Self-Compassion

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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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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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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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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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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Spiritual Bypassing in the Time of COVID-19

by Susan Duesbery, as originally posted in Elephant Journal The other day I was speaking with a woman who told me that she was “excited” about the positive changes the coronavirus was already ushering in. She went on to express the hope that a new world order based on love would replace current systems based on corruption and greed. After she spoke these words, I realized that I’d seen a lot of similar comments on social media lately. In many ways, I couldn’t agree more with such remarks. But there are two sides to this coin, and to ignore one …

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The Practices That Sustain Us, Part II

We’re now in the third week since a State of Emergency was declared in Michigan due to the Coronavirus. Our lives have changed drastically within a short amount of time. It’s okay to acknowledge that this is really hard.   As a follow-up to last week’s blog post, we’d like to share more on how GRCFM team members have been meeting their difficult experiences snce the impact of the pandemic began sinking in, and what practices have been important to us in these challenging times.   We hope our stories give you comfort in knowing you’re not alone in what …

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The Practices That Sustain Us

As a Center focused on teaching mindfulness, resilience, and self-compassion, we are in the business of supporting our community during the challenging times of life. Each of us has had a personal experience of the transformative power of mindfulness practice, and so we offer it outwardly as a gift with reverence and longing to help. Just like all human beings, we experience fear, anger, grief, and sadness, and it is our continued practice that sustains us. These are unsettling times, and we are all looking for some ground to stand on. We’d like to take a moment to share with …

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What a Feel-Good T-Shirt Slogan Can Teach Us About Mindfulness

I’ve noticed a phrase floating around on the internet lately, on mugs and t-shirts for sale and colorful social media feeds, meant to promote a positive attitude: “No Bad Days.”   The first few times I saw this phrase, I thought it was rather dismissive. I feel confident saying that I’ve had plenty of bad days in my life. And this trendy new feel-good phrase wants to erase that? It’s not that easy! “No Bad Days” presented itself to me as just another form of toxic positivity, meant to keep us from acknowledging the difficult times in our lives (and in others’). …

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