What a Few Weeks of Mindfulness WIll Do

No epiphanies. No clear moments of insight. No one hundred-eighty degree, life-altering changes. Whatever is happening, it is subtle. Even minute. But I’ve realized that even these tiny shifts are not to be taken for granted. They are all a part of the practice we call mindfulness. I’ve been sitting on the subway these days focusing on my breath instead of aimlessly reading the ads on the wall to avoid eye contact with other commuters.…

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.49.57 PM

A Commitment to Being Present

As you know, I’m a great fan of sharing projects, goals and accountability. Everything — from my 545 mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to my journey as an amateur boxer towards the Golden Gloves — have brought a great sense of community, inspiration and empowerment. Today I’m committing to you something different. Something I’ve been trying to commit to myself for several years now, but no matter how hard I try, have had difficulties carving out time…

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 8.38.50 PM

All That I Am

He told me that I have a soul, How does he know? What spirit came to move my life? Is there another way to go? –  Les Miserables – What Have I Done (Valjean’s Soliloquy)  I bit my lip. It was the only thing I could think of to prevent myself from crying. There was a long pause after my therapist spoke, as if we were both waiting for the weight of her words to…

meditation_a_way_of_life__by_spidermancrd-d49vs3l-e1413301612311

Willing Hands

Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.” – Sonia Ricotti   We sit with our legs crossed on the couch, our forearms resting on our knees, palms up. We look like we are meditating with our eyes closed, but in actuality, we’re practicing a radical acceptance skill in DBT called “willing hands.” My therapist calls out to me. “What do you notice?” I take a peek at her, making…

By virtue of diagnosis, you are not alone. We struggle together and within that collective struggle, yes, there is a fight within us.

voices

It Has to be Your Own Voice

“Amanda,” my therapist asks, “what are you trying to tell me? You know I’m committed to working on this. What is it that you’re trying to say?” “I have all these voices in my head. I call them demons. They tell me that I’m better off dead. I have days upon days where these demons are unrelenting in their pull. It is so strong that I cannot hear my own voice. I cannot hear it.…

Recovery for me? Well, I’m just starting to understand that my journey is not a failure. I’m starting to realize who I am: I’m someone who struggles… yet moves forward anyway. They are both a part of my identity. That’s the dialectic. I’m not passively waiting around for a cure or to magically get better. I’m doing what’s necessary to push me forward. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

Recovery is not only what treatment does to you but what you decide to do with the treatment you’ve been given.

Dr. Peggilee Wupperman on Mindfulness & Modification Therapy

I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Peggilee Wupperman, a researcher and clinician who is associate professor at John Jay College/City University of New York, assistant clinical professor at Yale School of Medicine, and a senior psychologist at the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy. Before acquiring her current faculty positions, Dr. Wupperman completed a predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine, as well as a DBT postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington. …

change

Beyond Survival and into Change

It was my ninth day at the inpatient unit. The doctors noted my progress but a part of me still wanted to feel, as Agatha Christie described, “wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable.” I clung desperately to depression. At the time I didn’t know who I was without it. Any feeling, however awful, was better than no feeling at all. I was desperate to fill the void with something better, something else to keep me afloat. I didn’t…