A young man becomes a listening nomad; a missing violin brings a musician closer to herself; a community of Detroiters meditates with Sylvia Boorstein; Courtney Martin mourns the freedoms of childlessness. Reflections on the unexpected places where we find deep truth in ourselves and each other.
Parenting is a joy and a gift — but we should also give parents space to acknowledge the lost freedoms of youth that they miss. Courtney looks wistfully back to what life was like before her daughters, alongside the huge love and gratitude she feels for motherhood.
Setting aside time to disengage; hacking the brain; getting real about connection — wisdom from Ian Caldwell, Sharon Salzberg, George Shultz, and more.
There may not be one magic key to successful relationships. But it helps for us to share this goal: to have our partners’ back, no matter what chaos life throws our way.
Creating a false division between life and work has its own pitfalls.
The elemental closeness of a mother to her children, and to her own body.
Courtney Seiberling on rediscovering the magic of things, even after deep loss seems to drain our world of wonder.
Interrogating our anger, honoring our elders, facing the truth of life’s fragility, and helpful new discussion guides for Becoming Wise — the best of what’s engaging our minds and spirits these days.
It can feel painful to reflect on our mortality — especially the mortality of our loved ones. But maybe embracing the reality of death can help us to fear it less, and appreciate the wonder of life all the more.
A tribute to a beloved singer’s challenging life; escaping the rage cycle in this global moment; and our columnists on uprooting our assumptions about life’s most essential questions, from parenting to the nature of our relationships.
Courtney offers up a fear- and judgment-free space, and draws forth the perspectives of women who don’t have kids, by choice or otherwise.
Whether to have children is one of the most life-defining decisions we will make. And there is joy and meaning to be found on either path — as well as endless challenges and frustration. Courtney Martin on why the best place to turn for guidance is inward.
From a perennial favorite on busyness to hard conversations to help us understand each other — a round-up of the most-read blog posts of the past year.
In the light of a New Year’s sparkler, a metaphor for the illuminating capacity we hold within, despite our fleeting existence.
When going about our business, could we pay more attention to what we’re leaving behind for others in our wake?
t’s been an adventurous, power-packed week here at On Being on Loring Park. It feels so gratifying to release the…
There is beauty in what makes us human, but also in what reveals us as creatures. A woman shares her evolving perspective on the animal nature of family life, and the raw freedom she finds therein.
Meaning and learning present themselves to us in unexpected ways. Commentaries on keeping ourselves open to surprising lenses on life, and to how they can enrich our relationships, our work, and our play.
Like all of us, Courtney Martin wants the best for her family, and rightly so. But from education to strollers, the best is often only accessible to a certain group. She reimagines responsible parenting as embodied care for one’s own, as well as for the families of strangers.
Courtney Martin on C. Nicole Mason’s new memoir and turning toward what’s uncomfortable to witness, and then acting on what we feel.
Athleticism can pay off with glory and spectacle, but it’s also a daily ritual, a crucible for character. Theologian Don C. Richter explores the the spiritual underpinnings of the discipline of sport.
The final days of expectation can bring surprising clarity. Courtney Martin pauses in this suspended space, and marvels at the end of the wait for new life, in all its gritty wonder.
Often the most valuable lessons are fathers’ teach us are the ones we didn’t realize we were learning. A son of Korean immigrants expresses gratitude for a lifetime of tough-love education from his wartime father.
Using a children’s book on death as a scaffolding, Courtney Martin makes a case for kids teaching adults how to work through grief and death in better ways.
Behold! A sneak preview of Creating Our Own Lives, an exciting, new addition to our portfolio of podcasts! Plus, our executive editor selects some of the most intriguing reads on female sex positivity, evolving definitions of motherhood, democracy’s doctors, and the cultural treasures binding us together.
Entering the home stretch of her pregnancy, Courtney Martin takes a closer look at the bizarre phenomenon from which we are all brought forth into the world.
Even with years of experience, the parenting journey is one of constant learning — about a budding life, and about oneself. Courtney Martin gives thanks for the grit and grace of new motherhood.
The daughter of refugees pens an open letter to her mother. She reflects on the inheritance of suffering, offering this ode to the resilience of the human spirit and gratitude for the opportunity to flourish.
We lost a beloved cultural icon last week, and his life of work has inspired an outpouring of love in music and story. Celebrations of Prince’s life accompany praise for standing up together, in support of our strengths and growth from moments of weakness.
More and more fathers-to-be are expressing hopes to have daughters. Courtney Martin explores the well-intentioned feminism behind this desire, and finds that focusing on masculinity might be even more radical.
The architecture around us inhabits the vernacular of our lives. Our executive editor with this week’s letter from Loring Park welcoming our new columnist Sarah Smarsh, who joins a collective contemplation of where and how we navigate our lives in faith, family, and citizenship.
How do we navigate the fluid dynamics of sex, gender, and identity in our children when we are drawn to the comfort of binaries? Pregnant with her second child, our columnist wonders out loud about her own inclinations and attachments while raising children.
We’re confronted with choices of wanting to do what’s best for our children and our communities. But sometimes they come into conflict with each other. What do we do then? Courtney Martin on the intersections of public and personal life as she makes school choices for her daughter.
To put the children first is a parent’s most basic instinct. But when does self-sacrifice become self-destruction? Omid Safi offers a new understanding of the importance of self-care.
Life is a long haul, and wisdom is knowing when to surge forth, and when to pause. Reflections on the value of spending time in spaces of uncertainty and pain before charging courageously ahead.
Paul Kalanithi’s latest book spurs a pregnant mother to recognize the myth of meaning-making. Our columnist on reckoning with ambiguous endings, and the spectrum of imperfection on which we must all live and thrive.
The clock presses upon us and our families every day. A reminder that it’s not the roses we should stop to smell, but the most tender gestures written in the morning’s light.
The things a parent is willing to do for, and put up with, her child is beyond comprehension. A thriving, non-religious mother talks meaningful about the spiritual experience of raising a child.
Lives are so well-planned that we tend to focus on the destination. But what if we thought in terms of trajectory? A nuanced perspective on learning to see your grown-up children as independent adults who thrive and persevere.
What gets lost when we erect a fortress around our children? A mother glimpses the beauty of trusting strangers around her daughter, and discovers the risk of losing the village to our own fears.
2016 is around the corner. What’s the question you’re putting to bed and what’s the one that’s just being born within you at this transitional time of year?
With the gift of a poem, a father marvels at the infinities embodied by his young son in this lyrical moment of parental reverence.
Being a mother is an act of transformation and discovery. Courtney Martin examines the gifts of obliteration of motherhood, and the maternal love that rushes in as responsibility beckons.
What makes each child unique cannot be measured or scored. A nourishing story from a school principal on the “many ways of being smart” and testing children.
An affirmation of presence, a victory of joy, a connection maintained: these are the things a young mother observes in her elderly next door neighbors, as a husband gently tends to his wife in her final days. A beautiful account of what love truly looks like.
Communication with our children can sometimes hit a wall. A father shares some helpful guidelines for architecting richer, more connected relationships with children. What could be more important?
It’s easy to mentally sanitize and romanticize the creative process, but the real work is done in the clutter and the mess of daily living. An enconium on imperfection, self-doubt, and the importance of pushing through.
In an increasingly frenetic world, emptying the mind in intentional silence can feel impossible. By returning to the Quaker tradition, one mother rediscovers the solace of communal stillness and embracing the busyness of her thoughts.
A physician takes refuge in the wavelike nature of the inbreath and outbreath, and the soft beauty of a newborn child.
A home can be a sacred space for children if adults give it the attention necessary. A mother’s essay on modeling devoted action, fostering a healthy will, and creating structure through chores as a powerful, stabilizing force in the household.