Editor’s Desk: Optimism is an Antidote to Worry

We’ve all heard the phrase, “If you are not worried then you are not paying attention.” No doubt there is much that is grabbing our attention that is worth deep consideration and action. But worry may not be the best course on which to set our internal GPS. As the wave of worry threatens to engulf us we might pause and ask: “What benefit will this litany of worry bestow upon us?” Psychotherapist and teacher of Kaballah, Estelle Frankel, says in her book, The Wisdom of No Knowing, “Even if some of our initial concerns turn out to be correct,
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Editor’s Desk: A Loving Species

Probably like you, my email and mailbox are bulging with reports on current political, environmental, social, and technological happenings. Each week my heart swings like a pendulum between indignation and hope. As I tune into the daily news reports, I often feel like flotsam tossed on a relentless sea of turmoil and strife. I continue to take action such as calling my congressperson, writing a letter to the editor, or joining a march, and I’ve joined a neighborhood political action group that meets face-to-face on a regular basis. In the midst of this continuing existential storm I opened a very
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Art and Inspiration Found in Advertising

I record all my television shows for watching later. It’s important to me to be able to choose my own schedule. But more than that, I want to be able to fast-forward through the ads. Most ads feel like an insult to our intelligence and I resist being a consumer of the barrage of images and voices screaming at me to buy more in order to be more. However, occasionally when I’m zipping past an ad, an image will attract my eye and I’ll slow it down and actually watch it. In the last months, there have been some extraordinary
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Editor’s Desk: Living in a Field of Perplexity on the Spiritual Quest

Journalist and author Krista Tippett, in her book Becoming Wise, writes, “Spiritual life is a way of dwelling with perplexity – taking it seriously, searching for its purpose as well as its perils, its beauty as well as its ravages.” And that is where I often find myself when it comes to spiritual questions. I seem to live in a field of perplexity, constantly searching for a “truth” that is big enough and solid enough to anchor and hold me. Recently I was fascinated with the research that cosmologist Nancy Ellen Abrams, J.D. and I explored related to her theory
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The Hospitality of Understanding

I’m always amazed when I’m with someone who knows how to ask genuinely compelling questions—the kind of questions that can be of true service. We’ve all had moments of being with friends who are going through a bad patch and we want to be of help, but we don’t know how. We might plunge in and tell them what they could or should do to make things better. And, if we are paying attention, as this most well-meaning advice is given we will witness a glaze come over our friend’s face as they thank us and hurry to change the
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Editor’s Desk: Stopped on the Road to Success

In a recent interview with poet and philosopher Mark Nepo, I was moved by his story of a competitive bicyclist’s encounter with a great blue heron. He said, “There is a cyclist who’s training very hard for a demanding race that is like the Tour de France. He’s very serious and professional. He has all the equipment; he’s even shaved the hair off his body to lower his resistance to the wind. He’s trained for months. As the race begins, sure enough, he’s ahead. In fact, he’s far ahead after the first mile. And, as he’s coming down to the bottom
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Editor’s Desk: Synchronicity at the Library of Congress

In the year 2000, physicist Freeman Dyson was being awarded the Templeton Prize, which honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. Freeman Dyson is a physicist and mathematician and Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey. His writings on the meaning of science and its relation to other disciplines, especially religion and ethics, challenge humankind to reconcile technology and social justice. Michael Toms (my late husband, and co-founder of New Dimensions Radio) and I were invited to attend this Templeton Prize
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Editor’s Desk: The Starfish Story

Loren Eiseley once wrote a 16-page essay entitled “The Star Thrower.” This little story was picked up by numerous motivational speakers. When I first heard it, I was impressed by the message it conveyed. Although the story has strayed a bit from the original, the way I heard it goes something like this: One day an old man was walking along the beach. It was low tide, and the sand was littered with thousands of stranded starfish that the water had carried in and then left behind. The man began walking very carefully so as not to step on any
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Editor’s Desk: A Circle of Your Own – Take the First Steps

Let us be companions in the quest that never ceases—the inquiry into who we are and why we are here. We remind each other of our inner truths and support each other in living our beauty. What a rare experience! To feel equally empowered to hold the circle, to question the process, to be held as vital and sacred by the others. From Wisdom Circles by Charles Garfield, Cindy Spring, and Sedonia Cahill People are often amazed when I tell them I’ve been meeting in circle with several groups for more than thirty years. Invariably they are infected by my enthusiasm, and
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