Change Happens

Change Happens

Happy New Year! 2023 is here!

In January, we tend to look forward with hope.

Yet in the back of our minds, we know life is filled with pain, uncertainty, and constant work.

Can we hone our skills to transform this inescapable aspect of reality: painful experiences and thoughts into opportunities?


Over the holidays, I watched Stutz a documentary by Oscar winner Jonah Hill about his psychotherapist Phil Stutz whose Tools changed his life.

Stutz describes each of his Tools in hand-drawn note cards – a simple step, an action, or a bit of forward motion. The Tools can change your inner state almost immediately, according to Stutz, and turn problems into possibilities.

Some of the tools I found fascinating and unforgettable:

The Shadow is a tool developed by Phil Stutz that involves identifying and acknowledging the negative or undesirable aspects of ourselves that we often try to hide or suppress. By acknowledging these parts of ourselves, we can gain a greater understanding of our motivations and behaviors and find ways to integrate them into our lives in a healthy way.

The 3 Aspects of Reality is a tool that involves recognizing that every situation has three components: what happened, how we feel about it, and how we think about it. By separating these components and examining each one individually, we can gain a clearer understanding of the situation and find ways to deal with it more effectively.

The idea of Pain, Uncertainty, and Constant Work is a tool that involves recognizing that life is full of challenges and that we must be prepared to face them head-on. By acknowledging that pain, uncertainty, and hard work are an inevitable part of life, we can develop the resilience and perseverance needed to overcome obstacles and achieve our goals.

The Perfect Snapshot is a tool that involves visualizing a specific moment in the future in which we have achieved our goals. By focusing on this “perfect snapshot,” we can create a clear and motivating vision of what we want to achieve and take steps to make it a reality.

The Maze is a tool that involves breaking down a problem or goal into smaller, more manageable steps. By breaking the problem down into smaller pieces, we can more easily navigate our way through the “maze” and find solutions to even the most complex challenges.

Active Love is a tool that involves actively choosing to love and support others, even when it is difficult. By actively loving others, we can build stronger relationships, improve our emotional well-being, and create a more positive and supportive environment for ourselves and those around us.

Radical Acceptance is a tool that involves accepting ourselves and others fully and without reservation. By accepting ourselves and others as we are, we can move beyond judgment and criticism and find a place of peace and understanding.

Squeeze the Juice is a tool that involves making the most of every moment and finding joy and meaning in even the smallest things. By focusing on the present and finding gratitude and appreciation for what we have, we can live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

The idea of looking at all events as having tremendous opportunity is a tool that involves finding the silver lining in every situation. By looking for the opportunity in even the most difficult or challenging situations, we can gain a new perspective and find ways to grow and learn from our experiences.

Meaning through small things is a tool that involves finding meaning and purpose in the small, everyday moments of life. By focusing on the small things that bring us joy and fulfillment, we can build a sense of meaning and purpose that helps us navigate even the most difficult times.

The Grateful Flow is a tool that involves cultivating a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the present moment. By focusing on the things we are grateful for, we can create a positive and uplifting mindset that helps us navigate the challenges of life with grace and resilience.

Tools can transform but it’s up to you to use them!

If you watch the film, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from you!

All my best,

Kalika Signature for Harvard-Westlake Parents Mindfulness Club