One Year Later, Remembering the Boston Marathon: An Inspiring Story of Strength and Passion

Boston Marathon

One year ago yesterday, we suffered a terrible tragedy, and it hit so close to home here in Connecticut. On April 15, 2013, three lives were lost and hundreds of lives were forever changed when two bombs went off near the finish line of the 177th Boston Marathon. But out of such a terrible tragedy has come so much love, compassion, and perseverance, which is even more evidence of the strength and exuberance of the human spirit. One story in particular that I think is a shining example of the ability the human body has to overcome big challenges can…

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Rebooting with Mother Nature – Something to Inspire You

Here in the northeast, we’ve gone through quite a winter. Now I know it could always be worse (and there are other places in the world that got hit a whole lot harder than we did), but I was beginning to wonder if I’d ever see flowers blooming again. And to top it all off, over the weekend, I got hit with the flu and was sicker than I’ve been in at least 30 years. But yesterday, as my symptoms started to ease a bit, I walked outside to the sun beating down on my face, a gentle breeze blowing,…

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What Will Your Greatest Accomplishment Be? (Revisited)

Ruth and Gloria Steinem

One of my long-time heroes, the renowned feminist activist, Ms. Gloria Steinem, recently celebrated her 80th birthday, and it got me thinking about something I posted last summer. It was about the time I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Steinem at the University of Connecticut Women’s Center. You see, I helped found the Women’s Center back in the 70′s, and when great things happen there I can’t help but smile (and often jump at the chance to be part of them). This event was particularly exciting, though, because Ms. Steinem was appearing as their keynote speaker. During her talk…

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The Power of a Question and the Support of a Community

Healthy Food Choices

Back in August of 2013, we asked a question. Could 2,500 practitioners commit to making three small food changes over 10 days? We called it the Power of 3 Challenge, and we promised that if 2,500 practitioners pledged to give it a try, we would donate $25,000 to feed Syrian refugee children who were experiencing so much trauma and malnutrition (even starvation) in the wake of serious conflict. After the challenge (and if you participated, I want to say thank you very much), we sent the $25,000 to support relief efforts in Camp Za’atari. This camp in Jordan is helping…

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How to Help People Overcome Social Anxiety Disorder (and Change Their Brain Response)

Anxiety

There’s something that affects about 15 million people in the United States alone . . . . . . and it can make simple things like talking to others, or even looking in the mirror, seem absolutely terrifying. I’m talking about social anxiety disorder (SAD) – a feeling of overwhelming emotional distress that, for so many, often stands in the way of living life to its fullest, and having meaningful relationships with others. To help people suffering from this disorder, Philippe Goldin, PhD and researchers at Stanford University compared the effect of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) versus aerobic exercise…

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Could Mindfulness Affect Gene Expression?

Mindfulness and the Brain

I’m always interested to see the deep and lasting changes that can come from a regular meditation regimen… …especially when those changes can be measured on a physical level. Meditation has long been touted as a go-to source for stress reduction, and in recent years, researchers have been compiling evidence to back up those claims, even showing that mindfulness causes changes in brain structure. Some of the latest findings come from the work of Richard J. Davidson, PhD and his colleagues in Wisconsin, Spain, and France. (If his name sounds familiar, that’s because Dr. Davidson has been doing a lot…

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