Well, Mara wrote a wonderful piece for all of you today and then I came along to read it over in the "draft" window of our blog and managed to delete the whole thing. We don't have a back-up (that won't happen again) and there isn't time for Mara to rewrite it, partly because she and Brad and Malia are hosting some of his family for the weekend.
I felt terrible about what I did, but Mara kept telling me it was no big deal, and I've take her kind words to heart. So instead of our regular post, I'm going to describe three of the 220 pieces I've written for Psychology Today over the past seven years. Each of these is special to me. You can read them by clicking on the titles.
The first piece, "My Other Mother: Being Raised by 'The Maid'" tells the story of Iola who lived with my family while I was growing up. It's one of my favorite pieces, partly because of how much love I feel for Iola and also because it could be a little short story. Yes, it tells a story...a story of love, heartbreak, and forgiveness.
The second piece is called "Four Qualities of Mind that Alleviate Suffering." It's one of the first pieces I wrote for Psychology Today back in 2011 and has turned out to be very popular, with over 230,000 page views. It's special to me for two reasons. First, it features my friend and mentor, Sylvia Boorstein (and even has a picture of her in it!). Second, the qualities of mind it discusses are the heart of my own spiritual practice: kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. The more I cultivate these qualities of mind, the more peace and joy I feel in my life. It's a challenge at times, but it's my personal path in life. Not surprisingly, these four show up in all my books and I'm expanding on them in the new edition of my first book, How to Be Sick, which will be released this Fall.
Lastly, because it's movie award season, I'm including a piece from two years ago called "Oscar Winners about the Physically and Mentally Disabled." This piece contains short commentaries from me on 12 terrific movies that realistically depict people with disabilities. I grew up in Los Angeles and have always loved the movies. My family was best friends with another family whose husband was the attorney for many famous movie stars of the day, including Burt Lancaster, Yul Brynner, and Gregory Peck. As a result, I was sometimes allowed on sets during filming. I've been enchanted by movies ever since. I hope you've seen some those that are in my piece.
Stay tuned for Mara's return next week!