Letter to the Editor

Dear Reader, I can well appreciate your response to my article on parents who are abandoned by their children. Certainly people who were abused in childhood ought not be judged or pressured to reunite with their parents unless they are internally lead to do so. Some abused people actually may lessen their damage by trying to reconnect with parents. My intention in the article was to specifically address parents who were not abusive to their children who nevetherless get rejected today by their adult children. The example at the start illustrates this intent. Although I tried I could have been … Continue reading

From the Publisher

A few years ago a friend smiled wistfully as she listened to me stumble through an beginner’s sonata on our ancient Wurlitzer upright — the same piano I sat at for half-an-ungodly-hour day after day while growing up. “I’m so impressed that you can read music,” my friend lamented and I was shocked. She plays at clubs, weddings, big events and restaurants around town, and my brain couldn’t compute that she could be so talented and yet not read the notes on the page. “It’s like I have some sort of musical dyslexia,” she said, explaining the musical malady that … Continue reading

Is it Healthy to Live Only for Yourself?  

John Driggs

In all of our lives there certainly are those times when it is very healthy to live only for ourselves. If we are just about to give birth to a child, if our recovery in a hospital from a lifethreatening illness like alcoholism is at stake, or if we are powerless over another family member’s out of control behaviors, it’s rather wise and necessary to focus only on ourselves and our well being. Detachment with love has an essential place in our lives. However, what if we are just going about the business of living and only want to focus … Continue reading

Creativity is a Spiritual Practice

It was the fall our eldest started college. Once we had heard the parent pep talk and were summarily dismissed, I could hardly tear myself away – the excitement of choosing classes from endless possibilities, the beauty of the autumn campus, the opportunity to form fast friendships. I came right home and registered for The Artist’s Way, a class based on the book by the same title, authored by Julia Cameron. I’d never considered myself an artist. I’m from a long line of non-artists. Julia Cameron says, “… creative recovery (or discovery) is a teachable, trackable spiritual practice.” I was … Continue reading

Super Performing at Work and at Home:

The Athleticism of Surgery and Life By Robert James Cerfolio, MD, MBA River Grove Books Are you a star performer but want to be a super performer? Cerfolio states that paying attention to the tiny details separates the average performer from the super performer. And he knows—he has been a well-respected cardiothoracic surgeon for 25 years. In his motivational book he describes how while growing up as a competitive athlete, and later as a coach, father and physician, he has had to make life changing choices. He recommends readers prepare for every contingency as best they can. One of the … Continue reading

When Did You Die?

8 Steps to Stop Dying Every Day and Start Waking Up By Temple Hayes Health Communications, Inc. Hayes shares with the readers that she is amazed to be alive. She grew up in a violent and neglectful home. She admits she’s been in many automobile accidents and many times she drank enough alcohol to kill herself. Yet she didn’t die. However, each day she denied who she was, dying a little more each day. Hayes states, “Many people do not realize that there are many layers of being asleep and dying while we are living.” She offers readers techniques to … Continue reading

Imagine the Life You’d Love to Live, Then Live It:

52 Inspired Habits and Playful Prompts By Peg Conley Viva Editions How are you living the life you want to live? Conley describes her creative journey and provides 52 chapters of common sense advice to inspire new habits and disciplines. This book has useful tips from an artist and owner of a successful greeting card and stationery company. There are short essays and exercises to inspire and help the reader intentionally create the life they want. She suggests these will help the reader “unlock their inner genius” and nurture their journey forward by using practical ideas and suggestions. Week by … Continue reading

Faith: Essays from Believers, Agnostics, and Atheists

By Victoria Zackheim Beyond Words Publishing Zackheim was well into her sixties when she began to explore what she believed, and in turn, asked others about their beliefs. She asked, “What do you believe?” Their responses and how they came to their beliefs are included in this anthology. This collection of thought-provoking essays was written by 23 award-winning and best-selling authors Zackhein knew or had worked with in the past. The essays are honest and candid. Readers may use these gifted authors’ personal reflections as prompts for their own reflection and answers. Zackheim has edited several other creative nonfiction anthologies … Continue reading

Finding Your Voice

A lot of people claim that they can’t sing. Maybe at some point in their life, someone told them they couldn’t carry a tune. Maybe they were told that they were being too loud or obnoxious. Maybe they started thinking that singing wasn’t cool, or that it was only acceptable in a karaoke bar under the influence of alcohol. At some point, they just decided to quit singing. I say “quit,” because anyone who has been around young children knows that they are not nearly as shy about sharing their voices with the world. At some point, though, it seems … Continue reading

Thanks for the Words of Encouragement

From an early age I had low self-esteem partly as a result of being criticized unrealistically by my mother. I was a perfectionist and struggled with anger, frustration and tension. Besides that I felt like my parents were smothering me with over protection. College graduation coincided with a break up with my boyfriend, dashing marriage plans and leaving me lost and dejected. Mom said, “I told you so.” That just made things hurt more. I moved to a faraway state to try and escape my parents and the feelings of failure and guilt that I had, but things only got … Continue reading

Accepting Reality

I see myself on the high-speed motorbike with skin-tight leather jeans and long shiny hair and the looks of an angel. I see myself acting in a movie. The movie wins an Oscar, and I have all that I need and cherish as an actor and author. I see myself being a great leader whose speech touches the hearts of  millions, who brings victory to mankind and kills all ignorance. I see myself writing books and shifting the mass consciousness and see the creativity inside me to publish these best sellers. —Vidya Gargote from MUTE: Poems That Saved My Life! … Continue reading

Welcome Spring with Health, Fitness, and Cooking apps

With the weather finally heating up (goodbye snowpocalypse!) it’s that time of year again when we layer down and show some skin. For those of you who didn’t exactly get that body you’ve been hoping for during this year’s hellish winter… don’t stress. From running to biking to cooking, here are some apps that will get you in tip-top shape in time for next winter: 1.MapMyRun – For all the runners out there, MapMyRun allows you to record your workout details including the time span, distance, pace, speed, elevation and calories burned. It uses the GPS in your mobile to … Continue reading

Getting unstuck from depression

On the bus recently I overheard a woman on her cellphone. “I’m so depressed,” she told the person on the receiving end. Later that day, I was on the receiving end as I listened to a friend from across the country explain that it’s been hard to get out of bed in the mornings. I knew what she meant. I, too, had been having a hard time getting and staying motivated and upbeat. While the term “depression” might commonly be used as a general descriptor to convey, I feel bad emotionally and I don’t know how to relieve it, depression … Continue reading

A Brief Taxonomy of Addiction

“Think you’re different”? read the tagline on the poster my first C.D. counselor would point to the second a new patient entered his office. The words, printed in a cheerfully comic balloon-lettered font scrolled over a depiction of thousands of densely massed European lady bugs, bright red with big black polka dots. “I’d relate better” I said “if they were cockroaches” I said. I understood it, though; I was already getting the idea: Find the common ground. Whether in treatment, or in the “rooms,” addicts come together from wildly different backgrounds, cultures, levels of formal education and religious upbringing. If … Continue reading

Guide Your Recovery with Wellness

Exuberant Life! The road to recovery is difficult for everyone whether you’re at the beginning or well into your journey. Incorporating wellness practices like good nutrition, exercise and improved sleep habits into your routine make your recovery easier and more successful. Easier? You might think that sounds like extra effort when you’re already working so hard. Yet, for people in recovery, a healthy lifestyle is especially important for several major reasons. First, substance abuse causes damage to the body due to excessive stress. Second, alcohol and drug abuse can cause general malnutrition as well as specific nutrient deficiencies. Third, improved … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor

Letter to editor: Mary Lou Logsdon’s reflection on the ginkgo trees that line her street (“Letting Go,” November/December, 2014) was a reminder that many meaningful life lessons are gleaned by observing nature.  Her comments about “letting go,” based on the metaphor of trees losing their leaves in the fall, were not only thoughtful, but lyrical, as much akin to poetry as prose can get.  I’m saving her piece, so that I can share sections of it as the opening words for a future service at our Unitarian Universalist church.