Category Archives: Thought and Consciousness

Healing the divisions that separate us

No trespassing. Keep out. Violators will be …

Constructing borders and defending them seems an irresistible proclivity manifested on many levels. From national boundaries to backyard fences and even personal space, there is a strong impulse to establish lines of demarcation that separate us from each other for the purpose of safeguarding. There are consequences.

Territorial violations make the news everyday: illegal border crossings, mass immigration, international as well as personal property disputes, to name a few. The walls built to keep some in and others out are not confined to physical structures, but also ideated ones, less obvious but just as formidable.  Barriers such as distrust, prejudice, indifference and hatred can seem more impenetrable than a barbed wire fence.

On the other hand, an instinctive drive to associate and unite with others impels us to connect. It is an interesting dichotomy… Read more 

Thinking Faster, Higher, Stronger

At times aging seems like an Olympic sport. Successfully maneuvering through this time of life depends on a certain amount of preparation, perseverance and endurance. It can be a Herculean effort that requires not a little confidence.

“Perhaps two-thirds of all the people who have ever lived to the age of 65 are alive today.” Peter Peterson’s, Gray Dawn, points out some sobering statistics about the aging of the world’s population and its impact on society.  It’s unchartered territory.

And that’s what makes preparing for the “golden years” such a challenge.  This many people living this long is a relatively recent phenomenon. Never have so many faced this situation. And it is creating a lot of angst for individuals and planners.

By what standard do we qualify as old?  Read more…

The gritty part of well-being

As summer swings into full gear Americans’ attention turns to freedom and fireworks. Independence Day reminds us of the boldness of our forefathers which brought freedom from political tyranny and established a new form of governance in the world.

Grit and confidence are contributing factors to successfully conquering things that would enslave us.  This includes health-related challenges that run the gamut from cancer and Alzheimer’s to anxiety over going to the dentist.

Swedish researchers Mia Vainia and Daiva Daukantait have been looking at the relationship between grit, authenticity and well-being and have concluded that “Grit (is) positively related to all well-being factors.”

Standing up to the fear that accompanies health woes is paramount to overcoming them. But how is a gritty stance established when one is confronted with overwhelming health concerns? Read more…

When life seems sideways

What’s wrong? Why so uneasy?

There are moments when you suspect deep down you’re not whole, when you feel you have somehow misplaced a portion of your soul. Nothing is clicking, joy seems a stretch or you’re just going through the motions in a haze of detachment.

And you’re not sure what to do about it or that it is worth the effort to figure out.  For that matter, there is doubt that what you’re experiencing is even abnormal. I’ve experienced that uncertainty.  I’ve also found success in challenging subtle feelings of personal inadequacy and experiencing fresh inspiration, fulfillment and presence. Wholeness comes when I take the time to look honestly at myself, all of me. Hear me out.

The number of Vine loops, Instagram selfies and Facebook missives don’t replace authentic introspection.  Our primal ID is far different than the face at the end of a selfie stick and posts of today’s conquests on a timeline.  Each of us is an intensely complex and uniquely elegant creation.  Read more…

Helping as only you can

This is National Volunteer Week.

Scene: A regular Joe driving home to see his family after a hard day. He comes upon a beat-up, broken-down car along the side of the road.   This average guy, named Jim, doesn’t hesitate to stop and see what help he can give to the stranger standing nearby.

The year was 1929.  Life was difficult.  And it would not get better for a long while.  It was a desperate time when daily life for many revolved around one thing: looking for a way to stay alive.  It was also a time, interesting enough, when generosity abounded.

Love and its manifestations of giving, kindness, and compassion have long marked the best of human nature.  Whatever impels someone to give of himself even when he has little to offer has pulled many individuals through difficult times.

Scientific investigation on the effects of love in our lives has uncovered some interesting findings. The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, founded at Case Western Reserve University, has been looking into the subject.  Part of its mission statement includes answering the question: Does the sincere love of neighbor contribute to the happiness and health of both those who give it and those who receive it?  Read more….