Meditation

Great CBT Podcast!

All about CBT and how it works and how it can help you!!

Dr. Julie Osborn, a therapist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), shares her experiences in the field and helps her listeners; addressing the issues they face and the situations they find themselves in. CBT is a short-term, goal-orientated psychotherapy treatment that takes a hands-on, practical approach to problem solving. Dr. Osborn teaches how cognitive behavioral therapy can be used everyday in our lifelong pursuit of happiness.

  • MAY 28, 2021

Self-Sabotage

Self-Sabotage

Do other people get annoyed with you because you act or react a certain way?Do you feel like you’re always messing up or losing relationships because of certain behaviors?Do you feel hopeless and stuck in an endless pattern of negative thoughts and automatic reactions?In this episode, Dr Julie h…

  • MAY 21, 2021

How To Reframe Your Feelings

How To Reframe Your Feelings

Do you struggle with negative feelings – anxiety, loneliness, depression, resentment, anger, fear?Do you wish you could just make them all go away?In this episode, Dr Julie shares with you a CBT technique that will empower you to reframe your thoughts and feelings in a positive way, bringing yo…

  • MAY 14, 2021

Are You Judging Me?

Are You Judging Me?

Do you feel exhausted trying to keep up with other people’s expectations of you?Do you feel like you’re constantly being judged?In this episode, Dr Julie looks at the insecurities and anxieties many of us feel in response to other’s perceived judgement of us. She explains some of the reasons these in…

  • MAY 7, 2021

How To Assert Yourself

How To Assert Yourself

Do you struggle to communicate your desires and preferences?Do you feel like people walk all over you and you are powerless to change it?In this episode, Dr Julie talks about what it means to be assertive in a healthy way, how it can benefit you and how to do it. Using the power of Cognitive Beh…

  • APR 30, 2021

Understanding Personality Disorders

Understanding Personality Disorders

What is the difference between personality quirks and a personality disorder?Why do people have personality disorders?If you’re in a relationship with someone with a personality disorder, what is the best way to deal with that? In this episode, Dr Julie Osborn helps demystify personality disorders, ex…

Don’t you forget about me.

Very Good Pleasure To Meet You (w/ Andrew McCarthy)

Literally! With Rob Lowe

In which Rob and actor/author/director Andrew McCarthy discuss their lives in and out of the Brat Pack, Andrew’s new memoir Brat: An ‘80s Story, directing young actors, showing up prepared, sobriety, and the undying legacy of Weekend At Bernie’s. Plus: Rob answers a question about getting through high school in the LoweDown Line. Got a question for Rob? Call our voicemail at (323) 570-4551. Your question could get featured on the show!

Visit Yourself.

I got this nice little list of tips from the amazing Tara Brach in my email this week! So good!

If you aren’t doing everything Tara Brach tells you to do (e.g., suggests or inspires), then get on it now. Her guidance is easy to implement and it is instantly helpful.

8 Essential Tips to Nourish Your Meditation Practice


1. Practice daily, even if for a short time

Mindfulness is a present centered, non-judging awareness. With practice, you’ll find you are increasingly at home in your life—peaceful, clear and openhearted. This allows for a natural connectedness and intimacy with others.

The poet Rumi asks: Do you make regular visits to yourself? Whether it’s 5-minutes, 15-minutes, or 45-minutes, what most matters is the rhythm of a daily practice. It’s helpful to have a preset time, rather than leaving it for when you’re “in the mood”; and to practice in a place that is quiet, protected and conducive to presence.

2. Attitude is everything

The biggest reason people quit meditation is because they judge themselves for how they are practicing. Please don’t turn meditation into a “should,” another domain of self-critique! Instead, choose to cultivate mindfulness because you care about living true to your heart.

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Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

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Focus on your breath.

It seems so simple.

So why is it so hard?

I learned to breathe back in the late 90’s in Takoma Park.  I was rebuilding my life after a debilitating health crisis and needed tools to help me move forward. After a period of personal and professional dysfunction, my skills were shaky and my confidence was at an all-time low. I was looking for building blocks, bits of accomplishment that could provide a new foundation.

I ended up in Takoma Park on Sunday nights through a friend.  He had been attending a meditation class was sponsored by the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW).

The class met in a yoga studio.  We brought cushions to sit on while we were guided through a inspiring talk and then a period of sitting.  Maybe it was twenty minutes of sitting.  Maybe it was more.

My friend and I both struggled with the task of emptying our minds. My friend had something called monkey mind, where thoughts bounce around in the head like monkeys swinging from tree branch to tree branch. His head was filled with constant chatter and he couldn’t quiet it down.

I had a different problem.  My mind would focus on a subject, but any subject was filled with doom and negativity.  I was hard wired to think the worst and couldn’t point my mind in a different direction.

We went to those Sunday night classes for some time. And then we added a popular Wednesday night meditation where a few hundred people gathered to hear Tara Brach talk and then guide us through a shared time sitting quietly.

I was relieved, over time, to realize that quieting the mind was a challenge for many people. It gave me hope that many had eventually discovered ways of emptying the mind that had worked for them.  Instead of focusing on my own negative, I decided to do the simplest thing the instructor suggested: I focused on my breath.

Focusing on one’s breath is really simple.

You feel yourself breathe in. You feel yourself breathe out.

Then you feel yourself breathe in and breathe out again.

It’s really easy because the breathing pretty much happens without much effort.

The key is to just keep focusing on your breath.

But it’s a bit tricky since the mind tends to wander.

My mind wandered all over the place. My mind left no topic unpondered.

So I ended up getting strict about focusing on my breath. And eventually, I learned what it feels like to think about nothing. While breathing. And sitting.

Eventually, I also learned how to use my breath outside of the formal medication class. I learned how to use my breath when I needed to refocus or calm down or shift my thinking.

The good news about the breath is that it’s alway there, available for you to use as a tool.

Little by little, I added to my breathing experience. I found soothing music that I could listen to whenever I felt my mind going to dark or disconcerting places.  Sometimes I added a comforting mantra that helped me to distract my focus from a bad place.

And I listened to so many of Tara Brach’s talks, available for free on her website.  Some I listened to over and over, memorizing the words of comfort and reassurance. I ended up being able to hear her voice.  And I ended up believing that I could learn to laugh again after going through such a hard time. I heard Tara Brach laughing genuinely, without taking anything away from the depth of her advice.

And years later I started writing cartoons about sitting quietly. Because no matter how good I got at focusing on my breath, my mind was constantly trying to outsmart me and drift to anything and everything else.  And eventually it was comical.

Seriously, though. Try focusing on your breath. It’s really helpful.

And if you’re into it, listen to Thich Nhat Hanh whose stories of sitting quietly and breathing purposefully are delightful and addictive.

My favorite story of his is about apple juice.

Hope you read about apple juice and enjoy.

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

In the meantime, remember to breathe.

xoxo, d

The Problem with Depression: Again. And again.

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I was on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional from DC  to Baltimore when I got the alert that Kate Spade had ended her life.  I couldn’t believe it and I desperately searched the internet for posts that proved the news a hoax.

But it wasn’t a hoax and the horrible news was confirmed immediately by credible sources.

I texted my sister-in-law.

Kate Spade killed herself.”

Knowing she would be pressed for the best way to respond, I added “I can’t un-know that.”

Kakki, the sister I had always wanted, texted back.

oh no,” she said.

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