Welcome to my July story archive.
Scroll down my profile page if you’d like to read my current stories.
Or click on the “read more” link of this article to see all my July 2021 articles articles in one place with a link to my June 2021 ones as well.
My articles are organized in the following topic categories:
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“Does your energy suddenly deflate when you interact with a particular person? If so, what would you do?”
I once asked this question on my Facebook profile after an interaction with a mentor left me deflated.
I’d been joyful, confident, and excited as I described a new idea in an online community. My mentor responded in a sharp, unsupportive tone. Every single molecule of positive energy drained from my being. I felt like a crumpled beach balloon.
This wasn’t my first experience of deflation with this person.
Our mentor-student relationship began well. But gradually our interactions degraded. I appreciated her…
Have you been tempted to try mindfulness after hearing about its amazing benefits? Or maybe you’ve practiced a while and now feel stuck.
Mindfulness has been touted as the solution to anxiety, depression, stress, and chronic pain. It’s marketed as a means to improve focus, efficiency, sleep, relationships, and physical health. Practice mindfulness, they say, and you’ll find happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace. You’ll even extend the length of your life.
These claims aren’t all malarkey.
Research from the first Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School tells us:
“Published evaluations of the medical outcomes resulting…
Memory stars beckon me to the past, this cool early morning.
“Star Light, Star Bright.
The first star I see tonight.
I wish I may; I wish I might.
Have the wish, I wish tonight.”
I wish to live right now, no longer entangled in wistful memories. Purposeless longing brings me no joy.
Instead, I’ll choose present moment delights. Rooster calls and frosty feet. The pitter-patter of kitty paws as Tara follows me around the house.
“Where will Sandra land?” She wonders. “I want to be there too.”
Do you see my smiles now?
After this bit of click-clack on the keys, I’ll allow my bones to sink back into the mattress, feeling each measure of comfort it brings. I’ll merge with the silence between the rooster crows and simply be. I’ll wait for sleep to once again slip over me.
Memory stars, you have not captured me.
Are you swept up in the speediness that characterizes modern life?
I wouldn’t be surprised if a sense of urgency has infiltrated your entire life, prompting you to walk faster, eat faster, talk fast, and drive faster.
Because constant activity can cause an imbalance in your brain’s dopamine levels, a highly addictive brain chemical that brings about momentary feelings of reward and pleasure.
Dopamine rises when you’re busy. You may unknowingly stay busy to get more feel-good dopamine hits. You may even get caught in a vicious dopamine-craving cycle that keeps you locked into a busy lifestyle.
In their book…
How often do you engage in criticism, judgment, and opinions about others? Fess up!
I bet it’s often because that’s what we learned when we grew up, at least most of us.
We live in a competitive culture. So, it may seem the norm to find fault with others, discuss their shortcomings behind their backs or even to their face, and believe, with complete conviction, they should change.
Even if you consider yourself a good person, even if you are a good person, unless you train your mind to do otherwise, it probably goes into judgmental mode many times throughout…
Once, in a counseling session, my friend Jill told me, “Go for radical joy.”
I wondered, “What is radical joy and how do I go for it? Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure. So I spent some time contemplating “radical joy” — the meaning, the feeling, and how to awaken it.
According to the Oxford Lexico Dictionary, the word “radical” can mean “far-reaching and thorough.” And the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says “radical” can mean “proceeding from a root.”
Both of those ideas relate to the way I want to embrace and practice joy.
I want to intentionally water the roots of joy…
Suffering abounds in this world. Once you open your eyes to all the pain and sorrow, you might start crying and never stop.
School shootings, human trafficking, child labor, domestic abuse—the list goes on and on. It includes the suffering of family and friends when they’ve been struck by illness or misfortune as well.
Sometimes, all the suffering seems too much to bear.
That’s when I turn to the practice of “Giving and Receiving on the Breath.” You too can find refuge in this simple practice of breathing in the suffering of others and sending out happiness on the breath.