Mud and Dreams (Coming Soon!)

My first full book is coming this May 2018. Mud and Dreams is a series of essays on the poetry and science of living. A work of “motivational poetics” the book speaks directly to the human concerns at the center of our lives.  Mud and Dreams makes poetry, philosophy and…

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Sharks and Stoics

One day my wife and daughters were at the beach enjoying cups of ice cream and sun and walking out on the pier. My youngest looked over the rail, and bursting with joy, shouted, “How cool! A shark!” Her excitement was absolute and unrestrained. My older daughter, turned and glanced…

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Is This Forgiveness?

Jack Kornfield tells stories of forgiveness, heroic and true. Of Buddhist nuns brutally imprisoned for saying their prayers, afraid only that they would lose their compassion for their captors. Or of the mother who welcomed the killer of her child into her home, and nurtured him and made him kind. They…

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Throwing Bullets on the Fire

When we first moved to the place I would come to call home, a boy, five years my senior, knocked on the door to meet his new playmate.  He introduced himself, spelled his last name, and every weekend and summer we played: Sometimes in the woods pretending we were soldiers…

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Endgame

Hope Chess

I am intrigued by chess.  I don’t understand it.  My rank, if I had one, would fall somewhere between hack and tender beginner.  I am regularly beaten by third graders who only play after school with milk and cookies as they wait for their mothers to pick them up.  Yet…

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Sisyphus and the Path to Meaning

Sisyphus-Meaning in Life

In The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus retells the ancient Greek tale of the king Sisyphus who was condemned to forever push a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again.  Despite an eternity of “futile labor”, in the end Camus concludes “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.” …

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Strengths Of Our Children

Parenting and Strengths

Everything I have learned in life that has mattered, I learned from my children.  They are the “sacred Yes” about whom Nietzsche spoke. In positive psychology we study strengths.  This is good and valuable and has taught us so much about people at their best, and about life’s luminous moments. …

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Survival at Sea, In Business and In Life

The New York Times Magazine recently published a story about a fisherman who fell off his lobster boat in the middle of the night, forty miles from Long Island.  No one knew where John Aldridge had fallen off or when.  It was hours before anyone discovered he was missing and…

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An Argument for Kindness (Part II)

(portions of this article first appeared on positive psychology news daily:  http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/sean-doyle/2013032525681) In my first post on this topic, I concluded that in the face of hardship, injustice or deep trauma, the only answer was love and holding even tighter to kindness.  This seems naive, trite.  However whether in the…

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Accepting Hardship

. . . and when everything feels like it is too much, when the full density of world is slipping loose from tired fingers and there is just so much that you do not know, let yourself breathe, breathe into the realization that: I do not understand;  I do not…

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