How I Reply To Social Media Posts I Don’t Agree With

Anti-vaccination posts.
Anti-mask posts.
Posts about Bill Gates being a Lizard King
Posts that spread racist or sexist ideas

You see them all the time. You don’t agree with them. But what do you do about them?

This question comes up for me all the time. And each time I’m torn.

On the one hand, I know that allowing misinformation and bigotry to spread unchecked only makes things worse.

On the other hand, EVERY time I respond to one of these posts I get attacked, piled on, dismissed, or even worse I somehow seem to invite more conflict from both sides.

So what do you do?

To be honest, this is why I avoid commenting on posts I disagree with, but when I do I have found one way to offer a different perspective that seems to create the most space for people to connect around their shared values.

Here’s what I do:

1) Talk about your own experience – Instead of telling people they’re dumb or crazy. Simply share your own experience of you’ve grown and changed in your understanding.

For example, this year I bought a gun for target shooting. I believe in gun control and yet when I went to buy my gun I found the process frustrating. It seemed like there were so many loops to jump through and details to manage. But then I remembered that if I was angry or bent on violence all the steps and safeguards may have given me space to really think about my actions, it might have helped me calm down, and decide to not hurt someone I cared about. I get how annoying it is, but I’m glad we have laws that help keep us safe.

Now when I talk to people who are against gun restrictions I can share this experience. Not from a place of ‘guns are bad and you’re a violent nut for liking them,’ but from a place where I truly honor the desire to do something you enjoy and the frustration with laws that seem to get in the way of that.

By sharing your own experiences of how you relate to an issue, you make your opinions about you. You invite people into a story of your life, rather than creating a story about theirs.

2) Honor other people’s feelings – Often when we disagree with someone we discount how they feel. How can they be angry at immigrants? How can they be scared of something that’s been proven safe? How can they feel so reassured by false facts?

But even though they may have come to a different conclusion, their feelings are real.

SO when you talk to people honor their feelings. Express empathy with their desire for freedom, the longing for safety, their sense of unfairness, and then offer a new way to look at the same issue.

“I understand that you get angry at the thought that people who break the law might take jobs from law-abiding citizens, it makes sense, and I learned something the other day about immigrant labor that made me think differently about that.

“I understand that vaccines feel scary and that after hearing some people’s stories you feel cautious. When I hear those stories a part of me feels worried too.”

When you do this, you’re letting them know, ‘ You’re not crazy to feel that way’ and I have a different take on it. When you really hear people, you make it easier for them to hear you.

3) Don’t make other people wrong – Finally, if you can, don’t make the people you’re disagreeing with wrong. We usually do this by saying things like

“people who don’t wear masks are idiots” or “anyone who doesn’t get their kids vaccinated is a bad parent”

If someone is calling you an idiot or a bad parent, you’re not likely to listen to them.

So instead let them be who they are and simply offer an alternative point of view.

“I get that people who don’t wear masks care about their personal freedom, but for me, I realized that in this case, my freedom might hurt someone I love.”

“I can really feel the love anti-vax parents have for their kids. I care about my kids too and I’m scared they might get sick from some of the horrible diseases we have vaccines for. . . “

By understanding and honoring their intentions even if you disagree with their conclusions makes a big difference.

At our core, we all want the same things. We want our friends and family to be safe and happy. And while the strategies we use to get there might be different, the desire is the same.

Learning how to tap into this, is sort of like a magic spell. One that helps us connect with the deep humanity underneath opinions and points of view. If you can learn to come from this place consistently there’s so much that’s possible. ANd it’s this kind of deep compassion that our world needs now more than ever.


Do You Define Yourself and Your Life Negatively? – My Guest Post On

I was lucky enough to have a guest post today on the Website

Please head over and check it out. 

Do You Define Yourself and Your Life Negatively?

Picture is From Tiny Buddha Post

By Samuel Gentoku McCree

 Growing up on military bases I learned to make friends quickly. My family moved a half dozen times before I was out of the second grade, so I didn’t have many other options. But while living on base it was easy, because all us military brats were in the same boat.

In third grade my dad retired from the Air Force and we went to live in a small town just south of Nashville, Tennessee. Once we moved everything changed. Instead of living with the sons and daughters of service families, I went …

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This post will also be included in an awesome new course on about recreating your life story. Click here to take a 5 min quiz and find out about the course


Make Decisions Easier and Better – 5 Steps to Minimalist Thinking

Too many choices sign, make decisions easier, minimalism, minimalist thinking, minimal choices, choose better, how to make better choices, how to make a hard decision, decision making process
Make Decisions Easier and Better –

5 Steps to Minimalistic Thinking

When I was in college, I studied philosophy. A subject matter designed to tie your mind into knots. Very well organized notated knots, but knots nonetheless. So, let me give you the history of western philosophy in 5 steps

1. We have no idea what’s going on.
2. I propose an idea of what is going on.
3. I create a big complex set of texts about why I’m right.
4. Some hotshot comes along and tears my idea to shreds.
5. Repeat

Though philosophy is fascinating to study and can teach you a lot about the way we see the universe, it’s a very specialized technique. Very often when we contemplate our lives we use these complicated techniques to analyze situations that really aren’t all that complicated.

So, since I’m often guilty of this kind of over analysis here are some techniques I’ve discovered to simplify thinking and make better desicions.

5 Steps To Minimalist Thinking Or How To Make Better Faster Choices

1. Preferences –
The first step to thinking more simply is to understand that most decisions are decisions of preference.

There are some choices in life that will really make or break us, but many of them will not. The kind of toothpaste you choose will not dictate your life span, earning potential, or attractiveness. Even most choices at work are not the kind that will make or destroy your career.

The trick is to figure out if the decision is about preference and if it is make a choice and move on. Neither you nor history will remember what choice you made and your brain power would be better used elsewhere.

2. Deliberation –
Ok so once you determined the choice is not one of preference. It’s time to make a deliberation strategy. The key here is to set a time limit. If there is no deadline, your mind will go back and forth forever.

Do this in 3 phases.
1. Set a time limit for each phase –
These can be as long or short as you like, but shorter is better. Most people allocate too long to make a choice and this actually makes it harder to decide.

2. Information gathering –
In this period, gather as much information on each side as is reasonable. Try to spend an equal amount of time getting information unless you already know a lot about one of the choices.

3. Consutation –
Identify two people whose perspectives would be valuable. Call and talk to them about your decision.
The best people are the ones that will ask you good questions about your choice. Pay close attention to what you say because it may reveal your own wisdom or a hidden perspective.

3. The List – Now that you have gathered information and sought counsel, you are ready to decide. Make a list of pros and cons for each option. Only include realistic options for each choice.

Take some time to review the lists carefully. Eliminate unrealistic fears (The zombie apocalypse might happen, but then you’ll have other worries.) and add others things that arise.

Usually one choice has a slight lead now and it’s time to dive in.

4. Taking the Leap
Making a choice is hard and often we end up fighting our fears that we are making a huge mistake. We fear future regret, humilliation, and ridicule. I find that asking myself these three questions helps me take the leap.

  1. What is the best thing that could happen?
  2. What is the worst thing that could happen?
  3. What is the most likely thing that will happen?

This helps reveal my fears and gain some perspective.

5. Tracking and Adjustment
Ok so you’ve made a choice. Now pay attention to what happens. Don’t fret about the choice but observe the results.

Chances are doom will not ensue. And if the choice wasn’t perfect, that’s just more information for next time. After a period of time ask the following questions:

  1. What do I wish I could have known before I decided?
  2. What factors did I not consider during my analysis?
  3. What factors did I consider that didn’t play into the results?

Deciding is hard, but if we stay focused and acknowledge our anxiety, we can learn to be more decisive confident, and minimal in our thinking.


Eating with Gratitude: A Mindful Eating Thought Experiment (Audio)

Paleo diets are all the rage so lets do a Paleo thought experiment.

Imagine you were a Paleolithic man or woman. It’s been a hard winter and your food supplies have been dwindled. Your young children are hungry, but spring has come late this year. Nothing is sprouting and the game hasn’t returned as it normally does.

The Search
You have been searching for food, but other than a few meager herbs, nothing can be found. You know that if you return home with nothing it will mean another day without eating.

Your youngest has been growing weaker. She’s been coughing and unable to rise from her mat. You know that if you don’t find more food soon she won’t make it.


p style=”text-align:Left;”>Feel the fear, the frustration, and the confusion at your situation. Feel the deep hunger in your own belly, which hasn’t been properly fed in weeks. You feel an ache not only for yourself but for your family as well.
Eating with Gratitude: A Mindful Eating Thought Experiment (Audio), eating+, gentoku, gratitude, guided meditation, mindfitmove, mindful eating, mindful fitness, What is mindfulness?

Now imagine as you return home you become lost. You have never been in this part of the valley before at first, you are scared, but then you come across a tree.

On the tree are strange objects you haven’t seen before. You take one down and it smells sweet. You are unsure what to do, but you figure you have nothing to lose. So, you take a bite. The taste of sugary sweetness fills your mouth.

The rich grainy texture is a little sour, but you can tell this is food. You rush to gather as much of this new fruit as you can, eating as you go.

With your arms full, you head back the direction you came. And with each step, you know you carry hope for your family. Your heart is filled with deep abiding gratitude.

The Salvation of Food
For centuries, food was a blessing. People sacrificed to harvest gods and performed sacred rituals, but for most of us, access to food is an afterthought. Living in a modernized western world our idea of hunger is mostly abstract.

Even hunger that occurs on a diet is very different from the hunger brought on by starvation. Because of this, we have lost our sense of the struggle to eat that our ancestors fought with.

Wars have been fought over the same salt and sugar we buy at the grocery store everyday. But it’s hard to access that reality, because of the relative bounty that we live in.

So for this post I thought I would share a Mindful Eating exercise that helps reconnect us with our gratitude

Eating With Gratitude
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Interested in the Paleo vs Veggie debate read this awesome article by Matt from No Meat Athlete –


Jeff Bezos & A Famous Dead Italian Woman Endorse Handwriting Sales Copy?

Reblogged From
I was lucky enough to get a guest post featured on the blog It’s not my normal topic, but It something I thought you might enjoy checking out.

This is a fascinating guest post from CopyHour member Samuel Gentoku McCree of MindFitMove.

“Imitation is the first instinct of the awakening mind.” – Maria Montessori

What if I told you Jeff Bezos and a dead Italian woman convinced me to sign up for CopyHour? You’d probably think I was crazy, right? Except that’s exactly what happened. Let me explain.

Small Busyness

I started my company MindFitMove, a mindfulness based fitness and self improvement business, back in September. As I got things going I had the same problem . . .


Get Fulfilled And Change the World: My Interview w/ Richard May Founder of B>U

On June 13th Jamie Slaughter woke up early and drove to Lake Austin on the Colorado river.  He put on his goggles and swim cap and dove into the water.

James wouldn’t get out until he had reached the other side of the lake. Which wouldn’t be exceptional except that the other side was 21 miles away.

Why did James set out to swim the length of the English Channel? To let the world know about drowning death of 4-yr Colin Hoist.

This is one of the stories you can read on the website B>U. Matt Evans and his partner Richard May formed B>U to share inspiring stories and encourage everyone to live a fulfilled life.

In this interview I talk with Richard about how living your dreams inspires others and why fulfillment is a path not a destination. I hope you enjoy.

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Interview Questions


1. Some of the stories on your site feature atheletes others community service, how do these elements play into being a better person?

2. What role does awareness play into the work you do?

3. How can people change their lives for the better in a lasting way?

Richard May and Matt Evans mindfitmove mindfulfitness inspiration b>U stories

Richard “Bee” May Bio

In 2001, I produced and directed my first feature length movie – “A Documentary”. The movie was based on the most powerful question of your world: Are you fulfilled?

What was more interesting about creating the movie was I had never held a camera in my life. But, every day for two years, I learned a little more until the movie won “Best Documentary” at the barebones film festival.

It was then I realized I was already living the B>U philosophy. So when Matt started explaining the concept, I had to stop him mid-sentence and tell him “I’m in. Let’s do it.”

So every day, I live my own B>U. Helping grieving parents from losing a child to being a better parent. Writing a new song or smiling more than yesterday.

But, one thing I do try is to promote B>U a little more each day. Because if I can inspire just one person to be greater than themselves then we are one step closer to a better humanity.

I want to thank Richard for talking to me. Be Sure to check out his website and his facebook page



Vows, Goals, and Intentions

When we seek to transform our lives, whether it is quitting smoking, eating healthier, being kinder to others, or bringing our physical being into balance, it is important to understand how this kind of change happens. We’d like to think that it’s just a matter of will power, that we just need to say we’ll do it and then stick to the plan. Of course we know what they say about men, plans, and mice.

  In reality making a vow or setting a goal is a very organic process. When a tree or other plant seeks to take it’s natural form it has to adapt to the environment or it will die. A river doesn’t just take a straight line to the sea. It negotiates the path with the landmarks around it. All too often when I have set goals I think of them as a straight line to the sea, but in reality I have several landmarks to work with. If I’m willing to negotiate my goals to match the landscape of my life I am more likely to reach the sea.

I recently read an article at my Dharma Punks sitting group by Thanissaro Bhikkhu about the practice of vow as an aspect of determination. This article identified 4 aspects of good determination: discernment, truth, relinquishment, and peace. The articles describes each of these aspects in a nice clear way.

First, it says of discernment: “Discernment here means two things. To begin with, it means setting wise goals: learning how to recognize a useful vow, one that aims at something really worthwhile, one in which you’re pushing yourself not too little, not too much — something that’s outside your ordinary expectations but not so far that you come crashing down. Second, it means clearly understanding what you have to do to achieve your goals — what causes will lead to the results you want.”

This aspect of setting goals is important to understand and practice. I’ve learned from years of working that it’s always better to under promise and then over deliver, but I all to often forget to do this with myself.

Let’s say you have a new friend would you lend them your car/bike? Lets say you’ve only seen them drive/ride twice. Once they were safe, the other time there were reckless. Would that effect your decision? 50% of your experience of them is negative. Compare that to how you would feel lending it to an old friend. One who you’ve seen break a few traffic laws but overall is a trustworthy person. The difference is clear, but often we treat ourselves like the old friend when our transforming self is mor like new acquaintance.

It takes time to build confidence in ourselves and see even if we make mistakes that we will stick to the path in the long run. As you start any new process to transform your life make sure to remember to take things slowly and work to build trust over time. Making and keeping small promises or goals with yourself will give you the confidence to keep bigger promises.

The second aspect of discernment that the article identifies is “clearly understanding what you have to do to achieve your goals.” Setting goals and making vows are wonderful, but many times I have been unrealistic about what it would take meet those goals. It meant giving up things I liked and making hard choices sometimes. Don’t have any illusions that you will find some shortcut to changing your life. It all about slow and steady progress and appreciating small victories.

If we fixate too much on the goals in the distance we lose sight of the steps it takes to get there. If you’ve ever run, biked, or even driven on the plains you know what this is like. If you watch some far off object it feels like it would take years to get there. But if you focus on each step, each breath, before you know it you’ve passed what seemed so far away.

After I decided that I was going to start doing triathlons I didn’t look at all the weeks of training it would take. I just worked on the week that I was on. At first swimming 1000 meters seemed impossible, but week after week I went to the pool and swam 100 meters 10 times with a little rest in between. Then one day I tried to swim 1000 meters in the Willamette river. It was HARD! I just wasn’t ready yet. So I doubled my efforts I went to the pool 2 more days a week and started pushing myself even harder. If I had said oh well this isn’t working I just give up that would’ve mean no triathlons. Instead I found that within a few weeks I was able to swim 1000 meters comfortably. I just needed a little extra push.

I focused on the steps to where I wanted to go not that my goal, despite my hard work, still seemed so far away. My initial assessment of what I needed to do wasn’t quite right, but that’s ok because I was willing to adjust to find the right path. When making goals we have to use our discernment to decide what we can trust ourselves to do and then focus on the steps to getting there. That way when we run into a road block we can see it as a small side step, rather than thinking we are completely derailed.

This week take the time to write down your goals at least 3 times. Then write down one concrete step you can take this week to get where you want to go. Lastly reflect on how achieving your goal will be of benefit to others. Your actions could inspire others, give you more confidence, or lengthen your life and thus the time you spend with loved ones. It’s important to remember that everything we do is not just for ourselves. When we are healthier happier people the merit just spreads out.

Thanks for reading and next post I’ll write about the second aspect of determination, Truth.

Be well.