Just One Thing

What do you think about when you first wake up? The Practice: Lean into good on first waking. Why? Waking up is like the sun rising. At first it's mostly dark, as glimmers of consciousness begin to light the shadows. Emerging into full wakefulness, the fogs and veils...

What's up with these people? The Practice: Give them what they want. Why? Research shows that relationships are built from interactions, and interactions are built from moments. A critical moment in an interaction is when one person wants something from the other one. ("Wants" include wishes, needs,...

Do people ever make you mad? The Practice: Cultivate goodwill. Why? As the most social and loving species on the planet, we have the wonderful ability and inclination to connect with others, be empathic, cooperate, care, and love. On the other hand, we also have the capacity and inclination...

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...

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