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keep relaxing standingTension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” ~ Chinese Proverb

We’re moving house. Every day, we pack more things into boxes. Little by little, Frank trucks our belongings into storage. Every day, as I thread my way through echo-y rooms full of boxes and packing paper, I say to myself, “Keep relaxing.” Sometimes, when I feel really stirred up, I imagine myself leaning back into a soft bed or dissolving into the earth. “Keep relaxing. Keep relaxing.”

So far, it seems to be working. I haven’t yelled or growled at anybody yet. I’ve hardly even snapped at a hard-working, well-meaning husband.

Hardly.

Stress is everywhere. No news flash there. We all know all about it.

Even if you aren’t in the middle of a stressy mess, we all have ongoing situations that get us twisted up. For you it might be raising children or caring for an aging parent or managing a team of co-workers (and/or a difficult boss). On top of those daily things, we’re also confronted with immediate, short-term anxieties like being stuck in traffic or waiting for the doctor to call back or languishing on hold listening to loud static-y Musak.

We all know the situations and we all know the sensations, too.

When I’m stressed, I get a familiar tightening in my eyes and jaw, my heart throbs and either I breathe faster or I hold it. {CURLY BRACKET NOTE: We have the breath-holding reaction so our lungs can pull as much oxygen as possible to the muscles so they can leap into action.} When I’m under pressure, I feel a tightening, a narrowing of my perspective and a laser focus on whatever I think will make the stress go away.

Stress puts the lizard brain in action: flight, fight or freeze. Neurologically speaking, these sensations are my Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) turning on in the presence of a threat. Neuroscientist and Buddhist teacher, Rick Hanson, explains

Danger, pain, upsetting feelings, low blood sugar, excitement – and stress in general – all activate the sympathetic nervous system. And so does the anticipation of something bad (or really wonderful) . . . even if that anticipation is exaggerated or flat wrong. (from Wise Brain Bulletin, Vol 1, #5)

Fascinating, right? It doesn’t matter to the brain if the danger is a real or perceived. Either way, for the SNS, it’s game on.

[RESOURCE NOTE: Dr. Hanson’s prolific work is a brilliant resource for understanding neurological biology of the brain and body and for practical approaches for developing inner skills that promote balance and well-being. In particular, I highly recommend his book Just One Thing and in particular from that, I recommend the section called Relax on pp. 26-28.]

The good news is that I have a choice. We all do. We have the ability to consciously unhook the grip of the SNS when it isn’t helping us.

“You cannot relax too often.” ~ Tara Brach

The SNS helps me kick into high gear when I need to but often (and habitually) I spend entirely too much time there: over-scheduling, focusing on what isn’t working, rushing from one (apparently) urgent thing to another. If I let it, my modern life feeds on the edgy rush of stress. The problem is, I tend to be a big cranky pants when my SNS is over-active. Just ask the people who helped me move 5 years ago. It’s a wonder I have a single friend (or family member) left.

{CURLY BRACKET NOTE: An over-achieving SNS isn’t just bad for relationships, it’s bad for your body. Rick Hanson explains that,

Bottom-line, lighting up your SNS is not just a fleeting experience, but something that has a real stickiness to it, a lasting impact. For example, chronic activation of the SNS burdens five major systems of your body: gastrointestinal, immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, and nervous. (from Wise Brain Bulletin Vol 1, #6)}

My unskillful behavior and general tendency toward irritability are main reasons I dance, do yoga, meditate and write. Mindfulness, it turns out, is one of the activities that turns on the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS): the part that is calming and relaxing and that which allows us to digest (both food and experiences), reason, and recover.

In a recent guided meditation, Tara Brach offers the instruction, “You cannot relax often enough.” More and more, if I don’t know what to do, I do something to help myself relax. Especially these days, when I’m routinely looking for something that is snugly packed away in storage, I keep saying it to myself over and over. You cannot relax often enough.

[RESOURCE NOTE: Tara Brach is also an incredible source of great writing — her book, Radical Acceptance, was a breakthrough for me – and Tara Brach meditation teaching]

“The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything.” ~ Bill Murray

New Nia teachers sometimes ask me what I recommend they do to get ready for teaching. The first thing, I always say it that their relaxation is the greatest gift they can give their students. No matter what I’m doing, the more I can relax, the more skillful I will be. That’s because relaxation, the PNS, is who we are. Amazingly, if you were to disconnect your SNS, you would live just fine (although a bit lethargically) but if you disconnected the PNS, you would die almost immediately.

The key is knowing that you have the ability to turn on your PNS and then practicing doing it. Simple things like deep breathing (particularly emphasizing the exhalation), mindfulness on the body, meditation and even yawning will slow your heart rate and get your PNS on line.

It’s not difficult to trigger relaxation, we only have to remember to do it (especially when we’re caught up in the swirl of SNS). So while it’s a brilliant move to relax when something tense is happening, it’s also a great idea to practice when things are chill and the stakes aren’t so high.

Practicing relaxation is essential for our health and well-being — and it helps us do everything better. Turning on the PNS is actually bringing us into our true nature. Again, Rick Hanson explains that

The PNS is wallpaper, sky, taken for granted, undramatic, in the background. Human culture, and definitely the modern media of television and movies, are largely about the SNS. Action, conflict, sex, million dollar moments, death, crisis, fairy-tale endings, etc. are different and dramatic. It’s therefore easy to start thinking that chronic stress and living awash in the SNS are what’s really natural, the bedrock of existence. But in reality, cooperation, relaxation, and equilibrium are the hub of the great wheel of life.

So keep relaxing. As the Chinese proverb says, “relaxation is who you are.”

generosity receive open hands“Life gives to each one of us in so many ways. … You don’t earn these things. You can’t. They are just given. The best you can do is to receive them. That helps fill your own cup, which is good for both you and others.” ~ from Rick Hanson “Receive Generosity”

As a teenager, I was an awkward gift-receiver (sometimes I still am). Oh, I wrote thank you notes and all that, but from the inside, receiving a gift, particularly a generous gift, was a swirl of conflicting emotion. Receiving filled me with excitement and anxiety. There was often a bunch of blushing and stammering involved. I felt special and loved when receiving a gift but immediately on the heels of that was the concern that I didn’t deserve it and that I could never repay it.

The result was that I didn’t fully acknowledge the gifts I was given.
What’s more, I wasn’t able to truly receive them, to fully appreciate and take them in.

The very first thing each of us did in this world was to receive a breath. From the moment of birth (and before then, too, when considering the gifts of the womb), life continuously gives generously to each of us. No matter what your circumstances, life offers staggering generosity.

As Rick Hanson points out brilliantly in “Receive Generosity,” everything from the kindness of friends and family, to strangers whose work and lives have positively impacted yours, to the great bountiful gifts in nature, to your very DNA are all gifts flowing to you all the time.

Life is so extraordinarily generous, in fact, that it can be easy to take it for granted, or not notice the gifts at all. I can also have attachments or beliefs around receiving: an anxious feeling that I’m not worthy of the gift or the suspicion that there are strings attached.

Experiment with receiving generosity graciously: to notice a gift for all that it is, to soften and to accept it gratefully. You can do it in this moment by receiving graciously the gift of your senses. Take in the colors and shapes that you can see, the sounds you can hear, the touch you can feel, the fragrance of the moment, and the taste in your mouth.

As Dr. Hanson suggests, we can expand this further to the gifts the natural world, the material gifts of our lives, the gifts of the people around us, even things that are challenging, difficult, even heart-breaking. Honestly, life’s generosity is stunning but the key is feeling your worthiness to receive it.

In a recent post on her genius Momastery blog, Glennon Doyle Melton tells her visit to a community-building organization called Caminante in Dominican Republic. She describes Benjamin whose life was caught in drugs and violence. He came to Caminante to get job skills but he described how he received much more than that. He said, “We know that when we give, we should give from the heart, but I didn’t know that when we receive, we need to receive from the heart as well. My teacher showed me how to receive the love that exists for me. I have to believe I’m worthy of receiving it. I receive it now. By teaching me to receive love, my teacher created a new me.”

The emphasis in Benjamin’s quote is mine. Feel the truth of this ~ you need to receive from the heart and you are worthy of receiving.

What I’m suggesting is, in part, a practice of gratitude, but more than that, it is a practice of allowing yourself to receive with an open, undefended heart. Practice fully noticing, appreciating and allowing in the gifts and love that is generously given. To receive generosity and to do so graciously is part of living mindfully and of loving fully.

eggbeaterLive as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever.”  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Yesterday, I wrote about all the things I learned on my Radical Sabbatical – and then promptly didn’t do when my sabbatical was over!  One perspective on what might seem like illogical behavior can be found in the Four Stages of Competence.

I learned some things and had some insights, but I hadn’t practiced them enough to embody them, so I went back to my old habits (I moved from Stage 1, Unconscious Incompetence, to Stage 2, Conscious Incompetence).  Learning was important but it wasn’t enough to change me.  Change and mastery happen in a cycle:  Learn, Practice and Embody (and repeat!).

Ever borrow a friend’s car and feel like a complete spaz driving it?  You go to put the turn signal on and the windshield wipers start?  It feels like someone’s put an eggbeater in your brain. That feeling of being confused and bamfoozled?  That oogie feeling?  That, my friends, is the sensation of learning or Conscious Incompetence!  We know what we want to do but we aren’t able to do it.  It feels strange and gawky, but no worries, it is just part of the process!

“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”  “Practice, practice, practice.” ~ old joke

After learning (Stage 1 to 2), the next part of the cycle is practice.  I’m practicing when the intense awkward feeling passes (mostly, anyway), and the focused work begins.  In practice, I do the newly learned skill over and over with concentration and attention.  At the beginning, I may fluctuate between learning (Stage 2) and practice (Stage 3) and then back again.

Many teachers and trainers believe that all we need to gain a skill or change our behavior (or thinking) is the information:  the learning that shows us why we should do it.  But most people do better with the information and experience to really learn it.  (Ever try to eat more green leafy veggies or go to bed early instead of watching Downton Abbey until all hours because you know that it will be better for you?  Ever have a little trouble with that?  Yeah.  Me, too.  For ideas about how to start a new habit, click here.)

Practice might seem like grunt work:  the discipline that comes after the spark of learning and before the grace of mastery.  Practice in its pure form, though, is both indispensable and energizing.  When I am practicing, I am absorbed in the process and noticing the details.  This kind of attention allows for on-going discovery and refinement.

With continued practice, I move from Stage 3, Conscious Competence, to Stage 4, Unconscious Competence, when I can do the skill without thought or effort.  This stage of complete embodiment or mastery then cycles back into Stage 1.  The very nature of Stage 4’s unconsciousness can lead to a tendency not to consider advances or other approaches which could improve my abilities and outcomes.  On some level, no matter what our level of expertise, there is always more to learn and new details to practice.  (Remember the Beginner’s Mind post?)

While this cycle may seem like an endless series of awkward learnings followed by never-ending practice, there is tremendously cool news!  The process of learning and then practicing changes your brain.

“What is the strongest force in the Universe?” “The force of habit.” ~ another old joke

Your brain wants to be efficient, so whenever it can, it creates shortcuts and habits to reduce the energy it takes to do things we do often.  Imagine the effort of typing or driving a car if you had to really focus on all the details of those skills?  It would be exhausting just to drive across town or write an email!

Learning something new, on the other hand, burns new neural pathways in your brain.  Learning makes connections where there weren’t connections before.  Which is, as previously mentioned, entirely and tremendously cool — especially since 15 years ago, neuroscientists believed that the adult brain was  not only finished growing but that neurons were being pruned in the brain.  For a long time, science told us that an adult brain couldn’t change!  But loads of current neuroscience shows that the cycle of competency actually allows our brains to transform and develop – no matter how old we are.

Practicing Nia is a process of learning, practicing and embodying.  By moving in a wide variety of ways, speeds, ranges of motion, and patterns, your body and brain are always learning.  If you are new to class, you are doing a lot of learning/Stage 2!  If you are doing movements that you’ve done before, you may be doing more practicing/Stage 3.  Eventually, we can embody the movements in Stage 4/Unconscious Competence…but in Nia, we don’t stay there very long!  It is The Body’s Way to be in this cycle of learning, practicing and embodying, constantly stimulating not just your bones, muscles and connective tissue, but your brain and nervous system!

I hope you’ll join me this week in finding something new to learn and practice.  Enjoy the oogie sensation and know that it is expanding the capacity of your brain – keeping you vibrant, young and alive.

MLK w quote

Even when I want more love, often when faced with hate, anger, or fear, I bring hate, anger, and fear.

Anyone who hurts is hurting.  The dog may bark and seem dangerous, but her leg is in a trap.  Suddenly, we see why she snarls.

Think of that dog when someone hurts you (or YOU hurt you).  When you are harsh, your brain wants you safe.  So ask “What else can I do to keep me safe?”  (Listen to Kristin Neff’s talk in The (FREE) Compassionate Brain series!)

Meet shortcomings or unskillful actions (yours or others’) with love, not hate.

MLK w datesDarkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.

For a dozen years, I lived and drove in Boston.  The city’s twisting streets, heavy traffic at all hours and impatient, angry drivers are all notorious – and with good reason.  One afternoon, I was driving from Boston into Cambridge with my beloved friend, Joni.  We were going to a new gourmet store to buy something extraordinary (cheese, probably) and I wasn’t sure where I was going.  As I hesitated at an intersection, the car behind me honked hard and insistent.  I immediately felt embarrassed and upset.  I continued on and another car nudged out of a parking space hoping to merge into the flow of traffic.  I honked nastily to keep her back.  Joni laughed and looked at me, “What are you doing, silly?” she said.  “You just honked at her because somebody else honked at you.”

It seems obvious, doesn’t it?  If there is a dark place that we want to be lighter, we bring light to it, not more darkness.  And yet when there is hate or anger or fear, so often what we bring is more hate, anger and fear.

We see this everywhere:  in politics, between countries, between siblings, in marriages, and inside ourselves.  One side is angry or hateful and the other side pushes back with more of the same.  It’s an ancient response from our threat/defense system and ultimately, it doesn’t serve us.

Anyone who hurts is hurting.  Over and over, I’m struck by the truth of this.  If someone hurts you, it is because they, themselves are hurting.  Tara Brach, psychologist and Buddhist teacher, uses the image of coming upon a snarling, snapping, growling dog.  Our first reaction is to pull away, thinking this is a wild and dangerous creature.  Upon looking closer, however, we see that the dog’s leg is caught in a trap.  Suddenly, our response changes entirely to one of compassion, care, and a desire to relieve the poor creature’s suffering.

The next time someone honks at you in traffic, or speaks to you harshly, or even guns down dozens of elementary school students, think of the dog in the trap.  This perspective doesn’t make the hurtful, hateful actions right, but it gives us an understanding that is far more skillful than hating them back.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”― Gandhi

The place to start, of course, is where you are.  In your own skin.  In your own head.  I know that I spend a startlingly large amount of time each day judging, criticizing and chastising myself within the confines of my own noggin.  How could I miss that appointment?  Why did I say that thoughtless thing?  Why did I have to eat all of Kate’s chia seed cookies?  In some way, I think that if I stay on myself, keep the bar high, keep cracking the whip, then I’ll get better, be kinder, act smarter.  But imagine a close friend or a beloved child committing the same infraction.  Imagine them missing the appointment or eating the cookies.  What would you say to them?  Do you really think that harshness will beget happiness, or that relentless criticism will lead to love?

There is neuroscience that explains both our tendency to be hyper-self-critical and why self-compassion works to ease the suffering.  I notice something about myself that I don’t like (it could be anything from the shape of my thighs to the way I spoke to my teenager) and I react with anger or fear that awakens our threat/defense system.  The amygdala, in an effort to keep me safe, fires and shifts me into the lower, limbic brain to attack the threat.  The problem is that the threat is me!  So a more skillful approach is to ask “What can I do other than being harsh and critical to keep me safe?”  (Rick Hanson led an amazing series of talks last fall called The Compassionate Brain.  The sixth talk in the series was with Dr. Kristin Neff who is an expert in self-compassion.  She talks brilliantly about this phenomenon and how we can address it skillfully.  The series is free and I recommend it highly.)

This week, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we will play with moving with kindness and compassion.  This is an internal, personal practice that I can feel in my body.  When my eyes are soft and my hands are receptive, it is a way of being kinder to myself.  When I meet my shortcomings or unskillful actions with the recognition that I’m hurting in some way, I can recognize that I need love, not hate.  Only light can drive out darkness.  Only love can drive out hate.  And we have to start where we are, with ourselves.

May you be safe and well,

Love,

Susan

“At all times and in all places, always be the first to smile.”  — Mike Dooley, aka The Universe

When I was a teenager, my dad told me a story about when he was a teenager.  He recalled having a dreadful day and feeling decidedly downcast, and as he walked through the hall at school, a girl he didn’t know smiled at him.  As he told me the story, he grinned at the recollection and shook his head incredulously, “It made all the difference.  It’s amazing the power of a smile.”

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ― Mother Teresa

 Smile Power works wonders inside and out.  Neuroscience, psychology and experience offer lots of evidence to support that smiling has positive effects to both the smiler and the “smilee” (someone who sees a smile). In his book, Just One Thing, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson highlights several smiling benefits:

  • Calms the stress response and releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine
  • Inclines the smiler to see things positively
  • Enhances “approach behaviors” which allow the smiler to see opportunities and pursue them confidently
  • Mirror neurons in the brain (that are at the root of empathy), allow a “smilee” to feel and act better which then reflects back to the smiler who feels and acts even better, and so on and so on
  • When a smilee sees a smile, their evolutionary inclination to be guarded around others is toned way down, making the smiler more approachable

Just for grins, click here for more on the science of smiling in this great article that sums up much of the smile research.

No kind of smile, not even an authentic one, cures unhappiness or grief.  But if I’m feeling neutral, smiling nudges me into the feel-good (or at least feel-better) zone.  I may not be feeling down or hostile, but when I’m caught up in the doings of my day, focused on the next thing, I may put my head down and LOOK like I am.  (I remember this when I lived in Boston:  dozens and dozens of people walking on a sidewalk, riding a subway, waiting in line at a bank with their heads down and their faces blank.)  Smiling pops me back into connection and helps me feel and act better.  As a double bonus, smiling reverberates out to others, too.

These days, I make it a practice to look at people and smile, reminding myself that everybody just wants to be happy and everybody is carrying a heavy load.  Sometimes people look at me like I’m nuts, others look around as if I must be looking at someone else, but most people smile back.  And when that happens, it is like the sun popping out from behind the clouds. It feels good.

“The world is like a mirror; frown at it, and it frowns at you. Smile and it smiles, too” ― Herbert Samuels

In Nia, students often tell me they hate the mirrors.  I get it:  self-judgment and comparison (aptly called the “killer of all Joy”) can be fierce in the glow of the florescent lights.  Could it be that if we are looking at our own image with criticism, that the scowl is what we see and it feels bad.  What if we smiled and offered friendliness and care to ourselves as we look in those big mirrors?  Interestingly, research shows that seeing myself smile in the mirror has almost a double effect!

Lately, I’ve been playing with smiling not just with my face, but with my body.  Ever see someone smile with just their mouth and not their eyes?  Not terribly convincing, is it?  Or someone whose face smiles, but whose body is contracted or closed.  One of my teachers noticed this in my movement:  that I can be smiling with my face (maybe even an all-out, full wattage grin) and my body doesn’t reflect the smile.  What would it look and feel like to smile with your arms and hands?  With the movement of your core and heart?  With the steps and stances of your base?  Sometimes, when I’m struggling or having a difficult time, if I let my body smile into movement, the genuine feeling moves into my heart and my face.  Smiling is infectious between and within people!

  “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh

This week, play with meeting life with a smile – in your face and your body.  Notice what gets reflected back from yourself and all the lucky others who you see along the way!  Shine on.

Happy New Year!!

Did you know that in the 13 Moon Natural Time Calendar, a new year started this week?

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t either.

When I did my first Nia training in 2000, I learned about the Natural Time calendar and while I’m no expert on its intricacies, I do enjoy following its patterns of symmetry and uniqueness.  At its core, it’s pretty simple:  rather than the 12 uneven months of the Gregorian calendar, the Natural Time Calendar follows the moon cycles.  As the Law of Time Web site describes in its tutorial:

13 Moons x 28 days = 364 days = 52 seven-day weeks. The 365th day of the year is called the Day Out of Time, a day to celebrate peace through culture, time is art and practice universal forgiveness so that everyone can start the next year fresh!

Wednesday, July 25 was this 365th day:  the Day Out of Time.  This is a unique day that is separate from the perfect order of 13 moons with 28 days each.  The Day Out of Time is a pause between the old year and the new, and it’s used to celebrate and reflect.  Natural Time folks around the world celebrate “peace through culture” on this day, but I prefer to focus on forgiveness and releasing resentments for the Day Out of Time.

On Wednesday, I was thinking about the Day Out of Time and I wondered, “Who or what do I need to forgive today?”  No big grudge or transgression that I needed to let go of came to mind.  As is my radical sabbatical practice, I did an early-morning loving kindness, or metta, meditation – offering good wishes for safety and health and well-being to people in my life.  As I went through name after name, offering my good wishes, I noticed when I came to a couple of people that I had a little tightening or holding.  Not a great wrenching, just a little tightening.  I was somewhat surprised since some of those people I tightened up about are near and dear to me and I love them very much.

So what’s up with that?

I remembered a post from Rick Hanson about forgiveness, so I went back to it.  What he wrote was helpful.  He said,

 forgiveness can seem lofty, like it only applies to big things, like crimes or adultery. But most forgiving is for the small bruises of daily life, when others let you down, thwart or hassle you, or just rub you the wrong way.

And I realized that this was exactly what I was feeling.  No major wrongdoing, just little nigglings of resentment.

For me, it’s easy to either ignore or devalue these little upsets.  It might be a sense that a friend is too busy for you, or that your teenager isn’t being responsible in the way you think she should.  Maybe you find your partner’s habit of leaving the dishes in the sink an annoyance, or you feel resentment that you haven’t gotten any decent sleep since the new baby arrived.  We may have different things that give us the sense of being slighted or bruised.  I often find these little splinters of feelings come up with those who I’m closest to, and since I love them and care deeply for them, often I don’t give myself the chance to really feel  and acknowledge them.  Some part of me says, “You shouldn’t feel that way about your friend/partner/child/baby,” and I nudge the feeling aside.  It’s still there, like a tiny splinter of glass in my foot that hurts when I step a certain way.  That splinter has me walking off-balance until I take the time to find it and take it out.  Dr. Hanson reminds me that forgiveness can be for the little things, and the Day Out of Time is an opportunity to notice the feelings of resentment or hurt and let them go.

Importantly, forgiveness doesn’t mean either approval of offending behavior or letting someone have a free pass for what has happened.  As Dr. Hanson writes, “Finding forgiveness can walk hand in hand with pursuing justice.”  And forgiveness doesn’t mean that I don’t need to address the situation that is causing the hurt or resentment.  If someone keeps leaving her peanut butter sandwich remnants on the coffee table, that someone needs a reminder about what to do with leftovers and dirty dishes.  Forgiveness, in my experience, isn’t about avoiding the conversation or setting the boundary or even taking legal action.  Forgiveness allows me to do those things more skillfully and with compassion for everyone involved. Forgiveness allows me to release the pinch of bitterness.  Forgiveness is about letting go and being ready to either take the next steps or to start again.

Dr. Hanson goes on to point out that paradoxically, when I forgive someone, it’s me that gets the benefit.  He offers, “Consider two situations: in one, someone has a grudge against you but then forgives you; in the other situation, you have a grudge against someone but then let it go. Which situation takes more of a weight off of your heart? Generally it’s the second one, since you take your own heart wherever you go.”  Sitting on my cushion on Wednesday morning, that’s exactly what I felt:  a loosening of my heart as I recognized the hurt and chose to let it go.

It may seem like a small thing:  to notice an injury and let it go without speaking a word to anyone.  A small act and one that frees up a lot of energy.  For me, it is a great way to clear my heart and mind for a new year.  So whether you’ve ever heard of the Natural Time Calendar or not, whether you even knew we were starting a new year or not, the invitation is the same:  take some time this week to notice any pinching feelings you have about anyone in your life (or even on the news) – be it your family, friends or the cashier at the grocery store.  See if you can take your own Day Out of Time to let the resentment go, and make choices from there about how to move forward skillfully.

Happy New Year, everybody.  In Lak’ech!*

 

* In Lak’ech is a Mayan greeting that means “I am another you” or “I am you, you are me.”

 

 

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