Ancient Wisdom, New Story
These articles draw on the world’s wisdom traditions as well as modern psychology to recast personal stories, pointing new directions for personal growth and self-exploration.
Values and Moments of Truth
These moments are when the truth of what matters most to you gets its chance to shine. Finally, you create, one critical moment-of-truth at a time, a response that points toward a life and a self of your own creation.
Eating My Own Dogfood
Study after study shows that putting emotions into words can markedly improve our physical and mental well-being.
Flavors of the Need for Change
I’ve found myself thinking of the different ways the need for change shows up for people. It can be a complex recipe of feelings.
Survival, Success, Significance
Fundamental orientations on life: Survival, Success, and Significance.
By orientation, I mean a fundamental drive or approach to life.
We look to change, but elements of friction can work against us. Plenty of forces out in the world can make things a bit more difficult for us, but the counter-forces I’m considering are ones inside us.
Physics Lessons for Personal Change
A quick, peak effort, however impressive, is unlikely to make a big change. Much more valuable in these cases are persistence and stamina.
These writers have helped me immensely. Maybe you would benefit from visiting them directly. In addition to those below, I recommend Alan Watts, Matt Kahn, Matt Licata and J. Krishnamurti.
Tift is a gifted therapist and practicing Buddhist. He helps us understand that we needn’t pathologise disturbing experience. We organise our lives around personal discomforts that seem unbearable, but we have capacities our child-selves didn’t, and we can now work with all experience.
Lisa Feldman Barrett
A former therapist, Feldman Barrett is now a neuroscientist challenging outdated views of the brain and mind. The brain’s predictions create our world, based on socially-inherited concepts. But we can update our conceptual library and re-cognise our reality.
Don Miguel Ruiz
Ruiz is a Toltec sage who gives an ancient ‘Western’ take on Eastern wisdom and spiritual growth. When we see our own dream (or story), fear loses its grip on us. When we love ourselves as we are, our relationships are no longer a search for what we already have.
Deutsch is a physicist and computational scientist who places learning above knowledge. His ‘Many Worlds’ interpretation is our best explanation of quantum theory. I love his view of our ever-growing mastery barely scratching life’s mystery.
O’Malley goes beyond Stoicism to show how what’s in the way is The Way. She shows how a few powerful assumptions, which she calls spells, shape the story through which reality arrives for us, and she invites us to use our bodies to overcome those spells.
Part philosopher, part entertainer, Watts is my favourite guide to the spiritual journey. He translated the East for us and integrated it with Western thought. I most appreciate his Taoist writings and his invitation to insecurity.