*(June 21 to July 22)*
If you don’t already have a meditation practice, this is a good month to start. Any month is a good month to start, really, but consider it a birthday present to yourself to begin now. You don’t have to pay any money, download any apps, enlist any gurus, join any cults, fly to Nepal, or be a joiner. Just start sitting with yourself for two minutes each morning before you do anything else.
*(July 23 to August 22)*
I’m not going to tell you to stop trying to control things beyond your control, though that would be a good move on your part. Rather, I’m simply going to suggest that you take stock — over the course of the next month, or even just for a day — of all the things you try to control. Have a look at what is really within your grasp and what is you just grabbing into the ether.
*(August 23 to September 22)*
Lenny Bruce said that the only time we ever reveal who we really are is if we drop a can of peaches on the floor and we are eating the peaches off the floor and someone catches us in the act. This month, allow yourself to do a few things that you feel will surely get you judged (and, God forbid, rejected) by the people you know but will feel really good while you’re doing them.
*(September 23 to October 22)*
What if when all is said and done, you are just good and innocent? What if everyone you encounter, in spite of their flaws, is also good and innocent? I’m not saying we are all children of the universe or anything, because the truth is I don’t really know. But how would you behave differently and feel differently about the world if that were the case?
*(October 23 to November 21)*
Living in the moment is hard as fuck, and I’m no expert on how to do it, but one way I know to avoid it is to worry if something good is going to last. This month, assume that nothing is going to last — good or bad — and disregard the timetable in which future change will occur.
*(November 22 to December 21)*
If a friend or acquaintance talks shit about all of your other friends or acquaintances, then chances are they are talking shit about you too. I’m not saying don’t gossip with this person, because, let’s face it, gossip feels fucking good. But maybe ask yourself: If there were no gossip involved, would you enjoy spending time with this person at all?
*(December 22 to January 19)*
People make such a big deal about the moon now that it’s almost as if the moon has been rebranded. Like, the super-moon was never that big of a thing until a few years ago. The moon’s popularity makes me want to reject the moon, even though the moon doesn’t really care what I think about it. Is there anything in your life you are rejecting out of pride, but you wish you could allow yourself? This month, get in there.
*(January 20 to February 18)*
For a long time I hated the idea of acceptance, because I thought it meant I had to feel good about situations I hated. But recently I’ve discovered that acceptance doesn’t mean I have to like something. What it’s really about, I think, is simply giving up the struggles that are making us more miserable. Is there anything in your life right now for which the fight is more painful than it’s actually worth?
*(February 19 to March 20)*
Celebrities are the modern-day gods and goddesses in our society. When we find out they are just people, it can feel kind of sad, because we all want to believe in some kind of divinity. But the truth is that there is something divine going on in the here and now, depending on what we choose to elevate. This month, try putting something new on that pedestal — not a person or anything finite, but perhaps a quality, a way of being in the world, something free.
*(March 21 to April 19)*
What if you are exactly where you are supposed to be? Wouldn’t that be weird? If you knew you were exactly where you’re supposed to be, how would you behave differently? Would it make you sad to no longer be in the business of striving? Would it be a relief? This month, ask yourself these questions and see if you like your life better.
*(April 20 to May 20)*
This month, anytime you worry about something, write it down on a scrap of paper and stick it in a box: a tampon box, a shoebox, it doesn’t matter. We can call this your “God box,” or if you are an atheist, then we can call it your “God is dead box” or your “void box.” Don’t stop doing this the entire month — every worry, put it in. At the end of the month, see how many things that you feared would happen actually happened and how many did not.
*(May 21 to June 20)*
Sometimes it feels like we don’t have a choice as to the people we spend time with, but the good and bad news is: it’s always our choice. This is good news, because freedom! It’s bad news, because we have to take responsibility for who is in our life (annoying) and we don’t get to complain about it.
*Melissa Broder is the author of four collections of poems, including* Last Sext *(Tin House 2016), as well as* So Sad Today, *a book of essays from Grand Central.*