Slangry (angry because you’re sleepy!)

So, how can we take care of ourselves? The never-ending list on how to be happy:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/tested-common-happiness-advice_l_5e32f4e1c5b611ac94d0dfae

Here’s an even more imposing list:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/ways-to-be-happier-2020_l_5dfc23a9e4b05b08bab2981c

Why does this all seem so hard?

Here is a more holistic approach to the art of happiness, which I highly recommend, and is very close (I think) to what Heidi was talking about in our discussion today:

Anne Gilchrist on Inner Wholeness, Our Greatest Obstacle to Happiness, and the Body as the Seedbed of a Flourishing Soul

 

Mental Strengthening Tools

We talked about a lot of things today, but mainly the idea of balancing in our meditation and our lives. Balancing our creativity, our personal relations, our thoughts, our anxieties and worries. I thought this was a great article, which, although not Buddhist, offers a lot of Buddhist-like tools to dealing with our anxieties, stress, and suffering:

https://theconversation.com/surprising-ways-to-beat-anxiety-and-become-mentally-strong-according-to-science-77978

 

Don’t worry, be happy, and other impossibilities

Okay, the U.S. Senate is poised to acquit Trump, the Corona virus is causing mass hysteria, and Brexit has arrived. Are you worried? I am; I admit it. But not all the time, and I’m trying not to indulge my inclination to fret. And yet…we are all worriers, to a greater or lesser degree, and worrying probably comes up for you in various ways: especially when you aren’t distracting  yourself with something else.

So what do we do about worry? Well, we can analyze what to worry about and sort of decide what’s worth worrying about or not:

How Not To Worry: Timeless 1934 Advice on Controlling Anxiety and Mastering Life

We can start to understand that we aren’t good at figuring out what is truly worth worrying about:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/danvergano/coronavirus-cases-deaths-flu

And of course, we can choose not to worry about what people think of us, because they’re not thinking about us anyway; they’re worrying about themselves…this is a clever video:

Finally, we can change what we choose to worry about. This can be fixed by changing our stories.

How To Stay Sane: The Art of Revising Your Inner Storytelling

And finally (I promise!) this story naturally came up during out discussion today. Sometimes, things just hit certain people harder than others. This is an interesting web site, with some useful self-tests!

The Highly Sensitive Person

The Healing Power of Nature

I wanted to share these lovely paintings and a great poem by Mary Oliver. Nature really does have healing qualities. However, as the group pointed out today, nature also can be rather capricious!

The Spirit of the Woods: Poet and Painter Rebecca Hey’s Gorgeous 19th-Century Illustrations for the World’s First Encyclopedia of Trees

WHEN I AM AMONG THE TREES
by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Change Blindness

I’m really fascinated by the limitations, and the amazing potential, of human consciousness. This is an interesting video on how humans often see continuity where there is none. We seem to be hardwired to disregard change! No wonder impermanence disturbs us. Maybe there’s nothing really “wrong” with our longing for permanence in a world of change.

And…a poem:

(The earth shakes) by Steve Sanfield

The earth shakes
just enough
to remind us.