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Exclusive book excerpt: “A Time To…”

Exclusive book excerpt: “A Time To…”

A new novel about a baby boomer’s spiritual post-9/11 lessons illustrates that even after the worst tragedies, love, faith, hope and charity survive.

SoulsCode: The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center had a profound impact not only on the world at large, but also on individuals in a solitary way. Some of those individuals have tried to make sense of the tragedy through art. Call it a diamond in the rough or the calm after the storm, but author Ronald Louis Peterson  has found spiritual enlightenment through 9/11.

A novel published on paperback in February, 2011, “A TIME TO… — A Baby Boomer’s Spiritual Adventures Heal 9/11’s Wounds” is dedicated to families who lost loved ones on 9/11, and to those who have called NYC home. Peterson was inspired to write about 9/11 in a very personal way because, he says, “that’s the way most people experienced it.”  

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Six ways to insure your health yourself

Six ways to insure your health yourself

Why rely on the administration of drugs — or the Obama administration — to cure diseases if you can avoid getting sick in the first place? The worst culprits, including heart disease and many forms of cancer, are preventable with some basic self-care.

BY VAISHALI — The largest generation in history, the post-WWII Baby Boomers (76 million people in the U.S., alone), are entering their peak need for care. And those of us affected by a U.S. health-care reform led by President Obama may end up (or not) at the government’s mercy to nurse what ails us. In the name of self-preservation, here are six highly-effective, do-it-yourself tips to keep the doctor away, and aging at bay.

Six ways to enhance your health and vitality

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Goals collecting dust?

Goals collecting dust?

Why we stagnate despite our best intentions to achieve greatness, overcome addictions and compulsions — or, like, just be happy.

BY MARY COOK — The next Pulitzer Prize winning novelist might be living next door to you but, for whatever reason, has yet to write a novel.

Your best friend might want to quit smoking but is on the porch having a smoke right this minute. Why?

What psychologists call associations.

Perhaps the non-writing writer associates hard work with her overbearing parents, and the smoker associates cigarettes with self-affirmation or self-pampering.

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Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?

Can an ‘Easter moment’ cure loneliness and fear?

How would you survive the loss if your best friend, mentor or shrink were crucified? You’d have to awaken your own inner guru.

DAVID RICKEY — His career was short and ended with his crucifixion. It looked like failure. What had Jesus accomplished? At most a few miracles, healings and teachings. That was it. Or was it?

Like a CEO who doesn’t feel ready to retire, Jesus could at least take comfort in the succession planning of his time — his passing of the baton to a dozen floundering but well-meaning and capable followers.

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Life is a Terminal Illness

Life is a Terminal Illness

In Japan, a death toll approaching 10,000; tens of thousands of fatal US car crashes every year; more than 100 million babies born in the world every year

BY DAVID RICKEY — A snippet of one of Dylan Thomas‘s great poems has been popping into my mind a fair amount recently:

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees 
is my destroyer.

To me it’s about the “life force” that will also eventually bring about my end. In some spiritualities, like Hinduism, there is a “god” for both creation and destruction (Brahma and Shiva). I prefer to think of it as one force.

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Religion’s overactive testosterone

Religion’s overactive testosterone

How religion came to be about who has the biggest kahunas

BY DAVID RICKEY – We’ve always gotten it wrong. The “religio” in religion means “to connect.” That’s what religion has always meant, but we’re connecting to the wrong things.

Early humans first came up with religion as a way of trying to understand the world and their place in it, and trying to control two things: survival and death. Humans had evolved enough to realize that existence was complex. We intuited meaning and systems such as cause and effect. The problem was that we had also developed an ego, and tended to interpret our intuitions in images that reflected that ego. So we developed the idea of a personal God, and attributed to it many of our own emerging attitudes: anger, jealousy, possessiveness and the need for power – all aspects of ego.

Another problem arose as civilizations evolved: man’s testosterone.

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A spiritual response to violent crime

“One should not have to lose a child, especially in the violent manner in which mine was murdered, to learn the things that are indispensable to living.”

Linda White’s workshop at the Happiness & Its Causes Conference in San Francisco was co-sponsored by Soul’s Code.  A doctor of psychology, Linda specializes in restorative justice, and finding ways for victims and offenders to reconcile.

BY LINDA WHITE — It was November 18, 1986, and my mother’s birthday.  I had planned to spend the entire day with her, doing anything she wanted, since it was “her day.”  I awoke, however, not to that pleasant expectation, but to a phone call from my five-year-old granddaughter, Ami, telling me that she was home alone and she didn’t know where her mother was.

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Finding hope and direction in chaos

Finding hope and direction in chaos

Once we spot divine presence it might look something like a sheepdog, bumping, guiding and protecting us as we stumble through life.

BY DAVID RICKEY — Back in 1963, Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A Changin’,” and they were. The 60s were a time of chaos for those holding onto the old ways, and a time of hope for those seeking the new. Buddhists say that change is the nature of things, but change as we now see it (much like in the 60s) can be pretty disquieting.

As I write this, the so-called Middle East is in unprecedented turmoil with rebellion spreading like a contagion with no clear sense of where it will take us. Beyond that, the world’s economic structure is precarious at best. Every clarion of hope is countered by new reports of dire predictions. Even the weather has become cause for global concern with rampant flooding and extensive long-term drought.

One of my favorite hymns is “If Thou But Trust In God To Guide Thee,” but what does that mean in the context of 21st-Century confusion? If change is the nature of things, can we find God by embracing change? I believe we can if we alter our understanding of God and of ourselves.

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The sins of fathers: Pablo Escobar speaks from the grave, through his son

The sins of fathers: Pablo Escobar speaks from the grave, through his son

Can you inherit hate? The karmic question is tested in an HBO documentary about the most notorious public enemy alongside Bin Laden and Hitler

BY PAUL KAIHLA – A DEA agent once told me a story he heard about Pablo Escobar, the late founder and CEO of the Medellin drug cartel. Escobar saw an attractive woman in a Colombian hotel. He ordered his henchmen to do two things: kill the woman’s husband, and bring her to his room, where he raped her.

The tale may be apocryphal, and it appears in no public accounts. But what is in the public record thanks to multiple investigations and sig-int intercepts is that Mr. Escobar ordered: the assassination of 3 Colombian presidential candidates, as well as 100’s of cabinet ministers, judges, prosecutors and cops; the bombing of an Avianca jet that killed 110 passengers . . . it’s a long list of atrocities.

In other words, if you’re going to document a case study on the origins and transference of hate, violence and sin, Pablo Escobar is a cardinal candidate.

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On relationships: need versus fidelity

On relationships: need versus fidelity

If trust is about truth, no wonder we find it more difficult to look into each other’s eyes than to have sex together

BY DAVID RICKEY – In Woody Allen’s latest film of dysfunction, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Gemma Jones’ character says, “My husband walked out on me for one simple reason. I was too honest with him. I refused to allow him to delude himself.”

Truth, lies, seeing, blindfolding . . . having too much of one, and too little of the other, can tip the scales in a relationship, destroying trust.

Trust is really a question of energy flow.

When I truly love you, my energy flows positively out toward you. When I trust you, I believe that your energy will flow positively toward me.

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