This past week has been a good one. Now the technical website stuff is mostly handled, I’ve been able to pour myself into the real work of writing. It hasn’t been easy, but progress is steady and I’m enjoying what Spring and I are creating.

Our collaboration is a thing of beauty. For one thing, Spring’s insight and intellect often cause me to catch my breath in humility and gratitude. How did I get so lucky to have this woman as my partner? For another, I’ve come a long way in being open to someone else’s contributions. When she tells me my first few paragraphs are abstract, or unnecessary, I actually listen. I trust her judgment, and so I bring her perspective into whatever I do.

As a result, things are flying along. We are digging in to define our territory, and doing a pretty good job of it so far. For my part, I’m laying out the foundation for what could become a science of feeling.

Here’s where it gets tricky. Read more…


It’s a new world for me.

The past few days I became somewhat agitated, edgy, irritable. Yesterday it got strong enough that I knew it needed my attention.

Upon first look, I could see the feeling had to do with recently taking almost all of my time getting a couple of websites set up, (and closing others down). I do the technical work to create a web presence for my work. Always have. And I’ve always resisted it.

I don’t like to do technical work. I don’t like messing with WordPress themes, (or Drupal, or Ning, or any of them). I don’t enjoy hacking css, html, php and javascript. So I do it as little as possible, just enough to get the job done in the moment.

What that means is that I’m perpetually in beginner mode. I know enough to be able to figure out how to do something. But I don’t do it consistently enough to really learn the skill. So every time, it’s figure it out, hack it out, grind it out. It gets tiring.

I thought that’s what the irritability was about. But it didn’t feel like the whole picture. I didn’t feel any release in that framing of the question. So I asked what else the feeling was trying to tell me. Digging deeper, I recognized a strong sadness beneath the irritability. Read more…

This took me a solid week of work, almost two years ago now. And that was after working on the script off and on for weeks. I still like it, which is kind of nice. So many times, I grow dissatisfied with something I create almost as soon as it’s finished. The book was like that.

I get the feeling the next creation will be more like the video. Strong and durable.

This video was originally posted June 3, 2011 on my old site. I’ve recreated the post here because this page drew people wanting to know more about emotion vs. feeling. If you’d like to learn more about feeling, emotion, and how these play a dominant role in your life whether you want them to or not, please visit

Here’s the transcript:

I get a lot of questions about the difference between feelings and emotion. And in The New Feeling Psychology, there’s a real distinction between those two, and it’s very important. Read more…


I was born Joseph Shirley, middle name Francis, the third in a line starting with my grandfather. But most of my life I’ve gone by Joe, same as the others.

I’ve rarely even considered calling myself Joseph. But lately the idea has grown more appealing. So here I am. Claiming it. Making my obscure, little mark on the internet under this more formal name.

Consider it a circle. I’ve come round from my given name back to my consciously chosen full name, with five and a half decades of nickname in between. And in some ways, I can say my life has followed the same path.

I lost some essential part of myself at a very early age. Read more…

Bold Creation

My intention with this blog? Simply to jot down something from time to time that captures what’s alive for me in that moment.

For right now, it is the great hopefulness and anticipation I feel about my collaboration with Spring Cheng over at More to come!

The image above is from a state I called Bold Creation. It seems fitting.