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Simple Ways to Have a Good Life with James Scott Henson

Simple Ways to Have a Good Life with James Scott Henson

By James Henson
A podcast about cultivating a good life through mindfulness, compassion, equanimity, and gratitude.
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The Perfect and the Good

Simple Ways to Have a Good Life with James Scott Henson

The Problem with the Things We “Know”.
The things we “know” are often the source of so much of our trouble. We think we know things about how the world works, about how other people are, and about ourselves, and we allow these things to become unwritten rules that dictate and limit our lives. In this episode of The Simple Ways to Have a Good Life podcast we take a look at the things we supposedly know, talk about how to deconstruct them, and explore the concept of friendly curiosity as a way of living in a world full of possibilities instead of a world limited by what we think we know. ________________________ Looking for more? I write a lot - if you found this episode interesting you might enjoy my blog or the mini-blogs I post on Instagram. I also have a free resource library with a bunch of cool things you can have with no obligation. Check it out here.
February 28, 2021
Identification with Suffering
When it comes to simple ways to have a good life, the ideas that we shed are every bit as important as anything we can learn. One of the first things we have to shed is our identification with our suffering. We live in a world that encourages us to suffer, to identify with our suffering, and even to validate or justify ourselves through our suffering. This will always tie us to that suffering because we think it's part of “us”, and how can we ever escape from something that is “us”? In this episode, we talk about the difference between pain and suffering, how the ideas we accept about ourselves impact us, and what it means to accept our pain without turning it into suffering. ________________________ Looking for more? I write a lot - if you found this episode interesting you might enjoy my blog or the mini-blogs I post on Instagram. I also have a free resource library with a bunch of cool things you can have with no obligation. Check it out here.
February 14, 2021
Simple Ways to Live a Good Life: The Problem with Identity
This is the first in what is going to be a long series about the simplest ways to have a good life. I've worked with people for close to 20 years now, and I thought it might be useful to take everything I've learned over those years and turn it into a series of episodes for the podcast. It's become clear to me over the past two decades that a majority of the things that are best for us are more about shedding what we think we know than about learning something new, so we’ll start the series by talking about the issue of identity. All the things that we think are “us” and help us define ourselves simultaneously lock us into patterns of behavior and thought that make it very hard to change. This episode is all about that. ________ Looking for more? I write a lot - if you found this episode interesting you might enjoy my blog or the mini-blogs I post on Instagram. I also have a free resource library with a bunch of cool things you can have with no obligation. Check it out here.
December 17, 2020
Attachment to Nonattachment
This episode is all about nonattachment: what that means, what it means for the people in our lives, and how this looks when we approach it in an unhealthy way. I've studied nonattachment for close to a decade now, but even with that, it took me a while to get this podcast out because it's such an important topic. In my early life I embraced a toxic perspective on nonattachment due to my emotional immaturity and how deeply I was suffering. This was messy. Since then, I've explored the idea of healthy nonattachment and I think it's one of the more important things we can cultivate so long as we do it from the right mindset in the right perspective. I write a lot - if you found this episode interesting you might enjoy my blog or the mini-blogs I post on Instagram. I also have a free resource library with a bunch of cool things you can have with no obligation. Check it out here.
December 7, 2020
Kurtis Vanderpool: Deconstruction is Not Destruction
This one is different. It is long, it is challenging, and, I think, it may reach some people who haven’t always felt a resonance with some of what I’ve offered. Kurtis Vanderpool is a Life Coach who specializes in working with people who are struggling with their faith, and in helping them deconstruct their experience to retain the things that were good. In this conversation, we talk about how people are fleeing organized faith, what this means, what we might lose as a result, and the difficulty institutions and their leaders are facing. Kurtis approaches all of this from the “outer edge” of the narrative and therefore offers a different perspective than what you may hear from me week-to-week. You can find Kurtis at: o o o @kurtisvanderpool on Instagram o 806-790-5469
August 24, 2020
Opening Up
If you really pay attention to your experience you’ll notice that you tense up or constrict when something that you don’t like happens – a lot of our suffering comes from this. In this final part of the series on awareness, we look at moving beyond simple acceptance and into saying “yes” to the things life brings us, especially when they are beyond our control.
August 20, 2020
What Does It Mean to Let Go?
In this episode of the podcast, we explore what it means to let go, how to actually do it, and the fact that it is a process rather a one-time thing. This can be especially difficult when it comes to other people in our lives. 
June 29, 2020
Awareness and the Need for Approval
The need for approval is a tough one. We are wired to care about what other members of our species think, especially when it comes to our family and close friends. In this episode, we talk about this need for approval, how getting approval often creates a false sense of security that can be dangerous for us, and how awareness can help us reconcile ourselves to all of this. Find me on Instagram or my website. 
June 20, 2020
Defining Awareness
The practice of simple awareness is powerful, but it's also simple enough to become complicated as our mind tries to get a grasp on it. In this episode, we talk about what awareness is, what it can do for us, and how to cultivate it. 
June 15, 2020
Gaming Skills, Life Skills with Yash Anand
This is a cool one. My friend Yash lives in New Bombay, India, and has written a book on how gamers can take the skills they’ve developed from their hobby and apply them to life. It’s a good idea and I think it’s going to be a good book. Join us for the conversation - we were off on a few population statistics, the sound is not perfect, and we stepped on each other a few times due to the lag time on Skype, but it was a good conversation and Yash has some really cool ideas about how video games can help us with concentration, resilience, and problem-solving.  Find Yash on IG @thequotedquill, online at, or email him at
June 12, 2020
Guide Meditation: Counting the Breath
This is probably the most requested video/audio: an introductory guided meditation. It's also been the most difficult for me to get done because I don't know much about sound editing and it's really hard to record one without background noise. I don't think this one is perfect, but it's good enough that I feel comfortable putting it out – you can watch it on Instagram with some video of calming waves but I wanted to upload it as a podcast episode for anyone who just wants the audio. Thanks for listening, take care. 
May 27, 2020
The Best Habits
This episode is in response to a question I got on Instagram: What are the best habits? I discuss the habits I am most grateful for and share a framework I use to keep my habits in check by remembering what I want to stop, decrease, maintain, increase, and start.
May 15, 2020
Learning During Difficult Times
This is the first episode under the new name, and serves to catch everyone up on where I've been and the things I've learned from a difficult last year.  Thanks for listening!
November 3, 2019
Goodbye Dying Daily: Time and How We Waste It
In what is the final episode of this podcast under the name Dying Daily, we explore why I am moving away from it and what led me to it in the first place. Over the course of this podcast we’ll talk about Seneca and his essay “On the Shortness of Life”, the ways we waste our time, the suddenness of death, and things like regret, selfishness, and destructive behavior. I promise it’s a lot more fun than it sounds. 
April 30, 2019
Mindfulness Isn't Magic
In this episode of the Dying Daily podcast we take a quick look at one of the most problematic expectations many people have of a mindfulness practice. 
March 4, 2019
Who I Am
 In this episode of the Dying Daily Podcast I tell a little bit of my story and how I found freedom from much of the suffering in my life through things like mindfulness, meditation, compassion, and gratitude.  
January 22, 2019
Never Being Bothered
In this episode we explore how being bothered by things is human, and how our response to being bothered is what really matters.
September 6, 2018
What It Means to Sit with Anxiety
What does it mean when somebody tells us to sit with our emotions? This episode of The Dying Daily Podcast explores this question and give some examples of how to do this.
August 24, 2018
Mindfulness and Being Human
A quick look at being human and dealing with difficult emotions.
July 26, 2018
Health, Humanity, and Holistic Healing
I have a guest for the first time on this episode of the Dying Daily Podcast: Health Coach, Health Advocate, Experienced Yoga Teacher, and all-around cool human being Lindsay Kerr. We talk about everything from the bioindividuality of our diets and the stigma of shame associated with food in our culture to what kind of advocacy is needed for us and our children so that we can all live healthy lives (healthy, not socially-constructed-notions-of-beauty-fad-diets). It was a cool conversation, I think you will enjoy hearing it. To learn more about Lindsay look her up at or find her on Instagram @byitsowndesign and @mamalinz13. Two documentaries you might want to check out after listening to this episode: In Search of Balance documentary: Feel Rich:
June 9, 2018
Boundaries and Compassion
People who are suffering will often harm others whether they mean to or not. This episode of the Dying Daily Podcast explores how we can have boundaries and protect ourselves and those we love and still offer compassion to those who are suffering.
May 17, 2018
Opinions and Why They Don't Matter
We are driven by what we like and what we don't like and what we want and what we don't want, but when we really examine this we find that these things are driven by emotion and conditioning and don't really matter at all. This episode of the Dying Daily Podcast explores this idea and its implications.
April 14, 2018
Mindfulness and What We Can Control
This is an audio version of a YouTube video talking about what we can and what we cannot control.
March 31, 2018
Mindfulness and Illness
This is an audio version of a YouTube video talking about mindfulness and how it can help when we aren't feeling well.
March 28, 2018
Gratitude is Everything
This is an audio version of my first YouTube video discussing why gratitude is not only important but is the only rational response to the world.
March 26, 2018
Mindfulness and Why It Matters
Mindfulness is something of a fad these days, and this has it's positive and its negative implications. In this episode of the Dying Daily Podcast, we talk about what mindfulness is and look at some concrete ways to incorporate it into our lives.
March 4, 2018
Why Passion and Motivation are Overrated
We hear a lot about being passionate and motivated these days, but neither of these is sustainable or useful in the long run. This episode of The Dying Daily Podcast explores the idea that discipline and perseverance are worth cultivating because they will serve you when passion and motivation have drifted away.
September 6, 2017
Getting What We Want
Getting what we want is not always the best thing. It may even end up being harmful to us, while many of the best things in life emerge from things we would not have chosen for ourselves. This episode explores these ideas and makes suggestions for how to work with the mind's tendency to focus on what we want to the exclusion of everything else.
August 15, 2017
Controlling Your Control
A lot of our suffering comes from trying to control what is not ours to control, while releasing control of the things that should get our attention. In this episode we explore these ideas, and look at some solutions to the human problem of control. 
July 1, 2017
Situations are Neutral
This episode looks at the peace we can find in recognizing that many of the things we label as good or bad or right or wrong are really just neutral. Thank you for listening.
April 27, 2017
We are All Doing the Best We Can with What We Have
This episode explores the idea that people do what makes sense to them, even if it looks irrational or unskillful from the outside.  It asks how our judgments might affect our relationships with other people, and our relationship with ourselves. This was a tough one to get right, and I do not think I did, but my recent soapbox about the perfect as the enemy of the good didn’t leave me a lot of room to shelve it. I worked on making the cuts and edits flow better, and I tried to adjust the volume as per a suggestion I received. I would appreciate any feedback you might have about anything on this episode. Thanks for listening and helping me get this podcast off the ground.
April 12, 2017
The Perfect and the Good
If you try to do anything at all, people will find reasons to criticize you. If you try to avoid criticism by not doing anything at all, people will criticize you. If you try to shoot for the middle and think you can hide in mediocrity, people will criticize you for that.  The only way to avoid criticism is to be perfect, which isn’t possible. If you aim for bulletproof, then you’ll wind up with nothing at all. This episode is all about not letting perfectionism rob us of our creativity, purpose, and happiness. Thanks for listening.
April 2, 2017