Heart of the Matter Blog

A Better Way to Tame Your Inner Judge

Your dreaded inner Judge. Everyone has one (save for the sociopaths). It’s that internal voice of criticism, demand, disapproval. Seldom, if ever, will your Judge lavish you with praise. That’s not its job. The Judge exists for the sole purpose of controlling you. It sets the standards, declares the shoulds and shouldn’ts, watches you like a hawk, and castigates you when expectations are not met. Our inner Judges use the power of judgement to induce fear, guilt, shame and self-loathing in order to control us. Sure, we need to control ourselves, but why must this be done in such hurtful ways? And why,

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Selfish or Self-Caring?

Here’s the difference between selfishness and self care: Selfishness is putting our desires ahead of the needs of others. Self care is putting our needs ahead of the desires of others. None of us wants to be seen as selfish, even though it’s normal to feel and behave selfishly at times. This might be something as simple as eating more than our fair share of the Oreos or hogging the TV remote. But we understand that selfishness is not an acceptable part of the social contract. Selfishness is taboo enough to make us feel guilty, ashamed, and fearful of social disapproval. So, it’s best not to

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Confidence, Pride, Ego and Self-Esteem

We all want to be confident. Most of us would like to be proud. Few of us want to be seen as egotistical, and everyone needs to have good self-esteem. But how are these experiences different, and how much control do we have over them? The answer to the second question is—quite a bit. But let’s begin by discussing how they are different. Confidence comes from the wonderful feeling of being capable. Some people are naturally confident regardless of how capable they may actually be. Others lack confidence even though they are highly capable. But most people feel confident in

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Dorothy and the Healing Land of Oz

Who hasn’t felt enchanted by The Wizard of Oz? It’s been casting its spell of charm over children and adults since 1939 and is regarded as one of the most beloved films of all time. There’s something about this tale that resonates deeply within our hearts and minds. Many can recite its meandering plot from countless viewings, but fewer are able to explain what it’s actually about. Its ambiguity provides a Rorschach onto which we can project our own meanings—meanings that perhaps reflect more about ourselves than the story itself. As a fan of Oz for the last 50 years,

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The Amazing Benefits of Two-Handed Writing

I’m no salesman, but if I were, I would sell people on the amazing benefits of two-handed writing. Not a dime would change hands, so the benefits would all belong to those of you willing to give this unconventional technique a try. I’ve been teaching two-handed writing to my psychotherapy clients for 28 years, helping them change and/or heal their minds, but the benefits reach much further than self-healing. My own introduction to two-handed writing came from reading a book aptly titled ThePowerofYourOtherHand(1988, 2019), by art therapist Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D. In short order, this simple technique began transforming both the personal and professional sides of my life. Two-handed writing is just what it sounds like: you take two pens (markers or pencils) and begin a written dialogue between your left

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The Breakfast Club’s Wisdom

The Breakfast Club, a critically acclaimed and enormously popular movie made in 1985 by director John Hughes, features five high school students serving a Saturday detention together that ultimately changes their lives. The movie was chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Perhaps the wisdomof TheBreakfastClubescaped the Library’s notice. The characters in the story are Andrew, a competitive athlete who bullied a weaker boy in the locker room; Claire, a popular and pampered princess who skipped school to go shopping; Brian, a brainy nerd caught with a flare gun in his locker that he was intending to use to kill himself for

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