Relax, You’re Going to be Criticized

What are you bracing against? The Practice: Relax, you’re going to be criticized. Why? The title of this practice is a little tongue-in-cheek. What I mean is, most of us – me included – spend time worrying about criticism: past, present, and even future. Yes, try hard, keep agreements, “don’t be evil,” etc. But sooner

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Speak Truly

What’s in your heart to say? The Practice: Speak truly. Why? It’s been said that the most powerful tool for physical health is a fork (or spoon), since the choices you make with it determine the good or bad things you put into your body. In the same way, perhaps the most powerful tool for

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Lighten Up

What’s weighing you down? The Practice: Lighten up. Why? On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight. What’s in your own backpack? If you’re like most of us, you’ve got too many items on each day’s To Do list and too much stuff in the closet. Too many entanglements

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Lighten Up

What’s weighing you down? The Practice: Lighten up. Why? On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight. What’s in your own backpack? If you’re like most of us, you’ve got too many items on each day’s To Do list and too much stuff in the closet. Too many entanglements

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Lighten Up

What’s weighing you down? The Practice: Lighten up. Why? On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight. What’s in your own backpack? If you’re like most of us, you’ve got too many items on each day’s To Do list and too much stuff in the closet. Too many entanglements

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Enjoy Four Kinds of Peace

What’s your sense of peace? The Practice: Enjoy four kinds of peace. Why? “Peace” can sound merely sentimental or clichéd (“visualize whirled peas”). But deep down, it’s what most of us long for. Consider the proverb: The highest happiness is peace. Not a peace inside that ignores pain in oneself or others, or is acquired by shutting down.

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Feel Safer

Feeling safer is a tricky subject, with complications that can be both personal and political. (This topic and others are explored in depth in my interview with New Dimensions.) Yes, there are real threats out there, but evolution and other factors have left a lot of us walking around in a kind of paranoid trance.

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Don’t Take it Personally

Is it about you? The Practice: Don’t take it personally. Why? Here’s an updated parable from the ancient Taoist teacher, Chuang-Tzu: Imagine that you are floating in a canoe on a slow-moving river, having a Sunday picnic with a friend. Suddenly there is a loud thump on the side of the canoe, and it rolls

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Notice You’re Alright Right Now

Are you basically OK? The Practice Notice you’re alright right now. Why? To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved strong tendencies toward fear, including an ongoing internal trickle of unease. This little whisper of worry keeps you scanning your inner and outer worlds for signs of trouble. This background of unsettledness and watchfulness is

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Forgive Yourself

Are you hard on yourself? The Practice: Forgive yourself. Why? Everyone messes up. Me, you, the neighbors, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Ghandi, King David, the Buddha, everybody. It’s important to acknowledge mistakes, feel appropriate remorse, and learn from them so they don’t happen again. But most people keep beating themselves up way past the point of

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