The Special Olympics: Joy in Celebrating Inclusion, Dignity and Respect for All

SO1At breakfast this morning, my family was reflecting on our summer.  “The highlight of summer so far,” my elder daughter, Tara (13 years old), said, “was attending the World Games for the Special Olympics.”

My family is incredibly blessed, and our summer has included concerts, Broadway shows, world travel, lots of good food, relaxation, Disneyland and many other highlights. As my younger daughter, Leela (11 years old), nodded enthusiastically, I was moved by what an extraordinary statement they were making.

We attended the Opening Ceremony of the World Games for Special Olympics last weekend. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities that provides year-round training and competition for 4.4 Million athletes in 170 countries.

A few weeks ago while in Washington D.C. with my father, I attended a private dinner with Tim Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics. Tim was passionate and articulate about the event, as well as dispelling some of the assumptions even we had about people with intellectual disabilities. Tim is truly a humble champion for people with intellectual disabilities, and the Shriver family must be applauded for taking an event that his mother, Eunice Shriver, started over 40 years ago and making it into a global social movement that it is today. As written about in this NY Times piece, Special Olympics and The Burden of Happiness, there is a long way still to go. The World Games truly felt like a Utopian world, and the stark reality for many of these people is very different and one is reminded of the need to champion human rights for all. Continue reading

How Do You Feel About Gifts? A List of Questions.

ElizabethTreadmillDeskTheFamily-150x150People often ask, “What’s the key to happiness?”

I think that question can be answered in a few different ways, depending on the framework used to approach the question.

For instance, one answer is: self-knowledge. As the Fifth Splendid Truth holds, we can build a happy life only on the foundation of our own nature, our own interests, our own values. Continue reading

The Four Things Your Subconscious Ceiling May Say About You

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By Tamara Dorris

If you want to know what self sabotage is, think Lindsay Lohan…John Belushi…Chris Brown. I actually would run out of space if I listed all the well-known celebrities, athletes, and entertainers who had the world by the…um…you know, and then threw it all away with what seemed to the rest of the world—reckless abandonment. So what’s up with that?

The truth is we all have what can be referred to as a subconscious success ceiling. This success ceiling tells each of us just how far we can go in the world. Sadly, this ceiling is based on your subconscious programming that may not always be top shelf.

Let say something really amazing happens, yay you! But then you find yourself getting an IRS audit. Or, you meet the perfect mate, but drive him off by inviting him to pick his favorite china patterns on date two. Ah, what about attracting a beautiful business opportunity but then blowing it by a seemingly unrelated event? Continue reading

Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life: Living with Intent

“What you experienced in life, those feelings of trying to please everyone and, in reality, pleasing no one and certainly not pleasing yourself, that’s something that so many of us, women in particular, experience.”

-Joann Herrmann

Who am I?
What do I want?
How can I serve?

Mallika shares with Joan Herrmann of Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life that while growing up, her father taught her and her brother to focus on and ask for the things that will ultimately lead to a richer life- happiness, love, connection, versus the things we usually attribute with material wealth and security. These questions have been important regardless of the stage whether that be while she was a child or first settling into a career, becoming a mom or launching a brand new business. Continue reading

Mindful Evolution: Can You Guide What Your Genes Are Doing?

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By Deepak Chopra, MD and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD

Human beings are unique in the scenario of life on Earth–that much is obvious. We are guided by awareness, and to implement our wishes, dreams, and inventions, the higher brain (chiefly the cerebral cortex) has evolved to extraordinary proportions. Although classical Darwinism is mindless, and staunchly defended as such by strict materialists, Homo sapiens is no longer caught in the clutches of natural selection. As we saw in the first post of this series, human society is very different from the state of nature. Chimpanzees don’t get their food at the grocery store, and we don’t get ours by fighting with rivals in the treetops.

So the real dilemma isn’t whether human evolution is guided by mind, because clearly it is. What remains puzzling is how much connection there is between our mind and our genes. There is no doubt that the roughly 23,000 genes you inherited from your parents remain the same throughout your lifetime. If the genetic blueprint was as fixed as an architect’s plans, there would be no mind-gene connection. You would be the puppet of DNA, mechanically carrying out whatever actions are programmed into the 3 billion base pairs that constitute the human genome.

To defenders of strict Darwinism, the difference between instinct, which controls animal behavior, and mind, which gives freedom of choice, is lost. But no one who isn’t harping on an agenda could claim that a Mozart symphony or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was created by instinct. The range of the human mind is vast and creative. But as we create the complex human world, are our genes listening? If so, are they cooperating in our creative enterprises? Continue reading

What Did Flannery O’Connor Pray For?

flannery home .jpgOften when I read, I’m struck by something, but I’m not sure why.

I’ve read The Habit of Being several times — it’s a collection of Flannery O’Connor’s extraordinary letters. O’Connor is one of my favorite writers, but I can hardly bear to read her fiction; it makes my head explode.

On July 1, 1964, O’Connor (who was a devout Catholic) wrote to Janet McKane:

Do you know anything about St. Raphael besides his being an archangel? He leads you to the people you are supposed to meet…It’s a prayer I’ve said every day for many years.

A week later, she wrote McKane a follow-up letter, with the prayer, which reads in part: Continue reading

My Birthday – Setting Intents for 44!

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Tomorrow, July 24, is my birthday. I will officially, technically, be in my mid-40s.

At 43, I completed and released my 3rd book, Living With Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy. In the process I made some significant steps to bring more balance and joy into my life – all of which can be read in my book! And if you want to give me a birthday present go ahead and buy it for yourself or a friend – Ha Ha! :)

Many people ask me if I am in a better place after writing the book. I can categorically say yes! I am happy and healthy and feeling fulfilled – a good place to be. I made some major changes in my lifestyle that, while still inconsistent at times, have become part of my daily habits. Meditation has been more regular. Exercise and sugar, well, lets say the journey remains messy.

This morning, my last day of being 43, I had to go to the DMV to renew my license. In my sleep last night, I remembered that I had got a notice two months ago that I had to go before July 24th when it expired, and take an eye test, give my fingerprints, and take a new photo.  I had an hour waiting with nothing to do so started scribbling notes for my intents this year.

Here they are: Continue reading

From Intent.com: Practice Forgiveness

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You have likely heard the old adage that holding onto anger is like holding onto hot coals with the intent of throwing them at someone else. The importance of forgiving others, while not always easy, is one we learn as a part of understanding compassion. We practice forgiveness as a component to understanding mercy, grace and kindness.

We’ve seen the effects of guilt and shame. We’ve also seen the effects of being unforgiving on a person who’s been wronged. No one wants to wake up and realize they’re the bitter, angry person who couldn’t let go and couldn’t move on from even some of the worst hurts. No one wants to know they let someone else control their decisions and freeze their lives in a terrible moment, unable to break free and move forward in freedom. But what about when we are the person at fault? What do we do when the finger of blame is point straight at ourselves? Continue reading

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