I took a few days off last week basking in the glow of a rare and beautiful sunny sky in Portland, Oregon. It felt like heaven. I almost forgot what it felt like to really live, to have the kind of day I think Leonardo da Vinci is talking about when he said, “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.”

And it didn’t take much to make me feel that way.

Just a bike ride near the water, dinner with friends, a trip to the zoo with my nephew. But in comparison to the daily grind, the to-do lists that never get finished, the endless amount of tasks that pile one atop the other, the feeling of just being for the sake of being was pure bliss.

I realized that what was so sublime about the experience was that I was completely living in the moment. Slowly obligations, responsibilities, worries that had been holding my mind hostage had began to wane. I realized how stressed and overwhelmed I had been.

If you’re in need of a little mini-vacation from the stress of life too, a few of these articles this week should provide much needed respite.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

New Study on Mindfulness: Turning the Volume Down in Your Brain

(Mindfulness & Psychotherapy) – I have a friend who cannot think, concentrate or write if he hears even a slight bit of distraction (people laughing, phone ringing, chairs scraping the ground). I think he would benefit from a little mindfulness. You may too. Read this to find out how being mindful can make you more attentive and focused even amidst distraction.

Is Stress Consuming You? Here’s What to Do

(Adventures in Positive Psychology) – Sadly, stress has become a part of our daily lives. The good news is that there are things we can do to combat stress. This post lists five.

Computers of Flesh?

(Guideposts to Happiness) – Has neuroscience turned our perceptions of human beings into computers made of flesh? Is too much knowledge about the brain a good thing? This blogger doesn’t think so and he explains why he feels that way in this intriguing post.

Equine Therapy: A Personal Experience

(Equine Therapy) – In this excerpt from ON THE BACK OF A HORSE: Harnessing the Healing Power of the Human-Equine Bond, author and blogger Claire Dorotik shares her personal and profound experience with how a horse changed her life and the way she perceived the perceptibility of horses.

ADHD Diagnostic Quiz for Women*

(ADHD from A to ZoĆ«) – This may not be the test you think it is. Instead, be prepared for lots of laughter, nods of agreement and feelings of validation.