Each year I use an issue of the Just One Thing newsletter to offer Twelve Good Things that I think are really wonderful and worth your attention.
May you and those you love and in fact, the whole wide world be truly well, truly happy, and truly at peace.
- 8 Billion Trees is a tree planting and wildlife conservation organization working to offset the 100 million tons of carbon dioxide dumped into the air each day from human activity. They have a free carbon footprint calculator, carbon offset programs, plus articles, tips, and products for leaning towards a more carbon-neutral life. You can also check out similar great organizations such as the Clean Air Task Force, Giving Green, the Coalition for Rainforest Nations, and Burn.
- I’ve enjoyed exploring deep space and great heights in these favorite films: Arrival, Ad Astra, and The Alpinist. Plus, if you liked My Octopus Teacher, you might enjoy this video of scuba divers trying to convince a finicky little octopus to trade its plastic cup for a shell.
- UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center is a world-class resource for compassion, parenting, and positive psychology – including their Science of Happiness podcast, illuminating articles like this one, and reviews of their favorite books for 2021.
- BRITE Initiative remains an organization near and dear to my heart. Their school in Haiti for children in kindergarten through 8th grade offers education to children who would not otherwise get a decent education. They have about 150 students who still need support for this school year, and you might like to join me in sponsoring one of them.
- Claiming your agency in keeping fit and healthy – inner and outer – is the key to growing resilience during a prolonged pandemic. NPR, The Washington Post, and Psychology Today offer creative ways to cope during Covid. And check out my interview in Time magazine for tips on how to talk about Covid with family during the holidays.
- I love science and we’ve created a terrific archive of Science News, which we post in my weekly newsletter, containing a diverse range of science news articles for the year. And check out this year’s Best Science Images of 2021.
- My online Foundations of Well-Being will help you grow new inner strengths each week in 2022, for lasting resilience, calm, and confidence. It’s super practical, you can go at your own pace, and there’s a money-back guarantee. It makes a great gift — to yourself or loved ones — and you can save 40% if you sign up by December 23.
- Young people continue to lead the way in climate action. The University of California, Berkeley, financed a student-led online course, Zero Waste: Solutions for a Sustainable Future, that offers practical steps that students can take to shrink their ecological footprints.
- Some inspiring TedTalks that made my list of favorites for 2021 include: The radical, revolutionary resilience of Black joy; a Zimbabwean youth scolding adults of developed nations for their sluggish action on climate change; an Afghani teacher’s continuing dream of educating Afghan girls after the Taliban takeover; a neuroscientist attempting to explain how your brain invents your “self;” and an attempt to answer the question, “Can climate change ever by funny?”
- Little kids have a lot of big feelings and thoughts, and I’m happy to see more books written for them that address this, such as Have You Filled a Bucket Today? and these new books from Sounds True. Kathy Hegberg has also created cool practices for kids based on my hugging the monkey and petting the lizard meditations, and GoNoodle has free short videos for kids about tuning into your body, your surroundings, and your mind.
- Amidst the gloom-and-doom, a few good news stories stand out, including the first ever bumblebee retirement home; New York passes an environmental rights amendment that guarantees a person’s right to clean air and water and a healthful environment; a declining coral reef comes back to life with whoops and growls; 77 countries now ban plastic bags out of 127 countries that regulate their usage; the first African woman leads the World Trade Organization.
- Join Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, and a diverse line-up of the world’s most respected meditation teachers for 40 days of personalized training in the Mindfulness Daily New Years Challenge. There’s a free, self-guided version, or you can gift yourself with the live Q&A and community connection sessions.
Twelve times warm wishes to you,
P.S. For a baker’s dozen, I highly highly recommend the Being Well podcast hosted by Forrest Hanson alongside a recurring mystery guest (me!). The podcast has been downloaded 2.5 million times this year, and we’ve explored topics like how to improve our relationships, deal with anxiety, heal from trauma, break old patterns, motivate yourself, and more. Our guests have included Jud Brewer, Nedra Tawwab, Steven C. Hayes, Tara Brach, Bruce Perry, Jennifer Ashton, and many, many other wonderful teachers and scholars. I know you’ll like it!