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New Existentialists

Inner Peace

07/09/2012
Inner Peace
Clients often come to therapy looking for relief from symptoms, armed with talking points from pharmaceutical advertisements (depression is a serious medical condition, I’m taking anti-depressants but I still feel sad, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and I need to correct it). Sometimes, however, they arrive with a different set of language. Sometimes, they complain of being always in turmoil, stuck feeling ashamed, worrying too much, and their goal is to feel a sense of peace within their self. This quest for a sense of peace can be seen as akin to the desire to...

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Rethinking Complexity

Paying Attention Develops the Brain’s Plasticity

07/06/2012
Paying Attention Develops the Brain’s Plasticity
Everything I read points to the need for attention for our brains to develop new neurons and synapses, and I've been wondering about awareness and attention. Mindfulness practice is an awareness and attention practice, where we build our capacity to pay attention by stopping our activity and focusing on our direct and immediate experience. We focus on our breath and sensations in the body as a starting point. We practice listening, noting what feels good or bad or neutral. Then we expand our focus to include our thoughts, emotions, and reactions. Over time we learn to increase our...

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New Existentialists

None of Your Busy-ness!

07/06/2012
None of Your Busy-ness!
Tim Kreider’s (2012) recent article in The New York Times’s Opinionator section entitled “The Busy Trap” really struck a chord with me. Not so much because I am juggling a lot of different projects at the moment, but rather because I heard the voices of so many people with whom I come into contact these days. I have come to truly despise the excuse “I’m too busy.” As an existentialist, I do not want to label or generalize, but the imperfect human part of me cheered when I saw someone writing about this collective issue. Kreider started his piece by explaining how “Busy” or “I’m busy” has...

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Interdisciplinary Inquiry

July 6 - Celebrate the Shift Network's 'Nonviolence Friday' of the Summer of Peace

07/06/2012

The goal of the Summer of Peace 2012 is to activate the largest global commitment to peace in one season in the history of humankind. The Summer of Peace 2012 is produced by The Shift Network in partnership with Pathways to Peace, Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI), The Peace Alliance, PeaceDayTV, Alliance for Peacebuilding, Gaiafield Project, International Cities of Peace and Push4Peace, along with numerous co-sponsors. Together, the goal is to mobilize grassroots participation of people worldwide to accelerate humanity’s shift to a culture of peace.

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New Existentialists

Let Freedom Ring, Just Not Too Loud

07/05/2012
Let Freedom Ring, Just Not Too Loud
As Americans, we pride ourselves on being fierce advocates for freedom, as well as national and individual independence. Historically, these have formed the foundation of our collective value system; generally speaking, they continue to function in this essential role, and our annual celebration of this fact is both necessary and inspiring. It certainly would be very difficult, if not impossible, to legitimately and convincingly argue that Americans do not value freedom. However, while our strong and core value of freedom is undeniable, it doesn’t represent the whole story regarding the...

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Rethinking Complexity

Who’s the Boss?

07/05/2012
Who’s the Boss?
One of the most often repeated punch lines from Gallup’s famous Q12 survey of employee engagement is that employees join companies, but leave their immediate supervisor. In other words, people mostly talk about the company when asked what attracted to them to a particular job, but they mostly cite issues with their immediate manager when asked why they decided to leave a particular job. In their 1999 business best seller First Break all the Rules, Mark Buckingham and Curt Coffman explain the origin of the twelve questions that comprise the Gallup survey and then lay out findings from in...

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New Existentialists

The Day God Died

07/03/2012
The Day God Died
God died recently. It was a long, slow, painful death. There were times I was forced to turn away because I could no longer bear the agony of witnessing the death of the One who I had held so dearly for so long. God was who I turned to for answers. God was my rescue, my salvation, my way into heaven and ticket out of hell. God was Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and always knew better than I. God saved me, literally and figuratively. I grew up in a spiritual household. My childhood is filled with memories of my grandmother sweeping her floors, humming old hymns like "One day at a time, sweet Jesus...

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Rethinking Complexity

Organizational Narrative in a Time of Scarcity

07/02/2012
Organizational Narrative in a Time of Scarcity
For the organizations that survived the Great Recession of 2008-2009, growth seems to be the dominant theme. Is this a sign that we are past the scarcity introduced by the recession or is it just a form of coping with economic limitations? Most organizations in the US experienced revenue shrinkage ranging from 15% to 40% during the period of2008 to 2010. This shrinkage translated into stopping most investments, diminishing capabilities due to layoffs, greater amount of work and related stress for remaining employees, wage reductions and emphasis on short term strategies. There have been many...

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New Existentialists

Community for the 21st Century

07/02/2012
Community for the 21st Century
The word “community,” and the phrases “building community” or “creating community” are constantly bandied about in our 21st century Western life, but this “community” often feels very different from our forebearers’ notion. In the past, and even now, in some places, community existed within the clearly defined boundaries of physical or institutional structures. We might speak of a community as a group of people living in a particular geographic region, who might come together to work for the common benefit of the residents. Or we might speak of a religious community, in which all members are...

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Interdisciplinary Inquiry

New Social Media Site Launched for Activists

07/02/2012

Lokashakti, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, is dedicated to promoting peace and social justice through collective nonviolent action. Lokashakti recently announced the launch of a new social media site for activists, the Lokashakti Peace & Social Justice Network. Unlike other social media, the Lokashakti Network is noncommercial and exists mainly to facilitate real-world activism, embodying the phrase, “Think globally, act locally.”  

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