Showing posts from January 26, 2020

How to Go Through Life with Love in Your Heart

A Q&A with Tara Brach about offering radical compassion to yourself and others.

By Eve Ekman

How do you react to difficult emotions like anxiety, guilt, or anger?

Many of us have the habit of judging ourselves and others harshly, drawing lines of blame that separate us from each other. But there’s another way, writes internationally recognized meditation teacher Tara Brach in her new book. Radical Compassion is a way of practicing acceptance and care for ourselves and others that allows us to stay present to all that life brings and stay connected to each other.

Her main tool for cultivating radical compassion is RAIN, where we Recognize, Allow, and Investigate whatever is troubling us—be it the crippling anxiety after our first breakup or the tenderness and guilt of white privilege—and Nurture ourselves with self-compassion.

A psychologist and bestselling author, Brach draws upon her own experience with family, health, and the events of the world alongside her work as a psychologist t…

How to Overcome the Struggles of Midlife

Here are four lessons for changing your mindset about aging and finding a sense of meaning.

By Chip Conley

Fifty-six-year-old Steve Reinhardt had always thought himself resilient. But some strokes of bad luck left him with a serious confidence crisis.

He’d spent 25 years as a senior marketing executive, but in the Great Recession he put his nest egg in the Bernie Madoff basket. A couple of years later, his wife was killed in a head-on car accident.

Not knowing how to metabolize his grief and not wanting to burden his friends, he threw himself into his work and became the successful chief marketing officer of a startup that needed a turnaround. But after that, he got stuck. Steve interviewed with nearly a dozen companies, but he repeatedly saw them hiring marketing leaders in their 30s.

By early 2019, Steve found himself working as a front desk clerk at a Napa Valley luxury hotel, and all of his emotions caught up with him. He says, “Losing virtually everything left me broken and in deep d…

How to Be Kinder to Yourself

When you're caring so much for other people, how do you deal with your own stress? Psychiatrist Elizabeth Guinto tries a practice to be kinder to herself.

Audio from The Science of Happiness podcast. Try the Self-Compassion Break practice yourself.

By Jane Park

Feeding the Soul and Ending Loneliness

Can food fight loneliness? In the kitchens of the Healing Meals Community Project, food is giving people a place to come together, work in the service of others, and leave people changed for life!

Loneliness can shorten our lives by fifteen years, 1 and for those suffering from a health crisis like cancer, the impacts of loneliness can have even greater consequences. 2 But can food do something to help this? The kitchens of the Healing Meals Community Project in Bloomfield, Connecticut have found a way!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

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This Clock Will Run for 10,000 Years… But Why?

What will happen in 10,000 years? Who will be here? This innovation hopes to connect us to the thousands of generations to come, ticking away in a mountain through the timeline of humanity.

Inside a mountain in West Texas, deep in a series of tunnels and chambers, a connection to the past, the present, and the future of humanity is being built. It’s a brilliant feat of innovation: a giant clock, created to run and tell the correct time for 10,000 years. But why build a clock that will last for generations? Well, let’s ask the visionaries who are making it possible.

By Sam Burns

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Meaning and the Song of the Soul

"Meaning is what calls from the depths of the soul.

It is the song that sings us into life. Whether we have a meaningful life depends upon whether we can hear this song, this primal music of the sacred. The sacred is not something primarily religious or even spiritual. It is not a quality we need to learn or to develop. It belongs to the primary nature of all that is. When our ancestors knew that everything they could see was sacred, this was not something taught but instinctively known. It was as natural as sunlight, as necessary as breathing. It is a fundamental recognition of the wonder, beauty and divine nature of the world. And from this sense of the sacred, real meaning is born, the meaning that makes our hearts sing with the deepest purpose of being alive." Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee shares more in this beautiful passage.

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Why Imitation Is at the Heart of Being Human

Coping helps us learn skills and cultural rituals—and feel a sense of belonging.

By Connor Wood

Chimpanzees, human beings’ closest animal relatives, share up to 98 percent of our genes. Their human-like hands and facial expressions can send uncanny shivers of self-recognition down the backs of zoo patrons.

Yet people and chimpanzees lead very different lives. Fewer than 300,000 wild chimpanzees live in a few forested corners of Africa today, while humans have colonized every corner of the globe, from the Arctic tundra to the Kalahari Desert. At more than 7 billion, humans’ population dwarfs that of nearly all other mammals—despite our physical weaknesses.

What could account for our species’ incredible evolutionary successes?

One obvious answer is our big brains. It could be that our raw intelligence gave us an unprecedented ability to think outside the box, innovating solutions to gnarly problems as people migrated across the globe. Think of The Martian, where Matt Damon, trapped alone in …

Why Parents Need a Little Self-Compassion

Here are three practices to bring a little mindfulness and calm to your busy day.

By Susan M. Pollak

“I don’t have any time for self-care. I know I need it, but I feel like I’m a bad mother if I take time for myself,” said Michelle, a participant in my Self-Compassion for Parents workshop. “I simply don’t have time to practice!” 

This is a common complaint of the parents I see in my role as a psychologist and self-compassion teacher. The demands of raising kids can keep parents running around, making it hard for them to imagine spending even a few minutes focusing on their own needs.

But self-compassion—learning to treat yourself with the same kindness and consideration that you would offer a good friend—is important for parents. So many things can and do go wrong as we raise children, and we need to find ways to nurture ourselves so that we are well-equipped to handle all the demands.

While taking time out for self-care might feel like a burden—who has time for one more thing you should…

What Makes a Workplace Diversity Program Successful?

We can take steps to help diversity initiatives be effective—and not have unintended consequences.

By Lisa Leslie

Facebook publishes an annual diversity report—a way to catalog the efforts the company is making toward diversifying its staff, and to report on its progress. They’re not alone; many other companies, both in the technology world and beyond, are implementing similar initiatives. And yet each year, the results seem underwhelming.

Diversity initiatives are policies and practices designed to improve the workplace experiences and outcomes of target group members. These initiatives most often target women and ethnic or racial minorities, but they can target any group who faces pervasive disadvantage in the broader society. They might include non-discrimination policies (like emphasizing merit as the basis for pay and promotions, or training employees in implicit bias), programs that support target groups (like diversity mentoring programs), or accountability practices (like hiring…