What is the advantage of creating space for paradoxical feelings? 

"How are you?" The answer I give to that question can either be performative "I am fine, and you?" Or real... "I am feeling overwhelmed." Or, I can go a bit deeper and notice the paradoxical feelings under the surface. Paradoxical feelings remind me that I am not one or the other, in or out, either/or. I am both/and. There is richness under my surface and when I chose to look at it and share it, I see more of myself, as well as allowing myself to be seen more fully by people I care about. When I take a closer look, here is what I feel: "I am feeling overwhelmed because I am miss my friends and I know I won't be able to see them for the foreseeable future. And, I am so grateful that I h

What is happening when the once engaging conversation turns into "wah, wah, wah..."?

Try this on for size: You used to look forward to interactions with your colleagues or fellow board members, but now all you hear is "wah, wah, wah...." You can't wait to get off of the call, your mind wanders, you find a million ways to deflect from the deadlines (or homeschooling or housecleaning or chart updates) that await you and more often than not, you think to yourself "I just CAN'T!" But you don't tell anyone that. Because who would say "I CAN'T?" Not you. Instead, you keep going and your body starts to wear down with exhaustion, you can't sleep, you emotionally distance from colleagues, you feel alienated from activities you used to enjoy, you can't seem to get anything done,

How will you find your way without visible light at the end of the tunnel?

When it is no longer 2 weeks or 2 months but "for the foreseeable future," we know we're in for the long haul. While it could be the COVID pandemic, or messy-as-hell cancer treatment, or working within an organization that no longer even slightly resembles the organization you knew and loved, it is normal to experience deeply itchy overwhelm. The good news is that there are tried and true tools to help you find your way. Dr. Elena Miller, an integrative psychiatrist and 2x cancer survivor (and one of my favorite people), recently shared these three powerful tips for coping with overwhelm. Tip #1: a) It is normal to overestimate the likelihood of bad things happening, and b) it is also nor

"How are you?" I mean REALLY how are you?

When I see you and ask "How are you?" your answer may depend on where I sit in your concentric boundary circles. Do you say "I'm fine, thank you! And you?" Or do you say "I'm irritated today because I'm feeling so constrained." And perhaps if things are going well, "I'm feeling energized because I have the freedom to choose where I physically work." Or might you say "This is the worst year of my life - I'm falling apart and I have no where to turn. I think I'm going to lose it." Conversely, if things were doing swimmingly, would you say "I just bought a humongous cabin on the Shore and I can't wait to redecorate the whole thing. The sky is the limit to what I might do!" These are all poten

How do you find the stamina to continue to lift the heavy load?

Like me, you may have had the experience of picking up a heavy load, sometimes grudgingly, sometimes willingly... never imagining the stamina it would take to continue that excruciatingly heavy lift over time. It might look like being furloughed from the company who told you only last week that they had your back - or it might look like being the person in charge of determining the furloughs, knowing the huge impact your decisions have on people you care about. Or it might look like another complication after serious cancer treatment, just when you thought it was safe to breathe again. Or, it might look like being a physician and taking the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 over and over aga



Hello, I'm Ricka -

I'm a Nationally Board Certified (NBC-HWC) Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coach. I specialize in working with physician leaders, corporate leaders, non-profit executives and their families to navigate complex work and personal issues so they can strengthen their relationships, heal, and feel hopeful about the future again. 



Complete the form below to receive the latest blogs and updates from me. 

Subscribe to

My Newsletter






1090 Goodrich Avenue
St. Paul, MN  55105

889 Grand Avenue

St. Paul, MN  55105