People

Why ‘History’ Should Be ‘Ourstory’

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This article was first published in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.

Everything we remember is story. “History” is the memory of certain special things, which we all implicitly agree are more important than others. But our culture’s history—even in this, women’s history month—is a story that’s been badly, crudely, massively abridged.

Most of our historical focus is reserved for famous men, and the growing but still disproportionately small number of women who have managed to successfully compete against men in fields we see as significant.

We’ve left out most of the story.

We’ve omitted crucial factors in the equation of feelings, interactions [...]

Adventures in Boundaryland!

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You know how sometimes you look around your house and realize that your house is full of homeless orphaned drug addicts and you’ve gone broke paying for your brother-in-law’s best friend’s new car and you’re still feeling sore from donating your kidney to someone you saw on the news? Don’t you hate it when that happens?

DON’T WORRY, I’M JOKING!!! The paragraph above is a huge exaggeration of something that really does happen to compassionate people. Sometimes, we want so much to help everyone that we drop our personal boundaries very low—so low that our efforts to care for others [...]

Why It’s Okay to Change Up Family Traditions

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This article was first published in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper

Holiday traditions have always made my heart beat a little faster—not with excitement, but with stress. Growing up as the seventh of eight children, I spent every December struggling to find gifts and make treats for everyone in the family. Things got easier when I started my own small, nuclear family. But our numbers are growing, and in recent years I’d begun to feel a touch of the old anxiety. Still, I was a bit shocked when someone suggested that we switch up our traditions by assigning each [...]

Martha Responds With ‘Lovingkindness’ to Heated Emotions

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This article was first published in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper

 

As I write this, the controversy over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh is filling the internet with such fury—from both sides—that I think my computer may explode. The situation feels like a microcosm of all public controversy in a time when technology has given individuals the power to voice their thoughts and feelings more openly, to a larger audience, than ever before. Globally, individuals have a greater power to be heard than at any other time, and because of that, light is being shone on forms of injustice [...]

This Holiday: Remember the Elur Nedlog!

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I don’t think people talk nearly enough about the Elur Nedlog. True, I never talked about it myself until it occurred to me a couple of months ago, but that is no excuse! The Elur Nedlog is the Golden Rule spelled backwards. Where the Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the Elur Nedlog says, “Don’t do unto yourself anything you wouldn’t do unto someone else.” I think the sentiment has to run both ways. That’s just math.

So especially in this season—this festive holiday fairyland strewn with its festive holiday [...]

Landing in Love: Falling into Intimacy Without Resistance

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Psychologists tell us we’re born afraid of just two things. The first is loud noises. Do you recall the second? Most people guess “abandonment” or “starvation,” but neonatal dread was simpler than that: It was the fear of falling. Today we all have a much richer array of consternations, but I’ll bet falling is still on your list. Why give up the prudent concern that brought your whole genetic line into the world clutching anything your tiny fists could grab? Fear of falling is your birthright!

Perhaps that’s why most of us, at least some of the time (and some [...]

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