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After the Worst Day Ever

Share Who doesn’t need a book about hope right now? After the Worst Day Ever by Duane R. Bidwell is just that, and well worth a read. While the subtitle — What Sick Kids Know about Sustaining Hope in Chronic Illness — bespeaks a researcher’s specificity, the book is much more than a resource for caregivers of children with chronic illness. It is a reframing of hope that is much needed for those confronting a world ill with pollution and climate change — which is to say, all of us. It is also a book that can help people face suffering — “those w...

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After the Worst Day Ever

Share Hope means seeing and acknowledging hard things, paying attention to everything long — all of it, good and bad — without denying anything. Learning to live with all that we feel, all that we think, all that we see, everything that happens — accepting all of it without pushing away pain or refusing to acknowledge suffering or clinging to pleasure — invites hope. Sick children talk about suffering because they see the territory clearly, and they know that hope manifests in the midst of pain. Hope doesn't erase suffering; it acknowledges it,...

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Helping Migratory Birds

Share No matter where you live, you can take small actions to help migratory birds. Use migration maps such as the one found at birdcast.info to monitor migration activities in your area.Turn off all unnecessary outdoor lights, or replace them with light that are bird-friendly, such as motion-activated lights or shielded luminaries that control glare.Write letters to city leaders and business owners asking them to join Lights Out.Make your windows safer for birds by placing a small sticker or decal on the outside of the window, covering the win...

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It’s Selfish, It’s Hokey, and I’ll Lose My Edge: 3 Half-Truths About Self-Compassion

I’m a late adopter of a lot of things. It took me two years to get an iPhone, a lot of convincing to wear AirPods (which I still call ear pods despite my son’s cringe), and it took me even longer to drink the “self-compassion” Kool-Aid.  (Which I guess I drank because I wrote a book on how to practice self-compassion daily!) Why such reluctance to embrace the research-backed practice of self-compassion? I believed three things about self-compassion that turned me off. But I’ve since learned, they are really only half-truths. We think that being...

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Why Uncertainty Is Good for Us

Our brains are hardwired to dislike uncertainty.  Whether it was our ancient ancestors depending on unpredictable weather conditions to have enough to eat, or our very modern lives characterized by nonstop change, information overload, and unstable global situations—that deep sense of not-knowing, to our nervous systems, can feel like a threat. It’s understandable that for most of us, uncertainty often brings up feelings of discomfort and anxiety. And of course, unpredictable situations can sometimes pose more than just feelings of discomfort—t...

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A 12-Minute Meditation to Meet Difficult Emotions With Compassion

Adobe Stock | Mary Long Often when we’re struggling with challenging situations or emotions, the things that feel the most supportive aren’t complex techniques, but just simple, down-to-earth practices. This week, teacher and leadership trainer Carley Hauck introduces a practice for working with difficult emotions that’s all about noticing the body and visualizing the support, care, and wisdom to stay present to the right-now experience. In a world that feels increasingly complex and uncertain, Carley’s guidance is like a gentle hand on the bac...

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Somehow

Share “Love is evolutionary, survival of the species. Not-love is killing us,” writes Anne Lamott, in one of the more serious moments of her new book. In a time of great divisions between people, come reminders from one our most popular spiritual writers about the fundamentals of love. In classic Anne Lamott style, this comes in sentences bursting with inspiration flashes, such as: “Eighty percent of everything that is true and beautiful can be experienced on any ten-minute walk.” And, “Even in the darkest and most devastating times, love is ne...

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Somehow

Share “On a ten-minute walk anywhere — from outside my gate with its broken latch to the loudest block in Brooklyn to Garbage City in Cairo — love abounds and abides, flirts and weeps with us. It is there for the asking, which is the easy part. Our lives’ toughest work is in the receiving. Love presents most obviously in babies and kids being cuddled, yet also as patience with annoying humans we live or work with or are. We feel love upon seeing our favorite neighbors and first responders, we see it in fundraising efforts, peace marches, kinder...

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Someone Just Like You

Share "We have more in common than that which divides us," activist and humanitarian Jo Cox wisely observed. But how can we discover those common threads? That's the quest Someone Just Like You offers in its 32 colorful, buoyant pages. On a page showing 20 kids with names ranging from Dyal to Zahra, readers discover that even if you and others speak different languages and have different names: "On the outside you look different,but your feelings are the same." New York Times bestselling illustrator David Roberts has gone all out to make these ...

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Renouncing Racism in Local Politics

30 Weeks to the Election

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How Meditation Supports Health and Healing

Meditation is an ancient practice that encourages people to redirect their focus and attention. Although there are many different approaches to meditating, most have their roots in Eastern spiritual and religious traditions. Western researchers began to explore the health effects of mindfulness meditation in the late 1960s. From there, the literature grew exponentially, kick-starting the development of secular programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), of which meditation is a central component. A regular meditation practice is...

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A 12-Minute Meditation for Rediscovering Your Essence

We often misunderstand meditation as an escape from real life, a place to get away from the noise, busyness, chaos, and confusion of our daily hours. Cara Bradley offers a clarifying perspective: that, yes, the noise is a part of our real lives, but we also carry with us an essence that is quiet, calm, and deeply relaxed. When we take a moment to meditate, we’re actually dropping below the surface of our lives into this even more real part of ourselves, what she calls “the ground of our being.” Yes, the noise is a part of our real lives—but we ...

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Cultivating Mindfulness Beyond Meditation: How 8 Skills Empower Us in Everyday Life

We’ve all been there—a moment of high stress calls for mindfulness, but meditation alone doesn’t seem to cut it. While formal meditation practice is an incredibly valuable practice, everyday mindfulness demands a broader set of skills. Taking my own journey into everyday mindfulness, and being lead researcher on studies examining the relationship between mindful mindsets and skills, inspired me to develop an eight-skill framework. The mindfulness mindset helps us discern and overcome the challenges to returning to our inherent clarity and inten...

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How to Grow From Your Regrets

When clients end therapy with me, I like to share an exercise called Appreciations, Hopes, and Regrets. Sharing appreciations and hopes with clients feels good, but it’s the regrets that are the biggest teachers. “I regret not telling you sooner about my drinking,” says a client. “I regret not asking about your drinking when I suspected it,” I respond. Regrets can be powerful signposts. When approached with self-compassion, regrets can guide us in making the adjustments necessary to live a more meaningful life. Looking back on your life, what d...

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How to Navigate Overthinking With Compassionate Awareness

Ever found yourself stuck in a loop of thoughts that just won’t quit, like a song on repeat? That’s overthinking for you. It’s not just pondering; it’s getting caught up in a whirlwind of worries, doubts, and “what-ifs.” Imagine having a project with a looming deadline. Healthy thinking about the project involves planning, but overthinking turns it into a mental marathon. Overthinking can look like second-guessing, obsessing over details, and conjuring worst-case scenarios. This quickly transforms a manageable situation into a stressful ordeal....

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How to Focus

Share “In every moment of our construction and demolition projects, our minds should revolve exclusively around the love of God as its fixed unchanging center. Using this reliable compass of love, it should accommodate or curtail its thoughts, depending on the property of each one. Otherwise the mind will lack the real skills to construct that spiritual building of which Paul is the architect, and it won’t attain the beauty of the house that the blessed David wanted to offer in his heart to the Lord: 'Lord,' he said, 'I have loved the habitatio...

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How to Focus

Share Last year we awarded Jamie Kreiner’s book The Wandering Mind as one of the best spiritual books of the year. She has now created another work from the wealth of spiritual practice that began and was fostered for centuries with monks in their monasteries. This book is all about the spiritual practices of attention and being present, with help from John Cassian, “whose thoughts about thinking influenced centuries of monks,” as Kreiner explains in a helpful, substantive introduction. Cassian lived in the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth ...

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Honoring the Earth

31 Weeks to Election Day

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The American Buffalo

Share They inhabited the land for thousands of years, living alongside indigenous tribes who treated them with reverence. In 1880, 30 million buffalo roamed the Great Plains. In the first part of this series, we hear from Native people, including the Kiowa, Comanche, and Cheyenne of the Southern Plains; the Lakota, Salish, Kootenai, Mandan-Hidatsa, and Blackfeet from the Northern Plains; and others. They explain how when a buffalo was killed, every part of the animal was used for food, clothing, or to make tools.Then as white men swarmed over t...

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Free Yourself from Reader Ghosts for Deeper, More Mindful Writing

I spend a lot of time in my own company. The older I become, the more I enjoy being with myself on hikes, shopping, sitting on the porch looking at the green scribbles of oaks in spring, cooking, and especially in that natural habitat of solitude, writing.  I am delighted by my own company at the desk; it feels like I’m dropping in on my best buddy for a few hours in front of a computer screen. The fact that I am able to spend hours alone professionally as a writer is not a given. Most people are never left alone as they write because they squa...

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About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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