Addictions and other compulsive behaviors—ones you’d rather not engage in, but have trouble stopping—are a universal problem, and you're especially likely to encounter them when you're trying to make changes in your life. They epitomize the struggle between the primitive and human-specific parts of your brain that you need to negotiate, all the time, if you want to cultivate a Right Life. People’s natural tendency is either to face off with their addictions like they’re an opponent or run away from them but, as is usually the case, what comes easiest isn't the best approach.
Welcome to the Right Life Project.
I'm Jim Hjort, LCSW, and I want to support you in building and maintaining the most meaningful, fulfilling, and healthy life possible. The kind of life that comes from letting go of habits of thought or behavior that have held you in place and cultivating others that promote feelings of freedom and wellbeing. One in which your daily life, whether at home, work, or play, is aligned with who you are at your core—allowing you to thrive, not just survive. Whether you're just here for interesting reading, there are some areas of your life that you’d like to work on, or you’d like to make radical changes and don’t know where to begin, I hope you’ll find something that speaks to you.
Part of your brain's job is to provide you with a sense of self, and identifying with it comes naturally. Holding tightly to an identity, though, whether it's yours as an individual or that of a certain group you belong to, shuts you in as much as it shuts others out. That keeps you from thriving. It doesn't take much to begin to see through the illusion, though.
The presence or absence of social contact, connection, and support can affect your physical and psychological wellbeing profoundly, so it's a critical factor in your pursuit of a Right Life. Here I explore the difference between your bare-minimum social needs and the deeper ones that make the difference between subsistence and thriving.
Mindfulness meditation sure is popular these days! However, I see it being misrepresented in the media—and therefore misunderstood by people—all the time. Here is the lowdown on what mindfulness is and why you need it. I'll also bust a few of those myths, and lead you through a short meditation exercise to get you started. Mindfulness can be the cornerstone of all your other efforts to build a richer, more satisfying life, and let you spend more of your time actually living it.