Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

Selling something you believe in changes everything.

After I got laid off from my job in advertising, a friend who knew I was interested in storytelling told me about a job she thought might interest me. Her theater company was teaching playwriting to middle school kids at a local recreation center. I jumped at the chance. After years spent working to improve the lives of a target audience referred to as the “Global Affluent Tribe,” I was ready for a change.

Teaching, working with kids, playwriting — it was all completely new to me. The first obstacle was getting out of my own head. In the corporate…

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Lessons from my son’s Martial Arts teacher.

When I arrive at my son Sam’s Martial Arts dojo, something isn’t right. Sam’s teacher, Sensei Tom, motions for me to speak with him privately. This can’t be good. Man, if Sam can’t keep his shit together in Martial Arts, where you’re supposed to hit people, I’m screwed.

I was mad, but then, just as quickly, I wasn’t. I don’t get angry. I keep other people from getting angry. That’s been my job since long before I was legally old enough to work. My parents were always angry, but they stayed together for the kids, like you did in the…

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The thin white line between me and misery is Prozac.

I remember exactly how I felt when the Prozac started working. It was stunning.

For the first time in my life, the voice in my head shut off. This wasn’t a Son of Sam type voice telling me I was God or his son; the voice was my inner critic. We all have inner critics, and I can’t speak for anyone else’s, but mine was a real asshole. Not only did he not have my best interests at heart, he wasn’t even on my side. …

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Solid parenting advice from a world I’d never appreciated.

I completely missed out on hip-hop — its birth, explosive growth, transformative cultural influence — all of it. Part of this was growing up in places where black music was either ignored or demonized (Boston suburbs, overwhelmingly white liberal arts college…). Folks I grew up with took their love of rock and roll seriously. People didn’t just dislike disco, they were so threatened by it that they burned records. The first time I heard hip-hop was at college parties, but I assumed songs like Rapper’s Delight, White Lines and The Breaks, were novelty songs akin to ’70s hits like The…

Hypochondria, Immortality, Eskimos and the Mind-Body Connection: A few short insights about meditation.

1. While I’m meditating, I’m actively trying to pay attention to my breathing. In doing so, I’m uniting a physical activity (breathing) with a mental activity (thinking about breathing). This, I’ve been told, is something we rarely do, and partly for that reason, beneficial. Then it hit me. Meditators do this. But so do hypochondriacs. Isn’t constant, focused worry about your digestion or your pancreas, say, a way of uniting the mind and body?

2. Have you ever heard of anyone dropping dead while meditating? I haven’t…

Philip Glist

For years I made a living writing what other people wanted me to write. Now I’m writing what I want to.

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