Twelve Good Things 2022

Twelve Good Things 2022

Each year I use an issue of the Just One Thing newsletter to offer Twelve Good Things that I think are 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. This year the Global Compassion Coalition launched with a mission to build a world based on compassion and justice by changing the way we conduct politics, business and the economy, healthcare, and science. Join the movement to inspire, celebrate, educate, influence, and most importantly – spark change.
  2. BRITE Initiative remains an organization near and dear to my heart. Their school in Haiti for kindergarten through 8th grade serves children who would not otherwise get a decent education. They have about 120 students who still need support for this school year, and you might like to join me in sponsoring one of them.
  3. Sangha Live offers a variety of free resources including Daily Meditation Sits, Sunday Sangha, Days of Practice and the Sangha Live Connect – so you can connect with others, meditate, and hear the teachings of the dharma.
  4. Launch the new year with a challenge that will calm your mind and nourish your spirit. The Mindfulness Daily Plus New Year’s Meditation Challenge with Tara Brach & Jack Kornfield is a powerful 40-day experience designed to help you develop a lasting meditation practice in less than 15 minutes a day.
  5. The Greater Good Science Center remains my go-to for research-based stories, tips, and tools for a happier life and a more compassionate society. I especially like their Happiness Podcast and their annual list of favorite books.
  6. I read some great books this year. For deep transformative practice, with crystal clear and heartfelt writing, I thoroughly recommend: Trust in Awakening by Stephen Snyder, China Root by David Hinton, and The Heart of Who We Are by Caverly Morgan. For a brilliant and practical book about stress and well-being written for women – which I got a lot out of myself – see We by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer Nadel (also Chair of the Global Compassion Coalition). For fiction, I’m always reading something (even while brushing my teeth, which my wife routinely teases me about). Elizabeth Hardwick’s classic Sleepless Nights blew me away. The Arkady Renko novels by Martin Cruz Smith, about a police detective in Moscow, offer both thrilling writing and timely insights into Russia’s history and culture. And I’ve revisited some favorite series, including Iain Banks’ Culture novels, the funny and formidable Raylan Givens from Elmore Leanord, and Sheriff Walt Longmire from Craig Johnson.
  7. Many kinds of videos entertained and/or inspired me this year. I hope that you and everyone will see Molly Kawahata in the extraordinary The Scale of Hope about the climate crisis, mountaineering, and bipolar disorder. Depending on your tastes, you might also like the British crime series Endeavour, the documentary about Richard BransonJoni Mitchell coming back with Circle GameEddie Berman and Laura Marling singing “Like a Rolling Stone,” and anything from two of my favorite bands: Angus and Julia Stone and Oh Wonder.
  8. We face challenges every day. My new Foundations of Well-Being 2.0 is a step-by-step journey in 2023 where you’ll be building up new inner strengths each week so you can face whatever obstacles are thrown your way with confidence, joy, and ease. If you sign up by December 23, you can save 40%.
  9. It’s been an up-and-down year – though what year isn’t? – and here’s some good news to end it:
    1) the S. Mint launched 5 Women Quarters, the first time women have appeared on our 25c coins;
    2) ten nations have created a network of marine conservation areas to work towards the goal of protecting 30% of the oceans by 2030;
    3) electric cars made great gains this year, but the solar-powered car is now on the horizon, with the first one in production this year from a Dutch company.
  10. Help a hurting earth with your contribution: the World Wildlife Fund helps endangered species; Giving Green is a fund that contributes to a spectrum of climate initiatives; Cool Earth protects rain forests by advocating for the end of deforestation; the Union of Concerned Scientists fights for a safer and healthier world through scientific innovation.  Also, 8 Billion Trees is a tree planting and wildlife conservation organization working to offset the 100 million tons of carbon dioxide dumped into the air each day from human activity. They have a free carbon footprint calculator, carbon offset programs, plus articles, tips, and products for leaning towards a more carbon-neutral life.
  11. Ukrainian Olha Samborska uses the HEAL method with refugee children traumatized by the war. Read about the important work she’s undertaking here.
  12. My new book Making Great Relationships gives you 50 simple, powerful practices for solving conflicts, building connection, and fostering love. You can preorder it now and get a bonus worksheet for preparing for difficult conversations.

Twelve times warm wishes to you,


P.S. For a baker’s dozen, I highly highly recommend the Being Well podcast hosted by Forrest Hanson alongside a recurring mystery guest (me!). The podcast has been downloaded 10 million times and we’ve explored topics like how to improve our relationships, deal with anxiety, heal from trauma, break old patterns, motivate ourselves, and more. I know you’ll like it!

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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