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Former TV person, current college professor and media researcher. Ironman triathlete, meditation teacher and yoga instructor.
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In this era of misinformation, we’re called to question what we read and hear. This means a little more homework for us in challenging sources and questioning their motivation. It also means discerning marketing efforts disguised as truth.

For us to be responsible media consumers, this can be difficult, particularly if we don’t have a background in science or research. To be honest, much of the research writing is dizzying because it’s written in a language only understandable for those in that discipline. Even those in the discipline might even say, “Whaaaat?”

However, there are a few things you can…

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It’s not me, it’s you.

I’m grateful that you’ve kept me filled with hope. Your positive messages have illuminated my path and kept me from living a life of despair. You kept me thinking that there is something deeper and more meaningful in life.

But you kept me from acknowledging my suffering.

You taught me very confusing things. You said that I was perfect. But how can I be perfect if I’m still experiencing suffering? How can I be perfect if I still have conflicts with others? Is it that everyone else is asleep and I’m awake?

I kept feeling…

Image by Irina L from Pixabay

Several years ago an ad for a very ugly shoe struck me. The ad’s subtitle said, “For your hybrid yoga workouts.”

Huh? I thought yoga was done barefoot.

So I did a little research. The shoe company and a few yoga instructors decided to market something “new.” It was a yoga/workout hybrid, and one woman assembled a website and a series of videos on it.

It was basically aerobics with some yoga poses. Of course, they’re wearing the ugly shoes.

The marketers touted the shoes as more sanitary, and you could keep your grip better on the mat thanks to…

Image by BlueAngel16 from Pixabay

“One more time, Daddy.”

My father conceded to his little girl’s wishes, even though it was a long day at work for him. As he sat firmly in his chair, I sat on his feet and held onto his shins. He extended his legs, carrying me for a ride. This was our nightly ritual while he watched television.

“Gimme a kiss, Miss,” he said.

I climbed onto his lap and kissed him.

“Gimme a hug, Mug.”

I wrapped my little arms around his neck, and his strong, solid arms would hold me tight. Embraces like these kept me grounded. …

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I recently discovered the crowd-funded show, The Chosen. Because I devour anything related to Mary Magdalene, the first episode truly captivated me.

Then I found myself in a trap. I wondered, “Is it ok that I love this story?” I needed to have my opinions validated by others. Since no one I knew watched the series, I wasn’t sure if I was “allowed” to love it.

How often do we do this? Rather than experience something authentically for ourselves, we look for others to approve or agree with our experience. If they disagree, it can dampen the experience overall.


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The long staircase down the cliff of South Carlsbad was a descent into a deeper consciousness. Each step was a physical reminder to look within. The sand welcomed my feet at the base of the staircase, so I walked to the nearby rocks to find a place to perch.

The Pacific Ocean sang an old song of its youth. It sang of simplicity. Each crashing wave danced while the tiny marine creatures illumined the surface.

The evening breeze chilled my sensitive, sunburned skin, but it also embraced me in its knowingness. …

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Much of the complaints during the pandemic’s restrictions focused on one overused quote by Aristotle: “We are social animals.”

Of course, if you look at the Greek text from Aristotle, you’ll notice the word πολιτικός translates as “political.” So the actual quote is, “[M]an is by nature a political animal.”

However, I don’t intend to discount the valid work of social psychologists and anthropologists. We learn and grow from our interactions with one another.

If we live in big cities, we’re used to being around others. We crave social interaction. We love sharing our ideas and stories with others.


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In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb of Jesus after the Sabbath. Although her beloved teacher had been crucified two days earlier, she remained faithful beyond the grave.

When she saw that the stone was moved away from the tomb, she told Peter and John, who would notice the tomb was empty. While Peter and John returned home, Mary Magdalene stayed at the tomb.

Where else would she go? Her life had been significantly transformed, so she knew she couldn’t return “home.”

She did what many of us don’t like to do — she waited. It…

Reading spiritual texts mindfully can slow down our thoughts.

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With a barrage of noise coming at us at any moment, it’s hard to slam on the brakes from our lives and enter into a blissful state of mind. Our minds will continue to ruminate even if our bodies are still.

As a remedy, we can incorporate inspirational texts into our daily routine to redirect our thoughts. This allows us to experience connection with the many sages who have preceded us.

Christian monastics engaged in the practice of Lectio Divina, which is Latin for “divine reading,” to enter into a contemplative…

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Mary’s fear of the water was so debilitating that she considered it tortuous to bathe herself. She worked with her psychotherapist, Dr. Roger Callahan, for several months, achieving marginal success when she could sit in the shallow end of a pool. She still couldn’t look at the water without getting severe headaches and nightmares. She would also get a sick stomach at the thought of water.

Callahan had taken a course on acupuncture and learned that the meridian associated with the stomach ran underneath the eye. He wondered if tapping into that meridian would alleviate her stomach pain. …

Beth Bradford, Ph.D.

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