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Hi friends! I write you today from a significantly less cluttered office, for which I am very grateful. (The rest of the house is significantly improved as well...)

 This is because I've just finished Discardia by Dinah Sanders, and it's inspired me to carry several cartons of lovely-yet-unloved things to the sidewalk, from which they were quickly snapped up. If you are not familiar with Discardia, it's a holiday (rather, a quarterly cycle of them), a philosophy, a community, and now a book, all in service of discarding what is less than awesome in order to make room for what is - whether it's shown up yet or not. I was lucky enough to meet Dinah at SXSW this past March, and I can tell you for sure that she is indeed awesome
 
So is her book. It covers basic principles like giving up quantity in favor of quality, making small incremental improvements, and how to decide what to discard. Dinah's methods are radical, but sane, and easy to implement a little at a time. Happily, we are now in the middle of September Discardia celebrations, and I have observed the holiday by giving up, among other things, all my files on decluttering tips. I think Dinah's is the definitive guide.
 
 

The Work of Byron Katie

I had another nice clear-out this month when I went to see Byron Katie at Kripalu. Though I'd seen a couple videos and read two of her books, I really couldn't have predicted how powerful she was in person. (And how funny. She told a story about the diagnosis her doctor said would cost her her whole nose. Katie reported that her first thought was that she could wear a red rubber ball instead; she knew where to get them, since she had a friend who was a clown. 'You know - part-time!' she added very seriously, as if she didn't want to pad the clown's resume.) 
 
You probably know that Katie's work is to question everything about our painful situations, opening the way for people to see how our narrow and often mistaken thoughts cause suffering - never the situation itself. Martha Beck teaches her coaches to use Katie's 'Work,' and I thought I was pretty familiar with her stuff.
 
I was not.
 
As it turns out, 'The Work' is not something that can be done in ten minutes (yep, I was wrong about that!). Katie spoke with each participant for over an hour, and still left a few things for people to explore on their own - though it was quite clear every single one of them had a big shift for the better. She had us fill in her 'Judge Your Neighbor' worksheet (here's a free download), and I worked with mine for the following week before I was done. I can report that it has been 1. fun and 2. quite, quite liberating. In fact, I'm feeling even lighter from my Byron Katie Work than I am from the discarding. And that's light. 
 
So whether you are familiar or not with her work, if you're interested in clearing out high-quantity, low-quality emotional reactions, I would point you to her book Loving What Is, and the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet. And let me know how it goes.
 

Meditation class

Recently I taught my first meditation class. We covered 2,500 years worth of posture, technique, what meditation is and isn't, and how to start and maintain a short daily practice - all in an hour. The class included a workbook and an audio of a five-minute guided meditation session, as well as a recording of the class. I'm thinking of offering it as a package; would you let me know if you would be interested? Just drop a quick yes or no to max@maxdaniels.com. Many thanks!
 

Coaching

My daughter and I are headed to California this week to look at colleges. This is altogether momentous, of course, but I will tell you that no part of the trip is more thrilling to me than our reservation at Lucques, birthplace of my very favorite and most battered cookbook. When I get back I'll be coaching at a women's retreat in upstate New York, and then, in November, I'll have three spots for clients. Contact me at max@maxdaniels.com to reserve one, if you could use the support.
 
I hope all is well with each and every one of you. As ever, I'm so glad we're connected.

--Max Daniels
maxdaniels.com
Copyright © 2011 Max Daniels, All rights reserved.
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