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Sneak Peek Into My Kitchen
(and My Soul)

I was chopping an onion in my kitchen in November when the quiet voice spoke.

“I think I’m happy.”

So quiet. So content. So unobtrusive.

And so what I’d been wanting.

I’d been running a couple of experiments inside myself that no one else knew about or could see.

They were the catalysts that led to the happiness that I also call contentment.

One experiment I called Laying Down Anger, as in “to surrender your weapons.” This experiment entailed me laying down the thoughts and habits that fueled my anger, including the tacit belief that it was my job to let other people know things they were “doing wrong” ... (gross, I know. I know!).

The other experiment I called Radical Ownership.* That meant taking full responsibility for my feelings, rather than thinking things like “she made me mad” or “he made me feel guilty.”

The kitchen moment wasn’t the first time I’d ever experienced contentment or happiness. But this particular time stood out because I’d had to throw some hefty punches to get it.

Not random. Not by chance.


See, I had been at that crossroads. Maybe you’ve been there too. One side of me felt the slight itch of irritation that wanted to sprout into an “Oh, it’s that person. That thing she did. I’m gonna think about how wrong that was, and get offended about it now.”

The other side shrugged an unconcerned “Nah.”

And that was that.

I went back to my onion feeling calm, content, and able to think about stuff I actually wanted to think about, which at that moment included the blog post I was working on.

And because I’d been practicing Radical Ownership and Laying Down Anger many times prior to the kitchen moment, well…. I think that’s why the “Nah” (finally) came so naturally, so easily in that instance.

I’m a therapist, and I’ve seen this kind of transformation thousands of times — often when people run their own self-development experiments.

The results? Enviable and delightful.

Mike’s stress levels dropped dramatically after experimenting with creating boundaries for his time. Brittany started feeling relaxed instead of exhausted in relationships after experimenting with trusting her gut instincts about people. Maria experimented with Kind Confrontation skills, and no longer needed to avoid people or boil over inside when there was a problem.

In short, I’ve seen self-development help people create the kind of relationships and personal happiness the masses envy, but often don’t have.

But here’s the weird thing I’ve noticed — with myself and with others.

So often, people who are doing self-development are doing it all on their own. Which can be a little lonely. Not to mention hard to stay motivated.

For instance, say you’re you — this insightful person who knows that happiness, calmness, and great relationships mostly have to do with, well, you. But where to start when you’re looking for help with a specific problem, say, how to deal with an annoying person at work? A Google search? Except the results are often so dry — lists and theories that don’t actually help. Or bizarre stuff that’s…. just too strange.

Or how about a self help book? But which book to choose? Who are the good authors? How do you actually apply the changes the author suggests?

Then again, there’s always talking to friends. Except you often get responses like, “Girl, you don’t need to change anything. He needs to change!” Validating? Yes. Helpful for developing the communication skills you need with your boyfriend or husband? Mmm, not really.

Truth is, much as we know self-development gets us what we deeply want in life — Better self-esteem. Confidence to handle conflict. Being able to forgive. Effective communication skills. Less depression. Ending the day with a “Thank You, God” exhale. — it’s hard to keep the momentum going.

We need encouragement, inspiration, and challenge.

I found myself wondering...

What if it self-development didn’t have to be so hard? What if you didn’t have to wade through boring Google searches, or thousands of authors you didn’t know?

What if there were a place where smart, insightful people could find practical solutions for their self-development goals (gasp!) easily even?


Such a reasonable request. (Are you always this easy to get along with?)

So I created that place. This place. The Self-Development Lab.

The Self-Development Lab gives you the best lessons I've distilled from 15 years of helping thousands of people create great relationships, work confidence, and yes — happiness that’s also known as contentment.

The Self-Development Lab provides you with:

  • Examples & real life stories from me — the Therapist in a Test Tube. I open my journal to you (yes, really!) and share the experiments I’m working on, and how they’re going…. the good and the bad.
  • Access to interviews with real people sharing their nitty gritty self-development stories — failures, struggles, successes, and all.
  • Word-for-word scripts and checklists.
  • Tip-offs about the best “happiness experiments” to try.
  • Easy access to some of the most effective skills, mindsets, and strategies from the fields of psychology and Christian spirituality. As a therapist who has also served in Christian ministry, I’ve noticed that both offer unique contributions towards dialing up contentment, calmness, and great relationships.

Perfect! Where do I start?

The Therapist in a Test Tube section is also a good place to start. My confessions, what’s working well…. It’s all there.

Exceptional relationships, calmness, and personal happiness happen one experiment at a time. Let’s find one that works for you.

See you in the lab!

Want to be ale to say "no" when someone asks you to do something, without feeling like a selfish jerk?

We can show you how.

Get free access to "The Nice Person's Guide to Saying 'No'" training