Category: Featured

I am Pissed Off About Having Mental Illness: Are You?

  By Gabe Howard   People living with mental illness share many common traits. In the advocacy world, we share many of them openly. We discuss the symptoms of the illness, the uncertainty, the fear and we share ways that people with mental illness can receive better treatment, better services, more understanding and have better outcomes. We have another common trait that is seldom shared. We all experience it, on some level, and most of us share it only with our trusted friends and family. When we sit alone with other mentally ill people, we swap stories. That is...

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Pope Francis: A Man for All Seasons.

  By Gerry Ellen A breath of fresh air has swept over Vatican City. A new sense of purpose and meaning of the highest order is occupying the artful and historically meticulous corners of Italy and the world. A man who chose his Catholic name based on St. Francis of Assisi, the humble servant to all human and animal life. A peaceful presence at heart, who sees the good in all beliefs and values in his duty to the entire religious system, and delved in deep to gain more of an understanding on how to take steps towards a...

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Spiritual, Not Religious.

  By Ann Graham Nichols   As a teenager, I attended services for the High Holy Days with a Jewish friend, bought a Star of David, and decided to own my Jewish heritage. Then I dated a Catholic boy and spent Sundays mesmerized by incense and robes. Later, I joined a protestant church, became an elder, served communion and I was baptized. I loved the hymn singing, and the sense of belonging. Somewhere in there, I became viciously judgmental about the term “spiritual, not religious.” I viewed it as a copout—a way to stake a claim to being “good” without...

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To Scratch or Not to Scratch?

  By Sherrin Fitzer “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl Many of us likely know that there is a difference of opinion among people who meditate concerning whether a person should scratch an itch during meditation. Some feel it is not a big deal if we want to scratch: do so, and come back to our point of focus. Another faction suggests to scratch it if we wish and to do this with utmost...

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Good Men with Guns.

    By Dejah Beauchamp     “Did you hear about the terrorist attack in Paris?” my mom asked as I stepped in the door. I’d just spent two hours in a waiting room with the TV channel turned to CNN, so yes, I’d heard of it. I’d seen the video of three men in a shootout at the offices of Charlie Hebdo (the French equivalent of Mad Magazine) playing over and over until I had to clench my fists to keep myself from running up to the TV and shutting it off. I was sick to death (and...

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