Thinking makes anxiety worse

Brene Brown says there are three things any destructive emotion feeds on: secrecy, silence, and judgment.

Photo by Connor McSheffrey on Unsplash

Brene Brown, the world-famous shame and vulnerability guru, shared in Oprah Winfrey’s show a simple method for healing shame, which applies to all negative emotions in general:

“To grow exponentially, shame absolutely needs three things: secrecy, silence, and judgment. Shame cannot survive two things: being spoken and being met with empathy.”

Destructive emotions feed on secrecy, silence, and judgment. Reversing this pattern involves:

  1. Breaking the secrecy.
  2. Speaking up.
  3. Getting empathy from someone who will not judge you.

A workable solution for anxiety is surprisingly counterintuitive

After struggling with anxiety for about 30 years, I finally found something that works. …

If you think you can quit, you probably can’t

A surprising discovery by Bill Wilson, the founder of AA.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash

How to break free from addiction for good?

Whether it’s alcohol or social media, if you have battled with addiction for any number of years, you know that it’s not enough to just stop. Stopping is relatively easy. The hard part is not to start again.

Bill Wilson, a co-founder of AA, saw thousands of people quit drinking after “working the 12-step program.” But he noticed over time that many of them eventually replaced their old addiction with a new one.

A pearl of wisdom by Bill Wilson

“How often have some of us begun to drink in this nonchalant way, and after the third or fourth…

How to reduce stress by addressing nutritional deficiencies

Some people feel bored when life goes well.

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A lot of stress is self-inflicted. That is, we can avoid it if we choose to. But we choose not to. The reason is that our bodies “need” it. Often people don’t want to reduce stress because they use it as compensation for their nutritional deficiencies.

According to Dr. James L. Wilson, a leading specialist in nutritional balancing science, people who are constantly tired often use stress as a stimulant. Over time, they become addicted to stress and instinctively choose things, people, and situations where they can relive the level of stress they are used to.

Why people “need” stress as a stimulant

It sounds strange, but…

Dealing with future-tripping

Insight from an egret.

screen capture by author

How to be enough with who I am? Here’s the secret of an egret.

I was walking along the creek, feeling empty. I didn’t even know why. There was this unsettling feeling that something was amiss.

I know this feeling so well. It haunts me. It always tells me the same thing over and over: the moment you are in is not good enough. You need to skip it and go to some blessed future.

Engrossed in my thoughts, I saw an egret in the shallow waters, standing on one leg. …

J.R.R. Tolkien’s favorite way to write

From an English to Russian translator.

Bag End
Image from Unsplash

I started translating a new book for one of my old clients today (Russian into English). So I thought I would jot down some thoughts and insights on the process of translating a book from a co-creator’s standpoint.

Translating a book is an act of co-creation, not a mechanical process

How do you translate a book? I start with the mindset. Having translated over 100 books in 28 years, I am convinced that producing a quality translation (or any work of art) is not a mechanical process but an act of co-creation.

Insights from J.R.R. Tolkien and Leo Tolstoy

The creator of the world-famous fantasy legendarium, J.R.R. …

The wisdom of Bilbo Baggins

“Knowledge puffs up and love builds up.” (St. Paul)

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How to win an argument by losing it? Here’s my take on it.

My teenage daughter has different political views. I didn’t quite notice how and where she got them.

But the more we tried to “talk her out of it,” “show her how things really are,” “open her eyes,” the more she dug in the heels.

Eventually, the polarization in our home became so pronounced, that it dawned on me: when I am trying to get her to change her mind, I become emotionally intoxicated.

I may not show my anger or frustration externally, but it’s still there —…

How to break the addiction to negative thinking

Photo by brooklyn on Unsplash

I was in bed, dozing off. She wanted to tell me all the COVID news she had heard that day. Her eyes were full of news. She needed to vent.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear all that — I knew I would lose the precious half an hour between 10 and 10:30 when I easily fall asleep.

But, for some reason, I started listening, knowing full well I should have excused myself. Three minutes into it, a mighty tide of adrenaline dragged me full speed down the river of delectable negativity.

When I am bored, I easily fall…

How to get in the flow state when you work.

When someone asks me how to become a literary translator, I have to stop and think. There are so many things to tell. Many individual streams feed this wonderful ocean of creativity.

Yet, there is one stream that, in my opinion, flows underneath it all — and crowns it all. I would put it like this: “Literary translation is a mindfulness practice.”

A man working in the flow
Image by TED ideas

The wisdom of a cat

In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle tells a story of how his cats taught him great wisdom. Imagine a cat sitting in front of a high fence, wanting to jump on it.

It looks up…

When you can’t get your head around something.

How emptying your mind helps your creativity.

A Chinese archer
Photo by China Archery

“The soul does not grow by addition but by subtraction.”

Meister Eckhart

I was looking at the lampshade that I was designing as part of my business. I liked the way it turned out. And yet, something made me doubt whether it was ready to go to the client. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was.

Was it the shape? The size?

Straining my mind for an answer, I suddenly felt some unease growing in me. I knew very well what it meant. It usually means that I am frustrated with how things are going and want quick results.



How to use machine translation and not be used by it.

Image by Slide Share

As a translator since 1993 and a certified machine translation post-editor, I have worked with several machine translation engines over the past few years, and I see that MT has a bright and a dark side — depending on how you approach it.

So what is the future of machine translation? Here are some of my observations.

How to use machine translation and not be used by it

When I get a request to post-edit an AI-generated translation, I am usually offered a lower rate (20–50% of what I normally charge), because the assumption is that it will take me half the time to complete it.

It doesn’t. If I am…

Eugene Terekhin

Eugene Terekhin is a translator, SEO writer, and driftwood craftsman.

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