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Showing posts from April 26, 2020

The Capacity for Successful Solitude

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"The capacity to be alone is the capacity to know enough about yourself and who you are, and be comfortable enough with that. That way, when you are with another person, youre not trying to make that person into somebody you need them to be in order to buttress a fragile sense of your own self. You can actually turn to a person and see them as another person, and have a real relationship with them." Sherry Turkle shares more.

Sherry Turkle


Now, the person who can’t do that is going to be one of these people who nobody wants to be with, because when you see them coming, you know that they’re going to use you to make themselves feel less terrifyingly alone. Those people are very lonely, because they can’t form relationships. They’re using other people as spare parts.

The capacity to be in a relationship requires the capacity for a genuine solitude. One of the gifts of a successful childhood is that you develop this capacity for successful solitude. And you learn it, paradox…

How to Support Teachers’ Emotional Needs Right Now

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Schools can develop a plan to help teachers who are feeling anxious and overwhelmed.

At the end of March, our team at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, along with our colleagues at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), launched a survey to unpack the emotional lives of teachers during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Christina Cipriano, Marc Brackett


In the span of just three days, over 5,000 U.S. teachers responded to the survey. We asked them to describe, in their own words, the three most frequent emotions they felt each day.

The five most-mentioned feelings among all teachers were anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed, and sad. Anxiety, by far, was the most frequently mentioned emotion.

The reasons educators gave for these stress-related feelings could be divided into two buckets. The first is mostly personal, including a general fear that they or someone in their family would contract COVID-19, the new coronavirus. The second pertains to their stres…

Hunting Down the World’s Most Brilliant Colors!

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Have you ever wondered where colors come from? Who collects them? And how did they end up in the world’s most famous paintings? We’re discovering the magical world of pigments and the lengths we will go to bring colors into our lives!

Crushed beetles, burnt peach stones, cow urine, and ancient tsunami-tossed spruce cones may sound like the start of some mystical tincture, but you won’t find these rattling around the junk drawer of a dabbling sorcerer. No, instead, you’ll find this odd assortment of ingredients hanging on the walls of some of the world’s most famous museums! These are just a handful of the ways we’ve managed to capture some of our favorite colors (red, black, yellow, and blue, respectively) for thousands of years.

By Sam Burns


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Helping Parents When Parenting Gets Hard

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"I love the act of listening to parents, one-on-one or in a group. Parents have so much love they want to give to their children and families, they work so hard at it, they summon unprecedented amounts of energy and persistence to love well. I love listening over time, and being privy to the creativity of parents, and to their successes in transforming difficult situations in their families into progress for their children and for themselves." Patty Wipfler is the founder and Program Director of Hand in Hand Parenting, a non-profit, parent-led organization that helps parents when parenting gets hard. Over the past 45 years her work has focused on building parents' emotional understanding and on helping them to establish networks of mutual support. Learn more about her fascinating journey here.

--by LuAnn Cooley


Patty Wipfler is the founder and Program Director of Hand in Hand Parenting, a non-profit, parent-led organization that helps parents when parenting gets…

How Can a Doctor Stop from Burning Out in a Pandemic?

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Here's how Leif Hass is staying connected to patients when COVID-19 is keeping them apart.

Over the din of the negative pressure machine, I shouted goodbye to my patient. I zipped my way out of one of the little plastic enclosures in our emergency department (ED). With disgust and a bit of fear, I carefully shed my gloves, gown and face shield. Only my precious mask remained on my face. I thought, This is a whole new world, and I hate it.

By Leif Hass


I can master fear of dying from COVID-19. I have the proper equipment and I use it well. My work still brings meaning: I serve those in need without hesitation. So, what’s the problem?

The problem is that I’m losing that deep feeling of connection with patients, which is such an important part of this work. A few weeks ago, the intricate fabric of what it is to be human tied me to patients through the basics: touch, facial expressions, a physical proximity, and open-hearted, honest dialogue. Much of that’s gone with the new measures we n…

Where Fear Meets Hope: Stories from Around the Globe

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As we grow accustomed to life under lockdown, we are discovering the richness that can emerge from the quiet, contemplative nature of solitude. Hoping to tap into the inner wisdom of our collective attempt to find light amidst darkness, writer Emily Rose Barr asked one simple question of individuals across the globe: What are you doing that's bringing a little extra joy, light, or laughter to your days? As the answers poured in, she realized that perhaps the paradoxes of our time -- hope and fear, connection and isolation, anger and compassion -- are not meant to be reconciled, but simply to be lived. Read more to learn how the discomfort of uncertainty invites us to take care of ourselves with renewed deliberation and embrace the mysteries that call us into stillness.

--by Emily Rose Barr


From where I sit, in a space that has long been a source of both comfort and yearning and now borders on claustrophobic, the reality of my day-to-day experience is one at which I can on…

What Happens When You Give People the Benefit of the Doubt

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People who view the behaviors of others in a positive light are happier, a new study suggests.

Imagine you made plans with a new friend to talk on the phone. You call, but there’s no answer—and you don’t get a call back.

By Elizabeth Hopper


What happened? Perhaps they got held up by caring for their children or a work obligation. Perhaps they didn’t want to meet but didn’t bother to cancel. Or maybe they had a hectic week and simply forgot to write down your appointment time. Or it’s possible that you called the wrong number.

In social situations like these, our minds can generate a variety of explanations, ranging from ones that are more charitable to ones that assign blame to the other party. Psychologists refer to this as our attributional style. Past research has found that individuals with a “hostile” attributional style—that is, who tend to assign malicious intent to others’ actions—tend to be less satisfied with their relationships.

According to a new study in the Journal of Happine…

From Bunnies to Solar Systems: The Magic of Dust!

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What do the dust bunnies under your nightstand have in common with our solar system? Turns out, the answer to that is all about the wonder of connections! Read on and all around you will seem a mystery unfolding.

Take a look under your bed or run your finger along the top of your bookshelf and you’ll find something miraculous—DUST! Yes, dust. What makes it so fantastic? Well, when you look closely,  it’s a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors, one-of-a-kind combinations of the fragments of our lives. But it gets even cooler: those dust bunnies are made of the same stuff that created our solar system, our planet, and us!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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Following Butterflies: A Conversation with Milan Rai

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Milan Rai is a self-taught Nepalese contemporary visual artist. A self-described failure in school, he now sees the world as his studio. A moment of serendipity set him on his path. Inspired by a butterfly that alighted on his paintbrush in the middle of a challenging project in 2013, Rai began cutting out simple white butterfly shapes from paper and thoughtfully arranging and affixing them to surfaces in his hometown of Kathmandu -- including on trees, bridge pillars, walls, and dilapidated buildings. His signature work, the White Butterfly, started as a simple project in his studio and has evolved into a powerful symbol of global expression, inviting change and interaction in more than 40 different countries across the globe. He shares more from his stunning journey in this interview.


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How to Stop Feeling So Helpless During Quarantine

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Research suggests some ways to find a sense of control when you're feeling helpless.

On the Internet, the setting of our new coronavirus life, every news site has some graph predicting the future. Every influencer has advice for how to live, and every business has a COVID-19 FAQ section.

By Kira M. Newman


However, no amount of expertise seems to quiet the questions in our heads: Will my parents be okay? Is my job going to last? Was I six feet away from that person in the vegetable aisle?

This desperate search for facts and answers, for expert opinions and statistical predictions, is our brain’s way of seeking out stability and control. We want a roadmap and a manual, a guarantee that if I just do this, my people will be safe.

But in the face of a global pandemic caused by a new virus that we don’t fully understand, there is so much out of our control, from the actions of our neighbors to the timing of a vaccine. And so, alongside the grief and anxiety we’re feeling—the loss of what we…