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Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D.
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Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D. is the author of “Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: Nourishing the Soul When Life’s Just Too Much” (Hay House).

She has been practicing psychology and teaching yoga and contemplative practices for more than 16 years. Karen co-founded the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she currently offers counseling and other classes and workshops.

The aim of Karen's work is to reconnect people with the wisdom of their inner-life by reclaiming what gets lost amidst the busyness of day-to-day life: qualities such as stillness, self-care, creativity, joy, humor, gratitude, and compassion. Her intention is to support people in finding a sense of balance and sacredness in their lives. Her interests in this topic are based on an intersection of her professional and personal life, as a working mother of two children who knows, lives, and attempts to thrive within the busyness of daily life.

For more information, visit or

Entries by Karen Horneffer-Ginter, Ph.D.

Comfort for Your Failed New Year's Resolution

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 4:39 PM


"You know what the problem is with making any sort of effort to better ourselves?"

"What?" I asked, as a took a sip of my coffee.

"It's just a set up for failure," my friend moaned. "I mean, really," she continued, licking some...

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The Problem With First-World Problems

(1) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 11:13 AM

The other month I found myself -- much to my surprise -- at a Weird Al Yankovic concert. I hadn't been looking for such an experience, but I've realized that participating in activities that sound "cool" to my teenage son is probably my best shot at seeming even remotely hip...

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Click and Clack Moments

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 5:30 PM


The recent passing of Tom Magliozzi reminded me of my love for "Car Talk." Not that I know much of anything about cars or really care to, but I, like so many others, delighted in the Magliozzi brothers' capacity to weave intelligent humor...

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Sources of Light

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 4:04 PM

"We're born with millions of little lights shining in the dark And they show us the way One lights up Every time you feel love in your heart One dies when it moves away"

-- Michael Passenger

Like so many of us, I...

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'Thrive' in Action: Encouraging the Third Metric in Local Communities

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 11:39 AM

As I was recently reading Thrive, I was inspired to think about ways to best promote the Third Metric in our local communities. I realize it's not always easy to encourage such ideals as well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving within work cultures that value more traditional definitions of success. Even...

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Three Cheers for Intentions and Why I Prefer Them Over Affirmations

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 4:39 PM

I've recently found myself in numerous conversations about the pros and cons of affirmations. For whatever reason, it's a hot topic in my corner of the world. Even last week, a new client let me know her opinion about them. "I'm sorry. I hope I'm not offending you, but I...

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20 Questions for Thanksgiving

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 5:24 PM

It can be challenging to create rich and meaningful family conversations about gratitude. I know I've felt disappointed when my "What do you feel thankful for?" questions are met with quick, predictable responses that bring the conversation to a close soon after it's begun. Last Thanksgiving season, I took a...

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Balance and Other Such Fall Intentions

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2013 | 8:30 AM


I often think of the arrival of September as being like the New Year. With the start of the school year and the tangible shift from August's slower pace to the ramp up of fall's activities, September often feels more like a...

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'I'll Take Two, Please'

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 12:12 PM

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." -- Meister Eckhart

When I was in Bali several years ago, I had the good fortune of visiting several temples. Before entering each one, we were asked to tie a sash around...

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On Wisdom

(4) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 8:12 PM

When I think about my desire to slow down and turn my attention within, I realize that I'm often looking to reconnect with a sense of wisdom within myself. I want to experience a sense of peace and clarity that, I hope, will accompany me throughout the day.

I find...

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The Torture of Birthing Lovely Things

(5) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 6:02 PM

This weekend, I was reminded that the process of creating lovely things is sometimes far from lovely. As I kept tugging on my ponytails, pressing the palm of my hand into my forehead, and sighing, the irony wasn't lost on me that I was trying to create attractive-looking images with...

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Finding Enchantment

(4) Comments | Posted March 11, 2013 | 12:11 AM

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

-- Howard Thurman

The average adult who goes to Disney World will walk away with two primary responses. First, they'll note that what...

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Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: Humor as Spiritual Practice

(2) Comments | Posted February 5, 2013 | 7:20 AM

Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand. --Rilke

I was going through airport security the other month, participating in the grind of pulling out my laptop and my Ziploc baggie full of plastic bottles, and removing my belt and...

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8 Things to Let Go of in the New Year

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2013 | 12:30 PM

Often, when we consider making a New Year's resolution, we think about adding new activities to our day-to-day lives -- doing more by getting stricter with ourselves. Although there can be value in this approach to creating change, sometimes what we most need is just the opposite. Here are eight...

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Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: The Art of Slowing Down

(3) Comments | Posted January 6, 2013 | 9:38 AM

"So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute.

Strike that. Reverse it."

-- Willy Wonka

One key to taking care of ourselves lies in learning how to slow down. I have a friend who's in the middle of a well-deserved sabbatical. These months represent...

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Rediscovering the Art of Offering Blessings

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2012 | 5:20 AM

"May I live this day
Compassionate of heart,
Clear in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love."

--John O'Donohue

In his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, John O'Donohue describes an experience he had when he was a young priest visiting a group...

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How Writing Saved My Weary, Pushed-to-the-Edge, New-Mother Soul

(3) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 11:00 PM

It wasn't until I had crossed the threshold into motherhood that I came to understand the healing potential of writing. I had heard rumors about it before, read research studies on the benefits of journal writing, and even conducted a study or two about it myself. It made sense to...

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Post-Election Self-Care: A Reminder of Its Benefits

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 7:30 AM

Regardless of our level of involvement in the presidential election, we've most likely found our attention being pulled outside of ourselves in both enlivening and exhausting ways. After the pre-recorded phone messages have come to a stop and we've had a chance to feel and voice our opinion about the...

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The Beauty of Questions

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2012 | 6:20 AM

"Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it,
live your way into the answer."
-- Rainer Maria Rilke

I love the idea of loving questions -- seeing the potential beauty that they contain. I don't think...

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Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: A Pupu Platter Approach to Self-Care for Busy Times

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 3:10 PM

I still recall the first time I experienced a pupu platter at a Polynesian restaurant. My brother and I laughed at the name, questioning if it would be an appetizer we'd really be interested in, but we soon discovered, lo and behold, that these two syllables translated into an enormous,...

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