making a new year's resolution? try this

I was looking around the room during a meeting the other day, and noticed a bizarre looking mask (some kind of tribal art, I think) hanging at what seemed like an unusual height on the wall. Upon further inspection, it was revealed to be covering the thermostat.

It was also obscuring a small sign describing the effect that raising or lowering the thermostat would have on the other rooms in the suite.

"Ahh," I thought to myself, "Pure genius. What a perfect example of designing the environment to support the desired outcome."

point of contact

just a quick post to share an idle amusement, in case you find yourself in a boring meeting, long line, or traffic jam: 

Focus your attention on the points of contact -- the places where you physically or emotionally connect with the world outside of your skin -- and infuse them with warmth and tenderness.

if you decide to try it, I'd love to hear what happens!

a different unit of measurement

Note to self:

When I remember to deliberately infuse my actions with loving attention, I don't notice or care how long it takes me to accomplish a task. Even the most menial project or chore becomes simply another opportunity to add more love to the world.

So when I find myself becoming preoccupied with time -- looking at the clock or mentally tallying the minutes/hours I've spent on a task -- I wonder what would happen if instead of increasing my pace so I can finish sooner, I amped up the level of loving attention in my actions?

how not to say the wrong thing when people are in crisis

a simple, elegant diagram that makes it crystal clear who you can talk to and what you can talk about without adding to their distress:

is "loving yourself" really necessary?

warning -- there's a little rant up ahead here:

Advice like this is pretty common:
You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.

But because I like to question everything, I started looking really closely at that recently, and I decided it's a bunch of crap.

the flow of information and affection

Here's a little segment from an old article in the New Yorker by David Brooks that I just love:
I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.
Information and affection: my two most favorite experiences in life! And it's the ultimate satisfaction when they happen simultaneously, accompanied by a tasty snack.

Read the whole article here: