Creating Space When Life Feels a Bit Too Routine

As I write this, we are 10 months into 2020, 7 months into a pandemic, 5 months into renewed racial justice protests, about 2 months into the school year, and a week away from a momentous presidential election. It feels cliché to comment on how unusual of a year we’ve had—but we can all agree it’s been a difficult year, for many reasons.  And though I’ve been struggling with anxiety, missing seeing my friends and their babies in-person, and grieving the loss of the ability to pick up and visit my favorite local coffee shops and small businesses on a …

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How Parents Can Share Mindfulness with Their Families

As a youth mindfulness educator, parents often ask me, “What can I do if my teen won’t attend mindfulness classes?” My answer might be surprising, but it is always, “Learn and practice mindfulness yourself.”  Our children learn from our behaviors: How we express ourselves when we’re happy, sad, or mad; how we find ways to bring calm into our own lives; how well we can be present for them and really listen and support them when they’re struggling.  Learning to be present with ourselves first can be a beautiful gift we then share with our children. Begin With Present-Moment Awareness …

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How to Motivate Yourself in the Midst of Hard Times

My teenage son and I recently got into yet another argument about bringing his dirty dishes from his bedroom to the kitchen. Have you ever stumbled upon a bowl full of months-old, dried-up cereal and milk? Or a glass with a mysterious sugary substance now devoured by mold? Yuck! We’ve gone back-and-forth about this issue over the course of days and months. I have tried every possible creative, as well as punitive, solution to remedy the situation.  During one of our most recent disagreements, my son protested that he kept forgetting to bring his dishes to the kitchen because he …

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Not Another Zoom Call!

We’ve all gone through more than half a year now with video meetings taking the place of in-person connection. And Zoom fatigue is real.  Yet, we’d like to invite you to our online mindfulness and personal growth classes starting October 19, with free info sessions the week before.  We get it: The last thing most people want to take on these days is one more Zoom call.  But while most video conferences on your schedule are asking for a chunk of your time, energy, or input, our online classes are meant to help you add some peace, balance, and restoration …

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Can Mindfulness Make Us More Socially Engaged?

There’s a fair amount of criticism about how practicing mindfulness is a selfish endeavor. The assumption is that by taking time for classes or retreats, quietly reflecting on my inner state, and choosing to minimize distractions or “noise”, that I will become overly focused on myself at the expense of the very real local and world issues surrounding me. To that I say: Perhaps, but there’s much, much more to the story. Harmful vs. Noble Selfishness For most of my life, I have strived to be considered a success; to be “enough”. This meant being hyper-fixated on my outward appearance, …

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How Perfectionism Harms Us (and Those We Love)

Imagine coming home after a long day at work to a house cluttered with dishes, a stack of mail on the table, stray socks on the floor, and an overflowing trash can. You’re so exhausted, and with another intense day at the office awaiting you tomorrow, you’d love nothing more than to crawl under the blankets and go to sleep. Do you eat a snack, brush your teeth, and hit the sack? Or does your breath quicken as your eyes scan the room and you begin a mental list of everything you need to do before going to bed? If …

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How to Help a Loved One Who’s Struggling

Hello, my name is Jeni, and I am a recovering fixer.  I first started noticing my penchant for telling other people what to do when I was repeatedly called bossy in elementary school. Later, it became a joke when I’d tell everyone that I had declared business management as my major because, “No matter what happens to the economy, you’re always going to need someone to tell someone else what to do.”  So when the people around me were struggling with anything from poor sleep to grief, you could leave it to me to tell them why they’re feeling what …

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What We Get Wrong About Suffering

It’s a fact of life that no one is immune to suffering, and it’s safe to say we each experience it in a variety of ways as we continue to navigate the modern world. Being a mindfulness center, we neither want to brush off that reality nor dwell on it. But we also feel this moment—when many of us are feeling especially unsettled—offers an opportunity to shed some light on this concept of “suffering,” what it really means for us in daily life, and how we can help alleviate it—starting with ourselves. There’s a great definition of mindfulness attributed to …

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Support for the School Year

Each August, teachers, parents, and students anxiously await the beginning of a new school year. It is a time of new beginnings; of learning new things and making new friends—as well as facing new challenges. We look forward to seeing our friends again and returning to a predictable schedule.  This year, however, we can add the fear of the unknown to this already rich stew. In times like these, I find that practicing mindfulness and mindful self-compassion is very helpful. By practicing these skills, we can see our worries more objectively, gain a better understanding of how we can take …

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Why Silence Scares Us

Like many people, you might hear about mindfulness and meditation and think, “Silence? Slowing down? That’s just not for me.” In our on-the-go, productivity-and-achievement-minded culture, the thought of sitting still, or embracing silence, can seem like the opposite of what will help us make progress in our lives. Yet if we don’t take time to slow down and zoom out from our day-to-day habits, our lives might start to live us in a way that eventually makes it hard for us to recognize ourselves! A result of our achievement-oriented culture is that many people fear or avoid slowing down and …

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