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The KISS Rule

K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple, St*pid

Let me start by saying, the K.I.S.S. rule works. It really works. It has helped me through the simplest decisions and the most complex. If it is better for you to soften the second “S-word” to silly or sweetheart, please go for it!


Answering one of those pivotal parenting questions? K.I.S.S. My personal favorite was asked at volume in a fast-food restaurant. “Why do those people have brown skin and mine is pink?” “You know how your hair is yellow and your sister’s is brown? Same thing.”

Choosing a hairstyle? K.I.S.S. I have proven over and over again that I can eliminate 9/10 of my photos of famous people I think are beautiful by asking the simple question, “Can I still pull it back into a ponytail?” What is your coiffure must-have?

Sprucing up a room? K.I.S.S. What are one or two things in the room that you love? No need to start from scratch. There’s your theme. Work around that.

Less Simple

Need to thank someone for something they did that really, really helped you? K.I.S.S. Grab a pen, a notecard or piece of paper, and a stamp. Tell them how what they did made you feel. Tell them how much it mattered. Close by telling them that you appreciate them and that one day you hope to make someone else feel as loved and cared for as they made you feel. Then do that.

Hosting a dinner with friends? K.I.S.S. What do you love to eat? Make that. What do they love to make? Ask them to bring that. Don’t forget to move into the comfy room and enjoy each other after you eat. (You can clean up later.)

Want to add something new (and maybe good for you) to the routine of your days? K.I.S.S. Find something you do every day and “stack” the new thing there. I stretch my hips from daily walks with the dogs while brushing my teeth. Bottom teeth: right hip. Top teeth: left hip. Done!

Not-at-all Simple

Has someone important hurt you or someone you love? K.I.S.S. While it’s nearly impossible to not ask the question, “How could they do this to me?”, the reality is that there is very little chance that they did what they did because of you. It is 98% likely that their action stemmed from how they felt and what they needed. Remembering this not only makes you feel a little better, but it is the first step toward forgiveness – and that makes you feel a LOT better.

Feeling overwhelmed? K.I.S.S. Choose one thing (it doesn’t even have to be the most important thing) and do that. Overwhelm can lead to stewing and even paralysis. Motion begets more motion. It also gives you a sense of agency and capability. Once you get moving, task by task, you can tiptoe toward the bigger, more intimidating thing that needs doing.

Having big (really big) feelings? K.I.S.S. Sit down – in a sunbeam or with a pet if possible. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Pull weeds. While you do these things, feel your feelings. Feel it all. That’s all. Trust that a moment will arrive when you can see and think clearly again. That moment, not in the midst of a feeling-storm, is the time for doing.


Faced with a giant, life-changing thing? A sick loved one? Depression? A death? The loss of a job? Grief? The end of a friendship? Even in these types of moments, the K.I.S.S. rule works. In the face of all the questions – How did this happen? What can I do? How can I help? What does this mean? Will I ever not feel like this? – what is “simple” is that there may not be an answer. There may only be unknown.

While learning to live with questions is the first “S” in K.I.S.S., it is far from simple to do. But it is the simplest (and most healing) thing you can do. Simply acquiescing to the mystery, to the infinite possibilities, to the myriad surprises of life, is the way. And simply doing what is yours to do (often teeny-tiny things) in each moment is the way to survive – and to eventually thrive.

So, in one of these big, unwieldy, seemingly impossible, endless moments? K.I.S.S.

You’ve got this, sweetheart. XOXO

While spiritual direction is not therapy and cannot replace therapy, it is healing at an essential level to view (even just for an hour a month) the “stuff” of your life through the lens of spirituality. Curious? Send me a note.