The One Thing

What is the one thing that you can do now such that by doing it makes everything else easier or unnecessary? from the book, The One Thing, by Gary Keller

I have been thinking about this question since I bought the book in an airport bookstore maybe 5 years ago.

I like to leave plenty of time to get through airport security. If passing through TSA goes quickly, I have a span of unplanned open time. Open time, open mind. Open mind, new opportunities. It’s kind of fun to see what I might be drawn to.

One time I came across the book, The One Thing, by Gary Keller. The guiding theme of the book comes from the question: “What is the one thing that you can do now such that by doing it makes everything else easier or unnecessary?”

We can apply the question to various realms we live in – what is the one thing that I can do now that will make everything else I do at work easier or unnecessary. What about in the realm of my family life? What about my religious/spiritual life?

This morning I got very clear.

Learning to sense when I am activated, and practicing allowing and resourcing, calms my nervous system. This is the single most important thing I can do now, and in an hour, tomorrow and maybe, for the rest of my life. In all realms.

Typing from Presence

Can I sit at my desk, hands on my computer keyboard and just be, even as I type this (sentient) sentence.

Can every sentence be sentient. Can every word arise from the wellspring of wisdom. And every letter be alive with love.

Can this be my life. My renewed nervous system.

Being with

I recognize that in my showing up in the world, I encounter strong emotion. My sympathetic nervous system becomes activated. It doesn’t take much! The sound of the bedroom door opening as my partner walks into the room when I am relaxed or nearly asleep. The arrival of a text from one of my sisters. A look of disapproval from my father.

Today I entered a space of clarity about that. The history, the content doesn’t matter. What matters is that there is activation in my body. And if I want to live with ease, to be able to step up, as Keb’ Mo’ says…to let my light shine, let my love show, step into my greatness, I need to be with the activation. I need to teach my nervous system to regulate. I can learn to open and be a spacious container for all that is here. I can build the muscle of my parasympathetic nervous system response.


Adapted from Peter Levine Healing Trauma

To help discover your own rhythms and trust your own innate capacity to heal.

Bring something into your space that brings you a sense of comfort, something special to you.

Sitting comfortably. Sensing the support of the back of the chair on your back. Feel it physically.

Sensing how the bottom of the chair supports your body. Letting yourself rest into that support.

Aware of clothing on skin, and muscles beneath.

Eyes open.

Gaze at your object and slowly go back and forth between your body and what you observe with your eyes.

You may be aware of the image or the object, and seeing it with your eyes, with your body experience is in the background.

Then, shift awareness so the image recedes and you become more aware of your body sensations.

Ask yourself: Does this image or object make me feel more at ease, more grounded, more centered? What is the physical sensation that tells me that I am more at ease.

Shift back and forth at your own pace between the object and the sensation in your body. Allow your focus to shift to an inner sense of where the comfort is experienced in your body. Take some time to explore the nuances of these sensations.

For example, as you gaze at the photo or object, what is it that let’s you know that delight is more than just a thought. Where does it begin. Perhaps some tense muscles let go. Or maybe a spaciousness or warmth around your upper back, neck or heart. Perhaps you were feeling anxious initially, and perhaps it has changed in some small way. Anxious feels like what? And follow the change.

Adjust your experience to fit your needs. Vary the rhythm, for example.


I don’t know what to do about this strong emotion. It comes on very strong sometimes. It is why so many of us do not live near our families of origin, either communicating in small doses, or not at all. And this is one of the sad places, where our society’s foundation has become unstable.

Where there is light in the soul, there is beauty in the person. Where there is beauty in the person, there is harmony in the home. Where there is harmony in the home, there is honor in the nation…

I continue to practice being with. Whatever is here, I welcome it.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Keb’ Mo’: This world is ready and waiting for you to break on through…Your the only one like you. Step on up. Step into your greatness…There’s a place that you will rise up to. No one else can do what you do. Get out the way and let your light shine. Let your love show. 🎶