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Showing posts from June 14, 2020

The Very Best Way to Pray for Peace

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When a CIA analyst began an interfaith quest for citizen diplomacy by standing shoulder to shoulder with a veiled woman, and listening to the Imam ask, "Don't we all bleed when we're hurt?" she was grateful to be praying alongside Muslims instead of interrogating them in Afghanistan for the CIA after 9/11. She continues to work with Muslim communities in the belief that peace in the Middle East can only emerge from small, grassroots efforts. Politicians could profit from her story...

--by Janessa Gans Wilder


How a CIA analyst began an interfaith quest for citizen diplomacy

Allah-hu-akhbar,” God is great, the congregation murmured as I stood shoulder to shoulder with a veiled woman. It felt strangely intimate to be physically touching the Muslim woman, even though we had never spoken. I followed her body movements, as well as those of the men in front of the partition ahead of me, for cues as to what to do next. As we bent over and put our hands on our knees, her …

What Is Your Purpose as a Father?

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New studies suggest that having a sense of purpose makes dads healthier, happier—and stronger in the face of challenges we're all facing.

Sooner or later, our kids will make us suffer. When they’re babies, their crying keeps us up at night. Later, their teenage shenanigans might rob us of more sleep. Some of us stay at jobs we hate so that our kids will never have to wonder where their next meal will come from. We can battle with our co-parents over issues like housework and discipline, testing love we might have once thought would last forever.

By Jeremy Adam Smith


These stresses and sacrifices can be painful, but studies are finding one thing that can help us to weather them: a sense of purpose. That is to say, our long-term, meaningful goals as fathers.

A sense of purpose shapes day-to-day goals and behavior. Seeing a destination on the horizon helps us to lift our eyes over the dirty dishes and temper tantrums, to a future that is better than the present. Purpose makes that pile o…

How to Fall (Back) in Love with Your Home

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What do you love most about your home? Which colors are most abundant? Is there a theme to the art you collect? Where are your knick-knacks from? Here’s what your home says about you!

Close your eyes and picture the place you call “home”. Now, imagine your favorite corner there, the place that feels the most homie. Sit down in your most comfortable chair, hold your favorite coffee mug, admire your favorite piece of art, and wrap yourself into your favorite blanket—why does this place, and why do these things, feel like home? The answer says a lot about who you are and what you care about!

By Sam Burns


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Lonnie Holley: The Man is the Music

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Prolific artist, musician and lover of Mother Earth, Lonnie Holley treasures the discarded and nurtures the neglected, finding healing in the transformative power of art. This short documentary is not so much a portrait of the prolific artist and musician, as an experiential reflection on art as a way of life. Atlanta-based Holleys work is a product of the environment in which he was raised Jim Crow Alabamaand reflects the impact of being socially discarded. Holley compulsively creates and his work is a means to deal with loss. Its through his unique perspective and the process of creating beauty that Lonnie draws us into an imaginative and captivating world.


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How Hope Can Keep You Happier and Healthier

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Hope is more than just positive thinking.

Hope can erode when we perceive threats to our way of life, and these days, plenty are out there. As we age, we may struggle with a tragic loss or chronic disease. As we watch the news, we see our political system polarized, hopelessly locked in chaos. The coronavirus spreads wider daily; U.S. markets signaled a lack of hope with a Dow Jones free fall. Losing hope sometimes leads to suicide.

By Everett L. Worthington Jr


When there is no hope—when people cannot picture a desired end to their struggles—they lose the motivation to endure. As professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University, I’ve studied positive psychology, forgiveness, wellness and the science of hope for more than 40 years. My website offers free resources and tools to help its readers live a more hopeful life.

What is hope?
First, hope is not Pollyannaish optimism—the assumption that a positive outcome is inevitable. Instead, hope is a motivation to persevere toward a goal or…

The Magic of Opera from Subway to Stage!

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How in the world has opera been so popular for so long? What is it about these hours-long performances that have kept people fascinated over centuries? Take a journey with us behind the curtain of this world to discover why you, too, are a fan of the opera!

What is it about the winged helmets, powdered faces, and ringing voices of opera that have brought people together for centuries? Well, if you’re up for an adventure, I’ve stocked up on a few epic stories, by way of subway heroes and Pharaohs, that we can use to discover why in the world opera has so many raving fans! Here’s what we didn’t know that has kept us from experiencing the magic in this easily accessible source of entertainment.

By Boris Riabov


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Peter Levine and Thomas Huebl: Healing Trauma & Spiritual Growth

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In this memorable conversation from SAND 18 Peter Levine, the father of trauma therapy work, and Thomas Huebl, a spiritual teacher known for his work integrating healing of collective trauma, discuss the relationship between healing trauma and spiritual growth. One theme that repeats throughout the discussion is that we are all connected through the traumatization of the world, and that the healing of trauma is a way of returning to the wholeness and fullness of living.


Warriors Wanted: Training People to Defend the Human Spirit

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"Seventy-five year old writer, consultant and activistMargaret Wheatley has studied the cyclical nature of civilizations throughout history and she is quite confident that the end of our civilization is closer than we might like to think. And she is doing something about it... something radical. Wheatley is building an army of 'warriors for the human spirit' with people who want to lessen the suffering in the world -- whether it be from natural disasters, political strife, war, famine, or from the tyranny of daily injustices in modern life." More in this interview...


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Four Ways to Feel Good on a Hard Day in Lockdown

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New research suggests how people are bouncing back from the daily challenges of living with the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s become clichéd to say that these are challenging times. Everyone knows that many people are more stressed, anxious, lonely, and depressed than usual. In fact, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly a third of Americans now show signs of clinical levels of depression or anxiety. It is entirely reasonable to feel these things, given what’s going on.

By Michael Prinzing, Barbara Fredrickson


However, we recently conducted a study that found that, even under these strenuous circumstances, some people are managing to thrive. At the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at UNC Chapel Hill, our research team has been collecting data from adults around the United States this spring, starting in April, when most of us were under stay-at-home orders to flatten the coronavirus curve.

For many people, more of the bad tends to mean less of the good. If so…

How to Support the People You Lead in Times of Uncertainty

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For those in any kind of leadership position right now, we’re called to find compassion for the people we serve.

Recently, an employee at a major Ohio company lost his mother to coronavirus. Under normal circumstances, his colleagues would have offered expressions of support and sympathy in person. They would have attended a funeral or memorial service. They would have made a meal for his family. But, since the state was under stay-at-home orders, none of that was possible.

By Ellen Van Oosten, Melvin L. Smith, Richard E. Boyatzis


At first, the team looked to their manager for guidance about what to do. But the manager hadn’t faced a situation like this and didn’t really know. So, he reflected the question back to his team: “What do you think we can do to help?”

The team suggested a Zoom call that evening. A 30-minute planning call turned into 90 minutes of sharing their feelings and brainstorming how to express their sympathy, but also checking in on one another and even finding some hu…