Category Archives: Life

Saying vs. Doing

Wisdom is nothing more profound than an ability to follow your own advice.
— Sam Harris.

I struggle with writing essays that sound too much like advice, because I know inevitably as soon as I tell you the ten tricks for getting into bed early, I’ll suffer bouts of insomnia, wake up at odd hours, and suffer from erratic sleep patterns myself.

Knowing what to do and doing it are two separate things entirely.

Having knowledge and possessing wisdom are different: knowledge is knowing what to do; wisdom is being able to do it.

Most months I struggle just to put one practice into play. In March, it was staying in a consistent meditation practice. I completed ten meditation sessions of my thirty days, and that was enough.

In April, I focused on exercise again. I exercised four times per week, and meditation, my previously diligent practice, slipped quickly to the wayside; I completed three sessions in the entire month of April.

So it is.

The only thing I know how to do is to keep working on myself. I am the best place to apply what I know, and my ongoing experiments are the best teacher. I listen and learn from others, without taking their outside messages too seriously. We are all our own best teachers.

It is easy for me to know what to do. It would be easy for me to tell you what to do, as though that were the thing you needed most to make change.

What is hard is doing what we know we want to do.

With love,

Sarah

Habit change, solitude, and stillness

January certainly went by in a hurry. I have quite a few things for you, and I’m just now sitting down to send you these notes. If you’re interviewing at a new company, here are 12 questions to ask during your interview. How do you find stillness and solitude in a hyper-connected world? (Podcast) Want to make habitContinue Reading

An invitation into the darkness: the value of rumination and notes on finding your own inner guru.

The darkness of winter: time to turn inwards. The northern hemisphere is swaddled in darkness, as it is each winter. Today is the longest night of the year; the shortest day. The sun will rise late and quickly dash off, leaving us behind to contemplate the cold, wind, and dreariness of night. Despite the prominenceContinue Reading

Have you ever lost your temper?

This is an excerpt of an essay from my twelve-essay short series on Grace and Gratitude. Each day, I send a story with a nugget, an idea, and a practice — everything from losing your temper, to finding small happiness, to practicing meditation. The program is here; or just enjoy the essay below as aContinue Reading

The man at the grocery store.

The man in the grocery store is in love with me. I can tell by the way that his eyes watch me, and the way he smiles at me from behind the counter. I pull my basket up around the edge of the aisle, glancing briefly at the pop tart magazines. Mmm… chocolate. I grabContinue Reading

Want to learn yoga in 5 minutes a day?

I was sitting at dinner with my friends Amber and Farhad recently, and the conversation turned to yoga, drawing, and art. I mentioned an idea I had, to make small “yoga grams” on my Instagram with a posture or two that people could learn and try in just a few minutes a day. If you knowContinue Reading

When you fall down, break your routine, or stop writing: notes on re-starting.

The rhythm breaks. The routine falters. You write, so diligently, and then a week slips by. Getting back into the structure of things — writing — is even more challenging when traveling, moving, changing. I can make a million excuses; writing and making time for writing is and always seems so hard. It’s easier when I’mContinue Reading

What is grace and why does it hurt so much? (what I learned about emotional resilience through a 10-day detox retreat in Ubud, Bali).

“The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.” — Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul On the black sands of the Java Sea. The waves crashed over my limbs as sobs heaved in and out of my chest. IContinue Reading

Why is moving so hard? The struggle to lighten up, give up, and let go.

“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris. Everything changes. I just emptied an apartment full of furniture, things, stories, and stuff. I carried couches, desks, and pieces of furniture up and down (and up and down) many flights of stairs across hillyContinue Reading

a love story.

I was making a book; he was a book designer. We talked on the phone — me, in San Francisco, him in Brooklyn. We chatted for nearly an hour before I convinced him to let me hire him as a consultant for a project. I paid the standard rate, typical deliverables — and yet I wantedContinue Reading