Off-beat perceptions and life tips of the world and all its players.
Keep it clean, keep it honest and as a great friend told me, keep swimming!
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In this short animated film, "The Locust Mystery," learn how the gentle
harmless grasshopper and the devouring devastating locust are actually
the same creature. And how we, also, have many differing "selves" that
emerge under various circumstances.
Sensitivity implies a certain heightened reaction to external stimuli: experiences, noise, chatter, others’ emotional expression, sound, light, or other environmental changes. Sensitivity and high empathy are common experiences for many people, but some people experience these qualities to more severe degrees—and don’t realize that they can be hallmarks of Asperger’s, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sensory processing sensitivity, and other traits.
This is especially true for women, whose sensitivity has historically been pathologized as “hysteria” and misdiagnosed as anxiety or depression. (Note: The experience of sensitivity and a woman’s experience generally is clearly genderless, nonbinary, and equally applicable to trans women and cis women.)
With just one question and five words, we can change somebody’s day for the better! Here’s the quickest, easiest, least expensive, and most powerful way to be #HelpfulNow at a time when everyone is under so much stress. Let’s all give it a try and watch as the magic happens!
Can we help others (and ourselves) feel less lonely with just one question? The next time you’re checking out at the grocery store, bringing your car in for service, grabbing your dinner from a delivery driver, or on the phone with your grandma, pop out these five words and see the magic happen!
"Warm greetings of peace, hope, and healing to you and yours. As we
navigate these perilous waters of our common life -- with all the grace
and gratefulness we can muster -- you might find support in exploring
these thoughts on 'Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble: Some
Spiritual Tools and Tips'. Please share these wherever you wish, taking
what you need and leaving the rest."
Make time in your schedule for these core human needs.
It’s a crazy time. Here in the California, we are sheltering-in-place, leaving the house only for essentials like groceries and medical care. And while we’re all (appropriately) focused on caring for the physical health of ourselves, our families, our communities, and society at large, our mental, emotional, and social health needs are quickly emerging as profoundly important, as well.
I’m executive director of Open Source Wellness, which brings people together to learn and practice the behaviors that generate human health and well-being. Our core idea is that community is a form of medicine. And while we aren’t physically gathering right now, I’m happy to share some of what we have learned for your reflection and personal practice during this time.
Structure in times of chaos
During my first day of graduate school to become a psychologist, a wise, mischievous, provocative professor said to us: Human suffering is of…
"Coronavirus has uprooted the fabric of our lives. How does a heart of
service respond to an unknown cause and how do we build resilience when
we can't be physically together? Uncertain times raise significant
questions that can architect a new story for our future. Carbon
emissions have dropped dramatically, but xenophobia is rising. Nursing
homes are being evacuated, only to bring elders home to their families.
Shopping malls are empty but family meals are on the rise. Awakening of
kindness is pervasive, but the inequality of human suffering is evident.
Borders are still present, but the boundaries of our shared humanity
are getting blurry. Yes, undercurrents of fear are everywhere, but so
are prayers. Jack Kornfield recently shared, "The virus isn't happening
to us; it's happening for us." Last week 90 individuals from across the
ServiceSpace ecosystem circled online to explore the call of these
Here are some tools for staying calm and centered amid the coronavirus crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis is forcing educational professionals across the globe to take a collective breath. What’s next? Whether we’re actively planning online lessons from our homes or bingeing more Netflix movies than we had ever anticipated, we’re faced with so many unknowns—and more time to sit with our emotions.
We may feel overwhelmed, fearful, and emotionally fragile. Perhaps also restless, bored, and helpless. With so much uncertainty, how can we navigate this range of emotions? After all, researchers remind us that our stress-management skills ultimately help our students (and those around us) stay calmer.
Here are a few simple and easy-to-implement practices that you can draw on to manage difficult emotions.
Begin by acknowledging the emotions you are experiencing right now and genuinely offer yourself some understanding. Researchers Kristin Neff and Chris Germer invite us to ta…
Ever wanted to touch the art in a museum? Artists like these fellows are encouraging all of us to! Here’s a touching story about the power that tactile art can have across many communities.
Enter any museum or art gallery and you’re sure to be met with signs frustratingly telling you “NO TOUCHING.” Even though you’re itching to run our fingers over the smooth bronze statues, the ripples of paint, and cold glass, you begrudgingly back off and keep your hands off the artwork. But these artists are encouraging us not to!
"The rapid spread of novel coronavirus has prompted government,
business, and civil society to take dramatic action--canceling events
large and small, restricting travel, and shutting down major segments of
the economy on which nearly all of us depend. It is a demonstration of
our ability, when the imperative is clear, for deep and rapid global
cooperation and change at a previously unimaginable speed and
scale.There is an obvious desire to protect ourselves and our loved
ones. But we are also seeing something more as communities mobilize to
address the crisis--a sense of mutual responsibility, born of a
recognition that we are ultimately bound to a common fate." David Korten
If you’re sheltering in place, be sure to check in with yourself.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, and efforts to “flatten the curve” through physical distancing intensify, many of us find ourselves quarantined at home. The physical isolation and sudden departure from familiar routines can be jarring and disorienting. Settling in for the possibility of an extended shelter-in-place order, I wrote these six “Daily Quarantine Questions” to help me structure my days—and check in with myself, to make sure I’m doing OK. After I shared them on social media, I heard from thousands of people who said that these resonated for them.
Before getting into the questions, I want to recognize that not everyone has the privilege to shelter in place, or to do so safely and with financial security. Health care, grocery, transit, and other essential workers are on the frontline of caring for us, often putting themselves and their families at great risk. Thank you. You deserve not just ou…
Our emotional well-being can benefit the people around us.
Friday happened to be the International Day of Happiness, but people around the world feel anything but happy right now. Many of us are stressed and worried, wondering what this global pandemic means for our friends, families, and communities.
The pursuit of happiness is likely the furthest thing from people’s minds. Yet, as Buddhist monk and psychologist Jack Kornfield once said in an interview, cultivating a joyful spirit can actually help not only us, but the people around us—especially when things are hard. “Our gift to the world comes as much through our being and presence, our smile and touch, our sense of possibility and the mystery of human life, as it does in the specifics of what we do,” he says.
It’s a lovely sentiment, and it also seems to be supported by science. Study after study shows that well-being—either being in a positive mood or recognizing that you have a good life—benefits those in our social…
"Just a few days ago the word "caremongering" did not exist. Now, what
started as a way to help vulnerable people in Toronto has turned into a
movement spreading fast across Canada. More than 35 Facebook groups have
been set up in 72 hours to serve communities in places including
Ottawa, Halifax and Annapolis County in Nova Scotia, with more than
30,000 members between them. People are joining the groups to offer help
to others within their communities, particularly those who are more at
risk of health complications related to coronavirus." This BBC article
Snot otter, lasagna lizard, grampus, whatever you call it, this gigantic, slimy, and loveable creature could be the unlikely superhero saving the world’s amphibians. How, you ask? Well, let’s get to know them a little better and find out!
Let us introduce you to the great American Snot Otter. (Yes, you read that right.) These slimy, arguably adorable creatures of America’s streams are more traditionally known as Hellbender Salamanders. They may be big and a little unappealing to the average person, but they could be a savior to thousands of species around the globe that are teetering on the edge of extinction!
"The current moment calls for moral ferocity. We should not sleep well
at night when we know others are suffering. We need to raise our voices
with clarity and channel our anger into protest and resistance. Ferocity
itself, though, holds danger. Let's not forget that some of the worst
perpetrators of evil have often claimed to act in the name of the good,
or God, or the national interest, or a future utopia. By claiming the
moral high ground, and labeling our opponents misguided, we run the risk
of doing great harm in the name of good. I suggest that we balance our
moral ferocity with humility and tenderness." Rabbi Ariel Burger, an
author, artist and long-time student and friend of Elie Wiesel shares
more in this timely essay.
Teens are not made for isolation, which makes COVID-19 especially hard on them. Here's how to help your teenager to see the bigger picture.
Last weekend, my kids began arriving home from their various schools. We invited our oldest daughter’s longtime best friend, Lena, over for a homecoming dinner. She’s like a member of our family, and we were excited to see her, too, despite closing schools and social-distancing recommendations. The kids are all healthy, we reasoned. We had Lena wash her hands when she came in; we resisted hugging her.
On Monday we got a government order to shelter in place, and having had Lena over the night before suddenly seemed like a reckless mistake. But not all families in our neighborhood agree.
Parents all around me are reasoning that their high schoolers have been hanging out together anyway, so they’ve already “shared germs.” Lots of seemingly rational (but dangerously short-sighted and scientifically unvalidated) arguments for lettin…