Category Archives: Living Right

What is the Relationship Between Spirituality and Medicine?

So what is the relationship between Spirituality and Medicine?    It’s interesting that the U.S. often separates them, as in many Eastern practices, they are integrated.  And many times spirituality, prayer or herbal remedies are the only forms of medicine practiced. So why do we separate them? Nevit Dilmen

Somehow, we’ve become a bit disconnected from nature and natural healing.
The power of positive thinking…and how gratitude and releasing grudges can have a healing effect.  If you are storing up negativity in your body and mind, of course it has a negative impact.

Then, there is the proactive power of prayer. It brings in floods of love and healing, when we focus and devote ourselves to it.

I often wonder…. we wash our bodies. Do we wash our minds? Of all the harmful, negative, and unproductive thoughts?

If we do, then we have an ’empty’ mind. We can fill this empty mind with all the good we want! And that goodness is positive and that goodness is healing.  It can be a good, cleansing thought, or the full power of devoted prayer.

There has been much research done that concludes that spirituality and medicine are becoming increasingly interwoven in American culture:

The evidence in the medical literature that suggests a strong relationship between spirituality and medicine is increasing.  Polls of the U.S. population have consistently shown that 95 percent of Americans believe in God. One study found that 94 percent of patients admitted to hospitals believe that:

-Spiritual health is as important as physical health

-77 percent believe that physicians should consider their patients’ spiritual needs as part of their medical care

-37 percent want their physician to discuss their religious beliefs more. 

-80 percent reported that physicians never or rarely discuss spiritual or religious issues with them.

-GOWRI ANANDARAJAH, M.D., and ELLEN HIGHT, M.D., M.P.H, Brown University School of Medicine, as seen in American Family Medicine 

So let’s integrate, embrace the power of prayer throughout our daily lives. And this power of prayer doesn’t just extend to health. It’s about our relationships, the right work, the right country to move to, the right date to go on, the right dog to adopt, the right child to mentor, the right neighbor to bake for!

All has a Divine Design. Plug into it now! 

Celebrating Women All Over the World


Continuing in our theme of celebrating Armenian culture, women are of importance. Armenia celebrates a Women’s Day the 8th of every March. And it’s not just a calendar date. People consider this an important celebration, with men giving women gifts. In addition, it’s as if the whole town celebrates these women, by putting flowers all over the streets.

May we celebrate women all over the world with gifts and flowers, especially honoring those who are most hurting, across the world. Celebrate a woman in your life today. If you are a woman, gently celebrate yourself.


More Background:
Women’s Day
Official Holiday
Observed on March 8

Women’s Day is popular among Armenians. Men give presents to women, and the streets are full of flowers. People usually celebrate it with friends and have a good time in cafes, restaurants or at home.

Source: Armenia Information

How the Stars Kiss One Another in the Armenian Culture

Armenia is a beautifully resilient country. After declared independence in 1918, it was taken over by the Soviet Union for the next 70 years. It was not until 1991 when they claimed their renewed independence!

The Armenian people are generally viewed as a very kind and family-centric people.

With that, the Armenian people have some very special celebrations which come to light in their culture. They highlight lore and sometimes magical traditions. One of my favorites is Ascension Day, or Hambartsum. One of my favorite parts about this event is the following description:

At midnight nature finds the gift of speech, the water is still for a second; the sky and the earth embrace; the stars kiss one another. Space stops its wheel and the one who witnesses these magic moments will have his or her dreams fulfilled.


More Background:
Ascension Day (Hambartsum)
Religious Holiday
Observed on May 21

Ascension Day is the holiday of love and enjoyment, which is celebrated outdoors in the blossom of May, 40 days after Easter. In ancient times on this day the young ladies were allowed to walk freely in the fields, sing songs, and make acquaintances, which often became crucial in their lives.

Source: Armenia Information

Big Citizenship: Breaking Down The Mold You Put People Into


Alan Khazei has a great book out about the importance of Citizenship, and expands it in so many important areas. Below is an excerpt about breaking down the mold you put people into. In it, he describes Stephen, who was active in service for City Year. He first thought that, since Creighton was from a high class society, he must be removed from the world. But through City Year, they developed the closest of friendships based on mutual care, respect and giving. Continue reading

On Entrepreneurship: You Have to Want to Build a MudHouse in Your Home

… But Let Your Family Help You Build It

I want to discuss a point that I think is important for social entrepreneurs, or any entrepreneur. Often they ask me, “How do I know if it is right to start a social entrepreneurship organization?” or “How do you make the jump and just start?”

I think everyone is different. In many ways, if you have to ask that question regarding social entrepreneurship, or marriage, then I think for me —  it probably isn’t right. I didn’t have a choice with UniversalGiving.Yes, I had fear. But I also had exhilaration and a call. I had white boards up in my bedroom with black capital letters “YOU WILL NOT GIVE UP. YOU CAN DO THIS!” which ‘greeted’ me every morning. I was inspired, called, obsessed… in a good way.

But for others, that may not be the case. For example, you might start a social entrepreneurship organization and have ‘slower goals.’ You might be happy to affect the world in one meaningful, specific, targeted way. You might decide to join a social entrepreneurship team and its existing momentum, providing your valuable skills and input in an existing effort. And similar to some people with marriage, you might not know immediately. I’ve seen successful marriages where people had to think more, analyze, understand that value of their partner, and it took many years to understand this valuable relationship. And so, it could be the case with social entrepreneurship as well.

Everyone is different; there can be no judging. Your concept of how to best get involved in social entrepreneurship, or in a relationship, is specific to you. There is no one way.

There is however, one pathway to follow: and that is your values. You have to go deep inside yourself to understand what type of person you are. And that’s what Richard Dreyfus, as Roy Neary in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, shows us below.

What? He Built a MudHouse in His Home?

Roy had a calling. He hadn’t seen it, but had been impelled to start building Devils Tower.

He set up a card table and began slapping mud blobs on top of each other, building this vision of a mountain. It was to be the place where future aliens would land. So he built it: a huge mudtower in his living room. His wife thought he was crazy. It must have been challenging for their marriage. But something called him to do it.

A colleague asked me the other day, “How do I know when to jump and start my business?”

I think you have to want to build a mudhome in your living room, and you can’t always see the whole reason why. You are wonderfully obsessed.

Mud or Naps?

This is the shock: Roy actually leaves his family for the aliens. That’s right. He leaves family for his calling. Should you do this?

Everyone must make that decision on their own, for themselves, about what calling, family, balance mean to you and your inner truth. Seek out Devils Mountain? Devote every waking moment to your business? Visit family and take walks or a nap on Sunday afternoon? Stay true to your inner voice.  Be honest with your family about what your calling means, and how that might change your, and their, lives. Then continue to stay true to yourself.

The Hula Hoop Syndrome

If you don’t, you’ll face a life of what I would call the Hula-hoop Syndrome. And it’s not pretty. We all enjoy the exhilaration of hoolahooping as a kid. For about 3.7 seconds, if we are any good. :) But we can’t maintain going back and forth and juggling and racing our body to each end to hold it up. It eventually falls. So could you.

But we can’t maintain going back and forth and juggling and racing our body to each end to hold it up. It eventually falls. So could you.

Don’t get battered around by what people — or society — say you should do. The same goes for your calling. There are people out there called to follow their vision for the majority of their lives. Some are brilliant composers. Some may need to travel nine months out of the year. I just read of a man in his 60s who is leaving his wife for three years to go start a school in Africa. Is this wrong?


I can’t really say. And, I don’t yet know how I will handle my situation when I become a mom. I can only hope I will make decisions that uphold the relationships in my life as precious, and ensure those people feel honored, loved. I aspire to achieve a balance of time for work, and time for family, clearly, lovingly delineated. Regardless, I honor all parents who are striving to understand this balance, and the unique choices they make…

For you, balance is… what feels most right to you. You have to follow your inner voice, or Truth, while being honest, clear with your family. Ideally, you can incorporate them into your thinking so it is a joint thinking, a mutual commitment to your passion and to theirs. Then commit to living a life of meaning — whatever that means to you – mud, or naps, or naps alongside the mud.

Back to The Amazing Women at Harvard

I wrote in an earlier post about the amazing, diverse women I met at Harvard’s Dynamic Women in Business Conference. What I think is so exciting, and what this means for everyone, are lives of authenticity and diversity. In 20 years, I expect we will see the following as norms:

Women find their soul mate and get married for the first time at age 22.

Women find their soul mate and get married for the first time at 62.

Women don’t get married.

Women get married and have families.

Women don’t get married and have children.

Women don’t get married and adopt children.

Women live with other women in a community of friends, to raise their children.

Each pathway is good. It’s all about your Truth. Follow it, and you, your life, your family, your community, your world, will see the fruits of your living. Imagine all of us doing this openly and honestly… a wonderful world we can aspire to, starting with ourselves.

What We Can Learn from Japan’s Environmental Sustainability


Where do you think the concept of environmental sustainability came from? Sometimes we think America is the “entrepreneur of all answers.” We innovate here, and I love that quality about our country. And while I’m proud of California’s increased consciousness about the importance of preserving our Earth, we usually have to look back to see where the truth started. Continue reading

Let the Doors Close

“One time, I was walking through a government building. There were two sets of double doors about fifteen feet apart. They were both automatic doors. When you walked through the first set of doors, you had to let them totally close before the next set of doors would open.

As long as I stayed at that first set of doors, the second set would not open. It’s the same principle in life. If you’re sitting around nursing your wounds, feeling sorry for yourself, you’re not going to see anything new. You’ve got to let those doors totally close. Let go of the disappointments.”

Continue reading