Showing posts from January 13, 2019

How Books Solace, Empower and Transform Us

Since the invention of the printing press, books have fed the human animal's irrepressible hunger for truth and meaning. Books offer refuge and companionship during lonely childhoods. The following piece opens the pages of a wonderful collection of essays about why we read and how books transform us from some of the most inspiring humans in our world: artists, writers, scientists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and adventurers whose character has been shaped by a life of reading.

Why We Need Appreciation (Not Just Recognition) at Work

Leadership expert Mike Robbins explains the difference between being recognized for performance and genuinely appreciated for who you are.

By Jane Park

Mary Oliver: Instructions for Living A Life

Mary Oliver was one of the most beloved poets of our times. A writer who was dazzled by her daily experience of life, and dazzled the rest of us by telling about it in her poems and essays. She deliberately stayed out of the public eye and what follows is one of her rare interviews -- a conversation with On Being's Krista Tippett. Read on for a glimpse of the remarkable woman who once wrote: "When it's over, I want to say: all my life/I was a bride married to amazement./I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms."

How to Help Students Dealing with Adversity

Education researcher Patricia Jennings explains how teachers can effectively support traumatized kids in their classrooms.

By Patricia Jennings

Six-year-old Jada feels a persistent expectation of danger. She overreacts to provocative situations and has difficulty managing her emotions, which often flare up without warning. To her teachers, Jada appears touchy, temperamental, and aggressive. She is easily frustrated, which makes her susceptible to bullying. When something happens at school that triggers Jada, she may lash out in fury.

How can teachers manage a kid like Jada who may have suffered trauma, but whose emotional reactions make it difficult for her to learn? Not by getting angry, for sure. That would just trigger her, because she’s hypersensitive to criticism.

In my new book, The Trauma-Sensitive Classroom, I present key, alternative strategies teachers and schools can use to help kids who’ve experienced trauma to do better in school. I’ve found that when teachers recognize the …

What Does It Mean to Live Wisely and Well?

What does it mean to live wisely and well and what does it take? How can we cultivate qualities such as love, wisdom, kindness, and compassion? Dr. Roger Walsh's lifework, addresses these questions. A man with an eclectic past, Roger has explored contemplative life as a professor, physician, therapist, celebrated author, spouse, spiritual practitioner, and inquisitive human being. He is a former circus acrobat, as well as a record holder in the fields of high diving and trampolining. Roger claims to have no final answers about life and meaning; yet through a combination of spiritual wisdom and practical tools, he offers hope and healing for us all, individually and globally.

Is Social Media Driving Political Polarization?

Battles rage on Facebook and Twitter—but their influence on real-world politics is subtler than you might think.
By Lee de-Wit, Cameron Brick, Sander van der Linden

Americans are more divided along party lines than ever before.

In the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who consistently hold liberal or conservative beliefs—rather than a mix of the two, which is the case for most people—has jumped from 10 percent to over 20. At the same time, beliefs about the other side are becoming more negative. Since 1994, the number of Americans who see the opposing political party as a threat to “the nation’s well-being” has doubled. This deepening polarization has predictable results: government shutdowns, violent protests, and scathing attacks on elected officials.

Why are we becoming more polarized?

There are probably many reasons. Could social media be driving polarization? Many people think so—and, indeed, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter have all become sites of ferocious political argum…

The Deepest Silence

"Ever abiding within and without, overlaid with the mutable patchwork garment we know as this visible universe, silence forms the woof and warp of all things seen and unseen. Yet at any instant it is immanent and accessible. To the mystic, silence is the ground, the core of reality. All else relates to and emanates from it. The deeper elements in all religions point to this silence. It is God, it is Buddha; it is Allah. But, to paraphrase Lao Tzu, to name it is to elude its essence. It can only be experienced. The fifteenth century Muslim born saint Kabir wittily observed, "I laugh when I hear the fish in the water is thirsty." This paradox, which asserts that we are forever surrounded by silence yet all the while occluded to its existence, forms the key dilemma in spirituality."

How to Survive Your Toddler’s Epic Tantrum

Rest assured, you can learn not to lose it during your child's tantrums (and to prevent meltdowns in the future).

By Rebecca Schrag Hershberg

If you are the parent to a toddler or preschooler, then you know: Tantrums happen. Sometimes, try as you might, there is simply no avoiding an epic meltdown, whether it’s at mealtime (no, just because you add milk to a bowl of rainbow sprinkles does not mean they count as breakfast cereal), bedtime (no, we can’t read the same book just one more time), or out in public (no, we can’t actually buy this entire shelf of toys at Target).

But, as I discuss in detail in my new book, The Tantrum Survival Guide: Tune In to Your Toddler’s Mind (and Your Own) to Calm the Craziness and Make Family Fun Again, tantrums are best understood not in isolation—solely as emotions and behaviors that children demonstrate—but rather as interactions between children and their caregivers. The good news is that the way you respond to your child’s tantrum behavior is cri…

The Difference Between Fixing and Healing

Encounter the mystery of life and living with Krista Tippet and Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, wise physician, author and founder of the Remen Institute for the study of Health and Illness.
Through hearing these powerful stories we can sense that our losses, our illnesses have helped us to live fully and to heal not only ourselves but those whose lives we touch. Life is full of losses and disappointments, and the art of living is to make of them something that can nourish others.

16 Diet Changes You Can Make Today

Get More Fruits and Veggies Try to add one more of each to every meal. Store cut-up raw veggies in the front of the fridge and fruit on the counter where you'll see it. Keep healthy dips on hand, like hummus, peanut butter, and low-fat yogurt. Load extras into your sandwiches, pizzas, salads, soups, and omelets. Pureed options like butternut squash can thicken soup and add nutrients. Mix cauliflower puree in with mashed potatoes for a healthy boost. Swipe to advance 2/16 Cut Down on Fast Food Try to reduce fast-food temptations. Take a different route so you don't have to pass drive-through places. Keep fruit or nuts with you to tide you over until you get home or to work. If you have to hit up a restaurant, choose lower-calorie items like grilled chicken. Look for fruit or veggie options like a salad (watch the dressing) or a plain baked potato as a side. Order regular or small sizes, and avoid value meals. Sip water or diet soda instead of sugary soda. Swipe to advance 3/16 Cho…

What Happens When You Embrace Dark Emotions

A psychologist explains how to face emotional challenges using mindfulness, acceptance, and self-compassion.

By Beth Kurland

When I was 15, my mother died in a car accident. Not knowing how to deal with the enormity of my loss and grief, I threw myself into homework and activities, never missing a day of school and trying to control everything in my life.

This strategy succeeded in some ways—I was able to get good grades, for example. But the inner cost of pushing away my grief and sadness showed up in other ways. I became anxious around things I couldn’t control, like unexpected changes of plans and minor injuries.

And as I grew older, I started to harbor irrational worries, such as the fear of exposing my baby in utero to toxic fumes when walking past a strange smell. It was not until my first child was born, with the help of a therapist, that I was able to fully grieve the loss of my mother and feel all of the emotions I had spent so many years trying to ward away.

As I write about in m…

Call of the Mountain

Have ever asked yourself, why am I moved to tears or laughter at the sight of a soaring bird? Have you ever felt deeply drawn to a tree, a river, an ocean or a mountain? Settle in and watch this video. Come home to who you are in this wide wonderful world. Learn how even your smallest daily choices can be deeply meaningful and fulfilling once you understand the your deep connections to the vastness of the universe.

NYC Books Through Bars

I recently slipped through a sidewalk cellar door to enter the basement of Freebird Books, a large space crammed with books organized into different sections, where I spent the evening reading letters from prison inmates and selecting and packaging books for them. At least twice a week, volunteers go through the 700-800 letters NYC Books Through Bars, a collective based in New York City, New York, receives from inmates every month and fulfill their requests.