Tag Archives: personal reflections

What do I say after “Hello”?

Today, a friend and I began leading an informal English conversation group for parents at a local elementary school.   Most participants spoke Japanese as their first language and most had a similar level of fluency, that is, they could … Continue reading

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Stories to create and preserve traditions

We all love a good story, but usually don’t think about the role stories play in our lives. In traditional societies, story telling helps preserve customs, pass on important knowledge and set behavioral norms.  According to the blog Architecture and … Continue reading

Posted in current events/themes, personal reflections, support and caring | Tagged | 3 Comments

Don’t lose face and don’t take off your clothes in church

“Never lose face,” was the motto a friend and I adopted years ago.  The pressure to live by such a stuffy guiding principle came after we presented a workshop on an icy winter night in a forest retreat center housed … Continue reading

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Acting as if there were no future

“…25% of our happiness depends on our ability to manage stress,” says researcher Robert Epstein.  He bases this conclusion on surveys of “3,000 participants in the U.S. and 29 other countries” and suggests we should be “fighting stress before it even starts, … Continue reading

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Your reality or mine?

Have you ever asked yourself questions like this?  How much time do I have… to get a tan, lose 10 pounds, find a partner, get pregnant, land a job, complete my novel, make a significant contribution to my community, be … Continue reading

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Boosting your brain power

There are at least three things you can do immediately to help your brain, the most remarkable organ in your body:  exercise regularly,  sleep well, and lower your stress levels.  So says John Medina, a local molecular biologist and author … Continue reading

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Two passions, two jobs

I’m intrigued by people who live double lives.  I’m not talking about secret agents or cartoon characters like Clark Kent, aka Superman.  I’m referring to people who hold challenging day jobs they love, while also following an artistic passion on … Continue reading

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Standing room only

Do you ever wonder how many people will attend your funeral or memorial service?   I thought about this over the weekend, because I attended services in two different churches, both packed with mourners.  I know the question is hardly … Continue reading

Posted in grief and loss, humor, personal reflections | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A contemporary fairy godmother

There are times in all our lives when we need a fairy godmother, not the one whose sprinkling of magic dust turned Cinderella’s pumpkin into a coach and the castle’s rodents into horses, but someone with the same rousing spirit … Continue reading

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Self-discipline, tranquility and snacking

As I celebrate one year of retirement, I’m finally able to relax.  This month, I’ve spent more time than ever sitting on the porch, watching our neighborhood hummingbirds gorge themselves inside the fuchsia blossoms, and admiring the aerobatics of the biplane … Continue reading

Posted in letting go of work, personal reflections | Tagged | 1 Comment