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Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World

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Josh "Dr. J" Misner

Mindfulness researcher, author of Put the F**king Phone Down

The Damaging, Dangerous Illusion of Choice

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All too often, I’ve been in the position of either participating in or being a spectator to the following arguments:

  • Addiction is a choice. Why should my tax dollars go toward providing rehab and therapy for someone who chose to get high and party?
  • A lot of people choose to be homeless. I don’t know why, but maybe they’re just lazy and don’t want to work for a living. McDonald’s is always hiring, so I can’t understand why they don’t just get a job instead of holding a cardboard sign and begging all day.
  • I don’t believe in tipping waitstaff, baristas, or delivery drivers. They chose to work in a profession that pays horribly and relies on tips. If they don’t like it, just go find a better job.

Perhaps you have as well.

While each argument has numerous points deserving of debate, there’s a common denominator running through each that arguments fail to address: the illusion of choice. Continue reading “The Damaging, Dangerous Illusion of Choice”

Making Room: The Most Profound Lesson 4 Months at Sea Taught Me

I started working on our family’s travel plans for Semester at Sea six months or so before we left the US on the adventure of a lifetime. As I pored over apps like Travelocity, Hopper, and hotels.com to try to find the best (i.e., cheapest) deals and arrange for the two-week excursion scheduled to take place prior to our arrival on the ship, I was dumbfounded by a simple and rather annoying condition to European air travel: maximum bag weight. Perhaps this outs me as a naive and unseasoned world traveler, but I’d never run into such a thing before. Continue reading “Making Room: The Most Profound Lesson 4 Months at Sea Taught Me”

Three in the Morning

A lot has transpired in the last two weeks since I blogged here. We left Poland, had to skip traversing the Kiel Canal in Germany because of technical difficulties (with the canal, not the ship, thankfully), spent about 6 days in Lisbon, Portugal and Cádiz, Spain, and now, we’re crossing the Mediterranean just north of Algiers.

I have some catching up to do on recording our experiences in Lisbon and Cádiz, but for now, I wanted to post a poem I penned a couple of nights ago while battling insomnia. Continue reading “Three in the Morning”

Peeking Behind the Iron Curtain

When I was a kid, living my best parachute pants-clad life in the 1980s, I was a devout fan of Mad Magazine.

My fandom, of course, was fueled primarily by my love of the cartoon, Spy vs. Spy.

Continue reading “Peeking Behind the Iron Curtain”

Survival By Accident: Reflections on Gdansk

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As I sit up in bed on our ship, the MV World Odyssey, Polish food in my belly and a hint of Dubrowka bison grass vodka in my veins, I cannot help but reflect on what an incredibly profound day today has been.

Today was my first field class, meaning that I took one of my three communication courses for Semester at Sea on a “field trip” of sorts, this time my intercultural communication class on an exploration of the impact of the Holocaust on the people of Gdańsk, Poland. Continue reading “Survival By Accident: Reflections on Gdansk”

Berlin: The Character of a City

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I’ve always felt like cities have a character about them. Growing up in Spokane, we all talked about our city’s character; it was the big city with a small town mindset. Even to this day, it has that feel to it, for the most part.

In Reykjavik, it was all about the environment. Iceland is, by far, one of the cleanest countries I’ve ever been to, and their commitment to zero emissions and waste is evident in every single thing they do. In fact, I’d say that’s probably their defining feature and what they seem most proud of.

In Bergen, it was their heritage and way of life. Everywhere we went, everyone we saw, and everything we were surrounded by was decidedly Norwegian. Even the ancient wooden stave we visited, though it had the emblems of Christianity and all the influence that comes with that, those symbols were overpowered by the Viking and Nordic influences of old. Continue reading “Berlin: The Character of a City”

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