Monthly Archives: June 2016

The quest for unconditional love

The quest for ‘unconditional love’
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 28, 2016

The phrase “unconditional love” is redundant.

If love is conditional, it isn’t love.

Recently, Kirtan artist Missy Balsam performed her original song “Unconditional Love” at a Ruby and Pearl’s Yoga Studio workshop. (The video is on YouTube.)

Every human being yearns to be supported and nurtured regardless of flaws, mistakes, lapses in judgment and blemishes.  As the chimes of Missy Balsam’s voice synced with the harmonium, she reassured everyone the love and acceptance we all crave has always been within us.

There was not a dry eye in the place.  That spiritual awareness, feeling that unconditional love, the oneness with all that is, eludes most. Continue reading

Working the plank meditation

Conquering long-term projects with the plank meditation
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 21, 2016

 Big achievements require time and effort investments.

That second master’s degree is two years.  Reading War and Peace will consume a summer.  That 26.2-mile marathon can be six hours. Writing a book (a decent one) requires a year.   Losing thirty pounds may take months.

Dr. Jonas Salk was awarded a grant to study polio in 1948, and, five years later, he announced he had successfully tested his vaccine.  The work behind NASA’s space shuttle, from concept to the first flight, stretched decades.

Determination is rooted in patience, a patience many of us think we don’t have.  The paths of long-term projects are riddled with sacrifice, struggle, failure, re-strategizing and start-overs.

You can wait for short cuts or Easy Street to magically do your work for you, or, in denial, you can wait for the Law of Attraction tractor beam to lasso your dreams. You’ll be waiting a long time.

The time you fill with any activity will pass.  At the end of the two years, the summer, the six hours, the year, the months, the five years or the decades, you’ll have something wonderful.  Or not.

Continue reading

A dire diagnosis prompts the question: When am I finished with life?

How do you know when you are finished with life?
by Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on June 14, 2016

saint barbara

Saint Barbara

In May, a physician’s assistant in the emergency room told me I had a three-centimeter mass on my left ovary.  She said I had to schedule a follow-up appointment within 24 hours to arrange a biopsy.

Ovarian cancer was on the possibility table.

I left the hospital, shocked and shaken, and I stood in the parking lot. I raised my eyes to the blue Maxfield Parrish sky.

Convinced I was going to die sooner rather than later, I wailed, “But I’m not finished yet!”

My time limit just got real.

Continue reading