Pausing in the midst of excitement

I recently thought of a meditation prompt that is fitting in moments of excitement, and potentially in other situations too. Sometimes when I feel really excited about good things going on in my life, it’s hard to meditate.¹ I can spend my entire 20-minute session just thinking about all the good things happening, the things I’m looking forward to doing, or the people I enjoy interacting with. While on some level it’s fine to spend 20 minutes thinking good thoughts, meditating like this is unhealthy because you’re distracted the entire time....

January 3, 2022

Questions to ask in the midst of a setback

About a month ago I experienced a setback. It was of the variety trying really hard to make outcome X happen and then not having it happen – not a huge deal, but still upsetting in the moment. I wrote down this list of thoughts and questions that helped me quite a bit. Isn’t this a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate how awesome you are at taking setbacks, rolling with the punches, plodding on?...

December 29, 2021

In praise of unconscious subroutines

There’s a certain class of bodily actions that I feel especially grateful for, and that I’ve been noticing more and more recently. I’ll call them unconscious subroutines—little functions, procedures, or actions that your brain and body carry out with next to no involvement from your conscious self. I’m not talking about totally unconscious behaviors like your heartbeat, or the defenses of your immune system, although those are cool too. I’m talking about behaviors that are sort of at the boundary of the conscious and unconscious....

December 25, 2021