Under the influence

This administration has left many of us in a state of perpetual hangover. With the glut of scandals and threats and lies that confront us on a daily basis, keeping up has become an unpaid internship with no end-date. Anyone who follows this somewhat lapsed series has probably figured out that my favorite theme is about facing life with as much positivity as possible. And, if you’re at all like me, maintaining perspective is daunting when assaults to our sense of decency are non-stop. I seem to be toughening up, however. I’m becoming more realistic, with an added touch of cynicism just to keep things…

Looking Up

We need to spend more time looking up, watching birds, studying flowers, and marveling at insects. For as long as I can remember, Nature has been my source of wonder, my peace, and my solace. From a dandelion growing through a crack in the sidewalk to a hike in the mountains, the renewal that Nature offers is there for everyone. It is the cure for what ails us. All it asks is that we appreciate it. –Lora   New Images! Lora Fisher Photography   Resources: Prison Gardens Help Inmates Grow Their Own Food — And Skills –NPR Green Cities: Good Health –University of Washington…

Some might even call it a blessing.

  Stress… it might be going too far to call it a blessing, but it can be the disguised kind of blessing if we shift our perspective a titch. Stress can literally kill you. It can also be something that causes us to reassess our lives and be willing to try new approaches to relieving our daily anxieties. Being curious about how my friends creatively address this challenge, I recently posted a question on Facebook: “What are your favorite destressing techniques?” Here are a few of the brilliant responses. Just reading them makes me feel more relaxed! (My favorite destressing activities are at the…

Looking for the up-side

With so much happening, and at such a rapid-fire pace, it’s nearly impossible for the average person to keep up. Even members of the media are struggling with this endless torrent of weird, outrageous, and often insane behavior generated by this current administration. Every day is a new shock to the system. I do not exaggerate. Updates are out of date nearly as soon as they’re covered and posted, with readers scrambling to keep up with each new eruption. Gaslighting — a conscious attempt to confuse and distract — is a daily occurrence. “Look here, not there” is a ploy…

Shock Event

   Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College: I don’t like to talk about politics on Facebook — political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends — but there is an important non-partisan point to make today. What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries — is creating what is known as a “shock event.” Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by…

Thank you, Governor Kate

  Governor Kate Brown: President Trump’s recent Executive Orders that divide and discriminate do not reflect the values enshrined in the U.S. Constitution or the principles we stand for as Oregonians. In Oregon, where thousands have fought for and demanded equality, we can not and will not retreat. As Governor, I will uphold the civil and human rights of all who call Oregon home. My staff is studying the recent Executive Orders to determine what effects they may have on Oregonians, and I will explore options to keep Oregon a safe place for everyone. I am also in contact with…

Hope, kindness, and a touch of snark

Confession: I’m weary to the bone of negativity and name-calling on social media — from both sides of the political chasm. So I’m working out how to navigate social media in a constructive way in this new year. How do we interrupt — and stand up to — the gross ignorance and intolerance of racism without falling into the trap of name-calling, snark, shaming, and tit-for-tat exchanges that too often dominate social media? Shaming doesn’t work, and we can’t just wish it away — and snark is so tempting, especially when you’re good at it. In response to me reflecting on how to…