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Monthly Archives: January 2024

January 24, 2024

“Dear love, what would you have me know today?”

This podcast with Liz Gilbert on “We Can Do Hard Things” is one that truly resonates with me. In essence, Liz explains one easy way to reparent yourself in a way that can make you more secure. Skip forward to minute 17 – as there is a lot of chit chat to start – and please listen to the entire thing. Then go to the Substack by Liz (“Letters from Love with Elizabeth Gilbert) where she posts her love letters to herself (as well as love letters that her guests have written to themselves).

It’s so powerful…here’s an excerpt from the podcast in which Abby Wambach (the co-host of the podcast and of Olympic Soccer fame) reads her first love letter to herself:

“Dear Love, what would you have me know today? Dear Love, oh, sweet little girl. Yes, I said little girl. You spent much of your life trying to figure yourself out, trying to understand yourself and how you fit into the world. Your questions about why you’re here and what this is all about are good. These questions keep you alive and awake. Sometimes though honey, they can take you out and make life unmanageable. Know that I see you, know that you are good.

Also know that good and bad is bullshit. Know that your goodness isn’t something I need to see. Know that I love looking at you and watching you and seeing you explore. Isn’t that what you love to do the most? Isn’t seeing things and doing things and experiencing things, the stuff that makes you feel the most? And isn’t feeling the best?

And let me get back to the questions, honey. The questions will keep coming and coming and coming. Don’t be so concerned with finding the answers. That’s where you can get stuck. Life isn’t about the answers. It’s about living out the questions. You have worked really, really hard trying to understand yourself and the world, and sometimes it’s exhausting. And you also have this little worry deep down that the kind of work you’ve done and become expert at excludes you from other work. Or asking other questions of yourself and the world.

You did go down a long arduous road. It was very focused. You did that for certain reasons that you’re still uncovering and reaping the benefits and also recovering from. But that does not limit you to just that one thing. Sweetie, you have always known you were more than just soccer. And now that you are truly stepping into the pureness of love and self-expression, you will keep discovering that.

You are discovering that nothing is by chance. And everything that happened to you was on purpose. The addictions, the heartache, all of it was necessary. But even during all that tumult, I was there. I was with you, and I know you heard me. My feelings aren’t hurt that you needed to ignore me for so long, and I can understand how hard it is to believe that I was there then as I am now. Can you trust that I exist and that I’ve been there with you from the beginning?

I’ve been here before this body came, and I’ll be here after this body leaves. You have spent so much of your life believing that the world or someone else would make you believe in me. In some moments that’s been true, but not because someone else made it real. Someone else made you see that I exist inside of you.

See that I’ve been here with you all along, and when that someone left you, you doubted my existence. But I’ve been here. I will always be here. I think it’s easier to not believe I exist inside of each and every one of us. It’s easier in some ways to agree that there is no magic. Because what if magic doesn’t touch us? What if we are the ones love isn’t allowed to have? It’s just not true. I’m here for you all. So here you are awake to the possibility of believing I exist. Do you think you could try easier to prove your worthiness?

Your mother’s love isn’t necessary. If you believe I exist and I’m here, and when you do, you will see your mother loves you. You’ll see that you are so worthy and so endlessly loved. What would it take? What would you lose if you chose to believe I exist and I am here with you always?

Why does it feel like such a risk? I will never abandon you. You have never been abandoned. I will never leave you. You have never been left. But I understand why it’s so hard. You’ve taken so many wonderful risks in your life. Heck, it’s why you have had a beautiful life. Those risks you thought would prove you were strong enough to do life alone.

I would say that living the questions and those risks are proof that I exist. You were doing them in the name of independence, but deep down, I think you were trying to get at a deeper question of your life. I think you believe I exist. You know I do.

Why not just accept it once and for all? I won’t leave you. I won’t abandon you. And if you choose to jump, I will catch you. Those cracks on your heart that you think are unfixable, well sweetie, they healed a long, long time ago. It’s just the story about them that you can’t get over.

And maybe this leap of faith into my arms could be the thing that helps you change that story. Just an idea. Any who, I love you and you are love, baby girl, but it’s not about me. It’s about you and what you want to do. And if you want to believe as I always have, that love doesn’t just live outside of you. It’s everywhere. I am in everything, I am in everyone. I understand how hard life can be. We can do hard things right?” The end.

January 23, 2024

How to Actually Be Happier In 2024

This Ryan Holiday video gives these 10 great tips for the New Year – his “Daily Stoic” stuff is great:

  1. Focus on what you can control
  2. Do good to feel good
  3. Do less
  4. Money doesn’t make you happy
  5. Don’t seek external approval
  6. Challenge yourself – adversity is unavoidable
  7. Laugh
  8. Accept things as they are – live in accordance with your nature
  9. Realize that you have everything you need – simplify
  10. Embrace adversity

January 19, 2024

How Do You Stay with “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” Practices?

I’ve started a six-week online course about acceptance and commitment therapy run by Russ Harris since I loved this book of his. But it’s worth hearing from the founder of ACT – Steven C. Hayes. Here’s a list of podcasts on which Steven Hayes has spoken. [I’ll be blogging more about ACT as I take the course – but here are the six core processes of ACT.]

I’ve listened to a few and I particularly like this “Being Well” one – the hard question is asked (and answered) at the 26-minute mark about how to stay with the practices that you learn. How do you make them part of your routine so that you create lasting change? The art of retention. Steven answers with:

1. Practice matters. Repetition.

2. Pattern matters. Needs to fit into larger and larger patterns.

3. Purpose matters.

4. Principles matter. What did you just do that worked?

January 10, 2024

Understand Your Natural Happiness Blend

Following up on my first blog from this “Peter Attia Drive” podcast with Arthur Brooks, at the 17:30 mark, I learned about the four personality patterns for positive and negative emotions – your natural happiness blend. I took the PANAS questionnaire to figure out my profile – the four types are (all four have equal validity; none are right or wrong – but understanding your type helps direct your ability to manage yourself to the best potential):

1. Mad Scientist (always spun up about something)
2. Judge (sober and cool)
3. Cheerleader (celebrates the good and does not dwell on the bad)
4. Poet (has trouble enjoying good things and always knows when there’s a threat lurking)

It was interesting to learn that people with differing types should best be in a relationship – but today’s dating app culture tends to match people of the same type. Which often is a recipe for disaster. For example, a Mad Scientist might be best suited with a Judge. And obviously, we all sit somewhere on the scale of all of these – that’s why taking the PANAS questionnaire is interesting to see where you might fall…


January 7, 2024

Your “Failure and Disappointment” Journal

This “Peter Attia Drive” podcast with Arthur Brooks is so good – and long at 2 hours – that I’ll be blogging about several items that I learned from it. One is related to the “fear planning” blog I penned a while back.

At the 1:09 mark, Arthur talks about putting metacognition in practice – specifically at the 1:11:40 mark, he describes how journaling helps with anxiety (ie. unfocused, undefined fear) by writing down the five top things you’re most fearful of right now – what am I actually afraid of? Fear is supposed to be episodic and not something that lingers. By focusing your fears, you move them out of your limbic system and into your prefrontal cortex.

In addition, write down your disappointments – and leave two blank spaces beneath them. For the first space, come back thirty days later and see what you learned from the experience – and for the second space, come back six months later and see if anything good came from that disappointment (that way you can see what you learned from that disappointment).