Self-Compassion

Befriend Your Body with Self-Compassion

“before I could release the weight of my sadness and pain, I first had to honor its existence” —Yung Pueblo For thousands of years, our ancestors listened to the call of the body to inform the mind and spirit. At what point did we lose this ability? The body is the most amazing repository of wisdom. Our bodies tell us when we are tired, when we are in love, when we are peaceful, and when we are afraid. And yet, we consistently ignore the signals our body is sending us. Have we become oblivious to our most sacred source of …

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Meeting Difficult Emotions with Compassion

Life is full of incredible difficulties. Amidst the pain and challenge, we experience a range of uncomfortable emotions. We get sad, angry, frustrated, and lonely. We get confused and afraid. When life is going well, some new challenge presents itself and our emotional system sounds the alarm bells or crashes again.  I’ve been looking for ways to escape the pain of this emotional roller coaster most of my life. When I was in college, there were times when my anxiety became unmanageable. As a young mother, I struggled with depression and eating a whole pizza became my escape. As a …

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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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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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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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8 Simple Mindfulness Practices to Weave Into Your Day

Although I know that meditation calms my mind and makes me feel more confident and spacious, I can’t always fit a formal practice into my day. Knowing what’s good for me and doing it are often two different things.  I’ve experienced the profound healing that formal meditation practices can provide. These practices helped me through the anxiety and depression that were constant parts of my existence. At that time in my life, yoga and meditation were my medicine, and it was critical to take that time just for me. Some would say that these daily practices are the bedrock of …

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Benefits and Pitfalls of Mind Wandering

Moving Through Life on Auto-pilot Have you ever gotten into your car driven someplace, gotten out of your car, and had no idea what happened in between? Or, sat down to read a book and at the end of the page realized that you had no idea what you had just read? These are two examples of how we check out on our lives, how we can be there and yet not be there at all. Another word for this is mind-wandering, and researchers have found that our minds wander nearly half the time. The Benefits of Mind-Wandering The idea …

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The Practice of Welcoming: Well-Being Series

“Welcoming…means opening the door to everything we experience-turning nothing away-and learning how to authentically meet our own experience in each moment.” Kelly Boys But I don’t want it to be this way, you say. I want things to unfold according to plan! I hate this! That is natural, we all want to be happy and fulfilled. So, as often as not we refuse our experience. We create a story in our heads about our inability to handle that thing whatever that thing is. How we’re not smart enough or strong enough to find a solution. We look the other way …

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Train for Happiness with These Three Skills

When I got up this morning, things were not going my way. It was shaping up to be a really bad day. I stubbed my toe on the way to the bathroom, the plate shattered when it slipped out of my hand between the cupboard and counter, and I realized that the blog I was writing just wasn’t going to work for what I wanted to convey. Then, I stepped into the shower. The water was warm and felt good. I redirected my attention to the sensations of water cascading down my body and reminded myself how grateful I was that …

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Body Kindness for Your Here-and-Now Body

I have noticed that many people who are interested in mindful eating are very dissatisfied with their body and want to lose weight. They are plagued with this belief: “When I lose weight, then I will have the confidence, health, and well-being I wish for.”   Even if you are committed to learning to trust your body, it’s very understandable to feel conflicted about intuitive eating and weight. I see people struggle with this strong wish to lose weight quickly while at the same time knowing they can’t withstand yet another diet.  Mindfully consuming a balanced, nutrient-dense pattern of eating can …

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