(1.1) Welcome!

[s2If current_user_cannot(access_s2member_ccap_course_004_hh)]

To view this lesson, please purchase this course or log in if you have already purchased it.[/s2If][s2If current_user_can(access_s2member_ccap_course_004_hh)]Reminder: Please request to join my  How to Human course Facebook Group

This course is structured with multiple short lessons, with a Pause to Practice at the end of each batch. In the live version of the course, we’ll take a week to cover a block of sessions, but you can always go at your own pace. The live parts will be recorded.

  • Lesson 1: Welcome
  • Lesson 2: Habits
    • Habits can be useful! Which habits do you want? Why?
    • Training your healthy habits [And what does healthy even mean?]
  • Lesson 3: Thoughts are behavior, too
  • Pause to Practice


I am so thrilled that you’re here! I’m excited to share some of the most inspiring wellness information I have found. As animal lovers and pet professionals, I know a lot of you don’t naturally prioritize your own self care. But finding healthy ways to take care of yourself sets a good example for the humans around you and also helps the animals in your care.

For example, one study concludes that “dogs, to a great extent, mirror the stress level of their owners.” Stress is contagious and so is wellness; please give this course the seriousness and dedication you would to a class about dogs. Mental wellness helps everyone.

These tools have helped me enjoy a life of purpose, be authentic, defend my inner child, release myself from trauma, meet my needs, be more compassionate, stand my ground, and cope with / thrive from major life events (like the recent suicide of my partner) rather than experiencing them as traumatic. In a word, they’ve helped me be wholehearted. I’m in love with my life and I want you to be able to be in love with yours, too.

My goals are to create safe, supportive container for animal lovers to explore wellness and wholeheartedness. The lessons have the information and practices that I have most useful so far. I aim to give you enough of an experience with them that you can see if they would be helpful for you to look into more deeply from the original sources.

Many of us step foot on the path to spiritual enlightenment [or personal growth] expecting it to lead us onward and upward, hoping to become something better than we are, and ready to gather all of the important things we need along the way.

What a surprise it is when we eventually realize that this path isn’t taking us onward but inward, that we’re not gathering things so much as letting them go, and that there was never anything more to aspire to than the truth of what we already are. – Cristen Rodgers

Not all tools in this course will appeal to you. That’s totally okay.  I want you to find YOUR authentic path, to find a way to tune into your own unique nature.

Some things here, you might have tried already and stopped because they weren’t a right fit for you at the time, or never will be. Some will be practices you have done for longer than I have. That’s all okay. None of us start our journeys at the same place and none of us grew up in the same environment, so comparisons make no sense.

We are all similar and yet we are all also unique. Susan Friedman, Ph.D. often says that behavior is a “study of one” because every individual responds in their own way, even though we have scientific principles to start with as our framework.

I’ve chosen to present the tools and information that I think would be useful to the most people, that I found especially helpful, and/or would have liked to have known sooner.  I’ve left out some esoteric ideas that I find fun but might detract from the main message. I am pretty sure something in here will be of use to you.

There is also almost definitely a resource, method, or practice that has made a huge difference in your life, but isn’t in these lessons. Share! If you’ve read a book or found a resource that you think might be great for other people to know about, feel free to share it with the rest of us on the Facebook page. Briefly describe to us how it has changed your life for the better and be prepared to answer questions non-defensively. Note that this isn’t to be used for marketing purposes, and should be posted in a nonjudgemental spirit, simply sharing something that was useful for you.

One more caveat before we begin:

This course is not meant to replace a mental health professional. In fact, I have a therapist and I count on our sessions to help me work through my knottiest problems. I honestly think therapy is practically a basic human right and we all need access to it from time to time. It’s hard to be human!

For myself, I prefer the flexibility of therapy by phone and have found a therapist who does coherence therapy, which is basically a way to take advantage of cognitive dissonance to rewrite the emotional rules I created in my childhood. I prefer not to have a schedule, so I just set something up when I need it, which is usually something like 3 or 4 times a year, with a few more to cope with my recent loss.

There are many fundamental approaches to therapy (orientations), so even if you’ve tried it before, I urge you to find a format and orientation that works for you. For some people, the best mental health practitioner is a shaman, a life coach, a body worker, a hypnotherapist. Some folks have one of each. Whatever works for you.

If cost is a factor keeping you from therapy, look into whether your insurance might cover it. There’s also online therapists that are very convenient, like Talkspace.com. As with any therapist, you’ll want to try out multiple people to find the best fit. Other therapy options? Share in the Facebook group.

Click below to see lesson 2.[/s2If]