Andrew Lang - The Wednesday 1-2-3

A simple question for understanding our experience: The Wednesday 1-2-3

Published 5 months ago • 2 min read

Happy Wednesday Reader!

Today's teaching contains a simple practice – easy enough to make happen a couple times in the next few days! I invite you to write yourself a reminder, set an alarm on your phone, or do whatever feels right in order to remember and try it out for yourself.

Here it is, along with a couple questions and resources to explore this week:

1. Teaching

Since I shared one of my least favorite questions a few weeks ago, I’m starting 2024 off by sharing a favorite one:

"What is its function?"

A short and flexible question, you can ask this whenever you experience a reaction (no matter how strong or subtle) or are trying to understand why something in your community or society is happening.

Feel your anger bubbling? What is the function of that anger? Feel a bodily hesitance or repulsion? What is the function of that response? Reading the news and find yourself in a panic or entering “flight mode?” What is the function of that movement within you?

Other ways of asking this might be:

  • What is its purpose?
  • What does this do for me?
  • What does this make possible?

Whether you ask this question in the context of your inner life or as you experience the movements and actions of a community or of our broader society, this question cuts to the core of why we do what we do: what is the function of what is happening?

I’ve found it’s one of the best questions to come back to throughout the day, especially in the midst of interpersonal and communal conflict, heightened emotions, or as you seek to make sense of societal and collective crises.

If you use this in the next couple days, please let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear any stories or insights that come up for you.

2. Questions

  1. Think back to a moment when you had a strong emotional response to something. (This might be an interpersonal conflict or witnessing oppression or injustice, or something else entirely.) What was the function of your emotional response? What was its purpose within you? What was the invitation held within it?
  2. How does asking this question feel in your body? Does it activate any hesitation or defensiveness within you? (And if you want to really annoy yourself, you can ask: what is the function of that hesitation or defensiveness?)

3. Resources

⏪ If you missed last week's email:

I shared a teaching from Bob Ross about the vision in your heart.

Sending you good vibes,


P.S. Even though we’re beginning a new year, I know many of us are exhausted, burned out, and just surviving day-to-day. (Turns out the holidays aren’t always the recharge we need – who knew.)

If you’re looking to build a practice that counters these feelings – and want support in becoming more connected and present to your communities – I’m excited to announce I’ll be hosting an inner work cohort in February.

Look for more info next week!

Are you new to the Wednesday 1-2-3?

In the past year, this weekly resource has grown well beyond my initial circle of friends and workshop participants. If you're new here (or just want a big-picture overview), you can read about my approach to inner work here.

Andrew Lang - The Wednesday 1-2-3

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