People Are Medicine
Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.” —Bessel van der Kolk
I have an awesome ongoing discussion series with my insightful friend Baya Voce, and this week, we talked about this exact topic: how mental health—including addiction—is…
I’m Tired of Texting
There, I said it: I’m tired of texting. I have a wonderful group of friends, some of whom are spread all over the world, and some of whom live close to me. The world is pretty crazy these days. Everyone is busy, and when I ask someone how they are, most respond with “so busy.”…
Porn, Shame, and Doughnuts: Part 1
With the arrival of the internet and smartphones in the developed world (and increasingly in the developing world), pornography is available all the time, everywhere, often for free. I happen to live in Utah, which has some of the highest rates of porn subscriptions in the country, which I find fascinating, given that something like…
Live Like A Mighty River
In 1986, 23 years after the death of Sylvia Plath, celebrated poet Ted Hughes wrote the following letter to their 24-year-old son, Nicholas, advising him to embrace his “childish self” so as to feel more deeply and live more richly. Tragically, during a period of depression in 2009, Nicholas took his own life. He was…
Small, Seemingly Insignificant Things
This is a photo of Gus. I stopped and talked to him in the parking lot of my hotel last night. It was a beautiful evening, and he had the Giants game on the radio. I asked him about his exercise-baseball combination, and he told me that listening to the baseball game was the only…
My Secular Sabbath, Again
Warning: this gets personal.
In the fall of 2014, I stepped way off track. For several preceding years, I had practiced what I called a “secular Sabbath,” a time of peace and connection with myself, nature, and people that mattered. At that time, that was my wife and son, mother, sister, and friends, many of whom…
How Is Your Heart Doing?
“In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal–ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?
What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this…
What I Want From Technology
It’s really difficult to be distracted when you’re in a beautiful place like this one (in Utah’s Canyonlands, where I spent this past weekend). Natural environments easily lend themselves to being present and simply immersed in the experience. Without billboards and blinking lights and Facebook notifications, it’s much easier to pay attention to what’s going…
Sometimes, a dose of your own medicine tastes pretty bitter.
A friend sent me this card last week amidst an ongoing, very frank conversation about my busy schedule and limited availability (physical, mental and emotional) for meaningful connection. Here’s the reality: I’m stupidbusy working on figuring out my future. I spent the last 7 years building…
Exercise Can Make You Less Healthy
This is me in a COLD glacier-fed lake in the Canadian Rockies in 1991. Growing up, my parents never talked about exercise or calories, but they did deeply value health. We spent a lot of time working in our family’s garden and traveling to the mountains to hike, mountain bike, or canoe. We ended up…