Taking the Plunge: A Rite of Passage

Taking the Plunge: A Rite of Passage

Near our little house in the woods runs a lovely rushy stream, Clove Creek. While it’s often brisk and prosperous, it takes a huge spring thunderstorm to understand how such a modest flow could carve out the dramatic and beautiful area known locally as The Gorge.

What Do You Want?

What Do You Want?

What do you want? This is a question that is asked of us throughout our lives. "What do you want?" We ask this question of babies when they are crying and we can't figure out if they're hungry, wet, or what… What do you want? We ask this question of the child who is seeking our attention. We ask this of a...

Are You Soul Conscious...or in Trance?

Are You Soul Conscious...or in Trance?

Any moment in which we are unaware and out of balance and harmony, then we are in trance. When we are feeling superior and feel justified in our judgments, we are in trance. When we feel inferior or unworthy, we are in trance. Streams of past, future, or worrisome thoughts that surface...

What Do I Do If I Sense Trouble?

What Do I Do If I Sense Trouble?

One reason the story of the Titanic disaster has such enduring appeal is that it is an object lesson in the need to question perceived reality, trust our gut, and when necessary, act on our own personal authority to save others and ourselves.

The Dangers of Indifference and Cynicism

The Dangers of Indifference and Cynicism

Words which contain a reference to good and evil have become degraded, especially those which refer to the good -- not only courage but also effort, patience, love and hope -- are met with cynicism and indifference. Unless we boldly confront cynicism and indifference, we cannot make fundamental and effective responses.

Leprosy Of The Soul? A Brief History Of Boredom

Leprosy Of The Soul? A Brief History Of Boredom

We all respond to boredom in different ways. Some may find a new hobby or interest, others may instead rip open a bag of crisps and binge watch a new Netflix show.

I Am Safe! You Are Safe! We Are Safe!

Bashing Down Barriers and Flying Freely

Sometimes when things don't go the way I want, rather than letting things go their own way, I start pushing and forcing and trying to make things happen. Can you relate to this one? We start insisting on things going our way...

Eight Thinking Traps and Biases to Guard Against

Eight Thinking Traps and Biases to Guard Against

Being aware of these common thinking traps allows you to get them under control. Realize that you tend to rely more on these biases when you are more emotional, when in a rush, fatigued, or anytime you lower your mental guard and let your mind run on autopilot.

The Sequel's Not Equal: Being a Copy or an Original?

The Sequel's Not Equal: Being a Copy or an Original?

The thing about sequels is that they rarely measure up to the original. Like movies, there are two ways to live a life: hiding out in history, or dancing on the cutting edge. History is safe, but reeks of regularity. The cutting edge seems scary, but it bestows life...

5 Activities That Can Protect Your Mental and Physical Health As You Age

5 Activities That Can Protect Your Mental and Physical Health As You Age

No one is immune to developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer or arthritis as they get older. But research shows social activities, like joining clubs, interest groups or volunteering, are linked to better mental and physical health and a longer lifespan.

Stepping Out Of Fear Into Love: The Path to Becoming More Conscious

Stepping Out Of Fear Into Love: The Path to Becoming More Conscious

Using the word consciousness in any discussion can be confusing because it's a word used to mean so many things. Becoming conscious, in the Jungian sense, requires a committed effort to know ourselves, but this effort rewards us with a sense of energy, assurance, and peace.

Taking The Next Steps: So Many Possibilities, So Many Choices

Taking The Next Steps: So Many Possibilities, So Many Choices

It can feel like this time we're living in and all the stresses of navigating it are doing the opposite of bringing us closer. The feelings of isolation and separation are real. The divisive tools being used against our greater good are real. There's a lot at stake and there are complex challenges facing us...

Emotional Suppression Causes Serious Damage to Body, Mind, and Spirit

Emotional Suppression Causes Serious Damage to Bodies, Minds, and Spirits

Emotional suppression sometimes serves a useful, even essential purpose. When suffering a severe traumatic injury, for example. Yet while emotional suppression may sometimes serve a useful purpose, inhibiting the free flow of emotional energies over the course of a lifetime causes serious...

Five Ways to Cope with Stress, plus Ten Ways to Relax

How to Cope with Stress with Ten Sure Ways to Relax

Stress comes from anxiety, fear, guilt, and pressure. Stress causes headaches, earaches, toothaches, chest pains, palpitations, skin rashes, and butterflies in the stomach. Stress makes us hold our breath or breathe unevenly, gives us indigestion and diarrhea, or causes constipation. Stress leads to...

Getting to Yes and the Energy of Aliveness

Getting to Yes and the Energy of Aliveness

When we do not acknowledge our feelings, we may reactively eat for comfort. Not facing tensions in a relationship can lead to fear of arguments or anger at disagreements. Seeking escape from the discomforts of life may trap us in patterns of...

Eleven Laws to Set You Free

Eleven Laws to Set You Free

If we want to grow inwardly we must find new ways to learn about ourselves. These higher discoveries call for higher learning. Think of each of the following eleven laws as individual magic strands of a flying carpet. Make it your aim to weave them together in your mind. Then watch how these lessons combine to effortlessly lift you to...

Experiencing Moral Injury In The Face of Violence, Indifference, and Confusion

Experiencing Moral Injury In The Face of Violence, Indifference, and Confusion

Moral injury is a wound to the soul. It happens when you participate in or witness things that transgress your deepest beliefs about right and wrong. It is extreme trauma that mani­fests as grief, sorrow, shame, guilt, or any combination of those things. It shows up as negative thoughts, self-hatred, hatred of others, feelings of regret...

What's It All About?

What's It All About?

Have we not all asked ourselves this question at one point or another? "What's it all about?"  Since to every question there is an answer, I asked my inner Self to provide an answer. The answer I heard was "It's all about you!" Well...

The Road Ahead: How You Can Stretch Time

The Road Ahead: How You Can Stretch Time

On one hand, we need to keep pace with new developments and stay on top of our careers. On the other hand, we need to meet the demands of our personal life. Result? We are on overload.

Even One Is Enough... What Would Love Do?

Even One Is Enough... What Would Love Do?

We live in a world of extremes. Extreme wealth, extreme poverty. Extreme hedonism and joy, and extreme fear and pain. Extreme religious devotion, and extreme hatred. And as with everything, the microcosm and the macrocosm are reflections of each other. In each one of us there resides these extremes, or at least a presence of these realities -- though maybe not in the extreme.

After All... Tomorrow Is Another Day!

After All... Tomorrow Is Another Day!

One of my favorite lines in the movie "Gone With The Wind" is when Scarlett says "Tomorrow is another day". This line has given me hope many times when the skies of my life were bleak and I couldn't see around the corner of whatever challenge was facing me at the time…

Complicated, Complex, Or Both—Critical Distinctions in a New World

Complicated, Complex, Or Both—Critical Distinctions in a New World

In the mid-1960s, Bob Dylan’s song, “The Times They Are A-Changin,” became an anti-establishment anthem for frustrated young people.Fifty-plus years later, the times are no longer “a-changin;” the times have changed—radically. In fact, rapid, continuous, unpredictable change is the “new normal.”

Roadmaps of Living: Are You In A Rut?

Snap Out Of It! Put Your Genie in a Bigger Bottle

Humans are creatures of habit, and sometimes we get stuck in a rut. Sometimes we're overwhelmed. We face a simple daily task and spin into panic or just plain freeze. Neither opens up our hearts or minds to the real challenges or pleasures at hand. We need to snap out of it and get back into living again. But how?

It's All In How You Look At It

It's All In How You Look at It

When Dee and I grew a family of dogs, we decided to feed them meat. That was a big decision for us, since we had never had meat in the house. But we love our “kids,” and we want them to be happy. Why impose our diet on them? So we buy them canned dog food and cook meat for them.

Releasing the Divine Capabilities of Our Species: Creativity Brings Hope

Creativity Brings Hope: Releasing the Divine Capabilities of Our Species

Where does our hope lie? Where shall we ground ourselves for continuing on and changing our ways radically? Creativity can redeem and save our species. I agree with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés that all women and men are born gifted. All we need to do is release this creativity, get out of its way, as M. C. Richards used to say.

How Your Circadian Rhythm May Keep You Sane And Healthy

How Your Circadian Rhythm May Keep You Sane And Healthy

Social distancing and washing hands have become the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, but there is another powerfully protective resource immediately available to all: your circadian rhythm.

What Works For Me: Asking Why

What Works For Me: Asking Why

For me, learning often comes from understanding "why". Why things are the way they are, why things happen, why people are the way they are, why I act the way I do, why other people act the way they do. Once I understand the "why" of a situation, I can then understand how I need to respond both now and in the future.

The Art of Believing and Holding On To Your Vision

The Art of Believing and Holding On To Our Vision
Oftentimes, in life, we have doubts about the outcome of a situation... whether the doubt has to do with our own capabilities, or someone else's. Yet faith in ourselves is an integral part in succeeding... When we give up believing in ourselves, we give up trying.

Rewriting the Script: From Separation to Symbiosis

Rewriting the Script: From Separation to Symbiosis
The irony of anyone standing firmly resistant to change is that we awaken into a brand new world every day. We call it the universe, and it’s never the same place twice. In our universe, though, the changes happening all around us are either so constant we take them for granted or so slow and imperceptible we fail to notice them.

7 Steps to Get Out of the Quicksand of Procrastination

7 Steps to Get Out of the Quicksand of Procrastination
Almost everyone procrastinates. We usually do it to avoid a task that's unpleasant or daunting. When procrastinating starts to interfere with our quality of life by causing us to feel worried, fearful, lazy, or irresponsible, then it's time to get on with it.

Great and Noble Things: Leaving Our Children A Better World

Great and Noble Things: Leaving Our Children A Better World
We all want to leave our children a better world than the one we found. The greatest legacy you can bestow is joy, which is a choice you can make right now. If you wait until the world changes to let your light shine, your dream will wither and die. Make your joy conditional on nothing outside you and on everything inside you...

Depression, Anger, and Sadness as Related to Yang Body Types

Depression, Anger, and Sadness as Related to Yang Body Types
We all have a unique path in life that, if traveled, brings out the best in us. Yet no path is ever forged for us, and we may have to bushwhack our way through unchartered wilderness when our navigation equipment fails. Depression is an emotional state that all of the body types are capable of experiencing when they feel stuck...

Changing...Instantly: It's A Lot Easier Than You Think

Changing...Instantly: It's A Lot Easier Than You Think
Mechanical behaviors are old ways of doing things that once worked, or appeared to have worked, in situations that were stressful or in situations that were actual or perceived as potentially endangering your survival.

Should You Listen To Music When You Work?

Should You Listen To Music When You Work?

Do you like to listen to music when you work? Pose this question at a party, and you’ll probably get some polarizing responses.

How To Thrive In A Stressful Grade 12

How To Thrive In A Stressful Grade 12

Research shows anxiety levels are high for many students in year 12 as they focus on academic goals that may determine their future.

Speeding Through Time: How Computers and Impatience Warp Our Sense of Time

How Computers & Impatience Warp Our Sense of Time
When I began using computers during the 1970s, I noticed they were influencing me in unexpected ways, especially with regard to my sense of time. In a matter of days I went from marveling at the speed with which the computer could complete bookkeeping tasks I used to labor over, to snarling at the stupid...

Our First Responsibility On The Path to Self-Awareness

On Responsibility and The Path to Self-Awareness
As we journey forth on our path to self-awareness, we need to begin to take responsibility for who we are, what we stand for and where we are going. This sounds easy enough, but to accomplish it isn't always that simple.

6 Curious Facts About Smell

6 Curious Facts About Smell
Don’t underestimate the power of your nose. It makes our everyday eating experience pleasant and interesting and it warns us of spoiled food, corked wine and the dangers of gas and smoke

Where Is This Coming From? What's The Bottom Line?

Where Is This Coming From? What Is The Bottom Line?
When something is taking place and you don't feel in harmony within yourself, ask yourself one simple question: "Where is this coming from?" Keep repeating the question and take it step by step until you get to the "bottom line" -- a basic belief you hold which is instrumental in creating your reactions (and your reality).

Why You're Probably More Susceptible To Misinformation Than You Think

Why You're Probably More Susceptible To Misinformation Than You Think

Online misinformation works, or so it would seem. One of the more interesting statistics from the 2019 UK general election was that 88% of advertisements posted on social media by the Conservative Party pushed figures that had already been deemed misleading by the UK’s leading fact-checking organisation,

How Explicit Instruction Help Children Learn

How Explicit Instruction Help Children Learn
Explicit instruction is a term that summarises a type of teaching in which lessons are designed and delivered to novices to help them develop readily-available background knowledge on a particular topic.

How To Get The Correct Balance and Perspective of Life

How To Get The Correct Balance and Perspective of Life
Balance in all things is the correct way to live. So how do we balance our scales to get the correct perspective of life? We must weigh up each situation that comes into our lives and balance our minds to understand what feels good and what doesn't. 

Are You Mentally Well Enough For College?


Last spring an 18-year-old college freshman who got straight A’s in high school – but was now failing several courses – came to my office on the campus where I work as a psychologist.

How New Implants Are Helping Link Brains To Computers


The field of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) – which use electrodes, often implanted into the brain, to translate neuronal information into commands capable of controlling external systems

There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s—Or Is There?

There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s—Or Is There?
"There’s No Wrong Way to Eat a Reese’s." The Reese’s slogan raises a more poignant question: Is there a wrong way to do anything? Is there a wrong way—or even a right way—to live? If so, does it make a difference in terms of whether you are happy?

All You Need Is Love... and Pneumaplasm

All You Need Is Love... and Pneumaplasm
"All you need is love,"
sang The Beatles and how we wish that were true! We also need truth, which is a word symbol that describes the essential "translation" of Love, capital L, for specific applications. And Love transmits through a special medium: pneumaplasm.

What Is A Psychopath? Could You Be One?

What Is A Psychopath?
Millions recently flocked to the cinema to watch Joker, the origin story of Batman’s notorious nemesis. Many have commented that the film is a portrait of a textbook psychopath.

Why Some Psychic Tests Are Not Very Good

Why Some Psychic Tests Are Not Very Good
Asking people to answer a question quickly and without thinking doesn’t get honest responses, especially if the quick response isn’t the most socially desirable, research finds.

How I Learned To Make Distraction Work For Me

How I Learned To Make Distraction Work For Me
Even today, 20 years after my childhood diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I am still keenly aware of how my attention wavers, lapses or holds differently from that of most people.

Bees Can Learn Higher Numbers Than We Thought

Bees Can Learn Higher Numbers Than We Thought – If We Train Them The Right Way
Bees are pretty good at maths – as far as insects go, at least. We already know, for example, that they can count up to four and even understand the concept of zero.

Why So Many Of Us Became Imposters: The Role Of Society

Why So Many Of Us Become Imposters: The Role Of Society
What is the role of society and what are the psychological reasons that are likely to make some people prone to feeling fake or phony? Understanding these factors will help you to recognize why you may have developed your own feelings of imposterism and to appreciate that this is not your fault; it is not a weakness or failing to have Imposter Syndrome.

Everything Is Connected and Forms "The Process"

Everything Is Connected and Forms
Everything is connected to form The Process. You can prove this for yourself with some simple examples. I’m assuming you’re dressed right now as you read this book. Look at the clothes you’re wearing. How did they get there? Probably because you dressed yourself earlier in the day. Getting dressed was a process.

How I Learned To Stop Trying To Fit In

How I Learned To Stop Trying To Fit In
My name is Eloise and I am many things at once: I am a graduate student at the University of Oxford; I am a tutor, a rower, a feminist, a granddaughter, a daughter, a sister, a stepsister, a friend. I am also autistic.

These Beliefs About Learning Are Holding You Back

These Beliefs About Learning Are Holding You Back
If you think you just don’t have the brain for certain skills, you’re deceiving yourself, a new book argues. This belief undermines your ability to learn—whether it’s math, basketball, or playing the clarinet.

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FROM THE EDITORS

InnerSelf Newsletter: September 20, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
The theme of the newsletter this week can be summed up as "you can do it" or more specifically "we can do it!". This is another way of saying "you/we have the power to make a change". The image of…
What Works For Me: "I Can Do It!"
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf
The reason I share "what works for me" is that it may work for you as well. If not exactly the way I do it, since we are all unique, some variance of the attitude or method may very well be something…
InnerSelf Newsletter: September 6, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
We see life through the lenses of our perception. Stephen R. Covey wrote: “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are──or, as we are conditioned to see it.” So this week, we take a look at some…
InnerSelf Newsletter: August 30, 2020
by InnerSelf Staff
The roads we are travelling these days are as old as the times, yet are new for us. The experiences we are having are as old as the times, yet they also are new for us. The same goes for the…
When The Truth Is So Terrible It Hurts, Take Action
by Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com
Amidst all the horrors taking place these days, I am inspired by the rays of hope that shine through. Ordinary people standing up for what is right (and against what is wrong). Baseball players,…