Wherever I go around the world, I see the same hunger to live our lives with more meaning and purpose and less unnecessary stress and burnout. This is the goal of "33 Days of Awakening Through Loyalty to Your Soul," a new online course being offered by the University of Santa Monica, which I'm delighted we have arranged to offer free for HuffPost readers. The class is designed so that on each day of the course, the intention for the day is supported with meditations, videos, podcasts and other resources that help us go deeper. Each day's email has a theme: clarifying our intentions, accepting what we cannot change, putting our thoughts in writing to help us forgive ourselves and others, writing out a gratitude list, dropping grudges and -- my favorite -- realizing that the way we deal with the issue is the issue. When we make these habits part of our daily practice, we can view ourselves and the world with more awareness and more gratitude.
What do men and women think they mean when the use the word "love"? What ideas do they have about love? How do they define it? The word love has become like the smell of an old used storybook; once owned and circulated throughout the centuries; and yet filled with adventures longing to be discovered.
What stood out for me as I was baking in the sun was the sound of wind, with barely a runner in sight. And also the sound of my footsteps and the bounce of my backpack registering a dull thud on repeat. If this was a Sunday afternoon run in a big city, I would have seen many runners, but here, I had it all to myself.
Interestingly, my breastfeeding experiences have made it such that now, as a postpartum nurse, my practice is centered on emphasizing the things I wish I had known -- things which not only ruined my possible precious memories, but made me wince every time I heard my child's familiar hunger cry.
Technology is allowing us to peer behind the veil of TV commercials; it is connecting us in real, authentic and meaningful ways to the food we eat. It is creating communities of like-minded consumers and producers. This week, the FDA issued an industry-wide mandate to lower sodium in processed foods. Has the ratchet changed direction?
Here is some proof. Humour is one of the highest rated traits for attracting a lover -- ranked by men as appealing, topping even 'wearing sexy clothes'. Both men and women considered humor to be in the top three traits that make someone appealing for short-term (read "sexual") or long-term (read "partner") connections.
While I clean shelves and wipe down cupboards, readying things for those little bodies and minds, I ready my own mind. Clean out the cobwebs, so to speak. I need my head to be in the game, need my thoughts to be organized. Need my mind to be clear. For when all is said and done, it's not the classroom that houses the potential and possibility to make this year the best one ever for my incoming class: it's me.
The fact is there will always be people who need help. There will always be critics who seek to divert attention to a "more worthy" cause. But the bigger picture here is a vast community is coming together to raise awareness and drive change. Thanks to the help of social media, people of all ages, professions and life circumstances are donating.
Why is it that a woman has such a hard time feeling good in her skin when her skin is stripped bare of potions and lotions and creams, when there is not filter or Photoshop?
Next week, this playground I'm writing from will be teeming with messages. Those messages aren't up to us. But when our boys return, we can make sure our homes are teeming with messages, too.
What I need people to do is change their corporate culture, and the conversation they have with friends. You don't need to lose weight, you need to become fit. Starvation and exercise to the point of becoming unhealthy will drop weight fast. Increasing your heart rate, eating smart and local, and ensuring you breath deep through your day will take your body back to health.
Some things I remember clearly about the first days after my sons were born. I was zapped, emotional and incredibly vulnerable. So I can't imagine having a document thrust at me that essentially guilt-trips me into swearing that I will breastfeed my newborns or else risk exposing them to "significant illness and disease."
Food processed in concordance with Muslim dietary laws is called Halal. Today, halal meat is largely produced in commercial slaughterhouses staffed by specially trained Muslim workers who conduct the actual slaughter and supervise the subsequent processing. But the focus of halal is on ensuring spiritual purity rather than science-based cleanliness, so buying halal food does not guarantee your food will be safe.
For young people of all ages, school's an opportunity to form new relationships with peers and teachers, develop new skills through extracurricular activities, and discover new interests. But school can also be a source of stress, anxiety, and pressure for many young people, and it's a topic that kids and teens bring to Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors throughout the year, even during summer holidays.
Back to School in the '70s: Take the kids downtown to go shopping at Sears for back to school clothes the last week of August. Get everyone a new pair of corduroys and a striped T-shirt. You have spent a total of $43. Back to School 2014: Take kids shopping at the mall for new school clothes. Buy them each a completely new wardrobe from Gymboree and Crew Cuts. Spend $2,387.07 on your credit card.
It's everyone's right to have an opinion. But here is what bothers me: they've got the wrong definition. They are basing their judgment of me, my beliefs and on feminism as a whole, on inaccurate information. What I am calling for is a re-education of women, and men, across North America. If you take a look at feminism's goal (one more time: equality!) and still want to tote a sign that says, "I'm an anti-feminist," I suppose that is your prerogative.
Witnessing their parents tend to one another's needs every once in a while just might instill some patience and compassion. I don't see how that is selfish. In fact, it sounds like pretty stellar parenting to me.
Thinking rationally, I know that the feeling of control that a cleanse offers is fleeting, even false, but I wanted to feel like I was closing the door on old (less than ideal) habits, and opening the door to new (more ideal) habits. I wanted a clean slate.
I thought peer pressure was done when I left high school. It's a bit easier not to give in to it now, but it's still there, rearing its ugly head in the form of Mommy Wars and keeping up with the Joneses.