It was all something or nothing to me.

— Jordan Rakei

Meditation: Hard on Yourself, 11 minutes

I’ve been ruminating on my failures. I have writing unfinished and text messages unanswered. There was the moment I put my foot in my mouth in a meeting and the back-to-back days of lunch consisting of fries smothered in cheese and meat. I’ve spent too much time on my devices idling and not enough time learning and reading.

This is only a partial list.

Today’s meditation is about getting past those uncomfortable and seductive thoughts—The Little Hater as Jay Smooth coined—and finding space for a full view of you. Be kind and compassionate to yourself. Express gratitude for your strengths and weaknesses. Recognize that those around you also make mistakes. We are fallible.

In Chris Rock’s Netflix comedy special, he says the most important lesson he can give to his children is this:

Nobody outside this house gives a fuck about you.

That recognition of our relative lack of importance except for those who know and love us always brings me comfort and clarity. I can see what matters.

What mattered this week?

  • Last weekend’s full plate of birthday festivities for two people I am honored to call friends
  • A life-affirming live performance from Jordan Rakei at the El Rey on a school night (here’s his KCRW set)
  • Handling dinner more times than usual
  • Learning how to bake with yeast

  • Every time I listened more than I talked
  • Every time I told someone something they needed to hear even if they didn’t want to hear it
  • Every time I thought of someone else’s comfort before my own and acted with that intention

I have found a good routine with yoga most mornings to start my day, but daily meditation has been an unintended casualty. The challenge is making time for honoring both the body and the mind. When I do that with consistency, the little hater’s voice is rarely louder than a whisper. When one or the other is out of practice, he starts to shout.

Hush now.

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