Twelve Good Things 2018

Twelve Good Things 2018

Each year I use an issue of the Just One Thing newsletter to offer Twelve Good Things. I think they’re really wonderful, and worth your attention.

May you and those you love and in fact the whole wide world be truly well, truly happy, and truly at peace.

  1. UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center is a world-class resource for compassion, parenting, and positive psychology – including their Greater Good Magazine.
  2. Human activity dumps about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide each day into the air, and the terrible consequences we’re already seeing are just the beginning of what our children and grandchildren will inherit. While reducing emissions at all levels is hugely important, meanwhile individuals can support projects that compensate for their own carbon footprint each year. The EPA, Nature Conservancy, and WWF all have good carbon calculators, and Carbon Footprint, Terrapass, and Native Energy offer a variety of “offsets.”
  3. An organization close to my heart – the BRITE Initiative – has a school in Haiti for 5-12 year olds who would not get a decent education otherwise. They have over 100 students who still need support for this school year, and you might like to join me in sponsoring one of them.
  4. Here are a few TED Talks gems: David Lang advocates for citizen scientists to protect the future of our oceans; Kelly Lepley offers a compelling personal story about how important it is to be true to your deepest self; and Ilona Stengel takes an intriguing look at the compatibility of emotions and logic.
  5. The Foundations of Well-Being is my online program for growing an unshakable core of resilient happiness in a changing world. It’s super practical, you can go at your own pace, and there’s a money-back guarantee. You’ll get the tools you need to develop more calm, contentment, and confidence each week – and there’s a $180 discount if you sign up by January 1.
  6. For some great fiction (at least to my taste!), check out All the Light We Cannot See, The Dog Stars, Night Soldiers and other WWII spy/romance novels of Alan Furst, Consider Phlebas and other Culture novels of Iain Banks, Lord of Light, The Skull Mantra and the other detective novels set in Tibet by Eliot Pattison, the Ancillary Justice trilogy by Ann Leckie, and All Systems Red and other Murderbot Diaries books by Martha Wells. (For simplicity, I linked to Amazon here, and of course there are other options – including your local bookshop.)
  7. Many wonderful organizations are helping our world. Two that are near and dear to me are Amnesty International and the International Campaign for Tibet, and I invite you to join me in supporting them.
  8. Spirit Rock Meditation Center has been my primary personal wellspring of contemplative practice, and it offers many high-quality workshops, retreats, and online courses. Also see Dharma Seed, a great collection of talks and meditations by hundreds of teachers.
  9. The Sounds True Foundation is offering 5,000 scholarships for those in need to receive their Self-Acceptance Summit and Living From a Place of Surrender programs and you can apply here.
  10. Joyful Mind Project provides mindfulness education to children of all backgrounds, and you can support their work with at-risk youth at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy.
  11. For some fun videos, take a look at Alex Honnold on Jimmy Kimmel (after soloing El Capitan), The Sound of Silence from Disturbed, Vienna Teng, Mr. Rogers and his Emmy acceptance speech, Dancing Barefoot covered by First Aid Kit, Queen and David Bowie performing Under Pressure, The Persian band Niyaz, Supersymmetry live from Arcade Fire, a profound meditation on gratitude from Brother David Steindl-Rast, the classic Powers of Ten exploration of the universe from the tiniest to vastest scales, and the Moody Blues doing Ride My Seesaw in a small club in France in 1970. And for a bonus, I loved this movie: The Dawn Wall.
  12. And for 52 short and hopefully sweet ways to develop even more happiness, love, and wisdom, try my Just One Thing Card Deck – and use coupon code GOOD25 to get 25% off and free shipping through the end of the year.

Twelve times warm wishes to you,


P.S. Last, for a Baker’s Dozen, check out these free and really useful resources: The Resilience Summit, my Well-Being Check-up, and the Being Well podcast.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and expert on the impact of toxic narcissism. She is a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

The focus of Dr. Ramani’s clinical, academic, and consultative work is the etiology and impact of narcissism and high-conflict, entitled, antagonistic personality styles on human relationships, mental health, and societal expectations. She has spoken on these issues to clinicians, educators, and researchers around the world.

She is the author of Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist, and Don't You Know Who I Am? How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility. Her work has been featured at SxSW, TEDx, and on a wide range of media platforms including Red Table Talk, the Today Show, Oxygen, Investigation Discovery, and Bravo, and she is a featured expert on the digital media mental health platform MedCircle. Dr. Durvasula’s research on personality disorders has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and she is a Consulting Editor of the scientific journal Behavioral Medicine.

Dr. Stephen Porges is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and has been president of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences, which represents approximately twenty-thousand biobehavioral scientists. He’s led a number of other organizations and received a wide variety of professional awards.

In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological states in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders, and has had a major impact on the field of psychology.

Dr. Porges has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers across a wide array of disciplines. He’s also the author of several books including The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation.

Dr. Bruce Perry is the Principal of the Neurosequential Network, Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy, and a Professor (Adjunct) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. From 1993 to 2001 he was the Thomas S. Trammell Research Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital.

He’s one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of trauma in childhood, and his work on the impact of abuse, neglect, and trauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs, and policy across the world. His work has been instrumental in describing how traumatic events in childhood change the biology of the brain.

Dr. Perry's most recent book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, was released earlier this year. Dr. Perry is also the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children, and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. Additionally, he’s authored more than 300 journal articles and book chapters and has been the recipient of a variety of professional awards.

Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith is a child clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma and issues of race. She earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard and then received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She performed postdoctoral work at the University of California San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital. She has combined her love of teaching and advocacy by serving as a professor and by directing mental health programs for children experiencing trauma, homelessness, or foster care.

Dr. Briscoe-Smith is also a senior fellow of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and is both a professor and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Wright Institute. She provides consultation and training to nonprofits and schools on how to support trauma-informed practices and cultural accountability.

Sharon Salzberg is a world-renowned teacher and New York Times bestselling author. She is widely considered one of the most influential individuals in bringing mindfulness practices to the West, and co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts alongside Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Sharon has been a student of Dipa Ma, Anagarika Munindra, and Sayadaw U Pandita alongside other masters.

Sharon has authored 10 books, and is the host of the fantastic Metta Hour podcast. She was a contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine, had her work featured in Time and on NPR, and contributed to panels alongside the Dalai Lama.

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