Welcoming the gifts of anxiety

There are gifts in anxiety? Yes! People are often very surprised to learn that anxiety contains specific gifts, because anxiety is usually described only in terms of disorder or disease. However, at its most subtle level, anxiety (which is related to fear) helps you plan for the future and complete important tasks. Really! When I look at the problem of nuance, I see that so many … Read More

Fear: Intuition, instincts, and awareness

Welcoming the gifts of fear! As we take an empathic tour through the emotional realm, we’ve started with the emotions that help you set boundaries: Anger, guilt and shame, the masking state of apathy, and hatred. Today, we’ll look at an intuitive emotion that helps you orient yourself, connect with your instincts, and keep yourself safe: fear. Fear helps you orient you to change, novelty, or … Read More

Is it empathy or projection? Ten ways to know.

Can you read the emotions of others, or are you simply projecting your own emotions? The answer to this question isn’t simple, but there are ways to tell the difference, and ways to develop your empathic abilities and accuracy so that you’re not simply projecting your own emotional state at others. Ten possibilities to explore Sometimes, people will tell you that an emotion you sensed isn’t … Read More

Embracing guilt and shame

Befriending all of your emotions! In my post on befriending your anger, I re-framed anger as a necessary emotion that supports you in developing and maintaining your healthy self image. Now, let’s look at the emotion that I call anger’s friend or partner: shame. I envision healthy anger as the sentry that calmly walks the perimeter of your self-image and watches out for any challenges to … Read More

Understanding and befriending anger

Welcoming all of your emotions! Anger can be the most honorable emotion you have, if you know what it is, why it appears, and how to work with it. All of your emotions bring you specific gifts and skills, and we’ll look at all of your emotions — one by one — in terms of how each one works, why it arises, and which actions you … Read More

Learning to embrace your anxiety. Really!

Hello and welcome to the year of Embracing Anxiety! There is a lot going on in our world, but luckily, we have an emotion whose genius can help us envision, plan, and work toward a healthy future: it’s anxiety! Really! Learning how to embrace your anxiety I’m excited to announce my newest book, Embracing Anxiety, which will be released in June. You can preorder now! Many … Read More

Critical thinking skills for your emotions

What did you learn about emotions? Most of us grew up hearing very negative things about emotions, such as: “Big boys don’t cry. There’s nothing to be afraid of! You shouldn’t feel angry! Boredom means you have no imagination! Envy is a sin!” And so on. Instead of being taught helpful things about our emotions, most of us were just shamed about them. Most of us … Read More

Deep emotions and the racist bones

When Joe Biden, a powerful, wealthy, white man who wants to 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. I’ve come to see racism as a haunted, unwanted, and unclaimed entity that has no home and … Read More

The Positive Benefits of Swearing … Really!

Personal confession: I love to swear. I developed my freaking excellent swearing habit when I worked as a radio newscaster. On the air, I and everyone at the station had to have perfect manners, perfect diction, and perfect timing while we ran our engineering boards, cued up tapes and CDs, and monitored the clocks. We absolutely could not swear while we were on the air (the … Read More

Quiz: How to Know If You’re an Empath

Hello! After studying empathy and emotions for four decades, I’ve developed a very simple and accurate way to tell if you’re an empath. Are you ready to find out? Karla McLaren’s Amazingly Accurate Quiz for Empaths Question 1: Are you breathing? Yes/No (choose one) Yes? You’re an empath. No? Take a breath and start over at Question 1. (spoiler alert) Congratulations! You’re an empath! That’s a … Read More

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