The Lifelong Lessons of Being a Dad
What is being a father? It’s, at least in part, about beginning. It is rejuvenating to locate ourself near the start of a child’s life. There are so many chances to get it right. The thought that we might also get it wrong flits across our mind, but it’s gone before we can even shiver at its presence. It’s also about returning to that question again and again, each time failing to acquire additional insight. (read more…)
Let Spirit Steer Us
Teaching me how to steer the 30-foot-long sailboat he built, my father would say, “It’s the sail that follows the wind, and the rudder that follows the sail.” The sail, by its nature, will catch the wind and lean into it. The rudder is for steering once we’ve set sail.
Our soul is like a sail. Once hoisted, it’s filled by the wind of Spirit, which establishes our course and direction. Our will is our rudder; its job is to follow where the soul filled with Spirit leads, helping to steer our way. (read more…)
Excerpts from “America’s National Parks” from The Hour of Land
It was standing inside Timpanogos Cave (a national monument) as an 8-year-old child that marked me. Hiking to the entrance of the cave with our church group, we were ushered in by a park ranger. Immediately, the cool air locked inside the mountain enveloped us and we wore it as loose clothing. Immense stalactites and stalagmites hung down from the ceiling and rose up from the floor, declaring themselves teeth. (read more…)
Create Your Own Hero’s Journey
Every life unfolds as a uniquely dynamic, purposeful and potentially heroic story that is open to interpretation, especially our own. We are the star and spin doctor of this work-in-progress, with the power to tell our stories as triumphs, tragedies or something in-between. Our life story is filled with suspense: Big and little decisions affect our storyline, including the relationships we choose, our goals, how we live and the ways we nourish ourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. (read more…)
Psychologist Ty Tashiro reports in The Science of Happily Ever After that only three in 10 couples remain in healthy, happy marriages. Psychologist John Gottman, in New York City, has studied couples for four decades seeking to understand successful relationships. He and his psychologist wife, Julie, founded The Gottman Institute that helps couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific studies. (read more…)
Conscious Dying as a Transformative Healing Journey
When properly viewed, the thresholds of all of life’s transitional moments can be both emotionally and spiritually rewarding. Whether it involves marriage or birth, job loss or illness, gleaning insight from the experience can yield fresh perspective on how to live life more fully today, if we remain mindful and lovingly attentive through the process. (read more…)
A Simple Gaze Invokes the Infinite
Imagine being outside on a sunny day, looking at a clear, blue sky. It’s natural to feel calm and wonderful while contemplating this expansive view.
Then a solitary bird flies across our field of vision. Noticing it takes our attention away from the stillness of the sky to instead track its movement as it flies by. Then we start thinking about the bird: “I wonder where it’s coming from and going? Why is it alone? Has it lost its mate?” At that point, we are no longer feeling calm, but concerned. (read more…)
Lyric Benson Fergusson
Where your mind wavers,
your heart overcomes.
Your heart can tame any monster,
your heart can devour any fear.
Scientists Say We’re All Connected
True love is not something reserved exclusively for soulmates, couples, children, friends or family. Observations by sages for millennia and by enlightened scientists more recently are increasingly aligned with the point of view articulated by renowned meditation teacher Jack Kornfield that true love and awareness—a sense of universal connectivity and the idea that divinity, or the sacred, is found in all things—are indistinguishable. (read more…)
Sanctifying Everyday Life
Most blessings are done quietly, in the silence of one’s own mind and heart; most often others don’t even know about it. How a blessing is done is not as important as the fact that it’s done mindfully. There is nothing magical or mystical about conferring a blessing—it’s simply confirming the presence of God, divine Spirit, at the center of that which is being blessed.
Masters, teachers, sages and saints from every spiritual tradition have used blessings as a way to consecrate, sanctify, purify and heal. Wedding ceremonies, memorial services, christenings and everything in-between have at one time or another been blessed. Anyone can offer a blessing. Ernest Holmes, author of Science of Mind, defined a blessing as constructive thought directed toward anyone or any condition. He says, “You bless a man when you recognize the divinity in him.” (read more…)
How Trees Care for Each Other
From learning to communicate to physically caring for each other, the secret lives of trees are wildly deep and complex.
“They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the ‘wood wide web’; and keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots,” reveals Peter Wohlleben, a German forest ranger and author of The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from a Secret World, released in September. (read more…)
(includes local Seneca Treehouse Project)
Inspired to Act
“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts, or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good,” says Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D., a world-renowned author and Jungian psychoanalyst specializing in post-trauma counsel. (read more…)
Savoring Perfect Present Moments
Life has many sublime pleasures: watching the sun rise over the horizon and observing the changing colors of the clouds; laughing with a best friend; or simply feeling the grass, dirt or sand under bare feet. The Japanese have a term, mono no aware, for that sublime moment of perfection just before it fades. (read more…)
Music is the soundtrack of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. It exists within, uniting and guiding us, and has helped heal body and spirit since the dawn of humanity. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists recently discovered that the universe itself has a song. (read more…)
Kids Say No to Global Warming
At age 6, climate change activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez gave his first speech to a packed crowd in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Raised in the Aztec tradition, he was taught that as indigenous people, they are descendants of the land and inherit a duty to protect it.
“I felt such sadness that my generation inherited this crisis to clean up. That night, I saw that those emotions could be channeled into action and my voice could make a difference,” says Martinez, founder and youth director of the nonprofit Earth Guardians.
Ten years later, his impassioned message has sparked a global movement. More than 2,000 “youth crews” from Bhutan to Brazil are fighting climate change and improving their communities in other ways. (read more…)
You may think you’ve identified your calling, questioned it, become disillusioned, left it and then come back to it in a different form. The following clues let you know you’re on the right track.
You realize you’ve been training for this since birth. Even the gritty things, the disappointments, regrets and screwups have all been preparation. Major life disruptions and failures were all just teaching essential lessons so that you can become who you’re called to be. (read more…)
Independent Media Tell Us the Truth
Thirty years ago, before many mergers and acquisitions, 50 corporations owned nearly all of American media. Today’s infotainment and rhetoric, misrepresented as news, is leading millions to conclude that these colossal powers do not exist to objectively report the truth.
Mainstream Media’s True Colors
Although a recent Gallup Poll reflects Americans’ lack of trust in mainstream media’s reporting of news fully, fairly and accurately, fair reporting was what HarperCollins, a prominent publisher, expected upon the 2016 release of New York City holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan’s A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. They were shocked when the book was boycotted. (read more…)
Simple Daily Practices for a Happier Life
Throughout the past decade, success researchers and positive psychologists have sketched out in broad strokes the big picture of our elemental yearning for happiness. According to Martin Seligman, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, inner happiness derives from four basic elements: positive emotion, relationships, meaning in life and accomplishment. What we want to know now is how to instill happiness into daily practices.
In her latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits Of Our Everyday Lives, happiness expert Gretchen Rubin fleshes out the needed details. She maintains that the shift into a happier way of being can be as simple as changing our habits, which she terms the invisible architecture of daily life. Rubin found, “We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.” (read more…)
How to Raise Your Quotient
The role of emotional intelligence (EI) in helping to facilitate success and happiness in individual lives has become well accepted. People with high EI tend to share seven habits.
Focus on the positive. While not ignoring bad news, EI people have made a conscious decision to not spend much time and energy focusing on problems. Rather, they look at what’s positive in a situation and seek solutions. They focus on what can be done and what’s within their control. (read more…)
Creating a Vision Board Makes Dreams Real
The layout may be intuitive, placing pieces where feelings direct; circles within circles like a mandala; or in titled, pie-shaped segments arranged in the form of a wheel. (read more…)