Grace in Aging

100 Birthday

This picture was taken at the 100th birthday party of my godmother. She lived to be 102 years old. Throughout her life she was a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was a gardener, potter, and artist. She practiced Tai Chi. She had a sense of humor and was generous. She shared her joy in life with everyone who knew her. She leaves a legacy of beauty and grace.

Living over a hundred years is no small feat. It is amazing and it is especially profound when a person can continue to share wisdom, humor, wit, and insight. There are some who reach such an age with minimal medical problems and require less care than others. I suppose we can compare quality of life and suggest that the less medical conditions and less care required could reflect a higher quality of life in these later years. There are probably hundreds of ways to measure quality of life. I think, as a picture paints a thousand words, the photo in this week’s post captures a measure of quality of life that cannot be denied. read more

Walking in the Forest

Mendocino Woodlands

Some of my most peaceful moments come when I am close to nature. This is probably true for a lot of us. The question is how can we maintain that peace and calm in the day to day of our lives. It may not be practical for everyone to get out to the woods or to the beach for a nice peaceful walk on a daily basis. And yet, it is possible to take some time out of each day to promote that peace and calm in a variety of different ways.

In the biofeedback tradition, this is called relaxation training. In several ancient traditions this is called meditation or silent reflection. The current trend in mindfulness practice is rooted in these ancient traditions. Where ever we look to find a practice that will promote peace and calm is not the point. It is all about taking the time for self care on a daily basis to experience some form of deep relaxation. read more

Good News!

Zinnia

Is there a way to reconcile the barrage of negative imagery that is transmitted through our current media transmission with the knowledge that we live in a beautiful and joyous world?

I have been impressed with the volume of turmoil that has been presented in the news over the past several months. Is the world becoming more of a desolate and desperate place? Or are we only being exposed to the most negative reports with no balance? Are there events occurring that are so amazingly wondrous and inspiring, yet never make it onto the evening news? read more

Social Influence and Wellness

End of beach day by Scott Pehrson This week I decided to go back and look at a paper on the impact of social influence that I wrote for my Social Psychology class in 2005. I can’t believe it was nine years ago. The paper is just as relevant today as it was then.

The main point I discovered in the exploration of the topic was that lifestyle choices are not made in a vacuum. It is not as simple as sitting down and deciding “I will start to choose different foods” or “I will start to exercise 30 minutes a day”. If it was that simple, many more of us would have a different lifestyle than we do now. To highlight a couple of the studies that I reviewed in my paper, I would like to comment on how social influence plays a role in how we can change our wellness choices. read more