Carol Hendershot

Moving Forward: Embracing All Parts of Ourselves

I want to think of myself as level-headed and compassionate, slow to anger and reasonable, but lately, it has become evident that’s only part of the story. I am also a person who can get lost in feelings of anger, judgment, and disgust. Being forced to contemplate these two sides of my personality has been a struggle. It’s painful to look into the shadows.  Over the last few months, I’ve been depending on my mindfulness practice to bring me back again and again from the brink of despair to a level of equilibrium. As I’ve listened to the rhetoric of …

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How to Fall in Love with Yourself

Why is it critical that we cultivate a relationship with ourselves? The truth is, most of us have a blind spot in our self-perception. And when we don’t see the whole picture, we tend to speak to and about ourselves in ways that deepen our shame and damage the one relationship that has the power to heal. Have you ever noticed that when you criticize yourself, it is much easier to criticize others? Have you noticed that when you feel the most shame, you are unlikely to feel tenderness for others? Have you realized yet that when you are unhappy, …

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The Gifts of Mindfulness

These days, the word “mindfulness” has become ubiquitous across many industries including healthcare, school, work, and wellness, as well as platforms including social media, books, magazines, and more. But, what do we mean when we talk about mindfulness? Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness of our inner and outer experience.  Mindfulness practices are the things we do to strengthen our brain and to make mindfulness accessible.  When we want our bodies to become stronger and healthier, we lift weights, do aerobic exercise, or practice yoga; when we want to strengthen our awareness and cognitive abilities, we do mindfulness workouts. How …

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What Is This Thing Called Mindfulness?

“…we don’t have to look outside the present moment to experience wisdom, compassion, and the boundless purity of our true nature. In fact, these things can’t be found anywhere but the present moment.” —Mingyur Rinpoche We use the word mindful or mindfulness in a lot of different ways. Be mindful of your step. Do that mindfully. Be mindful of the planet by recycling. But mindfulness is not just watching your step, being careful, or recycling. Those things have been around for a long time, and they are very important but not what we mean when we talk about mindfulness here. …

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Change Your Brain With Mindfulness

It wasn’t all that long ago that scientists believed that our brains stopped growing and changing in our mid-20s. Then, new technologies were born. EEGs, PET scans, and fMRIs gave us the ability to observe the inner workings of living, functioning human brains, and everything changed! These amazing machines created a window into a brain that is constantly molding and re-molding itself from birth to death. When we learn something new or train in a new skill, our brains get bigger in areas that relate to that new knowledge. When we quit using certain areas of the brain, they shrink. …

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You’re Stronger Than You Think

I’ve been contemplating resilience in adversity a lot lately. We’ve been forced into a position where we can either fold to the insurmountable obstacles in our path or reach deep down inside and find the reserves to climb out of the hole. This pandemic has pushed us all into a place of discomfort and uncertainty, and the question we must ask is how are we going to respond? Because as we are continually reminded, we don’t get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose where we go from here.  Where it All Began When I was younger, …

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I’m Not a Mess! Life is Messy

“Life is hard!” It was such a relief when I first heard that. Until then, I had believed that life was hard because of some internal flaw and I was to blame. When I hit a bump in the road my internal message was, “I am such a mess.” I had entirely missed the message that “Life is just messy.” From my vantage point, all those other people were perfectly happy, enjoying wonderful vacations, and doing meaningful work because they had it together; not that they had found ways to triumph over the messiness of life. Struggling is Not an Error—It’s …

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Resilience During COVID-19

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” —M. Scott Peck The Coronavirus pandemic has shuttered schools, closed restaurants, canceled events, disrupted travel, and changed our lives in both small and dramatic ways. We are truly in uncharted waters as we try to navigate the choppy waters of uncertainty and change.   Please know that we are …

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What is Resilience?

Resilience in nature is often defined as the ability to bend without breaking, or to return to an original condition. Resilience in human beings is the capacity to weather adversity, to encounter difficulty and to bounce back, and to even grow from our struggles.   Resilience is important because no matter what we would like to believe, we can’t insulate ourselves from misfortune. The fact is, no one gets out of this life without experiencing struggle and suffering. And it is often these very challenges that give our lives meaning.   So, how do we meet the inevitable challenges of …

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We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” —Hopi Elder Anyone who has spent as much time as I have in the self-help section of a book store can tell you that there are innumerable opportunities to improve upon this thing called “me/you.” The possibilities of self-fixing are mind-boggling and endless. Self-improvement is our national pastime, and there are all kinds of ideas about how to be different and better or how to make up for some flaw. Some books share their insights with humor, others in seriousness, but what they all have in common is the absolute conviction that …

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