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How to Come Alive

Photo by Rosie Hardy
Editor’s Note

This is such a simple, elegant and inspiring article. Make sure to give this a read. You'll be glad you did. :)

Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurman

No quote has ever had more of an impact on me than this one.

When I first read it, I was working in the accounting department of a government contractor in Virginia. I was commuting back and forth to the 3-bedroom house on ½ acre that I’d just bought and I was doing it in a sporty little Mazda 626.

I was making a respectable salary. I had parlayed my college degree into a “successful” career, and I was understandably proud of myself.

But I was not alive.

I was just one of hundreds of thousands of bean counters who sat in traffic a couple of hours a day to get to a cubicle in a maze of other cubicles to sit for another 8 to 10 hours a day trying to make numbers add up.

Embracing the Imperfect

Photo by Simón Pais-Thomas
Editor’s Note

I have only one word to summarize how I felt after editing this story from Kate: Wow. Don’t miss this powerful piece. And help me welcome Kate to the TSN family.

The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem. ~Theodore Rubin

Confession: Lately, for the past 6 weeks or so, I’ve been capital-U, “Unhappy.”

Plain. Simple. Unhappy.

Revolutionary insight? This does not need “fixing.”

It’s interesting to notice all the impulses to resist the Unhappy in life, as if the human experience were destined to be one devoid of suffering.

The messages are all around us that if we’re unhappy, we’re “doing it wrong.” So quick! Go buy something, do something different, take some kind of action, to make it all better.

Nope–I’m hunkered down with it, now. Unhappy and I are hanging out, chilling like a villain, asking what’s the haps with the craps.

Living in a Zen Center: A Personal Report

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
Editor’s Note

A few weeks ago, I received a curious and adorable little hand-written letter from Cat. At the time, she was on her 3rd months living in a Zen Monastery. Without Internet connection, she sent us this important self-reflective story—on what she had learned—in this little envelope. I believe this is one of the most important and beautiful articles you will read. Spend some time, and soak in its beauty and wisdom.

Simplify, simplify. ~Thoreau

The contemporary western world can feel rushed and complicated.

With speed and productivity woven into this culture, our bodies move with a habitual hurriedness, our minds fill with an endless stream of errands, expectations, goals to conquer, a life to plan ….

For many years, my days were spent rushing from one moment to the next as an ongoing effort to make progress in each category of an accomplished life. The alarm would sound: chime, chime, chime and a billion responsibilities rushing in, tugging me out of bed:

Monday mornings … snooze
… snooze again.
By the time my eyes would open, I already felt behind.

6 Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter

Photo by Vanessa Paxton
The first wealth is health. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend of mine invited my husband and I to her home for dinner and told us how to she’d already gotten sick and fall hadn’t even started. My husband, who struggles with staying well, can always relate. We started chatting with her about strategies to avoid getting sick.

So often we feel like our health is out of our hands. I know I’ve been guilty of being annoyed at the coworkers who show up in the office while they’re ill or someone with a chronic cough sits behind me on the bus. Great, I think. Now I’m going to get sick.

But I rarely do. And if I come down with something, I bounce back within a day.

So now that fall has begun and we’re venturing closer to some of the busiest and most stressful times of the year, I’d like to suggest a few things that you can do, things that you’re in control of, to avoid using sick days.

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