Just One Thing

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...

What are you resisting? The Practice: Accept it. Why? As general clusters that each include a number of specific methods, my Top 5 types of practices (all tied for first place) are: Be mindful Love Take in the good Go green Open out The practices of “go green” helps...

Where do you live? The Practice: Be the body. Why? As a kid, I was really out of touch with my body. I hardly noticed it most of the time, and when I did, I prodded it like a mule to do a better job of hauling...

Are you breathing? The Practice: One breath at a time. Why? [If for you the breath is associated with trauma and discomfort, you probably shouldn't try this practice in its form below. But you might adapt it to something that is more nurturing for you, such as...

When is it “time to fold ‘em?” The Practice: Let it go. Why? Most people, me included, are holding onto at least one thing way past its expiration date. It could be a belief, perhaps that your hair is falling out and you are ugly and unlovable as a result,...

To what is your mind given? The Practice: Come to center. Why? I’m old enough to remember a time when people usually answered “good” when you asked them the standard, “How are you?” (often said “harya?”). These days the answer is commonly “busy.” I know what it feels like...

Is your mind wandering? The Practice: Pay attention. Why? Moment to moment, the flows of thoughts and feelings, sensations and desires, and conscious and unconscious processes sculpt your nervous system like water gradually carving furrows and eventually gullies on a hillside. Your brain is continually changing its structure....

What do others want? The Practice: See good intentions. Why? Hustling through an airport, I stopped to buy some water. At the shop’s refrigerator, a man was bent over, loading bottles into it. I reached past him and pulled out one he’d put in. He looked up, stopped...

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