See Good Intentions

What do others want? The Practice: See good intentions. Why? Hustling through an airport, I stopped to buy some water. At the shop’s refrigerator, a man was bent over, loading bottles into it. I reached past him and pulled out one he’d put … [Read more...]

See Your Part

What’s your own role? The Practice: See your part. Why? In situations or relationships with any kind of difficulty – tension, feeling hurt, conflicts, mismatches of wants . . . the usual crud – it’s natural to focus on what othe… [Read more...]

Let It R.A.I.N.

Can you be with the whole of your psyche? The Practice: Let it R.A.I.N. Why? When you’re young, the territory of the psyche is like a vast estate, with rolling hills, forests and plains, swamps and meadows. So many things can be experienced, expressed, wanted, and loved. But as life goes along, most people pull [...] [Read more...]

Find Your Own Way

Did you truly choose this path? The Practice: Find your own way. Why? The human body has about 100 trillion cells (plus another ten quadrillion microscopic critters hitching a ride, most of them beneficial or harmless). Each one of your cells has aims – goals, in a sense – controlled by its DNA: cells conduct [...] [Read more...]

Change The Channel

What can you do when nothing is working? The Practice: Change the channel. Why? In response to my previous JOT – Find Stillness – a wise therapist, Betsy Sansby, reminded me that sometimes a person just can’t find any stillness anywhere. Maybe you have epilepsy or chronic pain, or are wildly worried about a child [...] [Read more...]


Are you holding onto feeling wronged? The Practice: Forgive. Why? Forgiveness is a tricky topic. First, it has two distinct meanings: *  To give up resentment or anger *  To pardon an offense; to stop seeking punishment or recompense Here, I am going to focus on the first meaning, which is broad enough to include [...] [Read more...]

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 – did not pass on their genes. But the ones [Read More...]

See the Good in Others

What do you notice in people? The Practice: See the good in others. Why? Many interactions these days have a kind of bumper-car quality to them. At work, at home, on the telephone, via email: we sort of bounce off of each other while we exchange information, smile or frown, and move on. How often [Read More...]

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 often gain by thinking out loud, including discovering our truth [Read More...]

Hug the Monkey

Longing for love? The Practice: Hug the monkey. Why? Your brain evolved in three stages (to simplify a complex process): Reptile – Brainstem, focused on avoiding harm Mammal – Limbic system, focused on approaching rewards Primate – Cortex, focused on attaching to “us” The first JOT in this series – pet the lizard – was [Read More...]