Life’s tragedies can make the road ahead seem like a barren vista. But our losses can also clear space for courageous new beginnings.
Anger can be a powerful motivator. But we must also remember to build something bolder on the foundation of expansive love.
A look at icons in our popular culture reveals the crucial work of healing at the heart of the Muslim faith.
A poem and a benediction from David Whyte for your day.
Sometimes the refuge we need is not an escape, but a safe place to grapple with our hardest questions, and to challenge ourselves to be better.
Even at our most broken and scattered, Mary Oliver seems to say, we can uncover new wholeness by examining each shattered piece.
An appeal to move beyond anger and reactiveness, and to concentrate instead on the immediate, crucial work of embodying justice.
From celebrations of Leonard and Leon to the good and the bad in the Electoral College — reflections to challenge our relationships with technology, with busyness, with history, and with each other.
Instead of denying frightening realities, sometimes the best path forward is a courageous acknowledgement of the truth.
Leonard Cohen’s timeless lyrics are a beacon of hope for even the most broken among us. An expression of gratitude to our latest lost legend.
From the loss of Leonard Cohen and the victory of the Chicago Cubs, music and language inviting you to think differently about shelter, resilience, suffering, and harmony.
Our body politic suffers from deep wounds, seen and unseen, and all real. Wisdom gleaned from a beloved baseball team on resilience in the face of heartbreak, and the spirit of unity that will move us into a new age.
We look to the election with uncertainty, hope, and fear. But Paul Raushenbush imagines further, with an aspirational and haunting vision of what will be required of us afterward.
To be part of any family is to bear witness to its joy, as well as its dysfunction. For Rosh Hashanah, Sharon Brous explores the intimate link between family healing and social responsibility at the heart of Jewish faith.
Some emotional wounds need closure to heal, but there are times when the best way forward is to let go. Courtney Martin on mending our deepest relationships by embracing the paradox of love and imperfection.
Our culture has a profound discomfort with walking openly through grief. An exploration of the healing power of companionship and openness after loss — embodied in groundbreaking gatherings for millennials longing to heal together.
Parker Palmer shares the poetry of a president: a testament to the healing power of words, and embracing the shadow and light within.
Elie Wiesel, the beloved writer known for his profound memoir of the Holocaust, Night, speaks of the power of prayer and forgiveness in the wake of profound suffering.
Loss and trauma can cast us into uncertainty. Parker Palmer finds solace in the words of William Stafford, and wonders if being lost is the first step on a path to something better.
Guided by Naomi Shihab Nye’s beloved poem “Kindness,” Parker Palmer reflects on our capacity to emerge from the depth of suffering, into the fullness of compassion.
Collected counsel on forging meaning and joy from our suffering, and finding calm in times of tension.
How do we cut through distraction to nurture our best selves forward? Our executive editor shares reflections on rediscovering the glory around and within us, from the journey of an olympic runner, to the lyrical labyrinth of rap, to healing the void of loss with art and memory.
Matthew Sanford, an innovator of adaptive yoga, on taking a new orientation to our physical change and pain, and the outward healing that can result.
Parker Palmer examines the guiding principles of care and healing at the center of a physician’s practice, and wonders how they might revive the heart of political life.
Some of our limitations can be our greatest assets. A man born with disabilities tells the story of learning to embrace and make the most of the particularities of his own body — by first rediscovering his own breath.
Our feet carry us forward despite the circumstances. A series of memories from a life growing up on the periphery of privilege, and finding worth in what we are, rather than worthlessness in what we are not.
When the demands of daily life drain us, a respite in solitude is exactly what we need. A testament to the power of aloneness to reconnect us with the steady sense of self we lose.
We often berate ourselves for letting go of challenges, but quitting isn’t always a destructive reaction. A former gymnast learns that stopping in place allows us to heal, and is sometimes exactly what we need to move forward.
As these days of anticipation of Christmas draw closer, a creative reimagining of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Bipolar Explorer for your listening pleasure.
In this culture of independence, the compassion of strangers can be surprising. After an unexpected fainting spell, our columnist finds that selflessness still abounds around us — even in the hearts of her fellow New Yorkers.
Becoming fixated on a problem at the office or an injustice to others can often lead to intense anger. But, how do we avoid the narrowness of this emotion and not let it consume us?
The chaos of the world can challenge our belief in the inherent goodness of humanity. Omid Safi marvels at the strength of a 1960’s symbol in the form of a Parisian father teaching his son to overcome hatred with love and hope.
Recovery in the wake of trauma is a struggle, one we must sometimes work through collectively. Some guiding voices on thinking about grief and hardship with complexity — and move forward in a constructive and compassionate way.
Parker Palmer pens an elegy to mark the anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination — a balm for a hurting world.
The harmful cycle of guilt can devolve into cycles of self-hatred. Guiding words on the constructive work of remorse, which can be especially powerful when directed toward forgiving ourselves.
The journey through cancer is one of hard-earned lessons about everyday living. Mark Nepo shares a dream about a rickety bridge and his insights into the unknown other — and how we might allow the stranger to inhabit our lives and the unexpected wholeness it brings.
Atoning for one’s shortcomings can be a challenge, especially as a child. A conflict mediator tells his story of moving from feelings of self-castigation to an opportunity for healing confession on this solemn Day of Atonement.
For World Suicide Prevention Day, a story of a son’s loss of his father by suicide. The writer Eric Marcus talks about family silence, learning to share his story, and discovering compassion for his father and healing for himself.
This week, our executive editor shares readings on the healing and revealing power of tranquility; inspiration to live with hopeful resilience; and other pieces to inspire us to appreciate the simple beauty in everyday life.
We’re heading into a brief break here at Loring Park, but before we go — an unexpected flood of canine appreciation, the catharsis of letting go and looking forward, and rising above difference to meet in Rumi’s field.
With an unexpected, unfolding kinship with her horse, a yoga instructor finds a path to revealing — and healing — old wounds. An arresting essay on the wondrous beauty of relationship.
Pediatric oncologists and parents alike are searching for someone to help them bear the suffering they must witness. An essay reflecting on doctors, Dante, and treating children with cancer.
How do we sit with suffering? A lyrical pondering on how things fall apart — and worlds open anew.
A daughter’s embarrassment of her mother’s alternative approaches to healing turns into a letter of admiration and an apology.
We celebrate National Poetry Month, welcome our new columnist Sharon Salzberg, and imbibe the magic of k.d. lang’s version of “Hallelujah” in this week’s thread of good reads.
Hibernation restores us to our nourishing, grounding source and in so doing, frees us to become a force of reason, reflection, and kindness. A meditation for the gifts of winter and the blessings of solitude and rest.
For International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a suicide survivor asks us open ourselves to loss and allow each other the space to mourn and grieve without shame. If we support the healing of the soul, she writes, we may begin to celebrate our inner resilience and the divine spark in us all.
The video of Ray Rice hitting Janay Rice has prompted all sorts of responses. Rather than resorting to humiliation and social isolation, how do we deal with generational legacies of violence when it confronts us in the news cycle? A call to see the pain before us, and create consequences and opportunities for cultural transformation — not public shaming.
A Quaker chaplain offers some candid insights on being a minister to trauma. In the midst of chaos and suffering, she writes, deep shame can transform itself into hope.
You will not believe how a cancer doctor uses the venom from a scorpion’s sting to paint the malignant tumors in children’s brains and lymphatic systems. And, in the process, tap the human spirit.