5 Ways to “Be You”

Authenticity is popular these days. Celebrity media campaigns encourage marginalized youth to be themselves. Even my kids’ summer camp has “Be You” listed as a core value–not just for campers, but also for counselors and camp staff. But what does it even mean to “be you”? The fabulous Jeffrey Marsh, of #NoTimeToHateMyself fame and author […]

How — and Why — to Go on a REAL Vacation

3 tips to help you relax on your next vacation.


Nearly 40 percent of US employees feel like they have too much work to take a vacation. But research suggests you’ll be happier, healthier, and more productive if you do. Last year, I was invited by KJ Dell’Antonia of The New York Times to coach Julie, a partner at a law firm who was feeling […]

Directions for Handling a Toxic Relationship

When a relationship is causing you stress and suffering, follow these five steps to find more peace.

Last week, I had lunch with a friend. As we were walking out, she mentioned that she had to see someone who hadn’t always been kind to her, a relationship that caused her more stress and suffering than anything else. She’d been avoiding the meeting, but now it looked inevitable. “She just makes me so […]

Why We Aren’t as Good at Saving the Earth as We Want to Be

Three brain traps that make us wasteful and how to outsmart them.


A little while ago at a birthday soiree, I got to sit across from one of UC Berkeley’s cutting-edge ocean researchers. I asked him to explain to me how climate change is affecting fish populations, and he responded by saying that “climate change is happening too slowly.” He lamented that while it is true that marine […]

Confessions of a Bad Meditator

I know meditation is good for me--but I've avoided it for 30 years. Here’s why.

When I was in high school, my advisor, Michael Mulligan, called my parents to recommend a special treatment for my anxiety: Transcendental Meditation (“TM”). I was a high-achieving perfectionist so anxious, at times, that I had stress-induced asthma. Mr. Mulligan was not then, and is not now, a new-age spiritual seeker. He is a dyed-in-the-wool New […]

Spend Some Time Alone

The importance of solitude


Usually, you’ll hear me tellin’ ya to spend more time with friends. This is because the best predictor of a person’s happiness is the breadth and depth of her social connections. But alone time is important, too. A Harvard study indicates that a bit of solitude can make us more capable of empathy towards others. […]

5 Ways to Cope with a ‘Difficult’ Person

Apply these strategies, and show your children how they can do the same.

My paternal grandmother died young, at age 49; and within a year of her death, my grandfather had remarried the woman who would become my grandma. Even though her kisses smelled like cigarette smoke, I adored her. As a little girl, I did not know that she didn’t get along well with her adult stepchildren, […]