Most of you who read my blog know that I am an optimist. I also believe in the power of positive thought. The way I see it, positive thought is different from positive thinking because just thinking of things doesn’t always affect them. But when you change your thoughts (or mindset) about things, it usually spurs the actions that lead to change. So imagine my delight when I came across the work of Ellen J. Langer who not only reinforces that idea about “thoughts,” but also offers research to support them. Calling on what she labels the “psychology of possibility,” Langer says that it “first requires that we begin with the assumption that we do not know what we can do or become.” In other words, the only thing we know for sure is that we can’t know anything for absolute certain. [Read more…]
A couple of weeks ago I went to see the movie Wonder Woman at my local theater—in 3D no less. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a fantasy-action movie that I so enjoyed. A previous fan of the genre, during the last ten years nearly every other super-hero movie seemed to sink into a violent, bloody mess intended to shock and horrify rather than inspire. For the first time in a very long time, I walked out of the theater feeling both hopeful and encouraged. That’s because Wonder Woman manages to entertain us while imparting empowering and SMART messages for every person in the audience.
Thinking is contagious. In other words, what we focus on and spend time mulling over in our minds routinely shows up over and over in wanted or unwanted ways. Worried about something? Chances are you will wake up in the middle of the night with those fears running through your head like a wild horse. Intrigued by something? Curious? Delighted? Without a doubt, you will find trails of those ideas leading in all sorts of interesting directions.
That’s why it was no surprise when I stumbled upon a newsletter called Positive Aging by The Taos Institute while surfing the Internet. There I found a newly released book entitled, Paths To Positive Aging—Dog Days with a Bone and Other Essays and I emailed and asked for a review copy. As hoped, this small book of essays generated all sorts of new ideas about aging that I found remarkable. And so it goes. [Read more…]
Ever since reading Why People Don’t Heal—And How They Can by Caroline Myss, Ph.D. back in the late 1990s I have been a fan. No matter how many times I read her work, or listen to a lecture she gives, I am always inspired. Myss continually fills in the blanks in many of my thoughts about how to stay healthy and happy from a psychological and spiritual perspective that is often absent in so many conversations. This last week I found a recent TED Talk she gave at the Findhorn Foundation. In this short talk she presents five choices that she has observed in her long career that she finds essential to living a long and healthy life. Surprisingly so—it isn’t the big choices that make the real difference, it’s those little daily ones that matter. [Read more…]
With Memorial Weekend right around the corner, I think a lot of people are making plans for summer vacation. I know I am. I’ve also read that people spend more time planning their vacations than they do their lives—but that’s another topic for another blog post. Then this morning I listened to another lecture by Abraham-Hicks and through the course of a question and answer period Abraham said, “You didn’t come to get it done.” Another way of saying that is, “It’s the journey, not the destination.” However, if you are anything like me, I need to be reminded over and over that the gift of today is reason enough for my life. What about you? [Read more…]
Hawaiian legend states that every child born is similar to a bowl of Light. That Light starts out as everything good, loving, peaceful, playful and creative. Unfortunately, as most of us grow, we start filling our bowls with stones of judgment, worry, fear, regret, anger and even hate. If we continue down that path, then eventually our bowl of Light is filled with stones and we become nothing more than stone ourselves. Happily, with intention and the practice of Ho’oponopono, our Light can be restored to our original nature. Sound nice? What if it were true? And what if it offers us a solution to many of the problems facing the world and most individuals today? [Read more…]
A couple of months ago I scheduled a routine medical checkup with my primary physician. While never a chatty or warm-hearted person, this time my doctor of nearly fifteen years barely looked at me as she sat typing and staring at the computer screen near the windowless wall of the room. After a scant ten minutes of questions and answers, she glanced up, sort of nodded in my direction, and left the room. I doubt I need to tell anyone that this happens daily in doctor’s offices all over our country. Fortunately, my routine visit presented no life-threatening issues. But what if it had? Is it possible that something like mindfulness could benefit both those of us who visit doctors and the doctors themselves? Research now says yes. [Read more…]
I first heard about the practice of Ayurveda from Deepak Chopra back in the early 90s. Just as Chopra’s work became internationally recognized, we attended a three-day workshop and then read many of his books. But even though much of his spiritual and practical insights came from that five-thousand-year-old system of health and healing, I never really understood much about it. So when offered a review copy of a new book written by Acharya Shunya titled, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom I was intrigued. I was especially attracted by the subtitle of, “A Complete Prescription to Optimize Your Health, Prevent Disease, and Live with Vitality and Joy. Clearly, Ayurveda sounded a lot like living SMART 365. [Read more…]
Lately, I’ve noticed how tempting it is to conform. When young and I had nothing to lose, it’s seemed easier to jump into new ideas feet first without thinking. Then supposedly, at the other end of life when our days are numbered, some people find the courage to live as outrageously as they’ve always wanted. But there, wedged in the middle, the unconscious agreement is often the willingness to stay stuck in a space you could call “comfortably numb.” There, cautiously hesitant to rock the boat for fear of uncertainty, many of us merely maintain the status quo. But is that living? Is living comfortably numb the best payoff for the gift of your life? While we obviously can’t return to our youth, we can and maybe should, seek ways to free our inner nonconformist in the days that lie ahead. [Read more…]
For as long as I can remember I have always encountered a new year with optimism and hope. Even when Y2K or the Mayan 2012 (remember them?) were on the horizon and then passed, I believed that any obstacle we faced in a new year could be overcome by either going over, around, or through the problems in front of us. Now here in 2017, we are faced with new and interesting challenges. But again, it is not my nature, nor the reality that I live in, to believe that optimism and hope are suddenly impossible. As I, and others far wiser than me have said, “Pain may be inevitable, but suffering is always optional.” With that in mind, I’ve spent the first few days of the year coming up with what I believe are ten ways to embrace more happiness and hope in the next 365 days. [Read more…]