The Spiritual Side of Perfection: Beyond Picture Perfect Posts

Girls Taking Picture format

Flipping through her phone over an after school snack, my teenage daughter asked with just a hint of frustration why so many of the people she follows on Instagram always look so perfect: the students she passes daily in her high school halls, the out of state friends, the ballet dancers. Her question opened up the opportunity for some front porch mother-daughter dialogue about a healthier definition of perfection. Giving my children a spiritual bedrock to stand on has been key to my Continue Reading

A Teacher’s Prayer for Peace in the Classroom (#NationalDayofPrayer)

woman in front of blackboard format

Today's blog is a tribute to National Day of Prayer. You can share this blog using the hashtag #NationalDayofPrayer or #NDP2015. You  can also read it on Huffington Post's Education page here. If only I lost those extra pounds, If only so-and-so wasn’t in my life, If only I got a raise, If only I was younger, If only I hadn’t said that . . . Those mental refrains can seem as solid as a concrete wall in daily life. They have a way of putting off happiness and health in the present, making Continue Reading

Days and Nights Filled With Light

Dolphin Breaching the Oceans Surface format

Today's blog is by Boston-based guest writer, Kim Shippey: Earlier this year, I escaped the snowiest winter in Boston's history to enjoy a few weeks in the late summer sunshine of South Africa. The transition was exhilarating. The days were filled with light. They were long and warm. Night skies were dominated by the Southern Cross and the Milky Way. The black-eyed bulbul sang contentedly for hours on end. Dolphins frolicked in the Indian Ocean nearby. The ripening cane was sugared by late Continue Reading

Do You Have an Ageless Attitude?

Senior couple mountain biking outside format

On a rare trip down the snack aisle at Target, I publicly negotiated “healthy” options with my teenagers. They were scouting for chips after I’d turned down several, shall we say, unsavory options when the woman pulling up in her cart next to us proudly announced her mission: “I’m here to find Cape Cod chips for my 100 year old mother!” Unsolicited, she offered her mother’s secret to longevity as she perused the wide selection of snacks: “Daily walks, no alcohol, and a strong faith.” She Continue Reading

What if Nothing About You Needed Fixing?

Woman in Overalls format

“Fixer Upper” has taken HGTV by storm. It’s the popular home design show featuring Chip and Joanna Gaines, a dynamic and totally endearing couple from Waco, Texas who are known for taking the worst house on the best street and turning it into the house everyone wants. I recently posted a video on my Facebook page featuring Joanna's story of her inspiring trust in God’s direction for her life purpose. Judging from the number of repeat shares, I suspect my husband and I weren’t the only ones Continue Reading

Prayer Brings the Wow Factor to Health and Healing

Prayer

Today’s guest blog is by Boston-based writer, Kim Shippey, whose book reviews offer a helpful perspective on the intersection of health with spirituality, culture, and faith. A report on the relation between prayer and good health published by Richard Schiffman has been given fresh prominence by a book on prayer from preacher, author, and public speaker, Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (Dutton, 2014). I doubt any conscious attempt to link report and book, but Continue Reading

Career Burnout? How to Relight Your Candle

Man buried in paper formatted

Career burnout: it’s a problem anyone can face, but perhaps especially those in jobs requiring intense concentration and long hours. That well describes America’s health care providers. So, not surprisingly, the problem of burnout was a topic that came up often at an annual conference in Boston on medicine and religion. During opportunities for small group discussions, physicians shared their personal stories. One young Yale graduate and mother of two complained of her work-life imbalance, Continue Reading

Your Right to Pain-Free, Balanced Days

Woman with headache format

“I’m so busy!” has become such a ubiquitous phrase that it has its own Twitter following. One person tweeted, “I’m so busy I need an appointment to be with myself.” All of this running around is associated with the dreaded S word: Stress. The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Findings found that Americans report being too busy as a primary barrier to managing stress. It’s a vicious cycle. “Busy is the new sick” writes Dr. Suzanne Koven in her Boston.com post. She Continue Reading

Two Women Who Left Their Mark on Health Care

MBE & Barton

Where would we be today without the examples of women whose stories have been weaved into the fabric of our nation’s history? It’s a question The National Women’s History Project is asking us to consider in celebration of Women’s History Month. Two women stand out, both for their contributions to the field of healthcare and their extraordinary accomplishments in the time they lived. Neither let her corset constrict her calling to help people in great need. Both entered battlefields of Continue Reading

Mental Health and the Healing Power of Community

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Today’s guest blog is by Boston-based writer, Kim Shippey, whose commentary and book reviews offer a helpful perspective on the intersection of health with spirituality, culture, and faith: The National Institute of Mental Health tells us that 18.6 percent of American adults have a diagnosable mental illness. That’s almost one fifth of the population. So, although many people may feel alone in their mental confusion, they’re not. This report was at the heart of an article by author and public Continue Reading