Saturday, July 09, 2022

To my Muslim friends and future Muslim friends:

Eid al-Adha Wishes

Eid Mubarak! Wishing you a joyous and blessed Eid al-Adha with lots laughter and good health!

Wishing you a very happy Eid al-Adha. May the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy on Eid-Ul-Adha and forever.

Eid Ul Adha Mubarak! I pray that Allah showers you with peace and prosperity in this life and in the afterlife.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and blessed Eid al-Adha.

Wishing you and your family peace, harmony, happiness, good health and prosperity on Eid. Eid Mubarak to you and everyone at home.

May you continue to grow wiser and more charming every day! Eid al-Adha Mubarak!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Oliver Sacks

There are so many great humans we can learn from.

I'm so grateful that many years ago I "met" Wendell Berry . . . and Walter Brueggemann and so many other authors whose writings have shaped my existence.

in the past weeks I was introduced to Oliver Sacks.  

How did I not know him? 

I'm plundering my fourth book from him now as I work my way through his oeuvre

If you're not familiar with him, as I was not - start with the film entitled AWAKENINGS, based on Dr. Sacks life and starring Robin Williams

And then, as I'm doing - read Oliver Sacks books here!

Friday, February 18, 2022

Breath, Sleep, Happiness, Neuroscience & Stoicism

Too many things going on in life to keep up with this blog in the past couple of years  . . . which is a bummer as I still read many books, and increasingly *try* to keep up with too many podcasts!

It has been the case that fully half of my book-reading consumption has been in more clinical and thus, more "boring" contexts in the past few years.  While the books I've been reading that inform clinical therapy and practices to engage, for example, Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing theory and practices is important to me, it won't matter much to the average reader.

I realized I haven't posted anything in 2022 and had a prompt from a Graduate Student who asked me about good books to read . . . which serves as a prompt for me to "catch up" on this blog by perhaps reviewing some of the books I've read in the past couple of years.

So - here are a few recent good reads:

It's clear that the way we breath impacts our life.  It is obvious that breathing is something we do - unconsciously.  What is less obvious is the fact that we can shift our breathing and our breathing can shift our life. 

I've personally benefited from (nearly weekly) and value the very simple methods offered by Wim Hof both in his writings and in his books or interviews.  His simple 30 deep inhalations and 30 deep exhalations in a calm state (no other complexity, no timing, no pacing, just 30 deep breathes) has helped me find mid-day calm many times.  

Beyond Wim Hof, I recommend Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art Paperback by James Nestor as a great introduction to the science of breathing.  [ For more on the "philosophy" of breathing for mindfulness, of course, Thich Nhat Hanh.]

Shawn Achor has written several books on Positive Psychology and the Science of Happiness.  It's likely the case that I've reviewed other books by him elsewhere.  The stories in this book, along with some practical steps, are good - Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change   Among various issues in the book, I loved a simple practice he explains about gaining an "add-vantage" in life.  We simply "add" a new "vantage" point for looking at a problem.  In viewing a problem from a different perspective, we might be able to see it anew and find a fresh solution or perspective.  Adding a vantage point gives us an advantage on the problem. Great!

Sleep is super important.  Really. Very, critically important.  And our world's cultural patterns don't celebrate this or respect it.  Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker will give you perspective on the science of sleep and how to sleep more/better.

One of the more enjoyable reads I've had in the past year, The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery by Sam Kean.  Kean deftly weaves together narrative stories of of history alongside the development of neuroscientific studies.  I enjoyed the stories, as much as what I learned.  A book worth reading a 2nd time, for sure! 

Finally, I've been reading both *from* the Stoics and in the study of Stoicism quite a bit in the past year. Including podcasts and videos, it's probably the case that I should call the latter half of 2021 as my "deep dive" into Stoicism.  I've read at least eight books by Ryan Holiday and he is an "evangelist" for Stoicism, indeed.  A couple of minor bits.  I have been shaped by Ryan and his presentations and that is super.  I wish he had someone else read his audiobooks, as I find his pacing to be a bit off.  His short videos on youtube in many ways are *really* great.  I especially love that he has clear descriptions in his videos where a person can "click" to the minute mark of each point.  Very nice.  One thing I don't like (or at least don't like "right now" with him is that he has about 10-20 key points from Stoicism, and comes back to these few points.  In some ways, that is *the* point, I suppose, though I do feel a sense that once you get him, you've got him.  

To all . . . wishing you a life of peace and flourishing!

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Peace and Flourishing

Working to get all things established for Private Practice out of Oregon  - with ability to see clients in any U.S. State.

Quite a few things with Oregon State LLC we've established, (4U, LLC), taxable stuff, banking accounts, insurance, website(s) with domain based email.

Thus far:  ("up" though new pics and graphic/logo in process)

~ marty