The holidays are over and the Christmas decorations are coming down. There are copious amounts of sooty-white snow on the ground and wind chills in the single digits. The sun comes up late and sets early. Spring is a distant 2 ½-month trek away.  On this January day, you may have found that (like me) a dark cloud has settled on your soul. I used to be a competitive 5K runner and can recall having a conversation with a fellow… Read more

There’s a message circulating around the Internet from Pope Francis, a recounting of his 2018 New Year’s message to the world. It’s compelling, inspirational—and also fake news. I found this out almost by accident when my wife forwarded a Facebook posting of the Pope Francis sermon from a mutual friend. I thought it was well done and did a Google search to find some background info on it—only to discover the Pope never wrote it. The website reports that:… Read more

If there’s one problem with New Year’s resolutions, it’s that we too often break them. We start the year with the best of intentions to lose weight or get in shape or eat healthier, and we give it our best shot—but the complexities of life get in the way. There’s an inherent problem with resolutions that was pointed out to me by the writer and philosopher Anna Nimm. She writes that making these annual resolutions often becomes a fool’s errand,… Read more

It’s Christmas, the time of the year when we engage in cherished family traditions. Baking holiday cookies. Hanging stockings by the fireplace. Checking on Santa’s whereabouts. Unwinding with a snifter of holiday eggnog. Well, in the Rapsas family, we have a unique tradition that started about a decade ago. I am a runner and four or five days a week, in the dim early hours of morning, I jog around town. My path seldom varies. I stay along the roads… Read more

Sometimes you can find wisdom in places you don’t expect. It can come from a child who forces you to slow down and look at life from their perspective. Or a heated conversation that causes you to realize not everyone sees life from your point-of-view. Of course, for many of us, our favorite place to find wisdom is in books. And I found a lot of it in a book targeted to writers titled Daily Writing Resilience, 365 Meditations &… Read more

Many people from traditional Christian backgrounds may find this…shocking and offensive. That is understandable. The passage above is from the first page of Stephen Mitchell’s book Jesus, What He Really Said and Did and the way I will begin this story. So, please note: if you believe the Bible is the literal word of God, this column may not be for you. Mitchell is an accomplished author who has (re)translated many of the world’s great religious texts, including the teachings… Read more

What, you say? What happened to giving a 100% effort? Or some of you Type-A types may be wondering why you shouldn’t put 110% effort into everything you do. Well, let me explain via an anecdote from entrepreneur Derek Sivers. Sivers tells the story of living in Santa Monica, California and biking each day on a pathway along the Pacific Ocean that starts in Venice and ends in Malibu. Having run many times on a big chunk of this path,… Read more

Do you meditate? While I make a noble effort to meditate most days, I often go through periods where my chattering monkey mind makes it close to impossible. And quite frankly, there are other periods when I feel so calm and centered from my other morning activities (like running and spiritual reading) that I don’t feel the need to meditate. So, it was with great interest I recently read about a unique approach to meditation that actually involves a little… Read more

Is it any wonder that, after Christmas, Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of Americans? For most of us, it’s a cherished ritual, an opportunity to gather with family and friends over a few drinks and a big traditional meal. What’s especially important about Thanksgiving is the powerful idea behind the holiday: it’s a time to express gratitude and give thanks. The life philosopher John Templeton believed strongly in the power of gratitude and its ability to act like a powerful magnet…. Read more

A few days ago, I wrote about some of the major themes in Ageless Soul, Thomas Moore’s wonderful new book on how to age with meaning and purpose. Now, I’d like to take a look at what this means in practical terms, and highlight the pursuits and activities that separate aging from simply growing old. Moore points out that for those of us who have had a long career, our priorities may have been focused on things like meeting/exceeding the… Read more

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