Category Archives: Reflection

Resolutions for the New Year (NOT New Year’s Resolutions!): Mind, Body, Soul

Resolutions for the New Year (NOT New Year's Resolutions!)For the last couple of years, I’ve had some defined goals beginning in January. I wouldn’t call them New Year’s resolutions–in fact, I think that approach can be counter-productive. Even so, the new year is a good reminder to thoughtfully evaluate one’s life. In 2014, I resolved to do one awesome thing each quarter. The result was my Year of Awesome. In 2015, I hooked into an initiative at work and picked goals for mind, body, and soul. Continue reading Resolutions for the New Year (NOT New Year’s Resolutions!): Mind, Body, Soul

Wendy Bradshaw’s Resignation: In the Absence of Competence Support

Wendy Bradshaw's ResignationThis week, the resignation letter of a special education teacher in Florida has gone viral online. Through my friends and relatives who are teachers, and eventually others who read the letter and were moved to share it, I’ve seen it many times in my social network feeds in the last few days. Wendy Bradshaw, Ph.D., decided to resign her teaching post after giving birth and realizing that she felt a sense of dread thinking about her new daughter attending the schools in which she teachers. In her letter, she writes: Continue reading Wendy Bradshaw’s Resignation: In the Absence of Competence Support

Supporting Veterans on Memorial Day

Supporting Veterans on Memorial DayToday is Memorial Day in the United States, a national holiday designated to honor those who have served in the military and particularly those who lost their lives in service. I believe that an important part of honoring people who join the military service is providing them with the necessary care and support when they return home. Too often, returning veterans struggle with both physical injuries and mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can have physical, emotional, and cognitive effects, are increasingly common too among veterans returning from combat. Unfortunately not all veterans receive the care they need for a variety of reasons.

This Memorial Day, consider making a donation to one of these non-profit organizations that works to provide health care services to veterans:

2014: Looking Back on the Year of Awesome

2014In 2014, instead of making a single New Year’s Resolution, I decided to focus on doing one really awesome thing every quarter. I wanted a way to be more mindful about making adventurous and brave choices all year long, and I wanted a resolution that could offer me fun, learning, and great memories. Here’s the list of awesome things that I was able to do this year: Continue reading 2014: Looking Back on the Year of Awesome

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!Merry Christmas, dear readers! I hope both of you have a wonderful day.

That’s a joke–obviously my readership is much more robust than that. Obviously.

In all seriousness, whether you spend today opening gifts by a tree or just enjoying a day off, I hope this time of year brings some closure to the year past and a sense of hope and optimism for the year to come.  Have a great week!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! (1)Thanksgiving is a good time to pause and reflect on your situation, whatever it is. I hope you have some blessings in your life to be thankful for. If you’re like most people, you probably also have some heartaches and disappointments. This time of reflection can be an opportunity to make plans for a brighter future. After all, there’s no reason to restrict resolutions to the new year.

A few things I urge you to do this Thanksgiving day: Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving!

Psychology and the Serenity Prayer

PsychologyThe Serenity Prayer is well-known in the United States in part because of its use as part of the Alcoholic Anonymous program. The simple prayer says:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

I see this prayer as describing the essential difference between Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,  two leading but sometimes contradictory theories of helping people change negative thought patterns. Continue reading Psychology and the Serenity Prayer

My Teaching Philosophy (and how I guess I never change!)

TeachingI was browsing through old documents and found my teaching philosophy from 2005, when I was contemplating the academic job market.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the same principles I valued back then for teaching are the same ones I emphasize today in thinking about coaching people to improve their health and happiness. Basically, I want to help people learn a set of skills that they can apply to the challenges they face in a way that helps them achieve meaningful goals. It’s sort of nice to see that these ideas have been percolating in my consciousness for a long time, and that in a different way than I’d planned, I’m living the dream.

Here’s the teaching philosophy (unedited, though I added some emphasis where things particularly caught my eye). Continue reading My Teaching Philosophy (and how I guess I never change!)

Ten Inspirational Quotes About Being Authentically You

Ten Inspirational QuotesI’ve written about authenticity, or owning your quirks and individual differences and living into them, as a way to be happier. It’s true: Being true to yourself is a fast track to feeling happier both today and in the long-term. So why can it be so hard?

The fact is that expressing quirks or doing what you like when it’s different from what everyone else likes can sometimes be isolating or difficult. It takes strength to maintain authenticity when others are encouraging you in other directions. I’ve pulled together ten quotes that I think are helpful reminders to be true to yourself when times get tough. I hope you find mine helpful. What quotes keep you feeling good about being you? Continue reading Ten Inspirational Quotes About Being Authentically You