The Power of Your Emotional Attitudes Upon Your Entire Being

The Power of Your Emotional Attitudes Upon Your Entire Being

By Douglas LaBier, Ph.D. In a previous post I described new research showing that a sense of purpose in life is linked with greater longevity. That’s just one of an increasing number of studies that add to the recognition that we are biological-psychological-spiritual-social beings. All dimensions—internal and external—interact with each other and shape our total experience of life: our overall health, level…

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Rewiring the Way We Look at Death

Rewiring the Way We Look at Death

A couple of months ago, the New York Times Styles section profiled Amy Cunningham, a magazine writer and blogger who surprised all her friends—myself included—when she abruptly shifted gears in her mid-50s to enroll at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. Now a licensed funeral director, she specializes in eco-friendly burials and do-it-yourself, spiritually attuned ceremonies for people…

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Losing My Father

Losing My Father

One icy Saturday in January 1980, my father and I were loading firewood into the back of the family station wagon when his face, red from the cold wind and exertion, suddenly drained of color and turned as gray as the crusted snow under our boots. He slumped onto the car’s tailgate and pulled from his pocket the battered aluminum…

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Mothering without a Mother

Mothering without a Mother

The day my father died, suddenly, of a heart attack, I wanted to be the one to tell my son, who was six years old at the time, what happened. I sat down on the sofa, took Truman’s hands in mine, and told him his grandfather had died. I explained what that meant—that we wouldn’t see him anymore but would…

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Marina Keegan, Her Parents, and The Opposite of Loneliness

Marina Keegan, Her Parents, and The Opposite of Loneliness

Marina Keegan’s The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories got a lot of attention when it was published by Scribner. It has already received accolades from The New York Times, The New Republic, and other major publications, and it deserves all the buzz, shares, and likes it will get. This posthumous collection of essays and short stories is beautiful and brilliant, young…

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Seeing Through the Fog

Seeing Through the Fog

On a damp and foggy morning, I showed up for an all-day silent retreat at a glass-enclosed structure in the woods. I was three-quarters of the way through a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course. A small group of us had been meeting with two facilitators weekly in a time slot no one could make excuses for skipping: Sunday afternoons from 4:00…

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Second Acts: Grief As a Spiritual Path

Second Acts: Grief As a Spiritual Path

Second Acts is a series of interviews with interesting people who discovered new pathways midway through their lives. Mirabai Starr is professor of comparative religions at the University of New Mexico, Taos. She translated Dark Night of the Soul and The Interior Castle, and then a cascade of other works based upon the teachings of spiritual mystics. Her first book in her…

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Photography’s Impact on Perception of War

Photography’s Impact on Perception of War

The new medium of photography came into its own during the Civil War, capturing thousands of images of soldiers, statesmen, freed slaves, and devastated towns and cities. Its impact on public perception of war was dramatic, demonstrating the power of visual media to shape public opinion. An exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City entitled “Photography…

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