All posts filed under: Personal Growth

Week 52 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Personal Change

It’s the final week of this journal prompt series that I wrote to help you make introspection and deep thinking a daily habit. We made it!  Thanks for reading, liking and commenting throughout the year. I hope you found the content useful, or at least interesting, challenging, and thought provoking!   Next year’s blog project TBA! This week’s journal topic: Personal Change There’s a quote on Pinterest usually attributed to Lao Tzu: “When I let go of what I am, I become who I might be.” Regardless of the source – a fake quote or not – I like it.  It’s versatile as a reminder that progression requires letting go.  Being attached to our identity (i.e., how we choose to perceive and think of ourselves) makes letting go is a difficult and painful process.  Letting go is not a “whatever” or “don’t care” attitude, a disinterested shrugging of shoulders.  True letting go is a process requiring self-reflection and deep looking inward, followed by recognition of what will be let go and why, motivated by what will …

Week 45 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Habit vs. Addiction

Everyone has compulsive behaviors. I, too, sometimes have to take a minute to ask myself, “Why am I doing this? Is this what I really want to be doing?” Addictions aren’t only about illegal substances and stigma. So within the topic of compulsive behaviors, what’s the difference between a bad habit and an addiction?

Week 42 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Crisis

The word crisis brings to mind a dramatic, life-destroying situation.  Yet hindsight reveals that the situations we fear most are precisely the situations that bring out the best in our minds and/or bodies.  For example, an injured athlete outperforms his own expectations. Or surprisingly, the much-feared divorce that forces two people to come to terms with the past allows them to move forward into happiness with new dreams and lovers.

Is there a positive perspective from which we can choose to view dangerous and critical situations we encounter? Let’s rethink crisis.

NEW Emotional Wellness Workshop – Vancouver, BC, Canada

I’m excited to announce the first of a series of four workshops on emotional and mental wellness.  The first workshop is taking place on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver. There are limited spaces, so please RSVP by emailing me at This workshop focuses on teaching the skills required to live happily and healthily.  It’ll be fun, informative and transformative.  It will end with a Restorative Yoga practice to leave you feeling refreshed!

The Problem of Role Models: You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

In a confusing world that forces us to curb our natural behaviors, we often look to exemplars (i.e. role models) to facilitate and accelerate the decision making process. Those exemplars aren’t participants in the process  (obviously, we don’t have Warren Buffet, Jack Ma, or Mother Theresa on speed dial) but they influence our decisions in an indirect way. We reflect on our beliefs about these exemplars, asking questions such as What Would ____ Do? and allowing ourselves to be guided by the imagined response to a similar scenario.  There are different kinds of exemplars, and here are a few examples: Role model: A person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others. Idol: (colloquial usage) an image of a person with an ethereal, god-like, or transcendent status to which worship is addressed. Prophet: e.g.  Jesus, Mohammad, Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Lao Zu, Confucius, etc. Moral saint: a moral philosophy term coined by Susan Wolf who says, “By moral saint I mean a person whose every action is as morally good as possible, …

Money Mindset Makeover: Assess and Take Action to Improve your Relationship with Money

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post on Marx. Several readers contacted me directly about this post with worries about whether or not I support communism.  Sorry to disappoint your curiosity, but the post itself was not written as a piece for or against communism.  Rather it was first an exercise in understanding Marx’s philosophical foundation for his attitude towards capitalism, and second an attempt to make Marx’s philosophy useful, relatable and memorable to lay-philosophers – many of whom naturally have little patience for abstract theories, irrelevant in the modern economic world. If you didn’t read the post, the TL:DR of Marx’s “Estranged Labor” is that Marx thought – for philosophical reasons – that the labor market as an exchange of work for pay is inherently exploitative and inhumane. In case you were confused by that post, I’ll reassure you that’s not what I think, and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. Perhaps, after reading Marx, money has left a sour taste in your mouth.  Fear not: this week, let’s re-think money in …

Understand Marx’s “Estranged Labor” to Create A Personal Revolution

Marx was a German philosopher of the 19th century who is most famous for his economic views.  Marx observed laborers and the economy and his observations led him to come to the conclusion that revolution was necessary and inevitable. Why would Marx write that revolution is necessary and inevitable? Many of us would look at the world, and upon viewing the many erroneous and bloody revolutions would take revolution to be abhorrent, unnecessary and to be avoided at all costs.  Marx disagreed, for he was a Hegelian in his reflections that history is a series of progressions that take the form of: Thesis – a particular state of order; a beginning proposition Out of which arises the: Antithesis – a radical move against that thesis; a contradiction arises And finally: Synthesis – a reconciliation that creates a brand new state; a progression of history For Marx, revolution was necessary and inevitable because the way that people lived under the current economic system had become a contradiction of what human beings ought to be. The Problem …

What Everyone Should Know About Coping Behaviors & Addictions

Let me begin by stating that we all have the so-called “addictive personality”.  This label isn’t reserved for the weak or unmotivated or broken.  The addictive personality is, in fact, the the human condition. I think it’s obvious: each one of us resorts to some kind of coping behavior when life is too stressful and we feel overwhelmed.  Some of these coping behaviors involve legal or illegal substance abuse, but not all do.  Because some are more obvious and readily cause social and financial ruin, they are labeled “addictions”; however, each one of us has a chosen coping behavior or behavior that matters dearly to us and a harmful dependence can develop to any of these behaviors. The fundamental similarity among all of them is the aim to avoid painful emotions. No one is immune to painful emotions such as fear, loneliness, sadness, guilt, jealousy, boredom, inadequacy, etc.   The coping behaviors that allow us to avoid overwhelming emotions tend to fall into three categories: Consumption – e.g., food, media, and shopping Numbing out – e.g. drugs …

A Cheerfulness Practice to Radically Improve Your Mindset and Get Rid of Ennui

Don’t let a chronic case of the Mondays bring down your entire life.   Have you ever felt that each week is more of the same?  You make it through Monday to Thursday.  Finally, it’s Friday! But suddenly it’s Monday again.  How did that happen? The weeks run like torturous deja vu. Or perhaps it feels like every day is worse than the last.  The same breakfast, the same commute, the same crabby coworker.  And even the weekends are starting to seem as bland as plain, congealed oatmeal. It’s not that things are bad.  The response to “How are you?” is  “Oh, I really can’t complain.”  How do we cope with this perpetual, mild dissatisfaction?  Nothing’s really wrong.  Or is it? This listlessness has a name: ennui (pronounced: On-We).  It’s an emotional state of overcast, the kind that threatens of rain for days on end, but fails to provide the relief of a downpour.  It just goes on being overcast.  After the overcast becomes “normal”, you occasionally find yourself nagged by memories of last summer, …

Can you Be Present AND plan for the Future?

Years ago when I first started doing yoga, I thought the instruction to be present meant that I should eliminate external goals and forget about my future. Since then I’ve figured out that was a big misunderstanding on my part. This post myth-busts pop-culture’s superficial notion of what it means to be present. Being present does not require us to forego planning activity. Don’t equate the practice of being present with never thinking about the future.