Are You Brave Enough to Go Through Hell?

“Sometimes you gotta go through hell to get to heaven.” That’s what Rocky said. Countless writers and philosophers agree with him. Kahlil Gibran writes this about pain in his classic, “The Prophet”: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its […]

On Veteran’s Day: Some Grim Statistics


On Veteran’s Day, I thought it was appropriate to site some statistics about veterans and mental health:   Almost one in three veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq confront mental health problems. On an average day in this country, suicide claims another 18 veterans. Approximately 30 percent of veterans treated in the veterans health system […]

On Surviving Difficult Times

I found the following excerpt in Jack Kornfield’s new beautiful book, “A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times.” One of the world’s greatest examples of how to survive difficult times is Nelson Mandela, the first president of modern South Africa. After twenty-seven years of imprisonment on Robben Island, he remained unbowed […]

Make a Self-Esteem File


What is a self-esteem file? The first thing that I would grab–okay, after the kids–if our house were to catch on fire: a simple manila folder containing letters I commissioned from folks on why they like me, hang out with me, even admire me. Because I’m not one of those people who can simply look […]

Mother Teresa’s Prayer of Compassion


This beautiful prayer by Mother Teresa articulates for me what pure compassion looks like. If it were shorter, I’d have it memorized. (But my spiritual hard drive has very little memory–thus, the post-its and clutter around my desk.) Dear Jesus, Help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go. Flood our souls with your Spirit […]

Tips to Find a Good-Enough Doctor

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Inspired from all the comments she received from my interview with her on chronic illness, Dr. Elvira Aletta compiled some suggestions for finding a good-enough doctor. In her Psych Central post called “Tips to Find a Good-Enough Doctor,” she throws out three basic qualities she looks for in a doctor: Expertise, knowledge, intellectual curiosity and […]