Practicing Compassion

Practicing Compassion

“There are very, very, very many people in the world today who will not have had the kind of breakfast that you had. Many, many millions in the world today are hungry. It’s not your fault, but you woke up in a warm bed, you were able to have a shower, you put on clean clothes, and you are in a home that is warm in the winter.” - The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy

Puts things into perspective pretty quickly, doesn’t it? When I returned from Southeast Asia last year, everything was a blessing. The amount I wanted or “needed” diminished immensely; I was grateful simply to be born in a country where 3 meals a day and functional plumbing were conveniences we could afford to take for granted. But - not unexpectedly - over time this newfound sense of perspective faded, and keeping up with those around me started to take precedence once again. 

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Emotional Intelligence: Getting In Touch With Your Feels

Emotional Intelligence: Getting In Touch With Your Feels

"The emotions are of quite extraordinary importance in the total economy of living organisms and do not all deserve being put into opposition with 'intelligence.' They are, it seems, themselves a high order of intelligence." - O. Hobart Mowrer

As most things in life, it can often be easy to simplify our emotions into two categories: good and bad. When we feel down, we try to change it. When we feel good, we cling to it. When we feel anything at all, we rationalize it because we’ve been told not to make decisions with our hearts, but rather with our heads.

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What Happens When You’re Spiraling...

What Happens When You’re Spiraling...

We’re all familiar with the idea of “spiraling” down, or out of control. Chances are you’ve been caught in the cycle more than once. No matter how hard you try, somehow you just keep sinking deeper and deeper into an infinite hole of rumination, negativity, anxiety or fear.

Well, as it turns out, “spiraling” is actually a pretty good description of what goes on in the emotional process, though it can be hard to detect the nuances when you’re smack in the middle of it.

Let’s break it down.

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Perspectives on Happiness

Perspectives on Happiness

We wasted no time in diving deeper into some of the central questions and themes surrounding happiness and ongoing happiness research in Week 2 of Harvard’s “The Science and Application of Positive Psychology.”

While it may sound like a simple subject, let’s start with just a couple thought starters:

  • Are you happy? Are you happy “enough”? Are you as happy as you want to be?

  • If your definition of “success” was simply to be happy, how would you be doing?

  • Should happiness be the main goal at all? What about the Zen idea of “transcending” happiness, rather than maximizing it?

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