Showing posts from July 29, 2018

How to Navigate the Joys and Challenges of Grandparenting

A new book celebrates being a grandparent and guides us through its complexities.BY DIANA DIVECHA

Recently, my adult children let me know that when they have children, they want me to be involved in their care. I was thrilled, but also humbled. Will I have the energy? How will I balance my work? And what if I make a misstep? Many people my age delight in their newfound role with grandchildren. Yet I know others who founder at the edges of their children’s families, unable to find a comfortable way to engage. They want to be more involved, but their overtures are rejected or their relationship is unhappily limited. In her new book, Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today, Jane Isay reminds us of the value of grandparents but also delineates the important rules of engagement—when to deepen the conversation, when to back off, and how to stay on your children’s and grandchildren’s teams. Books or articles on grandparenting are few, and t…

How Loneliness Changes Across Your Lifetime

Loneliness can strike at any age, although the cause might be different.BY KIRA M. NEWMAN
Ask someone to recount a time they felt lonely, and they’ll undoubtedly have a story to share. You might hear about the college freshman away from home for the first time. Or the new mother feeding her baby in the dark stillness of 4 a.m.

“Most people feel lonely at some point during their lives,” writes researcher Ahmet Akin of Sakarya University. “As social animals who participate extensively in social relationships, humans open themselves up to the possibility of loneliness.” Researchers find that loneliness ebbs and flows as we age, in relatively predictable ways. Counterintuitively, we tend to be lonelier when young—and also when old. Among those high-risk groups, as many as one quarter of people may feel lonely on a regular basis. Understanding why we become lonely in certain life stages can help us to handle the uneasy feelings of isolation when they inevitably arise. From quantity to qualityR…

The Science of All Is One

Virtually anyone who turns to the news today will quickly see evidence of painful relationships between various ethnic groups in our communities. What should our response be to such violence of thought and speech if we personally encounter it in our own lives? In this heart-expanding piece, Betsy Leondar-Wright tells a touching story of how she lives her answer to the question of whether we should "call them out" or "call them in."

Linda Cruse: Marmalade & Machine Guns

Linda Cruse spent a decade as a nurse, but needed a more steady schedule and extra income. She took an opportunity to work in pharmaceuticals, but it was killing her spirit, and she became very negative. After going temporarily blind from the stress of her new life, she made a promise to become more authentic and find her purpose. This led her to the decision to sell her possessions and travel the world volunteering. Linda travels to devastated areas to help as a nurse and to organize volunteers onsite and to bring in others from all over the world with unique skill sets, from business experts to magicians. Linda's biggest gift is bringing unlikely allies together to help others. She has seen the benefits companies enjoy by encouraging staff to see volunteering as an opportunity, and the joy it brings to those who volunteer.

Toward a New Conception of God

"Every human being is born with an intrinsic yearning to understand, to contact and, eventually, to serve something higher in ourselves and in the universe. Plato calls this yearning eros. It defines us as human beings -- even more than our biological nature, our social conditioning or our ordinary reasoning capacity. Our modern world-view tragically misperceives and wrongly defines what it is to be human." Jacob Needleman shares more in this insightful essay.

Today is a Gift

One afternoon, a group of people showed up a farmers' market with armfuls of wrapping paper and colorful ribbons. They came to gift-wrap the entire street to remind everyone that the present moment is a gift. " We are literally just wrapping up everything in sight" an organizer tells a passerby. Wrapping up the tables and chairs, placing bows on people and dogs -- this video is a joyful reminder to celebrate the gift of today.

Can Mindfulness Help Your Brain Cope with Rejection?

A new study finds that rejection is less distressing to mindful people (and their brains).BY ASTRID MONTUCLARD

One of your best friends hosts a party without inviting you; your romantic partner seems oblivious to your attempts at conversation; work colleagues make important decisions behind your back. How long do you usually stay upset after these events? An hour? A day? A week? We constantly face rejections big and small in our everyday lives, but some people regain their calm more quickly than others. A new study provides preliminary evidence that the way we respond could be determined by how mindful we are and traced to a specific part of the brain. In their study, the researchers recruited 40 undergraduate students to answer surveys about their mindful awareness: how receptive and attentive they typically are to events and experiences in the present moment. Then, students played an online game while their brains were scanned via fMRI. Three players tossed the ball to each other; but a…

Inspirational Quote – July 31, 2018

“Do what you can with what you have, where you are.”

Oh, I do! Hopefully, you do too? Realistically, that’s all any of us can do isn’t it? Nothing else for it but to get on with things. It would be great to think that each and every one of us realizes the gifts we were born with and the abilities and skills we have gained on our way through life. Then, armed with this knowledge, do the best we can, not only to enrich our lives, but also the lives of those around us. Who knows the gifts we may be able to give to each other!

Seven Ways Our Businesses Can Help Refugees

There are over 25 million refugees in the world today. Melissa Fleming, chief spokesperson for the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency has written extensively on ways in which individuals can support displaced people. In this article and TEDtalk, she describes how businesses can do their part: help refugees get work; be an advocate; develop goods and services refugees need; exchange ideas and know-how with nonprofit organizations that serve refugees; put money in funds that invest in refugees; engage in smart philanthropy; serve as a role model for other businesses. These seven ideas are simple but show how businesses can have a profound impact on the lives of displaced people worldwide.

The Compassion Paradox Faced by Health Care Workers

Health care demands compassion—and yet that connection with patients can fuel stress. Here’s how one doctor tries to find the balance.BY LEIF HASS
Mr. B was breathing fast in his sleep, slumped to the side with an oxygen mask on. The Emergency Department doctor noted his repeated visits for advanced emphysema—and that he continued to smoke. 

I scanned his chart, felt frustration well up, and walked out of the room to compose myself. In the hall, I saw Susan, a colleague who had just spent a week with Buddhist hospice provider Joan Halifax. “This patient I’m admitting keeps coming back to the hospital every two weeks,” I told her. “He has irreversible lung disease from smoking and can’t stop. It’s frustrating; we’ll never get this guy better.  I am having trouble summoning compassion for him.” “From the way you are looking at things, you’re right,” she said. “You need to think about your notion of compassion if you want to take care of him… and take care of yourself.”
For years I’ve prided …