The Sensitive Human Animal

We humans can’t see our bodies clearly. Think of the lovely young woman, already slender, who looks in a mirror and sees ugliness and fat. Or think of the poorly conditioned middle-aged man who acts like a swaggering college kid. Or think of religious traditions … Continue reading

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Floating in the Hormonal Sea

Our body chemistry changes, moment by moment. We feel this indirectly as energy levels rise and fall, fullness gives way to hunger, and arousal alternates with sleepiness. Many of these internal shifts are due to hormones. The pituitary gland, connected … Continue reading

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The Soft Animal of the Body

Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. — Mary Oliver Bessel van der Kolk’s 2014 book, The Body Keeps the Score, reminds me of how strongly both my physical and mental condition have been shaped by … Continue reading

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Those Absolutely Essential Truths I Can’t Remember

My dog fell ill, and I forgot every healthy lesson life has taught me. Ralphy, an eleven pound mass of gray white fur and–I believe–the most affectionate companion in the world, has been one of my steadiest supporters for seven years. Saturday morning, … Continue reading

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Trauma: Vitamin ‘T’ for the Soul

Vitamin ('vītəmĭn; noun): Any of various … substances essential in minute amounts for normal growth and activity. Imagine a supplement that could increase human compassion and sensitivity. Would you add it to your diet? If it meant enduring discomfort, as … Continue reading

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Sculpting Happiness

Today I am filling in at the local Suicide Hot Line. Since this time of day tends to be slow, I’ll probably have time to complete a post. As I planned this essay, knowing where I’d be writing it, the … Continue reading

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