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Showing posts from May 17, 2020

How to Protect Your Body from Social Media Stress

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A little mindfulness can help when we feel frustrated or angry online.

By NationSwell and the Greater Good Science Center


Creating Order Out of Chaos: Why Puzzles are Making a Comeback!

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Why do people turn to jigsaw puzzles? Entertainment? Excitement? Quality time with loved ones? There’s a lot to love about these scattered pictures, but when we look back at their history, and the influence they are having right now, all the pieces fall into place!

Bill Gates makes sure he brings one along on his vacations, parents put them out to keep their kids entertained, friends gather around for quality time, and the stressed young adult brain finds a bit of calm in their pieces. But what is it about jigsaw puzzles that make us love them so much? And where did they even come from?!

By Sam Burns


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Grieving My Way Into Loving the Planet

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In this excerpt from the new anthology 'A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Times,' journalist Dahr Jamail describes how Macy and her work helped him survive profound war trauma and climate grief. Macy, a scholar and teacher of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology, is the author of 13 books and a respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology. She originated The Work That Reconnects, a framework and methodology for personal and social change. It is influential work that, in the face of overwhelming social and ecological crises, helps people transform despair and apathy into constructive, collaborative action.


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The Last Nail in Individualism's Coffin?

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"For centuries, individualism or the notion that every human individual has intrinsic value has underlined ideas about societal organization, the economy and justice. Recently, however, the primacy of the individual's inalienable rights and freedoms has come under immense pressure." Rohini Nilekani, one of India's most prominent and inspiring philanthropists shares more about the very real threat to the positive dimensions of individualism in our current world, and what we can do to protect them.


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Hear the Howl of the Mightiest Mouse of the Desert!

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Many don’t know of the fearless predator that roams the desert of New Mexico. The grasshopper mouse may look adorable, but don’t let it’s cute exterior fool you. One of their favorite foods is the most venomous scorpion in North America. And how they catch their favorite lunch could end up helping you, too!

Across the deserts of New Mexico, a fearless predator roams the night. Her prey? The most venomous scorpion on the continent. Standing at just 4 inches tall, this formidable hunter has been locked in a battle with her venom-filled meal for thousands of years! But I’m not sure what’s more surprising: the trick she’s devised to defeat them, or her adorable mouse-sized battle cry!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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5 Poems to Celebrate National Poetry Month

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"I write this at the end of what seems like the longest month of my life. For a poet here in the United States, April is almost always the loudest, stormiest, busiest month--filled with readings to attend, to give, and new poetry collections blooming every week. What a time to luxuriate and revel in the power of a finely crafted metaphor, a clever line break, or a last line that just pierces you into silence for a moment! But what of this year, when death and illness seem to be the only thing now blooming when we tug (or touch) each other?... I have faith that we will be able to touch each other and break bread together at the same table again soon. Maybe not as soon as I'd like, but soon. And when that day comes, how lucky to find ourselves attached to the rest of the world once again!" Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil shares more thoughts and five poems in honor of National Poetry Month here.


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How the Pandemic Divides Us

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Physical distance protects us from COVID-19, but it also gives rise to some of the ugliest human tendencies.

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything that most of us have seen in our lifetimes. The virus is more easily transmissible than the flu, it has a higher mortality rate, and there is currently no vaccine to protect us against it.

By John A. Terrizzi, Natalie J. Shook


As such, behavioral change is our means of defense. Health organizations from around the world have unanimously recommended self-quarantining and social-distancing practices in order to mitigate the spread of the disease. Although these measures are effective in guarding against pathogens and infectious disease, they are not easy. Social isolation can be painful. Even the most introverted among us require some social interaction.

Foiling our affiliative needs has consequences for both our physical and psychological well-being. However, quarantine has social consequences, as well—ones that reveal a great deal about how…

Will the Pandemic Have a Lasting Impact on My Kids?

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Research on wars, natural disasters, and other crises reveals how to protect our children’s mental health.

Massive unemployment. Stunning loss of life. Disrupted education. An economy in freefall. These are the ingredients for tectonic social shifts that alter the arcs of human lives. Parents are always at the fulcrum of such pressures, protecting their families while trying to hold together a semblance of normalcy.

By Diana Divecha


For 100 years, developmental scientists have studied how families and children respond to disasters, manmade and natural. From the Great Depression to Hurricane Katrina, from 9/11 to wars and historic migrations, we’ve learned a few things about resilience.

Studies consistently show that certain conditions help children adapt well, and other conditions compound a child’s distress—but the overall message is a hopeful one. Given some basic support and protection, our children have remarkable strength and hardiness.

Amount of exposure

Research on children’s resilie…

Educate the Heart

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Poet and author Shane Koyczan narrates this poignant short video on the importance of educating children's hearts as well as their minds. While children need knowledge to prepare them for life, those who love and care for them must also educate their hearts. Teaching compassion, acceptance, tolerance and respect are needed along with knowledge to adequately prepare children for the world.


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Why Good Business is like Good Bread!

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Why do we love a good loaf of bread so much? For 130 years a little bakery in Ireland has stood the test of time, answering this question for generations. The answer is a lesson we can pass on to other corners of our life as well!

Through the dust of two world wars, one civil war, and many society-shaking revolutions in between, one small bakery has stood its ground in the small Irish village of Cappoquin. But how have they managed this, while so many other businesses have disappeared? Ah—it seems, my dear friends, it’s all in the bread.

By Sam Burns


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Resilient Threads: Weaving Joy and Meaning into Well-Being

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Physician burnout, depression, and suicide are tearing at the fabric of our health care system, which Dr. Mukta Panda has witnessed firsthand, written about, and sought to address for years. She is a physician, speaker, and facilitator whose work seeks to transform the heart of patient care and medical education. 

In her latest book, Resilient Threads: Weaving Joy and Meaning into Well-Being, Dr. Panda gives voice to the exhaustion and offers courage for another way. As a physician and medical educator, she has fought to return human touch to healthcare. As a mother, she has committed -- and sometimes failed -- to balance the personal with the professional. And as an immigrant, she has clung to the wisdom of her family and faith in the face of discrimination and fear. 

By weaving stories of connecting to her patients, students, and colleagues with her own stories of belonging, she models how we can each thrive by creating community and self-awareness. Read an excerpt from …

Meet the People at the Festival Hollering Out for Bigfoot!

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Warm-up your bellowing lungs and get out your hiking boots, because we’re going on an adventure to track down the elusive Sasquatch! With the help of a few communities dedicated to celebrating the Big Foot legend, fun and adventure are just around the corner.

You’ll hear legends of this creature from all corners of the globe. Enticing tales of seeing a giant, humanoid creature in the darkness of forests or hearing a bellowing, unfamiliar call rattle through the branches, has led to local lore that has been passed down and rekindled for generations. We’re heading to two places where these tales are alive in the residents and the woods, to see what happens when our communities come together around a legend!

By Sam Burns


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Beyond Overwhelm into Refuge

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"We are in the midst of an emergency that is forcing us into varying states of economic distress, isolation and anxiety. We are united in our vulnerability and our courageous attempts to think and live differently as the fragility of the economy reveals itself to us. There is a deep desire among us to find freedom and imagination in this moment. Much of the work, of course, is in cultivating the resources within to help weather the storm." The team at Dumbo Feather has put together this care package of inspiration and information to help navigate the turbulence and uncertainty of this time.


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Appalachia's Front Porch Network Is A Lifeline

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On any day in Appalachia, you can find gifts in front of houses, left on porches for the people inside: mushrooms just foraged, cookies freshly baked. The porch is an extension of the home in Appalachia--not only a gathering spot for conversation, but a traditional sharing place. If you want to exchange tools, plants, or hand-me-downs with your neighbor: you put them on the porch. In times of struggle, porches are the vessel to deliver food: frozen meals to new parents, casseroles for grieving families. Now, because of COVID-19, those practices are becoming more important than ever. A traditional gathering place where the public meets the private is now the critical point of contact for families isolated during the pandemic.


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