Off-beat perceptions and life tips of the world and all its players.
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An early sense of abandonment, a missing gravestone, and an inheritance
promised to her in a dream, were all part of the unusual chain of events
that led Petra Wolf, a hairdresser-turned-environmental engineer, to
the Camino de Santiago, and to Michael--the man she would one day marry.
Over 15 years they followed an inner call and embraced the unknown
together, walking to Jerusalem, sailing to India, living in a round
house in Santa Fe, and more. All with the intention of creating a
spiritual shift, within and without. In this candid interview, conducted
the year after Michael's unexpected passing, Petra looks back at her
unique life, and the insights lighting the next stage of her journey.
"We all belong to the world in concentric circles of relationship some
more distant and others close, some with people different from us and
others with people more similar. Living within this web of connectedness
can bring us the greatest of joys and the deepest of challenges. The
preferences, patterns, and habits we have learned can both build
relational bridges and create great divides. Much of how we operate in
our relationships can be unconscious and beneath our awareness, and so
we go through life feeling perpetually at the effect of others, rather
than intentional and effectual."
"One morning I woke up with no voice, just a faint, breathy whisper.
This would be upsetting anytime, but on this particular day it felt as
if I were in a fairy tale. In a matter of hours, I was supposed to tell a
story and teach mindfulness meditation at the Rubin Museum of Art in
Manhattan. And I couldn't make a sound." Parabola's Tracy Cochran shares
more in this thought-provoking essay on the possibilities that awaken
when we relinquish our hold on the familiar and surrender to the
Do you want to create a better relationship with food?
Maybe you follow the standard recommendations for healthy eating, but they don’t seem to work for you—and you’re always fighting off cravings. Or maybe you’re constantly distracted by technology and overwhelmed by busyness, too scattered to find pleasure in your meals.
Learning to listen to your body’s reactions to food can do much more than just help you lose weight. Research suggests that mindful eating—a nonjudgmental awareness of the complete experience of eating—can contribute to weight loss, a decline in negative emotions, and a healthier relationship with food. It can also help you find a deeper connection to the foods you eat, nourishing you in ways you may never have experienced before.
Eating healthy can become both easier and more enjoyable because you are finally in sync with your body.
Every week, my wife and I have a meeting where we talk about what is going well in our family, but also what we could be doing better. She knows when I am giving less than my best, and she calls me out on it—which isn’t always easy to hear. But I know I’m lucky to be married to someone who always challenges me to work on myself and become a better person.
When we think about personal growth, we often envision a solo quest, like Don Quixote on a journey of self-improvement. We are advised to increase our self-control, get grittier, and develop a sense of purpose. So we hunker down, turn inward, and start the solitary task of reshaping our habits and behaviors.
And yet people who are thriving are usually doing so with the help of others. Peak athletes have coaches. Top executives have mentors. Great parents have parenting blogs and other great parents to bounce ideas off of. Even those contemplat…
In a short and strikingly beautiful cinematic journey to wild places we
are asked to think about how we are leaving the natural world for
generations to come. What if our children's children could never lay
eyes on wild country because it is already destroyed? Spending time in
the wild is not a past-time, the narrator tells us, rather it is a
biological necessity like water, air and food. The video ends on a
hopeful note, pointing out that thousands of people are spending their
time working to leave their areas better than when they arrived.
In a Netherlands zoo, an elderly chimpanzee named Mama is weak and dying. Elderly biology professor Jan van Hooff, who has known the primate for four decades, enters Mama’s enclosure—something usually too dangerous to attempt, given the strength of chimpanzees and their capacity for violent attacks. In their final, poignant encounter, she grins and reaches for him, embraces him, and rhythmically pats the back of his head and neck in a comforting gesture that chimpanzees use to quiet a whimpering infant.
As one of the world’s most prominent primatologists, de Waal has been observing animals for four decades now, debunking myths around the differences between animals and humans. His latest book focuses on the emoti…
Highly acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin discusses the problematic
nature of receiving awards. Among those she says she would like to have
is the Sartre Prize for Prize Refusal. Named after Jean-Paul Sartre for
refusing the Nobel in 1964, it is coveted by authors who refuse awards
in the hopes of being nominated for the Sartre Prize for Prize Refusal.
The irony is not lost on Le Guin who refused the Nebula when they
deprived the Polish novelist Stanislaw Lem of his honorary membership
explaining it was only fitting since "it would be shameless to accept an
award for a story about political intolerance from a group that had
just displayed political intolerance."
Is self-improvement sometimes a disguised version of self-agrression?
If the focus is always on how I might be "better" in the future, it can
be hard to extend toward myself a hand of friendship and compassion. I
miss out on the present miracle of who I am NOW. Maybe moving from a
perspective of improvement toward one of healing actually begins with
loving my current messiness.