Showing posts from January 6, 2019

Simplify Technology with Limits

"The problem comes when we try to figure out how to get a grip on it all, to tame technology to do what we need and then let it go so we can be more present, go outside more, move more, be connected to each other in real life more. Wrangling the chaos into something that we use consciously isn't always easy. I propose simplicity. And the method I propose is limits.This is nothing new -- I've been an advocate of the simplicity of limits for well over a decade, and many others have proposed simplicity and limits as well. It's a movement, if one that's drowned out by technology. But as with anything, we have to keep revisiting it. Keep coming back. Keep reminding ourselves. Keep practicing." Leo Babauta shares more.

Pet Allergies? How to Be a Good Guest

By Kathleen Doheny

Getting through the holidays can challenge anyone, but Andrea and Paul Schmitt of North Hollywood, CA, have an extra issue. Paul has a severe allergy to cats. Their 9-year-old son has an allergy to dogs.

Andrea's mother invites them to visit for holidays, but she has a beloved Maltese dog. Paul's sister, who lives out of state, also invites them, but she has a golden retriever she loves just as much.

"We tend to host most of the time," Andrea says. But that's not always possible.

When it isn't possible, as Andrea and many others have learned, it's crucial to think ahead and to plan out how to lessen the misery for the allergy-prone. This may require an uncomfortable talk with your host -- one that touches on housekeeping standards.

Pinpointing exactly how many people deal with this is difficult, even with statistics. In the U.S., as many as 50 million Americans have allergies, and as many as 3 in 10 of them are allergic to dogs and cats, the…

Insomnia: What You Know Is Wrong

A Drink Will Help You SleepMyth. Insomnia -- chronic trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep -- can leave you desperate for a good night's rest. Think a cocktail before bed will offer relief? Think again. This myth probably persists because alcohol can help you fall asleep. But as it moves through your body it may lead to disturbed, restless sleep, or it may make you wake earlier. Swipe to advance 2/11 Insomnia Is Strictly MentalMyth. It's true that psychological issues can cause insomnia. As a matter of fact, stress is the No. 1 reason people report a lack of sleep. But it's not the only insomnia trigger. Many things can cause insomnia, including poor sleep hygiene, illness, drug side effects, chronic pain, restless legs syndrome, or sleep apnea. Swipe to advance 3/11 Exercise Helps You SleepFact. Regular exercise can be a great way to help stimulate better sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid working out too late. Strenuous exercise can make you more alert. It also in…

Waiting to Unfold

Mirka Knaster, fiber and mixed media artist, asks us "How many times have artists thought, while working on a project, 'Will I ever get this completed?' How often do we face seemingly unsurmountable obstacles on the path to turning our vision into reality? And when will we reach the level of proficiency and excellence we aspire to?" These questions are familiar to any creative person who has a vision and wants to bring it to life. And what we often lack is patience, a slower tempo, more attentive listening to the nature of the unfolding creation.

How to Not Get Overwhelmed by the Little Chores of Life

A new book explores how to manage our endless cycle of administrative tasks and enjoy our lives more.

By Karin Evans

Recently, a friend of mine called with a spontaneous invitation to a holiday tea. It sounded fun, but…I hesitated to say yes. Shouldn’t I be filling out that school form or returning phone calls or calling the plumber or doing one of a hundred other chores instead of going to a party?

According to a new book, Life Admin: How I Learned to Do Less, Do Better, and Live More, I was caught up in what author Elizabeth Emens calls “admin”—“all that work that eats up our time, is inescapable, yet is often neither appreciated nor paid.” That’s what made me miss a tea party and, instead, spend my time trying to tick off some of those pesky tasks on my never-ending to-do list.

Emens herself was drowning in details when she decided to take a long, hard look at that frustrating load. As a law professor with a full-time job, as well as the mother of two young children, she began teasing…

When Crafts Become Activism

"Sarah Corbett never dreamed a cross-stitched teddy bear could change her life and how she approached her career. But looking back, she realizes that thats when it all started.
Corbett, a professional campaigner for causes and charities, was preparing to board a train from London to Glasgow to give yet another workshop on training people as activists.But she was exhausted, stressed, and burning out. With a five-hour journey ahead of her, she couldn't work because it made her travel sick. Feeling a hankering to do something creative, she picked up the tiny cross-stitch kit. As she took her seat and began to work, she immediately noticed something...."

Why Experiencing Joy and Pain in a Group Is So Powerful

Brené Brown explains how to overcome our sense of disconnection and find our common humanity.

By Brené Brown

Adapted from Braving the Wilderness: 
The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone
 by Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW.

Today, our culture is in crisis. Many people have retreated to their ideological bunkers to hate from afar, dehumanizing others rather than risk having real, meaningful conversations across their differences. 

How will we find our way back to each other?

It’s not by staying in our factions and echo chambers, pressured to conform to whatever viewpoints and ways of being are acceptable to our political and social groups. Instead, it will take a willingness to share our authentic stories, opinions, and selves, even when putting ourselves out there seems lonely.

As I recount in my book Braving the Wilderness, one of the keys to doing this work is maintaining a belief in the deep connection between every other human in the world that cannot be broken. I can sta…

Aesthetic Thought: A Conversation with Lobsang Ragpay

A talk Lobsang gave twenty years ago stayed with me. But what did he mean by "aesthetic thought"? And why was it so important? In a recent interview, Rapgay talks about allowing a thought to come forth rather than the habitual way of going looking for one. It means having a direct experience. "The real freedom," he says, "is freedom from our thoughts and projections." It's not an easy path.

Does Diabetes Harm Your Brain?

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

Diabetes has been tied to a number of complications such as kidney disease, but new research has found that older people with type 2 diabetes can also have more difficulties with thinking and memory.

During a five-year study, participants with diabetes showed a decline in verbal memory and fluency. Using MRI scans, researchers saw that the participants' brains were smaller at the start of the study -- but the rates of decline in brain size did not differ over the years the patients were followed. The investigators didn't find a connection between brain size and the thinking and memory troubles.

"Although memory and executive function [thinking and planning skills] declined at a greater rate in people with type 2 diabetes, this was not explained by a decline in brain volume," said study author Michele Callisaya, a research fellow at the University of Tasmania.

Callisaya said the researchers were surprised by this finding. They expected t…

How Your Body Fights Infection

What Is It?This network of tissues, cells, and organs first tries to keep out germs like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites and then deals with them if they manage to get in. If it senses something in your body that could be bad for you, it triggers the release of special cells. These travel to where the trouble is, attack the intruder, and help get rid of it. Swipe to advance 2/20 How Do Infections Spread?Your body has to be able to stop invaders that come from a lot different places. Germs can come from contact -- touching skin, having sex, and breathing in drops from someone else's sneeze or cough, for example. They can travel through blood that comes from a shared needle or an insect bite. You can also get germs from contaminated food or water. Swipe to advance 3/20 First Line of DefenseYour skin is the most obvious one. It blocks invaders from getting into your body in the first place. Other blockers are the clear layer over the front of your eye (cornea) and specialized tissu…