Do spiritual women have an easier time giving birth? A recent study suggests they do. The study, published in The Annals of Family Medicine, looked at 17 years of medical records for a birthing center serving Amish women in southwest Wisconsin. It found that the Amish women had fewer cesarean sections, lacerations, and other labor-related complications than other American women.
In honor of Mother’s Day and my own mother, who passed away of Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS, eight years ago, I thought I would share the poem I wrote the morning she died.
A Journey In Listening
We were dependent on your loving words,
Your wise advice,
Your compassionate understanding.
We told you everything.
You told us everything.
We were best friends.
Mexico’s obsession with death—its manic skeleton figurines, its altars festooned with tequila, cigarettes, and skulls—always seemed strange and macabre to me. Then, a few years ago, I visited the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende and woke up on November 2, the Day of the Dead, to streets lined with marigolds, candles flickering in homes and stores, colorful cut-out papers fluttering everywhere, and families picnicking and playing guitars in the decorated cemetery. Suddenly, death was everywhere, in the guise of beauty.
Courtesy of GreenDeals.org.
10. Family’s Lunches
Ten Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life
By Renée Peterson Trudeau
NEW WORLD LIBRARY
When you're swigging a soda to stay awake, yelling at your four-year-old, and fantasizing about how boarding school might be a fabulous idea, it’s hard to envision a peaceful home life. Yet raising a family can be a sacred, nourishing experience, says Renée Peterson Trudeau. Families are more than a bunch of people who share a bathroom, she writes. “I believe there is a divine orchestration at play. We’re together for a reason.”
Overcoming Addiction and Ending America’s Greatest Tragedy
By David Sheff
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT
Everyone has a skeleton in the closet. And the United States has an awfully big one: Ten percent of Americans are addicted to drugs or alcohol. It’s an ugly, heartbreaking epidemic that is devastating our families, our neighborhoods, and our economy, costing $400 billion a year in health-care and crime-related costs, and lost productivity.
Why does it sometimes seem that people with the most money can be the least generous and most fearful about losing money?
We must teach our children about religion for three reasons. First, human beings are intrinsically religious: for thousands of years we have inquired into the meaning of life, often expressing our thoughts in the form of religious myth, ritual, and theology. Teaching our children about religion helps cultivate the art of existential inquiry: learning to ask and answer the core questions of life: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going? and Why?
Second, human beings often use religion to justify warring against one another. Teaching our children about the human origins of religion helps them to resist religiously sanctioned violence.
Third, our children live in a world where working constructively with one’s neighbors requires an understanding of our neighbors’ religion. Teaching our children about religion helps them to build more stable and loving communities.
Therapist Barbara Findeisen helps people dig deep through the rubble of their lives and uncover their essence.