Be Friendly

Friend or Foe? The Practice: Be friendly. Why? Friendliness is a down-to-earth approach to others that is welcoming and positive. Think about a time when someone was friendly to you – maybe drawing you into a gathering, saying hello on the sidewalk, or smiling from…

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Give No One Cause to Fear You

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…

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See the Big Picture

The tree or the forest? See the big picture. The vast majority of human acts each day are constructive: making meals, tending to children, saying hello, restraining anger, completing tasks, planting seeds, teaching, healing, nurturing, cooperating

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Stand up to Bullies

Is anyone being pushed around? The Practice Stand up to bullies. Why Humans are the most social species on the planet. Most of us spend most of our lives working, eating, sleeping, and playing in groups that range in size from two people all the…

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Leave the Red Zone

Leave the Red Zone Are you stressed or upset? The Practice Leave the Red Zone. Why There I was recently, my mind darting in different directions about projects in process, frazzled about little tasks backing up, uneasy about a tax record from 2010 we couldn’t…

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Know Where You Stand

We need to know the facts: is the stove turned off, do I have health insurance, does my partner love me, are the people who work for me getting the job done? We also need to know our values: what is fair, decent, good, and proper.

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Empty the Cup

Are you full to the rim? The Practice: Empty the cup. Why? Once upon a time, a scholar came to visit a saint. After the scholar had been orating and propounding for a while, the saint proposed some tea. She slowly filled the scholar’s cup:…

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Enjoy The Good That Lasts

Enjoy the Good That Lasts What doesn’t rust? The Practice Enjoy the good that lasts. Why So many things change. Leaves fall, friends move away, children leave home. My dad died a year ago, and my mom about ten years before that. I don’t know…

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Love What’s Real

Love What’s Real What can you count on? The Practice Love what’s real. Why Because this practice could seem so abstract or so obvious that it’s not worth doing, I am going to take longer than usual to explain why it’s so important. As I…

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Remember the Big Things

What matters most to you? The Practice: Remember the big things. Why? In every life, reminders arrive about what’s really important. I’ve recently received one myself, in a form that’s already come to countless people and will come to countless more: news of a potentially…

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