Twenty-five years ago, lifeguard certification required treading water for two minutes without the use of hands. I’m not sure if holding a brick while treading was a Red Cross requirement, but to the instructor I had, it was.
Along with treading with the brick, we also
submerged 12 feet to retrieve the brick from the bottom of the pool, bring it to the surface, and swim it safely to the side under 1 minute 40 seconds.
To a 15 year old at the time, the Lifeguard Brick Test was a thrilling challenge. To a more aged woman now, a brick in water is dead weight.
Metaphorically, many of us are carrying bricks, barely keeping our heads above water. We are kicking hard, exerting energy to keep this brick in our grasp. We’ve got to pass the test. We’ve got to prove we can do it all. But, damn, that brick is heavy. (more…)
In a 75 year study, the longest study on happiness currently led by Robert Waldinger, the bottom line that keeps us happiest and healthiest the longest is this: good relationships.
The study began with men in their teens and lasted into their 80s and extended beyond to their families. By age 50, those who were most satisfied in their relationships were the healthiest by age 80. Cholesterol levels weren’t the determining factor. Wealth was not the determining factor. Nor was fame or working harder.
The bottom line? Mutually secure relationships.
It’s not the number of friendships that are linked to happiness; it’s the quality of the close relationships that matter.
What if I told you that only 20 minutes a day of significantly doing “nothing” could improve your physical and emotional wellbeing, increase your productivity, and deepen your sense of significance?
I like to sit quietly for 20 minutes and just breathe. I shut down my thinking, become keenly aware of what’s going on inside me, and experience calm and total peace. This routine allows me to be totally present, and I’ve learned to practice taking this presence with me throughout my day. (more…)