Heart of the Matter Blog

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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Becoming Bi-Brained

The sayings “Two heads are better than one” and “Let’s put our heads together” are popular idioms for good reason. Their truths are apparent when trying to solve difficult problems, make important decisions, or come up with creative ideas. What most people don’t realize is that we already have two “heads” within our own brain that can readily serve these purposes. All one needs to do is get them talking with one another, and that is much easier than you’d think. Psychologists and neurologists have been studying the differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain for the past 50 years, and

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The Best Way to Motivate

Procrastinate much? Do you or a kid you love have trouble getting it in gear and getting things done? Would you rather indulge in the fun stuff than grind away at all those important, difficult, and/or tedious responsibilities? Welcome to the majority. But don’t worry, these patterns can be changed more easily than you’d think. By nature, I am a procrastinator and crammer. But some 38 years ago, while a sophomore in college, I discovered the best system for motivating myself—a system so easy and effective that our son mastered it at age 10, and, now halfway through his high

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How to Win When You’re Losing (and Vice Versa)

Few would disagree that winning feels great and losing feels lousy. That is why it is good to know how to win when you’re in the midst of losing, and how to avoid losing when you’re in the midst of winning. There’s a card game called Spades that our family and friends have played together for more than 30 years. It’s played by 4 people, two against two, and it’s this game that taught me the secrets of winning and losing. Depending on who is playing the game, the experience varies greatly. It all comes down to whether people play

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