Trust Yourself

Who do you trust? The Practice: Trust yourself. Why? As I grew up, at home and school it felt dangerous to be myself – my whole self, including the parts that made mistakes, got rebellious and angry, goofed around too loudly, or were awkward and…

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See the Person Behind the Eyes

Even though it’s scary, everyone longs to be seen, to be known. To have your hopes and fears acknowledged – the ones behind a polite smile or a frown of frustration. To have your true caring seen, as well as your positive intentions and natural goodness.

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Tune Into Others

What Are They Feeling? The Practice: Tune into others. Why? Imagine a world in which people interacted with each other like ants or fish. Imagine a day at work like this, or in your family, aware of the surface behavior of the people around you…

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Take in the Good

Do Positive Experiences “Stick to Your Ribs?” The Practice Take in the good. Why? Scientists believe that your brain has a built-in “negativity bias.” In other words, as we evolved over millions of years, dodging sticks and chasing carrots, it was a lot more important…

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Put No One Out of Your Heart

What is an open heart? The Practice: Put no one out of your heart. Why? We all know people who are, ah, . . . challenging. It could be a critical parent, a bossy supervisor, a relative who has you walking on eggshells, a nice…

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Refill Your Cupboard

Are you self-nurturing? The Practice: Refill your cupboard. Why? [Note: This JOT is adapted from Mother Nurture, a book written for mothers – focusing on typical parenting situations and gender differences that are experienced by many, though not all, mothers and fathers, and by parents…

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Drop The Case

Who are you prosecuting? The Practice: Drop the case. Why? Lately I’ve been thinking about a kind of “case” that’s been running in my mind about someone in my extended family. The case is a combination of feeling hurt and mistreated, critique of the other…

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Being at Peace with the Pain of Others

Can you stay open to the pain of others? The Practice: Being at peace with the pain of others. Why? Humans are an empathic, compassionate, and loving species, so it is natural to feel sad, worried, or fiery about the troubles and pain of other…

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Be Amazed

Are you paying attention? The Practice: Be amazed. Why? Last night, stressing about undone tasks, I glanced in a mirror and saw my t-shirt, with its picture of a galaxy and a little sign sticking up out of its outer swirls, saying “you are here.”…

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Kindness to You is Kindness to Me; Kindness to Me is Kindness to You

What do you need? The Practice: Kindness to you is kindness to me; kindness to me is kindness to you. Why? I usually describe a practice as something to do: get on your own side, see the being behind the eyes, take in the good,…

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