On Approval

On Approval

Question: How many of us walk around carrying an imaginary burden-- the burden of other people’s approval? This burden is SOOO heavy, despite being invisible and somewhat imaginary, or at least self-created.

Tips to Create Habits that Serve

Tips to Create Habits that Serve

I have a sense of the types of practices that help me. And yet there are times when I find it really hard to keep consistency. The very times when I MOST need these practices in my life, the times when I am MOST in need of the peace, grounding, and strength that they give me, are the times when it feels like like I have no time or energy to do them. I had the thought that I would like to see what it feels like to live in my optimum state. What would it feel like to be taking care of my mind, body, and spirit in ways that are healthy and beneficial...and sustainable?

Expanding Definitions of Productivity & Accomplishment

Expanding Definitions of Productivity & Accomplishment

I am drawn to (driven to?) productivity, as many of us are. It comes through our culture, this emphasis on doing, doing, doing. It feels good then, to be productive and to accomplish a lot in a day. It feels gratifying, as if all of this doing means something. If I dig way down deep, achieving seems to mean that I am enough-- good enough, hardworking enough. At the same time, this can feel like a kind of tyranny-- that I MUST accomplish a lot, and if not, it could mean that I failed in some way. But what if I’m tired? What if I’m not feeling well?

The Practice of Honoring Yourself

The Practice of Honoring Yourself

Now I use this as a practice not just of the body, but of the mind and heart. Can I listen to my own body? Can I honor my own strengths, needs, and limitations? With back, shoulder, and knee tenderness, I am always modifying the poses, shortening them, sometimes doing a totally different pose that feels right at the moment.

Gifts to Grow On

Gifts to Grow On

I feel sometimes like I have been given a ten-speed again. Opportunities come my way that are justout my my comfort zone, that I need to really stretch to meet. My emotions go all over the place-- gratitude, fear, excitement, anxiety, overwhelm, and then the guilt of feeling negative feelings at all, when clearly opportunities are GOOD!

"Good fences make good neighbors"

"Good fences make good neighbors"

At first I felt a little guilty about this-- as if I was building protection against someone. But actually, it is simply for me, in support of me and my own energy. Rather than feeling this shield as a barrier between me and the person I'm interacting with, I walk into the situation feeling whole and safe already. This allows me to interact fully and warmly, without holding back for fear of being overtaken or attacked.

My Highest Ambition is to Be What I Already Am

My Highest Ambition is to Be What I Already Am

Indeed, why not honor our own feelings? Why does it ever occur to us to doubt ourselves and question ourselves as much as we do?

Look at Your Moments— Are Your Needs Being Met?

Look at Your Moments— Are Your Needs Being Met?

I heard someone say recently, “Hard is different than bad.” I really love this distinction-- it helps somehow. When I am in a challenging time, sometimes I do a check-in with my needs.

Working with What is Here

Working with What is Here

While I have been learning about and practicing mindfulness for about 6 years, it is still very hard for me to "just be" instead of doing, doing, thinking, evaluating, strategizing. Just being with negative emotions and mind states, accepting what IS...this is what I want to practice.

Water Thoughts

Water Thoughts

That swim seems to me like a miniature model of life. Anxiety crescendos and decrescendos; joy alights and then flies away. Grief goes on and on; overtaking me for a time and then lying low. Those anchovies are still out there somewhere in the ocean; sometimes they're all I can see, and sometimes the water is clear. Things come and then they go.

Sustainable Choices...and Schedules

Sustainable Choices...and Schedules

We all have at least tiny choices that we can make in order to make things feel a little better, a little healthier and more sustainable, even more joyful! What are those things for you?

What is Required?

What is Required?

To ask what I should do next encourages me to use my brain and my judgement to think about what activities are valuable or desirable. But to ask what is required encourages me to be mindful of myself, inside and out. It asks me to scan the state of my mind and body and figure out my actions based on what I need at the moment.

Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion

Self-compassion meditation has been linked to greater success in weight loss and in cessation of smoking. This finding is very interesting to me, and self compassion in general has been a particular focus of mine this year, so I decided to find out more about it.

"To go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine"

"To go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine"

The poem that stood out to me on first reading is “When I Am Among the Trees.” In the poem, Oliver explains so beautifully how her time with trees lets her feel their gladness, lets her hear their voices telling her about a graceful approach to living.