Will AI be affected by the culture it grows up in?

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Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

“Dogs aren’t as important as people! Kill the dogs!”

“No — dogs are innocent, and they are just victims of circumstance, they didn’t put themselves in the car!”

The shouting match continued as I showed my students increasingly weirder scenarios: would you choose for the driverless car to self-sacrifice a car full of robbers rather than swerve and kill one older adult? What if it was a car full of cats? What if the older adult was crossing against the light?

These scenarios come from a test called the Moral Machine, created by scientists at MIT to crowdsource answers for…

Finding your balance

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Photo by Denise Johnson on Unsplash

Have you ever had the experience of having a new routine go fabulously only to have it fizzle out after a week or two? Or had a strict diet protocol feel cleansing and nourishing at first, only to start feeling ravenous and depleted out of nowhere?

I know I have. It’s frustrating and confusing. But the past few days, I’ve been reading and listening to the work of Alisa Vitti, a women’s hormone expert, who has been blowing my mind. She points out that all of the wellness practices that call for grinding out the exact same routine every day…

This winter my motto is “Analog is Warmer”

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Photo by Emre on Unsplash

“Mom, are you going through a Tumblr phase?!” my seventeen-year-old daughter squealed at me over dinner last Sunday.

Maybe I am — maybe at 43 years old, I’m having some sort of return to adolescence. A midlife crisis? But this doesn’t feel like a crisis, it feels like a hack, a trick. I asked my daughter to explain what an aesthetic was to her very clueless and confused father.

“Well, this is a terrible word, but it works… it’s a vibe” she said spreading her hands expressively. “It’s more than a visual, it’s the feeling that comes from the visual.”

The one habit to rule them all

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Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

Changing a habit is simple in concept but difficult in practice. But I found a hack that might help you too, and it’s finding your keystone habit.

A keystone habit is one change that you can focus on, which will start a chain reaction to changing other habits. Like the keystone in an archway, it holds up and supports lots of other little habits. And if you are trying to change all the other little habits but neglecting your keystone, that can also make change more difficult.

If you’re still not sure, here’s my story of finding a keystone this…

When having it all means losing your self

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Photo by Jonathan Hoxmark on Unsplash

She ran the campus clinic and was married to my graduate advisor. Both at the top of their game, both doctors (she an MD, he a Ph.D.). He was a wunderkind obtaining multiple appointments fresh out of grad school, she oversaw the health of the entire university. They were the “perfect” family. Two kids: one boy, one girl. Both children were gifted and polite. A house right out of Dwell magazine. They exercised together as a family, going on bike rides to the farmer’s market and week-long canoe trips for spring break. …

Whether it’s starting a practice or sticking with it, this will help

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Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash

Meditation takes work, and there are often things that get in the way. These things can interrupt you during your practice, and they can also keep you from starting at all.

Whether you are a Buddhist or not, we all can agree that the Buddha had some excellent advice for meditation, and most of what you hear these days about mindfulness or meditation came from him. One lesser-known lesson was about the things that may negatively impact your practice. He called them the Five Hindrances. …

How Non-Violent Communication helped me have good boundaries

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Photo by Kate Kalvach on Unsplash

Growing up as the youngest in my family meant learning to go with the flow. I rarely could voice my opinion, and when I did, it wasn’t taken seriously. I wore hand-me-downs and looked up to my brothers. They told me what music I should listen to. I played the games they wanted to play and watched the shows they liked to watch. The things I loved, roller skating, playing with My Little Ponies, dancing — meant being alone. …

How a Simple Journaling Practice Got Me Dancing Again

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Photo by Brent Gorwin on Unsplash

This is the story of how a journaling practice called “Morning Pages” got me out of a rut and helped me start dancing again. Journaling helped me uncover unconscious beliefs that were holding me back, sparked my creativity, and allowed me to come back home to my body.

It all started when I was invited to participate in a reading group for the book The Artist’s Way. The plan was to work through a chapter a week and meet up to discuss along the way. …

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Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

To understand my commitment to awareness I have to start with all the time spent avoiding feeling. Like someone who’d grown up in a dark room not knowing what colors are, that’s how I was about my own feelings. Cut off from the neck down. Understanding feelings in theory, but never fully allowing myself to feel them.

This blindness began long before my addiction took hold, it goes back to my early childhood. I was a sensitive child not allowed to feel. Sensitive people, (which I’m starting to believe is all of us) have it hard in this broken world…

Yes. Really.

Couple sitting outside with newspapers and fall leaves
Couple sitting outside with newspapers and fall leaves
Photo by Dora Reis on Unsplash

There is a popular trend right now going around social media. First, it was Dry January, and now Sober October. The challenge is to give up alcohol for a month. It started in Australia, but it’s picking up steam here in the States. This crazy year may seem like the least likely time to give up our booze but I want to break down for you five reasons why now might actually be the BEST time to take a break from the bottle.

Built-In Accountability

Social media challenges can actually be a great way to try new things. You automatically get the…

Amanda O’Bryan

Psychologist and Human mood ring.

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