Personal Growth

PERSONAL GROWTH: What do you most want to accomplish in your life—being a great partner or parent, helping others, professional/financial success, leading a movement, or simply peace of mind? Regardless of what you want, focusing on your personal growth and development will make it more likely that you attain your desires.

Embracing Change

Jake and I are embracing change in 2017—big change—as we have decided to move to the Big Island of Hawaii. We spent 2+ months on the island in 2016 and upon returning to our beloved New Mexico we realized we were different. Between us, we’ve lived in New Mexico for...

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The Path of Self-Improvement

What’s the right path for you? Where are you going—in terms of your self-improvement and personal growth? And how are you going to get there? Is there only one way, or many? Charting your own course This is kind of how I think about psychotherapy, as a chance...

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A Letter of Gratitude

We have been sharing this work with people for over fifteen years. From time to time we receive expressions of gratitude from people who have participated in this work—usually after attending one of our retreats . . . or more than one. Recently we received this letter...

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Can We Stop Telling Stories?

Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves. –Rollo May As a human being, I am a meaning maker. I’m compelled to make sense of the world around me. I do this by telling myself stories. But...

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How To Find The Sweet Spot In Your Life

In the course of our lives we are likely to experience what’s known as a sweet spot—this is a place where everything comes together and produces the best possible result with minimal effort. A sweet spot can last for an extended period of time, resulting in deep...

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Remake Ourselves

 “As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world  . . . as in being able to remake ourselves.”   Gandhi Have you ever wanted to change your name—even for a day? It’s a really interesting thing to do. When people attend our retreats,...

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Breaking Out Of Your Box

We all live inside of self-constructed boxes. I’m not talking about boxes built out of wood, concrete and sheetrock. I’m talking about boxes that we build out of our memories, beliefs and the words we use to talk about ourselves. The primary purpose of our boxes is to...

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There is a time to whine

In my office I have a sign that my clients can see from their chair. It says, “Thou Shalt Not Whine.” It’s partially meant to be a joke, but it’s also indicative of my approach to therapy. I’ll say more about that in a minute, but in this article I want to acknowledge...

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Healing Myself With My Dreams

One of the many things I love about the practice of Live Conscious is that it invites me to embrace all of me—the practice hinges on self-acceptance—not tolerance of poor behavior, but acceptance. I begin exactly where I am—accepting my past, my present, my failures...

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Why Are We So Scared?

Other people see me as abrasive. I perceive this is because much of my dialogue with people comes from a defensive place in me. I don’t want to be seen as abrasive. That’s why I recently attended the Live Conscious Retreat in Roatan, hoping I would learn...

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Personal Power

I’ve been working with Jake and Hannah Eagle, learning and practicing the art of Live Conscious for over three years now. The art of Live Conscious is a method of changing my perspective based on how I use language and how I focus myself and my energy. Back in the old...

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Acceptance

The difference that makes the difference. Over the last few days I’ve been thinking about why Live Conscious is different than other forms of psychology, self-help practices and group dynamics. I’ve been in therapy several times over the years— in my mid-thirties I...

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How To Be Happy: Poof

In my previous article I introduced one idea—one idea that can free me from most of my suffering. This idea is that meaning is made up. An event occurs, or someone says something to me . . . and then I make meaning of that event, or the words that were spoken. I make...

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Why Therapy Fails

Tens of millions of people go to one form of psychotherapy or another because they want: To be happier To escape their anxieties and fears To create a happy romantic partnership To find their life purpose and feel satisfied And when I look at the results I reach the...

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Being Perfect

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~ Anna Quindlen I recently returned from someone else’s 5-day workshop. I do this every year—attend a workshop—to keep myself growing...

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Emotional Toolbox

Spring is slowly arriving in Toronto. The trees are leafing, tulips and daffodils abound and the lilacs will be here in a week. The magnolia trees are stunning and the lawns are a vivid green from the months of snow and early spring rains. It’s still cool, but I’m...

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Up Against The Glass

I’ve recently returned from a two-week excursion of channeling my mother. Not what I would call a luxurious holiday, but looking back I see it was a necessary fact finding adventure. And, like many adventures, I found myself in turbulent waters, desolate landscapes...

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How To Stay True To Self

Many of us have been to the mountain top. We know how we feel  when we are open, loving, in touch with ourselves and accessing our own wisdom. Petty little things don’t get to us. Our love and patience are bigger than our fears. We find humor in being human. Why...

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Why do I bully people?

In my last blog I wrote about my fear of intimacy. It was the most honest I’ve ever been and I’ve spent the week’s following publication watching my reactions to revealing myself. My first response was pride and a warm fuzzy feeling of having bared my soul accompanied...

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Wake Up

I am struggling, challenging myself with my belief that I am a victim and cannot rescue myself from this terrible limitation. So, I am going to write about this, because writing is one of my tried and true methods of healing myself. Inevitably, when I write I discover...

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How NOT to Apologize

“I sincerely, sincerely apologize, what can I say? I make mistakes.” The above quote is one of many by Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford. Even before he was elected mayor he was apologizing for his bad behavior, and since he’s become mayor it’s more frequent. Since May of...

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The Keys To Aging Well

The first key to aging well—start now! Is this important to you? Do you want to age well? You should—because aging poorly is a real drag. And unnecessary. In this article I’ll share with you some results found in The Study of Adult Development. This is a unique...

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Finding Yourself – A Love Story

Finding yourself is a journey Finally, one perfect day in early July, I arrive in northern New Mexico with comfortable clothes, a journal, sunscreen, a jacket for cool nights, and rain gear. I’m aware that I’m carrying my interior baggage as well—hoping that someone...

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Is Rapid Self-Improvement Possible?

Here’s the question I’ve been pondering. Do we need to grow one step at a time, going through each developmental stage, building from the ground up—or—can we leapfrog? Leapfrog . . . you know how they talk about developing countries not needing to lay...

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Being Human

Feel stuck? How do you un-stick yourself? By being human. I recently had a patient come in, a lovely, fairly successful, quite confident teacher in the field of personal growth. She was feeling stuck in her life. She could not motivate herself to do the things she...

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What’s Good Enough?

Do People Really Do The Best They Can? Have you heard the expression, “People do the best they can”? Do you believe that? Really? You believe that a father who abused his daughter did the best he could? You believe that a wife who cheated on her husband...

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How To Stop Obsessive Thoughts

Many people experience obsessive thoughts of one kind of another. Not only can we drive ourselves crazy with these thoughts, but when our negative obsessive thoughts are about another person, such thoughts are potentially harmful—and at the very least they are unkind....

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Be Intolerant

We are proposing that there are two primary things you need to do to simplify your life so that you can be happy.     Last week’s article was written by Hannah, who suggested that kindness is the key. This week I want to share with you the other side...

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How To Free Yourself — part III

Do you want to free yourself? In part 1 of this article I asked if you want to break past the obstacles that are in your way. I suggested that to move beyond old obstacles it helps to ask yourself three key questions. The reason these key questions are so powerful is...

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How to Free Yourself — part II

Do you want to change some of your behaviors? In part 1 of this article I asked if you want to break past the obstacles that are in your way. I suggested that to move past old obstacles it helps to ask yourself three key questions. The reason these key questions are...

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How To Free Yourself — part I

Do you want to break free of old obstacles? If you are like most of the people I work with, you’re self-aware and smart. Even so, you have certain obstacles in your life that hold you back. And often, these obstacles aren’t new—it’s the same old...

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How to stop being judgmental

Are we born judgmental beings, or at birth are we pure and pristine—trusting and open? I often hear people talk about wanting to get back to the state they think they were born in, before they became judgmental and fearful. But did such a state exist? My belief is...

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The Need To Be Right

“You have your way.I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”   ~Friedrich Nietzsche   Yesterday I drove my mother and father to the VA hospital in Albuquerque for a doctor’s appointment. I had never been to a...

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What Is Your Essence?

If you weren’t molded by your parents during the first three to four years of your life, who would you be today?   If you ponder this vital question—and answer it with just one word—you will find your essence. The answer is not that you were pure and...

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The Key To Happiness

The Grant Study began in 1938, tracking a  group of 268 students at Harvard University, and these students have now been observed and interviewed over nine decades. The results are quite revealing and inspiring. Dr. George Vaillant is the storyteller of the study and...

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Is Being Selfless a Good Thing?

I recently read that “we take care of what we love and we grow to love what we take care of.” This made me question how well we do or don’t care for ourselves. The idea of learning to love one’s self is rather vague—how do we do it? But the idea of caring for one’s...

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“The Truth” Is Just A Story

Do you really need to know “the truth”? What if we realized that the stories we tell ourselves are just stories? They are made up. We assign meaning to everything, and then we act as if the meaning we make up is “the truth.” If you let go of your stories...

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Three Keys To Emotional Health

We’ve identified three things that are necessary to recreate emotional health, which is a prerequisite to having a great life and sustainable relationships. 1. The first is psychological development. There are many psychological practices and therapies that lead...

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Love or Fear

There is significant reason to believe that we—individually and collectively—are living within a false paradigm. And if we were to make one change in our lives, shifting from fear to love, we would create a new world. Most of the problems we face would evaporate. And...

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Respect Yourself

Respect yourself is the answer! What’s the question? Well, it comes in response to our most popular blog post: How To Find A Good Man. As a result of that post we’ve received several specific emails asking for more advice on how to find a good man. I...

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What is Great Therapy?

Have you been or are you currently in therapy? Did you get or are you getting what you want out of therapy? What makes for great therapy? I’ll share my perspective, which I’ve come to after twenty years in private practice. To get the most out of therapy, clients need...

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Am I Depressed?

Am I depressed? Many of us struggle with depression. I used to. But in recent years I’ve learned to hear depression as a shout from within myself saying, “pay attention to me!” Depression is not necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t have to be endured. If you listen...

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How To Find Courage

So many of us want to have more courage. But, maybe we don’t need more courage! That’s probably not the answer you were expecting, but I think that our search for courage has an unintended consequence, which is that it validates our fears. What if instead of...

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How We Become Whole

Every day I acknowledge my gratitude toward John Weir, our mentor and founder of Percept language, which we now refer to as Perception Language. John passed away in 2006. A few days ago, I was considering what it was exactly, that made John so remarkably different...

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Nice Guys Finish First, NY Times

In his recent NY Times column, David Brooks explores the idea that nice guys finish first. He acknowledges that, yes, “we spend our time trying to maximize our outcomes — competing for status, wealth and mating opportunities,” but that “humans...

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Conscious Parenting

Written by guest blogger: L.C.—Seattle My experience at the Live Conscious Retreat was truly life changing on multiple levels.  I have attended many personal growth seminars in the last 20 years, and though I’ve always enjoyed doing weekend workshops, this one was by...

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How To Find A Good Woman

In an earlier posting I wrote about how to find a good man. Most everything I said applies to finding a good woman, so please reference that post. However, here are a few more specific comments. By the way, there’s a lot more interest expressed by women trying to find...

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Negative Core Beliefs

In Live Conscious we’ve developed a model of Human Development. As part of this model, we’ve identified four core patterns that develop to varying degrees early in life. The four patterns represent what we do within ourselves when we experience too much stress in our...

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Changing Core Beliefs

I’ll tell you a secret about therapists. From time to time we wonder if people, even ourselves, can truly change our core beliefs. We witness a 54-year-old woman pick the same “wrong guy” she has picked five times before. She’s smart, conscious, been in therapy for...

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Good Morning

The subject line for this blog post is Good Morning… Mostly we say it in a perfunctory way, but I suggest that it really is (or can be) quite powerful. Is Good Morning a hopeful wish we make for ourselves and others that they (and we) actually have a “good...

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Therapy Retreats

Therapy retreats (good ones) may be more effective than weekly therapy sessions in bringing about personal growth and development. By participating in a high quality, week-long (or longer) therapy retreat, we’re able to access deeper levels of ourselves. We...

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Words from C.G. Jung’s Red Book

The following words are from C.G. Jung’s newly released Red Book, which consists of his personal writings from 1914-1930. These words have never before been available to be read, pondered and appreciated. For me, they are a beautiful expression of our journey to...

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What is your core delusion?

What is your core delusion? Most of us have one. Live Conscious advocates that we become aware of all parts of ourselves even those parts that we dislike, i.e. our jealous, anxious, fearful, selfish, angry, resentful, and needy parts. We are then asked to accept, not...

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Concentrate on your circle of competence

Hannah and I were watching the PBS television show Charlie Rose last night. His guest was Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She was talking about her philanthropic work and Charlie asked her if she wished she had some skill or experience that...

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