Today we ask that you recognize your limits.

Recognize your limits.

What does this mean?

One of the wisest things any human can do is to accept that he does not, and cannot, know everything. This acceptance is the beginning of true intelligence.

If you spend time with children, you will often observe that they act as though they know about things they do not know. Given a small amount of information, a six year old can spin a fabulous yarn about the way reality works. For adults, such stories can be amusing, or frustrating, depending on the situation.

But what adults do not understand is that they are not really any different from children in this regard. Given a small amount of information, an adult can spin a fabulous yarn about the way reality works. The adult might speak this fabulous yarn with great conviction, so much that he persuades other adults to believe what he says.

Some religions begin this way.

Children often have a hard time admitting that they do not know things. Adults find it even more difficult to admit that they do not know things.

In the past hundred years, scientists have begun to perceive that you dwell in a universe so vast that it is utterly impossible for the human mind to grasp its scale.

Physicists have begun to perceive that the laws underlying this universe also cannot be grasped by the human mind.

Humans will continue to expand their understanding of the nature of reality. There are Einsteins yet to be born. And yet even as humans perceive more, aspects of your reality will remain utterly mysterious and vast beyond the scale of human comprehension.

So just sit with this.

Sit, for a moment, in the vastness of the universe. The countless stars in the sky, the countless undiscovered worlds and realms.

Do you really think you can know things, in such a universe?

All your opinions that you are so very right about. All these ideas that you need to argue about and defend. All these issues that you attack other people about.

Are you really so sure that you are right about everything? 

Six year olds believe they are right about everything. They are very certain about how the world should work.

Twelve year olds are also very right about everything, and very certain of how the world should work.

Perhaps it follows then that “being right about everything” and “being very certain of how the world should work” is not a sign of maturity. It is a clear sign of childishness.

When you meet someone who openly admits how little he knows, rejoice. You have met a wise person.

So that is one meaning of recognizing your limits.

Recognize the limits of your perception.

Recognize the limits of your intelligence.

This awareness will, paradoxically, increase both your perception, and your intelligence.

It is important also to recognize the limits of your physical body. You are neither a machine, nor a superhuman. You require rest, and sleep.

Children like to think they don’t need to take naps or go to bed by a reasonable hour. Parents know better.

Adults also like to think they don’t need to take naps or go to bed by a reasonable hour. They think they are “getting things done” and “being productive.”

Wise people know better.

So that is another way it is good to recognize your limits.

You are a human, with a human body and a human mind. It is a beautiful, miraculous thing. Most of you are far more powerful than you believe you are.

When you recognize and accept how little you know, it will be much easier for you to access that power.


Today we ask that you be at peace with your life, as it is.

This is the life you are supposed to have. This life, and no other.

There is no other life that you are meant to have.

The place you are in right now, at this moment — this is exactly where you are supposed to be.

There are no other earthly realities beside this one that you are experiencing right now.

There are no other “alternate timelines,” no other roads you might have gone down had you made other decisions earlier in your life.

There are no accidents, and no mistakes. This life, with all its joys and sorrows — this life is the life you are supposed to have.

Most people walk through life with a sense of dissatisfaction. Whatever your life is, it is not good enough. People believe that they are supposed to have other lives. Better lives.

Lives with more money. More recognition. Better relationships. Better health. 

If only they had x, y and z — then they would feel okay about life. But because they do not have x, y and z — life is not okay.

Yes, you do not have x, y and z. That is true.

But you do have a, b and c.

You do not have x, y and z right now because you are not meant to have x, y and z right now.

Right now, you have a, b and c.

What are a, b and c?

Anything in your life that brings you joy and meaning. Anything, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant.

Maybe you have a beloved pet. Maybe you ate or drank something delicious today. Maybe you went for a walk in the fresh air, and it felt good.

That is your a, b and c. That is what is yours, right now. That is what is meant to be yours.

And the more you focus your energy and attention on the gifts that are yours right now, the more you will enjoy this life that is yours — this life that is supposed to be yours.

Let go of x, y and z. Let go of what you think you are supposed to have, that you do not have.

People think that happiness is a complicated, unattainable thing.

But really, happiness is very simple.

A happy person loves and cherishes the life that he has been given. He desires no other life.

That does not mean happy people are unmotivated, do not have goals, and do not take action in the world.

It is false, this belief that action must always arise from a place of striving and dissatisfaction.

It is very possible to take action in the world from a place of fullness, and playful exploration.

All these miserable people on the world’s stage, all these unhappy little tyrants demanding this, attacking that…

The best way to counter and defeat such energy is not by getting dragged into the drama.

The best way to counter and defeat such energy is always by getting grounded in that which gives you joy and meaning.

If the world were populated by satisfied people, no despot would ever be able to seize power.

You do not become a satisfied person by getting all these things you think you want. Just look at the little tyrants. They may possess wealth and fame, but do they seem satisfied?

You become a satisfied person by becoming satisfied, right now, with the life that is yours.

Even one truly satisfied person can change the world, and make it a more joyful and meaningful place for everyone else.


Today we ask that you release your fixation on what other people are doing.

Let go of being so preoccupied with what other people are doing, or not doing.

Let go of fixating on politicians.

Let go of fixating on bosses and coworkers.

Let go of fixating on clients.

Let go of fixating on your mother.

Let go of fixating on your father.

Let go of fixating on your sister.

Let go of fixating on your brother.

Let go of fixating on your wife.

Let go of fixating on your husband.

Let go of fixating on your son.

Let go of fixating on your daughter.

Let go of fixating on your girlfriend or boyfriend.

Let go of fixating on your ex.

Let go of fixating on your neighbors.

Let go of fixating on your friends.

Let go of fixating on your enemies.

Let go, let go, let go.

Consider how much time in a day you spend thinking about other people, and what they are doing, and not doing.

Consider how much energy you spend feeling frustrated about other people.

If you are like most people, you are using up a lot of time and energy fixating on what other people are doing, and not doing.

And most of that time and energy is wasted, and thrown down the drain. You cannot control or change other people.

Very often the people you obsess over aren’t thinking about you all that much anyway. Celebrities and politicians aren’t thinking about you at all.

Really, if you sit with it, it is easy to see that all this time and energy spent ruminating over what other people are doing and not doing is a great waste.

If you are someone who always wishes for more time and energy, here is a place to look. You might do a lot with all the time and energy you spend ruminating over other people.

Consider how, as a child or teenager, you ruminated over this girl or that boy — someone who means very little to you now, but was a big deal back then.

People who are a big deal now will diminish for you later in life. If you are a healthy person, you will look back and see that all the fuss and drama was over nothing all that important.

Of course there are significant relationships: parents and children, siblings, spouses.

But here, too, so much of the daily drama and suffering is over nothing all that important. You are upset over this, you are upset over that.

If you go to a cemetery, you will see many graves. The names you read are the names of people who all argued and had big dramas with their fellow men. They all suffered over what people were doing, and not doing.

And then they passed out of their bodies, and the drama ended. Very often, if you heard about those old dramas, they would mostly seem rather small and foolish to you.

If people are behaving destructively, the best thing to do is to minimize engagement with them as best you can, take steps not to add fuel to the drama — and observe their behavior so that you can work on the destructive parts within yourself.

Observe people. Learn from them. Work on yourself, so that you can practice non-reactivity and compassion. Love your loved ones. Cherish your friends. Cultivate equanimity for the difficult and disturbed ones.

Let the rest go.

If you are fixating on what someone else is doing or not doing, use that valuable energy to work on yourself.


Today we ask you to release your shame.

Release your shame.

Whatever causes you to feel a sense of shame – let go of it.

Let go of your shame about your physical appearance.

Let go of your shame about where you are in life, how you are not measuring up to where you think you are supposed to be.

Let go of your shame about the mistakes you have made in the past.

Let go of your shame about the clutter in your home or office.

Let go of your shame about not being good enough at what you do.

Let go of your shame about not meeting other people’s expectations.

Let go of your shame about not meeting your own expectations.

Let go of your shame over your failures.

Let go of your shame about how you have not been a good person.

Let go of your shame about not being more evolved than you are.

Let go of your shame about your physical health issues.

Let go of your shame, let go of your shame, let go of your shame.

It is one thing to make amends to someone if you truly feel that you knowingly or unknowingly wronged them.

But being ashamed about your body, your bank account, how you are just not good enough — this doesn’t do anyone any good. This kind of shame is purely harmful.

When you feel this kind of self-negating shame, you will inevitably lash out at the people around you, even the ones you love most. Especially them.

If you are ashamed of your body, then you will shame your loved ones about their bodies — whether or not you intend to.

 If you are ashamed because you are not good enough, you will shame your loved ones for not being good enough — whether or not you intend to.

That is how toxic shame is passed down through the generations, and that is how you came to feel so ashamed in the first place.

But it can stop.

Babies are not born feeling existential shame. Babies are not born hating their bodies and feeling like they can never be good enough. These are learned behaviors.

And anything that is a learned behavior can be unlearned. All that is required is conscious awareness.

Also you must examine any beliefs you hold about shame being good and valuable — for example, that feelings of shame and worthlessness goad you into action.

You will not work unless you shame yourself for being so lazy. You will not maintain your physical appearance unless you shame yourself for being fat and ugly. You will not clean your house unless you shame yourself for being such a slob. You will not be a good, moral person unless you shame yourself for having sinful thoughts.

This is all complete nonsense. Beliefs like these are the cause of no end of human suffering, disease, and violent behavior. Truly, these thoughts, which may sound quite normal to you, are utterly insane.

If people dropped these insane beliefs, they would be vastly more productive, far healthier and more well-ordered in their lives, and much kinder and more compassionate to all humans.

In other words, people aren’t the problem. Toxic shame is the problem.

Without your shame, you would be healthier, more productive, and kinder to yourself and those around you.

Your shame blocks all of those things.

Without toxic shame, you will naturally be moved to make amends and apologize, should that situation arise.

Without toxic shame, that situation will arise much less frequently.

So you might want to ask yourself: why am I holding on to my shame? What does it do for me? 

It does not make you a better person.

Once this begins to sink in, notice how often you feel shame in any given day. Just notice how often feelings of shame come up for you. You might be surprised. 

After observing the pattern for a while, gently question it. Is the shame you are feeling really valid here?

Can you imagine living a life without shame as your motivator to do things? Can you imagine how much the people around you would benefit if you weren’t consciously or unconsciously shaming them for being the way they are?

It is totally possible for a child to grow up without a toxic sense of shame. And such a child would be highly productive, healthy, and compassionate toward others.

So just look at the ways to reduce the level of shame in your daily life.

You will find that all of your life issues — health, relationships, work, prosperity — all of those things will benefit if you simply release your shame around them.

Releasing shame is one of the simplest and most powerful things you can do to bring healing and positive change to your life.

Why not try it? You have nothing to lose but your self-loathing.

And just because everyone else feels shame about everything doesn’t mean you have to, as well. You are not betraying your parents and families if you release your shame.

Far from it. One human free of shame is a gift to the world, a blessing to whomever she touches.


Today we ask that you release your fears around the future.

Release your fears around the future.

What does this mean?

It means recognizing and accepting the truth that it is absolutely impossible for you predict the future with accuracy. All predictions are, at best, an educated guess. In reality, you cannot know your future.

Yet most people spend a great deal of time agonizing over the future, as if they know what’s going to happen.

If you look back on your life to date, you will find that generally things did not go exactly according to your plans. Unexpected events occurred. Many of your schemes and fantasies about your future never came to pass. Many of your fears about your future also never came to pass.

If you take an honest look at things, you will see that you probably wasted a great deal of time and energy locked up in mental projections of situations that never came to pass.

 The things you hoped for and feared as a child, as a young adult. How many of things came to pass as you imagined them?

This is not to say that none of your wishes came true, or that none of your fears were realized. Of course some of what you imagine in the future does come to pass, although often not exactly in the way you expected.

The point of this exercise is to be realistic about how often this actually occurs. What percentage of the time does the future unfold as you imagine it? Looking at yourself in the past, how accurate was your imagination, when you envisioned your future — for good and ill?

So just sit with that.

Because however accurate or inaccurate you were in the past regarding your predictions of the future, you are equally inaccurate now.

Some things can be predicted. It is safe to say that winter will be followed by spring. It is safe to say that if you live long enough, your physical body will age and pass away. Certain things are fairly predictable — although nothing in this reality is ever absolute (just ask the dinosaurs).

Obviously in life it is necessary to make plans for future events. If you intend to travel somewhere, you must make arrangements. And that requires a certain amount of thinking about the future.

A certain amount of planning for the future is useful and necessary.

In general, however, humans spend far more time thinking about the future than is useful. And all this time spent in worried projections is not useful. Just the opposite: it is destructive.

Worrying about the future, especially about events that are completely beyond your control, is not useful. This negative use of the imagination poisons the present moment. It drains you of vital energy needed to attend to what is right in front of you today. It causes depression, anxiety, impairs decision making, causes impulsive behavior, and places intolerable stress on the body, triggering disease.

Worrying about the future is, quite simply, bad for your health. It is also bad for the people around you, the loved ones that you worry about.

That is why it is helpful to reflect back in your life, and consider the accuracy of your future predictions.

How often did you guess correctly? Five percent of the time? Ten percent? Perhaps you have led an unusually predictable life, and you were right twenty-five percent of the time. A number this high would be quite rare.

Whatever the realistic number is for you, sit with this. It is safe to say that this number applies to all of your future predictions, right now. Right now, you are five percent or ten percent correct about what will happen. The rest, you have wrong.

The truth is, you don’t know what is going to happen. Even if you are correct about some of the big things, you have no idea how those things will unfold, what twists and turns your life will take.

Therefore the path of wisdom is to let go of trying to predict the future, let alone control it. There will be ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pleasures and challenges. The things you worry and fret over today will seem trivial tomorrow.

At the moment of your death, you will not wish that you had worried more. You will wish that you had lived more, been present more, enjoyed life as it as unfolding.

So do this now. Get out of your head, and the dark cloud of fear of the future. Those things are not happening now. Most of those things will never happen, not the way you think. Come fully into this moment. Deal with things as they arise. There is plenty for you to do in any day without worrying and brooding. Just do that, and all the rest will fall into place.



Today we ask that you find quiet.

Find quiet.

You live in a world that is increasingly noisy. It used to be that only busy cities were full of constant noise. But in the modern world, even country homes are filled with blaring televisions, and pinging smartphones. It is harder and harder to escape the fizz and buzz of human activity and noise.

And there is nothing wrong with this: the buzz of the human hive, all this interconnectedness and communication. This is an exciting and vibrant time.

However, all things must be balanced in order to maintain health.

Activity must be followed by rest. Noise must be followed by quiet.

Everything in your reality follows this rhythm: day, night; waking, sleeping. The inhale is always followed by the exhale.

Noise and stimulation must be followed by quiet and restoration. It is a simple law of your physical universe.

Violating this law leads to burnout, exhaustion, and illness.

This is true for all humans. Even someone who constitutionally thrives in noise and activity will burn out if not given periods of rest.

And this is doubly true for those who are predisposed toward thriving in a peaceful, quiet environment.

In earlier times, there were niches for quiet people: they became priests, monks, scholars, and scribes. They lived on farms, they lived in the woods. They followed the rhythms of the seasons. The nights were long, and they slept deeply.

But now everyone is expected to be lively and sociable, to network and sell themselves. To be plugged in, available, and “on” at all hours, late into the night. This is especially hard on the sensitive souls, the ones with the quiet dispositions.

If you are such a person, it is absolutely necessary that you carve out space in your life for quiet, peace, and true downtime away from the noise and the buzz.

The most practical place to start is by turning off and spending time away from one’s electronic devices: the phone, the computer, the TV. This alone is an enormous step for most modern people.

Notice the resistance you may feel around stepping away from electronic devices, the stories that come up. For example: your work requires that you are always available. Or: after a long work day, all you want to do is unwind with your favorite TV show. Or: what if you miss an important text?

But really, if you sit with this, you may see that the world is not going to end if you spend a little bit of time away from your electronic devices.

You might resolve to have one TV-free night per week. Just one night a week in which you sit quietly, perhaps reading a book, listening to music, cuddling your pets, or taking a bath.

Or you might designate time on the weekend during which you will not write emails or texts, or check social media. If you do not think you can make it a whole day without doing this, perhaps you can give yourself an electronic device free morning on a weekend.  From waking until lunchtime, you will not email, text, or check social media. Try to commit to the practice for a set period of time: you will do this for a month, let’s say.

What many people will find, after initial resistance and “withdrawal,” is that they come to deeply enjoy and relish such quiet mornings or evenings. And that even a small amount of regular, scheduled quiet time can be enormously restorative for the body, mind, and nervous system.

Many people know that eating sugary, processed food isn’t good for the body. It takes some effort, but cutting these foods out of one’s diet has an enormously positive impact on one’s overall well-being.

It is the same here. A constant diet of sensory stimulation via one’s phone, computer and TV is easily as destructive to one’s health as a poor diet.

Overstimulation is particularly destructive for children — as much, if not far more so, then sugary food.

There is no reason to feel bad or guilty about the habit of being continually plugged into electronic devices. It is the cultural norm in this time period. Most people in developed countries do it.

Of course, in the recent past, it was the cultural norm for most people to smoke cigarettes, or subsist on a diet of processed food because it was quick and convenient.

Therefore it is always wise to question the prevailing cultural norms of whatever time period you happen to be living in.

So: just gently question the practice of “always being plugged in.”

Particularly do so if you consider yourself a sensitive person who does not generally do well with a lot of noise and activity.

Play with creating quiet niches in your life: a TV-free-evening here, a text/social media free morning there. Make it fun and enjoyable. Imagine what you will do in that open, quiet time. Maybe you will go for a walk and really be present with the sights, sounds and smells of the world outside. Maybe you will curl up with a book. Maybe you will take a lovely, guilt-free nap.

Just decide. Say that Thursday night will be your dedicated TV-free night. Or that Saturday, from waking until lunch — that will be your quiet morning. You will try it for two weeks. Make it a small, easy thing to commit to. So you can see that the world is not going to end if you are unplugged for a brief period of time.

Don’t make a big deal out of it. Just play with it. See how it feels.

If you are someone who in any way feels burned out — just a little bit of quiet time will go a very long way toward restoring a healthy balance.


Today we ask that you take baby steps.

Take baby steps.

What does this mean?

Many modern people live in a constant state of “overwhelm.” There is too much to do, and nothing seems to get done. People are running around all over the place, exhausted, and yet they do not seem to get anywhere. 

There are many factors at play: never before in history have people been so distracted, their attention divided and broken. At the same time, never before in history have people demanded and expected so much of themselves.

Basically, modern humans have a habit of biting off far more than they can reasonably chew. And this is causing a great deal of life indigestion. 

So what is the remedy for this?

As with many seemingly complex problems, the answer here is not all that complicated: Simplify. Do less. Focus.

Yet while many people understand in theory that it would be good to simplify their lives and be more focused, somehow this does not happen. 

That is because your culture promotes the idea that being very busy and overwhelmed means you are doing something right. It is the mark of a virtuous, hard-working, successful person.

Beyond that, the modern lifestyle of electronic devices breeds distraction, building the sense that there is far more out there than one can possibly take in: more information, more entertainment, more emails and texts, more social media updates than one can possibly keep up with, and so on.

So this is what is going on.

Getting things done is, in truth, not all that difficult.

There is a task you wish to accomplish. You break it down into steps. You perform the steps. The task is done.

If you wish to mail a package, for example, you must pack it appropriately, then deliver it to a place from which it can be shipped.

All tasks break down this way, into small, bite-sized steps.

The problem arises when you want to mail the package, but also you are thinking about twenty other things you have to do today, and you check your phone twenty times, and you start other tasks, and so the day passes and the package is not mailed, and you feel like a bad person, but you justify to the judge in your head how very very very busy you are…

It is okay if you do not have time to mail the package today. Getting things done requires you to be realistic about your time and limitations. What does not help is thinking that you should be doing more than you can reasonably do. 

And herein lies the real problem. Culturally, modern people are conditioned to believe that they should be capable of doing a great deal more than they can reasonably do. If people did not believe this, they would actually do more.

Is this clear? It is because people believe they should be doing more than they can reasonably do, that less gets done.

Imagine shouting at a toddler who is just taking his first baby steps: “You should be walking already! You are too slow! What is wrong with you?! You will not be able to compete against the other toddlers if you don’t hurry up!”

This would be insane. What’s more, it would effectively paralyze the toddler, delaying if not outright preventing the process of learning to walk.

Yet this is exactly what most people are doing to themselves all the time.

Everything in life requires “baby steps.” Everything is a process. When people lose sight of this, and become fixated on achieving results as quickly as possible, a kind of madness sets in — and very little gets done.

You cannot bully a toddler into walking faster (although some parents, in their mad competitiveness, actually try this).

Likewise, you cannot bully yourself into doing more than you can reasonably do.

So maybe the cultural image of the “Busy, Overwhelmed, Overworked Person” is not healthy. Maybe instead of agreeing with the idea that a good, hard-working person in this age must be exhausted and overwhelmed, one should question this.

If you saw a parent yelling at a toddler to walk faster, you would probably think “That is not good.” You would question it.

So question the ways you yell at yourself, or others, for taking “baby steps.”

No baby can simply get up and walk with assurance. There is always a learning process involved.

Beyond this, how well do you think a toddler would learn to walk if he were in a state of constant distraction — say, if he were plugged into a toddler smartphone? Obviously, this would slow everything down.

If you are experiencing overwhelm, please find ways to step away from your electronic devices. Pay attention to how often you check them, and make a conscious effort to do this less.

Give yourself the time, space and freedom to take baby steps — without yelling at yourself that you ought to be going faster, and doing more.

Imagine the relief you would feel if you stopped believing that you should do more than you can do.

With all that relief, things might get accomplished magically.