Showing posts from May 1, 2016

Moms Should Celebrate Mother’s Day By Putting Their Own Minds First

What’s the best gift you could imagine receiving for Mother’s Day? Your kids delivering breakfast in bed? Your husband giving you a foot massage to express his gratitude for all you do to hold the family together?

I’m wired to wake up at 5:30 a.m., so waiting in bed a few hours with a growling stomach isn’t appealing. And foot massages have never been part of my Mother’s Day fantasy.

One year I just asked for everyone to simply not fight for the day. I think we went to an amusement park to facilitate this, even though roller coasters make me throw up.

Wake-up call: Life becomes a lot simpler once you discover the power of mindfulness to ensure your own happiness on Mother’s Day and every day.

What is Mindfulness?

Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and founder of the meditation app Headspace, defines mindfulness as:

“The intention to be present in the here and now, fully engaged in whatever is happening, free from distraction or judgment, with a soft and open mind.”

I stumbled into mindf…

7 Ways for Mothers to Reap the Benefits of Mindfulness

1. Carve out some time each day for stillness. It doesn’t have to long—even ten minutes a day is helpful. Frequency is more important than the length of time. It’s all about habit building.

2. Engage your senses in an enjoyable activity. Neuroscience has proven that multitasking is a myth—our brains can only do one thing at a time. When we’re focused on the feel, aroma, or sound of an experience, our racing thoughts dissolve. Gardening, exercise, and floral photography are my personal go-to sensory activities, but yours might be walking in the woods, painting, or any other activity that brings you to your senses.

3. Incorporate mindful moments into your day: instead of checking your phone as frequently, take 30 seconds for mindful breathing; instead of scanning tabloids in the grocery store line, breathe in some presence; instead of being angry at the traffic light for turning red, relax your hands on the steering wheel and focus on the sensory feel against your palms.

4. Give yourself p…

Strangers Open Arms – And Doors – to Alberta’s Wildfire Evacuees

Michael Robinson Peter Edwards

They fled to campgrounds, work camps, hotels, school gyms, and the homes and backyards of strangers.

They brought dogs and babies and horses and little else besides the clothes they were wearing.

The evacuees of Fort McMurray were relieved to receive help from strangers nearby.

Ed Saunderson and his wife Sara have hosted close to 40 people, many of them unknown to them, at their home on the shores of Willow Lake since yesterday.

Despite their location 30 kilometers outside of the Fort McMurray, Saunderson told the Star’s Michael Robinson in Alberta that he was anxious over whether or not they too would be evacuated.
“I’ve got my staff, cousins . . . people I don’t even know are here,” he said. “They are inside the basement, the garage, in my fifth wheeler (mobile home).

“They are everywhere.”

The couple owns a plumbing and heating business downtown. When they heard about the evacuation, Saunderson urged his wife, Sara, to return home. She took the store’s staff…

Refugees Give Back To Host Country and Canadians Displaced by Wildfire

The same Syrian refugees who have been welcomed into Canada after fleeing their destroyed homeland are now giving back to Canadians whose own homes were recently destroyed.

All 88,000 citizens of Fort McMurray, Alberta have been evacuated under a state of emergency due to a raging wildfire consuming the landscape. The escaping families have fled north, essentially refugees now, seeking safety in cities like Calgary.

That’s where the Syrian Refugee Support Group is lending a helping hand.

The founders of the Facebook organization traveled around town asking every Syrian family to donate at least $5 to aid the city that opened its arms to them. The donations are being put towards toiletries and hygienic products for the Fort McMurray families.

The 1,400 Syrian refugees who’ve been settled in Calgary and around Alberta since November are contributing more than just money. Hampers of toys, clothes, food, provisions, and furniture that they received only months ago when arriving in North Ameri…

Daily Inspirational Quote - May 7, 2016

“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

I think this is one of those things that not many of us take the time to think about, i.e. just how major an impact our own attitudes have on, not only our lives, but the people who populate it. The brain is the “steering wheel” propelling us through life. So, doesn’t it make sense to use this the best way we can by ensuring that we are heading in the best and more advantageous direction for us? By discarding previously perhaps uncompromising or outdated beliefs we begin to alter the “road” we travel thus freeing us to reach a more hospitable and promising destination. Vroom, vroom!


How Imaginative Storytelling Expands Our Scope of the Possible

"We must always take sides," Elie Wiesel urged in his spectacular Nobel Prize acceptance speech. "Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." And yet part of the human tragedy is that despite our best intentions and our most ardent ideals, we often lull ourselves into neutrality in the face of injustice -- be it out of fear for our own stability, or lack of confidence in our ability to make a difference, or that most poisonous foible of the soul, the two-headed snake of cynicism and apathy. How, then, do we unmoor ourselves from a passivity we so masterfully rationalize, remember that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," and rise to that awareness with moral courage and imagination? That's what Ursula K. Le Guin examines in one of the many magnificent pieces in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination.…

Dog Wearing Life Jacket is Found Adrift in Vast Gulf of Mexico (WATCH)

This little Jack Russell terrier is lucky to be alive after floating for three hours on the choppy waves of the Gulf of Mexico.

Thanks to the animal life vest strapped to his body, Jagermeister was able to survive until strangers found and rescued him.

He was reported missing on Sunday from the docks at Hernando Beach, Florida. Two couples who were celebrating their birthdays reportedly saw the pooch bobbing on the sea like a buoy and scooped him up with a rescue.

“You just saw his little nose sticking up out of the water,” Shawn Sahr told WTVT-TV.
If they hadn’t noticed his orange vest, he might have been lost for good.

Is Grit the Key to Success?

ByJill Suttie

A new book extolls the power of passion and perseverance, but is the research strong enough?

West Point cadets endure a grueling level of physical exertion, emotional challenge, and social abuse. The standards for completing the training are high, as is the dropout rate. According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, who has studied these cadets, what sets the graduates apart from those who don’t complete the training isn’t innate talent or intelligence, but grit: a combination of passion and perseverance that helps people transcend difficulty and succeed in attaining their goals. Duckworth has studied grit for the last 10 years, looking at elite athletes, spelling bee champions, and others who are at the top of their game. She’s developed a grit scale by asking people things like how much they agree with the statement “I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge,” or “I finish whatever I begin.” Then, using this measurement of grit, she’s tried to show that grit…

Daily Inspirational Quote - May 6, 2016

“You create your thoughts. Your thoughts create your intentions, and your intentions create your reality.”

This makes sense! We do create our thoughts don’t we? So let’s each and every one of us, from this moment on, take a silent oath that every thought we have, we use to create the best intentions we possibly can, thus ensuring that our realities become what we want them to be and use these to the best of our abilities to shape and guide our future path through life. Who’s with me?


Yoo-Mi Lee: Giving the Gift of Time

Yoo-Mi Lee's family moved from Korea to Uganda. Six years later they immigrated to the Bronx. She was 12. Graduating from Cornell, she ended up by happenstance on Wall Street. Executing trades, glued to three video screens, working three phones and keeping up with the ticker tape, she was headed for a seat at George Soros' currency desk. Then she walked away from the world of Big Money. "I decided to give my time away. I thought I'd just feel so much better," says Yoo-Mi Lee. Read on for the story of a woman who made some very unusual choices -- and our world is the better for them.

Six of the Greatest Legends in Rock History to Gather for 3-Day Concert in October

A once-in-a-lifetime line-up of six of Rock and Roll’s most influential artists and bands will rock the California desert in October — with tickets going on sale Monday.

The Desert Trip concert will feature The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, and The Who

The three-day concert takes place in Indio, California, October 7-9, at the Empire Polo Club — home to the Coachella music festival, whose organizers are behind the even — with two acts playing each of the three nights.

Tickets will be available starting on Monday, May 9 at 1:00 pm ET or 10:00 am PT at Prices start at $200 for a single day’s general admission to top of the line packages including meals by world class chefs or private safari tent camping.

Where Does Kindness Come From?

ByEmiliana R. Simon-Thomas

A new study fuses methods from several different branches of science to reveal the forces that shape kindness.

What’s behind your choice to help another human being? Are you motivated by sheer, unadulterated benevolence? Do you do it only if the cost is minimal, or the benefits great? Or are you hoping for a favor in return? Or is it about image—are you trying to avoid being tagged as selfish? Maybe you’re motivated by a higher sense of principle, trying to restore fairness? Science has considered all of these questions. It might be a relief to hear that researchers have not figured out the formula for what makes people kind—but with a very ambitiousnew study, a pioneering team from Germany might have brought us one step closer to some answers. Researchers Anne Böckler, Anita Tusche, and Tania Singer analyzed years of data about how contemplative practice—i.e., meditation—affects a slew of biological and behavioral measures (The ReSource Project). To investigate…

Daily Inspirational Quote - May 5, 2016

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

I’m sure we have all, at one time or another, had a failed relationship, an unfulfilled dream, a disappointment etc. At the time it usually feels like the end of the world doesn’t it? We tell ourselves we will never love that way again. That’s it, no more dreams. I’m not willing to risk another disappointment…. The amazing thing though is that most of us find, as time passes, our memories change and we are able to look back and, with hindsight, realize whatever happened in fact opened up another, better, opportunity for us. We are then able to allow ourselves a smile in recollection and give thanks that, although it pained us at the time, things actually turned out for the best.


The Strange Beautiful Side of Death

--by Leah Pearlman, syndicated from

"Its no surprise to anyone who knows my family well (or perhaps anyone who has a teenage daughter themselves) that growing up, my mom and I had a strained relationship. 

Simply put, she insisted that I sit at the table for dinner, go to bed at nine, periodically clean my room and go to church. She ran the whole house, had a full time job, and was frequently stressed. My dad, on the other hand, seemed totally relaxed to my child eyes. He would secretly take me for donuts before school, or McDonalds after. He would let me stay up late when mom was gone. He cracked hilarious jokes with waiters, librarians, flight attendants, and everyone else, which both delighted and embarrassed me. 

I was a total daddy's girl."

I still don’t know why this meant I had to push against my mom so hard, but I did. So much of my “becoming” involved push, push, and more push. I was boundaried, defensive, critical, closed. And I was usually hars…