Learn to Love Yourself

Most of us have a flaw in our self-perception. When we look at ourselves we have a blind spot for our good qualities and a magnifying glass for our faults. This can do a lot of damage to our confidence and happiness.  Did you ever hear the phrase “When mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” That’s right if we let our self-loathing go unchallenged it can make us miserable and, along the way, all the people we hold dear.  The more we live in this skewed perception of who we are, the more miserable we become. This distorted picture isn’t …

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5 Ways to Create More Ease and Less Stress for the Holidays

It Doesn’t Have to Take Much Time. We all want the season to be a beautiful time of sharing and happy memories, but perhaps it’s not feeling so beautiful right now. Maybe, in fact, it’s feeling downright stressful as your TO-DO list gets longer and the time gets shorter. This is the situation many of us find ourselves in, and yet, there is an alternative: Mindfulness. You think to yourself, “If there’s one time I don’t have time for one more thing, it’s now!” But think again! Mindfulness is portable. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and it just …

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Thanksgiving: A Time to Appreciate the Richness of Our Lives

Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday season and a time to stop, take stock and say thank you for all the gifts we have been given. It is a time to reflect on the abundance that surrounds us and the people that give our lives meaning. So, Why Is It So Hard Sometimes? But, often this is also a time when we feel overextended and under-resourced and balancing the many demands in our lives can feel more like drudgery than joy. Our natural tendency is to see what isn’t working and where we are not being enough or doing …

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Care for Yourself This Holiday Season by Asking: What Do I Really Need?

I teach what I need. When I teach mindful eating, I often say mindful eating is a lifetime practice. That may feel daunting to hear, but my personal experience tells me that it’s true.  At this time of year, my mindful eating practice always requires some extra care and attention.  Amongst my family and close friends, there are 10 birthdays to celebrate within a few months and preceding and after the prime holiday season. Mindful eating is the practice of returning to the experience of tasting, savoring, breathing, and resting, over and over. Practicing mindful eating helps me to focus …

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The Habit Loop: How it Can Lead to Mindless Eating

Mindful eaters don’t eat mindfully all of the time. Cereal has always been a favorite food of mine.  Somewhere along the way, I created a habit of eating a small bowl of dry cereal with my morning coffee. I would brew coffee, pour cereal then munch and drink while watching the morning news.  I enjoyed the combination of bitter coffee and sweet and crunchy cereal. Many times, I asked myself if there was any harm in my habit?   I was aware I  wasn’t being that mindful, yet  I didn’t see any significant consequences.  Over time though as I continued …

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Parenting is Hard: Mindfulness to the Rescue

Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.” Elizabeth Lawrence By now we have settled into the school year, established our routines, and maybe even had a bit of time to relax and soak in the beauty of fall. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The warm air is balanced with a bit of coolness. Temperatures begin to drop drastically at night and rise quickly during the day. Our days become shorter and a general softness settles in. The leaves turn brilliant colors, eventually falling and becoming crisp and fluffy. Mother Nature is preparing to rest and …

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Gratitude: A Training Ground for Happiness

Gratitude: a feeling of appreciation or thankfulness. “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts and failures into successes. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie “The Scarcity Loop” Sometimes …

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What is Mindfulness and Should You Give it a Try? 

“To meditate is to discover new possibilities, to awaken the capacity that each of us has to live more wisely, more lovingly, more compassionately, and more fully.”  – Jack Kornfield, Meditation for Beginners Mindfulness and meditation have gotten a lot of press lately. They are teaching it in healthcare settings and therapists’ offices. Athletes swear by it, soldiers are finding it improves their resilience, and it helps school kids focus and learn. You may have heard that meditation is a great way to create more balance or maybe that you know someone who is convinced that it has helped them …

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Move Your Body Change Your Brain

Your brain is constantly remodeling itself. When you learn to play the guitar or expand your vocabulary, you physically alter your brain. When you meditate, you stimulate the executive parts of the brain to get bigger, and the anxiety parts to get smaller. In brain-speak, this is called neuroplasticity and there is powerful science to back it up. When I tell my mindfulness students about the research into brain science, they are excited that they are doing something positive and proven. When I first started meditating, we had no idea that meditation was changing the brain, just stories that said …

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Too Busy to Meditate? – Try This

I started out great! I was beginning to see the actual benefits of my practice…but then I got busy. My lapse in practice started with one day when I didn’t have time. Then, the next day it was really easy to say, “I broke my streak, I’m still busy, and I’ll get back to it tomorrow.” Then the next day, it was, “One more day won’t matter.” That was two months ago, and now whenever I think about meditating, I just feel guilty. How can something that was beginning to make a real difference in my life become so dispensable? …

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