2Music: How It Affects Your Brain, Changes Your Mood and Helps You Focus. Insightful article on the many ways music impacts us. I am sharing this one because many find it distracting working at home during these COVID days. Partners, kids, animals seem to always be around. One way to keep focused is by listening to an alternative sound, like music, while wearing headphones. It seems music can make you smarter as well. Have you ever heard of the ‘Mozart effect’? Research in the early 90s showed that students listening to ten minutes of a Mozart piano piece before doing an IQ test scored remarkably higher than those who did not listen to music.
3This Moment Offers a Chance to Rethink Our Relationship With Time. Arianna Huffington expounds on how right now is when we can assess what physicists call our timescape – the past, present, and future happening all at once. Have you, or do you, feel that you are the victim of time famine, where there is never enough time. Or, blessed with the exact opposite, time affluence? We are here with an opportunity to use this forced slow down period to take control of time instead of it controlling us. Slowing down is not to say that you become less ambitious. Though it is to say, you can shift your perception to feel less anxious about how you move through your days. You do this by consciously creating moments in your day to recharge so that your focus, productivity become overall better, clearer, perhaps, even making you wiser.
4Five Ways to Encourage Safe Behavior During the Pandemic. The other day I went to mail a letter at a post center. A few folks were lined up outside, waiting for their turn, all wearing masks. A passerby came along, not wearing a mask. A lady in line gave him grief about it. He responded by saying that the coronavirus is a hoax. Hers was, “Yeah? Well, my dad died from it.” I heard another story where a man at a convenience store was shot because he told someone they should be wearing a mask. And there are other similar stories. Is it really that hard to wear a mask that will protect both yourself and others? This is a relevant article on how to deal with those who seem unimpressed by COVID. One way to encourage safer behavior is by expressing gratitude. This is what I do, especially when I am out hiking, and I see someone put on a mask as they approach me. I think it makes a difference. The big takeaway from the article is that we are one family trying to fight this virus. Appealing to this fact by saying “thanks,” role modeling, reminding others of our shared humanity are all things that are scientifically proven to be effective — and so easy to do.
5John O’Donohue, The Inner Landscape of Beauty (2008.) A timely, timeless interview with Irish poet, theologian, and philosopher before he passed away in his sleep at the age of fifty-two. His poignant thoughts on how the “inner landscape of our lives” intertwine with what we know and see that shape where and how we see beauty. It seems particularly relevant these days. [Thank you, Jake Haupert]
6Women Around the World on Life in Lockdown. During this time, it is reasonable to feel disconnected from the world, especially from people. This article taps into the ‘Women Who Travel’ Facebook community to share some of their stories. We may live in different parts of the world, though we share similar feelings.
7On My Birthday What I Would Tell My Younger Self. A piece I wrote about embracing both the lightness and darkness of being.