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Showing posts from April 5, 2020

Why is This Busker Giving All of His Money Away?

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Can a street performer change the way we think about helping our neighbor? Well, in the subways of New York City, one musician’s experiment in kindness has spread to a global movement to do good with whatever talents we have!

The subway platform isn’t the first place you’d expect to find someone making the world a better place, but if you’re lucky enough to run into this guy, you’ll leave knowing, without a doubt, that kindness is everywhere.

By Sam Burns


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Call to Prayer

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"Prayer can be anything your heart yearns for." As crowded spaces have become empty and many of us around the world are staying away from loved ones for mutual health and safety concerns, the one thing we can all do is to pray. We can all sit in silence and send out smiles and positive thoughts. Allow Nimo Patel's moving music and the accompanying inspirational visuals by Ellie Walton to inspire your own prayerful thoughts and yearnings for our hurting world.


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Into the Chrysalis

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"Chrysalises both inspire and baffle me. The thought that a caterpillar can crawl into a sac made of its own body and dissolve its form and come out as a butterfly is a cliched image of transformation, but holy crap. Stop for a moment and really think about that. Does the caterpillar know this is going to happen? If it does that shows some tremendous trust. If it doesn't, then that shows some incredible courage. It just hangs out there, isolating itself from the rest of the world and changing in ways it can never understand." Chris Corrigan shares more in this short passage.


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Can Urban and Rural Americans Get on the Same Page About COVID-19?

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Population density predicts responses to the novel coronavirus. Why?

The entire United States is grappling with the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, not all areas have been equally affected so far—and there are huge differences between how urban and rural areas have been responding to the threat.

By Zaid Jilani


According to Gallup polls, Americans who live in areas with high population density are far more likely to practice basic social distancing—like avoiding stores and restaurants—than those in the more rural parts of the country. In rural areas, only 42 percent are taking these precautions. In the densest cities, two thirds are doing so. That’s a huge 24-point difference.

This difference in individual behavior has played out on the level of policy and leadership. In the state of Utah, Republican Governor Gary Herbert issued orders closing schools and barring dine-in at restaurants and bars. But the rural backlash came swiftly. Seventeen county commissioners and one state represe…

A New Look at Life From the World’s First Cyborg!

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What if you could hear colors? What what would an autumn hillside sound like? What about your favorite outfit? Your favorite color? This is how Neil Harbisson “sees” the world of color! How? As the world’s first cyborg his experiences have a lot to teach us about the future of our senses!

Imagine a world where taxi’s sounded like limes, you could listen to your favorite painting, and the colors of the grocery store brought on a symphony everywhere you turned! For Neil Harbisson, this fantastical world of color and sound is his everyday reality. He has the high honor of being the world’s first cyborg, with a computer chip and antenna implanted right into his head to give him an entirely new sense!

By Sam Burns


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Healing Our Relationship to Reality

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"As human beings we are hardwired to search for stability, security, certainty and a sense of control in our lives. And yet, life by definition is perpetually in flux, it is famously unpredictable, riddled with uncertainty and fundamentally uncontrollable. These realities are the ground on which we practice. And practicing on this ground invites us into the heart of paradox. The paradox of finding joy in the midst of relentless change, the paradox of discovering balance in the midst of uncertainty and of finding our true agency in the midst of a surrender." This piece explores what somatic practices like yoga can offer as we navigate the realities of existence.


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Three Tips from a Therapist for Calming Your Coronavirus Anxiety

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We can get a grip on the worries swirling around in our minds.

In the early days of COVID-19, we faced many difficult decisions in everyday life: trying to weigh risk and decide whether to meet up or stay home, send kids to school or visit the gym. Now that my home state of California has its “shelter in place” order—and many other cities and states are in various stages of lockdown—a waiting period has taken shape.

By Lindsey Antin


In some ways, this is a relief—our minds get decision fatigue in the face of so many choices. Now we have our instructions, which are restrictive but useful to our brains. But many other types of uncertainty still remain, about things like our jobs, whether we will get sick even while taking precautions, or when we will see our loved ones and return to some normal routines.

We do not do well with uncertainty, and it drives much of the anxiety in the world, even when we’re not facing a pandemic. In fact, I define anxiety loosely as “an unrealized fear that thri…

How You Can Use Your Own Hobbies to Positively Impact Others!

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What can you do for hours that makes the stress of the world melt away? For Ed Nicholson, the answer was fly fishing, and now his passion is helping veterans combat the effects of PTSD. Check out his story and you might be inspired to help people in your own way!

What if there was a place in your life where, for a moment, the stress of the world could melt away? A place where anger and anxiety could give way to calm and connectedness? Well, in rivers around the United States, veterans are finding this kind of calm; all thanks to one man’s idea to invite a few out to fish.

By Sam Burns


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Dive into a Pool of Grits at South Carolina’s World Grits Festival!

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When your town is known for eating the most grits in your area, why not roll around in them? On this edition of Saturdays Around the World, we’re getting an exclusive view of what it’s like to be a contender in the amazing Rolling in the Grits contest in South Carolina!

Pull your sweatpants up nice and high, duct tape the bottoms to your legs, and turn your hoodie around because we’re about to attend the world-famous Rolling in the Grits contest. Oh, I’m sorry, you’ve never heard of it? Well, you better get your calendar out, because you’re about to be busy visiting grit heaven April 17th-19th.

By Sam Burns


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The Art of Waiting

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"Time is the substance I am made of," Borges wrote in his spectacular confrontation with time, "Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire." We are indeed creatures of time who live with it and in it, on the picketed patch of spacetime we have each been allotted. But if time is the foundational baseboard of our being, what happens to the structure of our lives in a culture of doing? That is what Jason Farman explores in Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting.

Maria Popova shares more in this post.


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Courage & Vulnerability: Corona & the Wisdom of Elders

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"In every crisis of my life, learning has helped me find my way through. That means paying attention, allowing myself to feel as well as think, looking at things from different angles, gathering the best info available, trying to connect the dots, and 'living the questions' when the answers elude me." For more than five decades, Parker Palmer has written and spoken about subjects ranging from contemplation to community, the inner life to public life, education to social change. He is known as one of the nation's most thoughtful voices, calling us all to ways of being in the world that honor the human heart and promote a humane society. More in this thought-provoking post.


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16 Teachings from Covid-19

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"A lot is being said these days. Clarity can be hard to come by, silence even more so. Overwhelmed by the cacophony of voices, I sat down to synthesize some perspectives that shine light on the corona crisis. Most of you will already have come across some of those ideas. They show us what we can learn from the current situation. Corona holds a mirror that reflects our relationship with ourselves, with the Earth, with each other and with the broader systems we live in. Some of the points might seem contradictory to each other. The invitation lies in not trying to resolve those opposites, not even looking for any coherence. Instead let's expand so we become able to hold all the different facets of truth. Whichever of the conflicting narratives around corona you choose to believe, there is one thing we probably all agree on: As a human family, we are faced with a unique moment in history that -- like any crisis -- holds tremendous gifts." Marian Brehmer shares …

Even If You've Not Been Fed, Be Bread.

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"In my role as director of the nonprofit Mercy Beyond Borders, I am frequently in South Sudan visiting our education projects for girls and our micro-enterprise projects with women and our leadership training of young women for advocacy. Keeping girls in school protects them from early marriages, allows them to develop their gifts, sets them on the path to pursue professional careers. The small loans we provide to women in refugee camps enable them to create sustainable futures for their families, a path upward from extreme poverty. It is easy to believe that we are the ones filling their coffers with coins. But wait. Perhaps that, too, is backwards. It is these widows, orphans, refugees and displaced persons who enrich us. They stand undefended, "the least among us," often with apparently empty hands. [...] With no material wealth to give, such women connect on a deeper level. They share their struggles, their stories, their hard work, their daily living a…