Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

When we are trying to accomplish anything, most people want things to come together smoothly and quickly, with “quickly” being the operative word…

 

It doesn’t matter whether it’s reaching a travel destination, finishing a project at the office, losing weight, or learning to play the guitar. We’re taught that faster is better.  Our culture is bombarded with messages from Madison Avenue that faster is better.  Directors of our largest companies – and Wall Street overall – reward quarterly results.  They ask “What have you accomplished over the last 12 weeks?” … instead of long-term growth and stability.

 

Perhaps it’s not fair to pick on CEOs and Wall Street, because examples of “fast is better” are replete in practically every corner our culture.  We all want to see immediate returns for our efforts, and we take huge strides toward reaching our goals expeditiously.  After all, why take small steps when we can take quantum leaps?  And who would want to take the long way when it takes so … long?

 

Another perspective is that, while there is nothing wrong with desiring to move quickly, we also need a strong sense of an appreciation for taking the long way and completing things one step at a time.  Put simply … we need to realize there are real benefits – and we can be happy and content – with taking the long way.

 

Why?

 

Because many things really are meant to take some time.

 

Some things are meant to unfold on their own timeline.  And we are meant to learn things about the issue, about ourselves, about others, and what we are trying to accomplish along the way. Read More »

Posted on 2 April, 2010 in Career, Goals, Happiness
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

We have been taught all of our lives to tell the truth.  Sounds simple enough, right?

 

Well, not always … sometimes it is the hardest thing to do.

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you were aware of specific information about someone, and that same person you were talking to did not know that you knew?  And how did that make you feel?

 

One time a patient died unexpectedly at the hospital and I was asked as the chaplain to come and be with the family.  But when I got there, I learned they had gone home earlier in the evening, and were called to come back to the hospital because their loved one “had taken a turn for the worse.”

 

So I waited for them outside the unit, introduced myself, ushered them into the family conference room, and alerted the nurse to page the physician to come to deliver the bad news. 

 

And we waited.

 

They began to ask reasonable questions, “What is going on?”  “How was their loved one doing?”  “Has anything bad happened?”  “Why couldn’t they go into the room?”  And I found myself dancing around their questions as I stalled for time.

 

Was I lying by not telling the truth?

 

I knew what had happened.  I knew the answer to their questions.  But someone else was supposed to deliver the news.

 

We find ourselves in the “truth dilemma” every day don’t we?

 

We shade the black-and-white truth with a little gray here and there.  And before we know it, we’ve changed the entire color of the conversation.  We go from living simply to living with complexity.

 

French philosopher Blaise Paschal said, “We know the truth, not only by the reason, but by the heart.”

 

If we want to live more simply, we are drawn to the truth, however difficult that may be.

 

Telling the truth to others, and listening to the truth about ourselves … Both are steps in the journey to living more simply.

 

Malcolm

 

“In human relationships, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths.”
-Graham Greene

 

Malcolm Marler is Director of Pastoral Care for UAB Hospital in Birmingham, AL.  In addition to his interest in spirituality and health, he loves to identify physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of persons, then design and build programs that help meet those needs.  His warmth and humor along with his powerful message of hope and grace is his greatest strength.  Malcolm grew up in Alabama and attended Clemson University (S.C.) on a football scholarship as a defensive back where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Psychology.  He is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY with Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.  Malcolm lives on a lake in North Alabama with the love of his life, Mary Bea Sullivan.  He has two open-hearted, loving stepchildren, Brendan and Kiki who are both freshman in college.  For more information or to contact Malcolm, please visit www.MalcolmMarler.com.

 

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Posted on 29 March, 2010 in Goals, Simplify
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Article by Jennifer Snelling, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Several months ago, someone shared a quote with me that essentially said no one is able to succeed without a support group.  I’ve struggled with this quote since.

 

Of course, you can define your own support group in many different ways.  It could be a literal group of people that encourage you … it could be your family … people you see socially that are interested in what you are doing and lift you up … or it could even be strangers who see your work and offer you praise for it.

 

Today I read a small passage about a young girl who was trying to sing a solo without accompaniment when she was suddenly stricken with stage fright.  She continued to sing, but her voice tightened and went weak.  Someone in the audience compassionately began to hum the tune along with her and was soon joined by a few other people.  With the support of various people in the audience, the girl finished her song with newfound confidence. Read More »

Posted on 19 March, 2010 in Goals, Motivation, Spirituality
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Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt

 

Most likely, everyone knows how destructive viruses can be to our computer.  Virus protection is important to keep our computer healthy and working as intended.

 

Yet many times, we’re not so careful when it comes to protecting our own ourselves … our own minds.  Destructive, negative thinking can have effects that are every bit as devastating as a virus is to a computer.

 

The more serious of these thoughts can lead to mental health problems such as loss of confidence, mild or moderate depression, self esteem issues, and a distorted perception of ourselves.  Science has shown that there is a link between physical and mental well being and positive attitudes in life.  When we are happy and content with life and our thought processes are working correctly our brain releases endorphins, which is our brains’ way of dealing with pain and making us feel happier.  Our brain also releases Gamma Globulin to strengthen our immune system and another chemical called Interferon which combats viruses, infections and even cancer.

 

So how then do we fight destructive thoughts and protect ourselves in order to stay mentally and physically healthy?

 

One answer is to simply make ourselves aware of our own thoughts, and recognize when action is needed so that our own destructive thoughts won’t lead to a downward spiral of negative emotion resulting in mental and physical problems.  Here are four ways to control the viruses in our mind: Read More »

Posted on 19 January, 2010 in Goals, Happiness, Motivation
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Article by Marie Monroe, Edit by Dee DeWitt

 

The Latin words humilis and humus have caught my attention in this season of introspection.  Low to the ground, of the ground, of the dirt …

 

I consider them in my meditations about what it means to be human, to be part of humanity and what type of human I want to be in this New Year of 2010 that fast approaches.

 

Old school exercises of finding root words echo around as I try on more words that fit:  humiliation, humble, humility …

 

Personal Revolution

I find myself reviewing recovery literature from 12 Step programs and growing in my understanding that true humility can not only be a saving grace, but a personal revolution.  True humility, I am reminded as I read, brings a sense of clarity about one’s self, deflating false pride and fantasy.  It brings us back home to who and what we truly are … and there we can celebrate our own humanity.

 

These are large and abstract ponderings, but important ones as I search for what growth I want to cultivate in this coming year. Read More »

Posted on 31 December, 2009 in Goals, Making the Day Count
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