Stalked by the Ottas and the Gottas … or …

Is Your To-Do List Bigger Than Your Life?

I feel so stressed, overwhelmed  …  am just too busy …  too much to do … .  feeling panicky …  feel so guilty …  it’s too much … sometimes I just want to give up!      Sound familiar?   Do you stress in this way?

Most of us are stalked by Ottas and Gottas.  The ought-to’s, the shoulds, I really should ….  and also the got-to’s, the musts, I really must …   As a panda, I know what it is to be stalked by predators.  And let me tell you, compared to the Ottas and the Gottas, a lion is small potatoes. More


The Way to Become the Cynical Stresser

My friend Hal (no that’s not his real name) does not trust people.  This in spite of the fact that he is a stand-up kind of a guy … compassionate, honest and willing to help others.   Not surprisingly, because he always expects the worst from people, he’s often worried, tense and stressed.  Wouldn’t you be, too, if you were constantly waiting for a dagger in the back?

Hal once confided to me that he’s usually disappointed by others.  The large majority of those he thought were good people, usually wind up betraying him or letting him down.

It’s almost as though Hal has a camera with very sophisticated facial recognition software.  More

Better to Love

The other day,  thoughts about an acquaintance came to mind and I felt a flash of warmth toward him. Then almost immediately, I recalled that he had recently done something ‘wrong’.   As soon as that thought occurred,  my warm feelings shut down because it seemed that he did not ‘deserve’ my affection.  After all, people who do wrong don’t deserve affection do they?

And then, a moment after that, I realized how I was placing conditions on my caring – my friendliness.   I saw how that habitual pattern keeps my own awareness trapped in resentment, anger or indifference.  How the judgement that it’s not OK to feel warmth was keeping me from warmth of my own heart. More

Grief and Loss: Grieving ‘cleanly’ into Peace.

Sandi and George were engaged to be married.  One evening George failed to show up for their usual dinner date and Sandi began getting a bad vibe.  She tried calling him but her messages went to voicemail. A short time later, her phone rang.   It was George’s brother.  He told her that the police had just contacted him.  George had been in a bad traffic accident and was at the hospital undergoing surgery.

 Sandi rushed over to the hospital immediately.  She waited anxiously for the George to be brought out of the ICU. The hours passed.   But he never was taken to the ICU.  George died on the operating table. 

 As you might imagine, Sandi was devastated.  They were so good for each other, looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together.  Then suddenly, it was over.  Just like that, all of her plans and hopes were gone.  There was a gaping hole now where once  George had been.


The grief and pain that come with the death of a loved one is a complicated thing.  So too, the stress that accompanies any kind of major loss:  a job, a relationship, a really good life situation. More

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