About a decade ago, while surfing the Internet, I stumbled on a page written by someone who suffers from panic disorder. She was offering a course on how to overcome anxiety. I read her descriptions of not being able to leave her apartment with a complete lack of understanding. What was so hard about going … Continue reading People Who Panic Are Brave. You Should Be, Too.
Here’s a variation on a familiar saying: Life is what happens while you’re trying to get your work done. For many of us, balancing the demands of work and relationships feels impossible. These can be relationships with parents, partners, children, friends, and also ourselves. What we need to do to make a living feels at … Continue reading Feel Like Your Work and Personal Life Are in Tension? There’s Just One Answer.
I don’t like the word, “privilege.” It connotes the idea of something better, something earned; and whiteness is neither. But the phrase #whiteprivilege has proved useful in explaining the differences in daily experience between people who are white and people of color. This is an essay I wrote several years ago under the title, “Why … Continue reading Seeing My White Privilege
As our world grinds to a halt – Flights canceled, production stopped, commutes erased – Our planet, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, Reverses the flow and begins to breathe. She is healing, shedding, transforming. And this virus, ironically, attacks the human lungs. We gasp for air. What do we do now? Are … Continue reading Beginning to Breathe
My Grandpa Abe almost never set foot in a synagogue, but the one time of the year when he took pride in climbing the steps of the bimah was on Yom Kippur Eve. It was then that he played the mournful melody of the Kol Nidre on his bass for our whole congregation to hear. … Continue reading Kol Nidre
“You’re one of us,” Nelson said. I looked at my friend, equally surprised by the compliment and bewildered by the spin of his words. I had accepted the epithet, “gringa,” long ago; I knew I wasn’t really one of the Afro-descendent or indigenous Chachi people, the two ancestral groups living in that region of the … Continue reading Nelson
This picture is from 2004, the year our middle child was born. I am looking forward, and I am looking back. That is the essence of this blog, the Emerald Shaman. What essential pieces of our humanity have we lost moving forward, and how do we recover them? How do we reconstruct them in new … Continue reading Looking Forward, and Looking Back
How do you break up with a narcissist? How do you get rid of that toxic person in your life? Earlier in history, these might have been mere self-help questions, but now they concern the whole country. How do we, as a nation, break up with Donald Trump? How do we let go of our … Continue reading Breaking Up with a Narcissist – Advice for Our Country
The other day a reader on Facebook contacted me. He wanted to get a professional philosopher’s take on a question. “What do you think…,” he asked, “of the meaning of existence?” “Well, that’s a big question,” I could hear my own advisor answering in my head. In academic philosophy, we are trained to be very … Continue reading Asking the Big Questions
If you've made it through a dark night of the soul, you understand that crisis is nothing but an opening for transformation. We have the power to turn this craziness into the best thing that ever happened to our country.