Eye of the Beholder


I asked myself, where was beauty today? 
His eyes:
Waited for me as I walked down the steps. I felt the masculine gesture to let a lady walk by.
I looked up to meet his eyes, and without my words, I let my eyes say thank you.
I lingered for a few milliseconds to add an unspoken, “I see you, and I witness your gesture, and it is greatly appreciated. Thank you.”
And with the slightest nod of his head and a subtle smile, his eyes let me know that he appreciated my appreciation.
Her eyes:
I felt something coming at me as I walked toward my car. They were about twenty feet away…walking toward me…waiting for me to meet them. They had a presence of joy. A bouncy-sort-of-joy and I looked up to meet them.
Her eyes.
I smiled at the beauty of her joy. And she smiled as if to say, “Thank you for seeing me.”
And both of us nodded an unspoken, “Good day to you, you beautiful soul,” and “Good day to you, you beautiful soul.”
His eyes:
Were bagging my groceries.
I had to look away.
The intensity coming from his unspoken, I see you – was directed toward me.
His smile was great – as if he was lost in his own heaven and inviting me in.
I looked away and then forced myself to see…into his eyes so I could say…I see you too.
I was left with a feeling of awe, and maybe some jealousy, as to his capacity to be lost in his own beautiful space.
And I was so very grateful to witness that which I so desperately want to believe exists.
Depth. Beauty. Joy. And appreciation. In human connection.


Let 2020 Be On You.




Let 2020 be on you.



“Let this year be on you, guilt-free,” she told me, and now I am sharing those words with you.
And it’s what I’ve been telling clients this year. Slow down…give yourself the entire year…you’ll get there. 
Offering mental spaces of hope and inspiration as to the value of committing oneself to 2020 differently. Offering a means to acknowledge that they (you, me, we), in and of ourselves, is a worthy aim.
To let go of unnecessary attachments and obligations (including mental and emotional obligations) (if just for this year) in order to commit deeply to the saving of one’s self – to save one’s dignity, self-respect, and integrity, or if nothing else, to give ourselves a year to gain some dignity, self-respect, and integrity.
To let 2020 be a retreat from such attachments and obligations – and because there is nothing selfish about it – if anything, it’s the utmost loving thing to do for yourself (you are worth it), and you will be worth more to those you love and care about.
To give ourselves the chance to be worthy, valuable, useful humans. To give ourselves the chance for a life of priceless matters. And if we learn this for ourselves, can we, just maybe, give more of that which is priceless to others.


A New Years’ resolve (to re-solve) – to find solutions to exist differently. 
My plan is to give myself the gift of 2020 – and I am encouraging clients to do the same.
The potential this year has to change the entire course of our lives, has a spark of excitement; priceless excitement – excitement for possibility, excitement for “nothing” because nothing has happened yet. And the beauty of seeing my clients (who have struggled with addiction) find excitement in ‘not-instant-gratification’…is priceless.
To give myself the gift of clear vision, 20/20, (which may not come until the end of the year, and that’s okay), I’m going in blind.  And because this so-called-life-sabbatical (if you will) is different in that I don’t plan to return to the same existence after a year. My plan is not to go back, but to propel myself forward to a new existence.
And I will give myself the entire year – to recover from insignificance, and to build a new existence. To move beyond my constitutional rights and freedoms to pursue happiness via materialism, consumerism, economic opportunity, and all that jazz.
To find new freedoms from limiting, insignificant pursuits of happiness (that now come at a large cost to my soul – and is not worth it (to me)) and to start a new pursuit of significance.
Much like the Founding Fathers of America, I am in search of new land, new territory, and in search of a new America within me.
Over the past few years, I have found myself in nothing less than an existential crisis: packed with all the usual questions of meaning, purpose, value, and importance.
I am in a crisis of insignificance. Insignificance has plagued my life. Starving for that which is significant.
I am in a crisis of consumption, uselessness, and status-quo. Starving for new creations, worthy ideas, and innovation.
I am in a crisis of ingratitude. Starving to live and be grateful for the life in front of me.
I am in an existential crisis, starving for a new existence.
Starvation is a crisis.
And thus I take this year to retreat. To retreat from the world as I know it. To give myself a year – to save myself. To give myself the chance to exist differently. To allow 2020 to be “on me” – my focus, my attention, my aims, guilt-free. And to offer myself as a means of supporting others in the same pursuits.
To take myself up on what I wish for others…
I wish for you to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if you can learn what it has to teach, and so not, when you come to die, discover that you have not lived.  – inspired by Thoreau  

An Empowered Walk Through Addiction

The-privilege-of-a-lifetime-is-being-who-you-areThis quote by Joseph Campbell is one I often use with patients. I present the quote, sit silent for a while and allow them to contemplate the words. The quote opens inner doors most of my patients have never entertained and we begin to explore what the words mean. At some point, a proposition is made as to whether they want to use their journey of addiction as this privilege of a lifetime. 
Read the full article @ PsychCentral Professional → An Empowered Walk Through Addiction


5 Mindful Attitudes to Help Overcome Fear and Anxiety


Fear and anxiety are attempts to get our attention so we can overcome, heal, grow, and move forward in life. The longer we avoid their nudging, the louder and messier they become. When we can bring our awareness to that which calls our attention, instead of fighting or fleeing, we are drawn into health, freedom, and courage.
Read the full article @ PsychCentral  5 Mindful Attitudes to Help Overcome Fear and Anxiety.

Organic Happiness: 5 Mindful Ways to Protect Against Depression


No Harm to Your Inner Environment. No Harm to Your Human Nature.


In our emotional life, mindfulness is a choice to treat the pest of depression. Organic happiness can lead to a healthier lifestyle, a taste for life, and inner pride and satisfaction, much like an actual garden. Here are five tools to work your emotional soil, fertilize it, and protect it from depression:
Read the full article at World of Psychology: 5 Mindful Ways to Protect Against Depression
Enjoy, Laura

Opioid Road to Success




Hi Everyone,
I have so many clients who feel (think) that a taper from Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is impossible, and I’m here to tell you it’s not. 
I have an article over at The Fix. Check it out, and get yourself a dose of hope and success. 
Read the full story here: Opioid Road to Success: Tapering Off Methadone.