Ask Questions

What are you learning? The Practice: Ask questions. Why? My dad grew up on a ranch in North Dakota. He has a saying from his childhood – you may have heard it elsewhere – that’s: “You learn more by listening than by talking.” Sure, we…

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Have Compassion

Do You Care? The Practice: Have compassion. Why? Compassion is essentially the wish that beings not suffer – from subtle physical and emotional discomfort to agony and anguish – combined with feelings of sympathetic concern. You could have compassion for an individual (a friend in…

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See the Person Behind the Eyes

Much of the time, we interact mask-to-mask with other people. There’s a place for that. But remember times when someone saw through your mask to the real you, the person back behind your eyes. If you’re like me, those times were both unnerving and wonderful.

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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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