And how you’ll know you’re making progress.

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As Byron Katie, philosopher and author of Loving What Is says: “If you argue with reality, you will only lose 100% of the time.”

When life dishes up something you don’t want or denies you something you do want, it’s human to resist. And that sums up the story of my life — every time I resist ‘what is,’ I’m arguing with reality. And I lose every time.

Sure, I sometimes get what I want but, more often than not, it’s the other way around. The ‘easy, no problems, I have everything I need’ moments of my life are fewer…


Be prepared to change your mind.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

Whether you’re fifteen or eighty, you can identify a want and set out to achieve it at any stage of life. You start with one step in the direction of that goal. And then take another one, and another, until you’re going full steam ahead.

You won’t always know precisely how you’re going to get from where you are to where you want to end up. That’s okay, but you do need some faith that there really is an organizing principle in the universe.

Pay attention to how you feel and how you behave.

I define organizing principle as the idea that things seem to work out better if I…


That doesn’t mean you are one.

By Anna Kuzmenko on Shutterstock

Let me count the ways I’ve felt I acted like an idiot or thought I appeared to be an idiot. No, I won’t because they are endless.

Whether I looked like an idiot or just felt like one, my take-away from those experiences is that I learned something useful from every single one of them.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way we want or think they should. But more often than not, they work out the only way they can. And from that, we can learn how to do things differently.

Quality of life is all about the learnings…


And it’s not working!

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We’d all be a lot happier if we learned this in grammar school — just because we believe something doesn’t mean it’s true!

At some point, whether we’re co-working, co-habitating, or simply co-existing on the planet, eventually our wants will clash with someone else’s. And then what? When we don’t take both sides into consideration — my needs and your needs — manipulation and bullying can become the norm.

Beliefs and ideas are not facts.

We all have ideas about how things should be. People should be loyal. Even to someone who does horrible things? Homes should be neat and sparkling clean. …


I don't get it. I just don't. The thought of not having your team as my go-to is hugely deflating. I love all the comments here about the human touch you all brought to editing. Every time you made a suggestion, you nailed what my article needed. You saw what I couldn't, and shared it--it's been a joy working you.

Thank you for helping me develop as a writer. And for doing it with kindness and respect.

Is there anything we can do to change Medium's decision?


Maybe not one hundred percent, but a little will get you a lot farther than closed-mindedness.

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I introduce my clients to what I’ve spent a lifetime trying to teach myself. We explore the idea that psychological rigidity can cause tremendous suffering, and psychological flexibility can give us greater freedom.

In other words, I teach about the downsides of closed-mindedness (psychological rigidity) and the upsides to openness and curiosity (psychological flexibility).

I understand our reluctance to let go of ideas and beliefs that have, in some cases, allowed us to feel in control of ourselves. The world can be scary, and at times, seems to be burning with anger and confusion.

Personal experience has taught me that…


Maya Angelou says we need to grow up to find out what that means.

By Sergey Katyshkin on Shutterstock

I wrote a post about my foibles and mishaps that a reader took exception to. I wonder if they thought I was whining. Their perspective was that I chose to be a boob, and that’s on me, and my references to personal pain didn’t begin to match their physical or emotional pain.

After reading and responding to their comments, I decided to write about three personas that I have seen emerge over the years with my clients, myself, and pretty much everyone I’ve ever met.

To be clear, I’m not referring to the parts work that is basic to IFS…


You know you’ve shot a second arrow.

By Jari Hindstroem on Shutterstock

Years ago, I came back from a ten-day retreat that felt life changing.

I was overflowing and wanted to share it with a friend. After a few minutes, she said, in essence, that’s nice, and began to share her troubles with a married man with whom she’d gotten involved.

We got through that coffee date. But I carried a resentment toward that friend for a long time. Unknowingly, each time we were together, I found myself looking for information to support that she wasn’t a good friend. …


Consider three ideas for a fresh take on your life.

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

A change in perspective can turn a lusterless, seemingly empty life into a rich, bold experience if you let it. Ask yourself, “What ideas are shaping your life?”Whatever your answers, ask yourself a second question: “Are they taking me where I want to go?”

Over the last twenty-five years, unique and resilient clients have shown me waht works for them and what doesn’t. Three powerful ideas keep surfacing:

  1. The universe is surprisingly supportive once you make a decision and take the first step.
  2. If you don’t like the way you made your bed, make it over.
  3. We are all more…


It’s like putting up a fence to keep out the air.

By Amanda Gril on Shutterstock

Using Anger As a Cover-up Emotion

Many of us didn’t learn how to allow ourselves to feel afraid or vulnerable. We did, however, learn how to cover our fears and vulnerabilities with anger because that made us feel powerful.

Often, our models were exhausted parents who, at their wit’s end, would blame us because of how we made them feel. And they’d be angry.

But the truth of it was, they were afraid they weren’t doing a great job. Back in the day, self-awareness wasn’t a big focus or topic of conversation in most families. So getting at unconscious fears wasn’t a daily activity.

I’ll never…

Robyn Norman

Therapist, mindfulness coach, writer. I got tired of hearing myself talk, so I write. robyn1001@comcast.net or www.partnersinmindfulliving.com/blog

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