My Blog

A Word about Worrying: Preparation

A Word about Worrying: Preparation

Worry: to allow one’s mind to dwell on potential future difficulty or troubles (i.e., pain). There are many ways to worry and many kinds of worriers. Today I’m addressing my people: the mental preparers. We are a vigilant and a disciplined people. We have decided that mental preparation is our best defense against potential pain. There are ...
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Self-Acceptance: Getting Past the Troll

Self-Acceptance: Getting Past the Troll

Self-acceptance is HARD. As a therapist and a human, I can whole-heartedly attest to this. It is a journey that can take people decades to traverse. Theoretically we can get there at any moment, if only we would allow ourselves. Here’s the problem: there’s a troll standing guard at the entrance to self-acceptance. He’s grotesque and scary, ...
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Me, My Observer-Self, and I

Me, My Observer-Self, and I

I picture my observer-self as somewhere around eight inches diagonally up from my right ear. My observer-self is the part of me that notices what is going on with me. It’s the part of me that noticed that my thoughts drifted to plans for the weekend while I was reading my book-club book. It’s the part of ...
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The Value of Values

The Value of Values

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ve likely picked up on the idea that living a meaningful life is, for me, where it’s at. Being connected to what is meaningful, what is most valuable to us, is what makes us feel good at a soul level. It is what makes life feel most vibrant. It’s ...
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Getting to Sleep

Getting to Sleep

Most people over the age of teenagerhood need between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Do you get 7-9 hours each night? Do you wake each morning feeling refreshed? Most of the people I work with don’t. The trend in our society is to get less sleep as we try to fit in more hours of waking ...
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Doing Hard Things

Doing Hard Things

by Suzanne Manser, PhD Choosing to give a public talk. Letting go of a grudge. Stating your needs. Taking a salsa class alone. Returning to college. What do these have in common? They are hard things. They are hard because they come with the possibility of pain. Naturally then, our instinct is to avoid them at all ...
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Body Neutrality

Body Neutrality

Body image is how you see your body, and how you feel and think about what you see. You may see your body differently than others do. This happens because body image is not based only on your physical body; it is influenced by a number of factors, including childhood experiences, time spent looking at particular media, ...
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Self-compassion: "The hardest skill"

Self-compassion: “The hardest skill”

As a born perfectionist, I have naturally been terrible at self-compassion (the two do not play well together). I still struggle with it, even though I want to be kind to myself when I am in pain. In some areas, I've made great strides. In others, I still default to self-criticism over self-compassion. I just mentioned to ...
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Acceptance

Acceptance

It has always been challenging for me to fully convey what the word “acceptance” means, when it comes to accepting painful feelings or painful situations. “Acceptance” has a bad rap, no doubt about it. No one gets excited when I suggest we work on accepting pain. A few patients have flat-out refused. The predominant assumption is that ...
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