Is your anger trying to keep you safe?

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A single orange flame dances in the center of the photo with a black background. Photo by Paul Bulai on Unsplash

We typically view anger as a negative emotion that we want to get rid of as fast as possible. Anger can feel like losing control, or like we’re letting someone get the better of us and keep us in a negative emotion.

And those are real aspects of anger.

But anger can also cover up feelings of fear, betrayal, pain, grief, and other complex emotions that we won’t fully process if we don’t let the anger pass through.

In my course, participants classify themselves as a character type common to games, like a Druid, Wizard, or — most applicable to this blog — Barbarian. …

When striving for better habits can trigger self harm

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Photo by N I F T Y A R T ✍🏻 on Unsplash

My mother put me on my first diet when I was twelve.

I still remember the way she traced a circle in the palm of her hand to show our babysitter how big three ounces of meat was, to monitor our serving sizes. I also remember choking down raw broccoli and bell peppers — two foods I cannot eat raw without feeling ill, twenty years later.

I became a vegetarian in 2002 when I was in eighth grade, for the animals. Around age 17, I became vegan entirely, but added eggs and dairy back into my diet quickly because it was nearly impossible to stay vegan in an omnivorous home. …

Your possibilities are endless, but it pays to focus

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Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

Do you ever panic that you need to achieve all your dreams right now, or you’ll run out of motivation — or time?

I spend a lot of time reminding myself that going slow and being deliberate is part of the process. I have to remind myself that my ideas are good and worth pursuing, even if I don’t pursue all of them now.

For me, trying to do a little of everything is a recipe for zero things getting finished.

It’s why I try to focus on one thing (or two) at a time, and I make note of the other ideas as they come to me. I’ll get to them later — but I need to focus now so that I can prove to myself that diligence and focus pays off, and that my motivation keeps showing up time and time again.

Separating the feedback from the feeling

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Criticism is hard to hear, because no one wants to hear that they’re doing something wrong. But criticism can be a gift, if you know what to look for.

We often hear about “constructive criticism,” which is meant to help us improve (that’s why it’s constructive). But even well-meaning criticism can feel bad, because it makes us believe negative things about ourselves.

How to Break the Criticism Cycle

Criticism makes us feel bad because we believe that if we were doing things right, there wouldn’t be anything to criticize. Therefore, criticism means we did poorly, and we believe it’s a sign of our failure.

Criticism does not mean failure. …

What to do when your partner stops loving you

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Photo of author by Jen Hearn as part of the Cleveland Badass portrait project/provided by author

My ex-partner wooed me with poems and promises of us reaching our dreams together — our dreams of weight loss and being that enviable gym couple.

The poem was about how I looked in my dating app profile picture, bedecked in race medals from 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons.

He loved that photo. He loved that person.

And I loved being loved.

We met a couple of weeks after I left my ex-husband. I told him I was getting divorced, and he assumed I wouldn’t follow through.

It was a safe relationship to explore for both of us to get back into the dating scene. …

Why we need social distancing

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

We all know someone who is struggling with social distancing. Someone who is going from store to store, sort of understanding the risk but unable to help themselves and just sit down.

It’s annoying, it’s frustrating, it’s even understandable. Staying at home when you want to is one thing, but being made to do it makes you feel stressed and, well, isolated.

But let’s be totally clear: it’s dangerous.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing, or physical distancing, is the practice of maintaining a physical distance to prevent the spread of contagious disease. …

Of guilt trips, abuse, and worrying about my dad

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Photo by Korhan Erdol from Pexels

When Coronavirus made it to the United States, I worried about my dad. He’s a lifelong smoker over 60. But I haven’t checked on him, because my sister and I haven’t spoken to him in over a year.

That time has been uneventful, besides us each getting a message from him on Thanksgiving. I thought leaving him on read would be a clear indicator that I was serious about not being in touch.

But it happened again.

Last night I received a message from him on my author Facebook page that simply stated “I hope you’re doing okay.”

These are uncertain times, when we’re all worried about survival and loved ones. But I had a decision to make. …

I received hundreds of compliments for my eating disorder.

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Photo by Jen Hearn

I used to share a before and after photo every time I completed a new workout program and on the anniversary of the day I began my “weight loss journey.”

The Internet opened wide to pour out affection and accolades from my friends and admirers. They were so proud of my diligence, my tenacity, my commitment.

A comparison selfie regularly resulted in a thread of a hundred comments or more, wishing me heartfelt congratulations on my progress toward becoming the best version of myself.

“You look amazing! What’s your secret?” …

Why it’s okay to plan your next pursuit instead of diving right in

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Photo by Iu Lia on Unsplash

“You’re trying to do it all,” my coach said — gently accusing me of taking on more than I could handle without burning out.

I had just gotten back from a business trip to test a workshop concept and told my coach I’d have it turned into an online course by the end of the month.

And when I told her the rest of the things I wanted to accomplish in January, including book proposals, keeping up on my social media schedule, taking individual coaching clients, and starting an email list, she said, “You’re trying to do it all.”

“No,” I assured her. “I’m not trying to do it all. It all works together. Everything I do supports my brand as an author, and it’s all related. It’s all one…

Separate accounts give abuse survivors a way out

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Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash

There’s no such thing as “your” money and “my” money in a marriage. Only “our” money.

This is the conventional wisdom handed down by financial experts like Dave Ramsey, whose financial literacy program “Financial Peace University” has been taught to over two million families and whose radio show has over 13 million weekly listeners.

Dave says, “I don’t believe in separate checking accounts in a marriage. I don’t think you need to be independent when you’re married. … Having a single checking account forces you to make your financial decisions together and to be in heavy communication about all aspects of your life. …


Caitlin Fisher

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of

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