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Caring for themselves

While she was in the White House, Michelle Obama invited 12 or so of her closest friends to spend the weekend with her at Camp David every two or three months. ”We were all so used to sacrificing for our kids, our spouses and our work. I had learned through my years of trying to […]

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Adventures and stories

“Fill your life with adventures, not things. Then, you’ll have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” I found that quote last weekend at the Texas Book Festival in Austin. –Joy

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Bewildered

“Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept,” says Jhumpa Lahiri, author of Interpreter of Maladies. “As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”

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Small things matter

I found this quote in the text about a photograph at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. The photograph showed a field of wildflowers. A “tiny nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful,” poet Mary Oliver once said. –Joy

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A full life

“Woodstock has never seen a violin or a fire truck or a candy store,” Snoopy once said. “He’s never heard an opera or a symphony. He’s never seen a movie or a play. On the other hand, he’s seen the sky, the clouds, the ground, the sun, the rain, the moon, the stars, a cat […]

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Black and white?

“The dualistic mind presumes that if you criticize something, you don’t love it,” says Richard Rohr, the Franciscan priest and author. “Wise people, like prophets, would say the opposite.”

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Carve out moments of peace

It’s easy to be silent and still on a silent retreat. However, after I finished my silent retreat, I soon found, of course, that it’s more difficult to slow down after I’ve looked at my daily to-do list. I have to carve out moments of peace during each day. I remember what Thoreau once wrote: […]

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Notice the flowers

Sometimes—often?—what’s happening in the world is depressing. We all need to practice noticing the positive, says Rick Hanson in his book Hardwiring Happiness. When you achieve something or find yourself in a beautiful place, rest your mind on that experience. Dwell on it. As Henri Matisse once said, “There are always flowers for those who […]

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Indolence?

I have spring fever—and it’s not spring yet. That’s why I like this quote from Bernard Williams. “I like the word ‘indolence.’ It makes my laziness seem classy.” –Joy

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Compounds of good and evil

“Idealism is too oblivious of the ironic perils to which human virtue, wisdom and power are subject,” writes Reinhold Niebuhr, in his book The Irony of American History. “It is too certain that there is a straight path toward the goal of human happiness; too confident of the wisdom and idealism that prompt men (and […]

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