Just One Thing

The tree or the forest? See the big picture. The vast majority of human acts each day are constructive: making meals, tending to children, saying hello, restraining anger, completing tasks, planting seeds, teaching, healing, nurturing, cooperating ...

What can you count on? The Practice: Love what’s real. Why? Because this practice could seem so abstract or so obvious that it’s not worth doing, I am going to take longer than usual to explain why it’s so important. As I grew up, my family and schools felt like...

Do you see a bully? The Practice: Stand up to bullies. Why? Humans are profoundly social. We spend most of our lives working, eating, sleeping, and playing in groups ranging from two people up to nations and humanity as a whole. Woven through the tapestry of our relationships are...

Does it feel safe with other people? The Practice: Relax needless fear around others. Why? We all know this fear. You step into a meeting with people you know and still there could be a watchfulness, a restraint, a certain carefulness in how you speak that comes more...

What would bear lots of fruit? The Practice: Water your fruit tree. Why? My wife and kids tease me that the title of this practice is corny - and it is. Still, I like it. If you don't nourish the things that nourish you, they wither away like a...

Are you all over the place? The Practice: Rest in center. Why? Gravity and entropy are powerful processes in the natural world. Gravity draws things together, toward a center, while entropy scatters them into disorder. In much the same way, in our own lives, some things bring us...

How do you love? The Practice: Love freely. Why? In my early 20's, I went through Rolfing, a form of deep-tissue bodywork, and I nervously anticipated the 5th session, the one that goes deep into the belly. But instead of gobs of repressed emotional pain, what poured out was...

Out of balance? The Practice: Enjoy sobriety. Why? By "sobriety," I mean healthy self-control, a centered enjoyment of life, and an inner freedom from drivenness. We typically apply this sense of balance and self-care to things like food, drugs and alcohol, sexuality, money, and risky behaviors. And if...

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