Can Stoic practice help you live a happier life? I say yes, and I've been writing about why.
I’m happy to highlight two recent posts featuring my work on Stoicism and happiness, and a free upcoming online event that can help anyone interested learn more about how to "live like a Stoic."
The first post, "Stoic Happiness in this Fleeting Moment," is a piece I contributed to the Modern Stoicism blog as part of a series on Stoic ideas and happiness. Please take a look if you haven't already done so!
Also, if you'd like to test your Romance language skills, some news: an Italian translation of the same article appeared as a post in The Notebook, an Italian language blog, where I’m known as “La Mamma Stoica.” (Thanks to the blog's author for translating and sharing this.)
Last, I'd like to spotlight Stoic Week. Every fall, the Modern Stoicism group offers a free chance to follow along with online educational material that helps you "live like a Stoic" for the week, and then to reflect on it afterwards. This year it begins on October 1. I recommend making the effort to try this if you can, even for just a few days. Participating in Stoic Week helped me start to internalize the practices of this highly practical philosophy!
Last week, Modern Stoicism published my guest post on Stoic Parenting in the Age of Distraction. If you haven't seen it, please check it out. If you already have, thanks!
The post is my take on staying focused on what really matters - as parents, modern Stoics, and technology users. It's not an easy task in our world filled with distracting devices and competing demands.
My story begins with my dad, who had remarkable powers of concentration. I find it much more difficult than he did, but every day is an opportunity to practice. I try to squeeze in dedicated periods of concentration. The more I remind myself to be present, the more I'm able to focus on the people and projects I truly care about.
In case you are not familiar with it, Modern Stoicism is an excellent source on applying Stoic philosophy to our lives today. Writers for the blog explore a wide range of interpretations of Stoic thought. The group also organizes the annual Stoicon conference and Stoic Week.
I wanted to let you know about an opportunity to learn more about Stoicism: Stoic Week. It is starting tomorrow, organized by Stoicism Today, a group launched by folks at the University of Exeter, UK. (The group has gotten some cool media coverage.) You are asked to register online to start the program.
The premise of Stoic Week is to spend a week living like a Stoic today, and to see if it makes a difference for you. You are given daily readings and exercises to help you re-frame your thinking, inspired by Stoic philosophers.
Stoic Week is now in its fifth year. More than 3,200 people worldwide took part last year. Most people spent about a half hour participating per day, organizers say.
How do we know if Stoic Week does any good? Organizers ask participants to fill out an assessment at the start of the week, one that helps gauge how you feel about your life, how you make your choices, how you handle your emotions, and more. At the end of the week, you are asked to fill out a second survey, and that is when it will become clear if/how our mindsets have shifted. Many past participants reported positive effects.
Interestingly, the ratio of males to females who filled out surveys last year was 65 percent to 35 percent. It would be excellent to get more women (including moms) involved!
I’ve just begun the readings. Hoping to be more Stoic by week’s end…. And I will let you know!
Thanks for visiting The Stoic Mom, where ancient philosophy and modern parenting meet.
My investigations into ancient Greek and Roman Stoicism allow me to say quite truthfully that I do appreciate you. I know that you could easily have done a million other things with your time rather than stop here. I'm picturing this website without you right now, and it is a very sad scene indeed. Which makes me grateful for you.
I will strive to make the most of our time together. I've just begun a year-long (or more?) investigation of how Stoic philosophy and the mindfulness that flows from it can impact the way a person lives today. In this case, that person is me--a mom to two daughters ages 10 and 8, a wife, and a writer and editor trying to juggle work and child-rearing/family while still maintaining a life full of art and philosophy. Please join me as I explore the fruits of this millennias-old thinking... which might just be an antidote to our modern world's flaws.
About The Stoic Mom
I'm Meredith Kunz, a writer, editor, and mom to two daughters in Northern California on a journey to discover how Stoic philosophy and mindful approaches can change a parent's - or any person's - life.