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Showing posts from December 8, 2019

A Charming Tradition that is Equally as Sweet!

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It only takes one person to breathe new life into a dying tradition. Meet Shinri Tezuka, the craftsman who is sculpting the sweet, ancient Japanese art form of Amezaiku back into the hands (and mouths!) of modern society.

Nestled within the bustling city of Asakusa, Japan sits a young man with a calm smile on his face. He is quickly snipping away at a ball of melted sugar and transforming it into adorable works of edible art in front of a crowd of hypnotized onlookers. What is he doing that is dazzling his audience, you ask? Allow us to introduce you to Shinri Tezuka, the craftsman dedicated to preserving a tradition that is just as sweet to look at, as it is to taste!

By Renee Laroche-Rheaume


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On Courage

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What does it mean to be courageous? Is it something seen outwardly, as when someone overcomes an overwhelming physical obstacle, or is it "the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future"? This short video provides an eloquent answer through powerful images that encourage further consideration of the question.


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How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them

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Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly as we've seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vern Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.


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The Lost Words

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"It had come to our attention that words were slipping out from the mouths and the minds of children, but it was only once the book was complete and beginning to make its way out into the world that this really hit home. In a class full of children I asked who knew what a wren was. Wren, that small brown bird, feathers small as splinters with a sharp song so loud that threads its way through hedges in parks and gardens. Not one. Not even the teacher. An absence of knowledge." Award-winning writer and illustrator Jackie Morris shares more.


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How an Army of Women Resurrected a River

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Women in Vellore, India, have resurrected the Naganadhi river and the agriculture of the area that were almost lost to drought. In 2014, the women took matters into their own hands and worked with engineers and hydrologists to build 600 recharge wells by hand: digging wells, making cement rings, placing the rings and stones, and planting drought-resistant saplings along the river basin. This labor-intensive work has resulted in wells that help replenish the groundwater. They have not only brought a dead river back to life, but have ensured their children do not endure the hardship they did.


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Six Ways to Grow Social Connections on the Job

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A new book suggests simple habits we can adopt to strengthen our relationships at work.

Many of us could use a little more connection at work. Maybe you’ve started to feel a sense of isolation on the job, or tension with a coworker; perhaps you got some negative feedback about your work style and you want to smooth things over. 

By Jill Suttie

Positive emotions and warm relationships play an important role in workplace culture. Not only do they make us feel happier and healthier, they can also be a boon to productivity. As David DeSteno has shown, for example, practicing gratitude and compassion toward others can make a big difference in our motivation and satisfaction on the job.

Now, a new book by psychologist Melanie Katzman, Connect First: 52 Simple Ways to Ignite Success, Meaning, and Joy at Work, offers numerous ideas for infusing more positive energy into our workplaces. While these concrete, practical tips come from Katzman’s years of experience working as a business consultan…

What Teens Are Actually Thankful For

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A first-grade teacher, a best friend, a parent—high schoolers share their gratitude letters with their recipients.

By Jane Park

What Makes You Special?

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How do you make your life long dreams a reality? Why not start with embracing what makes you unique? Sports announcer Jason Benetti has been doing this from a young age, and now, as the White Sox announcer and Cerebral Palsy advocate he’s helping others achieve their dreams too!

What if we embraced what made us unique from an early age? How would our trajectory in life change? How could we alter the world for others? This is exactly what White Sox Announcer Jason Benetti is doing as he fulfills his childhood dream!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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The Unexpectedly Arctic Origins of Our Favorite Desert Companion!

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What do camels have to do with globalization, and the arctic? Probably not what you think! The adaptations that made camels our ideal desert companions didn’t start in the sand.

Close your eyes and picture a camel. Where did you picture it? In the heat of the desert? Perhaps in front of the pyramids? Chances are, you didn’t think of them on the frozen arctic tundra! But that’s exactly where you would have found the ancestors of today’s camels, happily calling the frigid north home. And it’s all thanks to those magnificent humps!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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A Beautiful Look at the Future of Eldercare!

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It’s time to break the mold on what eldercare looks like! Where would you want to spend your golden years? How about a village complete with a bar, shopping center, and living catered to your lifestyle! This is a leap for us all!

What would have to happen to make eldercare feel like the system we want for our own parents, or even ourselves one day? The village of Hogeweyk offers a completely new reality. Here’s what’s possible if we rethink everything about how we live in our later years!

By Sam Burns


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Earth as Goddess

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Baba Mandaza Augustine Kademwa, from Zimbabwe, was born a Svikiro (in Shona, his native tongue), a carrier of many earth and water spirits, and a Mondhoro (Lion), one who is in constant prayer on behalf of others.Mandaza is an African traditional healer and voice for Mother Nature, he carries with him, in his heart, the Central African spiritual tradition of healing and peacemaking. In the following interview he dives into the heart of our relationship with Mother Earth and a path to healing within and without.


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How Place Can Connect Us to Gratitude

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"Certain places can evoke a profound experience of gratitude for us. Have you ever noticed how your favorite bakery, or neighborhood park, or familiar church, or your own living room, can bring you profound gratitude that you feel in your body?...Place connects us to gratitude, and gratitude connects us to place. And this gratitude also finds its place in our bodies. As we find gratitude in a sense of place like a retreat center, our home, a park, a library or bookstore, we also find gratitude in a sense of place within our hearts and bodies."


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Spirit Bathing for the Worried and Beleaguered

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"As expressed in a thousand ways in the Brussats book "Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life", the Spirit resides not only in formal religious rituals and spiritual practices, but in everyday life -- nature, a cats eyes, a beautiful painting, a colorful salad, a lover's embrace, a new place. This means that I can Spirit Bathe anywhere, anytime. I can be in my kitchen or kneeling over a flowerbed. I can be at a rock concert for that matter or on top of a grassy hill gazing down at a meadow filled with wildflowers in a riot of colors."


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