Introducing our latest feature – the Ask the University of Life advice column! Got a question about life? CLICK HERE to submit it and we may answer it online!
This summer, people started building crazy cairns (rock piles that mark a trail) all along the bike trails in the mountain foothills above my home.
At first they would simply gather rocks and stack them tall; then as months wore on, they grew more elaborate. I started adding sticks for arms and turning them into cairn men. Sometimes others would remove the sticks or knock over the piles, but someone else would always rebuild them.
Now summer has passed, most of the leaves have dried up and dropped from the sky, and despite a long, gorgeous autumn, the snow can’t be too far away. I’ll still run the trails, but the cold won’t let me linger the way I’ve enjoyed for so many months.
Thanks to the change of seasons, every time I pass a cairn, I think about how ephemeral this world is – nothing is built to last. The only thing that will ever endure is the fleeting moment of “now,” and that truth ought to affect your perspective and priorities. Continue reading
I’ve been working on writing my next book, which will be one of the best and most important things I’ve ever created. It’s (tentatively) called Basic Intuitive Energy Healing ::: Heal Your Mind ::: A Scientific Approach to Speaking your Brains’ Languages and Turning Pain into Power and it includes over 50 simple yet highly effective healing techniques that you can use on yourself (or if you’re already a skilled energy healer, you can apply them to others for good effect).
I’ve been wanting to write it for about ten years, but the time wasn’t right until now. In hindsight, the reason is obvious – I thought I knew a lot ten years ago, and I did, but I’ve learned so much just in the past year that the book will now be far more complete and useful than it would have been then.
Once upon a time, you found yourself wandering through a deep, dark woods. You didn’t know exactly where you were headed, but hurried along the path just the same, hoping to escape the unpleasant shadows and the too-cool breeze that made you wrap your arms tightly around yourself and shiver.
Out from the darkness came distant, unpleasant voices in faint, scarcely-audible whispers. “You’re not good enough,” they said, “why even try? You’re a fool if you think you’ll ever be happy again!”
“Nobody loves you,” others murmured. “You’re all alone. You’ll always be alone.”
You pretended to ignore the voices as you hurried along, but deep inside, you knew they were right. Continue reading
I recently came across this inspiring letter written by a new teacher and she gave me permission to share it here:
So, I’m a brand-new 7th grade English teacher. I work in a school where something like 80% of the kids live below the poverty line. Many of them have families who are barely making it. Many of them wear the same clothes to school multiple days in a row. For many of them, school lunch is the only meal they will eat that day. Many of their parents struggle with drugs, alcoholism, or are incarcerated.
And here I am, some 25-year-old white girl who saw Freedom Writers and wanted to make a difference. Want to know a secret? Some days, I feel like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Continue reading
I just got home from a long trip, flying one way across the country then driving back (to help my sister move from Florida to Idaho <- there’s me driving the moving truck into Provo Canyon), and one of the best things about the trip was talking to strangers.
There were casual chats with stewardesses, asking directions to the beach (when my ride from the airport was a few hours late), sunbathers who agreed to watch my bag while I wandered through the surf, a kite surfer who offered to let me use his other kite (unfortunately, my ride was arriving in a few minutes so I couldn’t accept), other travelers in truck stops and restaurants, one of whom borrowed my phone since she forgot hers at her daughter’s who she had been visiting in St Louis, and so on. They usually seemed surprised and pleased to enjoy a brief conversation with someone they had never met and will never see again.
I know, I know, your mom taught you not to talk to strangers; but you were a child then. Now you’re an adult and talking to strangers is usually safe (so this advice may not apply to my niece and nephews, though everyone they talked to along the way smiled especially big). It also brings our world a bit closer together – and that’s a good thing: studies keep showing that connection is one of the greatest sources of happiness and it’s steadily fading from our social-media-infected world. Continue reading
NPR’s All Things Considered interviewed me last week about the emotional toll on search and rescue members when searches must be called off. Listen to it here:
Toronto’s AM640 Talk Radio interviewed me about the same topic this morning and I’ll post a link to that as soon as it appears on their site.
Pluralism means THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES and opinions in our society and if we want to run a successful society, then WE NEED TO RESPECT EACH OTHER and GET ALONG.
This DOES NOT MEAN stamping out all differences! It means CELEBRATING them.
The Great Seal of the United States includes the phrase, “E Pluribus, Unum,” which means, “Out of many, one.” Are we even trying to be one anymore? Or will we eventually change our name to “The Divided States of America”? (“Amer,” means “bitter” in French, which seems appropriate to point out here.) Continue reading