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16 Teachings from Covid-19

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"A lot is being said these days. Clarity can be hard to come by, silence even more so. Overwhelmed by the cacophony of voices, I sat down to synthesize some perspectives that shine light on the corona crisis. Most of you will already have come across some of those ideas. They show us what we can learn from the current situation. Corona holds a mirror that reflects our relationship with ourselves, with the Earth, with each other and with the broader systems we live in. Some of the points might seem contradictory to each other. The invitation lies in not trying to resolve those opposites, not even looking for any coherence. Instead let's expand so we become able to hold all the different facets of truth. Whichever of the conflicting narratives around corona you choose to believe, there is one thing we probably all agree on: As a human family, we are faced with a unique moment in history that -- like any crisis -- holds tremendous gifts." Marian Brehmer shares …

Even If You've Not Been Fed, Be Bread.

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"In my role as director of the nonprofit Mercy Beyond Borders, I am frequently in South Sudan visiting our education projects for girls and our micro-enterprise projects with women and our leadership training of young women for advocacy. Keeping girls in school protects them from early marriages, allows them to develop their gifts, sets them on the path to pursue professional careers. The small loans we provide to women in refugee camps enable them to create sustainable futures for their families, a path upward from extreme poverty. It is easy to believe that we are the ones filling their coffers with coins. But wait. Perhaps that, too, is backwards. It is these widows, orphans, refugees and displaced persons who enrich us. They stand undefended, "the least among us," often with apparently empty hands. [...] With no material wealth to give, such women connect on a deeper level. They share their struggles, their stories, their hard work, their daily living a…

The Lost Gift

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Writing in his journal, nine year old Abeer speaks of his frustrations with having to always prove himself at school and at home, never being allowed to be himself. His heartfelt and eye-opening words remind us that each child really is unique and should be cherished as such. The poignant message is, "Don't look at who your child could be, but who your child is." As Abeer points out, if children truly are the best gift, "you're not supposed to fix the best gift."


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When Coronavirus Anxiety Is Useful and When It Isn’t

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As anxiety around COVID-19 skyrockets, it’s important to know how to rein in our worrying so it's helpful but not debilitating.

Excessive worry about COVID-19 is becoming a mental health pandemic unto itself. Fears and questions about the future can keep us up at night, distract us during the day, and make it hard to find the motivation and energy to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.

By Yasmin Anwar


But anxiety can also be useful, explains UC Berkeley professor Sonia Bishop. Negative emotions like fear are a natural response to what’s going on in our environment. The key is to channel those emotions to help us act appropriately, rather than getting stuck in cycles of rumination.

Below, Bishop talked to Berkeley News about how to manage anxiety amid the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and achieve a measure of peace and quality of life in the coming weeks and months.

Berkeley News: What use is anxiety in today’s world?

Sonia Bishop: Fear and anxiety helped our early ancestors sur…

Start Small, Dream Big: The Secret to Accomplishing Life-Changing Goals

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How do we achieve even our loftiest goals? At 19 years old, Dave Jacka was left with only 6% of his physical function after a motorcycle accident. 25 years later, he became the first pilot with quadriplegia to fly around Australia solo! The story of how he got there has insights for us all!

What’s your loftiest goal in life? For Dave Jacka, after losing 94% of his physical function, his lofty goal was simply to get himself into bed unassisted. 25 years later, he became the first person with quadriplegia to fly solo around Australia. Dave’s story as a boundary breaker can help each of us attain our biggest goals, whether that’s landing our dream job, growing our retirement fund, or being accepted into the right school!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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The Inner Shield Against Covid-19

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Cynthia Li MD is a gifted physician and author who has had experience with battling an autoimmune disorder and recognizing both the power and limits of conventional medicine. "In the current pandemic, the strength of your immune system is the critical difference between milder and more severe illness caused by the COVID-19 virus. In a gift e-booklet, 'How to Shield Yourself Against COVID-19,' Li offers key science-based strategies, beyond physical distancing and hygiene measures, for building up what she calls your "inner shield.""A copy of this vital booklet is linked to at the end of the following piece. Read and share it with your community.


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How Can We Cooperate When the Pandemic Is Driving Us Apart?

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Paul Atkins, coauthor of Prosocial, explains what will help us work together in the face of disaster.

Right now, our society is being tested on our ability to cooperate. To fight the novel coronavirus pandemic, we need to be able to act as one body and do what we can to stop the virus’s spread and prevent sick patients from overwhelming our health care systems.

By Jill Suttie


But how can we overcome our own self-interests enough to do what it takes to work together—in families, states, and nations? Is the current pandemic leading us toward a world of greater global cooperation—or greater isolationism? 



These are some of the questions I posed to Paul Atkins, coauthor of the new book Prosocial: Using Evolutionary Science to Build Productive, Equitable, and Collaborative Groups. Atkins facilitates large and small groups to help them to resolve conflicts using methods drawn from evolutionary theory.

To write Prosocial, he joined forces with evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson and psyc…

Oriah Mountain Dreamer: The Call

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"I have heard it all my life. A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency. But always it says: Wake up, my love. You are walking asleep.
There's no safety in that! Remember what you are, and let a deeper knowing color the shape of your humanness. There is nowhere to go. What you are looking for is right here." Oriah Mountain Dreamer shares more in this beautiful poem.


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The Joy of Sharing! New Wisdom On an Age-Old Cycle

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Whether you’re just starting out on your journey or you’ve become a master of your craft, you can be a part of a cycle that goes back millennia. What is this ancient cycle and how can it apply to our lives today? Let’s head to the hills of Colorado and find out!

We invest years of our lives figuring out what we actually enjoy doing; dedicating countless hours to hone our skills and learn the ins and outs of our craft from our teachers in an effort to inch closer to mastery. But when we feel that we’ve gotten there… what’s next? Well, why not keep that teaching cycle going!

By Sam Burns


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The Woman Behind India's First Testing Kit

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"India has been criticized for its poor record of testing people in the battle against coronavirus. That, however, is set to change, thanks in large part to the efforts of one virologist, who delivered on a working test kit, just hours before delivering her baby .On Thursday, the first made-in-India coronavirus testing kits reached the market, raising hopes of an increase in screening of patients with flu symptoms to confirm or rule out the Covid-19 infection."


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How to Be Intentional About Consuming Coronavirus News

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Researchers and media experts weigh in on how to stay informed about coronavirus while protecting your mental health.

My inbox is flooded with news about the coronavirus outbreak. Every hour, I’m hearing about how many people are infected and dying, how woefully unprepared we are for this pandemic, and how the economy is tanking. It’s enough to make my head explode with panic and dread.

By Jill Suttie


Of course, I want to stay informed, and it’s important to know what I can do to help prevent the spread of the infection. How can I do that without feeling overwhelmed? Is there a better way to consume the news?

It turns out that there is, according to media experts and researchers. Taking in a constant stream of alarming news increases your stress and anxiety—and has long-term consequences for your physical health, too. The key is to balance your media diet with news stories that are more inspiring or offer solutions, and then share them with friends and family. Taking those steps will help…

Erich Fromm: The Antidote to Helplessness and Disorientation

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"To be human is to be a miracle of evolution conscious of its own miraculousness -- a consciousness beautiful and bittersweet, for we have paid for it with a parallel awareness not only of our fundamental improbability but of our staggering fragility, of how physiologically precarious our survival is and how psychologically vulnerable our sanity. To make that awareness bearable, we have evolved a singular faculty that might just be the crowning miracle of our consciousness: hope."


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The Largest, Most Viewed Paintings in the World that No One Knows About

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What’s your favorite old movie? Chances are there’s one character that connects all of our beloved old films, they are always there, we just never noticed. Any guesses who it is?

Ahhh the magic of old Hollywood; the glamour, the stars, the classics. Ask your grandma about her favorite movie and she’ll probably give you a wistful answer about her favorite actor, and maybe a lovely anecdote about the time she saw it with a long-forgotten boyfriend. But in all of our nostalgia for the old cinema, one very important character often gets left behind. A character that truly transports movies to other worlds!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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Krista Tippett on Hope

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"A couple of years ago I started sometimes asking, at the end of my conversations: What makes you despair, and where are you finding hope? It turns out that answers to the two parts of that question are more often conjoined than oppositional. The puzzle of us, the contradictions alive in each one of us and in this moment we inhabit --these are the crucible of my hope." Krista Tippett shares more.


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