Well-being - Personal Development

Personal Development Blogs

26 May 2022

Personal Development Blogs Personal Development Blogs
  • Where to Start …
    26 May 2022

    It’s not been an easy month, I’m sure not for most of us, so if there’s any way I can better be of service let me know. Usually when I’m not feeling well I distance myself, around right about now I get headaches, so maybe that’s my instincts telling me to write anyways and get back in touch with everyone be there for others.

    Nows a good time for me to get to an AA meeting, it feels like during times of trauma all conversations feel like everything gets lost in translation ever had those moments talking to others when one another is half there. I guess it’s something we should appreciate the human-ness in one another to focus even if it’s only half focus and do our best to be present, I know that’s not always easy when things get overwhelming.

    The first thing you can do for others is to be positive during any time of need. That’s when we’re most vulnerable to being hurt or aggravated by what others have to say. Think for others not just yourself and remind yourself that it’s not all about you, plenty of people care too.

    We all feel victimized from time to time, especially now so be honest with your feelings and capabilities in life if that’s the best thing you can do for your audience most of success working with others is about expectation and acceptance, those two words always come up for me when writing, what do they expect from me? Kindness and intelligence thoughtfulness, and what can they accept about me? Limitations due to mental health issues, diagnosis, and length of time it takes for me to write and respond to whatever there needs words, some things you can’t always put into words. Especially when it comes to complaining, I think we would all rather hear more solutions than problems and upsets at a time like this, so I’m sorry for ever expressing upset when I do I always call my psychiatrist and attorney I guess that’s just me getting used to my new temperament symptoms and find better ways for coping with anxieties about life.

    So keep you’re head up during a time like this, stay active be around people, don’t isolate and stay in bed all day, work through your trauma with counseling and support from friends or through blogging. And remember you’re not alone. Thanks for reading my blog.

    The post Where to Start … appeared first on mymollydoll.

  • Time Management vs Energy Management – Which is More Important?
    26 May 2022

    Many of us are all too aware of time management. It seems that there just aren’t enough hours in the day and, as such, we feel the considerable need to make the most of the time we have.

    There’s nothing wrong with that in theory. It’s commendable to want to make the most from our day and to achieve as much as possible. The issue, however, is that in many cases, we overlook something that is arguably even more important: energy management.

    You Don’t Have Enough Time… Really?

    Many of us feel as though we’d like to have more time in the day and that we could accomplish a whole lot more if we did.

    What would you do with an extra ten minutes?

    – Maybe you’d start a home business.

    – Maybe you’d work out and get into incredible shape.

    – Maybe you’d just keep the kitchen tidy.

    But you probably already have all the time you need.

    Think back to the week you had. Was there any point at which you weren’t being 100% productive?

    – Maybe it was when you were flicking through Facebook.

    – Maybe it was when you watched that 20-minute YouTube video that you really didn’t need to watch.

    – Or maybe it was when you binged on four episodes of Game Of Thrones back-to-back.

    In other words, you had plenty of time, but you just didn’t make the most of it. And most of us are like this.

    And why didn’t you make the most of it? Simple: because you ran out of energy.

    Everyone knows that time is limited, but they forget that energy is limited too.

    Energy is Finite

    This belief that we can do as much as we want to, as long as we can fit it into our day, is responsible for a lot of unfulfilled goals and ambitions.

    Consider how many people plot a new training program. Often, they will start out by identifying they want to get into better shape (so far so good). Next, they decide they are going to follow a training program that consists of 5 workouts a week, each lasting about an hour (oh dear). What’s more, is that they do this while eating less.

    The reason they were probably out of shape is that they didn’t have the energy to commit to being more active in the first place. Being stressed and tired likewise caused them to want to eat more things that weren’t conducive to weight loss.

    So now, they intend to go from that, to adding four hours (7 if you add driving to the gym, showering, and more) of exertion, while having less energy in the form of food to help power them through it!

    Geez, why do you think that doesn’t work?

    The Solution

    The solution is to recognize this finite nature of energy and to realize that you need to dedicate some of your time to resting and recovering.

    Just because you have the time to do something, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it.

    So, if you want to start a new training regimen, then what does this mean? It means that you need to first stop doing something else. That could mean finding ways to make other tasks less time-consuming or stressful, such as getting a ride to work instead of commuting on a crowded train, for instance.

    And if you want to be more productive and get through more of your to-do list at work, what do you do?

    The answer is to ensure that you’re better rested, take regular breaks, and eat for energy. Keep your energy management in mind as you tackle your task list.

    Energy management is just as important as time management – and more relevant. Don’t ignore it!

    Originally posted 2019-08-11 15:40:39.

  • How to Retain More Information from the Books You Read
    26 May 2022

    Have you ever read a book to learn something, but you don’t feel like you really remember what you read? It’s a common phenomenon.

    We learn lots of things in school, but we’re not taught how to read a book and retain the information. It’s an important skill to have. It can take quite a bit of time to read a book. It would be a shame not to get the most out of that time.

    Get the most out of the books you read with these strategies:

    1. Read in an environment conducive to remembering. Ideally, you have options regarding where you read. Some places are better than others. Do you concentrate better in a silent environment? Perhaps you read better with some background noise like classical music or in a coffee shop.

    2. Read at the right time. When are you best able to concentrate? In the morning? In the evening? After a workout? After a nap? After a meal? On an empty stomach? Give yourself the best chance to retain what you read by ensuring that you’re at your best.

    3. Know what you’re trying to learn before you begin reading. What is the point of reading the book? What do you wish to gain from reading it? Be clear on the purpose of why you’re reading this particular book in the first place. You’ll notice the relevant facts and ideas if you know what matters to you before you begin.

    4. Skim the book first. Skim the chapter you’re about to read. Understand how long the chapter is and what it’s covering. If there are any bullet points at the beginning or end, slow down and absorb them.

    5. Take notes. If you have the option of taking notes directly in the book, that can be effective. At least you’ll know where to find your notes! Many people choose to keep a notebook for each book they read. Write down the important ideas along the way. Include your thoughts, too.

    6. Reflect on what you read. After reading a chapter or a certain number of pages, reflect on what you read. Look back over your notes. Think about what you already know on the subject. How does this new information fit in with what you already know?

    – Avoid reading further until you’ve completed this process.

    7. Use the information. It doesn’t make much sense to read a book on dieting, investing, or meditating without using the information. Develop a plan for applying what you’ve read. Take it slowly and just implement one new item every couple of days.

    8. Consider reading the book again. It has become popular for people to claim that they read a book a week, or even a book a day. It’s not possible to read a book in a day, retain the information, put that information into practice, and read another book the following day.

    – It would be far more effective to read a few books, a few times each, over the course of a year.

    – Try this experiment. Read a book, and then a week later read it again. Notice how you found things in the second reading that you don’t even remember seeing in the first reading.

    Try this process the next time your read a non-fiction book. You can perfect the process to fit your needs and idiosyncrasies. Your time is valuable, and books take time to read. Make the most of your valuable time by retaining more of the information you learn from books. Enjoy your reading!

    Originally posted 2019-08-10 23:04:41.

  • If You Have Medium-To-Long Nails, You Must Try This Chic Design
    26 May 2022
    It's a modern yet classic look.
  • Ways You Can Take Action After Acts of Violence Affect Our Community 
    25 May 2022

    Content Warning: Points of Light acknowledges that a small portion of the post below may be difficult for some readers. We encourage you to please care for your own well-being above all.   

    In the last 10 days, there have been multiple mass shootings, including those in Uvalde, Texas, Laguna Woods, California, Chicago, Illinois and Buffalo, New York. Our hearts grieve for the families, friends and communities affected by these horrific tragedies. Events like these are too many in number and have a devastating impact to individuals, communities and our society.  

    Reaching for solutions and exercising your power to create positive change are essential parts of coping and healing. When individuals feel hopeless or helpless, we know that change comes from each point of light working together. 

    There are many ways to leverage collective action to help our communities better reflect our vision of the world we want to see around us. You can accelerate change and find a sense of empowerment and purpose to create both immediate and lasting impact.  

    What You Can Do Right Now 

    1. Donate. We recognize that you have many choices and obligations when it comes to how to spend your hard-earned wages. If you’re able, you may choose to use a portion to support families affected by these events or organizations working to put an end to gun violence.  
    2. Give blood — it’s a life-sustaining act. You can even check the blood supply across the U.S. and ask friends and family you may have in the areas where it’s most needed to donate. 
    3. Learn more about how mental health builds better communities and gain a better understanding of Our Collective Trauma & Our Collective Healing in 3 Stages.
    4. Get information on How to Talk to Children About Shootings: An Age-by-age Guide from “The Today Show.” 
    5. Hold your local officials, senators and congresspeople accountable by contacting them to ask what actions they’re taking around the issues that matter most to you. Advocate for and amplify the messages and positions you support when talking with friends and family as well as sharing information and calls to action on your social media pages. 
    6. Volunteer with an organization in your community so that you can be a part of building neighborhoods that are stronger and safer, like Daily Point of Light Awardee Quintrell Reese. Learn more about his efforts to curb gun violence and keep his community safe. 

    How You Can Work to Create Sustained Change 

    1. Join Points of Light and Morehouse College for our upcoming Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism conversation, “Economic Empowerment and the Power of Black Women Entrepreneurs.” This discussion will continue to explore how systemic racism impacts our communities. 
    2. With mid-term elections coming in November, there’s never been a better time to understand candidates’ and your local officials’ stances on the issues you care about. Do your research so that you can choose to support candidates who share your convictions and your vision for a better community. You can also become a poll worker or volunteer with an organization in your community that champions voting rights by getting citizens to the polls.  
    3. Make purchases with purpose. Buy from companies taking an active role in building better communities today and for future generations. Check this list of “America’s Most Responsible Companies” from “Newsweek.” 
    4. Become a social entrepreneur. Are you someone who can identify a need that has not been met by traditional means and lead innovative solutions that drive change? Ashoka’s Systems Change Crash Course is a free resource that takes you through a step-by-step process that will shift your way of thinking about social issues and innovation. 
    5. Make full use of special opportunities offered by your workplace. Your company may offer volunteer time off — use it to support a cause that matters to you. Many companies also offer matching gift programs, which can help your donation have an even bigger impact. 
    6. Pursuing a life of service means committing your time, energy and talent to public, national or military service. There are many avenues you can take, including becoming involved with AmeriCorps, which helps cities and communities to find solutions in the areas of education, economic opportunity, disaster response, environmental stewardship, healthy futures and veterans and their families.  

    You can take decisive civic action starting today and keep your momentum going by choosing to focus on one or more elements of The Points of Light Civic Circle, a roadmap to civic engagement. Volunteerism and other means of supporting your community are effective ways of protecting your own mental health and well-being as well as bettering the community around you. Because every action, no matter how small makes a difference. 

    If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support as a result of recent events, check this list of free or low-cost resources from Crisis Text Line, or text HOME to 741741 to talk to one of their trained crisis counselors for support that is anonymous, free and available 24/7. 

  • This Ancient Mindfulness Practice Is Proven To Promote Detoxification
    25 May 2022
    Ditch the detox drink and grab your yoga mat!
  • Bugs Don't Stand A Chance Against These 5 DIY Natural Pesticides
    25 May 2022
    Just be sure to use them sparingly.
  • Here's How Vitamin D Has Been Linked To Living A Long, Healthy Life*
    25 May 2022
    Yet another reason to get more of the sunshine vitamin.
  • 5 Simple Ways to Change Your Life With The Law Of Attraction
    25 May 2022

    “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi Johanna, a college student from Kuala Lumpur, had been struggling to finish her studies. She was living in a dorm with other students and had trouble making ends meet. Johanna was on a […]

    The post 5 Simple Ways to Change Your Life With The Law Of Attraction appeared first on SUCCESSGRID.

  • Your Brain on Grief, Your Heart on Healing
    25 May 2022
    “Grief is a heart-wrenchingly painful problem for the brain to solve, and grieving necessitates learning to live in the world with the absence of someone you love deeply, who is ingrained in your understanding of the world… For the brain, your loved one is simultaneously gone and also everlasting, and you are walking through two worlds at the same time.”

    “‘Tis good — the looking back on Grief,” Emily Dickinson wrote as she calibrated love and loss. But she did not mean that it is good to ruminate and wallow — Dickinson so deftly played with the surface of meaning, so delighted in startling us into a flinch or furrow before plunging us into the deeper truths she fathomed. She meant, I think, that a love lost is grieved forever, whatever the nature of the loss — this she knew, and turned the ongoingness of it into a lifetime of art — but by looking back, we are reminded over and over that the sharp edge of grief does smooth over time, that today’s blunt ache is worlds apart from the first stabs, until grief becomes, as Abraham Lincoln wrote in his stirring letter of consolation to a bereaved young woman, “a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.”

    Art by Sophie Blackall for “Dirge Without Music” from The Universe in Verse.

    And besides, what does it mean to lose a love anyway? We never lose people, not really. I don’t mean this in some mystical sense — let there be no confusion about what actually happens when we die. I don’t even mean it in the poetic sense. I am speaking strictly from the point of view of the mind emerging from the dazzling materiality of the brain — that majestic cathedral of cortex and synapse shaping every thought we have and every feeling we tremble with.

    I am speaking of the paradox inside the brain:

    On the one hand, we lose people all the time — to death, to distance, to differences; from the brain’s point of view, these varieties of loss differ not by kind but only by degree, triggering the same neural circuitry, producing sorrow along a spectrum of intensity shaped by the level of closeness and the finality of the loss.

    On the other hand, no person we have loved is ever fully gone. When they die or vanish, they are physically no longer present, but their personhood permeates our synapses with memories and habits of mind, saturates an all-pervading atmosphere of feeling we don’t just carry with us all the time but live and breathe inside. Or the opposite happens, which is its own devastation — the physical body remains present, but the person we have known and loved, that safehouse of shared memories and trust, is gone — lost to mental illness, to addiction, to neurodegenerative disease.

    Art by Sophie Blackall for “Dirge Without Music” from The Universe in Verse.

    In both cases, the brain is tasked with the slow, painful work of reconstituting its map of the world, so that the world makes sense again without the beloved person in it. Mapping, in fact, is not a mere metaphor but what is actually going on in the brain, since our orientation in spacetime and our autonoeic consciousness — the capacity for mental self-representation — share a cortical region.

    Where the missed and missing person goes on the map, how the remapping actually unfolds, and what it takes to redraw the map in such a way that the world feels whole again are the questions coursing through The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss (public library) by neuroscientist Mary-Frances O’Connor — a pioneer in fMRI research since the technology first became available, who has devoted a quarter century to studying the particular neurophysiology of grief. She writes:

    The brain devotes lots of effort to mapping where our loved ones are while they are alive, so that we can find them when we need them. And the brain often prefers habits and predictions over new information. But it struggles to learn new information that cannot be ignored, like the absence of our loved one.

    […]

    Grief is a heart-wrenchingly painful problem for the brain to solve, and grieving necessitates learning to live in the world with the absence of someone you love deeply, who is ingrained in your understanding of the world. This means that for the brain, your loved one is simultaneously gone and also everlasting, and you are walking through two worlds at the same time. You are navigating your life despite the fact that they have been stolen from you, a premise that makes no sense, and that is both confusing and upsetting.

    Making an important distinction between grief (“the intense emotion that crashes over you like a wave, completely overwhelming, unable to be ignored”) and grieving (an ongoing process punctuated by recurring moments of grief but stringing the moments into a larger trajectory), O’Connor adds:

    Grieving requires the difficult task of throwing out the map we have used to navigate our lives together and transforming our relationship with this person who has died. Grieving, or learning to live a meaningful life without our loved one, is ultimately a type of learning. Because learning is something we do our whole lives, seeing grieving as a type of learning may make it feel more familiar and understandable and give us the patience to allow this remarkable process to unfold.

    […]

    Grief never ends, and it is a natural response to loss. You will experience pangs of grief over this specific person forever. You will have discrete moments that overwhelm you, even years after the death when you have restored your life to a meaningful, fulfilling experience. But… even if the feeling of grief is the same, your relationship to the feeling changes. Feeling grief years after your loss may make you doubt whether you have really adapted. If you think of the emotion and the process of adaptation as two different things, however, then it isn’t a problem that you experience grief even when you have been grieving for a long time.

    Discus chronologicus — a German depiction of time from the early 1720s, included in Cartographies of Time. (Available as a print and as a wall clock.)

    Although volumes have been written about the psychology, philosophy, and poetics of grief — none more piercing than the Joan Didion classic, none more practical than Seneca’s advice to his bereaved mother — there is something singularly revealing about exploring grief from the point of view of the brain beneath the mind, which must begin at the developmental beginning. Childhood — the brain’s most fertile growth period, when most of its major infrastructure is laid out — is also our training ground for loss. Every time we are separated from our primary caregivers, we experience scale-models of loss; every time they return, we learn that the loss of their presence is not a loss of their person, of their love. (A pause worth taking: every abandonment is a miniature of grief.)

    In those formative attachments, we also learn the role we ourselves play in the relationship. Because, in building its relational world-map, the brain is constantly computing our loved ones’ position in three dimensions — time, space, and closeness, also known as psychological distance — we learn the causal link between our behavior and a caregiver’s position in the closeness dimension, just like we learn the causal link between our bodily movements and our position in space. When there is secure attachment, the child learns that throughout various surface disruptions, situational factors, and passing emotional weather patterns, there is a steadfast underlying closeness. O’Connor writes:

    Closeness is partially under our control, and we learn how to maintain and nurture this closeness, but we also trust those who love us to maintain that closeness as well.

    The obvious — and heartbreaking — corollary is that children who grow up without secure attachment experience the pangs of miniature grief much more readily throughout life, with each departure of a loved one, however temporary, because trusting a continuity of closeness does not come naturally to us. But no matter the formative experience of closeness, human beings are universally undone by the death of someone close — the final abandonment, at once the most abstract and the most absolute absence, in which our brains simply cannot compute the total removal of a person so proximate and important from the fabric of psychological spacetime.

    Vanish by Maria Popova. (Available as a print.)

    Citing the disoriented devastation of a woman ghosted by a lover, O’Connor notes that “ghosting” is the neurologically appropriate word-choice for such abandonments — studied under fMRI, the brain of a person who has lost a loved one to “ghosting” behaves much the same way as the brain of a person who has lost a loved one to death, the mental map suddenly crumbled and torn to pieces. O’Connor describes the strange yet strangely sensical way in which the brain copes with this incomprehensible disruption of reality:

    If your brain cannot comprehend that something as abstract as death has happened, it cannot understand where the deceased is in space and time, or why they are not here, now, and close. From your brain’s perspective, ghosting is exactly what happens when a loved one dies. As far as the brain is concerned, they have not died. The loved one has, with no explanation, stopped returning our calls — stopped communicating with us altogether. How could someone who loves us do that? They have become distant, or unbelievably mean, and that is infuriating. Your brain doesn’t understand why; it doesn’t understand that dimensions can simply disappear. If they don’t feel close, then they just feel distant, and you want to fix it rather than believe they are permanently gone. This (mis)belief leads to an intense upwelling of emotions.

    […]

    If a person we love is missing, then our brain assumes they are far away and will be found later. The idea that the person is simply no longer in this dimensional world, that there are no here, now, and close dimensions, is not logical.

    Drawing on brain imaging studies, she adds:

    The ephemeral sense of closeness with our loved ones exists in the physical, tangible hardware of our brain.

    The particular bit of hardware is the brain’s posterior cingulate cortex — our built-in GPS of love. Scanning the environment and processing innumerable bits of sensory information, the PCC is constantly calibrating and recalibrating the psychological distance between us and the people we love, tightening the bond the closer we feel and loosening it when we sense distancing. Death turns the GPS into a crude compass trying to orient to an all-pervading, ever-shifting magnetic field suddenly bereft of its true north. O’Connor writes:

    After the death of a loved one, the incoming messages seem scrambled for a while. At times, closeness with our deceased loved one feels incredibly visceral, as though they are present in the room, here and now. At other times, the string seems to have fallen off the board — not shorter or longer than it was before, but simply stolen from us entirely.

    Liminal Worlds by Maria Popova. (Available as a print.)

    This confusion is so fundamental and so primal, so beyond the reach of reason, that it befalls minds indiscriminately along the spectrum of intelligence and self-awareness — a reality most clearly and devastatingly evinced in the extraordinary love letter Richard Feynman wrote to his wife 488 days after her death and 6,994 days before he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

    But O’Connor notes that while Western physicians long believed such continuing bonds across the life-death divide to be a symptom of poor coping with grief that makes for poorer bonds with the living, recent research drawing on various grief rituals and customs from cultures around the world has demonstrated that such ongoing inner dialogue with the dead might actually enrich our relationships with the living and allow us to show up for them in a fuller, more openhearted way. She writes:

    Our understanding of ourselves changes as we gain wisdom through experience. Our relationships with our living loved ones can grow more compassionate and resonant with gratitude as we age. We can also allow our interactions with our beloved ones who are gone to grow and change, even if only in our minds. This transformation of our relationship with them can affect our capacity to live fully in the present, and to create aspirations for a meaningful future. It can also help us to feel more connected to them, to the best parts of them… Their absence from our physical world does not make our relationship to them any less valuable.

    […]

    Instead of imagining an alternate what if reality, we must learn to be connected to them with our feet planted firmly in the present moment. This transformed relationship is dynamic, ever-changing, in the way that any loving relationship is ever-changing across months and years. Our relationship with our deceased loved one must reflect who we are now, with the experience, and perhaps even the wisdom, we have gained through grieving. We must learn to restore a meaningful life.

    The greatest challenge, of course, is the perennial challenge of the human mind — how to integrate seemingly contradictory needs or ideas in such a way that they coexist harmoniously, perhaps even magnify each other, rather than cancel each other out. Without such integration, any new relationship can feel like a threat to this ongoing inner bond with the dead, undamming a flood of grief at the notion of emotional erasure: grief for the grief itself, for that outstretched hand holding on to the gone and to ourselves at the same time, to the map as it used to be. This is a fear so understandable as to cusp on the universal. It is also — and this might be the most assuring part of O’Connor’s research — a neurophysiologically misplaced fear. Within the brain, every person we love leaves a tangible, structural imprint, encoded in synapses that can never be vanquished or replaced by new and different love. Because that bond — like every bond, like every idea, like the universe itself — was “only ever conjured up in the mind,” it is there too that it always lives, unassailable by other minds and other events.

    Art by Sophie Blackall for “Dirge Without Music” from The Universe in Verse.

    O’Connor writes:

    Gaining a new relationship is simply not going to fill the hole that exists. Here is the key — the point of new roles and new relationships is not to fill the hole. Expecting that they will can only lead to disappointment.

    The point is that if we are living in the present, we need to..

Life

Life Blogs

26 May 2022

Life Blogs Life Blogs
  • How Slowness Improves Your Quality of Life
    26 May 2022
    You might get less done. But what you’ll gain in the process is invaluable.

    The post How Slowness Improves Your Quality of Life appeared first on Goalcast.

  • Settle down. 5 thoughts.
    26 May 2022
    I’m convinced that a huge chunk of our problems are caused by us being unable or unwilling to be quiet and still – to simply settle down.

    Our default position in life is to be busy. We’re all busy, right? We have stuff that needs doing. We feel vaguely guilty if we aren’t doing something. We look at people who aren’t doing things and assume they’re lazy or unambitious.

    Some even take pride in their busyness. It’s an issue of going to work, getting kids to places they need to be, voluntarily cramming days full of activity, and approaching life like a hummingbird in a hurricane. Gotta go. Gotta do. You can’t settle down.

    Maybe this is a 21st century thing. Maybe it’s a uniquely western culture thing. settle down? No way. There’s too much that needs doing. 

    Here’s the question: do you take time to think? Do you self-evaluate? Do you work hard at being busy so that you purposely don’t have time to know who you are and what you should be not doing?

    This is not the same as overthinking. (Tony raises his hand in acknowledgement of guilt.) No, this is simply saying “I need to settle down. I need to pause. I need to reconnect to Bigger Things. Busyness is not a virtue.”

    Or, as the wise man said, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.”

    Actually, this transcends good advice. It’s more like a command to settle down.

    Psalm 46:10–11 (ESV): 10 “Be still, and know that I am God

          I will be exalted among the nations, 

          I will be exalted in the earth!” 

          11 The LORD of hosts is with us; 

          the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

    Why do we not hold “being still” as a virtue any more? Why do we have to work so hard at being busy?

    I’ll ‘fess up to having an overactive mind. (At least I still have a mind. I’ve decided not many folks do … or at least they don’t use them much.) My mind races. Thoughts stumble over each other. Focus is elusive. I’d say that many folks simply live life frantically. 

    You may have an active family – you’re always going somewhere, or taking someone somewhere. It may be that in relationshipsfriends, families, romantic partners, mates – you can’t find the time for each other you need. You may be overwhelmed at work, and it reduces you to bone-crushing fatigue. Even church stuff … I’m reminded of the Methodist lady who said, “I’d be a Baptist if I thought it wouldn’t ruin my health.” We’re supposed to participate in a lot of church activities, right? And don’t get me started on the constant demanding bombardment of media – social media, news media, the vortex that is the Internet, and all the rest. Your brain can take only so much.

    I guess the tendency bred into us early on is the sense we should always be doing something. To not do something is to be idle. We can’t settle down. 

    So, I’ll take us back to that little phrase from the Psalmist: Be still, and know that I am God. That doesn’t seem to be optional. It sounds like a command to me.

    God wants you to settle down. 

    Here’s how this can happen. And I understand that sometimes busyness isn’t a choice. What I’m talking about is elective time … those moments when you choose to be still. And I won’t launch into a rant about time management, that you make time for what’s important, that everyone has 24 hours, your life isn’t any more busy than anyone else’s. You know that already, and I don’t need to remind you. Time is the great leveler in life. Everyone gets the same ration.

    So, choosing to settle down. Here are five thoughts.
    1. Concentrate. This is about focus. This means when you have something that needs doing, you just do it. It’s being singleminded. It’s saying “for the next 25 minutes, I am not gonna let anything disturb my thought process.” That means no outside influences. And you may be thinking, “dude, I have toddlers.” I just bet that at some point they sleep. Or that you can get up before they do. This also means no multitasking. I don’t know who in the heck put that idea into our heads that we need to juggle a bunch of things at once. It doesn’t work. Concentrate on the task at hand. Focus, focus, focus. 
    2. Meditate. This is all about spiritual focus. Jesus time, if you will. It, for instance, means grabbing a Bible passage, soaking in it, seeing God in it, and giving yourself time for it to take root. I personally don’t think you can achieve a true godly meditative state in five minutes, but it’s better than nothing.
    3. Think. Gosh, y’all, this is so self-evident. How many times have we wounded ourselves because we did or said something without thinking? We were created to be emotional creatures, and that’s fine. But, so help me, believe this: while most decisions we make are ultimately rooted in how we feel, feelings are lousy when it comes to dictating choices or behavior. settle down. Think. Then act.
    4. Consider and pursue. This is Thinking, Part 2. Weigh options. Be open to counsel. Seek to have the mind of Christ. settle down, make the choice, and go for it, as in pursue the outcome. I can be indecisive with the best of ‘em, and I am prone to second guess, but ultimately, it’s putting your hand to the plow and not looking back.
    5. Lie down in green pastures. I love that imagery from Psalm 23. Lie down. That’s taking “settle down” to the next level. I like to think of myself flat on my back, under the shade of the canopy of a tree, and yet still being able to see white clouds and blue skies. Just be still. Shhhh. Don’t disturb me. God may have something He wants me to hear, and I can’t hear if there’s a lot of racket going on.

    Isaiah knew a little about this … check out Isaiah 30:15:

    This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

    “In repentance and rest is your salvation,

        in quietness and trust is your strength,

        but you would have none of it.”

    I don’t know why we would “have none of it.” Maybe we’re afraid of repentance, rest, quiet, and trust. I need to think about that a little more.

    All this means is that there is an absolute necessity of rest. Relax. settle down. Through this you gain strength, your mind is clearer, and you can face all of life’s crazy challenges supernaturally ready.

    This: you just have to take time to think through what you’re facing in your life without overthinking. You can’t just go blasting through situations forlornly hoping things will improve. You have to be refreshed by God’s mercy, goodness, grace, and faithfulness – and you can’t do that if you’re running around. You have to settle down.

    When you settle down, know that you will receive encouragement. You’ll be sweetly refreshed. You’ll be able to care for those you love without depleting your own reserves. God calls you to be still and know Him.

    That’s your plan.

    Talk later!

     

     

     

     

     

  • What I Learned In A Month-Long Social Media Fast: A Year Of Letting Go
    25 May 2022

    At the start of 2022 I, like many others, took a look at the year ahead and tried to narrow my focus on setting a specific intention. I wasn’t worried about what I had achieved or what I had yet to accomplish but rather the direction I wanted to go.

    For me, I wanted this year to be all about breaking away from what was hindering me and breaking through to new levels of my personal and professional life. Simply put, I wanted to get unstuck and since breakthroughs don’t just “happen” to most of us, I knew I needed to take action.

    So, to support this shift towards something new, I decided to let go and fast from something different each month in order to interrupt my daily patterns and reveal anything that might be holding me back.

    I wanted to turn off auto-pilot, be more aware of my motivations and my hope was that by removing something I was leaning on too heavily, I would get a new perspective on changes I could implement in key areas of my life.

    To be clear, the purpose behind each month’s fast was not to deprive myself or to make some big sacrifice to force a desired result.

    It wasn’t a new diet or publicity stunt to gain a few followers. Rather, it was to make simple changes that would lead to a bigger impact on my overall health and well-being.

    In a world where hustle culture screams we take massive action, I knew there had to be a way to make change a gentle and healing process – and that’s exactly what happened.

    The Social Media Fast

    Even though I didn’t consider myself much of a scroller, I knew social media would pop up at some point during this year of letting go.

    But if it really wasn’t a struggle, then why was I hesitating when it came time to hit “delete?”

    While I don’t often connect social media to my identity as a person, I DO use it heavily to support my business.

    I took some time to do some soul searching and I realized that I was nervous about stepping away out of fear of missing out on some unknown potential client.

    Now, I am NOT about to live and work out of fear, so I knew I had to let go right away.

    Honestly, I wasn’t expecting anything profound after I hit submit on my “BRB IG” post letting my community know I was off for the month and how to reach me.

    Maybe I would get a bit more time here and there but after all, since I felt “nobody” was seeing my posts thanks to Mr. Algorithm (I call him Al for short), I assumed this social media fast probably wouldn’t make a difference in the end.

    Oh, how wrong I was!

    Here are a few things I learned when I took a month long social media break Being more present wasn’t an immediate reaction

    Admittedly, I wasn’t instantly more present when deleting my social apps. It took a few days to detox but when I did, it was wonderful. I was able to breathe deeper, get a little more rest in between tasks and be more present in all the ways.

    My eyes opened more toward what could be coming my way rather than opportunities I might have missed with a well-timed post or story.

    Getting out of the habit of reaching for my phone – even to snap a picture for a later post – allowed me to really see what was in front of me and enjoy the fullness of the moment.

    Social media isn’t the only avenue for growth in business

    I started the month afraid of missing out on business connections but during my online absence, I celebrated booking my biggest client to date, I created a new program that brings me JOY to offer my community and I brought on a new team member to get the support I needed for the rapid growth.

    Because my hands weren’t gripped so tight on what I thought should be the next step, I was ready to receive unexpected opportunities with open arms.

    More people see your posts than you think

    When I posted about my hiatus, friends and family quickly reached out to make sure I was ok.

    Was I being bullied? Was I burnt out or drowning in comparison? I was happy to report this was simply a release rather than a cry for help.

    My intention with taking a break wasn’t a test to see how many people truly cared but it became evident that our virtual communities do keep us in the circles with our favorite people.

    A social media fast wasn’t life-altering but it was great

    Hitting pause on my social media accounts didn’t feel like the huge weight lift I anticipated. You’ve likely seen examples of influencers taking social media breaks and or leaving altogether and if you’re like me, it seemed to result in an all-or-nothing approach.

    And if you are also someone who participates on social platforms to build community, create content and grow or be present for your business, you know it can feel like a job at times.

    I incorrectly assumed that stepping away would leave a gaping hole in my day.

    What I realized was that I had been trying to shove it into pockets of time meant for other tasks so I felt like I was on it all day long.

    By removing this task from my stack of multi-tasking, I was able to concentrate better and get other projects done more efficiently.

    True community on social media is alive and well

    I was shocked at how people continued to reach out during the month saying they noticed my absence and were used to seeing my family and me in my regular posts. When would I come back? Am I gone forever? How are my kids doing? Was I sure I was ok?

    The consistent check-ins led me to evaluate how I connect with friends on and offline and solidified my desire to return back to social media after the month ended, but this time with more intentional content.

    Have you considered or been nervous about taking time off social media?

    I encourage you to examine why that feels so scary and then do a social media fast anyway! I am thankful to come back refreshed, refocused, and realigned and you deserve to have that, too.

  • 9 Insider Tips to Have the Best Denver Experience Ever
    25 May 2022
    <p>With its snow-capped mountains in the distance and 5,000 acres worth of <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/reasons-visit-yellowstone-national-park/" >parks</a>, the "mile high city" will take your breath away on beauty alone. Dig even deeper, and <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/travel/" >you'll discover</a> a bounty of things to explore in Denver's capital.</p> <p>From seeing a show at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater to sipping through the craft beer scene and dropping by a Farmers' market of epic proportions, adding the following "must do's" to your list will ensure a wow-worthy visit to this Western city. Here are the best insider tips for making the most of a trip to Denver, and next, don't miss <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/travel/" >10 U.S. Islands to Add to Your Bucket List—No Passport Required</a>.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >1</div> <div >Rock out at the Red Rocks Amphitheater.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_297608570.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Red Rocks Amphitheater" width="500" height="332" /></p> <p>Artists from around the country and world relish the opportunity to perform at the iconic <a href="https://www.redrocksonline.com/" >Red Rocks Amphitheater</a>, an open-air music venue nestled between towering red rock formations.</p> <p>"Fans love it, too, because there's something for every music fan on the calendar each year and the setting is unparalleled," says<strong> Jennifer Osieczanek</strong> of <a href="https://www.denver.org/" >Visit Denver</a>. "In 2021, Red Rocks was the top-grossing, most-attended concert venue in the world, according to Billboard Magazine."</p> <p>If you can't squeeze in a concert, there are some <a href="https://www.redrocksonline.com/explore-red-rocks/recreation/" >hiking options</a> nearby.</p> <p> <strong>RELATED: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/newsletters/" >For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter</a>.</strong> </p> <div > <h2 > <div >2</div> <div >Mosy around the Pearl Street Farmers' Market.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/04/woman-vegetable-farmers-market.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Black woman shopping for vegetables at the farmer's market" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.southpearlstreet.com/farmers-market/" >Pearl Street Farmers' Market</a> takes place May through November every Sunday starting at South Pearl Street, and it's considered Denver's best.</p> <p>"Come for the vegetables and stay for the art, food, drink, and other wares," says <strong>Bill Werlin</strong>, co-founder of <a href="https://hearhere.com/" >HearHere</a>, an audio app that tells stories about places around the world. "Having been to farmers' markets in a variety of places, the Pearl Street market is at the top of the list."</p> <p>He says there is no way you won't leave without something, whether it's on-the-spot flame-roasted hatch chilis, freshly baked goods from Denver's top local bakeries, or good vibes from the live band playing that day.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >3</div> <div >Cozy up in a hidden speakeasy.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_1571017378.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Neon Speakeasy Sign" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Denver is a mecca when it comes to cool speakeasies, which have remained a key part of the city's history ever since prohibition. There are plenty to choose from, but you'll have to know where to look!</p> <p>"Pop into an ice cream shop to ring a doorbell on the freezer that lets you into <a href="https://www.retrogradednvr.com/about" >Retrograde</a> (one of Denver's newer speakeasies), or check out the hip <a href="https://www.denvermilkmarket.com/" >Milk Market</a> and try to find the elevator that'll take you to the Run for the Roses Speakeasy," suggests <strong><a href="https://www.denverfreewalkingtours.com/ourteam" >Jill Collins</a></strong>, founder of Denver Walking Tours and <a href="https://www.eventbrite.com/" >Eventbrite</a> creator.</p> <p><a href="https://www.greenrussell.com/" >Green Russell</a> and <a href="https://williamsandgraham.com/" >Williams & Graham</a> are other local favorites you can check out, too.</p> <p><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/best-american-cities/" >The 10 Best U.S. Cities Every Traveler Should See</a>.</strong></p> <div > <h2 > <div >4</div> <div >Perch at the city's highest rooftop bar.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/Denver-_-54thirty_Photo-Credit-Wes-Anderson.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Denver 54thirty Rooftop Bar" width="500" height="333" /><br /> Once you've had enough secretive imbibing, consider hitting one of Denver's many rooftop bars. You'll soar the highest at Le Meredien's <a href="https://www.54thirty.com/" >54Thirty,</a> a chic, open-air bar that has an outstanding seasonal cocktail program and tasty light bites. It overlooks the expansive cityscape, which sparkles at night. Great photo opps, upbeat music, amazing drinks, and yummy food—what's not to love?</p> <div > <h2 > <div >5</div> <div >Dive Into Denver's booming culinary scene.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_269465915.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Pearl Street Restaurants" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Denver's culinary scene has gained major momentum in recent years, to the point that it's become nationally recognized for its offerings. Osieczanek says that in 2020 alone, 11 Denver chefs, makers, and restaurateurs were semifinalists for the coveted James Beard Awards.</p> <p>"Dine at an innovative concept from an award-winning chef or check out the growing marketplace and food hall scene to get a broader taste of the Mile High City," Osieczanek suggests. "No matter where you choose, you're sure to be eating local, as many chefs work directly with local farmers to source the freshest ingredients."</p> <p>If you're craving something low-key where you can kick back, stop <a href="https://el-taco-de-mexico.business.site/" >El Taco de Mexico</a>, a 30-year-old taqueria that looks ordinary but is anything but. This James Beard nominee will leave your belly very happy. For a bougie splurge, try <a href="https://www.frascafoodandwine.com/" >Frasca Food and Wine</a> on Pearl Street, which features a unique Friulian cuisine and has an amazing wine program by Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >6</div> <div >Get to know RiNo.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_1705220407.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="River North Art District" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>If you pick just one of Denver's neighborhoods to explore, make it the <a href="https://rinoartdistrict.org/visit" >River North Art District</a>, known by locals as RiNo. This creative district is home to visual artists, furniture makers, outdoor gear producers, craft brewers, and more, each lending to the eclectic, creative, and entrepreneurial vibe.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >7</div> <div >Enjoy the first Friday art walks.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_1986623552.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Blue Bear Leaning on Window in Denver" width="500" height="375" /></p> <p>The Santa Fe Art District is also rich in creativity, and it takes things up a notch every <a href="https://denversartdistrict.org/first-friday" >first Friday</a> of the month. Werlin says, "Hundreds of local artists share their work in galleries, co-ops, studios, the street, alley—you name it! It's really a different way to get to know the creative side of Denver residents."</p> <p><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/best-travel-planning-hacks/" >The Best Travel-Planning Hacks You Need to Know Right Now</a>.</strong></p> <div > <h2 > <div >8</div> <div >Peep art year-round.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_1130023709.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Denver Art Museum" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Not in town during a First Friday? There's still ample opportunity to enjoy the local art scene.</p> <p>"Denverites love our art, and we love sharing it with visitors to the city. The city has invested over $40 million in 400+ pieces of public art and street art," Collins says. "The best—and most fun—ways to see it are by visiting <a href="https://tickets.meowwolf.com/denver" >Meow Wolf</a>, downloading <a href="https://www.denverfreewalkingtours.com/audio-adventures" >Denver's Public Art Unplugged Audio Adventure Tour</a>, or joining in on the fun <a href="https://www.denverfreewalkingtours.com/denvergraffititour" >Denver Street Art + Graffiti</a> experience, which also includes tasting local chocolate."</p> <p>Also, consider dropping by the 125-year-old Denver Art Museum, which features one of the earliest and most robust collections (20,000 pieces and counting), representing artistic traditions from nearly every American and Canadian tribe dating back to prehistoric times. The museum recently underwent a $150 million renovation, which is all the more reason to visit.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >9</div> <div >Sip your way through the craft beer scene.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_391005625.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="Three Craft Beer Glasses" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Denver knows beer, and with over 100 craft breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms, it outranks every other city in the United States. Plus, it also hosts <a href="https://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/" >The Great American Beer Festival</a>, which is the country's largest annual beer competition, notes Osieczanek.</p> <p><a href="https://cerebralbrewing.com/" >Cerebral Brewing</a>, the <a href="https://greatdivide.com/" >Great Divide Brewing Company</a>, and <a href="https://renegadebrewing.com/" >Renegade Brewing Company</a> are all must-visits for beer snobs. Located about an hour outside of the city, in Fort Collins, you'll find the famous <a href="https://www.odellbrewing.com/" >Odell Brewing Company</a> headquarters. (There's also a taproom in Denver if you don't have time to make the drive.)</p> <p>Whether you're heading to Denver for a weekend getaway or exploring for a longer stretch, all the above will certainly make for a trip to remember.</p> <p><strong>For more travel tips, check out</strong> <strong><a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/best-tourist-attraction-every-state/" >The Best Tourist Attraction in Every State</a>.</strong></p>

    The post 9 Insider Tips to Have the Best Denver Experience Ever appeared first on Best Life.

  • These Things Are Blocking Your Home’s Wifi Signal
    25 May 2022

    Your home wifi is your lifeline to the internet, which, by extension, is your connection to the world. With internet companies charging what they do these days, you expect your speeds to be fast and constant, in order to watch 4K streaming or play games online with friends. However, there are plenty of obstructions…

    Read more...

  • USPS Is Warning Customers About This Worsening Mail Problem
    25 May 2022
    <p>If you really think about it, we put a lot of faith in <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/usps-amazon-deliveries-news/" >the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)</a>. From sensitive documents containing private information to thousands of dollars in monthly rent checks, there are plenty of highly important things we send through the mail. Nevertheless, we count on postal workers to get these items safely <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/usps-shipping-zones-change-news/" >to their destination</a> and into the hands of the intended recipients. Unfortunately, that's not always what happens. In fact, USPS employees are warning that there is a major problem concerning the safety of your mail, and it's only getting worse. Read on to find out the latest warning from the Postal Service.</p> <p><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/usps-suspended-service-greenfield-indiana-news/" >USPS Is Getting Rid of This Service, Effective Immediately</a>.</strong></p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >The Postal Service has been battling a number of challenges lately.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_2071941110.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="parked usps mail trucks" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>The USPS has been facing myriad issues over the last few years. The agency has battled staffing shortages and financial shortcomings that have only been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. And these challenges have trickled down to customers, who have been experiencing mailing delays and increased shipping costs. The situation became so challenging that President <strong>Joe Biden</strong> signed the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/14/politics/usps-reform-act-explainer/index.html" >Postal Service Reform Act</a> on April 6, which is set to provide nearly $50 billion in relief to the USPS over the next 10 years as an attempt to help the agency get back on solid footing.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >Thousands of USPS workers have been attacked in the last few years.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/04/usps-mail-changes-2022-news.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="United States Postal Service USPS mailman wears a mask and gloves while carrying a load of parcels from a mail truck during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic." width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>But these are hardly the only struggles the Postal Service is facing. New data from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) indicates that <a href="https://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/thousands-of-postal-carriers-assaulted-or-robbed-since-2020-uspis-data/3057513/" >robberies and assaults</a> against mail carriers are on the rise, according to NBC-affiliate News 4 in Washington, D.C. Per the law enforcement arm of the Postal Service, there have been more than 2,000 robberies and assaults targeting postal carriers since 2020.</p> <p>These attacks are likely connected to mail theft, which has also spiked during the pandemic, News 4 reported. According to the Inspector General of the USPS, mail theft complaints increased by 161 percent from March 2020 to Feb. 2021. During this time, the USPIS received nearly 300,000 complaints of mail theft.</p> <p>"You don't have to rob a bank anymore. You just rob your letter carrier, gain access to a blue collection box or a relay box, and boom, you have thousands of dollars," Postal Police Officer's Association (PPOA) President <strong>Frank Albergo</strong> told the news outlet, explaining that thieves are usually in search of an arrow key. 'These arrow keys give access to collection boxes, apartment panels, relay boxes, cluster boxes. So instead of getting a few letters, they are actually getting tubs and satchels of mail."</p> <p> <strong>RELATED: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/newsletters/" >For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter</a>.</strong> </p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >But officials say they are being kept from stopping these crimes.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/postal-workers.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="A USPS Postal worker delivers mail." width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>The rise in mail theft and attacks on postal carriers isn't the full scope of the problem. The USPS postal police said the problem is worsening because they are being <a href="https://abc7chicago.com/usps-postal-police-chicago-post-office-near-me/11875867/" >sidelined while crime rises</a>, ABC 7 in Chicago, Illinois, recently reported. According to the news outlet, there used to be 2,700 Postal Police Officers (PPOs) but that number has dwindled down to just 400.</p> <p>It isn't just the reduced number of officers. Retired Postal Police Officer <strong>James Bjork</strong> told ABC 7 that protecting postal carriers on their routes used to be part of an PPO's job until a 2020 USPIS policy clarification pulled officers from the street and limited their jurisdiction to protecting postal service facilities.</p> <p>"What they've done is shift the burden to local police departments. Local police departments obviously have other things to worry about," Albergo told ABC 7, while PPOs are now "being handcuffed postal facilities," he added.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >The USPIS says there are still officers in charge of handling mail theft and carrier attacks.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_2149870099.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="usps post office" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>A USPIS spokesperson told News 4 that the jurisdiction of PPOs "has not changed," despite the clarification. According to the law enforcement branch, U.S. Postal Inspectors are responsible for overseeing criminal investigations, which include mail thefts and assaults of postal carriers.</p> <p>"The U.S. Postal Inspection Service has federal law enforcement officers, U.S. Postal Inspectors, who enforce approximately 200 federal laws that cover the misuse of the mail and attacks on the postal system, its employees, and its infrastructure," the spokesperson said.</p> <p>On the other hand, USPIS says PPOs are responsible for providing "uniformed protection for Postal Service property," which was first clarified in 2017 before being put into written communication by the inspection branch in 2020. Some say this has caused more problems than it has solved, however.</p> <p>"When they benched postal police officers, there was a rise in mail theft, and it's just been going up and up and up and up, and we're on the sidelines watching this debacle unfold," Albergo told News 4. "Put the PPOs back out on the street. Let them protect the mail. Let them protect letter carrier."</p> <p><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/usps-prices-raised-news/">USPS Just Issued This "Uncomfortable" New Warning to All Customers</a>.</strong></p>

    The post USPS Is Warning Customers About This Worsening Mail Problem appeared first on Best Life.

  • This Cooking Staple Could Disappear From Shelves, Starting June 1
    25 May 2022
    <p>Those who love to spend time in the kitchen know how crucial it is to have all of the right ingredients. In order to get that full-bodied taste or to ensure your dough will rise, you need to include everything that your cookbook lists. But with <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/walgreens-baby-formula-news/" >ongoing shortages</a>, grocery shopping has become that much more challenging, and certain products are not available for purchase at all. You may be disheartened to learn that yet another cooking staple might be harder to come by this summer. Read on to find out which product could disappear from grocery store shelves as soon as June 1.</p> <p><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/walmart-kroger-baby-formula-limits-news/">Walmart and Kroger Are Banning You From Doing This, as of Today</a>.</strong></p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >COVID-related supply chain issues won't let up.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2021/06/grocery-stores-ban-news.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="In this rear view, an unrecognizable woman stands with a shopping cart in front of a shelf full of food in the bread aisle of a grocery store." width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Supply chain disruptions are affecting all sectors of the economy, with <a href="https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/supply-chain-issues-inflation" >inflation reaching heights</a> that haven't been seen in 40 years. Products and groceries are scarce and sometimes unavailable. The ongoing shortage of <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/buying-baby-formula-online-news/" >baby formula</a>—a necessity for so many families—has left parents scrambling to find ways to feed their children.</p> <p>Several retailers were forced to put <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/walmart-cvs-restricting-baby-formula-news/" >purchasing limits</a> on formula in recent months in light of limited supplies, and Abbott Laboratories—the largest producer of baby formula in the U.S.—is working to produce more formula while also <a href="https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2022/04/former-employee-blows-whistle-on-baby-formula-production-plant-tied-to-outbreak/" >dealing with scrutiny</a> regarding its role in the shortage.</p> <p>Now, a kitchen staple could be the next item that's more difficult to find.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >Starting June 1, a key sweetener could be harder to come by.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/05/shutterstock_615908132.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="sugar in a bowl with spoon" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>If you have a sweet tooth, you'll want to prepare for one crucial item that could be missing from shelves this summer. According to a statement from the Indian government, starting June 1, <a href="https://dfpd.gov.in/LwB3AHIAaQB0AGUAcgBlAGEAZABkAGEAdABhAC8AUABvAHIAdABhAGwALwBOAGUAdwBzAC8A528_1_Letter_to_Sugar_Mills.pdf" >sugar exports</a> will be limited to 10 million metric tons during the current marketing season. As reported by Insider, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/india-limits-sugar-exports-food-protectionism-inflation-security-2022-5" >restrictions will begin</a> June 1 and continue through September, and from June 1 to Oct. 31, sellers will also have to apply for approval to export any sugar.</p> <p> <strong>RELATED: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/newsletters/" >For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter</a>.</strong> </p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >India is preserving its sugar supply for domestic use.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/media/images/ext/328491693/sugar.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="sugar health tweaks over 40" width="500" height="368" /></p> <p>The Indian government stated they would be implementing a cap "to maintain domestic availability and price stability of sugar." The concern seems to be over potential price spikes, particularly during the country's <a href="https://www.businessinsider.in/retail/news/a-third-of-indias-festive-seasons-is-over-whats-selling-and-whats-not/slidelist/87468577.cms" >festival season</a>. India is the world's largest consumer of sugar and it is vital during the festive season, which begins in August, peaks ahead of Diwali (held in October this year), and continues through December, according to Insider.</p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5">"The government is <a href="https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/india-restricts-sugar-exports-first-time-6-years-government-order-2022-05-24/" >worried about food inflation</a>, and that's why it is trying to ensure that enough sugar remains in the country to cater to the festival season," a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm told Reuters.</p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5">Sugar exports in the 2021-2022 sugar season are also reaching historical heights, the government announcement said, but India is not facing a shortfall. <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-24/india-to-limit-sugar-exports-in-new-risk-to-global-food-prices" >Domestic supplies</a> are actually "abundant," Bloomberg reported, calling the restriction "an extreme case of precaution."</p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5">According to a Nov. 2021 <a href="https://apps.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/sugar.pdf" >sugar production and trade report</a> from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), India—which is the largest producer and second-largest exporter, behind Brazil—was estimated to up production by 3 percent to 34.7 million tons this season.</p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5">As Insider notes, "Sugar is the next food you might have a hard time getting your hands on."</p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5"> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div >Other countries have put similar bans in place.</div> </h2> </div> </p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5"><img decoding="async" src="https://bestlifeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/12/wheat-field.jpg?quality=82&strip=all&w=500" alt="wheat field" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5">Similar to what we're seeing in the U.S., food prices in India were up by 8.38 percent in April, compared to the year prior. In light of this, as well as supply constraints associated with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the country also moved to <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-14/india-says-wheat-exports-prohibited-with-immediate-effect" >ban wheat exports</a> on May 13, Bloomberg reported.</p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5">India is not the only country taking these protective measures. As both Russia and Ukraine are some of the largest exporters of wheat, many other countries are actively preserving their own stores and banning exports, according to CNBC. As of May 17, Egypt, Argentina, Indonesia, and Iran were just some of the countries <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/18/countries-banning-food-exports-amid-rising-prices-inflation.html" >implementing these bans</a>, with some lasting through the end of 2023.</p> <p data-testid="paragraph-5"><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/publix-chaokoh-coconut-milk-news/" >Publix Is Pulling This Popular Product From Shelves, Effective Immediately</a>.</strong></p>

    The post This Cooking Staple Could Disappear From Shelves, Starting June 1 appeared first on Best Life.

  • A Glossary of Terms You Should Know Before Jumping Into the Gun Control Debate
    25 May 2022

    In the wake of a mass shooting, a few things are inevitable. The national conversation about potential gun control measures will heat up and gun and ammo stocks will rise as, investors say, people seek to either protect themselves or get their hands on weapons before a possible ban. The bans seem unlikely at best, of…

    Read more...

  • Five of the Most Expensive Movies Ever Made, Adjusted for Inflation
    25 May 2022
  • Unvaccinated People Will Be Barred From Here, Starting June 6
    25 May 2022
    <p>The first five months of 2022 have been a whirlwind in regards to the <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/news-states-covid-surges-may-17/" >COVID pandemic</a>. Following record high virus numbers caused by the highly transmissible Omicron variant in January, we saw coronavirus cases decline significantly throughout February and March. As numbers fell, officials across the U.S. chose to lift <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/news-vaccine-mandate-boston/" >many COVID-based restrictions</a>, including mask mandates and vaccine requirements. Several major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., ended their indoor vaccine mandates in February.</p> <p><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/fauci-eliminate-covid-warning-news/">Dr. Fauci Just Gave This New Warning to All Americans—Even the Boosted</a>.</strong></p> <p>Sadly, the pandemic isn't done with us yet. In April, COVID started rising again and they've yet to let up. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infections have increased by more than 18 percent <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html" >in the last week</a>, while hospitalizations went up by over 24 percent. Many communities across the U.S. are also experiencing medium and high levels of virus transmission again, which is largely the result of new subvariants of Omicron that spread even faster than the original Omicron, per the CDC.</p> <p>On the other hand, COVID vaccination numbers have remained mostly stagnant. According to the CDC, while many people got their initial shots, few have stayed up-to-date with boosters over time. The agency's latest data indicates that about 78 percent of people in the U.S. have gotten at least one vaccine dose, but only 66.5 percent have been fully vaccinated and of those, only 46.4 percent have received their booster. Now, as infections and hospitalizations rise once again, vaccine mandates are also popping back up.</p> <p>Long Beach, California, is the latest city gearing up to <a href="https://lbpost.com/news/long-beach-employee-vaccine-mandate-june" >impose a vaccination requirement</a> for workers, the <em>Long Beach Post</em> reported. According to the newspaper, the city manger's office announced on May 23 that it would be enforcing a mandatory COVID vaccination policy for city employees next month.</p> <p>Plans for this requirement <a href="https://www.longbeach.gov/globalassets/city-manager/media-library/documents/memos-to-the-mayor-tabbed-file-list-folders/2022/may-23--2022---city-of-long-beach-employee-mandatory-covid-19-vaccination-policy" >were first revealed</a> in Sept. 2021, when workers were informed that the City of Long Beach would be moving forward with a provision that "all new and current employees must be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to further protect public health." But negotiations between the city and various employee labor organizations have been holding up implementation of the vaccine mandate, despite health experts emphasizing its need for months, according to the <em>Long Beach Post</em>.</p> <p>"<a href="https://lbpost.com/news/long-beach-vaccine-mandate-employees-fire-police" >Citizens deserve to know</a> that if they call 911, the men and women responding to the call are vaccinated," <strong>Andrew Noymer</strong>, PhD, an epidemiologist at UC Irvine, told the newspaper back in January. "Vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus."</p> <p> <strong>RELATED: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/newsletters/" >For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter</a>.</strong> </p> <p>Starting June 6, all Long Beach city employees will be required to provide proof that they've received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, according to the new memo from <strong>Joe Ambrosini</strong>, the city's director of human resources. Those who do not wish to be vaccinated must have submitted a request for medical, religious, or personal accommodation by that same date. Employees granted personal exemption will face a number of stipulations, including weekly testing, pay cuts, and zero-tolerance mask mandates that can result in termination if not abided by.</p> <p>"Those who choose this option will need to pay for COVID-19 weekly testing and can complete the testing during City work hours," Ambrosini's memo explains. "For administrative ease, employees will be charged one flat rate and the City will deduct the cost of weekly testing from the employee's paycheck bi-weekly. The mandatory COVID-19 testing cost is $107.98 and will appear as a bi-weekly payroll deduction."</p> <p>Any Long Beach city workers not granted accommodation will need to be vaccinated this summer, and if they have chosen a two-dose COVID vaccine regimen, that second shot must be received by July 8. "The vaccination requirement will be a condition of City employment. Employees who do not meet the requirements as specified in the policy will be subject to discipline as outlined in the policy," the memo states. According to the <em>Long Beach Post</em>, this discipline includes a suspension of up to six months and the possibility for termination afterwards.</p> <p>"COVID-19 poses a serious risk to individuals who are not fully vaccinated and therefore, safety measures are necessary to reduce COVID-19 transmission," the memo from Ambrosini says. "Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent transmission and limit COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Unvaccinated employees have a higher likelihood of transmitting COVID-19 in the workplace, and to the public they serve."</p> <p><strong>READ THIS NEXT: <a href="https://bestlifeonline.com/philadelphia-city-vaccine-mandate-news/">Unvaccinated People Will Be Barred From This, Starting May 31</a>.</strong></p>

    The post Unvaccinated People Will Be Barred From Here, Starting June 6 appeared first on Best Life.

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Well-Being - Happiness

Happiness Blogs

26 May 2022

Happiness Blogs Happiness Blogs
  • If You Have Medium-To-Long Nails, You Must Try This Chic Design
    26 May 2022
    It's a modern yet classic look.
  • This Ancient Mindfulness Practice Is Proven To Promote Detoxification
    25 May 2022
    Ditch the detox drink and grab your yoga mat!
  • Bugs Don't Stand A Chance Against These 5 DIY Natural Pesticides
    25 May 2022
    Just be sure to use them sparingly.
  • Here's How Vitamin D Has Been Linked To Living A Long, Healthy Life*
    25 May 2022
    Yet another reason to get more of the sunshine vitamin.
  • Your Brain on Grief, Your Heart on Healing
    25 May 2022
    “Grief is a heart-wrenchingly painful problem for the brain to solve, and grieving necessitates learning to live in the world with the absence of someone you love deeply, who is ingrained in your understanding of the world… For the brain, your loved one is simultaneously gone and also everlasting, and you are walking through two worlds at the same time.”

    “‘Tis good — the looking back on Grief,” Emily Dickinson wrote as she calibrated love and loss. But she did not mean that it is good to ruminate and wallow — Dickinson so deftly played with the surface of meaning, so delighted in startling us into a flinch or furrow before plunging us into the deeper truths she fathomed. She meant, I think, that a love lost is grieved forever, whatever the nature of the loss — this she knew, and turned the ongoingness of it into a lifetime of art — but by looking back, we are reminded over and over that the sharp edge of grief does smooth over time, that today’s blunt ache is worlds apart from the first stabs, until grief becomes, as Abraham Lincoln wrote in his stirring letter of consolation to a bereaved young woman, “a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before.”

    Art by Sophie Blackall for “Dirge Without Music” from The Universe in Verse.

    And besides, what does it mean to lose a love anyway? We never lose people, not really. I don’t mean this in some mystical sense — let there be no confusion about what actually happens when we die. I don’t even mean it in the poetic sense. I am speaking strictly from the point of view of the mind emerging from the dazzling materiality of the brain — that majestic cathedral of cortex and synapse shaping every thought we have and every feeling we tremble with.

    I am speaking of the paradox inside the brain:

    On the one hand, we lose people all the time — to death, to distance, to differences; from the brain’s point of view, these varieties of loss differ not by kind but only by degree, triggering the same neural circuitry, producing sorrow along a spectrum of intensity shaped by the level of closeness and the finality of the loss.

    On the other hand, no person we have loved is ever fully gone. When they die or vanish, they are physically no longer present, but their personhood permeates our synapses with memories and habits of mind, saturates an all-pervading atmosphere of feeling we don’t just carry with us all the time but live and breathe inside. Or the opposite happens, which is its own devastation — the physical body remains present, but the person we have known and loved, that safehouse of shared memories and trust, is gone — lost to mental illness, to addiction, to neurodegenerative disease.

    Art by Sophie Blackall for “Dirge Without Music” from The Universe in Verse.

    In both cases, the brain is tasked with the slow, painful work of reconstituting its map of the world, so that the world makes sense again without the beloved person in it. Mapping, in fact, is not a mere metaphor but what is actually going on in the brain, since our orientation in spacetime and our autonoeic consciousness — the capacity for mental self-representation — share a cortical region.

    Where the missed and missing person goes on the map, how the remapping actually unfolds, and what it takes to redraw the map in such a way that the world feels whole again are the questions coursing through The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn from Love and Loss (public library) by neuroscientist Mary-Frances O’Connor — a pioneer in fMRI research since the technology first became available, who has devoted a quarter century to studying the particular neurophysiology of grief. She writes:

    The brain devotes lots of effort to mapping where our loved ones are while they are alive, so that we can find them when we need them. And the brain often prefers habits and predictions over new information. But it struggles to learn new information that cannot be ignored, like the absence of our loved one.

    […]

    Grief is a heart-wrenchingly painful problem for the brain to solve, and grieving necessitates learning to live in the world with the absence of someone you love deeply, who is ingrained in your understanding of the world. This means that for the brain, your loved one is simultaneously gone and also everlasting, and you are walking through two worlds at the same time. You are navigating your life despite the fact that they have been stolen from you, a premise that makes no sense, and that is both confusing and upsetting.

    Making an important distinction between grief (“the intense emotion that crashes over you like a wave, completely overwhelming, unable to be ignored”) and grieving (an ongoing process punctuated by recurring moments of grief but stringing the moments into a larger trajectory), O’Connor adds:

    Grieving requires the difficult task of throwing out the map we have used to navigate our lives together and transforming our relationship with this person who has died. Grieving, or learning to live a meaningful life without our loved one, is ultimately a type of learning. Because learning is something we do our whole lives, seeing grieving as a type of learning may make it feel more familiar and understandable and give us the patience to allow this remarkable process to unfold.

    […]

    Grief never ends, and it is a natural response to loss. You will experience pangs of grief over this specific person forever. You will have discrete moments that overwhelm you, even years after the death when you have restored your life to a meaningful, fulfilling experience. But… even if the feeling of grief is the same, your relationship to the feeling changes. Feeling grief years after your loss may make you doubt whether you have really adapted. If you think of the emotion and the process of adaptation as two different things, however, then it isn’t a problem that you experience grief even when you have been grieving for a long time.

    Discus chronologicus — a German depiction of time from the early 1720s, included in Cartographies of Time. (Available as a print and as a wall clock.)

    Although volumes have been written about the psychology, philosophy, and poetics of grief — none more piercing than the Joan Didion classic, none more practical than Seneca’s advice to his bereaved mother — there is something singularly revealing about exploring grief from the point of view of the brain beneath the mind, which must begin at the developmental beginning. Childhood — the brain’s most fertile growth period, when most of its major infrastructure is laid out — is also our training ground for loss. Every time we are separated from our primary caregivers, we experience scale-models of loss; every time they return, we learn that the loss of their presence is not a loss of their person, of their love. (A pause worth taking: every abandonment is a miniature of grief.)

    In those formative attachments, we also learn the role we ourselves play in the relationship. Because, in building its relational world-map, the brain is constantly computing our loved ones’ position in three dimensions — time, space, and closeness, also known as psychological distance — we learn the causal link between our behavior and a caregiver’s position in the closeness dimension, just like we learn the causal link between our bodily movements and our position in space. When there is secure attachment, the child learns that throughout various surface disruptions, situational factors, and passing emotional weather patterns, there is a steadfast underlying closeness. O’Connor writes:

    Closeness is partially under our control, and we learn how to maintain and nurture this closeness, but we also trust those who love us to maintain that closeness as well.

    The obvious — and heartbreaking — corollary is that children who grow up without secure attachment experience the pangs of miniature grief much more readily throughout life, with each departure of a loved one, however temporary, because trusting a continuity of closeness does not come naturally to us. But no matter the formative experience of closeness, human beings are universally undone by the death of someone close — the final abandonment, at once the most abstract and the most absolute absence, in which our brains simply cannot compute the total removal of a person so proximate and important from the fabric of psychological spacetime.

    Vanish by Maria Popova. (Available as a print.)

    Citing the disoriented devastation of a woman ghosted by a lover, O’Connor notes that “ghosting” is the neurologically appropriate word-choice for such abandonments — studied under fMRI, the brain of a person who has lost a loved one to “ghosting” behaves much the same way as the brain of a person who has lost a loved one to death, the mental map suddenly crumbled and torn to pieces. O’Connor describes the strange yet strangely sensical way in which the brain copes with this incomprehensible disruption of reality:

    If your brain cannot comprehend that something as abstract as death has happened, it cannot understand where the deceased is in space and time, or why they are not here, now, and close. From your brain’s perspective, ghosting is exactly what happens when a loved one dies. As far as the brain is concerned, they have not died. The loved one has, with no explanation, stopped returning our calls — stopped communicating with us altogether. How could someone who loves us do that? They have become distant, or unbelievably mean, and that is infuriating. Your brain doesn’t understand why; it doesn’t understand that dimensions can simply disappear. If they don’t feel close, then they just feel distant, and you want to fix it rather than believe they are permanently gone. This (mis)belief leads to an intense upwelling of emotions.

    […]

    If a person we love is missing, then our brain assumes they are far away and will be found later. The idea that the person is simply no longer in this dimensional world, that there are no here, now, and close dimensions, is not logical.

    Drawing on brain imaging studies, she adds:

    The ephemeral sense of closeness with our loved ones exists in the physical, tangible hardware of our brain.

    The particular bit of hardware is the brain’s posterior cingulate cortex — our built-in GPS of love. Scanning the environment and processing innumerable bits of sensory information, the PCC is constantly calibrating and recalibrating the psychological distance between us and the people we love, tightening the bond the closer we feel and loosening it when we sense distancing. Death turns the GPS into a crude compass trying to orient to an all-pervading, ever-shifting magnetic field suddenly bereft of its true north. O’Connor writes:

    After the death of a loved one, the incoming messages seem scrambled for a while. At times, closeness with our deceased loved one feels incredibly visceral, as though they are present in the room, here and now. At other times, the string seems to have fallen off the board — not shorter or longer than it was before, but simply stolen from us entirely.

    Liminal Worlds by Maria Popova. (Available as a print.)

    This confusion is so fundamental and so primal, so beyond the reach of reason, that it befalls minds indiscriminately along the spectrum of intelligence and self-awareness — a reality most clearly and devastatingly evinced in the extraordinary love letter Richard Feynman wrote to his wife 488 days after her death and 6,994 days before he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

    But O’Connor notes that while Western physicians long believed such continuing bonds across the life-death divide to be a symptom of poor coping with grief that makes for poorer bonds with the living, recent research drawing on various grief rituals and customs from cultures around the world has demonstrated that such ongoing inner dialogue with the dead might actually enrich our relationships with the living and allow us to show up for them in a fuller, more openhearted way. She writes:

    Our understanding of ourselves changes as we gain wisdom through experience. Our relationships with our living loved ones can grow more compassionate and resonant with gratitude as we age. We can also allow our interactions with our beloved ones who are gone to grow and change, even if only in our minds. This transformation of our relationship with them can affect our capacity to live fully in the present, and to create aspirations for a meaningful future. It can also help us to feel more connected to them, to the best parts of them… Their absence from our physical world does not make our relationship to them any less valuable.

    […]

    Instead of imagining an alternate what if reality, we must learn to be connected to them with our feet planted firmly in the present moment. This transformed relationship is dynamic, ever-changing, in the way that any loving relationship is ever-changing across months and years. Our relationship with our deceased loved one must reflect who we are now, with the experience, and perhaps even the wisdom, we have gained through grieving. We must learn to restore a meaningful life.

    The greatest challenge, of course, is the perennial challenge of the human mind — how to integrate seemingly contradictory needs or ideas in such a way that they coexist harmoniously, perhaps even magnify each other, rather than cancel each other out. Without such integration, any new relationship can feel like a threat to this ongoing inner bond with the dead, undamming a flood of grief at the notion of emotional erasure: grief for the grief itself, for that outstretched hand holding on to the gone and to ourselves at the same time, to the map as it used to be. This is a fear so understandable as to cusp on the universal. It is also — and this might be the most assuring part of O’Connor’s research — a neurophysiologically misplaced fear. Within the brain, every person we love leaves a tangible, structural imprint, encoded in synapses that can never be vanquished or replaced by new and different love. Because that bond — like every bond, like every idea, like the universe itself — was “only ever conjured up in the mind,” it is there too that it always lives, unassailable by other minds and other events.

    Art by Sophie Blackall for “Dirge Without Music” from The Universe in Verse.

    O’Connor writes:

    Gaining a new relationship is simply not going to fill the hole that exists. Here is the key — the point of new roles and new relationships is not to fill the hole. Expecting that they will can only lead to disappointment.

    The point is that if we are living in the present, we need to..

  • Travels With Kathy & Thom Part Three
    25 May 2022

    After a great visit in Granada, Spain we rented a car and headed into the countryside.  Our destination was a small town named Ronda which is considered one of the “white villages” of Andalucia, Spain.  It is a lovely little town. (little compared to the other cities we visited) and a welcome relief from the […]

    You're reading Travels With Kathy & Thom Part Three an article written by Kathy Gottberg and posted on: SMART Living 365.

  • 10 Tips For Dating A Single Parent
    25 May 2022

    “When you date someone, you’re dating their entire family, too.”

    Dating a single parent can bring a whole new meaning to this commonly-used sentiment.

    When children are involved, they understandably have many feelings about their parents dating and bringing a new significant other into their lives. These feelings should be treated with respect and sensitivity, while still moving the family unit forward into a wise and beneficial expanded family unit one day.

    If you do not have children yourself and are open to dating people who already have children, you will feel prepared and reassured after reading these tips below.

    10 Tips For Dating A Single Parent 1. The Entire Family Will Be a Part of Your Relationship

    The most important aspect of dating a single parent is realizing that their family will play a large role in their relationships. Most single parents take dating seriously, as introducing someone to their child(ren) or perhaps even their ex is an important step in knowing if everyone is ready for that kind of commitment.

    Your potential partner has to consider the well-being of many different people involved: their own, their children, and the other parent’s feelings in the equation. When the well-being of many different people is involved, it can sometimes feel like a juggling act as each person will process the change differently at any given time.

    Don’t take it personally if someone is not immediately receptive to you, and allow yourself to be patient with yourself and them as everyone works through their feelings. If you and your potential partner are right for each other, everything will work out as you each approach the relationship with wisdom, grace, and curiosity.

    2. Understand That You Won’t Be Their Top Priority Yet

    If you do not have any children yourself, dating a single parent may be a little out of your comfort zone, especially if you’re not used to being around kids. When you become a parent, you commit to a lifetime of taking care of your child, ensuring their needs are met, and becoming fully invested in their development.

    For parents, their children’s well-being and happiness are tremendous priorities, more than the priority of your relationship early on when you’re dating, and always a large priority after marriage, in which your union is supportive for the household and the children.

    For some, not being the top priority at first will be a difficult reality to face. However, if you’re serious about who you’re dating, embrace this season as a unique opportunity to have a glimpse into how they are as a parent.

    3. Be Understanding of Their Busy and Unpredictable Schedule

    Ask any parent and they will tell you their schedule revolves around their kids. There are extracurricular sports, music lessons, school pick-up and drop-offs, playdates, appointments, and unpredictable circumstances that can sometimes come up, such as illnesses or injuries.

    Bearing all this in mind, be understanding if plans fall through at the last minute or if your partner doesn’t have a free evening for a couple of weeks.

    Think creatively together to find ways to connect with your significant other when schedules seem to be a bit hectic. You can:

    • Plan a date that involves the children if you’ve already met them. Activities like bowling or mini-golf provide a fun way for all of you to enjoy spending time together.
    • Offer to bring dinner over to your partner’s house. Eat dinner together, and then watch a movie alone after the kids go to bed.
    • Pay for a sitter so the two of you can enjoy a quiet evening together. Sometimes, the added expense of a sitter can be a financial burden for single parents, especially if they are starting to navigate the waters as a single-income household, so this kind gesture will show your partner that you are empathetic and thoughtful.
    4. Communicate About a Comfortable Timeline to Involve Kids

    Single parents will want to be very comfortable and secure in their relationship before they decide to involve their children. Parents need to consider their feelings and make sure they’re ready to introduce someone new into their child(ren)’s orbit.

    When you start seriously dating a single parent, be very open and communicative with them about your intentions and listen to their expectations. Remember to be patient, as this may take many months of dating, especially if this is the first relationship your partner has had since they have been a single parent.

    Going slowly doesn’t mean your significant other has doubts about you. If they take a longer amount of time to introduce you to their kids, they are simply making sure their children are ready for this important step.

    5. Don’t Take Things Too Personally

    Children of any age and demeanor may feel a bit apprehensive about their parent moving on from their other parent, as this may be a concrete sign that their parents won’t be getting back together or may reinforce the loss the child has experienced if the other parent has passed.

    According to FamilyLife,[1]

    “…children commonly feel some insecurity by mom or dad’s relationship with another person. Wise singles recognize this important dynamic and don’t assume that becoming a couple necessarily means that they can become a family. They attend to both and take time assessing how the potential stepfamily relationships are developing.”

    When you do meet the child(ren), understand that they may not offer the warmest welcome right away. Their parent moving on can understandably be an emotional topic, and seeing their parent with someone else for the first time can feel a bit confusing.

    Allow some time and patience for each child to come around. Your ability to let each child process their emotions at their own pace is a gift that is truly beautiful and supportive.

    6. Consider the Other Parent in the Situation

    Oftentimes, when a parent begins navigating the dating scene after divorce, their timelines don’t always align. One parent may have been on many dates or have a consistent relationship while the other wasn’t quite ready to date.

    When you date a single parent, consider the other parent’s feelings. Understand that there may be some adjustments and conversations to be had. The ex may be experiencing a bit of jealousy and be a little standoffish when you meet them, which is understandable.

    Approach the situation with compassion and understanding that no matter the circumstances, you’ll be there for your partner as the two of you decide whether this is a true fit.

    7. Be Patient in Building the Relationship

    Any relationship takes time to grow and patience to nurture to its fullest potential. When you begin dating a single parent, however, you may find that building the relationship takes a bit longer than prior relationships you’ve been in.

    Be patient and know that single parents need to think of their child(ren) first. When you don’t try to rush into a relationship or meet the kids right away, your partner will see that you are considerate about this potentially sensitive area in their life and family relationships

    8. Let The Child(ren) Come to You

    When you do finally meet the kids for the first time, be sure to tread lightly, as this will be a significant moment for everyone involved.

    In an article for the L.A. Times, Lauri Mattenson discusses the best advice she’s ever received from her friend when meeting her boyfriend’s children for the first time after dating for six months:[2]

    “I know it’s against your nature,” she said, “but when it comes to his kids, be a cat, not a dog. You’re going to want to hug them and bond with them, but it’ll be better if you relax and hang back. Wait for them to come to you.”

    Children navigate relationships and respond to change in different ways. Know that just because they may not come across as warm and welcoming the first few times around does not mean that they never will be.

    9. Don’t Try and Be the Parent

    After you’ve met the kids and have begun spending more time with them, resist the urge to step into a parental role prematurely. Parenting someone else’s children is a step that should be taken only once a marriage is in the foreseeable future and not while dating.

    For now, leave the parenting to the parents, and bring up any concerns you have with your partner so that they can address the situation directly. As the topic of marriage approaches, you can have conversations together about how your role will fit into the already existing family dynamic.

    10. Focus Beyond the Relationship With Your Partner

    Once you’ve been dating your partner for a while and have met the kids and possibly even the ex, now you can start nurturing relationships with the important people in their lives.

    As you begin to spend more time with the kids and others in their lives, you’ll feel more comfortable around them, as they will with you. Be sure to form relationships with your partner’s family as they could become your family one day.

    Final Thoughts

    Now that you know these helpful tips for dating a single parent, you can approach all relationships with grace and patience.

    Building strong connections takes time, and at every point, you can enjoy the process of developing what could blossom into a very positive relationship tapestry in your life!

    Featured photo credit: Guillaume de Germai via unsplash.com

    Reference

    The post 10 Tips For Dating A Single Parent appeared first on Lifehack.

  • 6 Healthy Snacks To Eat At Night When Hunger Strikes
    25 May 2022

    As much as we’d like to sleep early and follow a good routine, there are times when we catch ourselves craving something way past our dinner time.

    Since you’re here, it’s safe to say that you lost the battle and are in need of help. I am sure we all know that eating late at night has its repercussions on health and weight. So, what do you do when you’re super hungry and can no longer take it?

    The answer is to find healthy snacks to eat at night. It’s important to choose a healthy snack because research shows that poor food choices are usually made at night, which leads to the overconsumption of calories.[1]

    6 Healthy Snacks to Eat at Night With Little Guilt

    Here are several snack ideas to help curb hunger.

    1. Popcorn

    Who said popcorn was only for the movies? Popcorn can be a delicious and healthy snack that can satisfy your cravings if done the right way. It is packed with whole grains and fiber, which can be beneficial for certain health problems.[2]

    Popcorn is a great snack to eat at night since it does not have a dense caloric value yet has high satiety and can be easily modified to be healthier. The trick behind making healthier popcorn is to make it from scratch using the air popping method or over the stove with minimal oil.

    The best part about making your own popcorn is that you can make it whatever way you want while controlling exactly what goes in and how much of each seasoning you add. Why not make it fun and try out different popcorn recipes and modify them to your liking.

    2. Whole Fruits or Fruit Smoothies

    If you’re the type of person who craves sugary foods, then this is the perfect healthy snack to eat at night. This snack is simple, delicious, and nutritious. Not only do you get a bunch of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, but you also get to experience the natural sweetness of fruits.

    At night, it is best suggested to avoid sugary foods to avoid the sugar rush. In the American diet, it was found that sugar-sweetened beverages were the primary source of added sugar.[3] Rather than grabbing a sweet beverage, try reaching for whole fruits or make your own smoothie bowls.

    There are low-sugar fruits out there packed with vitamins and fiber. Fruits such as strawberries, peaches, and honeydew melon are known to have lower contents of sugar compared to bananas and mangoes making them great healthy snacks to eat at night. [4]

    3. Rice Cake Snacks (Or as a Base)

    Looking for something crunchy and light? Rice snacks are perfect for those looking for delicious texture snacks. You can eat it on its own or as a base for your favorite topping or nut butter.

    Rice snacks are puffed and expanded grains that are molded into mini cakes. They are crispy and have a neutral taste, which makes them perfect for any savory or sweet snack. The best part is that they are low in calories and can pair with so many things.

    Rice cake snacks can be made at home and are pretty simple to do. However, if you’re not into the drying process, there are always other options.

    If you’re looking for a quicker way to access them, I’d recommend the Quaker rice cakes. Quaker rice cakes come in many flavors and are generally low in calories. Depending on the flavor you choose, there are slight variations in nutrition.

    Despite how great rice cakes are, it’s fair to warn you that rice cakes are not nutrient-filled and can generally fall into the empty-calorie category. That’s why it’s important to be creative about the kind of toppings that you use.[5]

    4. Air Fried or Dehydrated Vegetables

    More often than not, a bag of chips is on the top of the list of the most loved snacks to eat at night. The crispy and savory aspects of chips are mouth-watering and satisfying to eat. Although they are some of the best-tasting snacks, they can fail miserably, nutrition-wise.

    Chips are deemed unhealthy due to the sodium and fat that are added.[6] They are often deep-fried and contain a lot of calories.

    The problem with eating late at night can be attributed to the fact that most people tend to overeat and choose foods that are high in calories.[7]

    With that being said, trying air-fried or dehydrated veggies chips can be a great healthy snack to eat at night. Air-fried or dehydrated vegetable chips contain very little or no oil at all. This is a perfect way to make your chips a bit healthier. You also have total control over the salt and seasonings that are added.

    Remember that even though these are alternative options to the wide variety of “junk food” out there, this still contains calories. Remember that the goal is to make sure that you are not overeating at night.[8]

    5. Boiled Eggs

    Boiled eggs are one of the simplest and most nutritious snacks that you can easily whip up at night. Not only are they satiating, but they also have numerous health benefits.

    Eggs are a moderate-calorie source, rich in vitamins and minerals, and the lowest costing animal source for proteins.[9] You will feel guilt-free knowing that you’re eating a nutritious snack at night.

    Eggs are known to contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that support your health. By simply consuming an egg yolk, you’ll be getting all the vitamins except for vitamin C. You can get a highly concentrated protein content from the egg whites and the egg yolk.[10]

    The best part is that eggs are widely accessible and are easy to prepare. You can enjoy your eggs simply boiled and peeled, or you can add a bit of salt or any seasoning you prefer if that is too plain for you.

    6. Nuts

    Another great snack to have in your cupboard is nuts. Snacking on a handful of nuts can help curb the late-night cravings and even give you the extra pick-me-up throughout the day. Not only are they crunchy and tasty, but are also packed with fiber, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and other substances that are great for your heart. [11]

    Be aware that some store-bought nuts contain high levels of sodium and can be overly seasoned. If you’re looking for a healthy late-night snack, chances are that you’re looking to head to bed shortly after.

    Opt for nuts like almonds and pistachios that have high levels of melatonin and antioxidants. [12]. Like the other listed late-night snacks, it’s about portion control and keeping tabs on what and how much goes in your body.

    Try it Out

    If you really can’t help yourself and need to satisfy that late-night hunger pang, try these healthy snacks to eat at night. Remember, the key is to make good choices because we all tend to choose high-calorie snacks that can lead to overeating.

    There are plenty of other foods that are best to eat at night, which you can add to your list so that you have a wider variety catered to your needs. See what works for you and what can satisfy your cravings without short-changing your nutrition.

    Featured photo credit: nrd via unsplash.com

    Reference
    [1] ^ BMC Public Health: Association of night eating habits with metabolic syndrome and its components: a longitudinal study
    [2] ^ American Heart Association: Popcorn as a snack: Healthy hit or dietary horror show?
    [3] ^ National Library of Medicine: Short and sweet: Associations between self-reported sleep duration and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among adults in the United States
    [4] ^ MedicalNewsToday: Eight low-sugar fruits
    [5] ^ EatingWell: Are Rice Cakes a Healthy Snack? Here’s What a Dietitian Says
    [6] ^ American Heart Association: Unhealthy Foods
    [7] ^ Wiley Online Library: Role of Sleep Timing in Caloric Intake and BMI
    [8] ^ Intermountain Health Care: Will eating at night cause me to gain weight?
    [9] ^ National Library of Medicine: The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health
    [10] ^ National Library of Medicine: The Golden Egg: Nutritional Value, Bioactivities, and Emerging Benefits for Human Health
    [11] ^ Mayo Clinic: Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
    [12] ^ Nourish by WebMD: Foods High in Melatonin

    The post 6 Healthy Snacks To Eat At Night When Hunger Strikes appeared first on Lifehack.

  • Wat onthult jouw maanteken over je liefdesleven? Bereken het hier!
    25 May 2022

    Vragen over je liefdesleven? Het kan interessant zijn om naar je maanteken te kijken. De maan is in de astrologie namelijk verbonden met je emoties. Wat onthult jouw maanteken over je liefdesleven? Doe hier de test!

    P.S: Weet je niet wat je maanteken is? Je kunt ‘m hier berekenen.

    Het bericht Wat onthult jouw maanteken over je liefdesleven? Bereken het hier! verscheen eerst op Happinez.

  • What It Really Means If You Keep Seeing Praying Mantises Everywhere
    25 May 2022
    Their green color encourages connecting to your heart.
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