What It Looks Like to Take Action

Give your troubled heart a seat at the table.

4 min readMar 23, 2022


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So much news about atrocities over which I have zero control.
So much scrolling hilarious blooper reels to get away from it.
So much guilt about all that, and self-loathing that does nothing to stop it.


What does it look like to take action? I’m not talking about activism here, although activists are a big part of what’s crucial to changing the world. I’m talking about the other kind of crucial action. The actions we take every day in our own homes, our own communities, with our own people.

To know what to do, we have to stop running around. We have to get quiet. And we have to activate an open curiosity about how we’re actually doing.

1. Sit down with your life and ask, “Where does it hurt?”

Don’t fill in the blanks with what you think you know.
Sit still and listen.

Listen some more.

Is it friction in the family? Is it the pile of junk in the coat closet? Is it the way you use (or misuse) time? Take a moment here and explore your own heart.

Let the answers come.

2. Give each issue a place at your table.

Let each issue show up in some form or other, (the friction could take the form of a dented heart, the coat closet problem could take shape as a humanoid being comprised of too much random stuff).

Now, in your mind, set a table with your best china, fresh flowers, candles, great food. Prepare for them like you would for an honored group of guests, because they are, all these issues.

Give each guest (the friction, the junk, the doom-scrolling) a seat at that table.

3. Offer every guest the feast of your undivided attention.

Ask them, one by one, “What’s the tiniest thing I can do to help you?”
Why tiny? Because Big paralyzes us. Tiny we can do. This is not laziness, it’s realism. So go tiny. It’s how all big endeavors start.




Novelist. Poet. Musician. Buddhist. Quilter. Animal lover. Visible grownup. Hidden child. Secret dancer when all alone. Makes good bread.