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A Crash Course in Vulnerability and Resilience

April 14, 2021

A Crash Course in Vulnerability and Resilience

After a diagnosis of bone-on-bone osteoarthritis in early January, I decide not to delay the inevitable hip replacement surgery, but to take the first available date the surgeon offered, ten days later. Since Switzerland was in lockdown, it made sense to take advantage of the pandemic, in the hope of being fully fit/recovered? by summer. I naively thought that the hospital stay and recuperation period would be restful, giving me lots of time to read and write. Although I have had surgery before, I “forgot” the harsh reality of being consumed by pain and nearly 100% dependent on others.

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Consider the lilies of the field

March 31, 2021

Consider the lilies of the field

Every spring I am amazed anew at nature’s unfolding display of color and beauty: first the snowbells peeking out, followed by crocuses and primroses bringing the first color, the magnolias sensuously opening on bare branches, then the tender green leaves in the trees, followed by the scented blooms of lilac, wisteria, and lilies of the valley. Regardless of how grey the sky may be, they share their ebullience. I know that if I don’t take the time to enjoy them, right then when they present themselves, it will be my loss. Yet again and again I realize that I am walking by, too absorbed in my thoughts to notice the abundance that surrounds me.

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Listen from Your Heart

March 17, 2021

Listen from Your Heart

Think of a time when you were listened to wholeheartedly. How did it feel? Perhaps you sensed a deep acceptance of yourself and your feelings from the other person. Perhaps you experienced the expansiveness of freedom to be yourself. For most of us, this experience is rare. Especially when we want to express difficult feelings, we are afraid of being rejected or brushed aside. As children, we may have had our feelings negated by an overwhelmed parent saying, “Stop crying” or “You shouldn’t get so upset about that.” We may also have experienced this as adults, perhaps from a defensive partner, boss or colleague. If we think back honestly, we have all been closed-hearted listeners at one time or another. Where does this inclination to block out what someone else is saying come from?

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The Life Worth Living

March 3, 2021

The Life Worth Living

Socrates warned us that the unexamined life is not worth living; the oracle at Delphi exhorted us to know ourselves. Since the dawn of consciousness, people have sought answers to life’s essential questions: What does it mean to be human? What is the purpose of my life? What is truly important to me? How can I lead a happy and fulfilling life?

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