Have you ever seen that meme where the dog and man are sitting side by side on a bench? The man is thinking of so many different things at once in his thought bubble, and the dog is just thinking of being there with the man. Doesn’t that just say it all? Animals naturally live in the moment, fully present to what is; and as such, they are wonderful at helping us do the same.
Yesterday I made a stupid mistake driving, which angered another motorist. He rolled down his window and shouted at me. He was waiting up ahead for me, and when I stopped at the light next to him, I lowered my window to apologize. He started screaming, “There was a turn lane. You could have hit me! Why did you do that?” I said, “Listen, you need to take a breath. I said I’m sorry. My nav system told me to turn and I got flustered and made a mistake. I’m glad you were paying attention and that I didn’t hit you. I was wrong, and you are right. I am wrong and you are right. Again, I’m sorry.” He said, “Ok, ok, ok, ok,” each “ok” deflating his rage. Then he said, “Thank you.” After I drove away, I noticed how rattled I was, and I started crying.
Your kids are arguing. Your boss calls you into an unexpected meeting after your report didn’t go well. You’re expected to attend the extended family dinner for your sister’s milestone birthday, but you know exactly what kind of drama tends to ensue. Whatever your next “oh, sh*t” moment might be, there’s a tool for that: mindfulness.
Mindfulness teaches us how to feel emotions in our bodies. Feelings like shame, guilt, and anger can all be felt somewhere in the body; emotion is not just an intellectual thing. And when you can notice and become aware of the emotions in your body, you can treat yourself with kindness. Mindful Self-Compassion [...]
As women, we are often expected to do ALL. THE. THINGS. And let’s be honest: our families, coworkers, and others learn to expect this from us because we are so darn good at making it look like we really can do it all! The reality is, though, that with so many balls in [...]
One Friday morning, I woke up feeling rattled. It wasn’t immediately clear to me why, so I used mindfulness to gently investigate why I was feeling this way. I noticed that my physical body felt tired – probably due to some leftover jet lag from recent travels. Then I observed that it was [...]
I went to Bhutan last year and had the unique experience of doing my morning mindfulness meditation to the sound of a dozen or more barking dogs across the river. It was wild! And it provided a great learning opportunity. Part of what makes the practice of mindfulness so uniquely powerful is that [...]
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing our attention on thoughts, words, actions, feelings, and experiences that we consciously choose to focus on. It is a peaceful counterbalance to both the reactivity and the “autopilot” way of being we so often experience in life. I enjoy using Loving Kindness phrases in my mindfulness practice, [...]
I found myself saying to a friend, “I’m using my mindful methods like there’s no tomorrow — just to ensure that there is one!” This made me laugh, and I knew I wanted to share it with you. All too easily, moments of anxiety, sadness, anger, or fear can overwhelm us and have [...]
One of the things I remind my students (and myself!) most is that mindfulness is a practice. Yes, it’s a “practice” in that it’s a method, but in this case I am literally referring to the fact that – in order for it to be an effective, long-term strategy for bettering your life [...]