first reaction is to soap box the importance of art in our culture.  How it shapes us and our reality.  How it’s used in marketing, film, politics, and is statistically proven as valuable for test scores and SAT’s. I ...

The First and Only Rule of Being Good

Read Time: 3 min.

Being a good person is simple. Like most things, people tend to overcomplicate it. They scour the internet or ask the smartest people they know (i.e. parents), hoping for the missing piece to the puzzle. But like I said, it’s pretty simple – all you have to do is pay attention to religion. I’ll admit, coming from someone who isn’t religious, this might seem like shaky advice. Now, I’m not sa...

Self-Control

Read Time: 3 min.

Self-control is one of those things we all wish we had more of. For a lot of us it’s food (pepperoni pizza, mmmmm); for others, video games, or texting, or constantly refreshing Twitter. For some of us, it gets to the point where there’s an actual addiction involved, and then our problems get even harder to deal with. But self-control goes beyond just dealing with temptations to pleasure. Ever try...

Discipline is the Path to Discipline

Read Time: 3 min.

For many people, the word “discipline” is a negative. A disciplined person is not spontaneous or fun-loving. It seems like being disciplined means giving up freedom and joy. The truth is the opposite. Discipline is the path to freedom and joy. I play piano, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar. I love playing in bands. But learning to play a music instrument requires… you guessed it,...

Self-Control and Social Media

Read Time: 3 min.

There’s a word that has always been the difference between the successful and the hopeful: “how.” I know WHAT to do to achieve my goals, but I don’t necessarily know HOW to do it. Finding that “how” requires discipline… So HOW do you create that? There’s a lot involved in exploring this question. I’d like to start with the world of social media as an examp...

Call Me Old-Fashioned

Read Time: 3 min.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think technology is a little overrated. Yes, we can have pretty much anything we want delivered to us without even putting on pants. Yes, we don’t have to go through the hassle of making real friends when we can easily connect with people online. Yes, we don’t even need to know where we’re going before we get in the car. But just because we have unlimited power at our ...

Anxiety and the Margins in my Life

Read Time: 4 min.

It was a simple enough mistake—a small wrong curve that took me over the bridge into Manhattan instead of to my parking spot in Long Island City. But as soon as it happened, I began to lose my mind. By the time I landed on the other side of the Queensborough Bridge on E 60th Street, I was consumed with an overwhelming anxiety that took my breath away, forced me into shakes and tears, and left me f...

Anxiety and the Little Things

Read Time: 6 min.

Adulting is hard. There are the occasional perks—like having pie for breakfast. Recently, when our kids have asked, “how come YOU get to…and I don’t?” we’ve been using the response, “because we pay taxes.” It seems to work well. It doesn’t, however, touch the surface of explaining the level of stress and anxiety that adulting requires…sometimes pie for breakfast is the only way to get through the ...

How Gratitude (Among Other Things) Can Combat Fear

Read Time: 5 min.

What are you afraid of? The concept of “fear” will impart many different meanings for different people. Perhaps clowns, if you’re a child of the 80s. Or maybe heights for others. Possibly something more existential like dying, or what comes after – “the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns,” as Hamlet put it. However, as I’ve ruminated on the idea of fear lately, I’ve f...

I Have a Fear of Jumping

Read Time: 3 min.

It’s not a fear of falling I struggle with. I am not afraid to fall. I am afraid to jump. We all have those little snippets of memories from when we were kids. I remember being in a park with my Mom. We were across the street from our house at a playground in the suburbs of Chicago, and we were playing on one of those wooden playhouse structures that has a ladder and a little house at the top and ...

Fear

Read Time: 4 min.

The horror writer H. P. Lovecraft says that “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” While I’d disagree that fear is the strongest emotion, it’s surely one of the strongest. What else can get your heart racing (and your feet pounding!) the way fear does? …Which is why we’re all interested in getting rid of our fearful ...

Is Peace Waiting Beneath Our Stress?

Read Time: 3 min.

What is peace?  And is it possible to experience real peace? I don’t have any easy answers to these questions… I don’t really know much about much. Like most 30-somethings, I’m filled with more questions and confusion than ever. Including questions about peace. Questions I know will never be answered. Questions I’ll continue to ask in the hope of getting closer to an answer, while accepting ...