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Be Choosy: Thoughts are Like Music. Listen to the Stuff You Like.

A wise person once said to me that listening to negative thoughts all day is like having the world’s largest CD collection (or I guess nowadays we would say “The world’s largest iTunes library) and all day choosing to listen to the music you hate the most. The music that depresses you. The music that […]

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Be Sweet: Giving up Sugar and Savoring the Real Sweetness of Life

I gave up sugar a week ago. I am not bragging. It’s only been a week, and a week doesn’t especially give you bragging rights. And it certainly doesn’t earn you the privilege of finger-wagging. So just to be clear: I am not wagging my finger at anyone. But I do want to tell you […]

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Be Attuned: Listening to the poetry of the mystic within

As a little girl I came down to the water/ With a little stone in my hand/ It would shimmer and sing/ And we knew everything. As a little girl I came down  . . . But, in a little while I got steeped in authority/ Heaven only knows what went wrong/ There’s nothing so cruel/ Than to bury that […]

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How To Be Grateful: “One of these days” … My philosophy of parenting

One of these days . . . One of these days my house will be clean. I will not find dirty socks stuffed between the couch cushions because it is apparently too far to walk to the hamper.  I will not have to muffle a cry of pain in the middle of the night because […]

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How to be Present to Beauty: A Memory

All I wanted was a little peace and quiet.  A moment alone.   I longed for the kind of happiness that a little self-imposed solitude might bring.  And I had it all set up just as I had envisioned it:  A cup of tea in my hands. A novel (enthusiastically recommended by a friend) sitting temptingly […]

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How to Be Aware: Take note of what goes right

“So, how was your day?” It’s a question my husband James and I have asked of one another every evening for seventeen years.  I am sure it is a question that’s asked millions of times every day.  Spouses and partners ask one another as they cook their evening meals.  Friends check in with each other.  […]

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Be Mindful: Do the dishes just to do the dishes

“Washing the dishes is at the same time a means and an end; that is, not only do we do the dishes in order to have clean dishes, we also do the dishes just to do the dishes, to live fully in each moment while washing them.” – Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh It was […]

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How To Be Responsible: Punctuate Your Life

The other day, James and I boarded an Airstream trailer parked at a curb in downtown Asheville.  The trailer is traveling around the country interviewing regular folks like us, and collecting stories about “a-ha moments.” When our interview was over, the interviewer asked me to explain what an “a-ha moment” meant to me. This is […]

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How to Be Wise: Time is like money, be careful where you invest it.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard Time is like currency.  It’s a precious commodity in limited supply. So we need to be careful how we spend it.   With money we try to be smart consumers.  We work hard to earn it and we know […]

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How To Be Real: You don’t have to settle in Cynicsville

Imagine, if you will, two towns:  Cynicsville and Pollyannatown.  Two towns beset by troubles large and small.   And yet the residents of these towns look at their troubles in decidedly different ways. The residents of Cynicsville feel they’ve seen it all.  No matter what the turn of events – good or bad — they […]

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