In a Bad Mood? Studies Show Why That Can Be a Good Thing [Yes Magazine]


Original article by Kira M. Newman

Like many seekers of happiness, I once aspired to feel good as much as possible. There’s probably a part of everyone that would prefer to avoid life’s more difficult, or even mundane, feelings—and self-help books assure us that we can, if only we adopt the right attitude.

Yet most of us know that perpetual joy is not a practical goal—and recent research is starting to suggest that it may actually be a harmful one. Scientists are discovering that feel-good states can be detrimental to our problem-solving, judgment, morality, and empathy in the moment.

The upshot? Context matters.

On the whole, it’s absolutely beneficial to be someone for whom feeling good comes easy, who can appreciate a good meal, connect warmly with others, and dream up sunny possibilities for the future. But our whole spectrum of different feelings, from anger to elation, evolved for a reason: to help us confront and handle challenges to survival. There are times in life when feeling positive won’t help—and could even hurt.

(My comment: excessive happiness can even make you dumb. Find out how by reading the rest of this article here.) 


What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life? [UpliftConnect.com]


By Krista O'Reilly-Davi-Digui, reposted from A Life in Progress via UpliftConnect

"What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?

The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.

But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted. Drained of joy. Am I simply not enough?"


Read the rest of the article here:



3 Methods for Working With Chaos [Lion's Roar]


Excerpted from “When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.” by Pema Chödron

"
We tell our friends of our longing to shed the huge burden we feel we’ve always carried. We suddenly are excited and feel it’s possible. We tell our friend of our inspiration and how it opens up our life. “It is possible,” we say, “to enjoy the very same things that usually get us down. We can delight in our job, delight in riding the subway, delight in shoveling snow and paying bills and washing dishes.”

You may have noticed, however, that there is frequently an irritating, if not depressing, discrepancy between our ideas and good intentions and how we act when we are confronted with the nitty-gritty details of real life situations.


...


We can kid ourselves for a while that we understand meditation and the teachings, but at some point we have to face it. None of what we’ve learned seems very relevant when our lover leaves us, when our child has a tantrum in the supermarket, when we’re insulted by our colleague. How do we work with our resentment when our boss walks into the room and yells at us? How do we reconcile that frustration and humiliation with our longing to be open and compassionate and not to harm ourselves or others? How do we mix our intention to be alert and gentle in meditation with the reality that we sit down and immediately fall asleep? What about when we sit down and spend the entire time thinking about how we crave someone or something we saw on the way to the meditation hall? Or we sit down and squirm the whole morning because our knees hurt and our back hurts and we’re bored and fed up? Instead of calm, wakeful, and egoless, we find ourselves getting more edgy, irritable, and solid."

Read the rest of the article here:

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh: only love can save us from climate change [The Guardian]



"When we understand that we are more than our physical bodies, that we didn't come from nothingness and will not disappear into nothingness, we are liberated from fear ... fearlessness is not only possible but the ultimate joy.

Our perception of time may help ... For us it is very alarming and urgent, but for Mother Earth, if she suffers she knows she has the power to heal herself even if it takes 100m years. We think our time on earth is only 100 years, which is why we are impatient. The collective karma and ignorance of our race, the collective anger and violence will lead to our destruction and we have to learn to accept that.

And maybe Mother Earth will produce a great being sometime in the next decade ... We don't know and we cannot predict. Mother Earth is very talented. She has produced Buddhas, bodhisattvas, great beings.

So take refuge in Mother Earth and surrender to her and ask her to heal us, to help us. And we have to accept that the worst can happen; that most of us will die as a species and many other species will die also and Mother Earth will be capable after maybe a few million years to bring us out again and this time wiser.'"

Life Without the Internet [Medium.com]

Art by Elena Chimaera

Yes, you may laugh at my hypocrisy. However, I am now happily social-media-free and rediscovering the joys of books and face-to-face conversation, so I'm getting there.

~ Catie





"When friends come to my apartment, they’ll often ask for the WiFi password. Most are baffled by my response:


'I’m really sorry — but I don’t have any WiFi.'

One of my earliest memories with my dad — I was probably five or six years-old — was him loading up disney.com on Netscape Navigator to show me stills from my favourite movies. I was electrified with amazement.

My dad was a tech-obsessed software engineer, so we were one of the first houses in the neighbourhood to have dial-up internet. Years later, we were one of the first to have high-speed broadband too. Trips to disney.com were eventually replaced with MSN conversations, visits to Habbo Hotel, and marathon sessions of video game mayhem on Xbox Live.

While these days, I probably wouldn’t fit the profile of a “tech nerd” (I don’t own many gizmos and, unlike my father, I can’t code), as a child, I was enthralled with the World Wide Web and its eminent vastness. I remember downloading my first MP3 on Kazaa, I remember the magic feeling of opening my first Hotmail account, I remember creating my first website and going on my first binge watches on funnyjunk.com. I remember the social-life-shaking effects of getting my first Webcam, and of creating a Facebook account as a high school freshman.

Somewhere along the line though, I became disenchanted with my old pal, the internet. Today, we see less of each other than ever."