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The Empathy Library: A Great Resource With Access To Free Books And Videos

If you haven’t done so already, check out the empathy library. It’s growing quickly, and in it’s latest newsletter (outlined below) has promoted access to some pretty great free resources.

Here’s November’s Top Ten fully accessible films and books:

  • Congratulations, By The Way by George Saunders. The full transcript of George Saunders’ address to new graduates is courtesy of the New York Times; you can find the link in the Empathy Library entry.
  • This is Water: David Foster Wallace‘s illuminating and frank appraisal of what it means to live with awareness; another famous commencement address.
  • MiddlemarchGeorge Eliot‘s warm and extraordinary classic novel of country life, relationships and aspirations. The full manuscript is in the link, thanks to Project Gutenberg; our review is here.
  • The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown. In her TedX talk, Brene Brown shares her insights into our ability to empathise, belong and love.
  • The Man Who Planted Trees- a gentle, poignant and relatively unknown classic. Winner of an Academy Award, it beautifully illustrates one man’s respect and affection for the world around us.
  • 253, or Tube Theatre, by Geoff Ryman. A brilliant early experiment in the Internet Novel, telling the story of a packed Underground train’s last journey. Explore the full journey on Geoff Ryman’s website.
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. A dying professor reflects on life. His one-of-a-kind lecture made the world sit up and take notice; now it’s your turn.
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The beautiful story of Mary Lennox, a sour, abandoned child who discovers life in a walled garden. The full manuscript is in the link; our review is here.
  • Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories of justice and forgiveness from around the world. This life-changing documentary deals with the aftermath of conflict.
  • One of the Most Powerful Videos You Will Ever See: Media getting you down? Look at some real people in incredible real-life situations. This CCTV footage will restore your faith in humanity.



Why We Need Empathy Now More Than Ever

Empathy is trending. President Obama wants to tackle America’s “empathy deficit,” medical students routinely receive empathy training, and everyone from business gurus to the Dalai Lama have become its champions. The latest neuroscience research shows that 98 percent of us have the capacity to empathize wired into our brains and, like riding a bike, it’s a skill we can learn and develop. No wonder Google searches for the E word have more than doubled  in the past decade. The art of imaginatively stepping into another person’s shoes and seeing the world from their perspective is, it would seem, a most valuable and valued twenty-first century asset.

Why We Need Empathy 

10 Tips For Growing Younger

Most of the time we judge our age by what the calendar says, but that’s just a number. You also have a biological age, which is determined by how old you think you are. Your expectations reinforce your interpretation, so if you think you’re growing old, you are. The truth is that you can slow down the aging process, and in many ways reverse it. You just have to know how.

Read more at 10 Tips for Growing Younger.

12 Insightful Books That Capture What It’s Like To Be An Introvert

If you’re looking for a new book to read, here’s an interesting collection.  They’re all great books that truly capture what it’s like to be an introvert.  And whether you’re an introvert or not, I guarantee you’ll find something that takes your fancy.

12 Insightful Books

Acidic vs Alkaline: How Do You Keep A Healthy Balance

We all know it’s easy to become too acidic. Too much rubbish processed food and we’ve stepped over the line.  And if we’re too acidic it’s easier to get sick and stay sick. Ultimately, we all want to be healthy and, ideally, not get sick at all. It’s all about balance, and here’s a great article to get you started on the road to a balanced system.

Tilting the pH scale in the alkaline direction is easy with a diet filled with mineral-rich plant foods. By eating a more alkaline diet (leafy greens, wheatgrass, veggies, sprouts, avocados, green juices and smoothies) as opposed to an acidic diet (high in animal products, processed carbs, refined sugar, energy drinks, etc), we flood our bodies with chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and oxygen. Healthy food creates healthy cells. Conversely, junk goes in and junk comes out.

For more check out Acidic vs Alkaline.

Transform Your Life With The Power Of Ritual

Sometimes it can be the small things in life that create, over time, the biggest changes.  Daily rituals are one of those small things, that once habituated, really can transform your life. My own daily ritual is meditation. No matter what, the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is meditate.  And, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say, that it definitely continues to help keep me on my own true path, happy, and sane.

As adults in an over-stimulated and stressful world, it’s difficult to create habits like this. We feel powerless to control what’s going on in our heads, much less stay focused and disciplined enough to make big life changes. Mass media plants slick mantras in our minds, seducing us into believing that we can be happier, more successful, and sexier without making any changes—all we have to do is consume an endless array of products. As a result, we’ve lost touch with our inherent power to heal, grow, and manifest our fullest potential. And despite all the material abundance in our lives, we suffer.

The article – Transform Your Life With The Power Of Ritual is a clear simple guide to getting a new ritual started.

Cooking Oils – All You’ll Ever Need To Know

Are you a bit confused by all the information out there about cooking oils? Not sure what to use? Here’s the all out best definitive guide I’ve found so far.

Check out the Clean Guide To Cooking Oils

What A Shaman Sees In A Mental Hospital

In a world that sometimes appears increasingly crazy, is there a different way we can look at mental illness?  How do we help the increasing numbers of people that are struggling with life these days?  The following article is a completely different perspective that is both interesting and inspiring. I’ve included a short snippet below:

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé.  Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.”  The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs to be communicated from the spirit realm.  “Mental disorder, behavioral disorder of all kinds, signal the fact that two obviously incompatible energies have merged into the same field,” says Dr. Somé.  These disturbances result when the person does not get assistance in dealing with the presence of the energy from the spirit realm.

Read more of What A Shaman Sees In A Mental Hospital.

Do You Love Your Job? Need Some Inspiration…Check This Out

Some people really do LOVE their jobs!  These are the people who feel and energised and excited about going to work. They are living a life on purpose and making the world a better place by doing so. I really love the quote below…

“There is only one way in this world to achieve true happiness, and that is to express yourself with all your skill and enthusiasm in a career that appeals to you more than any other. In such a career, you feel a sense of purpose, a sense of achievement. You feel you are making a contribution. It is not work… to my mind, the world would be a much pleasanter and more civilized place to live in, if everyone resolved to pursue whatever is closest to his heart’s desire. We would be more creative and our productivity would be vastly increased.  — William J. Reilly (via @Brainpickings)

Looking to find a job you love or create a workplace culture that ensures that your team love coming in to work.. then Do You Love Your Job is worth a read.

How Mindfulness Protects Your Heart

Tuning into your body is good for your health.

People who are mindful score higher on healthy heart indicators, according to recent findings published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine from Brown University researchers. The team looked at whether having something called “dispositional mindfulness”—which means you’re the type of person who’s very aware and attentive to what you’re feeling and thinking at any given moment—was a factor for heart health. They found a pretty significant connection: people with high mindfulness scores had an 83% greater prevalence of good cardiovascular health.

Check out how mindfulness protects your heart.