I recently stumbled onto BJ Fogg’s “Tiny Habits.” B.J. is a behavior scientist. He studies how people form habits. What makes habits stick.  

The short answer?  


Celebration is the glue that makes a habit sticky.  As a who was person raised in a “you’ll do the work because it’s what’s expected of you,” type of environment I don’t truck much with celebration. Apparently though, it’s worth doing a little dance when I do something that I hope I’ll repeat in the future.   

I’ve read enough positive psychology to know it’s what I’m supposed to do for other people. But I never stopped to consider that a I’m human too. And being human, positive reinforcement might just work for me as well.

Success! You’re on the list.

Hungry Cat

It’s late tonight. The cat is purring hungrily next to me. He’s eaten, but he’s always hungry. This is a bit like the part of my mind that always wants more information, more input, even when it’s late and I’m tired.   

I’m pretty with strict with the cat’s feeding schedule.

And you can likely see the path this is going down where I insinuate that I should take the same or better care of myself as the cat, or something like that. . . 

But I could choose to stop.

It’s windy tonight, the leaves are rustling. The breeze is cool and pleasant. I could just stop and enjoy the breeze. 

Success! You’re on the list.
Imperfection, Songwriting, The Song Well, Tunesday

Tunesday Aug. 25th: The Last to Burn

Every Tunesday I post a boldly imperfect, one-take song draft of a song.

Success! You’re on the list.

Songwriting, The Song Well, Tunesday

Tunesday: Shuffle of Moonlight

Every Tunesday I post a boldly imperfect, one-take song draft of a song, which gets written from the prompt posted the previous Saturday.

Success! You’re on the list.

In the shuffle of the moonlight
She whispered in his ear
The memory of a raven
The dancing of a deer

In the Gossip of the moonlight
He new he didn’t care
Of his promise to another
In the strut of love’s affairs

Orphans never lose their loss of home
Drift together in the river’s flow

The secrets of a river
are the stones it can’t ignore
Like the rustle of a first kiss
That flutters on it’s shore

Goosedown feather blankets
The weathered brush of wool
A lover is a soft bed
that scratches at you too

A jewel round on your shoulders
A joy beneath your tongue
The murmur of the soft sound
of the hush of two as one


Accept Discomfort and Notice it Change

I’ve been studying Resmaa Menakem’s “My Grandmother’s Hands” for the past two months. The center piece of the book—almost literally the middle chapter and page, is the Five Anchors. The center piece of the Five Anchors is: accept discomfort and notice it change.   

The first step to really learning something, of course, is being able to remember it. I was recently working on memorizing Five Anchors. I tried to remember them in reverse order. Sometimes that’s a way I jog my memory).

5. Discharge any remaining or excess energy 
4. Stay with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the experience 
3. ??? 
2. Notice the sensations, vibrations and emotions that come up
1. Sooth and calm my body

It’s interesting to note what won’t stick in my mind. Sometimes it seems like it’s just a quirk of my memory. Other times it seems like something in me is being avoidant. With the third anchor, (accepting discomfort and noticing it change), it felt avoidant.  

Resmaa calls staying present with and accepting our experience “clean pain.” Dirty pain, is simply discomfort we avoid—it’s pain procrastination. It’s human to procrastinate and avoid from time to time—The lesson in dirty pain is it’s nearly always preferable to be present to and accept pain and be done with it.