TALKING STORY

TALKING STORY

The Light of My Life teases me.  He says my eyeballs are getting square.  A Luddite of the most determined kind – the man doesn’t even own a phone – he worries that this one-eyed monster, my computer, will eat my days and steal me away from Life-Its-Own- Self. THE SOUND OF AWKWARD Apparently, he has cause for concern.  A couple of years ago, teacher Paul Barnwell wrote a thought-provoking article in The Atlantic magazine. He noticed that his students…

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TRY SOMETHING ELSE

TRY SOMETHING ELSE

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  an inclination to try and see whether you can pull something off.  [Trying it for yourself can lead to some amazing discoveries.] I am watching a young friend who’s stuck in a major cycle of suck.  He won’t try anything new.  I don’t understand why it’s so hard for him, but there it is.  He sits around moaning about how his life is not working, but he won’t try doing anything different. I don’t know….

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LISTEN UP

LISTEN UP

Journalist and radio producer Dave Isay firmly believes that every person has a story to tell, one that the world needs to hear, and he’s been working on figuring out how to gather these stories together so everyone can share in them.  It all comes down to taking the time to listen. THE LOST STORIES It started, the guy says, when he was a young lad.  He was a loner and a nerdy sort who preferred talking  to older people….

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FINDING YOUR OWN BALANCE

FINDING YOUR OWN BALANCE

The wise guys say Life is a balance.  Physically that is a truth.  You breathe in and you breathe out.  Too much breathing in and you hyperventilate; too little and you turn blue.  Eat too much and you gain weight; eat too little and you waste away. Balance is fascinating.   I remember that as kids, my friends and I used to try getting the teeter-totter plank to sit perfectly level on its fulcrum as we piled on.  We never did…

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ASK THE STUPID QUESTION

ASK THE STUPID QUESTION

I had a friend who won my admiration because his constant go-to request was always this:  “Can I ask a stupid question?” Then he’d ask a question that was A-B-C simple about something I thought I knew. I’d answer the question (out of my own great wisdom, of course).  It made me feel so good to be able to be…uh-hem…The Expert. My friend Les listened carefully.  He’d think on what I said.  Then he’d ask more “stupid” questions, helping me…

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MORE FUN THAN ONE

MORE FUN THAN ONE

Starting is a series of events.  You decide to walk to Cleveland and you aim to do it on your own two feet – no bike, no bus, no train, no plane or helicopter…not even a hot-air balloon.  You’re going to walk to Cleveland. So you take a first step in the right direction.  That’s starting.  At the end of the day, however far you’ve gotten, you might stop at a hotel and rest.  And what happens the next morning? …

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CULTURES OF MEANING

CULTURES OF MEANING

It’s been a quiet sort of shift.  More and more people are moving away from the “work-and-spend” mentality that characterized the latter half of the last century.  They are looking for more meaning to add to their lives, they say. Gregg Easterbrook, in his book, THE PROGRESS PARADOX:  How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, has pointed out, “A transition from material want to meaning want is in progress on an historically unprecedented scale—involving hundreds of millions of people…

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GRATITUDE IS A CHOICE

GRATITUDE IS A CHOICE

Gratitude is a choice, but why would you choose it? In recent years there have been systematic scientific studies of gratitude and its positive effects.  These studies show that grateful people are happier, more open and sociable, less depressed and neurotic and express higher levels of satisfaction with their lives and relationships. Grateful people also show higher levels of growth and self-acceptance and stronger coping skills for challenges and set-backs. The ones who carry on with master motivation speaker Zig…

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FAIL BETTER

FAIL BETTER

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  an understanding that action and failure are two sides of the same coin.  [The trick is to use failure as a signal for a course correction rather than as a stop sign….] FAILURE HAPPENS I’ve just devoured a book, FAIL, FAIL AGAIN, FAIL BETTER:  Wise Advice For Leaning Into the Unknown, and it’s left me with a full and satisfied feeling. This book grew out of the transcript of a commencement address by Pema Chodron,…

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HURRY SICKNESS AND SPARE TIME

HURRY SICKNESS AND SPARE TIME

There used to be a thing called “spare time” which was greatly anticipated and enjoyed by those who had it.  It was the time we had available to do other things than work, developing our hustle-muscle, or striving for S.M.A.R.T. goals. Spare time nourished us and kept us engaged and enjoying life.  Spare time helped us to thrive in the middle of Life’s inevitable obstacles and challenges.  We were able to find meaning and mana in our ordinary lives because…

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