A new Soul Tending program for 2021

Your emotions can help you thrive in troubled times I hope that you and your emotions are working well together, and that you’re taking good care of yourself in these troubled times. Something we’ve all realized is how vital emotional skills are — and how much people suffer if they don’t have those skills. As we’ve all been feeling the necessary emotions of fear, anxiety, and panic … Read More

In Defense of Judgment

Your judgments have value and purpose When I grew up in spiritual groups, I was taught that judgment was forbidden, and wow, was that a colossal mistake. This no-judgment rule is still infecting a lot of communities, however, so it’s worth looking at again. This essay is from my 2010 book The Language of Emotions. When I refer to judgment, I refer to your capacity to … Read More

What is an Empath?

We’re all empaths In my earlier career, I identified as an empath, but I stopped doing so because the term got to be really troubling. An empath tends to be seen as some kind of magical psychic, and that’s nonsense. Empathy is a human trait and skill, but it’s also a trait in many animal species, so there’s nothing magical about it. We’re all empaths, because … Read More

When sadness, grief, and depression are necessary

Welcoming the gifts of the Sadness Family In times of upheaval, loss, and trouble, many emotions will step forward to offer their gifts and their unique forms of genius. If you don’t know this, you may mistakenly respond to multiple emotions as if they’re problems in and of themselves. You don’t have to; there is another way. All emotions bring you help and support, and all … Read More

The magical relationship between anger and forgiveness

Anger is essential to true forgiveness I wrote this piece in my book The Language of Emotions back in 2010, but I return to it a lot. So much of what we’re told about forgiveness teaches us to avoid the powerful emotions that arise when we’ve been wounded or betrayed. But these powerful emotions are crucial to our ability to realize what happened, feel it, and … Read More

For Mother’s Day

How Do We Celebrate Our Mothers? A real-world poem for Mother’s Day How do we celebrate our mothers  — The ones who are here and the ones who aren’t? The ones who gave their lives for us, And the ones who walked away. The ones who lovingly directed our lives as if we were art projects, And the ones who never knew how to welcome us … Read More

You don’t have to be blue — you can celebrate the full spectrum!

Celebrate the Full Spectrum! April 2nd is International Autism Awareness Day, but I have to say, if you’re not aware of autism yet, where have you been? The cool kids have already moved on from mere awareness to inclusion, acceptance, and love. We’re celebrating Autism Acceptance Day, Autism Acceptance Month, Autism Acceptance Year, Autism Acceptance Decade (and Autism Acceptance Eon, while we’re at it). Many of my friends … Read More

Love is constant; only the names change

In my work, I focus on emotions and empathy, and people regularly ask me whether love is an emotion. To my eye, no, it’s not. Here’s why. Why love is not an emotion When an emotion is healthy, it arises only when it’s needed, it shifts and changes in response to its environment, and it recedes willingly once it has addressed an issue. When love is … Read More

Support for people trapped in QAnon (and for we who care about them)

An empathic approach to a national tragedy I’ve been writing about the deeply cultic leadership style of Donald Trump, and about the ways that cultic leaders attract and then entrap their followers (and destabilize outsiders). How cult leaders entrap their followers — and their detractors Understanding cultic leaders so that you can leave them behind The toxic effects of toxic charisma At its heart, a cultic … Read More

Deep emotions and the racist bones

In 2019, when Joe Biden, a powerful, wealthy, White man who will preside over a country built on the backs of enslaved people, said “There’s not a racist bone in my body,” I thought so much about the strangely dislocated and disembodied nature of racism here in the United States. Of course, he’s not the only person to use this phrase; we hear it everywhere. So … Read More

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