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Showing posts from September 27, 2020

Need the Courage to Try Something New? Read This First!

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Have you ever found yourself not trying something new because you were scared of failing? This story of Cambodia’s first women’s wheelchair basketball team’s journey is about to change that.

So many of us are not experiencing our best lives because we fear “not being good enough” that we don’t even try. But the women of the Battambang, Cambodia wheelchair basketball team are a testimony to just how much we can bear to gain if we do!

By Sam Burns

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The Dugnad in Our DNA

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Traditionally, dugnad (a Norwegian word) refers to "the collective effort of individual Norwegians who sacrifice their personal desires, and allow their own sense of 'normal' to be temporarily disrupted, for the benefit of their community or country. On March 12 of this year, after the first Norwegian died from COVID-19, Prime Minister Erna Solberg called for a national dugnad. She asked everyone in Norway to band together to reduce the spread of the disease. As a result, the country contained the outbreak, avoiding massive numbers of infections and deaths. To my knowledge, I don't have any Norwegians in my family tree. But a concept similar to dugnad lives in my DNA." Phyllis Cole-Dai shares more.
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Eight Ways to Ease the Pain of Loneliness

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Even if we can't be around other people, we can take steps to heal loneliness.

Loneliness hurts. Most of us have experienced this. Especially in this time of quarantine, many can feel lonely. With the advent of technology and social media and the ever-increasing speed of life, we may feel more connected in some ways, but, on the other hand, “human moments” of actual face-to-face exchange without interruption can become more rare.

By Emma Seppala A sociological study shows that disconnect seems to be on the rise, with one out of four Americans feeling like they have no one to talk to about personal problems. Loneliness is the leading reason people seek out therapy, and one study suggests that loneliness is a risk factor for mortality. As I have written about in previous posts, social connection is critical to our health and well-being, as is vulnerability, an essential ingredient to intimacy.

We thrive in community, in connection, in giving and receiving love. …

Trail of Light

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This beautifully moving film features Aralyn Doiron, a delightful woman who has trained to be a Death Walker, someone who values a relationship with death and someone who values life. She suggests that it is only when we acknowledge that we are going to die one day, that we can truly start to live. The fact that many of us are separated from death is a disconnect from our humanity. She encourages having normal conversations about death, something we don't usually talk about, bringing death more into our lives in an enlivening way. Death teaches us about impermanence and about valuing what we have in the moment.
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A New “Twist” on Embracing Your Hidden Talents

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Was there something that you just naturally did as a child that you stopped doing because of the critique or lack of support from others? What if that gift is just waiting to take you to your zone of genius! This unusually flexible guy shows us what’s possible!

How often do we work to hide what we were told, long ago in childhood, that makes us “weird”? After years of keeping his own unique abilities under wraps, Troy James finally shared his special talents with the world. Since then, his life has changed completely! Here’s how his story might inspire a new twist on your own!

By Sam Burns

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Joanna Macy: Entering the Bardo

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"In this op-ed, eco-philosopher and Buddhist scholar Joanna Macy introduces us to the bardo--the Tibetan Buddhist concept of a gap between worlds where transition is possible. As the pandemic reveals ongoing collapse and holds a mirror to our collective ills, she writes, we have the opportunity to step into a space of reimagining."
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Six Tips for Speaking Up Against Bad Behavior

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Psychologist Catherine Sanderson explains how to be more courageous in speaking up about bad behavior, from offensive speech to harmful actions.

When I was in college, my boss drove me to a meeting. He had trouble finding a parking place—and, when he realized we were going to be late, pulled into a handicapped parking spot. As we got out of the car, he turned to me, grinned, and started limping. I fully knew that what he did was wrong. And I said nothing.

By Catherine A. Sanderson My failure to call out my boss is hardly unique. Yet like most people, if you’d asked me beforehand if I’d have the courage to do the right thing—to confront someone who uses a racist slur or engages in derogatory behavior—I would have said yes. But in reality, most of us fail to step up when actually facing such a situation. Why?

One factor that inhibits speaking up is our fear of the consequences. Will it cost me a promotion or a raise? Will I lose a friendsh…

Four Keys to a Healthy Workplace Hierarchy

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As much as we might want to abolish them, hierarchies serve a purpose at work.

In my 20s, I wanted to overthrow hierarchies at work. When I would see bad leadership, I blamed the hierarchy—structures where certain people have more power or influence than others, forcing us into dominance and aggression and conflict.

By Lindred Greer In the past 15 years of my research, my collaborators and I have documented the many and nefarious ways in which hierarchy at work can cause tensions, conflict, and inequity. But I was forced to face the evidence that hierarchy can just as well lead to better coordination and collaboration.

I was also forced to face the evidence that “holacracy,” the most common alternative to hierarchy, doesn’t seem to work. Holacracy refers to cross-functional reporting circles that interlock across a company, and it requires incredibly complicated processes as an organization grows. Even Zappos, the most famous company to implement holacracy, is starting to q…

Wish You Could Nap More? You’ll Be Jealous of These Birds!

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What if all the wonder and awe we need is right under our noses—or perched above our heads? It may seem like it’s too simple to really work, but we have a scoop on bird naps that will have you seeing the world with a little more delight as you spot these incredible snoozers!

Imagine if you could take a nap while driving or without falling flat on your face while standing in line! If you were a bird, you’d be capable of these and a few other incredible sleep feats. These winged travelers have a few tricks up their theoretical sleeves to catch a few z’s that’ll put all of your dreams about flying to shame!

By Sam Burns

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Visiting Rachel: 50 Years After Silent Spring

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"'Primavers Silencia.' So reads the cover of the Italian edition of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. It sits on the desk beside me--the small built-in desk looking out on a thicket of cedars and pine--a desk with one simple drawer holding some pencils and not much else, in the cozy pine-paneled study where Carson wrote much of her landmark book during the summers of 1960 and 1961. Other foreign editions are lined up on the bookshelf too, but the Italian title grabs my attention. "Primavera"--a singsong word evoking pasta with spring vegetables, or something related to "first."Prima, prime, primary, first. First silence." More in this powerful piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's prophetic publication.
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When Do Teens Feel Loved by Their Parents?

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How much teens feel loved depends on their interactions with their parents, a new study suggests.

Parenting teens can sometimes feel like a tightrope walk. It’s no small feat trying to balance providing support to help teens navigate the world and easing back in recognition of their growing independence. Despite all our attempts to show love and care, we can often end up in conflict with our teens.

By Maryam Abdullah But a new study offers some insight into how to help teens feel loved.

Psychologist John Coffey and his colleagues surveyed over 150 teens (ages 13-16) and their parents—mostly white and all living in two-parent households in the United States—for 21 days. Every evening, the parent (usually the mother) received a survey about warmth and conflict in their relationship with their teen. Warmth referred to how much praise, understanding, and affection they showed toward their teen that day; conflict included how much anger and tension existed between them…

The World is Our Field of Practice

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This prophetic conversation, which Rev. angel Kyodo williams had with Krista in 2018, is an invitation to imagine and nourish the transformative potential of this moment toward human wholeness. Rev. angel is an esteemed Zen priest and the second Black woman recognized as a teacher in the Japanese Zen lineage. She is one of our wisest voices on social evolution and the spiritual aspect of social healing.
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Feel the Magic That Happens When 17,000 People Sing Together!

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When we’re forced to be apart from each other, remarkable ingenuity pops up to find that connection we crave. And nothing is more connected than a choir of voices singing together; let alone a choir of over 17,000 people! Here’s something to make your heart sing again.

There’s something special that happens when a room of people start to sing together. Suddenly, your voice is a part of something much bigger and more beautiful than you. But what happens when 17,000 voices all come together? Here’s the story of the largest choir ever assembled!

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber
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How to Be at Home

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This tender animation on the theme of isolation reunites filmmaker Andrea Dorfman with poet Tanya Davis ten years after their first collaboration on the viral film "How To Be Alone." "How To Be At Home" speaks to what so many of us are going through these days with quarantines, lock-downs and stay-at-home orders. "Lean into loneliness and know you're not alone in it." And remember: we are connected.
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