Emotional Wellness Archives - Hooray Living / Emotional Wellness Archives - Hooray Living

HW 007: Winter Weeps

What part does grieving play in the winters we all face?

 

What will bring us through tough times?  Listen in as Lee Ann reflects upon the power of our grief.

 

…And drop Lee Ann a line via email, sky-writing or pigeon carrier!  She’d love to hear from you…and as you’ll hear in this episode, she’s sending cards and notes to listeners who just need a bit of love, cheer and/or pick-me-up.  Nothing better than finding some love in your mail box (not your email in box!)…Just don’t forget to leave your mailing address or the address of someone you care about who needs a little surprise.  You can email Lee Ann at:  leeann@hoorayliving.com.

 

Resources/Links referenced in today’s podcast:

 

Mary Oliver — (American poet, born 1935)  The poem I read on the podcast is called, “Starlings in Winter” and can be found in her book, Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays (Beacon Press 2003). Another couple of recommendations include one of her more recent collections,  Felicity: Poems (Penquin Press 2015) and, as a devoted dog lover, her book Dog Songs: Poems (Penguin Press 2013).  I particularly enjoy the poems in Felicity because they are about love. Yes, love as the headlong rush into life each day. She grabs you by the shirt collar and points to the birds, furry four-legged creatures, the sky and the mangroves, exclaiming “look, listen and love!”  Pick up any of Ms. Oliver’s poetry and you will get a dose of nature surely capable of healing any woes.

 

Leo Tolstoy — (Russian writer, 1828-1910)  Tolstoy wrote the acclaimed novels War and Peace, Anna Karenina and The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and still ranks among the world’s top writers.  Here’s an interesting tidbit you may not know…Did you know that Leo Tolstoy’s ideas of nonviolent resistance to evil influenced Mahatma Gandhi?  Indeed!  He was deeply spiritual.

 

Fyodor Dostoevsky — (Russian writer, 1821-1881)  Dostoevsky’s great novels include,  Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot.

More quotes from this most influential author:

“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

“Love is such a priceless treasure that you can buy the whole world with it, and redeem not only your own but other people’s sins. Go, and do not be afraid.”

HW 006: Be a Groupie

“After all, what are any of us after but the conviction of belonging?”–Wallace Stegner

 

Times are such that we need people, purpose and love more than we need perfect.  Particularly in tough times…Join Lee Ann as she continues the series “Hooray in Tough Times.”  Today, it’s all about “being a groupie.”  Find out what that means for you!

 

Links, Suggestions and Resources mentioned in today’s podcast:

 

Wallace Stegner, On Teaching and Writing Fiction – Wallace Earle Stegner (February 18, 1909 – April 13, 1993) was an American novelist, short story writer, environmentalist, and historian, often called “The Dean of Western Writers”. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 and the U.S. National Book Award in 1977.

 

Denmark — the Happiest People in the World – a link to the New York Times article by Sewell Chan.

 

United Church of Christ – The United Church of Christ, or simply the UCC are progressive Christian churches offering an extravagant welcome to all people where the work of the church is to change lives, individually, systematically and globally through a democratic structure.  They believe that God is still speaking and is not fixed by outdated notions, nor thinking that excludes Science.  Instead, they embrace the whole of creation, and thus are bold in their work for social and environmental justice.

Unitarian Universalist Church – Unitarian Universalism is a theologically diverse religion that encourages people to seek their own spiritual path. UUs are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth. As such, UU congregations include many agnostics, theists, and atheists among their membership. The roots of UU are in liberal Christianity, specifically Unitarianism and Universalism. Unitarian Universalists state that from these traditions come a deep regard for intellectual freedom and inclusive love. Congregations and members seek inspiration and derive insight from all major world religions.

Episcopal Church – The Episcopal Church is a liberal, progressive Christian denomination that is diverse in its understanding of the Gospel–so you will find all manner of beliefs held by the faithful, everything from radical liberation feminist theology to the staunchly conservative flavor of theology.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – CAIR is a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group. It is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization, with regional offices nationwide. CAIR’s mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign – Shoulder-to-Shoulder is an interfaith organization dedicated to ending anti-Muslim sentiment by strengthening the voice of freedom and peace. Founded in November 2010 by over 20 national religious groups, Shoulder-to-Shoulder works not only on a national level, but offers strategies and support to local and regional efforts to address anti-Muslim sentiment and seeks to spread the word abroad.

Network for Spiritual Progressives – The Network of Spiritual Progressives welcomes secular humanists, atheists and people who are “spiritual but not religious” as well as people from every religious community who share the values of love, generosity, creativity, wonder and a commitment to respect one another. Spirituality is personal but not a private matter; it is about how we treat each other and how we live our lives.

Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) –  The RAC educates and mobilizes the Reform Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on more than 70 different issues, including economic justice, civil rights, religious liberty, Israel and more. The RAC’s advocacy work is completely non-partisan and pursues public policies that reflect the Jewish values of social justice that form the core of their mandate.

Reform Judaism – The Union for Reform Judaism leads the largest Jewish movement in North America providing vision and voice to build strong communities that, together, transform the way people connect to Judaism and change the world.

Reconstructionist Judaism – The Reconstructionist Jewish community is an egalitarian, inclusive and progressive movement founded by Rabbi Mordecai M. Kaplan, who viewed Judaism as the evolving religious civilization of the Jewish people. Each generation is responsible for guiding that evolution in order to meet the needs of contemporary Jews. Kaplan promoted democracy in the synagogue community and respect for the religious opinions of individuals.

Hindu American Foundation (HAF) – HAF is an advocacy organization for the Hindu American community. The Foundation educates the public about Hinduism, speaks out about issues affecting Hindus worldwide, and builds bridges with institutions and individuals whose work aligns with HAF’s objectives. HAF focuses on the areas of education, policy, and community building and works on a range of issues from an accurate understanding of Hinduism, civil and human rights, and addressing contemporary problems by applying Hindu philosophy. Through its advocacy efforts, HAF also seeks to cultivate leaders and empower future generations of Hindu Americans.

American Friends Service Committee (Quaker) – AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. AFSC’s work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) – SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. SURJ works to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change.

Black Lives Matter – Black Lives Matter founded by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza, is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. The people involved with BLM are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement.

Moral Mondays/Moral Revival – The Revival is co-led by the Rev. Dr. James A Forbes Jr. and the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. “The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values” is a national, multi-state tour to redefine morality in American politics. The tour includes over 50 events led by national and local faith leaders in over 20 states. The Revival is pushing forth a broad social justice agenda that centers on five key issues areas: the economic liberation of all people; access to quality education for every child; healthcare access for all; criminal justice reform; and ensuring historically marginalized communities have equal protection under the law.

Buddhism is so diverse in the U.S. and around the world, we didn’t want to publish information that we could not personally back up.  So please do your own online search for Buddhist communities.

Our list of religious/spiritual/social justice organizations is certainly not exhaustive—simply a starting point.  If you have any organizations, faith communities or other information that might be helpful to our podcast listeners, please email me at leeann@hoorayliving.com and I will do my best to share more broadly.

 

and…in case you haven’t gotten Lee Ann’s books, you can find them here:

You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations

Hooray for You: 365 Get-Up-and-Go-Go Quotes for Your Year

 


Full Disclosure Alert!  When you purchase books using Hooray Weekly’s link (to Amazon), a tiny pittance of the price comes back to support the podcast.  So thank you very much for any and all your support!

 

 

HW 003:  Finding Stillness

“Be still; stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” –Lao Tzu

 

Welcome to the 3rd episode of Hooray Weekly!  So glad that you are here!

 

Today, I discuss the importance of stillness in our busy, frenetic and fear-filled world.  If you want to find your Hooray in tough times, it is a necessary component for your days.  Listen in to the podcast for some love, encouragement and a couple of meditation/stillness techniques.  Here are two of the practices I mention in this week’s episode.

2 Easy-Breezy Practices for Stillness

  1.  Passage or Verse Meditation–The mind is a funny thing. It doesn’t like to be quiet and shushed.  So why fight it?  This type of meditation is easy.  Get comfortable in a chair or on the floor with your back erect, shoulders down  and away from your ears, eyes closed, arms relaxed with hands in your lap and take some loving belly breaths.  (I go into detail on the podcast for both these meditation practices, so I’m keeping the words simple and short here, okay?)  Next, think of a piece of Scripture or line of a poem or affirmation.  Spend the next 5 to 30 minutes letting the words of whatever you have chosen to come to you again and again in your mind without effort.  I use the line from Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.”  I actually repeat the phrase in my mind 5-10 times, then shorten the phrase to “Be still, and know that I AM…”  Again, I repeat comfortable with plenty of silence between the repetitions.  Then I shorten the phrase again, “Be still and know…”  You get the picture.  Next, “Be still…” (5-10 times with more silence).  Finally, I end with “Be…be…be…”  My mind is soft and gentle since these are words that I know by heart.  There is no forcing to focus my mind or to rid it of unwanted monkey mind.  The unwanted stuff will be there, but with less vehemence.  After moving through the passage, I take some deep breaths, smile inwardly, and come out of the stillness slowly.
  2.  Chanting the Name of God (or your dog for that matter)–This practice is similar to the one above, except that one focuses on the Name of God or a blessing.  Some examples include, Om Shanti Shanti, Heavenly Father (or Mother), Peace, Holy Spirit, Allah, Lord Jesus, Krishna, Illumined One, Great Spirit or Light.  The words are endless.  Just make sure that it is comfortable for you.

And for meditation inspiration, these are the four books I turn to regularly:

Easwaran, Eknath, God Makes the Rivers to Flow: Selections from the Sacred Literature of the World (2009).

Ladinsky, Daniel, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (2002).

Mitchell, Stephen (translation), Tao Te Ching (1988).

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S. C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute), The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments (2002).

 

The books are linked to Amazon’s bookstore.  Full Disclosure Alert!  When you purchase books using Hooray Weekly’s link, a tiny pittance of the price comes back to support the podcast.  So thank you very much for any and all your support!

 

 

 

 

 

Smile

Smile

“Smile, and the world smiles with you.”

–Lee Ann Hopkins

 

Spring has arrived!  We are outside, rubbing elbows with more folks, and hopefully, feeling a lift in our spirits as we notice the crocuses, the forsythia and the robins return.  Whether you are feeling that springtime lightness or not, I recommend listening to the track I produced a few years ago on my CD, “Can-Do Booster Shots: The Painless Pick-Me-Ups” and share it with anyone who needs a 7-minute boost to their day.

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Hugs are Us ~ Nourishment for the Soul

Hugging therapy is a powerful way of healing ~

 

Love is not afraid to feel.  In fact, Love’s favorite guise is a hug or a touch.

But we have a wee problem in our culture…

Often, we are fearful that we will appear ridiculous if we ask for a hug or worse go hug someone for no apparent reason (the key here is no APPARENT reason).  But put a puppy, kitten or baby in front of us and we will coo, touch, hug, pat and kiss those little critters like we want to eat them up.  And they are delicious!  No man, woman or child can stop themselves from such marvelous foolishness, right?

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