One of my happiest teaching memories is teaching theater and improv to 8th graders in Egypt in the late 1990s. I’ve never laughed so much while teaching in my life.

One game we’d often play was built on the principle of If you aren’t familiar with this improv…

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States, and while this isn’t a holiday that I grew up with, I do love any opportunity to luxuriate in the goodness of life.

During Thanksgiving…

Most of us were raised in what I like to call .

Domination cultures run on power and control, shame and blame, fear and righteousness. In these cultures, we’re conditioned to see the world through one primary (often unconscious) question:

When a friend cries, we ask…

I once learned that airline pilots spend about 90% of flight time off-course.

Crazy, right? But — it makes sense when you think about it:

Using feedback from their on-board guidance system and from air traffic control, they constantly course correct for turbulence, winds, and weather conditions.

I find this…

It’s relatively easy to have conversations that go badly.

Make a snarky comment.
Say something insensitive.
Lead with judgment. Follow up with criticism.
Interrupt. Defend. Argue.
Descend into shame. Isolate with self-righteousness.

We all know the drill.

High-quality conversations, on the other hand, emerge from a combination of personal skillfulness…

Developing our emotional literacy is a significant aspect of becoming more resourced to have difficult conversations, but…

What does it actually mean to have emotional literacy?

Emotional literacy is an umbrella term that captures a set of skills and capacities that we develop as we grow into mature, capable, self-responsible…

I recently decided to remove as much sugar from my diet as possible. I don’t become totally puritanical about this, but I do set the intention of simply choosing “no sugar” every time I remember to.

It doesn’t take long before I start tasting how sweet…

I used to think that having a boundary meant proclaiming ultimatums, drawing lines in the sand and then defending them resolutely. I used to associate having good boundaries with being disconnected and cut off from others.

Because of my deeply ingrained fear of not meeting other people’s needs or being…

I often think of conversations as the life-force that enlivens — or throttles — relationships.

Conversations are never really complete.

They are ongoing. Winding. Emergent. Unpredictable.

And, when they are life-affirming and generative, conversations tend to go through some very predictable stages.

When both people are aware, alive, awake, and…

Yvette Erasmus PsyD

Writer, speaker, psychologist, and consultant offering practical tools and insights for conscious, compassionate, courageous living. Based in Minneapolis, MN.

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