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May 2012 (135 posts)
Feeling unappreciated? Sick of wasting time on mindless things? Release your inner Pigeon of Discontent.
Their religion forbids a traditional prom, but an all-girl dance allowed these girls to really let their hair down. Literally.
"You have control over your own actions, your own well-being." Michelle Obama and other powerful women on getting unstuck.
A little shot of "wow": Photographs that reveal the warped beauty of the world.
“The math will radically change, and we may well eliminate the problem.” How Facebook is about to start saving lives.
The Life-Lifter: Seeing-eye dogs are awesome. But what's even more awesome is when a labrador is the seeing-eye dog for...a golden retriever.
There's nothing wrong with that, but for variety's sake, you might want to try tuning in to a different kind of audio during your next workout--like your breathing, and the sound of your feet hitting the ground, and the swish of your arms. Sakyong Mipham, the Tibetan lama and leader of the Shambhala Buddhism community, is (naturally) a strong advocate of this kind of in-the-moment workout. The Sakyong (his title means "the king" in Tibetan) may spend a fair amount of time on a prayer mat, but he's also an athlete who has completed nine and a half marathons, and his recently-published book, Running With the Mind of Meditation, serves as a guide for integrating elements of meditation into the physical act of running.
Basically, the Sakyong advocates tuning into how the run makes us feel (even if the answer is, "pretty crappy"), and claims this will help strengthen powers of concentration, bring clarity and calm to our day, and might even bring us a little closer to enlightenment. Considering the Sakyong's fitness level and appearance (he's nearing 50, but looks much younger, as you can see in the photo to the left), he's definitely on to something, whether it be running, meditation, or doing both at once.
We figured that it might be kind of tricky to skim the Sakyong's book while pounding the pavement, so we asked him to create a mini-meditation that you can listen to on your computer while stretching, on your iPhone while you're on the road. As the Sakyong says, "Let's go for a meditative run."
Meditate while you work out
More mini meditations you can incorporate into your day
Rather, Buckingham uses this term to refer to Generation Y. As in, "if you drop them, they break." Inc. contributing editor Donna Fenn reports that recently at the Inc. Magazine and Winning Workplaces Leadership Conference, Buckingham said, "You would expect GenY to be very strengths-focused. But they're actually more focused on weaknesses." According to Buckingham, Gen Y'ers, who feel that fixing their weakness will make them more successful, ought to instead concentrate on building up their strengths. I admit I had to read this about ten times before it sank in. You mean...trying to fix a weakness isn't the same thing as building up a strength? You mean...obsessing over a weakness makes you fragile? Oy.
Fenn counters the statement that Gen Y'ers are fragile "teacup people" with a thoughtful run-down of the instability and chaos in which this generation has come of age. But regardless of your age or generation, there's an interesting question at the heart of this argument. Is focusing on your weaknesses turning you into, well, a teacup?
Principles for Success
Only Failure Can Teach You...
Do you have the wisdom of a financial sage, or have you been impulsive and messy, like a financial toddler? To find out, let's take an honest look at your habits and beliefs. There's no sense in answering the way you think you should; the first step to growth is to stand tall in your truth.
Today's thank you game challenge is to thank someone who is having a hard day or difficult time right now.
I would like to thank my Co-Presidents of OWN Sheri Salata and Erik Logan working hard to build a network and consistently make the next right move. I would like to thank Alex, a young woman I met at the vet at midnight 2 months ago. Her house had burned down and her cat was burned in the fire. She was there to put her cat down. I was there because my dog had eaten chocolate. The day before her mother had wrecked her car. So she was homeless, car-less and without her beloved cat of 8 years. And yet had the wisdom to say "the Universe must really want me to release attachment to things."
I would also like to thank my friend and younger big brother Tyler Perry; his backlot studio was damaged by fire last night. His attitude in the midst of it all was calm and feeling blessed no one was injured. Real Grace under fire.
But Meena and others like her have found that secret literary groups, where they phone in poems for literate women to transcribe, allow them to express themselves -- their frustrations at their controlled existences, at being forced to marry people they don't want to, or not having access to education or ways to support themselves. In Meena's case, tradition dictates that she marry one of her dead fiancé's brothers. According to the Times: "She doesn’t dare protest directly, but reciting poetry to Amail allows her to speak out against her lot...Pashtun poetry has long been a form of rebellion for Afghan women, belying the notion that they are submissive or defeated."
Can you imagine it -- really imagine it -- not being allowed to so much as express an opinion? Can you imagine the release you would feel, finally having a chance, through poetry, to communicate -- even if it had to be shrouded in metaphor and mystery? These women (the poets, the scribes who help them) are truly brave. But they also remind us of the power of art -- whether it's poetry or music or dance or whatever it is -- to say the unsayable. In this case, literally.
Afghan Girls Who Box for Sisterhood
The Age-Old Art of Spoken Poetry
Rick Bayless Mexican Essentials ($2.99) is an iPhone app with 35 recipes from south-of-the-border expert Rick Bayless for starters, "light meals" like tacos and tamales, dinners, "basics" (beans, rice, tortillas) and desserts. An alphabetized ingredient list explains items from achiote seasoning paste to vanilla (the Mexican variety, naturally), with audio pronunciations. The app's best feature, though is its 40 instructional videos, in which Bayless gives demonstrations of the stuff that great Mexican dinners are made of, like knowing where to press on an avocado to figure out if it's ripe, or how to know when to flip a tortilla to cook on the other side.
Well, here's a fresh take: In this LA Review of Books essay, Jane Hu discusses the role of hunger in Girls. Hu writes, "Eating is, after all, about as universal as it gets...hunger, in all its manifestations, drives Girls." Significantly, Hu points out, the girls in Girls tend to snack. They consume not grownup meals but cupcakes in the bathtub, Gatorade after sex, Luna Bars and SmartWaters. Hu writes, "Snacks are by definition inessential, unstructured, and irregular: you never know when the next one might come. The snack does not offer satisfaction or closure; in fact, it demands a more responsible future that might justify the present indulgence."
Hey, I love a cupcake in the bathtub as much as anyone, but I hate that weird emptiness you get when a snack has taken the edge off of hunger enough to keep you from eating some food that would actually sustain you -- and Hu's essay has awakened me to the symbolic nature of this sort of snacking. If food is meant to be the fuel that helps our bodies and brains develop, if well-balanced meals at the dinner table are markers of adulthood and family, then snacks are evidence of a reluctance to grow up. What about you, in your own life? Are you snacking, rather than fueling your life with an entire meal -- either in terms of food, or in some larger, metaphorical sense?
Why Grown Children Are Moving Back Home
Bridesmaids and the Rise of the Girl-Woman