Tag Archives: letting go
On suffering: Is it really worth the trouble?

On suffering: Is it really worth the trouble?

Oprah and Lady Gaga may be today’s spiritual role models for self-actualization but our devotion to suffering remains a national faith.

BY JOHN PTACEK – Why did a tsunami flood Japan? Why can’t politicians tell the truth? Why did it have to rain on my wedding day?

If humans really had power, CEOs would be immune to cancer, holy men wouldn’t sin and Michael Jackson would still be alive. But we don’t call the shots.

Reality baffles us.  We question it every day and keep waiting for people to be good, for governments to be just, for life to be fair.

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To die for

To die for

Will Baby Boomers choose to expire in hospitals and nursing homes? Or will they take matters into their own hands?

BY DAVID RICKEY —  Would you prefer to die on purpose — or with purpose?

Late, great writers like Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon), Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls) and counter-culture figure Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) were larger than life.

Yet they each took their own lives — rather than let the life coded into their respective DNA take its course.

The most timely example: Tony Scott (above, center), a Hollywood producer and director who jumped off an 18-storey L.A. bridge that he’d once scouted as a location for a movie.

The Baby Boomers are the biggest generation in American history, the most vain-glorious generation — and also the most afraid of pain, if Prozac and painkiller prescriptions are any indication.

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Surviving New Year’s Eve by going with the flow

Surviving New Year’s Eve by going with the flow

“Prepare yourself for events to take on a life of their own”

GUEST COLUMN: PHYLLIS KING — Often when our lives are running smoothly and seemingly at the will of our command, without warning we are surprised when a person or an event throws our life into chaos or anger. We have two choices in that moment: either resist, or to let go.

We need to remember that we can refuse to allow an external circumstance to diminish our peaceful space. There are wonderful opportunities we can create with the universe, so to speak, that deepen our compassion and growth.

Holidays always heighten sensitivity and emotions for everyone.

Many opportunities will appear for each of us to let go of our perceived sense of control.

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Carmaggedon: When you’re stuck in apocalyptic traffic

Carmaggedon: When you’re stuck in apocalyptic traffic

Lessons learned from L.A., Johannesburg, Sao Paolo and other metros where road rage is a danger to your body — and soul

BY RICK LEED — When stuck in your car in painful, frustrating, unimaginable traffic, already late for an appointment, who hasn’t felt like a Looney Tunes cartoon character, with steam coming out of their ears, fists pounding the steering wheel, and eyes turning red and bulging out of their head?

Road rage is usually directed at someone else who has done something heinous — or at the least, rude, like cut you off, changed lanes unexpectedly, or flipped you the finger.  But the inward-focused rage and fury that has no specific personal target is so often worse, creating more stress, more anger, more intense negative energy:  ‘Why the hell isn’t this traffic moving?’

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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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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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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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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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What to feed a marriage

What to feed a marriage

To make a relationship work, forget about needs. Love is fueled by desire – the kind that comes from the heart, not the hormones.

BY DAVID RICKEY — John Mellencamp is hurting so good, splitting from wife number three after 20 years together. Tiger Woods and Sandra Bullock made headlines in 2010 as the antagonist and victim (respectively) in two other, particularly nasty celebrity breakups. For the general population in the U.S. the rate of divorce is 2.5 times what it was 20 years ago. As for the 100 million or so Americans over 18 who are unmarried, how many just can’t be bothered?

Marriage is falling out of favor, and from my perspective there are two prime reasons for this. First, there are the legal issues — both of getting married and getting unmarried — that make people skittish about entering into the contracts marriage entails, and seeing the huge difficulties of breaking those contracts. But the second reason is what concerns me here.

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Find yourself, lose yourself

Find yourself, lose yourself

Black Swan shows the best and worst extremes of art and letting go

BY MICHELLE MORRA-CARLISLE – As the closing credits for Black Swan started rolling, the woman I was sitting next to turned to me and said, “Weird, eh?”

Yes, the darling ballerina who first graced the screen had gone off the artistic deep end. There comes a point in Black Swan where everyone in the theatre realizes it’s more than just a movie about an angst-ridden dancer. We fidget, uncomfortably bracing ourselves for what’s next.

Natalie Portman’s character, Nina Sayers, is a disciplined dancer whose entire focus is on keeping it together. That means being sweet enough to keep her unstable and manipulative mother (Barbara Hershey) from unraveling, quiet enough not to elicit the wrath of her catty fellow dancers, and having full control over her every ballet move. That self-discipline makes her the ideal White Swan for Swan Lake – her big break – but her choreographer Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) doubts her ability to embody the sensual darkness of the Black Swan. In a grueling rehearsal, the sexy and cruel Thomas says, “Perfection is not just about control. It’s also about letting go.”

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