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 to notice, react to, and remember sticks than it was

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Let Things Change

What’s changing? The Practice: Let Things Change Why? The fifth of my personal Top 5 practices (all tied for first place) is open out, by which I mean relaxing into a growing sense of connection, even oneness, with all things. (The other four are be mindful, love, take in the good, and go green.) “Opening

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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 but flaky friend, a co-worker who just doesn’t like you,

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Accept Dependence

What makes your life? The Practice: Accept dependence. Why? Want to try a little experiment? Stop breathing. Really. For a few seconds, maybe a few dozen seconds, and see how it feels. For me, this experiment is an intimate way to experience a deep truth, that we live dependently, relying on 10,000 things for physical

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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 but oblivious to their inner life while they remain unmoved

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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 person, irritation with others who haven’t supported me, views about

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Tend to the Causes

Are You Watering the Fruit Tree? The Practice Tend to the causes. Why? Let’s say you want to get apples from a tree of your own. So you go to a nursery and pick a good sapling, bring it home, and plant it carefully with lots of fertilizer in rich soil. Then you water it

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Water Your Fruit Tree

What would bear lots of fruit? The Practice: Water your fruit tree. Why? My wife and kids tease me that the title of this practice is corny – and it is. Still, I like it. If you don’t nourish the things that nourish you, they wither away like a plant in dry stony ground. Looking

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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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Choose To Love

What does your heart say? The Practice: Choose to love. Why? Many years ago, I was in a significant relationship in which the other person started doing things that surprised and hurt me. I’ll preserve the privacy here so I won’t be concrete, but it was pretty intense. After going through the first wave of

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