Ali Miller, MFT - Helping you live an authentic, empowered & connected life

Recent Posts

There's Room for Everyone to Complain
“Hear me!”: Some Thoughts on Listening and the Longing to be Heard
The Foundation of Self-Compassion
When Life Sucks: Buddhism, NVC, and Mourning
The #1 Key to Better Relationships


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There's Room for Everyone to Complain

I hear it all the time. People starting to share that they're not feeling so great, that they're struggling, having a hard time. And then - boom - they switch gears.

"But other people have it much worse, so I shouldn't complain."

If it's a therapy client of mine saying this, I'll often say something like, "This is your therapy hour. You get to complain all you want!"

I encourage my clients to complain, especially those for whom sharing their struggles doesn't come easy.

“Hear me!”: Some Thoughts on Listening and the Longing to be Heard

“Hear me!”: Some Thoughts on Listening and the Longing to be Heard

Here’s what I think: There is a serious lack of listening going on in our world. Would you agree? I’m pretty confident that if humans were listening more, we wouldn’t still be using bombs and guns to try to solve our conflicts. I’m pretty sure that if we were listening more, we wouldn’t be spending so much time fighting wars, big and small, external and internal. I truly believe that if we were listening more, we’d have more peace.

When Life Sucks: Buddhism, NVC, and Mourning

As I sit at my desk in California, awaiting the trick-or-treaters, an e-mail my sister just sent me is reverberating through my mind. She wrote from New York, "No power. No school. Halloween postponed 'til next Friday."  I picture my little niece and nephew all dressed up in their adorable costumes, having to wait over a week to celebrate one of their favorite holidays.
As the Buddha taught, sometimes life really sucks.
I'm writing this in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and am struck by the theme of loss that seems to be calling out for my attention this month, so I thought I'd muse on the topic of mourning, and offer some insight and support I've learned from my adventures in both Buddhism and Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

When You Can't Relax: 7 Tips to Try

I was recently featured in an article on about what to do when you're having a hard time relaxing.  Here is the article, written by Margarita Tartakovsky. Click here to read the article on

When You Can't Relax: 7 Tips to Try
by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Many of us feel a constant pressure or prodding to be productive. As we sit down on the couch, we’re met with 50 reasons why we need to get back up. Fifty reasons, which include folding laundry, washing dishes, checking email, calling so-and-so about such-and-such, and so on.

Transforming "Not Enough" Thoughts with Mindfulness and Compassion

What lies about your "not enough-ness" did your mind tell you today? How did you respond?

While scrolling through Facebook this evening, I noticed a sinking feeling in my chest and could sense my upper body contracting. Luckily, thanks to my mindfulness practice, I was able to notice the unpleasant feeling right away and trace the feeling back to the thought that went something like, "I'm not informed enough."

I felt relief in noticing the thought and identifying it as one of those pesky "not enough" thoughts.