Spring arrives, and with it comes flowers budding, sunny days mingling with intermittent rainstorms to refresh and replenish, warmer temperatures, and a desire to get things moving and start anew. While Mother Nature is doing her spring cleaning, we too feel a call to clean out what’s built up over the winter. Spring is the […]
Each spring and fall, I lead support groups designed to help people recover and express their passions and creativity. The process involves a fair amount of personal disclosure, as students identify their desires and explore what’s in the way of living them. In the first session, I distribute a handout called “Could You Just Listen?” […]
There’s been a lot of talk this past week about President Barack Obama’s selfie at a memorial for Nelson Mandela. That moment, now frozen in time, shows Obama, Denmark’s prime minister Helle Thorning Schmidt, and her British counterpart, David Cameron, posing like three giddy teenagers while first lady Michelle Obama appeared to scowl off to […]
You may have heard: Grateful is the new happy. Gratitude has broken past its usual Thanksgiving dinner table border, and is now popular all year long. Self-help books implore us to count our blessings, Facebook quote-picture memes remind us to appreciate what we have, and magazine articles stress the importance of giving thanks. But why?
Having written some of those articles myself, I can tell you that studies have found an “attitude of gratitude” can help with everything from healing from heart surgery to reducing pain. One chiropractic clinic assigned its patients a daily gratitude list; those who did it regularly saw a decrease in pain and an uptick in overall wellbeing.
In the late ‘60s, feminists coined—and very often employed—the phrase “the personal is political,” and never before has it rung truer. The recent party conventions were deeply personal, with moving onstage tales of hardship that ranged from growing up black in the South to delivering babies prematurely. Social media, meanwhile, lets us express our views—and hear about others’—more explicitly and aggressively than ever before. Views with which we don’t agree often come as a shock, if not a personal blow: I have a friend who thinks that?
“What is it about politics that hits us so emotionally?” asks Aruni Nan Futuronsky, a certified life coach and program advisor in Kripalu Healthy Living programs. While we may be used to—and even welcome—differences of opinion among family and friends in other arenas, politics often seems to warrant a less accepting view. We get defensive and argumentative. We feel very strongly. We try to convince others to see our side—and we often fail. That’s where the philosophies we learn in our yoga practice come into play, says Aruni. “Yoga teaches us to take action and to express our truth, but not get stuck on the outcome,” she says. That is, speak your mind—but don’t expect to change someone else’s.
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