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Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Inspiration and Prayer Archives

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?

posted by Sharon Kirk

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer […]

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5 Ways to Manage Autumn Anxiety

posted by Sharon Kirk

Even as I love the autumn season, it is full of anxiety for me (like every other season, come to think of it). I start to mourn the ending of summer when I hear the cicadas grow louder the last […]

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Letting Go of Regret

posted by Sharon Kirk

You let the woman of your dreams get away. You made a parenting mistake that still haunts you. You quit an okay job only to replace it with a lousy one. You cheated a friend. And on and on and […]

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7 Ways to Harness Fear

posted by Sharon Kirk

F.E.A.R – Forget everything and run. We are wired to fear, as fear has kept us alive back when we had hair on our feet, and continues to save our lives today when something threatens our existence. The almond-shaped cluster […]

7 Ways to De-funk Yourself

posted by Sharon Kirk

The definition of FUNK: “to shrink from in fright or dread.” Oh yeah, and “a state of severe depression.” I like to think of it as the Diet Coke of depression … some of the same discomfort, symptoms, yuck, but […]

How to Get Unstuck

posted by Sharon Kirk

Brain hiccups. We all get a case of them now and then. For some they are fleeting and all a person has to do is to take a deep breath, visualize their departure, and poof! They’re gone. Not so easy […]

Some Quotes on Solitude and Self-Nurturing I Like

posted by Beyond Blue

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh or fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are […]

On Being an Ex-Suicide

posted by Beyond Blue

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (5:8-14) reads: Brothers and Sisters: You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to […]

The Third Step Prayer

posted by Beyond Blue

God, I offer myself to Thee– to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them […]

Thomas Merton on Fear

posted by Beyond Blue

I like this passage from Thomas Merton about Lent. It makes me think that Merton would approve of my Lenten resolution, to give up self-loathing. He writes: The purpose of Lent is not only expiation, to satisfy the divine justice, […]

Teresa of Avila: The Desire Is Enough

posted by Beyond Blue

I wanted to share this quote from St. Teresa of Avila because many of you loved the prayer by Thomas Merton that said the desire to love God is enough. In this passage, another of my favorite saints basically says […]

People-Pleasing: Today Is Not Your Day

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m reading, and rereading this archive post this week. Today would have been a good day for me to wear the t-shirt that says, “I can only please one person a day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow doesn’t look […]

The Last Lecture

posted by Beyond Blue

From time to time I like to go back and watch deceased college professor Randy Pausch’s video, “The Last Lecture,” as a reminder to live my days as well as I can. You probably have seen it, but here it […]

Just Listen

posted by Beyond Blue

I can’t count on my hand the number of times I’ve sobbed in front of a complete stranger because it’s happened more than a hundred times. But I can count the number of times I’ve been on the receiving end […]

Don’t Ask Me What I Do, Instead Ask Me Who I Am

posted by Beyond Blue

I recently posted this piece on PsychCentral about the need to separate what we do for a living from who we are as people. To read the article, click here. I carry a few different business cards in my purse. […]

I’ve Learned … by Andy Rooney

posted by Beyond Blue

My sister-in-law e-mailed this to me the other day, and I loved it. I’ve learned….That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person. I’ve learned….That when you’re in love, it shows. I’ve learned….That just […]

When a Friendship Ends … Are Friends Like Shoes?

posted by Beyond Blue

A friend who watched my video on friendships ending wrote me an e-mail with the most beautiful analogy . She said: As I was listening to you and watching the video, I thought about friends as being shoes in my […]

Love Deeply

posted by Beyond Blue

Valentine’s Day is a good time to remember all the ways we can be loving, not just to the guy/gal sitting across from you at the kitchen table, but also your boss, your mother, your boss’s mother, and her mother. […]

Prayer for Perfectionists

posted by Beyond Blue

I have been sent the prayer by St. Theresa, my patron saint, so many times. But reading it today, I realized it’s the perfect prayer for perfectionists. Here it is: May today there be peace within. May you trust God […]

The First Yes, The Moment of Conversion

posted by Beyond Blue

The publishing and public-speaking businesses are no different from other industries. No one wants to publish you until you get that first book, because Lord knows what you might write between the covers. No speaking agent is going to take […]

The Dark Night and Depression: An Interview With Tim Farrington

posted by Beyond Blue

This week I have the honor of interviewing Tim Farrington, the acclaimed novelist of Lizzie’s War, “The California Book of the Dead,” “Blues for Hannah,” as well as the New York Times Notable Book of 2002, “The Monk Downstairs.” Guess […]

Thomas Merton: Make Me An Instrument of Your Peace

posted by Beyond Blue

Here is the text by Thomas Merton that I read every morning to remind myself to get out of the way: All the good that you will do will come not from you but from the fact that you have […]

The Last Lecture: 5 Evergreen Lessons

posted by Beyond Blue

I am republishing a post I wrote around the time of Pausch’s death. It seems like the closer one is to death, the more genuine one becomes. The more courageous one is to speak his truth, and nothing but the […]

A Day to Celebrate Heroes and Angels

posted by Beyond Blue

A few days after my posts on the topic of bullying, Beyond Blue reader Barbara sent me an e-mail and asked if, in response to bullying, she might share a piece about her grandmother and how much she meant to […]

7 Ways to Celebrate Christmas Year Round

posted by Beyond Blue

Ah, the magic and wonder of the holiday season … It has even my fragile and anxious brain abandoning the logical, reasoning, and uptightness of the left side, and relying on a feast of senses–fresh evergreen, Christmas carolers, winter wonderlands, […]

Madeleine L’Engle on Christmas

posted by Beyond Blue

Was there a moment, known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with […]

Beyond Blue Turns 6

posted by Beyond Blue

Since today is the sixth anniversary of Beyond Blue, I thought I’d share my very first post with you. Thank you for hanging in there with me, even as I’ve had to post plenty of archives. Although I’ve suffered from […]

Believe Without Seeing

posted by Beyond Blue

All the Christmas movies–from the classic “Miracle on 34th Street” to “The Year Without a Santa Claus” preach a common message: faith is about believing without seeing.   In our family favorite, “Elf,” Santa’s sleigh, fueled by Christmas spirit, crashes […]

The Memorare

posted by Beyond Blue

I have prayed the Memorare every day since my mom (and others) told me to go to Mary with my depression. It’s clear from the words of this prayer that Mary hears all pleas, but especially those uttered in desperation. […]

Finding Christmas

posted by Beyond Blue

This reflection was from four years ago, but is still very real every Christmas. I’m starting to understand Christmas as the season where Christ comes to visit you in the most unexpected ways. If you can only quiet yourself for […]

5 Forms of Distorted Thinking

posted by Beyond Blue

A video including all the forms of my distorted thinking would be too big to store on You Tube. So I’ll present my top five: ways I torture myself upstairs. The good news? Then I can untwist the distortions and […]

Enough With Perfection

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve been gradually learning something about myself: I want to be perfect. And the fact that I’m not causes me suffering. All of the major world religions teach this lesson upfront: you’re not perfect, and the sooner you accept that […]

Breaking the Patterns of Dysfunction

posted by Beyond Blue

In “Cutting Loose: An Adult’s Guide to Coming to Terms with Your Parents” Howard M. Halpern calls the interactions that develop between the inner child in us and the inner child in our parents “songs and dances” because, he explains, […]

On All Saints Day: 7 Patron Saints for Healing and Comfort

posted by Beyond Blue

Thomas Craughwell has compiled a beautiful gallery of seven patron saints for healing and comfort. You can get to it by clicking here. I’ve included the first three.   St. Anne: Patron Saint of Infertility According to a second-century apocryphal […]

How Is Depression Different From Sadness?

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the most common questions I hear is: How is depression different from sadness? This question was addressed by Ronald Pies, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at Tufts and SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse and one of my […]

4 Steps to Better Boundaries

posted by Beyond Blue

My second job out of college was with a religious giftware company. I was a product-development coordinator for “inspirational” brands, which meant I was required to do things like write directions on how to bury St. Joseph for a “St. […]

Shadows in Prayer: The Seven D’s of the Spiritual Life

posted by Beyond Blue

A few years back, when Mother Teresa’s surprising writings were published about her inner turmoil, my Jesuit friend, Jim Martin, penned the following piece, “Shadows in Prayer,” for “America” magazine. It’s a fascinating read and asks the very questions that […]

How Do I Care For Someone With Depression?

posted by Beyond Blue

I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this question. And I can’t think of a better way of answering than James Bishop’s article, “12 Ways to Care for Someone with Depression,” which you can get to by clicking […]

7 Steps to Heal Your Inner Child

posted by Beyond Blue

According to John Bradshaw, author of “Home Coming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child,” the process of healing your wounded inner child is one of grief. And it involves these seven steps (in Bradshaw’s words): 1. Trust For your wounded […]

5 Reasons Why Adults (Like Kids) Need Quiet Time

posted by Beyond Blue

The following excerpts are taken from “Modern Spiritual Masters: Writing on Contemplation and Compassion” edited by Robert Ellsberg: 1. To Hear God Talk And if we really want to pray we must first learn to listen, for in the silence […]

All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

posted by Beyond Blue

I can never read Robert Fulghum’s poem, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” too many times. Every time I read it I gain a new truth. Today I’m concentrating on the line, “Warm cookies and cold […]

Your Thinking Is … Well … Not Helpful

posted by Beyond Blue

I am trying to shift the way in which I view my work in order to take the pressure off of me, and to put it where it belongs: in God’s hands. In a letter to Jim Forest in February […]

On the Feast of St. Therese: Roses from Heaven

posted by Beyond Blue

I like to publish this story around the first of October, since it is the feast day of St. Therese, my patron saint. I owe my life to St. Therese of Lisieux. A few times over. This Carmelite nun–dubbed the […]

What If She Refuses to Go to the Hospital?

posted by Beyond Blue

Following up on last Friday’s question — whether or not to take a loved one to the hospital — is this question: What if she refuses to go? Again, Dr. Mark Komrad, M.D., has some answers: The criteria for filing […]

I Said to my Soul: Be Still

posted by Beyond Blue

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith But the faith and […]

Ten (or Eleven) Days to Self-Esteem

posted by Beyond Blue

Each summer I pick a project. A few years ago mine was to develop my self-esteem. According to David Burns, that should only take ten days. But nine months later, I’m still not there. From June to August last year, […]

What Do I Do With My Impure Thoughts?

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve been amazed by the mass of comments posted to my articles about emotional and physical affairs: “10 Steps to End an Affair,” “The Emotional Affair,” and “10 Red Flags of an Emotional Affair.” Because guilt can be a major […]

When Crap Befalls Decent People

posted by Beyond Blue

Whenever I come across a very sad story like I did today–about Katherine’s fellow 8-year-old classmate having Leukemia–I always go back to Harold Kushner’s classic “When Bad Things Happen To Good People.” Now, remind me again, good Rabbi, why does […]

Growing Up Bipolar

posted by Beyond Blue

“Were you bipolar growing up?” a magazine editor asked me the other day. “I don’t know,” I said. “Do you think you were misdiagnosed back then as depressed?” “I don’t know,” I said. I wasn’t annoyed. I wasn’t rushed. I […]

7 Favorite Prayers

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m publishing my seven favorite prayers today because, as I mentioned on Monday’s post, I’ve been more depressed lately than I have been in a long while. I guess that’s good for the blog, ultimately, because I can speak better […]

The Samaritan Woman and Loneliness

posted by Beyond Blue

On the combox of my post, “Struggle With, Not Victory Over,” Beyond Blue reader Ann asked me to reprint my blog about the Samaritan woman I wrote last March. Since the topic deals with loneliness and toxic relationships, I figured […]

Struggle With, Not Victory Over

posted by Beyond Blue

This piece is reprinted from awhile back. It’s tempting for anyone who writes about depression and anxiety to preach from hindsight, after he has “recovered” from his mood disorder: “This is what I did to free myself from addiction” … […]

Life Is Like a Game of Candy Land

posted by Beyond Blue

  Image credit Peggy Dembicer “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates,” said Forrest Gump in the 1994 film. Yeah, well I think it’s more like a game of Candy Land. We’ve been averaging about three games […]

On Loneliness …

posted by Beyond Blue

The research is in. Loneliness isn’t just a case of the sniffles that can be cured by a singing Hallmark card. It’s associated with increased risk of heart disease, higher rates of inflammatory disease, and diminished immune function. According to […]

6 Things Every Kid Should Know About a Parent’s Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Depression never happens in a vacuum. Like a ripple in the water, a parent’s illness can’t help but affect her offspring. Different studies have documented how depression in a new mother clearly affects her interactions with her baby or toddler. […]

Quotes on Perseverance

posted by Beyond Blue

I needs LOTS of coaching on perseverance because this essential virtue depends on another one called patience, which God ran out of the day He made me. Here are some beautiful quotes on perseverance: “Most of the things worth doing […]

Love Them Anyway

posted by Beyond Blue

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders. For more than thirty years, they have circled the globe, been graced on refrigerators, featured in speeches, and even put up […]

Be Still … No Really, Be Still: An Interview with Anne Simpkinson

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve dedicated many Mindful Monday posts to the topic of stillness … like how to do it. I’m still really confused, to be perfectly honest, HOWEVER, I have met several soul sisters along the way that are pursuing the same […]

12 Ways to Keep Going

posted by Beyond Blue

A Beyond Blue reader recently asked me to forward this piece to her. I needed to read it again, too … to try to find the dogged determination within me to stay focused on hope, not hopelessness. Sorry for the […]

Why Does God Make It So Hard?

posted by Beyond Blue

This post is from last year this time. A Beyond Blue reader wrote to me the other day and asked, “How do you know that you are on the right path, and that God approves? Because if He did, why […]

The Wisdom of Knowing What and When to Let Go

posted by Beyond Blue

The following essay is an excerpt from a wonderful little book, “The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It,” by Dennis Merritt Jones. Fruit drops from the tree when it is ready. Staying […]

The King’s Speech: A Story of Courage

posted by Beyond Blue

I am reprinting this post from this time last year. In the 2010 Oscar-winning historical film “The King’s Speech,” King George VI (Colin Firth) reluctantly assumes the throne and must overcome his stammer in order to speak with the authority […]

How Helping Others Can Get Us Through Tough Times: An Interview with Stephen G. Post, PhD

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the most powerful tools in my recovery from depression has been the act of helping those who suffer the same kind of pain as I do, and those whose pain I can’t imagine, like mothers who have lost […]

Stop Thinking, Start Feeling: Take Your Hurts to Your Heart

posted by Beyond Blue

If you’ve studied the human brain as much as I have, you know exactly what is going on when you hit a patch of acute anxiety. You realize that the amygdala (fear center) of your brain has duct-taped the other, […]

Find Your Way: Check Your Assumptions

posted by Beyond Blue

Fellow Annapolis author R. K. Caroland wrote a nice little book called “Find Your Way.” I especially appreciate what he wrote about assumptions:   One of our biggest mistaken assumptions is that everyone thinks like me. So most of the […]

Are We Overmedicating? Or Is Our Health Care System Inadequate?

posted by Beyond Blue

People who’ve read only the first part of my book, Beyond Blue, often categorize me as being “anti-med” or a “psychiatrist-hater,” because in the early chapters I describe the arduous journey through hell and back trying to find a doctor […]

Mindful Monday: Words of Hope for Despair

posted by Beyond Blue

I wrote this response to Beyond Blue reader Kate after reading her despondent comments, but I wanted to republish them in case any of you are in a similar state. You say that no one could understand your despair. I […]

6 Things Cancer Patients Have Taught Me

posted by Beyond Blue

As a graduate student pursuing a degree in theology twelve years ago, I took a course called Systematic Theology–by far my toughest class–by a brilliant professor who was dying of bone marrow cancer. No one knew she was dying. She […]

The 8 Best Spiritual Sound Bites of Graduation Advice

posted by Beyond Blue

I can’t remember all the speeches at my commencement ceremony. But I do remember looking up on the stage to see my best friend, the valedictorian of our class, sitting there among all the luminaries, and wondering how in the […]

Struggle With, Not Victory Over

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s tempting for anyone who writes about depression and anxiety to preach from hindsight, after he has “recovered” from his mood disorder: “This is what I did to free myself from addiction” … “Here are five steps to instant weight […]

Ring the Bells That Still Can Ring

posted by Beyond Blue

Last year this time I delivered the Commencement address to my alma mater, Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Since it is graduation season, I thought I’d repost it. Thank you, President Mooney. And thank you to all the […]

Label Me, Please

posted by Beyond Blue

For a long while I was afraid to write things such as “I am mentally ill” or “I am bipolar.” I was afraid of labels. By calling myself a manic-depressive would I trap my psyche in “sick” mode? By accepting […]

The Cracked Pot

posted by Beyond Blue

I love this tale from India, retold here by Mary Dessein. What a beautiful way of thinking about our illness, frustrating life situations, or crosses we bear. A water-bearer carries two large pots on a yoke across his shoulders up […]

Give Up on Being Perfect

posted by Beyond Blue

In “Being Perfect,” bestselling author Anna Quindlen advises high school and college graduates to work from a clean slate … to give up on being perfect. I keep the gift book beside my computer (with Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” […]

The Fern and the Bamboo

posted by Beyond Blue

A classic that I like to post on Beyond Blue every now and then … One day I decided to quit…I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality…. I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to […]

Talent Isn’t Everything. Persistance Is.

posted by Beyond Blue

Whenever I see a cocky musical sensation laugh hysterically at the performance or audition of a desperate wanna-be pop singer on “American Idol” or any of its tacky knockoffs, I want to take the mic cord and wrap it around […]

7 Favorite Prayers

posted by Beyond Blue

The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment […]

Therapy Thursday: Imitate an Eagle

posted by Beyond Blue

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. […]

The Greatest Commandment: Show Up With Flowers

posted by Beyond Blue

I stayed relatively silent about my depression for two decades because I felt I had no right to complain. Two million children in Africa die a year from Malaria. That’s suffering. Mothers risk their lives to give birth in war-torn […]

Am I Depressed or Just Deep?

posted by Beyond Blue

I spent my adolescence and teenage years obsessing about this question: Am I depressed or just deep?   When I was nine, I figured that I was a young Christian mystic because I related much more to the saints who lived […]

9 Ways to Live Easter Every Day

posted by Beyond Blue

The following piece is also featured as a Beliefnet gallery, which you can get to by clicking here. One of my favorite scripture verses is John 20:15, when Jesus finds Mary Magdalene crying at the door of the tomb and […]

On Good Friday: God of My Bitter Hours

posted by Beyond Blue

I thought it was appropriate to share this beautiful reflection of Joyce Rupp’s, inspired by the theologian Karl Rahner, on Good Friday. I found it in a beautiful book of reflections by Joyce Rupp called “Fragments of Your Ancient Name” […]

Palm Sunday: Seeing the Big Picture

posted by Beyond Blue

Twelve years ago I sat next to an Indian man at the wedding reception of Eric’s best friend. He claimed that he was trained in the art of palm reading and asked if he could read my palm. “Ahh. Very […]

The Prosperous Heart: An Interview with Julia Cameron

posted by Beyond Blue

Six years ago, when I was climbing out of my severe depression, I read Julia Cameron’s bestselling book, “The Artist’s Way.” It helped me move from a place of insecurity to one of courageous creativity — laying out my innermost […]

Living the Compassionate Life

posted by Beyond Blue

In November 2007, religious historian Karen Armstrong won the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) award because of her many contributions that have made a profound difference in the world. Each recipient is given $100,000 and a wish for a better world. […]

Mindful Monday: Worry Not!

posted by Beyond Blue

A reader recently emailed this beautiful reflection: Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow, and everyday. Either He will shield you from suffering, […]

I Pray For Dawn

posted by Beyond Blue

If I counted up all the minutes I’ve spent staring into a flame, I wonder how many years of my life that would be. Certainly more than the hours I’ve spent brushing my teeth or combing my hair. It would […]

Mindful Monday: Get Lost During Lent

posted by Beyond Blue

In her new paperback, “An Altar in the World,” bestselling author Barbara Brown Taylor writes: Popular religion focuses so hard on spiritual success that most of us do not know the first thing about the spiritual fruits of failure. When […]

Empty Yourself This Lent

posted by Beyond Blue

For me Lent is about emptying–a glass, a basket, a soul–so that it can be filled up again…with wine (or sparkling cider), peeps (think Easter basket), and hope. The forty days before Easter is one big humbling exercise–where you remind […]

What Comes First? Religion or Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

There’s a cartoon picturing a chicken and an egg in bed together. The chicken is smoking a cigarette with a very satisfied expression on his face, and the egg is restless and disgruntled. The egg finally looks over to the […]

12 Ways to Pray During Lent

posted by Beyond Blue

This blog post has been also featured as a Beliefnet gallery. To get there click here. Lent, the 40 days preceding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, is supposed to be a time of fasting, where we chocoholics take […]

Understanding Faith and Depression: The Ashes This Year Were Perfect (Staying Open to Grace Is Enough)

posted by Beyond Blue

I was so moved by this essay on faith and depression composed by an anonymous Beyond Blue reader. I hope you find as much hope in it as I did. There is a dark smudge on my forehead. I am […]

On President’s Day: How Lincoln Used Faith to Overcome Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Abraham Lincoln is a powerful mental health hero for me. Whenever I doubt that I can do anything meaningful in this life with a defective brain (and entire nervous system, actually, as well as the hormonal one), I simply pull […]

How Do You Heal Loneliness?

posted by Beyond Blue

If I had to name the most common complaint I hear among depressives, it is that they are lonely. Just five minutes ago, I replied on a thread within Group Beyond Blue to a woman who started a thread called […]

Love Deeply …

posted by Beyond Blue

Valentine’s Day is a good time to remember all the ways we can be loving, not just to the guy/gal sitting across from you at the kitchen table, but also your boss, your mother, your boss’s mother, and her mother. […]

Scrupulosity: What It Is and Why It’s Dangerous

posted by Beyond Blue

If you sprinkle a hefty dose of Catholic (or Jewish) guilt unto a fragile biochemistry headed toward a severe mood disorder, you usually arrive at some kind of a religious nut. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! For I […]

The Treasures of Darkness

posted by Beyond Blue

We often equate darkness with sorrow, misery, get-me-the-hell-out-of-here reaction. At least I do. That’s why I keep a mammoth Happy Lite on my smallish cubicle at work. But darkness can also be a treasure. Say what? J. R. Miller writes […]

On Groundhog Day: 12 Winter Depression Busters

posted by Beyond Blue

Last year on this day, I got fired. That was a real pleasant Groundhog Day. I was so confused by what had happened that I drove around the D.C. beltway twice. I missed my exit, and realized that halfway around […]

Desiderata: Go Placidly Amidst the Noise and Haste

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the poem “Desiderata.” The framed text hung in the laundry room of my childhood home, and every time I read it I came away with something new. The word “desiderata” is Latin […]

And Then Life Happens …

posted by Beyond Blue

American journalist Allen Saunders was the first one to coin the phrase, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” I’m sure most of you can appreciate the truth of those words. In the last three years, life […]

January 24 Is the Most Depressing Day of the Year

posted by Beyond Blue

If you’re feeling depressed today, you’re in good company! January 24 is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. According to Dr. Cliff Arnalls, a British psychologist with Cardiff University, it’s almost like clockwork. A number of factors coincide […]

Psalm 139: You Are Loved

posted by Beyond Blue

On the combox of my post, “What Is Your Epiphany,” a reader said that her “Aha” moment was knowing that God loves her. Simply that: She is loved unconditionally by God. That is one of the mottos that I repeat […]

Catch Me on Talking With Tobin

posted by Beyond Blue

I extremely honored to be the first guest on a talented friend’s radio show, “Talking with Tobin” on You! Radio Network! Heather Tobin’s show debuts Tuesday night at 8. Since this is the day after MLK, Jr. day, we are […]

Mindful Monday: What Is Your Epiphany?

posted by Beyond Blue

An epiphany can mean several things: an “Aha!” moment after relentless searching and study, the first time you see something (or someone) in its natural form, or the Christian feast commemorating the visit and adoration of the Christ Child by […]

Letter to Folks Without Depression and Anxiety

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back, a brave woman in the online support group that I moderate, but haven’t done a good job of moderating in awhile, penned this letter to people who do NOT suffer from anxiety and depression. I think it’s a […]

Therapy Thursday: Process heat and suffering like a coffee bean

posted by Beyond Blue

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. […]

Mindful Monday: Quotes on Courage

posted by Beyond Blue

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” –T.S. Eliot Poet “The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.” –Robert G. Ingersoll “We can do anything […]

My New Year’s Resolution: Living the Questions

posted by Beyond Blue

Here are some interesting statistics I just found regarding New Year’s resolutions: *40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. *Among the top new years resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and stopping to […]

Baboushka: A Russian Folk Tale

posted by Beyond Blue

From “A Classic Christmas,” a compilation of beautiful reflections, meditations, and scripture passages.  This story replaces the Saint Nicholas Legend in Russia and has been told for many years. It was the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. In […]

7 Ways to Celebrate Christmas Year Round

posted by Beyond Blue

Ah, the magic and wonder of the holiday season … It has even my fragile and anxious brain abandoning the logical, reasoning, and uptightness of the left side, and relying on a feast of senses–fresh evergreen, Christmas carolers, winter wonderlands, […]

You Can Keep Christmas

posted by Beyond Blue

From “A Classic Christmas,” a compilation of beautiful reflections, meditations, and scripture passages.  Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world–stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death–and that the blessed life which began […]

Why I Love Christmas Eve

posted by Beyond Blue

This is why I love Christmas Eve. From Cistercian Abbot Andre Louf about the beauty and joy of Christmas night: That is the joyful message of the night of Christmas: if the little child who was born in Bethlehem is […]

Finding Christmas

posted by Beyond Blue

This reflection was from three years ago, but is still very real every Christmas. I’m starting to understand Christmas as the season where Christ comes to visit you in the most unexpected ways. If you can only quiet yourself for […]

Beyond Blue Turns 5!

posted by Beyond Blue

Every year for Christmas I send poinsettias to a few special people in my life, and I buy a few for our home (which die quickly because I forget to water them). I always think about the legend of this […]

The 12 Bipolar Days of Christmas

posted by Beyond Blue

It’s that time of year again!!! Ready to hear it again??? DISCLAIMER: I am no Barbara Streisand. I’ve never taken a singing lesson in my life. Not one.The inspiration for this song came two weeks before Thanksgiving when I received […]

Yes, Depressives, There Is a Santa Claus

posted by Beyond Blue

The following post, originally posted in December 2006, is one of my favorites for this season. I almost blew it today. I almost told David there was no Santa Claus, or Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny. The practical, cynical, depressed […]

Believe Without Seeing

posted by Beyond Blue

All the Christmas movies–from the classic “Miracle on 34th Street” to “The Year Without a Santa Claus” preach a common message: faith is about believing without seeing.   In our family favorite, “Elf,” Santa’s sleigh, fueled by Christmas spirit, crashes […]

The Memorare

posted by Beyond Blue

I have prayed the Memorare every day since my mom (and others) told me to go to Mary with my depression. It’s clear from the words of this prayer that Mary hears all pleas, but especially those uttered in desperation. […]

A Child Has Been Born

posted by Beyond Blue

From “A Classic Christmas,” a compilation of beautiful reflections, meditations, and scripture passages.  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. For to […]

Christmas Group Therapy

posted by Beyond Blue

From my Australian friend, Sam Gyura, and courtesy of Dennis Turner:

Mindful Monday: On Overcoming Adversity

posted by Beyond Blue

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” –Epictetus “Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” –Robert Schuller “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected […]

33 Favorite Self-Help Books of Psychologists

posted by Beyond Blue

What is your favorite self-help book? A group of psychologists I connect with via LinkedIn, The Psychology Network, published their recommendations. Since most of them are mental health professionals (unlike me, who just pretends she is), their list lends credibility […]

Quotes on Discernment

posted by Beyond Blue

“We should always pray for help, but we should always listen for inspiration and impression to proceed in ways different from those we may have thought of.” –John H. Groberg “Let nothing disturb you,?Let nothing frighten you,?All things are passing […]

Mindful Monday: Quotes on Perspective

posted by Beyond Blue

“He who binds to himself a joy ?Doth the winged life destroy.?He who kisses the joy as it flies,?Lives in eternity’s sunrise.” –William Blake “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible […]

Even Saints Aren’t Perfect

posted by Beyond Blue

An appropriate post for the Feast of All Saints … I have a magnet on my refrigerator that reads “Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you’re an a—hole.” It’s a gentle but effective reminder that on those days that […]

On Halloween: Quotes On Facing Fear

posted by Beyond Blue

“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.” –Khwajeh Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafez-e Shirazi “Prosperity is not without many fears and disasters; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.” […]

10 Steps to Starting Your Self-Esteem File

posted by Beyond Blue

Five years ago I walked into my therapist’s office feeling like a Krispy-Kreme doughnut: I had no center. Everything I attempted both professionally and personally flopped. I had no sense of self, no confidence, and no faith in myself. I […]

Mindful Monday: Quotes On Patience

posted by Beyond Blue

“The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused, while nature heals the disease.” –Voltaire “The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.” –Chinese Proverb “Every […]

Quotes On Faith

posted by Beyond Blue

“Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light?” –Maurice Freehill “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” –Hebrews 11:1 “That nothing is static or […]

On the Feast Day of St. Therese: Roses From Heaven

posted by Beyond Blue

I like to publish this story around the first of October, since it is the feast day of St. Therese, my patron saint. I owe my life to St. Therese of Lisieux. A few times over. This Carmelite nun–dubbed the […]

Therapy Thursday: Process Heat and Suffering Like a Coffee Bean

posted by Beyond Blue

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. […]

Mindful Monday: Wrestling with God

posted by Beyond Blue

I think God wants us to get mad at him. It means we’re in a living, normal relationship with him.   Catholic author Ronald Rolheiser goes so far to say that wrestling with God is a form of prayer. In […]

Therapy Thursday: Befriend Yourself

posted by Beyond Blue

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. […]

Mindful Monday: The First Yes, the Moment of Conversion

posted by Beyond Blue

The publishing and public-speaking businesses are no different from other industries. No one wants to publish you until you get that first book, because Lord knows what you might write between the covers. No speaking agent is going to take […]

On Remembering the Important Stuff

posted by Beyond Blue

I am republishing this piece from my archives today because a coworker just lost his son in a car accident last night. Please keep him in your prayers. Two boys went to bed with fevers last night. One is dead. […]

15 Quotes that Motivate and Inspire

posted by Beyond Blue

I recently joined “The Psychology Network” on LinkedIn and have been enjoying the discussion among mental health professionals (since I’m not really one, but pretend to be all the time). Especially intriguing was the discussion thread called “What are some […]

What Should You Do If Someone You Know Is Suicidal?

posted by Beyond Blue

Fortunately there are abundant resources on the Internet to help guide a person who hears a loved one talk about suicide, or who is suicidal himself. I found the following material at Mayo Clinic’s page on suicide. Visit their site […]

On Surviving Difficult Times

posted by Beyond Blue

I found the following excerpt in Jack Kornfield’s new beautiful book, “A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times.” One of the world’s greatest examples of how to survive difficult times is Nelson Mandela, the first president […]

Mindful Monday: Come to the Edge … and Leap!

posted by Beyond Blue

“Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew.” I found that quote by Guillaume Apollinaire a month or so ago and I loved […]

25 Bizarre Addictions (to practically everything)

posted by Beyond Blue

I found the following list of interesting addictions on the website Masters In Counseling. I thought you’d also like to know about addictions to ice, taxes, toilet paper, glass, babies, couch cushions, funerals, plastic surgery, and dirt. Yep. You can […]

Mindful Monday: Take a Long Loving Look at the Real

posted by Beyond Blue

In order to make a decision, you have to perceive a situation correctly. Which is why I’m unable to deliberate when I’m depressed: I can’t see. With the amygdala and hippocampus regions of the brain suffering cell shrinkage and death–spreading […]

Mindful Monday: Are You Brave Enough to Go through Hell?

posted by Beyond Blue

“Sometimes you gotta go through hell to get to heaven.” That’s what Rocky said. Countless writers and philosophers agree with him. Kahlil Gibran writes this about pain in his classic, “The Prophet”: Your pain is the breaking of the shell […]

Let Everything Happen: Beauty and Terror

posted by Beyond Blue

I love the following passage from Stephanie Dowrick’s new book, “Seeking the Sacred: Transforming Our View of Ourselves and One Another.” Since I’m in a weird place of waiting … to resume my normal life, her message of “let everything […]

Mindful Monday: Monastic Wisdom for the Creative Soul

posted by Beyond Blue

In her new book, “The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul With Monastic Wisdom,” author Christine Valters Paintner offers a twelve-week program to introduce monastic wisdom and practice to anyone wanting to integrate spirituality and creativity. In her spiritual journey, […]

Ten Inspiring Quotes for a Depressed Heart

posted by Beyond Blue

One of Beliefnet’s most popular galleries is “10 Inspiring Quotes for a Depressed Heart.” I’ve included several of them here.     *  “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your […]

An Interview with Tim Farrington, author of “A Hell of Mercy”

posted by Beyond Blue

This week I have the honor of interviewing Tim Farrington, the acclaimed novelist of Lizzie’s War, “The California Book of the Dead,” “Blues for Hannah,” as well as the New York Times Notable Book of 2002, “The Monk Downstairs.” Guess […]

Marsha Linehan: The Moment I Was Transformed

posted by Beyond Blue

Last week New York Times journalist Benedict Carey penned a powerful interview with Marsha M. Linehan, the developer of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). For the first time, the American psychologist opened up about her own mental struggle that began in […]

Jane Redmont: An Introduction to Centering Prayer

posted by Beyond Blue

A wonderful resource for carving out time for prayer and solitude is Jane Redmont’s book, “When in Doubt, Sing: Prayer in Daily Life.” I plan on interviewing Jane down the line because she struggles with depression herself and writes about […]

Mindful Monday: Kahlil Gibran on Pain

posted by Beyond Blue

One of my favorite passages on pain is what Kahlil Gibran writes in his classic, “The Prophet”: Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its […]

On Reclaiming Laughter: An Interview With Rev. Susan Sparks

posted by Beyond Blue

Is it possible to be a stand-up comedian and minister simultaneously? I didn’t think so until I learned about Rev. Susan Sparks, Senior Pastor of Madison Avenue Baptist Church. Her book, “Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power […]

20 Psychological Movies of All Times

posted by Beyond Blue

The website Masters of Psychology has compiled a cool list of the 20 psychological movies of all times. I found the list quite interesting, and thought you might, too. 1. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962): Heroes and exemplars abound in […]

The Pains and Pleasures of the Examined Life

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the unexpected blessings of going back to visit your college professors after you’ve been out of school for awhile is that they become peers, colleagues, even friends versus persons of authority with a red pen that you presume […]

St. Anthony Messenger: Beyond Blue

posted by Beyond Blue

A big thank you to St. Anthony Messenger magazine and author John Feister for featuring my story and my mission in this June’s issue. Here’s the irony in the whole thing. In the summer right before I graduated from Notre […]

On Memorial Day: Prayers for Our Soldiers

posted by Beyond Blue

The following prayers are from “A Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors.” FOR GOD’S HELP Grant us, O Lord, in all our duties thy help, in all our perplexities thy counsel, in all our dangers thy protection, and in all […]

Falling Upward: A Spirituality of Failure

posted by Beyond Blue

I think God must be trying to scream a message to me, because the last three books I’ve been asked to review are all about the spirituality of imperfection or failure … of finding grace in our brokenness, and how […]

Ring the Bells That Still Can Ring

posted by Beyond Blue

Over the weekend I delivered the Commencement address to my alma mater, Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. I was extremely honored and worked hard on the speech (75 drafts) to make sure I delivered a message that I […]

God Spelled Backwards Is Dog: Heavenly Canine Companions

posted by Beyond Blue

Since I have two very sweet lab-chow mutts at home—one of which was a very important companion in the years I was severely depressed–I was delighted to see that angel expert Joan Wester Anderson had dedicated her next volume to […]

Understanding Hoarding: An Interview with Melinda Beck

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m a huge fan of Wall Street Journal columnist Melinda Beck. I follow her insightful “Health Journal,” and was especially intrigued by her two-part series on hoarding: how to help the hoarder and how to deal with it as a […]

The 8 Best Spiritual Sound Bites of Graduation Advice

posted by Beyond Blue

I can’t remember all the speeches at my commencement ceremony. But I do remember looking up on the stage to see my best friend, the valedictorian of our class, sitting there among all the luminaries, and wondering how in the […]

Mindful Monday: On Being Still

posted by Beyond Blue

I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope  For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love  For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith  But the faith and […]

Hope and the Other Tools to Fight Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

On the combox of my post, “Suffering: the Irritant That Produces the Pearl,” a reader wrote: In you I see a woman who runs and kayaks and all the things that exhaust me just to read. As a read about […]

Everyone Has a Guardian Angel

posted by Beyond Blue

Does everyone have a guardian angel? Mike Leach, author of “Why Stay Catholic? Unexpected Answers to a Life-Changing Question” thinks so. This is one of my favorite sections of his book. “Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings […]

Tom McGrath: Wonders Are All Around Us

posted by Beyond Blue

Do you ever get stuck in your own gloomy thoughts? Catholic parenting expert Tom McGrath suggests looking through the eyes of a child. If you do, he says, you’ll see that light shines through darkness and that joy is yours to […]

posted by Beyond Blue

This Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 8, 2011 – the 3rd annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health will be held online, featuring 24 open letters to pregnant and new mothers on the importance of maternal mental health. All […]

Authenticity and Integrity: Two Spiritual Pillars

posted by Beyond Blue

Two years ago I asked prominent psychiatrist and bestselling author Peter Kramer to endorse my manuscript, Beyond Blue. I have been thinking about his response ever since. He told me that he no longer blurbs books, because to blurb a […]

The Five Ways We Grieve: A New Perspective

posted by Beyond Blue

Back in the mid-twentieth century, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—and they stuck. Heck, I just wrote about them last month. According to Susan Berger, researcher and practitioner in the health and mental […]

Mindful Monday: A Time to Listen

posted by Beyond Blue

I really enjoyed reading the essays in Ellen Michaud’s book, “Blessed: Living a Grateful Life.” She begins the collection with a beautiful piece called “A Time to Listen.” Here it is… In a world that has too many abrupt changes—in […]

Suffering: The Irritant that Produces the Pearl

posted by Beyond Blue

The other day I wrote a post for Psych Central about suffering. I was a tad nervous posting it, because somehow I think I should have a more optimistic philosophy about life, and that I should be a more positive […]

Anne Simpkinson: 5 Favorite Books for Personal Growth

posted by Beyond Blue

I enjoyed reading over these picks by Guideposts’s Anne Simpkinson in case you don’t know where to begin to get fed spiritually. To get to her original blog post, click here. 1. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton Merton, a Trappist […]

Mindful Monday: On Silence and Solitude

posted by Beyond Blue

Although I failed to keep my Lenten resolution … that was apparent the day after Ash Wednesday … I did do a good job this Lent of reserving 15 minutes in the morning to read spiritual literature, pray, and sometimes […]

On Good Friday: God of My Bitter Hours

posted by Beyond Blue

I thought it was appropriate to share this beautiful reflection of Joyce Rupp’s, inspired by the theologian Karl Rahner, on Good Friday. I found it in a beautiful book of reflections by Joyce Rupp called “Fragments of Your Ancient Name” […]

9 Ways to Live Easter Every Day

posted by Beyond Blue

The following piece is also featured as a Beliefnet gallery, which you can get to by clicking here. One of my favorite scripture verses is John 20:15, when Jesus finds Mary Magdalene crying at the door of the tomb and […]

On Forgiveness

posted by Beyond Blue

The following is an excerpt from a new book called “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate” by Helen Whitney, and is reprinted with permission of the publisher. Her book is based on the PBS documentary. From […]

Coping with Depression: A Mind, Body, Spirit Approach

posted by Beyond Blue

I was interviewed recently for a cool site called “Practical Spiritual Healing Guide” on ways I treat my depression and holistic techniques I embrace. Since it’s a good overview of my health philosophies, I thought I’d share it here. To […]

Teresa of Avila: Our Prayers Need Not Be Perfect

posted by Beyond Blue

In my daily meditational “Magnificat,” I read an excerpt from Teresa of Avila that gave me hope that we need not have perfect faith for our prayers to be heard by God. She writes: I was alone then without any […]

Tips for Navigating Through the Mental Healthcare System: An Interview with Rev. Dr. Monica A. Coleman

posted by Beyond Blue

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite bloggers/writers/professors and just plain talented people out there. Dr. Monica A. Coleman is a minister, scholar, activist, and writer. (Yes, it is possible to be all those things …). […]

8 Ways to Let Go (of a person, place, or thing)

posted by Beyond Blue

Buddhism asserts that attachment is the primary source of suffering. So then detachment or “non-attachment” would be our ticket out of that pain. Except that it’s not so easy … letting go of a person, place, or thing that has […]

Mother Teresa’s Prayer of Compassion

posted by Beyond Blue

This beautiful prayer by Mother Teresa articulates for me what pure compassion looks like. If it were shorter, I’d have it memorized. (But my spiritual hard drive has very little memory–thus, the post-its and clutter around my desk.) Dear Jesus, […]

10 Quotes that Inspire and Motivate …

posted by Beyond Blue

I posted this blog recently on PsychCentral. I thought I’d excerpt from it here, but you can find more quotes there. I recently joined “The Psychology Network” on LinkedIn and have been enjoying the discussion among mental health professionals (since […]

Mindful Monday: What Is Hope?

posted by Beyond Blue

The following meditation is by Monsignor Giussani, who was the founder of the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation. I wanted to remind you of the word “hope,” showing you or calling you to realize that hope is an energy, the […]

Does the Internet Promote or Damage Marriage?

posted by Beyond Blue

Does Facebook lead to infidelity? Some statistics say so. I will be participating in a webinar on April 4 at 5 p.m. hosted by PBS/This Emotional Life that explores this topic. To prepare, and to get your feedback, I recently […]

10 Real Ways to Overcome Embarrassment

posted by Beyond Blue

I recently wrote a post for Blisstree.com on overcoming embarrassments. You can find it here. I’ve excerpted from it below. There’s a reason why we say we’re dying of embarrassment. Because while we’re in the midst of an embarrassing episode, […]

12 Things I Learned in High School

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back I returned to my high school alma mater and spoke to the high school students. Here’s the gist of my message: 12 Things I Learned in High School. 1. Act as if you belong. In 12-step support groups […]

The Sugar Lady: What’s Your Obsession Really About?

posted by Beyond Blue

One of the most difficult parts of my recovery from depression and anxiety is the obsessions that can accompany a period of instability. Just when I think I’ve reached a plateau of relative peace, something happens—usually involving a mistake, weakness, […]

Mindful Monday: Words of Light in Darkness

posted by Beyond Blue

For today’s meditation, I pulled together a bunch of my favorite sayings and quotes that I read on the hard days. I hope they help you too. “Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when […]

Mindful Monday: A Moment of Oneness

posted by Beyond Blue

The following excerpt is one of my favorites from a wonderful new book called “Why Stay Catholic? Unexpected Answers to a Life-Changing Question” by my long-time mentor and friend, Mike Leach. He also just started a blog, also called “Why […]

Japan: Where Is God?

posted by Beyond Blue

As of yesterday morning, the official death toll from Japan’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and killer tsunami has passed 2400.   I’m not sure what more to say than this: the families mourning the 2,414 people who have been confirmed dead, the […]

Jeff Golliher: Moving Through Fear

posted by Beyond Blue

I read anything I can get my hands on regarding fear. Because I figure if I can get rid of fear in my limbic system (home to the emotions) then everything else in my life will run very smoothly. In […]

12 Ways to Pray During Lent

posted by Beyond Blue

This blog post has been also featured as a Beliefnet gallery. To get there click here. Lent, the 40 days preceding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, is supposed to be a time of fasting, where we chocoholics take […]

Mindful Monday: Empty Yourself This Lent

posted by Beyond Blue

For me Lent is about emptying–a glass, a basket, a soul–so that it can be filled up again…with wine (or sparkling cider), peeps (think Easter basket), and hope. The forty days before Easter is one big humbling exercise–where you remind […]

God’s Love Is Enough

posted by Beyond Blue

Most of the time I’m perfectly happy to be as transparent as I am online and in print. I have great days like the one last week when the mayor recognized me at a coffee shop and told me his […]

The Intuitive Investor: An Interview with Jason Apollo Voss

posted by Beyond Blue

So the day after I was laid off, this book called “The Intuitive Investor” shows up. Pretty good timing, I’d say. And while the topic would not be one I would normally pick up, I was especially intrigued by the […]

The Samaritan Woman, Loneliness, and the Living Water

posted by Beyond Blue

On the combox of my post, “Don’t Go to a Hardware Store for Tomatoes,” Beyond Blue reader Anne Costa wrote: Reminds me of the woman at the well. She went looking for the counterfeit, second rate kind of living water […]

Mindful Monday: The Legend of the Two Wolves

posted by Beyond Blue

There is popular Native American legend, a Cherokee tale, called “Two Wolves” that I come across often in spiritual and psychological literature and lectures: An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” […]

Life Is Like a Game of Candy Land

posted by Beyond Blue

Image credit Peggy Dembicer “Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates,” said Forrest Gump in the 1994 film. Yeah, well I think it’s more like a game of Candy Land. We’ve been averaging about three games a […]

Be Someone Nicer: The Surprising Power of Kindness

posted by Beyond Blue

In her book “The Second Neurotic’s Notebook” (what a great title!) American journalist Mignon McLaughlin wrote: “Don’t be yourself, be someone a little nicer.” I love that. And also the Dalai Lama’s advice, “If you want others to be happy, […]

Mindful Monday: Letting Go of the False Self

posted by Beyond Blue

Swami Abhishiktananda, an Indian pioneer in the dialog between Christianity and eastern religions wrote a poignant meditation about the process of letting go of the false ego in order to embrace the true self: The Spirit blows where he will […]

But for the Grace of God: How Abraham Lincoln Used Faith to Overcome Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

Abraham Lincoln is a powerful mental health hero for me. Whenever I doubt that I can do anything meaningful in this life with a defective brain (and entire nervous system, actually, as well as the hormonal one), I simply pull […]

Mindful Monday: Consider the Flowers of the Field

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m big into leading with faith these days. I guess it’s because I have no other option. When you have two adults in a household whose jobs are majorly affected by the economy, you either panic or pray. I’ve panicked […]

Be You Very Well

posted by Beyond Blue

St. Francis de Sales had four words of advice for pursuing spiritual excellence: “Be you very well.” I used to think if you survived junior high without too many scars, you could live comfortably in your own skin for the […]

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild wind can rage through your life leaving you much like the

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »

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