5 Reasons to Increase Your Play – Some Serious Reasons to Have More Fun!

Just PlaySubmerged in the responsibilities of life, the seriousness of world affairs, and an ever-growing to-do list, we often forget to PLAY. Animals, on the other hand, continue to play throughout their adult lives! We may believe that play is somehow no longer appropriate or cast it aside as a frivolous waste of time. Research suggests, however, that play is essential to our well-being, creativity, and health.

1. It Boosts Our Creativity Mark Beeman, Ph.D., at Northwestern University found that people have an easier time solving a puzzle after watching a short comedy clip. Having fun, perhaps by easing tension, may be

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Congressman Tim Ryan Introduces the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act

tim-ryanCongressman Tim Ryan has been a force for the support of mindfulness in our military and schools and now he is expanding that support with the Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Act. The act, co-sponsored by Congressman Dave Loebsack, Congressman Tom Petri and Congressman Matt Cartwright, amends the Elementary Education and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to allow funding for teacher and principal training and professional development to be used for social and emotional learning programming.

“I have already seen what teaching social and emotional learning skills can do for a student and their classroom,” said Congressman Ryan. “Teaching social and emotional learning skills is based on

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The Good News About Stress and 5 Ways to Cope

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-stress-image1035525Originally published in the Huffington Post – April 16, 2013

“If you’re not stressed, you’re not working hard enough.” More and more this mantra seems to be woven into our cultural dialogue. Stress may be considered the new “normal,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple shifts in attitude and practices can yield big benefits. April is National Stress Awareness Month, which gives us the opportunity to look at both negative trends and some signs of hope. Here’s the bad news, the good news and how

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Reacting vs. Responding

From Taoist traditions to the Christianity, much is written about Reacting vs. Responding. From international leaders to children in preschool, all of us when faced with a stimulus or situation, either react or respond. How does this affect us? Is one better? Can we control which we choose to use? Generally speaking, a response is is a considered answer to our present situation, whereas a reaction is an instinctive, often not thought out expression of our emotions in that moment.

It is simpler in the short term to react to stimuli, but it is healthier to your well-being to learn to respond. It is important to know that a response is never repeated. How can this be? Every moment is a unique one. Everything that happens to all of us is new and current. If we are living in the now no event in our life is ever duplicated. When you react to a situation, you are reacting to past emotional associations; a response happens in the now.

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unexpected ways!

may we often find

our true self lingering

in unexpected ways!

may we be swept away

by a whirlwind

of love!

rest the doings

of the doer,

and just be

like a beer!

-shh


What’s Life Like?

So you ask me:

what’s life like

after death?

And I wonder:

what’s life like

before!

So little I see:

in ignorance I live!

_shh

The Reluctant Dad

The Reluctant Dad

October 19, 2004

 

Until I was almost thirty, I felt that my childhood wasn’t complete. Missed all those ball games that I never played for fear of losing. Loved solo sports… even at 40, I can bet you a penny that I will lose a ballgame if I play it with you!

 

So… when my wife, Seema, said it was about time to have kids — that her BClock was ticking — I said, wait a minute! What about the exploding population that was burdening Mother Earth? Or, how about we wait until I complete my childhood, let alone taking care of kids of my own? How about learning tennis and golf and horse-riding, and completing some more treks: Yellowstone, Hawaii, Mt. Rushmore, Europe, Africa, South America…??

 

She was wise: she gave me a choice:

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spread this germ…



let’s go,

spread this germ of joy:

an infectious symbiotic bacterium.

 

sticks stronger than vicious viruses,

spread faster than frantic flu.

 

mercifully puts an end

to war,

to terror,

to hatred…

 

let’s go,

spread this gem of joy!

 

-shh

a bed of roses!


i knew it, i knew it

 

that life

is a bed

of roses!

 

so long i denied

the thorns on that bed…

 

no more!

for now i know:

 

life truly

is a bed

of roses!

 

-shh

presence

let’s be present

for our presence

is the best present

we can present

to all around us

in deep silence! :)

 

-shh

 

 

 
Picture by Leah Pearlman of www.DharmaComics.com

this quiet little inner child

this quiet little inner child

has gone totally wild.

dancing in wild abandon

in ecstatic delight

chaotically thrashing

like a Sufi gone mad!

slowly simmering

into a lyrical tandem…

to join you and me

into this trance

we call love.

_shh

may you always smile :)

may you always smile

as you serve all around you,
and may that smile
radiate for miles!

:)
shh

mystery in the moment!


come rain or shine

the universe reminds us

that each moment is precious,

each place we occupy

is filled with mystery,

each being we care for

is a door to love and joy!

do you feel the love,

the mystery in this moment?

are you filled with gratitude?

then please share,

forward and backward,

to everyone you meet,

real or virtual!

hugs,

shh

serene flow


welcome that serene flow

that serene flow of life
where needs and wants disappear
and all we have is delight.
 
that serene glow of delight
that glow full of life
that glow of being alive!
 
_shh

 

the search

hands_peace_aurelia_zamolxe

the day i stopped searching

for some place special

for something special

for someone special…

every place i went to

everyone around me

everything around me

turned out to be really special!

perhaps i have been sent

in this magical moment

to remind you to see

everything and everyone

all around you and me

in some special way

-shh

 

Forgiveness: Making Space for More Happiness

From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-taran/learning-to-forgive_b_1322686.html

Have you ever tried to be happy, yet something just irked you under the surface — a feeling that you had not been seen, appreciated, loved? Or even worse, a feeling of betrayal, total loss of trust or even violation? What can be done? The way out is forgiveness. Let’s make something clear from the get go. It’s not about saying that what happened to hurt you was OK — it was not. It’s about adjusting your outlook and the way you deal with a situation so that it does not entrap you, keeping you stuck in anger, sadness or frustration for years to come. Your forgiveness opens the door to your own freedom. A quote I love is, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” — Louis B. Smedes.

Dr. Fred Luskin of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project defines forgiveness as “the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel and become a hero instead of a victim in the story that you tell. Forgiveness is the experience of peacefulness in the present moment.”

My parents are getting older, and I find that long-buried feelings like “Why couldn’t they be the perfect parents I had wished for?” coming to the forefront of my mind. I thought that I had dealt with this sticky stuff long ago — what’s up? Hey, I know I should feel happy to even have parents who possess several amazing qualities and who are still here! I also know the drill: Everyone is human and does the best they can with the knowledge they have. Yet these feelings of irritation and sadness still arise. So I am trying to write this to learn to forgive, to let go and create more mental space in my life. More room for happiness! Here’s what I’ve found:

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Valentine’s Day — Really?

From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-taran/valentines-day_b_1247584.html

Valentine’s Day: What does it represent to you? Is it a reminder of the passions of new romance or the love that you are longing for in your life? Is it a commercial orchestration fabricated by the greeting card, flower and chocolate industries to make us buy more? Here’s the real question: Can Valentine’s Day remind us of the enormous capacity for love that we already carry within?

From the day we are born, not only do we need love and affection to thrive, we constantly give and generate love. Benjamin Disraeli says, “We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end.” Yet the word love in itself is confusing. It means so many different things to different people. Here are some of its faces:

• the protective affection felt by parents for their children
• the resonance felt by sharing interests and true friendship
• the sexual expression of love that also can hold the potential of transcendence
• the sense of caring for others’ welfare — what we call unconditional love.

There are times when each of these types of love takes the lead, but

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How can you find happiness in times like these?

I have spent a ton of time lately thinking about how to find happiness in times like these.

I think about all the different situations that surround so many people in my life. So how can you find happiness when: you’ve lost your job, you’ve lost your house, your child is dying, your child has an incurable condition, you have cancer, your parent just died of cancer, or you are getting divorced? Those are just some examples.

How can you be happy amidst all the insanity that envelopes your life when you are dealing with just one of those things, let alone multiple things?

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Holiday Happiness — Be Here Now

From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-taran/gratitude_b_1165364.html

So many people grumble and gripe about the holidays — too much family, too much food, too many obligations. But what if you approached it all with another perspective — as though this might be your last time to be together. Would you overlook some of the annoyances? Would you focus on what amused you about specific people instead of what drove you crazy? Would you choose to make the moments special and have a deeper connection?

This time of year reminds me of my father-in-law. He was with us one year, and by the next holiday season, he was gone, so quickly and unexpectedly to pancreatic cancer. I don’t harbor regrets as we all got to be with him at the end, but it gets me thinking of how impermanent life can be. It can also be something as simple as

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