Category Archives: Lifestyle

Helping your child hold onto joy

Children have a natural aptitude for joy; the challenge for parents is to help them retain it, writes Rachel Fairbank in Lifehacker.

If you’d like your child to hold onto joy, it is essential for them to build supportive relationships with people who can offer comfort and perspective during hardship. It’s also important to help them develop their strengths and pursue their interests, even if they aren’t the interests you hoped they’d have.

“Allow your child to be a voice in participating and finding their joy,”

says child psychology expert Maureen Healy. And

“when the tough times hit, it’s important to set an example for your kids of what it looks like to get through them,”

writes Fairbank.

“Be honest about the fact that sometimes life can be really hard and that there’s not always much that you can do about it other than persevere as best you can.”

[Lifehacker]

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Couples reaching midlife and danger of divorce

Many marriages do not make it beyond their 40s

42 per cent of marriages currently end in divorce

42 per cent of marriages currently end in divorce

In the UK in 2019, 45 to 49 was the most popular age to divorce, with the average age being 46.4 for men and 43.9 for women, so clearly there’s a sea change of some sort happening in this fifth decade.

Relate counsellor Simone Bose comes across many couples experiencing “midlife malaise” at her practice.

“After 10-plus years of marriage, couples gradually make less effort and become complacent towards each other, and often the things they found attractive at the beginning can become what now annoys them. For example, relaxed becomes lazy, or assertive becomes bullying or ­controlling,”

explains Bose.

“It’s a crisis point because you see that life is passing you by and you wonder if you should settle or if you’re still young enough to have new adventures and even meet someone else.”

Marian O’Connor, ­psychoanalytic couples’ therapist at Tavistock Relationships says

“You have to be able to stand outside yourselves and look at what you’re doing to each other, and think about how you can make your life fun and nurturing and not just a life of tasks.”

Read more about: How to avoid divorce in your 40s

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Related articles

  1. Midlife Thoughts
  2. Evolution Revolution
  3. Get moving
  4. The time between breaths
  5. Shelters
  6. The Gift of Unconditional Love
  7. Through The Looking Glass
  8. a proper order 
  9. Life Cost Me everything
  10. New Beginning
  11. Why Not Divorce?
  12. Navigating Divorce
  13. Common Mistakes Divorced Parents Make
  14. Is it possible to divorce and then marry again?
  15. Jesus on divorce … is he harsher than the OT Law? (Mark 10:1-10)
  16. Translating the Bible: Does God Hate Divorce?: Malachi 2:16 does not say that God hates divorce. However, God is not happy with people when they divorce. From God’s perspective, marriage is a commitment that should last a lifetime, “what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6).

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Reasons to be cheerful

By Maire Bonheim,
NEWSLETTER EDITOR
Gannet smashes through water off Shetland Islands at 100kmph

A frosty sunrise over the Gwda River in Poland, an entrant for the Royal Meteorological Society’s Weather Photographer of the Year 2022 competition. Click the image to see 20 spellbinding photographs. Credit: Krzysztof Tollas

This week, scientists revealed that dogs cry tears of joy when their owners return home. It’s a sign of how close the human-pooch relationship can be: they become overwhelmed with emotion due to the release of oxytocin, the cuddle hormone.

Adults are advised to do 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, but many people don’t reach this target, especially in older age. Luckily, a 10-minute daily walk in your 80s could be enough to save your life, a new study suggests. And here’s how you can turn a walk into a health-boosting workout.

A “hidden” Van Gogh masterpiece has been recreated, 135 years after the celebrated artist painted over it. An X-ray showed that Van Gogh created a portrait of two nude wrestlers, but later reused the canvas and painted a floral still life. Now, two British scientists have revealed what the original masterpiece would have looked like using X-rays, Artificial Intelligence and 3D-printing.

Researchers from Oxford University have “definitively” debunked the belief that statins cause aches and pains, according to a “monumental” new study. Instead, any muscle pain experienced is likely a natural side effect of ageing. Statins can significantly lower cholesterol and cut the risk of heart attacks, so this is great news for GPs, who can now reassure their patients about the potential side effects.

Brittany and Briana, who grew up in Delaware in the United States, are identical twins who always dreamed of marrying a pair of identical twins. So they set off for the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, and found their dream match. Now they all live together in a house in Virginia with their ‘quaternary twin’ sons. The photos are… discombobulating.

Finally, Rosie Millard is living my utopian life. She decided that a year in Provence simply wasn’t long enough – and bought a home just outside the village of Ménerbes. Her delightful story is what Francophile dreams are made of.

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Do you have painful creaky knees

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Do you have painful creaky knees

Painful creaky knees? You might feel like popping a pill, but you’d be better off exercising.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 10 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women over 60 years of age

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 10 per cent of men and 18 per cent of women over 60 years of age and occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones gradually thins.

Although the last 20 years have brought big breakthroughs in treatments for inflammatory arthritis (including rheumatoid), osteoarthritis has seen much slower progress. There are still no disease-modifying treatments, only symptom control, and the latest draft of NICE guidelines has recently downgraded long-term use of painkillers in favour of exercise, weight-management and behaviour change.

For years, the choreologist Marcus Ampe promoted special exercises to get rid of pain, instead of poisoning the body with painkillers. Before his retirement, he also gave special therapeutic classes to help people recover from accidents and from several body ailments.

A big problem is when people have a lot of pain, they often do not feel much for going to move more. But they have to go over that step. Crossing the threshold of the initial pain.

To move, is probably the opposite of what you want to do, and of what your osteoarthritis seems to be telling you, but the evidence is rock-solid. Exercise helps in multiple ways.

“It improves nutrition and blood flow to the joint, lines up the joints, strengthens muscles, improves stability and restores function,”

says Dr Benjamin Ellis, consultant rheumatologist and senior clinical advisor for Versus Arthritis. Avoiding activity because of osteoarthritis pain kicks off a vicious “deconditioning cycle”.

Marcus Ampe always promoted exercise but warned not to overdo it. Though he also was a certified Aerobics teacher, he always dis-advised ordinary people to do that sort of exercises. It is namely much better to do a proper balanced workout or to take Kounovsky, Pilates or social dancing or modern jazz classes.

He, like other experts, advises that any exercise is good, even walking or gardening.

“Whatever you enjoy, whatever you’re doing, do more,”

says Holden.

“A recent study found that just walking will reduce the pain from early knee osteoarthritis and also make it much less likely to progress – so it’s potentially preventative.”

The latest research suggests that paracetamol performs no better than a placebo for osteoarthritis, while strong and potentially addictive opioids bring more risk than benefits.

A lot of people seek refuge in medication but would do better to resort to herbs or phytotherapy and homoeopathy and a healthy schedule of exercises that will further help them move better and easier again.

> Please do find: Five ways to tackle the joint pain of arthritis

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Encouraging growth through hardship

American children have had a tough few years, but parents can help kids grow through the crisis, writes Anya Kamenetz in The New York Times.

“By around age 8, most children are developing the cognitive maturity required to see that negative experiences may have benefits,”

writes Kamenetz.

That doesn’t mean parents should “push” kids to grow through bad times. It’s better for parents to think of themselves as “expert companions,” says psychologist Richard G. Tedeschi,

“guiding children to a new, and potentially better, place.”

That means not just teaching your kids that growth through hardship is possible, but preparing them to handle difficult emotions, listening to their experiences

“without judging or downplaying anything,”

and them helping them derive new meaning from their struggles. And encourage them to help others, which can “lend perspective” to their experiences and expand

“on the feelings of compassion that arise when we encounter difficulties.” [The New York Times]

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Watch The News

Jewish Young Professional

And it’s a gut punch, the kind

that makes you re-evaluate

all your entrances and exits,

all the small choices that led you

to this moment, this moment when

you want to cry open

the inner gears of God

and beg for the why.

From The Sunday Muse

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dVerse, The Sunday Muse, Poets and Storytellers United

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Discouraged from asking questions

How often do we not hear from people that when they had certain questions about faith matters, that the priest or minister told them they should not ask such questions but should put their faith in God. What those ministers or priests would mean by that?

Does the church discourage you from asking questions?

is one of those questions that Dan Foster brings forwards in one of his blogs. In “Is It Time To Leave Your Church?” it is the 4th question of the eight questions to ask yourself that might help you come to a place of peace about what you need to do, either staying with the denomination you are in or leaving the church.

 

He writes:

If your pastor bristles when you ask him a difficult question, that ought to set off alarm bells.  {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

You should know it is not at all wrong to have more than one question about certain matters. As in some other blogs articles Foster mentions the relationship between people of the same sex.

Mention that you support gay marriage and observe the reaction. Suggest that the earth might not be only 6000 years old and see what kind of reception you get.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

When growing up a person more than once is confronted with matters that trouble him or her. It can be very personal matters but also matters of the mind as well as of spiritual evolution. Also, when a person starts relationships and wonders how those can be continued or strengthened. Strangely enough, we often hear from dissatisfied church members that they could not receive satisfactory answers to questions they had about that what they could read in the bible and on that what their church wants them to believe that there is written in the Bible.

For several churches, matters on the way we sexually behave are not to be discussed. Homosexual friends or gay marriages.

Some churches have convinced themselves that discussing difficult questions like these is unhealthy. It is almost as if they worry that their faith will fade away when exposed to the light. If it’s tested, it may just shatter.

The reality is that if our faith is that fragile, it probably was never true. If our God is so easily defeated, he is probably not really the true God.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

Problem with a lot of churches is that they have build their ‘teachings and rules’ on a series of dogma’s which you shall not be able to find in the Bible.

Whether we have built castles of doctrine on flimsy foundations or have metaphorically curled ourselves up into a ball around the fundamentals of the gospel, avoiding the tough questions will never lead to any real answers.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

The real answers, you should realize, are all there in the Great Book of books, that is provided by the Divine Master of all Himself.

So, if you find that your church shuts down, shames or freezes out people who ask tough questions and openly verbalize their reasonably held doubts, then you are not in a place that fosters and promotes the thinking that is needed for growth.

Then it is time to really consider not better going to search for a place where you shall be able to ask questions, and where you shall be able to discuss matters of faith but also about matters of the way of life.

When the pastor or minister tells you that when you have such questions that it means you are weak and that you are not a believing enough in God, you should not be afraid to say how you feel that your faith is. Every person should also be allowed to doubt certain matters, without being told that he or she is a bad person that would come to burn in hell when continuing such way.

First of all there is no such place where God the father would torture His children. Secondly

If you are constantly reminded — either explicitly or implicitly — of your own wretchedness and the need to eliminate sin from your life before you would even be remotely acceptable to God, then perhaps it’s time to move on.

If your church uses the threat of eternal damnation or judgment to win converts and manage the behavior of its members, and if your church has reduced Christian discipleship down to a sin-management program or self-improvement course, then I suggest you walk away.   {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

And Mr. Foster has good reason for that.

Because using the doctrine of sin and fallenness to accuse, berate, critique, attack, belittle, condemn or produce guilt is actually a form of spiritual abuse — not about freedom and grace, but control.  {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

God is a god of love and understanding. He understands you might have lots of questions; He wants you to grow in your own way at your own time. He does not put any limit of time. He also allows you to grow and chose your own way, like you want to develop. He provides different ways and has provided several answers in His Own Word, notated by several of His own people. The Book of books, the Bible is there to give the answers, but there are also men of God who can come to your help. Try to find those churches where people are open to receiving you without questioning you, but allowing you to ask them questions.

Do know that it is impossible that one man would have all the answers to your questions. Do not believe that the guy behind the pulpit, who gets up every week and lectures you about how you’re doing a terrible job of living a life that honours God, is the one you should follow. Nor would that be the place to go to every Sunday. Look more for a place where you can feel like being part of a family, having a meeting of brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Leaving (the) Church

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Leaving (the) Church

Today I had a look at the cathedral of the Reigning King Christ at La Spezia, in Liguria, Italy. An awful huge round building only build in 2015, but already showing signs of being in ‘decay’, materially but probably also spiritually, not receiving many congregants anymore.

It is something we can see all over Europe, churches running empty. Some may find it just a sign of the present modern times, others consider it as normal, people being fed up by the false stories of those churches.

Dan Foster last month asked

Is It Time To Leave Your Church?

Image by Thidarii on Shutterstock

He compares leaving a church as kind of like walking away from a long-term girlfriend or boyfriend. In a way he has good reasons to compare it to that, because often people have grown up with a church or have been affiliated for many years with a certain denomination.

Lots of time people have a history with a certain church and have shared memories — many of them good. Foster writes

You may have raised children together. You might have decades-long friendships attached to your church as well. And there is so much comfort in the familiar.

Though for some there is some awkward feeling. The fire seems to gone out. Previously everything seemed to go nicely and you felt you could even be active in that church.

Yet, at the same time, you just know it’s not working anymore. You have grown apart. Things are not what they once were. There might be conflict — words and deeds that leave you feeling detached a cold towards your former love. You are left with a lingering question,

“Is it time to leave my church?”

This was the situation that Dan Foster with his wife faced. He writes

We walked away from the church that had been my wife’s spiritual home for over thirty years. Imagine that! It was not an easy thing to do. However, we realized in the end that we could not remain in an environment that had, for the most part, turned toxic. {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

And for him it was not as such a matter of teachings, though people should better think more about what their church teaches and what is really written in the Bible. But when they come to see there is something not right or not conform of what is written in the Bible, lots of people do not dare to step away from their church … though they better should.

Dan Foster gives eight questions one should pose:

  1. Does your church use guilt, shame, or fear to motivate you?
  2. Does the church act like it has a monopoly on the truth?
  3. Does the church speak at you or listen to you?
  4. Does the church discourage you from asking questions?
  5. Does the church try to isolate you from your non-believing friends?
  6. Does the church preference certain kinds of people over others?
  7. Does the church care most about maintaining the system?
  8. Does the church berate other people who have left?

Strangely enough he forgets the 2 most important questions:

  1. Does the teaching of your church follows the teachings of Jesus Christ?
  2. Does your church worship the same God as Christ?

Because in Christianity we find lots of churches where there is worshipped another God than the God of Christ. That God of that Nazarene master teacher is a singular eternal Spirit Being. In such churches often there exist the idea that only clerics (priest or ministers) can bring and explain the Word of God.

Foster warns people

Often in churches, the pastor, priest, or minister does our spiritual homework for us. We come to rely on them to read, interpret and deliver the word of God to us in a form that is both palatable and entertaining each week. They do this with varying degrees of success.

However, if Christ came to be the one and only mediator between God and us, enabling us to have complete, unfettered access to the divine, then that ought to change the pastor-parishioner relationship from that of teacher-student to one where both parties have equal access to the revelation of God. {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

Each person can learn from reading the Scriptures and can help others to read it as well. As such a church should promote dialogue and joint learning. For centuries dialogue was already gone in the Catholic churches, but for several decades it has also dispeared in many protestant churches.

In several churches the leaders do not want to hear questions and tell their flock when they have such difficult questions their faith is weak.

If your pastor bristles when you ask him a difficult question, that ought to set off alarm bells. Mention that you support gay marriage and observe the reaction. Suggest that the earth might not be only 6000 years old and see what kind of reception you get.

Some churches have convinced themselves that discussing difficult questions like these is unhealthy. It is almost as if they worry that their faith will fade away when exposed to the light. If it’s tested, it may just shatter.

The reality is that if our faith is that fragile, it probably was never true. If our God is so easily defeated, he is probably not really the true God. Whether we have built castles of doctrine on flimsy foundations or have metaphorically curled ourselves up into a ball around the fundamentals of the gospel, avoiding the tough questions will never lead to any real answers.

So, if you find that your church shuts down, shames or freezes out people who ask tough questions and openly verbalize their reasonably held doubts, then you are not in a place that fosters and promotes the thinking that is needed for growth. {Is It Time To Leave Your Church?}

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The roots of mom guilt

Under the pressure to raise successful kids, it’s easy for parents to blame themselves for all of their children’s struggles, writes Amy Paturel in The Washington Post. “Mom guilt” is rooted in the desire for parents to feel control over their child’s livelihood. “With this sort of ‘magical thinking,’ if you’re the cause, then you can be the solution,” says psychotherapist Dana Dorfman. And to some extent, the tendency to search for the cause of our kids’ problems in our own behavior is a good thing — it can help us to become better parents. But it can be self-defeating when it isn’t paired with self-compassion; Shame can harm a parent’s mental health, and even interfere with the parent-child relationship. “You wouldn’t tell your friend she’s responsible for her child’s autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or mental health problems,” writes Paturel, “so don’t berate yourself for your children’s maladies.” [The Washington Post]

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A new start after 60: ‘I became a security guard at 66. Am I ever scared? No’

From her first job, at 11, cleaning a factory floor, Anne-Marie Newland has always worked – as a choreographer, as a drummer for Toyah and as a yoga teacher – while raising four children. Then, when Covid struck, her life took yet another turn

Full story here

Anne-Marie Newland is a mistress of career change. By the time she opened her shop, Sweet Charity, in Kensington Market in 1982, selling psychedelic clothing to, among others, Annie Lennox and Kim Wilde, she was 25 and had already pursued several paths. At 19, she had choreographed dancers for Vangelis and covered classes for Arlene Phillips, who had taught Newland at Arts Educational London (she was then Anne-Marie Khachik).

She was a youth worker and played drums in bands, briefly with Toyah Willcox. Later, she became a “stay-home mother” to four children, “the highlight of [her] life”, and for many years she worked as a yoga teacher and trainer. But it still feels surprising to hear her say that, at 66, she qualified as a security guard.


Find also more about Sharon McAllister’s daughter who trained as a yoga teacher, raved about the yoga so much that McAllister herself was tempted. She had spent decades as a hairdresser, but this year, at the age of 65, she joined four strangers on an intensive, 250-hour yoga-teaching course in Spain.

Former hairdresser Sharon McAllister became a yoga teacher at 65.

Brain active, body supple … former hairdresser Sharon McAllister became a yoga teacher at 65. Photograph: Jill Mead/The Guardian

Her instructor told her: “You have your own individual skills to bring.” While she is still developing her personal style of teaching, she has noticed that the way she ends her classes is very popular – with an assisted savasana, or corpse pose, in which she offers a postural adjustment of her class-goers’ feet, arms, heads, necks and shoulders.

Read further: A new start after 60: ‘I didn’t want to be an invisible old lady – so I became a yoga teacher’

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