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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 Grateful: May You Have Many Worries

“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh My mother was what you might call a “professional worrier.” She worried with skill, power, and acumen. She could incisively hone in on the most seemingly benign situation and find within it some kernel of […]

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How To Be Unburdened: Stop wrestling with your negative thoughts!

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a simple proposal: “Name one thing you can let go of today to lighten your load.” I expected to get concrete answers: meetings, errands, appointments, household clutter, or chores. What I got back surprised me.  Most of the answers were not about concrete objects or time-sensitive work, but about habitual thoughts, […]

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How To Be Joyful: Don’t wipe that dumb grin off your face

I can often be spotted driving along in my minivan, all alone, grinning to myself. Sometimes I think for all the world I look as if I don’t have a brain in my head.  But isn’t that interesting? Why is it that when we see someone smiling “for no reason at all” we assume that […]

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How To Be Happy: Forget your troubles? Easier sung than done!

Remember the Judy Garland song that goes,  “Forget your troubles! C’mon get happy!”? It’s a great tune if you want to get up and dance.  But as advice goes, it’s pretty lousy.   First of all, it’s scarce on details.  Forget your troubles? How does one even begin  to do such a thing? Our troubles […]

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How To Be Patient: Rethinking Red Lights

When I was little, I used to love traffic signals.  I loved the way they kept our car rides interesting by punctuating otherwise tedious trips with spontaneous, colorful light shows.  I loved how they glowed at night like magical beacons in the darkness. I enjoyed the way they blinked and winked, like friendly robots that […]

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How To Be Strong: Resist Those Purchases that promise you happiness

These past few months I have been working madly to de-clutter our home.  Actually, not madly.  Mindfully.  Or maybe it is a bit of both.  I have been trying to find some breathing room within it, both literally and figuratively.  It has been a real period of reckoning for me and for my family. After […]

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How To Be Unburdened: Give Your Complaints a Little Trim

Am I burdened? Or am I blessed? I have a house to clean. I have children to shuttle around. I have a job that needs to be attended to. I have money that I am not managing as well as I could. I have tons friends I just can’t seem to keep up with. There […]

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How To Be Relaxed: Don’t give in to “Prepositional Panic”

I suffer intermittently from a widely suffered yet rarely diagnosed syndrome.  It’s called Prepositional Panic.  I thought I might describe the symptoms to you so that in case you suffer from the same ailment, you might seek treatment for your symptoms.   Those who suffer from Prepositional Panic might find that they suffer from a […]

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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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