WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/978308

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forgiveness, find compassion for others, and learn from failure. Express gratitude every day in large and small ways. They urge us to live in the moment, and not hide behind a smart phone or screen. To meditate daily, read poetry, and reflect. Finding and nurturing deep friendships is central to good health, but, they acknowledge, it's not always easy to do. Among other benefits, regular exercise, pet ownership, and religion can lead to joining a community of kindred spirits. Above all, happiness grows from choosing to help others in ways that interest you. Consciously embrace your life's unique purpose through self-awareness, service, and kindness. "Having a purpose in life reduces stress, which, in turn, reduces substance abuse, anxiety, and depression," says Chopra, a gastroenterologist and specialist in liver disease. "A sense of mean- ingfulness can even help manage pain." He cited research that indicates expressing gratitude and serving others correlates to a better mood, more restful sleep, and improved cardiac health. Chopra lectures at conferences and medical programs around the world. On his travels, he has met some extraordinary people who say their lives changed for the better when they witnessed an event or conditions that moved them to help others. Among them is Papá Jaime, who watched in horror as a truck accident killed a homeless child, one of the thousands who live in the streets of Bogotá, Colombia. In that moment, Papá Jaime found his life's purpose, said Chopra. Since then, he has devoted himself to housing, feeding, clothing, and schooling children in need. He has edu- cated more than 32,000 Colombian orphans, many of whom have become professional athletes, doctors, teachers, and computer scientists; and he runs a leadership organization that teaches compassion, service, and peace building. Chopra and Vild do not expect all of us to change our lives as profoundly as Papá Jaime or oth- ers whose stories are in the book. But volunteering locally, helping neighbors, or working with others toward a particular goal can be tremendously rewarding. Because it's hard to break habits and identify a personal path to happiness, they compiled resources readers can use — activities, books, movies, websites, apps, and worksheets — to get started. Asked whether writing the book opened any windows for them, both said as they worked together, writing on weekends and evenings, their circle of friends expanded to include people important in each other's life. At the same time, Vild said when they embarked on the project, she unexpectedly found herself experiencing the unhappiest time in her life. "Writing the book was a balm and a cushion for me," she said. "It put things in perspective and helped me access forgiveness. I was learning as I wrote. The Buddha says 'Every life has a measure of sorrow. Sometimes it is this that awakens us.' " 160 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 8 books "happiness grows from choosing to help others"

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