Bethany Butzer, Ph.D.


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Why Your Healthy Habits Might Not Always Be Good For You

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on October 19, 2016 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I recently started spending every Thursday with my soul (AKA my true self). This means that I do everything in my power to keep my To Do list as empty as possible on Thursdays. This new routine is terrifying for my false self, which tends to be an overachieving workaholic. In fact, when I first started celebrating soul days my false self created huge To Do lists full of self-help activities like reading motivational books, watching inspirational videos, and going for walks in nature.

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Why Are You Reaching For Your Phone?

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on October 5, 2016 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (1)

These days a lot of people complain about how everyone has their faces stuck in their phones. It seems like everywhere you look, people are texting, scrolling, and talking their way out of the present moment. Now before you stop reading, let me make it clear that this blog isn't about bashing technology or complaining about millennials. Personally, I think technology is awesome. And besides, this isn't only a "young people" problem. This weekend I was having brunch at a beautiful cafe ...

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What If Your Purpose Has Nothing To Do With Your Career?

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 at 4:50 AM Comments comments (4)

These days there's a plethora of self-help books and online courses aimed at helping you find your passion and live your purpose (full disclosure: I offer such a course). Many of us get hooked very quickly on the idea of monetizing our passion. We want to make money doing what we love and we want to make the world a better place in the process. This is a noble goal, and if you're lucky enough to have achieved ...

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The Downside of Pushing Toward Your Goals

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on September 7, 2016 at 3:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Most of us are raised to believe that it's a good idea to have goals. We're taught to work hard to reach our dreams. We're told that with persistence and dedication, we will eventually get from point A (where we are now) to point B (some idealized place in the future). This line of thinking is even embedded in our education system, where grades act as carrots to push us toward what's next. And next. And next. Alan Watts describes this pe...

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The Hard Truth Behind Creating a Life You Love

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Over the past month I've been updating my website with a few new headshots and banners that include the sentence "Create a Life You Love." The theme of creating a life you love has been my motto since I started blogging in 2010, and I've learned a lot from sharing my experiences and journey.

One of the main things I've learned is that, contrary to what you might think, creating a life you love isn't easy or ...

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Want To Ditch Your Life To Travel? Consider These 6 Tips First.

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on August 10, 2016 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

On August 10th 2015 my husband and I boarded a plane in Toronto to start a new chapter of our lives. After a 10 hour flight we landed in Prague, Czech Republic. Our decision was very intentional. I'd just quit my job at Harvard Medical School, and we'd spent the past two months saying good-bye to fr...

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Reclaiming Your Imagination

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on July 27, 2016 at 3:20 AM Comments comments (3)

When I was younger I had a vast imagination. I was obsessed with all things fantasy. I loved unicorns, fairies, witches, trolls, and gnomes. I created entire worlds in my mind - medieval lands where I interacted with people in King Arthur's court. I believed that I had magical powers, and would often try to cast spells or speak with fairies or make unicorns appear in my bedroom. I loved being in the woods, where I hunted for fantastical creatures and nurtured my sense of wonder.

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What Are You Doing With Your Privilege?

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (2)

These days the internet is full of people who left their jobs to "follow their bliss" or "pursue their passion." They leapt, and the net appeared. They run six-figure online businesses from their living rooms (and you can too if you purchase their 5-step program for $500 per month!). Sometimes these people maintain blogs. And sometimes they write pieces about how you should leave your meaningless 9 to 5 existence to create art in Bali or surf in Hawaii.

I think three main qu...

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It's Hip To Be Cynical (And I Refuse To Be Hip)

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on June 14, 2016 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (6)

Sometimes I worry that the people who read my blog might think I'm woo-woo or airy fairy or "out there." I wonder if people lump me in with other self-helpers who promise eternal happiness in three easy steps. I ponder whether my words reek of false positivity - like a band-aid too small to cover a large wound.

In sitting with these feelings, I realized they come from a deep rooted need that I've always had: the need to belong. When I was younger, I never felt like I belonge...

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Facing Your Fears At Any Age

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on June 1, 2016 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Age is a funny thing. Sometimes we look younger than we are, or feel older than we look. Some people have "old souls" that impart wisdom from a young age, while others maintain a childlike sense of wonder well into their 90s.

No matter how old we are, most of us have one thing in common: fear. We are all afraid of something. You might be afraid of death, or spiders, or subways, or seaweed. You might be afraid of failure - or even of success. Modern society makes it p...

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Tired of Trying to Fix Yourself? Try This Instead.

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on May 19, 2016 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you have a nagging issue that's bothered you for years? Yeah, me too. I've spent decades experimenting with a cornucopia of ways to get rid of my issues. I've tried:


Support groups

Personal development workshops

Life coaching



Online seminars





Self-help books




Healthy ea...

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A Letter To My Teen (And Your Teen)

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on May 4, 2016 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Recently, while doing yoga, an image appeared in my mind's eye. The image was of myself as a teen. Actually, it was more than just an image. It was a feeling. I was reminded, in mind and body, of what life felt like back then. And I was infused with a deep sense of compassion for the young woman who was struggling to find her way through her teens and early twenties.

While my early years weren't as devastating or traumatic as what many people go through, I experienced my fa...

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How To Find Bliss in Your Everyday Experiences

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on April 18, 2016 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (2)

Last week I gave a lecture on "Religion, Spirituality, and Well-Being" for an undergraduate Positive Psychology course that I'm teaching. The lecture covered a range of topics, with a particular focus on scientific and individual explorations of what some call "transcendent experiences." These experiences are extremely difficult to define, but they've been reported by religious and non-religious people throughout history.

Take, for example,

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Our Pathological Pursuit of Productivity Over Pleasure

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on April 4, 2016 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (2)

Many people struggle with procrastination. No matter how hard they try, they can't seem to get started on whatever it is they're supposed to be doing. There always seems to be something more interesting competing for their attention, like the latest episode of the Kardashians or Beyonce's Instagram feed.

For much of my life, I've joked that I'm incapable of procrastination. In university, friends often envied my inability to skip class or pull all-nighters or hand in ...

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Feel Like You've Gotten Off Track? Read This.

Posted by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. on March 23, 2016 at 4:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a rut? One minute you feel on track, tapped into your authenticity, and blazing with enthusiasm. Then, for no apparent reason, you lose it. Negative thoughts start having a party in your psyche. You feel off track, disconnected, and like someone poured ice on your fire.

You fall off the "Soul wagon," so to speak.

Lately I've been feeling like someone took my Soul wagon, turned it upside down, and dumped me in a forest of ...

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