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Life Lifter (283 posts)
The Pay-it-Forward Pillow: How one single mother makes life a little more comfortable for people in pain.
The U.S. (just barely) made the list! The ten best countries for women.
Clear your financial clutter and build your wealth, all while watching "Dancing With the Stars."
The Life Lifter: After five years of living in the woods, this once-homeless grandmother was given an apartment of her own--and a way to find meaning in her ordeal.
It's happened to most of us. We sit down on a plane or at bus stop or a coffee shop, starting chit-chatting with the fellow passenger or grandma-looking wait
Now there's a site for that, Emotional Baggage Check where you're given a little suitcase into which you can deposit your troubles—and dump them anonymously and without guilt on somebody else. There's also a baggage carousel where other people will pick up your suitcases, read them, and then send you a song to cheer you up (the most popular as of this morning being Keep Your Head Up By Andy Grammer.) Interestingly enough, the first time, I tried the carousel—thinking, hey, lay some problems on me, I can take it today and give back some positive energy—I received a little note saying there weren't enough full suitcases. It occurred to me: Isn't this how it always happens? When you're ready for the tough stuff, it so rarely comes to pass.
For when you need a reminder that the world is a work of art: seeing Rothkos everywhere.
"But for each of us, isn't life about determining our own finish line? This journey has always been about reaching your own other shore no matter what it is, and that dream continues." Endurance swimmer (and Life Lift hero) Diana Nyad gives us a new way to think about so-called failure.
The novelist next door: An innovator of Arabic fiction lives in quiet obscurity in Chicago's subsidized housing.
Step away from the magnifying mirror! And 4 other things to avoid if you want to feel beautiful.
The Life-Lifter: "Kids lead a very private life. And I was a typical child (I think). I was a liar. I was out to protect my parents from hard truths." Whether you're a parent or not, you must read this illuminating interview with children's book author Maurice Sendak.
"I just love doing it the old way. Another reason why I won't put my phone number on my notes is I know people will call me, and I won't get any letters back." — Harold Hackett has sent more than 4,800 messages in bottles over the last 20 years, and the BBC made a sweet and moving video about the warm responses he's received.
Growing up, I was obsessed with a series of books called A Very Young——. Each book profiled the day of, say, a child dancer or a child horseback rider or child trapeze artist through exquisite photographs of them training or practicing or eating dinner. I was just a very young child child and looked up to these strange, wondrous people my age who somehow knew what they wanted to do. So when Hulu started a new series called A Day in the Life that tracks interesting adults living their lives over the course of 24 hours, I expected the same kind of approach, especially from the episode featuring Misty Copeland, an African-American ballet dancer. I tuned in for long romantic shots of Misty in a tutu or Misty at the barre or Misty putting on glittering eyeshadow before fluttering on stage for a performance of Swan Lake. Instead the program showed this:
What impressed me most was not that Misty had a real life—one that didn't involve leg warmers—but what she did with her life. Sure, some of her activities had to have been arranged for the cameras, but the truth is, she spent her morning talking to aspiring dancers at the Boys and Girls Club ("I wish I could have had a black woman to talk to. There aren't very many in my field, and I didn't get to meet one..."), then spent her lunch designing dance clothes for people of all sizes ("If I'm a medium, what do all the other people wear?"), then rehearsed for eight hours on her supposed "vacation" from American Ballet Theatre, and, finally, performed for a charity event.
I had to wonder, What would my day look like if it were filmed? Would it reflect the same kind generosity? Everywhere she went, she was helping others. So I made up a little test. Once a month, I'm going to flip open my datebook (or click on a random day in the calendar) and see how I spent that day, and if there was anything scheduled that required my efforts on the behalf of others. If I can pencil in "pick up lock thing for front door," I can also pencil in "drop off meal for lady next door, sick, alone, vegetarian."
How helping others can boost your happiness
One quick way to help you change your world
What has internet access, wheels, and a parking spot by the church? LA's cool new plan to fight STDs.
"He would give all his heart to you before he gave any to himself." In the wake of a bullied teenager's suicide, here's how you can help other kids.
How a 200-year-old tree becomes a tourist attraction--and a symbol of survival.
Good news! You have a magical machine in your kitchen that can extend the life of your groceries and your budget.
You know those things you don't wear (and don't even like) hanging in your closet? Here's how to get rid of them.
Bagels, pastrami, and sewer steam: the hilarious new "why didn't I think of that?" scratch-and-sniff guide to New York City.
The Life Lifter: "You give up so much of yourself in order to pursue a job that you love." No matter what your politics are, you'll tear up at this moving video of veterans.
Lightening as only astronauts and Zeus see it! A truly uplifting dawn! A new video flies over Earth in 60 seconds!
If you're too busy to read this...you probably need to read this.
"I just went into every tournament wanting to win." A 16-year-old girl beats Tiger Woods' record (as her dad-caddy turns to a pile of mush).How a Sharpie on the wall can be a good thing. A room-after-room good thing.
Video gamers change the world--the real world--by solving molecular puzzle that could help cure AIDS.
The Life Lifter: At the Reno air show crash, strangers pulled together—"They came, held my hand, told me I was going to be all right."
Every week, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. On sale today, the revolutionary (gut-wrenching) memoir...
Mighty Be Our Powers
By Leymah Gbowee (with Carol Mithers)
At her high school graduation party, beautiful 17-year-old Leymah is surrounded by music, family, friends and a glittering pile of gifts (including gold bracelets and a pair of rare Dexter boots). Six months later, her country, Liberia, is torn apart by tribal conflicts and overrun with rebels and government troops who rape, loot and kill at random. Separated from her family and struggling, Leymah gets involved with an older, seemingly safe man, who gives her plenty of beatings and four kids, at one point leaving her to sit in a hospital corridor nursing her newborn preemie, with no money for even an incubator. Worse, however, is her emotional destruction—emblemized by her own children, who, in imitation of their father, begin to call her "stupid" and refuse to share any of their rice with her. "When you move so quickly from innocence to a world of fear, pain and loss," she writes, "it's as if the flesh of your heart and mind gets cut away, piece by piece, like slices taken off a ham. Finally there is nothing left but bone."
Broken, Leymah somehow finds the strength to start training as a social worker (studying at night in bed with her babies, reading by candlelight) and rises to become the leader of the women of Liberia, who, as a group, overturn their powerless roles and march their country toward peace with a national strike that includes denying their husbands lovemaking until the fighting stops. So many memoirs focus on the story of a single person who inspires us all with her story and language, but Mighty Be Our Powers is a different, larger, more universal kind of book that tells the story of both Leymah and an entire generation of girls-turned-women-turned-world leaders. Read it—and be inspired.
18 fresh new books to read this month
How to help women and children in Africa
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think—we've got mini-makeovers to help you upgrade everything from your workout to your weekend. #27: Exercise your brain along with your thumbs.
A frustrating yet addictive puzzle game in which you manipulate rectangles to free one from its blockade. iTunes, free; full version 99₡. Android, free.
7 Little Words
Each puzzle consists of seven clues that lead to seven mystery words made from 20-letter groups—let the brain racking begin! iTunes; free.
Design sturdy structures—a skyscraper buffeted by hurricanes, a roof bearing a mountain of snow—without breaking your project budget. iTunes; 99₡.
You have a limited number of moves to navigate this visual puzzle, flipping tiles to match a set pattern. iTunes; 99₡.