Anytime I find a book, article or podcast that explains a new way to become more self-aware I can’t help diving into the subject. That was the case when a week ago I listened to an interview with author Diana Chapman where she asked, “In any given moment are you above the line or below the line?” If or how you answer that question offers great insight into our own individual awareness. It also reveals several paths to becoming more conscious and deliberate about your life and relationships. But what we tend to first think about living above or below that line isn’t quite what Chapman is after. Instead, it is the understanding, possible growth and acceptance of where we are in any moment that offers the greatest benefit of all—and then choosing where to go from there. Interested?
I’m in love. Don’t worry, it’s likely just an infatuation with a 78-year-old man named James Hollis Ph.D. I first encountered his work a month or two ago and since then I’ve read articles and listened to every podcast and YouTube lecture from him I could find. Who is he and why am I infatuated? On the surface Hollis is a practicing Jungian analyst and depth psychologist, author of over 15 books, a public speaker, and the former executive director of the Jung Society of Washington D.C. What I find particularly attractive are the thoughts and ideas that he routinely illuminates—a big part of which is the examination of our lives as we mature and enter the second half of life. And in spite of the many distractions we all face, I can’t help but be captivated by the goldmine of introspection he offers for those of us who are drawn to greater self-discovery and awareness, along with other insights about the innermost workings of our psyche. [Read more…]
A couple of weeks ago I cohosted a series of four podcasts with Kathe Kline of Rock Your Retirement. Kathe let me pick the topic of each of our discussions. After finding and selecting four articles I thought sounded intriguing, Kathe and I then spent 30 minutes discussing each of them from our individual perspectives. And although the podcasts are currently being edited and won’t be available until August, one of the topics stuck deeply in my mind. That topic is contentment. And while the word and concept sounds vaguely pleasant and benevolent, I must admit that I’m beginning to realize that I’ve overlooked its greater value and importance. [Read more…]
This week I’m happy to introduce you to Dr. Gary Lange as my guest blogger while I am traveling. Gary is a personal friend whom I’ve known for over 20 years. He lives locally, and besides seeing clients in his private practice, he also writes and teaches psychology at the nearby Cal-State University. While Gary and his husband Robert live very rightsized lives, he also spends much of his time focused on relationships and self-awareness. Thank you, Gary, for filling in for me and sharing some of your ideas with all of us.
Extroverted or introverted?
Methodical or impulsive?
Happy or glum?
Cautious or open-minded?
Past or Future-oriented?
Recently a graduate student of mine asked about the best ways to get to know herself. For many this may seem like an onerous project, so here are a few suggestions. You could always ask your friends and family but often they are not objective enough and are more likely to list things that stand out to THEM or bother them. That’s why I often suggest you ask yourself who you look up to, admire as an inspiration, or mentor you? If you can talk to these people, they may be able to give you some insight. [Read more…]
Most of the time I consider myself to be a very trustworthy and honest person. I do what I say I will do and typically say what I do without hesitation. But a new book I just finished has me digging a bit deeper around issues of honesty, trust and self-awareness. According to author Kelley Kosow, every one of us holds our own key to The Integrity Advantage. All we have to do is get naked, drop the BS, and embrace the wholeness that comes from living true to ourselves.
That sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, a big problem is that most of the time when we think about trust and honesty we focus on other people—not ourselves. The nightly news is filled with examples of others who lie and cheat, and that keeps our attention fixated on them instead of the little (or sometimes big!) white lies we tell ourselves. As long as we keep pointing fingers at other people who we believe are doing something wrong, we avoid taking a hard look at where our own actions might be out of alignment. Ultimately as Kosow says, “The reason we don’t trust others is because, deep down, we don’t trust ourselves.” [Read more…]
Last weekend my husband Thom and I attended the Joshua Tree Music Festival. It wasn’t our first. We’ve attended several others in the past, including two of the biggest music festivals in the country—The Coachella and Stagecoach. Why? We’re drawn to the music, the energy, the art and the people watching. While every event is unique, the Joshua Tree Music Festival promotes itself as a family friendly global music festival, so people of all ages and backgrounds attend. But just like with other music festivals, Thom and I sort of stand out—not because we have the best costumes, makeup, tattoos or hair. We stand out because we look pretty much the way we look each and every day. And sometimes accepting yourself just the way you are, takes more courage than trying to be someone else—no matter how cool that someone else might be. [Read more…]
The late afternoon has always been my favorite time of day. So this weekend when I found a quote by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of Analytical Psychology, it grabbed my attention. He said, “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different….”. Intrigued I continued to read how Jung believed that the approximate time between ages 56 and 83 offer each of us the opportunity to make the process of aging a positive and life-enhancing experience. Regardless of whether we find ourselves only approaching that “afternoon” of life, or deep within it, the SMART perspective is to learn and stay conscious about what we can do to live an ongoing life of quality and purpose. [Read more…]