Just One Thing

What do you need? The Practice: Grow a key inner strength. Why? We all have issues - including demands upon us, stresses, illnesses, losses, vulnerabilities, and pain. (As Alan Watts put it: "Life is wiggly.") Of course, many of our issues - in the broad sense I'm using the...

Feeling a little sour? The Practice: Drop tart tone. Why? Tone matters. I remember times I felt frazzled or aggravated and then said something with an edge to it that just wasn't necessary or useful. Sometimes it was the words themselves: such as absolutes like "never" or always," or...

Who are you resisting? The Practice: Accept them as they are. Why? I admit it: whether close to home or far away, I wish some people were different. Depending on who they are, I wish they'd stop doing things like leaving cabinet doors open in our kitchen, sending me...

Who are you prosecuting? The Practice: Drop the case. Why? Lately I've been thinking about a kind of "case" that's been running in my mind about someone in my extended family. The case is a combination of feeling hurt and mistreated, critique of the other person, irritation with...

Do you bear a grudge? The Practice: Transform Ill Will. Why? Goodwill and ill will are about intention: the will is for good or ill. These intentions are expressed through action and inaction, word and deed, and-especially-thoughts. How do you feel when you sense another person taking potshots...

What gets you stuck? The Practice: Admit fault and move on. Why? Have you ever watched two people quarrel, or otherwise be stuck in a conflict with each other? Usually, if either or both of them simply acknowledged one or more things, that would end the fight. Recall a time...

What helps you carry your load? The Practice: Feel the support. Why? We're all carrying a load, including tasks, challenges, worries, inner criticism, mistreatment from others, physical and emotional pain, loss and illness now or later, and everyday stresses and frustrations. Take a moment to get a sense of your...

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, what are the deepest wants of all? The Practice: See deep wants. Why? I did my Ph.D. dissertation by videotaping 20 mother-toddler pairs and analyzing what happened when the mom offered an alternative to a problematic want ("not the chainsaw, sweetie, how about...

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