On this national day of mourning, I hope you will not think it presumptuous of me to share a few thoughts. We are all struggling not to make sense of this tragedy, which is impossible, but to understand what to do and how to be as people in response to these horrific events. We give blood and send relief donations. We seek consolation and guidance – in the Bible, in the thoughts of great statesmen like Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Churchill, and in the moral examples of spiritual leaders like Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama. We can also find help closer to home in the perennial wisdom that medicine itself has to offer.
- Learning to Like Yourself (Self-Esteem and Self-Acceptance): living in an age of uncertainty; unclear definition of feminine role; problems in the development of identity; influence of social movements and socialization processes; avoiding the Superwoman syndrome; discovering who you are; accepting yourself; getting in touch with your strengths.
- Changing Your Behavior (Self-Management Skills): importance of self-management strategies for the self-reliant woman; basic principles in effecting self-change; examples of behavioral change programs; common pitfalls for women in employing self-management strategies.
All of us are looking for some magic panacea that will bring happiness. Advertisements, travel brochures, even social movements promise us that this happiness is just around the corner, if only we would buy, try, go, see, join, involve. The pursuit of happiness is not only part of our American way of life, it is our constitutional, God given right.
So, we strive harder, we look everywhere for happiness in our marriages, in our careers, in our children, in ourselves. We sometimes feel we are close to reaching temporary goals that we thought would make us happy, but never feel we’ve quite found or permanently captured it. In a sense we are all very much like a baby who at six months can sit but is frustrated because she can’t stand; at nine months is frustrated because, although she can stand up, she can’t bend her knees to get back down; and at one year, having mastered both sitting down and standing up, is frustrated because she can’t walk.
by Johanna Freedman
The dining room of an unfrequented boarding-house on the island of Rost. a barren dot of land near the Arct1c Circle. The room ls small and dark and, like the Island, unfriendly to strangers. It is a hostile, quiet room. glowering sullenly under the uncertain gleam of a swaying oil lamp. A chill wind. sneaking past closed windows through the ch1nks in the wall-boards, adds to the damp dejection. A rough, rectangular, wooden table sits diffidently in the middle of the room. Six straight~backed chairs surround it. As the scene opens, the room waits sulkily, empty of characters except for OLD MAN. who sits in a chair with his back to the audience, He is gray-haired and slouched. obviously resentful at being exposed to the curious eyes of the audience. He says nothing, wilfully hoping that the curtain may, by some miracle, fall again. The chair next to him will remain empty for the duration of the play. However, we soon realize that any member of the audience could fill it comfortably.
“You’re not doing your yoga exercise properly.”
We looked up with annoyance at the old Mexican gardener smiling through gold teeth at us. A gray black beard and long unkempt hair covered most of his face.
Both of us felt confident we had executed the relatively simple exercise, the cobra, with great skill o After all, we had just spent 15 months in the Orient on a quest which had taken us to Zen monasteries, Ch’an monasteries, and encounters with yoga masters.
And here, before us, on a football field in Southern California, was someone with the inconsiderateness not only to interrupt our spiritual practice, but also the audacity to criticize us.