Fully mindful, fully present for your life.

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Mindfully waltzing with the holidays: Part 1 – Experiencing Thanksgiving independent of the holiday season

Posted on Dec 15, 2014 in Blog, Newsletter | 0 comments

  Bringing Mindfulness to the Changing Seasons November 2014 Newsletter Mindfully waltzing with the holidays:  Part 1:  Experiencing Thanksgiving independent of the holiday season! The weather is shifting and the days of fall are dwindling. As the last leaves fall, and the days become colder, and Thanksgiving approaches, I  feel myself being  p-u-l-l-e-d into “the holidays”, that lump sum of chaos and frenzy and it’s only mid-November! Yesterday, November 13th, as I was doing some non-holiday shopping, there was Christmas music piped throughout the store, oh my! Is it possible to stay in the moment, one holiday at a time? Is it possible to simply celebrate Thanksgiving without anything looming behind it? YES, IT IS! Let’s explore and steep into “thanks” and “giving” just for this moment! What happens when we pull Thanksgiving away and see it as a holiday independent of anything else on the calendar… perhaps the way you remember it? Take a moment to yourself and ask yourself: What does Thanksgiving mean to me? Many of us remember the stories of the first Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, Native Americans, bounties of food and coming together. Those of us that are more history prone are aware that Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln in hopes of bringing a sense of healing and reprieve to wounded nation. Personally in our own lives, this holiday can be a time of gathering and celebration, or for some of us a source of loneliness and isolation. What’s there for you? Whatever this holiday represents for you, I offer you a different perspective; one filled with mindfulness, loving-kindness, and self-compassion: “Thanksgiving”…giving thanks…or is there a little bit more in this word? I see both gratitude and generosity all wrapped up in one word. “Thanks”, or gratitude and “Giving”, generosity are each independent pillars in the practice of Loving-Kindness. Along with other qualities such as kindness, compassion, friendliness, forgiveness, and empathy, gratitude and generosity are sister qualities…2 sides of the same coin. You can’t actually practice one without the other. When we practice gratitude, generosity arises; when we are being generous we also notice ourselves leaning into gratitude. We tend to be more familiar and comfortable with offering the qualities of Loving-Kindness to others, but the truth is that in order to be fully present with others, we first need to be fully present with ourselves. In order to offer gratitude and generosity to others, we first need to offer it to ourselves…to our own body, mind, and being. The Thanksgiving Challenge: How can you be generous with yourself this holiday season? Perhaps by catching a bit more sleep, or being mindful about eating and over-indulging, or maybe taking time for you: reading a book, taking a bath, connecting with a friend. Perhaps the most generous thing we can do for ourselves is becoming mindful. Watching, listening, feeling the abundance all around us…within us! How can you offer gratitude toward yourself? Tough question, right? Here are a few ideas: Drop...

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Bringing Mindfulness to Changing Season

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 in Blog, Newsletter | 0 comments

  Bringing Mindfulness to the Changing Seasons September 2014 Newsletter Bring mindfulness to the changing seasons Bring mindfulness to the changing seasons It’s interesting to me just how much can come up for us as we shift from summer into fall! The memories that are stirred deep within us by sounds, smells, sights, temperature changes, can have a profound effect on our emotions and state of being. Some of these memories stir up wonderful feelings, while others have the potential to leave us feeling rather low. Taking time to practice mindfulness (simple awareness with compassion and non-judgment) provides us the opportunity to explore our own personal experiences with change. It can be extremely helpful to bring awareness to memories, thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they arise within us as the seasons change. It’s also beneficial to notice any resistance we may be experiencing around change. Practicing Awareness  Take a moment and explore what thoughts and feelings are coming up for you as summer ends and fall takes over. Two Forms of Striving: Clinging to what we want, Battling what we don’t want For some there may be an internal struggle letting go of summer as it inevitably fades (whether we’re ready or not). Others may feel more like jumping in with both feet, elated to exit the hot weather and welcoming the shift. For many it will be a combination of feelings: saying goodbye to one season and adjusting to the next. Noticing Resistance We all experience resistance to change, and yet change is the only constant in life! Perhaps the answer is finding a new way to dance with uncertainty! Just noticing what we’re clinging so tightly to, and what we’re going to battle with! In mindfulness we often refer to these struggles as striving. Clinging to the way things are; not wanting things to change or shift. “Going to war†with the way things are; wanting things to be some other way. There can be great value in practicing non-striving, just observing how things are in the present moment. Becoming the curious observer of our own experience. We can learn a lot about ourselves by tapping in to what’s arising right here, right now within our own body, our own thoughts, and our own emotional states. We don’t have to do anything with this information.  Often, just noticing without judgment, without criticism, and simply opening to our present state with compassion and kind reflection can bring about a sense of peace and ease. Examples of shifting seasons Personally, I’m noticing the shifting season everywhere I look. For example, a recent trip to the Farmer’s Market brought about a tinge of sadness as I noticed that the summer peaches and corn are no longer available; and yet the bounty has not ended, it has only shifted. Those same stands are now filled with an abundance of apples! The changes are apparent everywhere: Carefree summer days have shifted back to school buses, backpacks, and lunch boxes. Summer jobs take a back seat as kids return to college, course...

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