Mindful Diplomacy is Coming. Will the age of outrage be followed by an age of mindfulness? Could be - if this trend picks up. UK Ministers from the House of Commons will be meditating with politicians from Israel, Sri Lanka and Sweden. Since 2013, 145 UK parliamentarians have undertaken an eight-week mindfulness course, but this group meditation with ministers from other countries is being called a "world first." Even more exciting? They'll be joined by Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who the Guardian says "has been tipped as a possible Democratic nominee for 2020." The Guardian.
Life After War. Close to 2 million children in the U.S. have a parent currently deployed in the military, and not surprisingly, many of them come back struggling. "The skills required in leading a squad of soldiers in a combat zone are a stark contrast to those needed in dealing with a child who won’t pick up his coat off the floor," says this piece. A new program, known as After Deployment: Adaptive Parenting Tools (ADAPT), is designed to help parents reintegrate and deal with challenges like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). "It's been so well-received that its methods are likely to be applied across the country for families in the National Guard and Reserves as well as for active-duty families." One participant says she that instead of yelling, she now "tries to get in a quiet place, breathe deeply for several minutes and think of something peaceful: often the ocean or something with water." Minnesota Star Tribune
Jewel, Never Broken. Singer-songwriter Jewel was out on the streets when she was just 15 and before her big breakout, she was a homeless, shoplifting kid. She says, "I literally had only my thoughts left," so she slowly turned her life around "one thought at a time." Last year, she launched her website Never Broken, which invites us to "make happiness a habit" and now she is looking for corporate partners who want to invest "in their human capital, both in the lives of their employees and their consumers" through a new business curriculum. Shoe and clothing outlet Zappos is the first to sign up. Fortune
Ok, We Get the Hint. The Onion thinks we're annoying. Or rather that meditation originated from "a single, highly annoying monk went around telling everyone how much it had changed his life." Um, are you talking to us? The Onion
Both "Meaningless" and "Shoddy." Meditation may be a 1$ billion dollar industry, but this Newsweek title says mindfulness is a "meaningless word with shoddy science behind it." (Ouch. Tell us how you really feel.) In particular, a new report supported by a multidisciplinary group of researchers notes flaws such as "using various definitions for mindfulness, not comparing results to a control group of people who did not meditate, and not using good measurements for mindfulness." While one researcher says the data is premature, he admits to having "drunk the Kool-aid" and if you're reading this, there's a good chance you have too. Newsweek
Leah Bonvissuto from Bepoken talks about how mindfulness is helping her prepare her for pregnancy:
"Tight chest. Racing thoughts. Suffocation. It was so familiar it was almost comforting.
What began as social anxiety turned into panic after I witnessed the September 11th attacks in 2001. I wouldn’t be diagnosed with PTSD until fifteen years later, but for more than a decade the symptoms of Anxiety Disorder NOS followed me around like a cloud." The Mindful Goods
"A friend of mine recently told me she had so many difficulties in her life that she felt like she was living in a nightmare and didn't know what to do. I told her to find the bus station and wait for the bus! She looked at me like I was crazy. I explained that all emotions are temporary, and we can wait for them to pass as though we were waiting for a bus. We can wait with frustration, anger or feelings of victimhood, but that won't make the bus come any faster. We could wait with patience and relaxation, but that wouldn't make the bus come faster either! We just have to have faith that it's coming." --Daniel Gottlieb, in Letters to Sam
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