Meditation on impermanence and death is a profoundly helpful practice when done properly, without a “poor me” mentality. Looking directly at the impermanence and fragility of life can save us from arrogance, the numbing effects of an attitude of entitlement, and from greed, all of which depend on holding onto the notion that we are immortal and that our ”stuff” is permanent.

If we are accustomed to living a "good life" of relative privilege, we can tend to be ashamed that we're afraid of epidemics, terrorism, and climate change. This unfortunate combination of feelings makes it difficult to develop a good course of action.

Feeling Helpless?

It takes a lot of energy and attention to drive yourself crazy. If you redirect that energy away from "feeling helpless" and bring it into alignment with your desire to benefit, you may come up with some creative solutions. I'll explain.

What does recognizing oneness have to do with healthy sexuality? We are always imagining separation and antagonism where there isn’t any. Due to our sense of separateness from each other, we often generate fear.

If we feel upset when things go wrong or something unpleasant and unexpected happens, we’re not exactly unique in this world. But if we develop the habit of holding on to these upset feelings, we may resort to drinking too much, using drugs, or overeating (using food like a drug) in a futile effort to try and feel better.

Having worked with clients and students for many years, I’ve noticed that we are often extremely skilled at deluding and torturing ourselves. How do we do it? We speak using virtuous-sounding euphemisms for what are actually harsh and fear-inducing judgments. In my opinion, that is the case with the phrase ‘high expectations.’

This question lies at the heart of the common malady of our times: disillusionment. So many of us struggle with the sense that life is a chore, that life will never “get better.” 

We want to be kind, but sometimes we hold ourselves back. Ask yourself these questions to see what you can learn about your relationship with kindness. Then try these 8 ways of making kindness a habit!