Drop Tart Tone

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 over-the-top phrases like "you're such a flake" or "that was stupid." More often it was the intonation in my voice, a harsh vibe or look, interrupting, or a certain intensity in my body. However I did … [Read more...]

Lower the Pressure

Is it truly urgent? The Practice: Lower the pressure. Why?Things come at us with so much urgency and demand these days. Phones ring, texts buzz, emails pile up, new balls have to be juggled, work days lengthen and move into evenings and weekends, traffic gets denser, financial demands feel like a knife at the neck, ads and news clamor for attention, push push push PUSH.On top of these external pressures, we deal with internal ones as well. These include all the inner "shoulds," … [Read more...]

See Beings Not Bodies

What happens when you look at someone? The Practice: See beings, not bodies. Why?When we encounter someone, usually the mind automatically slots the person into a category: man, woman, your friend Tom, the kid next door, etc. Watch this happen in your own mind as you meet or talk with a co-worker, salesclerk, or family member.In effect, the mind summarizes and simplifies tons of details into a single thing - a human thing to be sure, but one with an umbrella label that makes it … [Read more...]

Receive Generosity

Do you accept the gift? The Practice: Receive generosity. Why?Life gives to each one of us in so many ways.For starters, there’s the bounty of the senses – including chocolate chip cookies, jasmine, sunsets, wind singing through pine trees, and just getting your back scratched.What does life give you?Consider the kindness of friends and family, made more tangible during a holiday season, but of course continuing throughout the year.Or the giving of the people whose hard wor … [Read more...]

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

What's the most important thing? The Practice: Keep your eyes on the prize. Why?Have you heard this saying?The most important thing is to remember the most important thing.What are the most important things to you? In your life as a whole? During a particular interaction with someone? Right this minute?The most important things often get pushed to the sidelines. Urgent crowds out important. Modern life is full of distracting clamor, from text messages and emails to window … [Read more...]

Give No One Cause to Fear You

Give No One Cause to Fear You - Just One Thing

What puts people at ease? The Practice: Give no one cause to fear you. Why?We evolved to be afraid.The ancient ancestors that were casual and blithely hopeful, underestimating the risks around them - predators, loss of food, aggression from others of their kind - did not pass on their genes. But the ones that were nervous were very successful - and we are their great-grandchildren, sitting atop the food chain.Consequently, multiple hair-trigger systems in your brain continually … [Read more...]

See the Good in Others

What do you notice in people? The Practice: See the good in others. Why?Many interactions these days have a kind of bumper-car quality to them. At work, at home, on the telephone, via email: we sort of bounce off of each other while we exchange information, smile or frown, and move on. How often do we actually take the extra few seconds to get a sense of what's inside other people - especially their good qualities?In fact, because of what scientists call the brain's "negativity bias" … [Read more...]


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