Category Archives: Loving Ourselves

joy in 2018

Bring More Joy into Your Life in 2018

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Dr. Christine Carter, a sociologist, coach, and happiness expert at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, about how to bring more joy into your life this year. I hope you enjoy her blog piece based on the interview which I've included below. You can also read it on her blog site here. Dr. Carter also just released a great new book entitled The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. I highly recommend it! Like a wise friend you can depend on, Dr. Carter takes you by the hand and, with gentle encouragement, shows you step by step how to create true well-being in your life. Honest, playful, unpretentious and chock …

self compassion does not mean playing it safe

Self Compassion Does Not Mean Playing It Safe

Most of us have high standards for ourselves. Whether wanting to gain recognition, feel like we belong, or achieve our goals, we can easily fall short of our ideal and in the process judge ourselves as being not good enough. Practiced over a lifetime, this striving for perfection hardens into self-judgment, unworthiness and low self-image. For the vast majority of people who come to meditation retreats this habit of self-criticism is a central issue. As someone who knows this problem first-hand I can attest to its debilitating power. When I was growing up I had a hard time just looking in the mirror. I wasn't cool. I was shy. I wasn’t buff. I was "pudgy cute." Though we didn't have a …

letting in love

Letting in the Love

Here are two lovely clips in conversation with Linda Graham, author of Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being, from 2013's Awakening Joy course. I hope you enjoy them. Letting in the Love In this conversation with Linda Graham I share my practice of letting in the love from all around us. This practice re-trains the mind and heart to shift the way we hold ourselves towards worthiness and seeing the goodness inside. Linda responds by showing how we can become reminders of that for each other. She also shares her personal main practices for awakening joy. To watch this video on Youtube, please visit: You Have a Choice In this video Linda makes the point that who we are is not …

The Courage to Love Ourselves

One of the strongest forces of the human heart is the need for connection. Babies deprived of connection will not thrive and even may die. In the very least they will face major challenges throughout their life seeing the world as an unfriendly, dangerous place. Whether children or adults, the feeling of isolation or loneliness is one of the most painful of all human emotions. But though the yearning for connection is so primal, opening our hearts to ourselves or another is a scary proposition. It leaves us vulnerable to unmet expectations and disappointment, not to mention loss. Even in the best of situations, we sense the truth of impermanence that things will change, whether by shifting circumstances or by …

Vinny Ferraro

Turning It Around

As a regular feature on this blog I'lll share some inspirational clips of presenters from the Awakening Joy course. In this moving conversation I had with Vinny Ferraro from a few years ago, Vinny talks about the moment he turned his life around from homelessness and incarceration to inspiring thousands to make something of their lives with his straight talk and good heart. I hope you enjoy it. ~ James To view on YouTube, please go to: