I consider myself an expert in recovering from emotional shocks. The past six years has been a long series of extremely difficult events that were accompanied by heavy emotional after-shock for me.
Consumer society is growing fast around the globe. In 2011 it was estimated that 1.7 billion people were living in what is considered to be the “consumer class” – and nearly half of them are in the developing world.
Many times we seem to experience life as if we have no power to make changes -- no power to make a difference. If you don't feel powerful, or if you feel that power is unavailable to you, take a look at where, in your daily life (and in your past), you have relinquished your power.
What if we defined wise spending in terms of the happiness that it brings? Research shows certain spending can bring us closer to others.
“Weak”, “sick”, “immobile”, “decrepit”, “lonely”, “depressed”. If the prospect of growing old brings thoughts like these to mind, you are not alone. It seems that many people – of all age groups – have a preconceived idea of what being old will be like. And it’s generally not good.
As things happened, various rules and regulations began to rise along with various laws. You accumulated a long array of very specific things to juggle in order to be 'good enough', certain kinds of food, certain kinds of behavior, thoughts, actions, emotions, and on and on.
The guidance your IGS (internal guidance system) gives you is specific to your life. It takes into account how you are to think, feel, and behave in order to be happy and successful in every situation you encounter. If there is a difficult situation or conversation that you need to have...
As someone who was once unhappy in every sense of the word, I can personally verify that misery leads to heartless behavior, and vice versa. For years I experienced failed relationships, financial struggles, poor health, depression, and an endless stream of...
A recent explosion of neuroscience techniques is driving substantial advances in our understanding of the brain. Combined with developments in engineering, machine learning and computing this flowering has helped us enhance our cognitive abilities and potential.
We can all think of someone in our lives we view as being “resilient”. They are the people we know who impress us with their seemingly endless ability to carry on – no matter what.
I now live my life from joy instead of from fear. This is the one very simple difference between who I was before my near-death experience (NDE) and who I am today. Before, without even realizing it, everything I did was to avoid pain or to please other people...
Personality is a broad term describing how people habitually relate to the world and their inner self. After the developmental period through childhood and adolescence, these patterns of relating remain reasonably stable through life.
The reproductive success of men in non-industrialized societies is closely tied to their social status, report researchers.
Since change is the only constant in life, we have to get used to the idea that letting go of our fear of the unknown allows us the opportunity to create space and the potential to birth something new and potentially greater in our lives...
When your heart opens, you access your natural sense of confidence. It emerges when you embrace the moment fully — no matter what is happening. When you show up, available for life just as it is, you feel fully awake and alive.
Many people today believe they possess a soul. While conceptions of the soul differ, many would describe it as an “invisible force that appears to animate us”.
Students from disadvantaged neighborhoods are often drawn to for-profit trade schools after high school, seeing them as the quickest route to jobs.
Posting a meme isn’t being the change. Neither is hash-tagging. No matter how relevant and important the cause, you’re not changing the world with a hashtag; you’re just making yourself feel better. If you’re unwilling to actually work toward a solution...
What am I doing? is the most frequent question I ask as I let go of my most recent job and relationship. The answer always comes back the same: You are being true to yourself. You are living your Truth. This is crazy, I say to myself. No job, no security, saving good-bye to someone who loves me, whom I love.
The Dalai Lama once said, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” What a simple yet profound creed! Having adopted this same philosophy, I’ve discovered that this belief system supports not only my own spiritual journey, but more important, all of life...
The annual back-to-school season is filled with high hopes for making new friends, meeting new teachers – and, from the view of many policymakers – promoting gains in science achievement.
If we all work side by side in an open-plan office or “hot desk”, moving from place to place, it’s sure to increase collaboration! It turns out that may be wrong. If you don’t have your own space, perhaps you are better off working remotely with your cat for company.
The level of language skills young children possess early in life can predict their likelihood of experiencing depression later, a new study suggests.
I am quite sure we would all be much more careful of what we say if we were aware of the power of the spoken word. If we understood that every word we speak or write is an affirmation. To affirm literally means to make firm....
Living in unabashedly racist communities may shorten the lives of both blacks and whites.
As families consider the living options available to their college students and look at the costs of college education, what might not be as evident to them is how on-campus living can actually maximize their college investment.
What follows are some activities from which I draw for my personal faith and mindset practice. I don't do all of these things every day but, across the span of any given month, I endeavor to do some combination of these activities or disciplines regularly. The result? For me, greater clarity, less time feeling scattered
I have to admit. I have a hard time asking for help. I have that “false pride” thing about being able to do it myself, that if I have to ask for help, it means I’m helpless. It makes me think about the two year old who proclaims, “I can do it myself!”
Do we have free will? This is a question that scholars have debated for centuries and will probably continue to debate for centuries to come.
If you’re a “morning person,” you’re more likely to undermine your performance on a stressful task early in the day, research suggests. The same goes for “night owls” and performance in the evening.
Where does our hope lie? Where shall we ground ourselves for continuing on and changing our ways radically? Creativity can redeem and save our species. I agree with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés that all women and men are born gifted. All we need to do is release this creativity, get out of its way, as M. C. Richards used to say.
Many of us have lost our way, or at least we lose our way during the day or the week. Some people feel that their joy can only exist on weekends, as the week is consumed by work. Joy is sometimes relegated to two days a week at the most! If we've lost the path of joy...
For every terminal couch potato, there’s another person, probably older than you, who has cast off a mislabeled past history and is living life wholly, vibrantly, victoriously. They didn’t accept that it was “too late” to do what they wanted to do.
Fortunately, over the years, I’ve picked up some strategies to not only cope with the overwhelm, but to get back into alignment with my best self. Here are my top 7 strategies.
When you feel depressed, you may despair that your life will never get better. Rather than telling yourself how hopeless your situation is, you can restore hope and get rolling. I know this because I've worked with people who believed their downer feelings would never end, and I've seen them take action to turn the corner and find the peace, love, and joy they'd been yearning for.
Going with the flow might seem easier than sticking up for yourself against unanimous disagreement. However, bodily responses suggest that expressing your opinions and core values can be a positive psychological experience.
In the middle of his bar routine – having flung himself into the air with style and skill – Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland missed the bar at the last grasp and face-planted into the mat.
We’re more likely to take on unpleasant but necessary tasks—taxes, bills, and housework—when in a good mood, new research shows.
Stories are like boxes we build around ourselves to give structure, identity, security and familiarity. We are attached to them even when they are traumatic and painful, because they feel so much part of us... However, stories also limit us...
In the 1990s, a psychologist named Martin Seligman led the positive psychology movement, which placed the study of human happiness squarely at the center of psychology research and theory.
Philosophy has been a favorite whipping boy in the culture wars since 399 B.C., when an Athenian jury sentenced Socrates to death. Nowadays, philosophers are no longer accused of “corrupting the youth.”
Despite the fact that we have a good chance of reaching one hundred (whether we like it or not), many of us fear the unknown landscape of aging. We fear illness, not having enough money, losing our mental abilities, being dependent on others, and becoming a burden to our families. Truth is...
Every day we make choices. Some seem simple, some seem complex. What will I eat for breakfast? What will I say to this person? How will I react to this situation? Some choices we make without even thinking about it, and sometimes we are simply remaking a choice we made a long time ago.
Observing a pianist at a recital – converting musical notations into precisely timed finger movements on a piano – can be a powerful emotional experience.
As a young adult in college, I decided to learn Japanese. My father’s family is from Japan, and I wanted to travel there someday. However, many of my classmates and I found it difficult to learn a language in adulthood. We struggled...
For the past five years, I haven’t lived anywhere for more than six months. I spent 28 days in Lisbon, three months in Bali, and a random half-year in downtown Las Vegas.
When we were children, the summer holidays seemed to last forever, and the wait between Christmases felt like an eternity. So why is that when we get older, the time just seems to zip by, with weeks, months and entire seasons disappearing from a blurred calendar at dizzying speed?
It may seem that wise, strong people typically have gone through a few hard times in their lives. By comparison, those who have led a very sheltered and privileged life often appear to crack more easily under pressure
So much is at stake in our times. Whether we like it or not, and whether we accept it or not, the choices we make, individually and collectively, in the coming years will make an incredible amount of difference, perhaps...
We’ve all read countless stories that stress is bad for our health and leads to weight gain, heart disease, and a host of other emotional and physical issues. We’re told to reduce our stress, which sounds like a solid idea, but how does one accomplish that in this crazy-busy world?
Here’s some wonderful advice for being miserable: Ignore all the good and decent things that surround you in the course of an ordinary day. Here’s more: Complain about the things you can’t change, and even complain about those things you can change. The list could go on...
A new study finds that early-career doctors—and the rest of us—can be better at our jobs if we simply set aside as little as 30 minutes a day for some “me time.”
Researchers at King’s College London say they are able to predict educational achievement from DNA alone. Using a new type of analysis called a “genome-wide polygenic score”, or GPS, they analysed DNA samples from 3,497 people in the ongoing Twins Early Development Study.
Large swaths of the American public want Donald J. Trump to be their president – maybe even a majority, according to an analysis from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight in late July.
Just as true happiness is not simply the absence of problems but an internal life state that enables us to challenge any obstacles to happiness that come our way, health is not simply the absence of illness. The important issue is whether we defeat sickness when it comes or whether sickness defeats us...
I’m tempted by efficiency. My overactive brain craves the order of a predictable routine, a color-by-numbers life, the safety of no surprises. But I also crave enchantment. My heart craves the unpredictable, the spontaneous, the magical. In many ways, the two are...
Pretend, for a minute, that we’ve all come to Earth to learn something. Since we may not care for little boxy classrooms, instead we have a whole planet for our current lessons. Now pretend that there’s not one of us who isn’t in the test of some major challenge.
The Binewskis are no ordinary family. Arty has flippers instead of limbs; Iphy and Elly are Siamese twins; Chick has telekinetic powers. These traveling circus performers see their differences as talents, but others consider them freaks with “no values or morals.”
What the most confident-seeming people have is not brazen ballsiness, impressive bravery, courage or any of that elusive stuff really...it’s PASSION. It’s enthusiasm. It’s WILLINGNESS. It’s RESILIENCE and FLEXIBILITY.
Each of us has a Default Mechanism, a subconscious pattern of returning to memories of previous experiences in your mind to find a response to a current experience. Your default powers your very first, almost automatic, reaction in response to the events of your life.
We live in an increasingly competitive world where we are always looking to gain an advantage over our rivals, sometimes even our own colleagues. In some cases, it can push people to extreme, unethical and illegitimate methods – something we’ve seen recently in the doping scandal that has hit the athletics world.
"You are at your very best when things are worst.” In celebration of the release of my new book The Grace Factor, I would like to cite some acts of grace that ultimately affected many people...
Everybody has a life theme, a significant psychological issue which they are working out in this life. Your life theme is created when a powerful emotional chord is struck in your childhood, and it is reinforced when similar events reoccur throughout your life...
The limits of our language are said to define the boundaries of our world. This is because in our everyday lives, we can only really register and make sense of what we can name. We are restricted by the words we know, which shape what we can and cannot experience.
How do you feel when you encounter cheerful, happy people who laugh a lot and seem to find some good even in the worst of circumstances? I can recall what my reaction to these people was in the past. I would stick my finger in my mouth and act as if I was gagging.
Around the world, people are living longer than ever before, with a recent report from Public Health England revealing that the average 65-year-old man can expect to live another 19 years, while a 65-year-old woman has got a further 21 years to play with.
One of the biggest things I've discovered working with clients everyday is how extremely difficult and challenging it is for most people today to know what is best for them to think, say and do in the various situations and relationships in their lives.
When we perceive from the fragmented mind, we push life away. When we drop into the healed heart, our soul expands...we leave the false emptiness of separation and the tail-chasing, fortune cookie, nonspeak and enter the full and juicy alive-messy-perfect presence of the Whole...the Everything.
Each of us longs to express who we are, what we think and how we feel. But how often do we? From my perch I see more being repressed than expressed. Considering that repression can lead to depression, illness and even violence, what is stopping us from being true to ourselves and...
Earth is a perfect school, and daily life is the classroom. This idea is hardly new, but what follows will help you appreciate the full value of your life experience. And once this central premise penetrates your psyche, you’ll stop seeking and start trusting — because you’ll confront a higher truth.
Much of our pain comes from the emotional clutter of resisting or hardening ourselves against the way things are. For example, how often do you resist what appears before you during an average day? Suppose you’re stuck at a stoplight and late for work. Do you get anxious or frustrated and blame the red light...
For many years, I never watched TV. I remember my TV breaking down and as I placed it out with the garbage, deciding not to buy another one. So in those days, I was not watching the news, or anything else on TV. This went on for many years.
Being alone has many benefits. It grants freedom in thought and action. It boosts creativity. It offers a terrain for the imagination to roam. Solitude also enriches our connections with others by providing perspective, which enhances intimacy and fosters empathy.
Are you addicted to your problems? That's a strange question I admit. Addicted to problems? How can you be addicted to something you don't like? Aren't people addicted to things they enjoy? Exactly! We do enjoy our problems, in a perverse kind of way.
How are you doing today? This is your moment to breathe in a little hope and love. I'm here for you with reminders of good things to come. Because the world seems like it's going crazy sometimes. I know. I feel it too. We could talk about it for daaaaays, right? It's pretty intense...
by Alan Watts. An old aphorism from India says, What is beyond, is that which is also here. And you must not mistake this for a kind of blasé boredom, or a tiring of adventure. It is instead the startling recognition that in the place where we are now, we have already arrived. This is it. What we are seeking is, if we are not totally blind, already here.
"Despite the fact that most of our participants were from elite schools, they were not spared the adverse effects of sleep curtailment on their cognitive functions," says June Lo.
What would you be doing differently if you did not have to prove yourself to anyone? Your enemies are not your dysfunctional parents, childhood sexual abuser, or punitive parochial school teacher; your enemies are the thoughts they instilled in you that you still believe...
When you have begun seeing through new eyes, it might still appear to others that nothing about you has changed. However, you know inside yourself that everything has changed. A Zen proverb says: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after...
You may be in very churning times and situations in your experience. You may simply desire something more out of life—out of your self? This isn’t a time for facades, pretentious talk, and ego-mania. Such behavior will reveal...
Have you become a wet blanket, failing to acknowledge what's working or punishing others when they say or do things you don't like? If so you are unknowingly or knowingly creating alienation and insecurity in those around you. You are not spreading joy, love, or peace.
If you feel you don’t deserve your Dream, no matter how much time and sweat you put in, how many movers and shakers you know, how many “lucky” breaks you have, or how gorgeous (or outrageous) you are, you will torpedo yourself.
Being fully alive feels like seeing the world in high definition. It makes everything taste, feel, look, smell, and sound more vivid and intense. Experiences go from black and white or analog to technicolor.
To be sincere with oneself means not to let his happiness depend on the approval of others. In the context of the quest for bliss, opinions simply do not matter. The only important thing is how to deepen that bliss...
"Instead of relying blindly on advice from self-help authors about how to be happy, get to know yourself—what your brain/mind is like, how it works, and how it interacts with the world—and you'll be in a better position to decide for yourself," says Shimon Edelman.
Graphic images on TV, the stench of exhaust fumes, fluorescent lighting, office temperatures that are too hot or too cold, or sitting for too long in traffic can all cause enough discomfort to make you tense against the pain to come, real or anticipated.
"From an objective point of view, the present flips into the future in an instant," says Corinna Loeckenhoff. "There is the past and the future, but the present isn't really there."
I want to love, serve and remember until the very day that I die. I want to be able to look back at my life and feel that I tried in my mission. I will never be perfect in this, but I can strive to be the best I can be. In this way I will live with purpose and joy.
Thankfully, in order for us to benefit from breath and body awareness, a permanent shift in consciousness isn’t required. When we inhabit our body, even small improvements in present moment awareness can significantly reduce stress and suffering.
As I was washing the dishes this morning, I remembered how I used to "hate" washing the dishes. To me, it was always equated with a task that I "have to do", not one that I "choose" to do. This led me to reflect on other such situations in...
We all want to be enjoy the bliss of true relationship—and rightfully so. Love is our natural state. Our soul recognizes that the world we walk daily is definitely not the kingdom of heaven and we long to return to the domain of which we retain a faint but ecstatic memory.
Perhaps you have never considered that you have unrealized potential. After all, many of us have arrived at the final quarter of our lives. Aren’t we done yet? Haven’t we spent ourselves? The fortunate answer is no.
If Earth is a school, then what does graduation feel like? What’s waiting for you on the mountaintop? Could your life be more mysterious than you can see from the valley of conventional awareness?
Most people have some physical symptom that signals them that they are starting to run down their batteries. A sore throat, headache, or hemorrhoid flare-up is the universe's way of alerting you that you are getting stressed.
When you catch yourself complaining about the weather, stop. Simply say, “Really? I love this weather.” Usually that produces a shock effect. Remember that all kinds of weather are necessary to keep this earth healthy. So...
If we don’t like where we are, does that mean we’re condemned to stay there? Absolutely not. There’s no limit to the options, opportunities and actions we can take. If we really want something enough, we’ll find ways—comfortable, usual or astoundingly daring—to move toward what we really want.
One of the biggest problems that people bring to therapy is not knowing what to do with a wide range of feelings, including sadness, anger, ecstasy, fear, and depression. Many visits to medical doctors are attempts to deal with feelings unable to be expressed or released. Such feeling problems are quite common.
We were born into belief systems which have been reinforced by our culture, and now accepted as reality. These beliefs are perceptions of how life works. At first glance many perceptions appear to be true -- we can even quote statistics to support them -- but upon closer examination...
While this article is written for women, its conclusions can be applied to males as well... We are expected to do it all -- all the time. We have taken our ability to multi-task, and to accomplish a tremendous amount, to new levels. We are exhausted!