Happiness

The Complex Relationship Between Personality and Happiness


Extraverts are happier, and so are the emotionally stable, personality researchers tell us. It also pays to be more open to new experiences, more agreeable, and more conscientious. What does that mean for the rest of us—the introverts, the neurotics, the disorganized?

You may recognize these personality dimensions as part of the Big Five, the traits that researchers are often referring to when they talk about personality. According to a 2008 review, the Big Five explain anywhere from 39 to 63 percent of the variation in well-being between people.

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Creativity

Using Your Imagination to Increase Your Patience


After a week of Spring Break with my kids, trying to take care of their needs while also working from home, I’m reaching the outer limits of my patience.

What if there was a way to train myself to become more patient?

Past research into this subject by scientists has usually focused on increasing willpower, but a new study suggests that instead, using imagination is a good way to become more patient.

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Marriage and Divorce

Which Hot Button Words Are Dealbreakers in Relationships?


I was reading about certain words that should never be used in advertising because they yield poor results. The article pointed out that people are far less likely to click on the word “submit” on a web site because it is too committal. As an alternative, “click here” is better, and “click here to receive whatever is being offered” is better yet. The article went on to point out how language can be a turn on or a turn off when making decisions.
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Creativity

10 Ways to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing Again

“Creativity is God’s will for us and should be practiced like any other spiritual practice -- one day at a time.” - Julia Cameron
As a child, being creative is a natural part of everyday life. From drawing, finger painting and crafting in kindergarten to playing with toys, dressing up or just letting it all go at recess, our society gives kids full permission to be imaginative and express themselves. In many educational systems, creativity is considered an essential part of healthy childhood development.

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Caregivers

Caregiving: Trading Solitude for a New Place of Wholeness


For many years, I looked to solitude as a sacred space for nurturing my soul. My routine was to get up early, retreat to a small desk by a window, light a candle, and then meditate while waiting for the sun to rise. I found this morning ritual deeply satisfying and helpful in setting an intention for the day. I never posted an actual “Do not disturb” sign, but I certainly relished this time alone for meditating, reflecting, and journal writing.

But then things changed. My husband became chronically ill, and I became his caregiver. This meant being available and responsive to his needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Personal

Keeping the Fire Alive: One Man’s Renewed Life Commitment


Since my first vision quest 18 years ago, I’ve made a commitment to go out into the wilderness every year alone and fast, typically for three days and nights. This sacred time gives me the opportunity to contemplate my life and to renew my commitment to my life’s purpose. But this year I did something different.

Inspired by a teenage experience as an Eagle Scout and perhaps by that pivotal line in so many adventure movies, “I’ll take this watch!” I decided to create a primal challenge: to build a fire at sunset and keep it burning until sunrise.

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General

Our Shared Journey through Life

Imagine our entire life story being one that has already been sketched out, like a predestined game of Chutes and Ladders. There are going to be trials and tribulations, but life is a game and it must go on. There is no telling which move you take is going to lead you to a downfall or a tremendous surge of success. But that’s it right there, the most important rule of the game: in order to live and experience all the tremendous bounties of life, you have to consciously move forward, abandoning fear of the consequences.

Picture also each and every person you meet in your life in this world to be a player committed to reaching the same end as you. Each relationship we form offers a unique platform, helping us refine, acknowledge, or grow in one way or another. Therefore, treat every relationship you forge as a sacred one -- be it a parental, sibling, marital, or platonic one.
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