Category: Writing

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Forget About Meditation. This Simple Practice Can Change Your Life.

Your yoga teacher, shrink and shaman all told you that you should practice meditation. You saw Ellen Degeneres endorse TM—that’s Transcendental Meditation for those who’ve lived under a rock for the past fifty years—on TV and thought perhaps it was time to invest $1000 in your spiritual growth. So you decide you will start meditating…soon…but definitely not this weekend. You’re… Read more →

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Why Your Creative Work Hasn’t Made You Rich and Famous

A member of my writers’ group asked me this question: Hello, I just self-published a novel. It’s not doing so well… About 150 people have bought it nationwide but I want MORE people to know my book. No one really know who I am. I’ve always wanted to be an author but now it’s getting really stressful… I cannot afford… Read more →

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The 7 Stages of Human Mastery

During this human journey, our relationships with ourselves and the rest of the world constantly change. Yet there are significant gateways almost all of us go through. These are what I call the “Seven Stages of Human Mastery”. There are variations on the theme and the timing of each stage is different for all of us. Still, these are the… Read more →

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You Have Negative Thoughts? Ok. So What?

A friend of my Facebook page asked me this question: I get these negative feelings of people… I know I have to stop the negativity but it isn’t easy. I know every thought you think has energy… so what steps can I take to maintain a positive outlook especially about other people? My answer: Step 1. Stop thinking you have… Read more →

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I Couldn’t Love Myself, So I Loved My Self-Judgment

“I realize I need to love myself more!“ I hear people say that a lot these days. Self-love is hip now. Even my 64 year old mother, who hates internet listacles, emailed me an article the other day called “5 Ways to Love Yourself Before You Leave the House”. “Read that,” my mom said on the phone. “And eat more… Read more →

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Why Your Happiness Doesn’t Depend on Positive Thinking

I used to believe that positive thinking is the key to a happy life. We’ve all heard it before — try to look at the glass half full and you’ll be happier that way. And who knows, maybe you can even “think (positively) and grow rich” or “attract what you want with (positive) thought wave,” as well-meaning motivational speakers want… Read more →

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Why My Vision Board has Nothing on It

(This article was published in Elephant Journal.) I was reshuffling my book collection when my old vision board tumbled off the shelf. Thud! It plunged into the floor face down, stirring up a mist of dust. My cleaning lady Andrea, who came to help me tidy up the house for the New Year, was vacuuming the carpet. She glanced up, first… Read more →

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The Art of Radical Self-Congratulation

(This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.) I was having lunch with my friend Jenny recently. She told me she just got a promotion at work, which I knew she had long desired. But Jenny didn’t look too excited. When I congratulated her, she said, “Yeah, but it’s a job nobody wants. I’ll need to manage all these people… Read more →

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The Emptiness That Scares You

Have you ever felt empty? You know, the hollow, blank, ennui, I-don’t-know-what-I’m-f**king-doing-with-my-life kind of empty. If so, does it bother you? FYI: if your answer is no to either question, you’re a rare gem of humanity and no need to read further. I had my first conscious encounter with emptiness when I was eight. Now, I’m that absent-minded person who’ll… Read more →

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5 Things Confident Women Know (Useful to Guys As Well)

Good news: You don’t have to “believe in yourself” to be confident. In fact, it’s optimal that you don’t. The macho, ego-centric kind of confidence is so 20th-century. The truth is that no success is entirely “self-made”. Yes, believing that you created all your accomplishments makes you “confident”, for a while. But does it help you and the world on… Read more →

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Why You Should Become An Artist

When I was little, my father sometimes let me tag along on his work trips. One time I went with him to this remote northern county in the province of Yunnan, China, where he worked. I had a major motion sickness and constantly dozed off on his lap as we drove along the poorly-maintained mountain roads for three days. The… Read more →

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Karma and Other Bad Reasons to Become A Vegetarian

I was a vegetarian for half of my 20s. At that time, to me being a vegetarian simply meant you were on a diet, and I was never not on a diet. Being a vegetarian was especially convenient when sitting in a restaurant with a bunch of people, where I would be under peer pressure to participate in eating activities.… Read more →

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How to Find the Important People in Your Life

There are two opposite camps when it comes to how to find those who will end up playing a large role in your life– the mentor, the mate, the good boss, the investor in your venture, the dog walker who’ll keep your neurotic pup exhausted. (Not necessarily in that order of importance.) Some say you need to be proactive, as… Read more →

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My 7 Day Gratitude Challenge

Want to feel happier? Try thinking of something you’re grateful for every day when you get up and when you go to bed. It’s very effective and sounds so simple. But for most of us I believe this is probably easier said than done. Not because it’s difficult to give thanks, but because it requires a little discipline to make… Read more →