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In the past I've explained the psychological, sociological, cultural, political and evolutionary basis for human behaviour but, given recent events, I no longer believe that that's enough. My students, in the face of revent world events, want to know one thing in particular: they want to know why it's so hard for people to get along with other people.
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Our personal lives, career, retirement, all have borders between one stage and another. They are full of a wide range of complex emotions.There is the border time between being single and being partnered. That time of excitement, anticipation leading up to the commitment.
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I am a bona fide baby boomer. The phrase "I remember when" floats in my head fairly often these days, a sea of memory. Like time itself, those recollections expand and contract. Expand to include all of my life, contract to make it feel like only yesterday I was young.
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Listening to a friend talk about their divorce, I pause and think -- this all sounds familiar. My friend details the lead up to her separation and there are so many similarities it's a bit unnerving. Same actions, same words, same behaviour. How is that possible? Turns out similarities are not even unusual but predictable, right down to the language a departing spouse might use.
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Parenting a child after the loss of a child is a daily struggle. You do your best to cherish every second, because who knows better than you how fleeting it can be? While your head is cherishing away, your heart is heavy with the feeling of abandoning your lost child's memory by being happy.
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It's that time of year again. Cottage opening. Prompted by that movie 32 years ago, we scraped together some cash and bought the waterfront property of our dreams. Travelling down the dusty back roads of our town we found the perfect piece of land. A huge stand of birch trees and a view straight across the lake.
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As our muscles respond to stress by becoming at first strained and later stronger, so too do we build up our tolerance for withstanding adversity by allowing it space in our life. Courage rises to the fore when we adopt a new mindset, a new lens from which we approach our life.
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This year consider giving your whole life a thorough clean. Out with the old and in with the new. Think carefully about what you like and don't like about your life. Take some time and challenge yourself... What is working? What is not working?
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The gap between what we dream of doing and what we manage to do is often so big we can barely see the thing we want on the other side. How do people who live more adventuresome lives make their dreams happen? Answer: They use some very simple, very effective tools.
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I'm all for feeling and expressing love, but the idea that we need an official day to remind us to do so is a bit sad. Really, Valentine's Day -- regardless of the saint behind it -- is a commercial construct whose purpose is to wrestle money from our guilty wallets, as we try to make up for the other 364 days we feel we failed to express our feelings sufficiently.
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I felt like I was daring myself to cross some arbitrary line in the sand, and once I did, there would be no turning back. Canadians' perceptions of who I was, and certainly their knowledge of my life story, would be forever altered. Even if only a few dozen people heard my story, it felt big to share personally and publicly.
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An exasperated mom told them to "go jump in the lake." Todd and Trent Courage did what their mother told them. And three decades later, funds raised by the hundreds of dippers running into Lake Ontario this January 1 are expected to bring the dip's lifetime total to $1.4 million dollars for water projects in Rwanda.
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Fear is a natural part of being alive. No matter how many mountains you climb, how many stages you perform on, how old and wise you become; there's always going to be something new. Something uncertain. Something that scares the shit out of you.
Everybody has fear. My particular brand of fear usually involves worrying about what people will think of me. Writing publicly about that fear now only punctuates it further. I care way too much about what people think of me and how I'm perceived. I like to say that I'm a recovering approval-seeker, but it's a long road, baby.