Stop fighting fear and panic. Live your life instead, and invite them along for the ride. DARE is your 4 step path to freedom

Let go and ride the waves of anxiety. They rise up and fall to nothing as all waves do. Always. Photo by Ting Tse Wang on Unsplash

I’ve had about 200 heart attacks in my life. The whole shebang: pain in my chest, shooting into my arm, a feeling like Dwayne Johnson is taking a nap on me. No breath seems to make it past my tongue, my heart beats to the rhythm of drunken jazz improvisation, and I’m not even sure how it’s possible, but I’m both stiff as a poker and shaking uncontrollably. One worry leads to another until my brain is buzzing with the sound of impending doom.

In my wondrous history of anxiety and panic, these wannabe heart attacks would faithfully hit me…


Science proves that self-compassion makes us more motivated, hopeful, and resilient. So let’s stop the self-bashing and get off our backs already

Thanks for sharing, inner troll. But I’m opting for a friendlier voice. Photo by BROTE studio from Pexels

I’m an idiot. A lazy, directionless waste of human flesh. A burden to my friends as I perpetually wallow in a chasm of self-pity that I am so much less than I ever hoped I’d become. I have no discipline when it comes to my work schedule and even less about eating an acceptable amount of Hershey Kisses per night. I’m sabotaging every good idea I get, all my achievements were more luck than judgment, and how much longer will I be able to disguise what a massive pile of insufficient failure I am?

My apologies. I typically don’t talk…


You Better Not Try.

An ancient Chinese philosophy explains why we give our best sometimes to no success when other times life lies at our feet without us lifting a finger.

Dog trying — and failing — to catch a ball
Dog trying — and failing — to catch a ball
Maybe he shouldn’t have pushed himself so hard Photo by Brixiv from Pexels

I’m German, and as such, I have words for things that you might only have a set of fuzzy feelings for. Like longing for a place I don’t know of, just not the one where I am: Fernweh. When that woman who blocked the escalator later stumbles over her heels, and I experience sweet pleasure: Schadenfreude. Or when Rudy Giuliani’s hair dye makes a dash for freedom oozing down his face, and I’m…


Life is not better when it’s your best one. A case for stopping the never-ending quest for self-improvement

Live your best life! Desire more! Achieve! You know you want it. Or do you? Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

It’s pink and drops to about five inches above my knee. Skintight, loosening a bit on its way to my neck. Silky without being silk. I hate silk. And the pink not too cold, but with a soft undertone, just shy of a plumpy peach. I’ve been looking for this dress since I imagined it in the Summer of 2006 — my dream right down to the last detail. I’ll never find it.

Oh well, never mind. I have other dresses, like the gray one that makes my eyes pop. I stumbled upon it while wasting time waiting for a…

Yvonne Vávra

Author. Berliner born behind the wall. New Yorker to a fault. I write about how to get on with the business of being human. May contain traces of hope.

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