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Showing posts from April 19, 2020

Every Act a Ceremony

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"In a ceremony, one attends fully to the task at hand, performing each action just as it should be. A ceremony is therefore a practice for all of life, a practice in doing everything just as it should be done. An earnest ceremonial practice is like a magnet that aligns more and more of life to its field; it is a prayer that asks, "May everything I do be a ceremony. May I do everything with full attention, full care, and full respect for what it serves." In this essay Charles Eisenstein explores what modern people can draw from the ceremonial approach to life, as practiced by traditional, indigenous, and place-based peoples, as well as esoteric lineages within the dominant culture.


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How to Help Teens Handle the Loss of Proms and Graduations

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Losing these ceremonies is a big deal. We need to help them grieve.

Yesterday at dinner, one of my children was sad and irritated. She was offended by our mere existence.

By Christine Carter


“What’s wrong with her now?” one of the other kids asked unkindly, to no one in particular.

Like many young people around the world, this is a kid who has weathered some deep disappointments in the last month. She was studying at an art school, a once-in-a-lifetime semester program, when COVID-19 hit. Classes aren’t the same when you don’t have the materials, studio, and equipment you need for printmaking, sculpture, and developing your film.

And it turned out that my irritable art student had just been dealt a new disappointment: Her first real art show had been canceled. There’d be no way for her to demonstrate to her friends and family that she’s crossed over from being a creative little kid who liked art into a full-fledged, real-life artist. Her identity is different now than it was a year ago, …

What Do New Yorkers Love About Their City?

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How does the way we talk about things shape the way we see them? On a hot July day, the artist Marco Santini took to the New York City subway to ask, “What do you love about New York City?” The answers will make you rethink the way language shapes our view of the world!

What words do you use to describe the place you love? How do you feel about that place, right now, thinking about those words? A little happier, more joyful, a little less stressed, maybe? If we talked about what we loved about a place, what we admired about somebody, and what brought us joy about each other more often, how would that change the way we see the world? The trick to seeing the world in a brighter way is far easier than you may think!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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My Freedom Is In Your Hands

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"What if this virus had a hidden agenda other than spreading fear about how it might compromise our health? What if hidden in its drive to be contagious, there was another message, urging to be heard? Whether we come running or are being dragged, this virus teaches us to consider each other in a whole new way. Much like prisoners, we are being asked to give up our personal freedom to protect society from ourselves. We get a brief taste, with these temporary 'shelter in place' orders, what it might be like to be confined for decades on end. Please consider what it is like, to be elderly or in bad health -- and trapped inside prison?" Jacques Verduin, is the Founding Director of the Insight Prison Project, a non-profit which helps prisoners and challenged youth create the personal and systemic change to transform violence and suffering into opportunities for learning and healing. He shares more in this piece, that includes a powerful "hand washing med…

This is Me at 68: Elders Reflect During Crisis

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In this beautifully illustrated compilation, citizens 60 and older share their experiences and reflections related to the COVID-19 global pandemicfrom becoming a grandmother to dancing in the street.

The following essays are reproduced in partnership with McSweeney’s Publishing. Citizens 60 and older share their experiences and reflections related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Illustrations are YES! originals by Enkhbayar Munkh-Erdene, associate art director.


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What Happens When We Lose Our Social Rituals?

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Researchers weigh in on what rituals mean to us and how to cope when we can't gather for graduations, weddings, and funerals.

When the shelter-in-place orders came down in California, the first thing I thought of was my cousin’s wedding—the one I was supposed to officiate. I’d been working on creating a special ceremony since the fall. But once the pandemic kicked in, everything was cancelled.

By Jill Suttie


Perhaps my cousin is luckier than some—after all, a wedding can be rescheduled. Even so, he had to let go of a cherished dream of when and how his wedding would take place.

He’s certainly not alone. Many people have had to give up important shared rituals—graduation ceremonies, prom nights, long-awaited concerts, religious services, opening day baseball, and even funerals. The loss, while necessary, is profound.

What can we do to cope? Is there something we can learn from this experience that will help us carry on? What will it mean for the future of our social fabric?

No one knows…

The Fascinating History Behind Some of Your Favorite Movies!

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What do giant stag beetles have to do with Wallace & Gromit, King Kong, or The Nightmare Before Christmas? The answer is a surprising trip down memory lane to the wonderful land of stop motion animation! Trust us, you’ll want to hear this wild tale!

What do bugs and the present every kid put on their list for Christmas in 1989 have in common? Well, if you’ve ever watched Wallace & Gromit, King Kong, or The Nightmare Before Christmas, then you now know the answer to that question!

By Sam Burns


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Earth Day at 50

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For the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, Orion Magazine asked ten authors-- including E.O. Wilson, Krista Tippett, Pico Iyer, and Amy Tan-- one question: "What earthly thing gives you hope at this point in history?


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How to Reduce the Stress of Homeschooling on Everyone

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A school psychologist offers advice to parents on how to support their child during school closures.

By Rebecca Branstetter


With nationwide school closures in effect, many parents are now monitoring homeschooling while at the same time trying to making a living in the midst of a terrible economic crisis. In this environment of broken routine and uncertainty, chances are your child is showing big feelings and challenging behaviors.

In my work as a school psychologist, I’ve been hearing from parents that despite their best efforts, their children are struggling with meeting homeschool expectations. Kids who never showed behavioral or emotional challenges are experiencing issues, and kids who had some struggles before are showing an uptick of challenges. Here are three ways to support your child (and manage your own stress) during school closures that parents I work with have found helpful.

1. Simplify: Relax your homeschooling and productivity standards to a level appropriate for a worldwid…

Rachel Remen: The Grace of Being Seen

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"I wanted to share with you a letter that meant a great deal to me that was posted to my website in response to my blog. Carol addresses it to physicians but it is true of us all; everyone who goes to work every day in this broken healthcare system in the hopes of helping others, despite everything. It has never been harder to be a health professional and I have never been prouder to be counted among the people who choose this work. We are what is right with the system. Perhaps some day we can build a system truly worthy of our patients and of us all." Rachel Remen shares a beautiful letter she received. Though it is from several years ago, in today's world with millions of healthcare workers at the frontlines of a global pandemic, this love letter to caregivers feels more timely than ever. 

by Rachel Naomi Remen

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How to Protect Your Well-Being at Work During a Crisis

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Here’s how to navigate COVID-19-related challenges at work.

Daily life has changed drastically for people across the globe, including in our work lives. Many of us are now working remotely for the first time, not able to work at all, or working long hours in hazardous conditions. At the same time, we’re facing fear, grief, financial hardship, loneliness, and other challenges.

By Jessica Lindsey


With all of these changes, it is important now more than ever to collectively invest in our well-being, both in general and at work.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas is the science director at the Greater Good Science Center, and instructor for The Science of Happiness at Work online course series. The courses teach students what happiness at work means, why it matters, and where it comes from. They provide actionable strategies and practices for boosting happiness at work personally, among colleagues, and across the entire organization. I had a conversation with Simon-Thomas about how to protect and sustain…

Do You See the Ancient Superhero In This Photo?!

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Want to get a dose of wonder 5 or 6 times a day, while doing something you have to do anyway? You have an element in your home right now that is critical to human history and you probably wouldn’t even be here without it!

While the toilet often gets all the credit for its life-saving measures in the bathroom (and rightly so), we want to celebrate the unsung hero that often sits right near it.  Though it’s been around for thousands of years, this often overlooked substance is one of our most powerful tools in fending off deadly forces, completely destroying viruses and sending those bad boys down the drain!

By Sam Burns


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The Art of Being Creatures

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In this intimate conversation between Krista and one of her beloved teachers, we ponder the world and our place in it, through sacred text, with fresh eyes. Were accompanied by the meditative and prophetic poetry of Wendell Berry, read for us from his home in Kentucky: Stay away from anything / that obscures the place it is in. / There are no unsacred places; / there are only sacred places / and desecrated places. / Accept what comes of silence.


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Can We Bridge Change By Starting With What We Love?

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Could we solve major problems by coming together with storytelling and the things we share a passion for? That was the mission of two native Michiganders as they hopped in a veggie powered van to discover why their homeland was so important to people, and rally them around saving it!

How do we get other people to care about what we care about? It seems like if there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s being bad at compromise. But is there an easy way to find ourselves on the same page with others much more often? Our guides in this article are giving us a different route to follow; one that we can consider in any part of our lives. It all may just be a case of show, not tell.

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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