Marilyn Paul, PhD

Our passion for efficiency, effectiveness and exertion has gone too far.  We live today in a unique era of possibility and productivity, but technology, media and the need to do and experience it all are hurting us as much as they help us.  We love getting things done, but we are burning ourselves out. We…(Read More)

Welcoming the Self


Clutter, lateness, and disorder are all fantastic ways to reject ourselves.  We walk into our bedroom with clothes on the floor, or in a pile on a chair, and tell ourselves, “What a mess you are!!” That hurts, and it doesn’t really motivate us to clear up the piles.  We don’t want the…(Read More)

The Struggle for Home


I just read Roger Cohen’s essay on depression and immigration called “The Battle to Belong” in the New York Times, 1/18/15.  It is part of his beautifully written memoir of his mother’s ordeal with depression and her struggle to become English after her girlhood in sunny South Africa.  She was an…(Read More)

I came into the house yesterday with so many items in my arms that they threatened to spray over onto the floor as I walked into the house. My son’s sweatshirt, two water bottles, a snack bag, a frozen lunch container, a bag of purchases, my keys, my wireless headset, the newspaper, a magazine…(Read More)

Not Present At My Own Party


When I turned forty, I was still single and I decided to throw a big party for myself.  I invited all my friends and family, friends from childhood and college.  A bash with great food and good wine. I planned ahead – or so I thought.  I created a wonderful menu of delicious dishes, most…(Read More)

Spilt Milk


We are living for the year in Northern California, where the tomatoes are juicy, the peaches are heavenly and the overall quality of the food is just outstanding.  As I tried to up the health level of my family, I decided to try GrassMilk for our family.  GrassMilk is from grass fed cows.  No, of…(Read More)

Do something difficult right this minute.  Take five minutes, or ten minutes.  Take that hard thing which is weighing on you a little bit.  Focus on it.  This will bring up some fear, worry, or a feeling of incompetence.  That is why you have been avoiding this thing. If not right now, do it before…(Read More)

Here in Jerusalem most of the people I meet are doing some kind of decluttering, sorting of belongings, tossing things, and giving things away.  We are getting ready for Passover, confronting our needs to save material possessions “just in case.”  I spoke to a friend yesterday who wanted to save an interesting shaped bottle just…(Read More)

What if, instead of tidying up, we viewed decluttering as creating our environment, as setting the stage for our life story?  What if we understood organizing as creating a place for our lives to unfold in?  What if we knew deeply that the environment we create at home or work shapes our feelings and our…(Read More)

This morning, before I sat down to work, I did the dishes, wiped down the counters, and put loose items away.  Slowly my kitchen quieted down.  The space looked open, clean and cleared off. Kitchens that look like this used to puzzle me.  I would go into someone’s home and notice that clean and…(Read More)