Happy-when

You know the feeling: I’ll be happy when I finish this project. When I solve this financial challenge. When I have the job/house/partner/child I’ve always wanted. My mother calls this “happy-when,” but it actually has a fancy name: the arrival fallacy.

Whatever we call it, it’s a favorite tool for many of [...]

77 Things That Don't Completely Suck (2012 edition)

I love this game. We play it because sometimes, feeling grateful seems like too much, especially when everyone is telling you to feel grateful. And also, holidays have all kinds of personal and political complications. So we just think of things that don’t completely suck. Like these! (Feel free to play [...]

Sneakiest assumption ever

The sneakiest assumption ever is this: other people are like us.

It’s sneaky because most of us are pretty aware that it’s not true in a wide variety of ways. We know other people don’t always look like we do, think like we do, or believe what we do. We understand that maybe when [...]

Best offer

Earlier today, I wrote to a friend:
You know that thing where you are so tired and you make bad choices just because you don’t have the energy to do anything else, and then it turns out that those choices didn’t help because — surprise! — they are bad? That is happening here.

And that was [...]

Change is hard

Actually, that’s not quite true. Some changes are easy and fun, delightful little journeys of discovery. But a lot of changes can feel hard and scary. It’s easy to get why we’re afraid when these are big changes that cause a lot of stress in obvious ways, like moving to a new [...]

A love letter to my practice

Dear Practice,
We have known each other a long time. You have been a difficult mirror for me: all the ways that I couldn’t or wouldn’t show up, all the things I feared from you, my willingness to walk away rather than face you some days.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand that this is [...]

tiny beautiful things

I just bought a book with this title, written by Cheryl Strayed of Wild fame. The bookstore clerk enthused about how much she loved it, despite sharing my dubiousness about the “self-help industrial complex.” The store gives you a bookmark with every purchase, and she quickly paged through and stuck it in. [...]

You know more than you think you do

Whatever you’re stuck on, whatever incomprehensible problem is twisting your knickers in a knot, you probably know what you need to know in order to solve it.

You already have all the tools you need. So when you reach for that new technique, the better teacher, the perfect practice, pause: are you trying [...]

77 Things That Don't Completely Suck

It is that time of year! The one where we play 77 Things That Don’t Completely Suck. Why? Because sometimes everyone telling you to be grateful makes you feel annoyed or uncomfortable, and sometimes we have mixed feelings about holidays for political or social or personal reasons. Also because it’s fun! [...]

Tribble secrets!

I am going to tell you a secret about tribbles: they often travel in groups. Or, more precisely, in lines. You think you’ve sorted a tribble out, and then you notice that behind her is her sister.

The way it works is pretty simple: once we’ve given ourselves a reason for resisting [...]