Showing posts from February 17, 2019

Ana Valdes-Lim: The Reward is in the Process

Ana Valdes-Lim is the first Filipina graduate of New York's prestigious Julliard School. She was cited as one of their 100 Most Outstanding Alumni in 100 years. Additionally, she is an author of several books on theatre. After a successful career in the U.S., she returned to the Philippines, where she is passionate about theater as a vessel for transformation. Ana shares her vision and talents with a diverse population -- from third graders, to inmates in the prison system. This interview dives into her remarkable journey.

Can Happiness Trickle Down from the Global Elite?

The GGSC traveled to Davos this year to share insights on happiness with leaders at the World Economic Forum.

By Eve Ekman, Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, is not what you’d call a “woo woo” gathering. It convenes chief executives from over 1,000 member-companies—some of the largest in the world—to discuss the big social, economic, and political issues of the day. Arriving there, we felt apprehensive. We had accepted the invitation to present at WEF with some reservations—would all these businesspeople welcome the GGSC’s science-backed insights for a more meaningful life?

But we were pleasantly surprised at how welcoming and receptive they were. The 2019 program tagline (stitched and embossed onto the gray knapsack and moleskin swag) was “Committed to Improving the State of the World.” WEF has begun to incorporate well-being into their programs and outcomes over the last few years, and we were part of that objective.

Over five jam-packed days…

When the Market is Our Only Language

Many in the West revere the creation of wealth. Anand Giridharadas wants us to examine this and how it shapes our lives together. In this challenging conversation with Krista Tippit of the podcast, On Being, he explores the moral compromises behind notions like "win-win" and "doing well by doing good." Giridharadas describes this as being an historic time similar to that of the first Gilded Age, discusses the systemic problems with reform, and how without reflection, we have accepted unjust power structures and what and who can save us.

These Antibiotics Carry Serious Risks

Fluoroquinolones Overprescribed Despite Dangers

By Matt McMillen

In 2006, Rachel Brummert developed a sinus infection, and her doctor prescribed Levaquin, one of a class of powerful antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. Shortly after she began taking the drug, she went on an errand. While crossing a parking lot, her Achilles tendon ruptured. Her foot went limp. The agony felt unbearable.

“I felt the tendon snap and then ball up,” she recalls. “It was more painful than kidney stones.”

By 2009, she’d had three ruptures. Each required surgery. Her orthopedic surgeon couldn’t understand why this was happening to Brummert, who was otherwise healthy. They began to review her medical history, and he stopped her when she mentioned the Levaquin. The previous year, the FDA had warned that tendon ruptures were a potential consequence of taking this class of drug.

To date, Brummert, who lives in Charlotte, NC, has had 25 tendon ruptures. That’s not all. She also has memory problems, trouble balancing, …

Are You Prepared for Your Next Migraine?

At a Moment’s NoticeMigraines can come on without warning -- at home, at work, at school, at the mall, you name it. So it’s a good idea to have your pain medicine and other aids nearby so you can take action at the first sign of a headache. The answer is an emergency kit you can keep in your backpack, tote bag, or car. Swipe to advance 2/14 Pain MedicineWhen a headache starts, the quicker you take your meds, the more they can help you. If you tend to get an aura (such as changes in your vision or tingling in your hands or face) before the pain starts, take your medicine as directed as soon as you notice it. Swipe to advance 3/14 WaterYou have several reasons to keep water handy. If you get dehydrated, that can trigger a migraine. With water in your kit, you can drink up anytime you feel thirsty to ward that off. If a migraine does hit, drinks of water may help relieve it. You also might need water to wash down your pills or to wet a cloth to put on your forehead. Swipe to advance 4/14 Caffeine…

13 Ways of Looking at Community

"Community cannot take root in a divided life. Long before community assumes external shape and form, it must be present as seed in the undivided self: only as we are in communion with ourselves can we find community with others. Community is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace, the flowing of personal identity and integrity into the world of relationships." Parker Palmer shares more in this beautiful essay.

Thirteen Films That Highlight the Best in Humanity

It’s time for the Greater Goodies, honoring movies from the past year that exemplify human strengths and virtues.

By Jeremy Adam Smith, Amy L. Eva, Kira M. Newman, Jill Suttie, Jesse Antin, Maryam Abdullah, Zaid Jilani, Shea Tuttle, Shawn Taylor

With the Oscars coming up, it’s time once again to give out the Greater Goodies, which honor movies from the past year that exemplify the keys to our well-being, like curiosity, purpose, compassion, and love.

There are some prominent themes in this year’s crop. The Pixar short film Bao, the Lebanese movie Capernaum, and the American indies Leave No Trace and Eighth Grade all explore the process of children becoming independent from their parents, with the pain and pride that entails. Blindspotting, Bohemian Rhapsody, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Annihilation, and Crazy Rich Asians all in their very different ways explore efforts to bridge differences—and many of these films tackle acceptance, especially self-acceptance, in diverse societies…

In An Unspoken Voice: The Changing Face of Trauma

Peter Levine therapist, best selling author and educator has spent over 40 years understanding and developing treatments for trauma. He is the developer of the Somatic Experiencing technique. He shares from his book "In an Unspoken Voice", how our perspectives on trauma and extreme stress have shifted from acceptance as a part of our biology, a part of every life, to something separate and minimizing. How the traumas and terrors of life have been stripped of dignity and neutered by names and diagnoses like battle fatigue or PTSD. Peter teaches us how changing our perspective can help us to reconnect to the wisdom inside each of us, and our innate capacity to transform these experiences. The paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect.

How Your Happiness Can Spread to the People Around You

Students of our Science of Happiness course share their stories of transformation.

By Kira M. Newman

While some marathon runners raise money for their favorite causes, Shemaiah Weekes asked his friends and followers to pledge random acts of kindness. When he finally crossed the finish line after 26.2 miles, his community had committed to perform more than 100 kind acts. 

“I’m hoping this will spread a wave of kind acts which goes far beyond those who make direct pledges,” says Weekes.

He came up with the idea after taking the GGSC’s free online course, The Science of Happiness, which invites students to cultivate well-being skills like kindness, empathy, compassion, and mindfulness. And he’s not alone: Many other students have found that they can’t help but share their happiness journey with others.

That often starts with family. Last November, one student designed a Thanksgiving tree poster with colored leaves listing the things his family was grateful for. He also made five gratitude le…

Sacred Instructions: Creation Songs

"The relationships that exist between people and place are often memorialized through defining words that merge into story. As Indigenous people, our lives comprise these words and the stories that they illustrate. These words and stories paint a picture that brings into form all of the elements of our existence. They provide a clear view of our unique cultural landscape, and they offer us a defined sense of place within the world. In order to fully recognize our place in creation, we must realize that our stories are not the only stories that are being told. Every living thing has its own creation song, its own language, and its own story. In order to live harmoniously with the rest of creation, we must be willing to listen to and respect all of the harmonies that are moving around us." Drawing from her heritage and also from her experience as an activist and attorney, Sherri Mitchell addresses crucial issues of our time, and offers timeless wisdom.

--by Sherri …

Americans Are Having Less Sex, But Is That a Problem?

We shouldn’t see changes in Americans’ sex lives as a single phenomenon with an overarching cause.

By Hope Reese

Should we really keep obsessing over how much sex we are or aren’t having? In her December 2018 cover story for The Atlantic warning that Americans—Millennials in particular—are having “so little sex,” senior editor Kate Julian soberly framed the drop as a “sex recession.”

Drawing from a 2017 study led by Jean M. Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University, Julian’s piece also highlighted evidence from the 2016 General Social Survey (GSS), conducted at the University of Chicago. That survey found that Millennials report having fewer sexual encounters on average than the two generations before them. And Millennials aren’t the only cohort facing a decline—from the late 1990s to 2014, sex for all adults dropped from 62 to 54 times a year, on average. The research showed a decline in sex mainly among white, middle-aged, married couples.

Julian’s tone—listing a myri…