love & humans

But is it REALLY okay?

#makeitok is a hashtag for those of us who want to end the stigma around mental illness. For those of us who want talking about and attending to mental health to be a normal, accepted, an “ok” part of life. In the last few years I’ve been really impressed by the differences in the shapes … Continue reading “But is it REALLY okay?”

Love is it.

It’s a new year, and I’m sitting at a coffee shop thinking about what I want to do as a writer this year. I want to grow. I want to get better at writing. I want to make more of an impact. I want to take it seriously. I want to chase the dreams I … Continue reading “Love is it.”

Deeper

Do you ever catch yourself looking into someone’s eyes just a little longer and thinking “holy **** there’s an actual person in there!” before quickly breaking eye contact and saying something like “ugh, winter” or “thank god it’s Friday” just to lighten the tension of the tangible spirituality you just experienced between two powerfully human … Continue reading “Deeper”

The magic of conversation

How many unsaid things do you have simmering inside of you? Saying things out loud helps in so many ways. It helps us think through things, solidify things, feel things, get over things. Sometimes just letting out a frustration makes it stop hurting, or putting an anxiety into words suddenly reveals its harmlessness. Many of … Continue reading “The magic of conversation”

namaste

What if every time you spoke to someone, you first stopped to remind yourself that the person you’re about to speak to is a human, just like you? With feelings, with needs, with scars, with longings, with heart . . . And that to be human is a miracle. Sometimes a powerful miracle. Sometimes a … Continue reading “namaste”

Real People

Every person is a real person. Meaning they’ve got the inspiring, smiley parts and the sad, scary parts. The person you’re really close to, the person you’ve never met, and even the person you really look up to as a sort of superhuman. And even yourself. It’s good to just think about this every once … Continue reading “Real People”

Attention-seeking

What if half our problem is that we’re not asking for attention? Junko is a handful, but she’s not complicated. She is a 2-year-old very-puppy who has no qualms about putting her foot down (literally–like on top of us) when she needs . . . . . or even just “wants” attention. (Is there really … Continue reading “Attention-seeking”

From 1 to 92

and so I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from one to ninety-two The Christmas Song One of my earliest vivid memories, marked by the musty smell of old books in the college library: Two fellow professors stopped my dad and struck up a conversation. They held their briefcases and said big sentences to each … Continue reading “From 1 to 92”

We need you

What is waiting inside of you that the world needs? What love is waiting to be expressed? What music is waiting to be felt? What words are waiting to be heard? What art is waiting to move people? What stories are waiting to be told? What would be the harm in showing up for the … Continue reading “We need you”

Why not both?

“Wolde ye bothe eate your cake, and haue your cake?” ~ John Heywood, 1546, in his book, A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the english tongue “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” I’ve actually never appreciated this old proverb. It’s not that I think it’s wrong, just … Continue reading “Why not both?”

Love

Love is not a finite resource. There isn’t a limited number of love things to pass around. Which means holding on tightly to the love inside you, instead of giving it away, isn’t the way to get love. At times I have felt like it is safest to not express all of the big love … Continue reading “Love”

Why nobody can hear the alarm anymore, and what you and I can do about it today

There’s a reason it seems nearly impossible these days that our country could deal decisively with a genuinely dangerous or unfit leader. It has to do with the way you and I speak every day. Our problem, if we can stand a little self-reflection, is that you and I habitually label as “dangerous” or “unfit” … Continue reading “Why nobody can hear the alarm anymore, and what you and I can do about it today”

Are you really seeing them?

“Look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn Have you ever found yourself looking back at old memories–photos, messages, etc–and realizing that your opinion now of an old friend is entirely different than it used to be? For example, I used … Continue reading “Are you really seeing them?”

Merry Christmas 2019!

Merry Christmas friends! Christmas is my favorite holiday. Hands down. The tree goes up early and comes down late. All the tunes and the cozy hot drinks and the warm-fuzzy movies and the snowy walks. That’s not to say I’m never sad or stressed on Christmas. Christmas used to be sad and stressful for me, and … Continue reading “Merry Christmas 2019!”

Dare to connect

There are lots and lots of people in the world. And all of them want friends. Everybody wants the really good kind of friends–the kind that support. The kind you can be real around. The kind that smile and hug and laugh. The kind you can call when you need. You’re not the only one … Continue reading “Dare to connect”

Comfortable-to-Anti-Racist ratio

A lot of well-meaning Americans are scratching their heads and, their feelings a little hurt, saying “Hey wait, I’m not a racist!” And it’s true. Most Americans aren’t white supremacists. Most Americans think that being Black is as exactly, beautifully, perfectly human as being white. Sure, lots of us non-racists accidentally have some subconscious biases built … Continue reading “Comfortable-to-Anti-Racist ratio”

What you focus on

For the first time when I was about seventeen, I noticed a Dodge Charger. Bright red, powerful looking, muscle from bumper to bumper. Wow, I thought, here is a unique and beautiful car. I must have one. Over the next couple weeks, half the population seemed to share my revelation and purchase their own Dodge … Continue reading “What you focus on”

Happy Thanksgiving 2019!

Happy Thanksgiving 2019! Last year I wrote that I thought that year was the oddest year of my life. I was wrong. This year. 100%. Odd isn’t bad, though. I have a lot to be thankful for. There’s all the usual, but there are some things I’m especially, newly thankful for this year. An odd … Continue reading “Happy Thanksgiving 2019!”

Why Can’t You Talk About It?

Countless times, I’ve heard people say “I can’t say it” or “I can’t talk about it”–or worst of all, “I’m not supposed to tell anyone.” Who says??? With a very few obvious exceptions (like corporate information that makes your company competitive or like national security and military secrets), you CAN talk about anything you feel you … Continue reading “Why Can’t You Talk About It?”

Waking Up in Addis Ababa

I climbed down the stairs out of the plane and walked across a big runway and in through a little door into a big warehouse-like building. Mobs of people crowded the little airport, all speaking languages I didn’t understand. I had arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Scanning the crowds, I finally found my host. Accompanying … Continue reading “Waking Up in Addis Ababa”

A year later (compassion: we all have some crappy things we need people to understand)

Yesterday I felt really upset and sad that I got a concussion last year. A year–seems like this should be done now, right? When I had my first concussion, everything felt pretty normal again a few months later. This time, it’s been almost a year, and I don’t feel like myself. I think the last … Continue reading “A year later (compassion: we all have some crappy things we need people to understand)”

When life gets normal again

I have an idea. Get a piece of paper and write down some of your deepest thoughts from these lonely, scary, inspiring, deeply humanizing coronavirus days. Thoughts about yourself, about the world, about your neighbors and friends, about hope and kindness and sacrifice. Thoughts about what matters. Then bury it somewhere in your closet with … Continue reading “When life gets normal again”

Who are you affecting today?

Think back to the last time someone ruined your day. How did it happen? There’s a good chance they were just being thoughtless, careless. Maybe they lost their temper. What they probably didn’t do is wake up that morning and think, “Man, I am going to RUIN so-and-so’s day!!!” You were just collateral damage. Unlucky. Wrong … Continue reading “Who are you affecting today?”

Wishes for 2021

My wish for 2021: That it will be a year of LOVE. In 2021, we will listen more. In 2021, we will surround ourselves with people who look and think and sound and live and celebrate and feel and act differently than we do. In 2021, we will work together with people who are not … Continue reading “Wishes for 2021”

Tiny tiny tiny

Picture a map of the world. Do you see that tiny tiny tiny dot where you live? You and I are tiny tiny tiny creatures in a great big world. In August 2011, the Juno spacecraft, on its way to Jupiter, took pictures of the earth from one million miles away. Have you seen one … Continue reading “Tiny tiny tiny”