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Monday, March 23, 2020

Inspired by Goodness of People in Time of Hysteria

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I’m seeing such kindness in the midst of these uncertain times—people going out of their way to show thoughtfulness to others, including strangers.  It inspires and humbles me to witness this grace in the midst of hysteria.  And don’t we need that inspiration?  That reassurance of the goodness of people?  I know when I see the masses rushing to grab the limited supply of goods, there’s an instinctual response inside me that threatens to join the mob.  Maybe they’re wiser than me.  Maybe they have inside information.  Maybe I’m not taking this serious enough. 
            And then I remember, God has not called me to act out of fear or self preservation over others.  He’s called me to love and to serve.  So, the response of self-preservation is fleeting, and I settle back into balance, assessing need v. want, sufficient v. abundant, self v. community, fear v. love.
            I would love to hear what inspires you?  Share your stories of kindness during this time of distress—they will inspire others.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Kill the ANTs! Retrain your brain

Dr. Daniel Amen (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life) suggests a big first step toward managing anxiety and depression is to kill the ANTs—Automatic Negative Thoughts. I like his easy-to-remember acronym for how distorted thinking can tank our sense of well-being.
Why try, it won’t do any good. 
Nothing ever goes right. 
I’m not good enough.
With some practice, you can reframe your thinking, which absolutely will change your attitude and bring you closer to joy.  Pick just one ANT that crawls around in your brain, and reframe it—rehearse it—make gratitude your new automatic thought, e.g.
Why try, it won’t do any good.  I will do what I can today & be grateful for the strength/progress/opportunity to practice...
Nothing ever goes right.   ‘XYZ’ went right yesterday & today I will celebrate even the small things that go right.
I’m not good enough. I am precious, important, & uniquely me. In fact, I am awesomely and wonderfully made by a loving Father.
This is just a snippet of one simple-but-powerful change you can make to bring your life in control. Dr. Amen has some great Youtube & TED talks if you want to hear more.  He makes brain functioning related to our moods understandable.  Here are some links to a few of Dr. Amen’s talks: 
·         An eleven minute talk about ANTS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksB0IXhM-Vc 
·         A nine minute talk about four ways to reduce stress & anxiety https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0IRRrNFi0c
·         A one-hour talk on more comprehensive solutions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLKj1puoWCg&t=1022s

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Historic Chilkoot Trail Pic

Just wanted to share this great picture of miners climbing the Golden Stairs on the Chilkoot Trail in 1898.  They all hoped to find the big gold strike in the Klondike but had to carry 1,000 lbs. of supplies up this mountain before the Canadian Mounties would let them cross the border.  It was an arduous trip, at best.  
    The Trail has been on my mind a lot because I just finished a couple chapters in my latest book (Untethered) that occur on the trail.  It's a beautiful three-day hike...incredible scenery...very challenging, and I have great memories of getting to hike it some 'decades' back.  If you'd like to see some gorgeous up-to-date photos, check out this blog: