Dating with the Buddha

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How can you bring spirituality and humor to dating? Or, as one writer so aptly put it: What if the Buddha dated? How would he handle getting to know someone? How would he bring spirituality and “enlightenment” to the process? Although as far as I know,...

Can You Be Happy For Someone Else?

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There’s a word in Buddhism - Muditā – that means “celebrating the success of others”. The first time I heard it, at a meditation retreat in Northern California, I wondered “Why is the teacher talking about this? What does this have to do with feeling...

Let’s talk about sex

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A big part of mental health is having a healthy sex life, but, for some reason, our sexual selves are often left out of any discussion about our mental and physical health. Maybe it’s because it makes some doctors or therapists – or us -...

How to Handle Conversations with Difficult People

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Dear Michael: I write to you because you are becoming the “Dear Abby” of San Diego!   I am having a problem with my ex-husband.  When I left him for another man, he was really angry about it.  Now, nine years’ later, he still is furious with me.   We have a...

Why I Like Getting Older

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If you believe advertising, getting older is a mistake, a weakness. If you get older and look older, you’ve done it wrong.  This logic works really well for advertising: it creates a lot of scared people desperate enough to buy any product that will keep them...

How to have a low stress life

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Today I got a call from a new client, who asked me, “Can you help me lower my stress and anxiety? I don’t want to take medication. Oh, and by the way, I’m kinda depressed too.” This is a common request. Despite TV commercials that show relaxed,...

The Anatomy of an Affair

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How do affairs happen? Typically, in my psychotherapy office, when I work with a couple that is struggling with the aftermath of an affair (e.g. one person was unfaithful to the other), it’s common for the person who cheated to say “I don’t know how it...

Burned out at work?

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I see a lot of clients who have problems with their jobs. They tell me they feel burned out at work. I define this kind of burnout as job-related mental and physical exhaustion that has a negative effect on your personal life. Here are some signs...

The Psychology of Shopping (and Hoarding)

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I enjoy shopping. In small doses. Occasionally, it’s fun to go into stores and see what’s there. I used to shop a lot more. When I would go into a store, I’d literally get an adrenaline rush: so much stuff to look at…and buy. There was...

My friends are getting all “spiritual” on me

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Dear Michael: I have friends who seem to have it all (plenty of money, great jobs, hot boyfriends) and they are all going off to meditation retreats, studying Buddhism and getting all "spiritual" on me. They say it’s bringing them peace of mind and that this...