Puberty, Perimenopause, and a Pandemic, Oh My!

It almost seems that occasionally giving up self-consciousness is necessary for building a strong self-concept. – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Disclaimer: This is a more personal and vulnerable essay than I’m accustomed to sharing. I do so with the hope that getting this real will inspire and guide others to do the same, and perhaps alleviate some perceived taboos. What contributes to …

Grief is the Red Pill

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. – Leonard Cohen Are you uncomfortable? Does the discomfort drive you to seek distractions? We’re built on distraction: it’s innate to our culture. And then a global pandemic strikes, forcing a new way of being for many of us. Culturally there are endless opportunities for distraction, even when …

Ethical Intelligence Transforms Culture

The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are. – Jack Kornfield It’s all so dizzying: too many news stories to follow adequately and seismic cultural shifts to integrate. As I write this, the United States is casting votes in what will undoubtedly be the most pivotal election in my lifetime . . . and the collective …

Breakdown or Breakthrough: The Dark Night of the Ego

(A Letter from Lockdown) In the end what you don’t surrender – well the world just strips away. – Bruce Springsteen Dear humanity, at long last, our collective wake-up call has arrived! Consciousness has been the consistent love of my life. I spent years immersed in books studying the long trajectory of human consciousness from the prewritten history of the …

Letter to My 20-Year-Old Self on Our Birthday

I finally know the difference between pleasing and loving, obeying and respecting. It has taken me so many years to be okay with being different, and with being this alive, this intense. – Eve Ensler   My beloved Lis, I barely know where to begin, as the next three decades of your life are going to hold infinite joy, wonder, laughter, …

Spiritual Pollution

If our ego can see itself as another might, then action can be monitored and vital cooperation can result. – Edward E. Sampson We understand what it means to pollute our air or our water, but what most of us don’t realize is that our ego creates a form of spiritual pollution. We’re projecting our egoic attachments into the world, in …

Scapegoating Skepticism

It’s a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind. – Naguib Mahfouz Our ego, the central processing center of consciousness, endlessly pressures our logic into abandoning the truth in our hearts because it likes to exert and maintain control. This is reinforced culturally: first, through the Newtonian-Cartesian split between mind and body, and second, because …

Initiating Intuition

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.    – Albert Einstein The more rapid-fire change we face, the more essential it is to get smarter about the way we are smart . . . In Western culture, we …

Surrender Time

Careful with those who would rush your healing, who would point to their watch and remind you of time’s passing. – Tyler Knott Gregson Culturally, we aren’t taught emotional intelligence. Some of us, if we’re lucky, will learn it in our families . . . The bulk of us though, will largely learn to deal with emotional growth after we’ve …

Embracing the Inner Groundhog

I’m not going to live by their rules anymore. – Phil Connors (Bill Murray in Groundhog Day) I was born on February 2nd . . . In my native South Africa, this is just another summer day. But in my adopted country, my birthday is associated with the beloved tradition of Groundhog Day. For those who don’t know, there’s a …