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General

Intimacy as a Spiritual Path


Attachment theory and neuroscience tell us that we’re wired with a human need for connection. Neither infants nor adults thrive without safe and secure relationships. Might our longing for connection and intimacy be synonymous with a spiritual longing that lies at the very heart of what it means to be human?

When we hear the word “spirituality,” we may think of something otherworldly and transcendent. We pray to some larger presence beyond ourselves that we call God or participate in rites and rituals that we hope will secure our salvation or enlightenment.

Rather than pursue a vertical spirituality of transcendence, what if we pursued a horizontal spirituality that invites us to be awake in our everyday lives and relationships?
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Creativity

How to Become a More Interesting Person

Many people see themselves as boring or not very interesting. As a result, they minimize social contact, or feel self-conscious and awkward when interacting.

Having a self-image of being uninteresting can lead to isolation and loneliness, while eroding self-worth.

A fascinating inquiry is to explore what makes us interesting. Is it our net worth, our accomplishments, or knowing people who are popular? Maybe these factors create a curious image that some people find appealing. But do we want people to find our image interesting or find us interesting?

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Alzheimer

Psychology Around the Net: August 26, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

Can you believe it's the last weekend of August? I know summer doesn't technically end as soon as August is over, but...where did the summer go?!

Well, before you head out to enjoy the weekend, take some time to catch up on the science of spirituality, why having a best friend as a teenager helps develop a sense of self later in life, how winning the lottery will contribute little to your level of happiness, and more.

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Creativity

Finding Your Creativity

Throughout my life, my most at peace moments were when I spent time being creative. Creativity, in my opinion is a gift from a spiritual realm, in my belief system, it is from God.

Have you ever had a new idea on a book you could write, business you could create or even a painting you could paint? This has happened to me often, and to be honest, these visions and ideas have been coming to me as early as I can remember. A pastor preached one Sunday on the importance of tuning into our gifts that we are born with or God might just give them to someone else who will use them. 
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Bipolar

Psychology Around the Net: August 12, 2017


Happy Saturday, sweet readers!

I have a busy, busy day today. First, I'm having a meeting with family members to make some important (but fun!) plans, and then after a couple of hours of downtime (I hope), I'll be out celebrating one of my city's annual events.

You, too, might have a busy Saturday planned. However, that's no reason to skip out on this week's Psychology Around the Net! Bookmark it if you have to, because this week we have information about why people in supportive relationships are more likely to accept challenges and experience personal growth, why some of us are so dissatisfied (apparently it boils down to biology?!), how a board-certified psychiatrist is part of the world of exorcisms, and more.

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General

What’s More Important: Speaking Your Truth or Maintaining Safe Relationships?

We often hear that it’s important to speak your truth -- to express your honest feelings, thoughts, and perceptions. But how often do we create rifts in our relationships following this dictate too rigidly?

We want to be true to ourselves and live with authenticity and integrity. We don’t want to be codependent and conceal our true feelings in order to protect or placate others. Intimacy cannot thrive in a climate of emotional dishonesty and inauthenticity.
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General

How to Nourish Your Soul

For me writing is nourishment. Writing an article. Writing in my notebook. Writing down a poignant quote.

Reading a stunning, sincere sentence is also nourishment. So is having a heart-to-heart with my husband. So is stopping and staring at the sky, trying to grasp and appreciate the mystery and beauty of the stars. So is singing to my daughter. So is solitude and a haunting melody. So is sketching, however clumsy and amateurish it might look.

All these things reach something deep within me. All these things nourish my soul.
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Bipolar

Podcast: Should Religious Figures Give Advice on Mental Illness?

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe Howard and Vincent M. Wales welcome Katie Dale, a young woman with bipolar disorder who was convinced by a pastor to discontinue her medication and instead put her faith in God to heal her.

Unsurprisingly, going off her meds plunged Katie into a serious bipolar episode. She resumed her medications and has been living well ever since.

Katie shares with listeners a touching, yet very pointed letter that she wrote to this pastor explaining how she understood his motives. But, she cautions, this doesn’t change the fact that his advice was harmful.
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Children and Teens

The Happiness You Want for Your Child May Not Be Real Happiness

At the slightest hint of unhappiness from a child, parents move to fix it -- it’s a mental act, and it’s natural, human, and typical.

Why would we rather watch our kids suffer when we can put a smile on their faces? Ask most parents what they desire for their children, they will say, “I want my kids to be happy.” While our intention is valid, it sometimes becomes our obsession and influences how we interact with them and every decision we make to see them happy.
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Mindfulness

The Active Practice of Unconditional Love

“Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It's not 'I love you' for this or that reason, not 'I love you if you love me.' It's love for no reason, love without an object.” - Ram Dass
This quote by treasured spiritual teacher Ram Dass (a.k.a. Richard Alpert. Ph.D.), who was a Harvard professor in the 1960’s, echoes with the ideal that people hold when speaking of this concept.

We learn from an early age, that approval and affirmation come with a price tag. We are told to be good, follow the rules, be seen and not heard, do for others, and refrain from selfishness and all will be well in each area of our lives. As we mature, we find that it may not always be so.
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