Blog

On this page you will find articles, free audio and video, and other resources that may give you tips on working toward healing and growth. Whether you struggle with stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, or addictive behaviors, no matter the struggles you come here with, this is a place for you to get some tips to support you.


What’s the POINT of Mindfulness?

The brain loves to chunk information in order to remember things and there are so many great acronyms that help us remember to bring mindfulness into our lives. I’m going to list a few really key ones and then link you to respective guided practices or posts as a reference to play with them and bring them into your life. Finally, I’m going to introduce you to a new powerful acronym that gets to the point of mindfulness.

STOP (Stop, Take a breath, Observe your experience and Proceed)

STOP

This is an all time favorite. On YouTube the recording that I  created for A Mindfulness-Based Stress  Reduction  Workbook has almost 80,000 views because the acronym  makes sense and it  really helps us  pause into the moment and  open up to what matters.

RAIN (Recognize, Allow, Inquire, Non-identify/Natural Awareness)

rain practice

This acronym created by Michelle McDonald and popularized and adapted by Tara Brach, is incredible for  helping us gain perspective, self- Continue Reading →


Compassion: Power Food for the Brain

Did you know that compassion, the act of recognizing someone else’s suffering with the inclination to want to support them, creates important activity shifts in the brain that are associated with
resiliency and well-being?

I recently attended a talk at a fundraiser where the presenter, Amy McLaren, had conveyed her story of going to Kenya with her husband and making a deal with a child there that if he shares his report card with them at the end of the month, they would pay for a month of his schooling.

They didn’t expect him to follow through, but after they returned back to Canada, a month later they received a letter with a picture of this boy holding up his report card.

He followed through and so did they.

Every month he would send his report card and every month they would pay for another month of school. Years later this boy is now in business school and has developed a business creating bracelets of “Hope,” employing a group of other people. Amy and her husband have now founded World Teachers Aid, an organization dedicated to improving education in underdeveloped countries.

In writing Uncovering Happiness many people have been asking me what I mean by happiness. The kind of happiness I’m referring to is Continue Reading →


The Power of Using Your Mind to Change Your Brain (Bonus Extended)

Today is the long awaited day (for me anyway) that Uncovering Happiness is out!

There’s likely no one more excited than me. It’s been a long road, filled with exciting new discoveries that not only can we use our minds to change our brains, but we can actually activate certain areas of the brain that create anti-depressant activity.

Inevitably when we intentionally practice and repeat doing this, we begin to turn this activity into new neural structures.

Here’s a short video with an overview of the what’s possible:

Continue Reading →


Baby Steps to an Anti-Depressant Brain

Let’s keep this simple.

You may or may not have heard by now that our brain is wired to pay attention more frequently, and with great veracity, to what’s negative. This doesn’t mean that the good moments in life aren’t happening, we’re just not wired to pay attention to them.

Why?

Because as a human race, we’re wired to survive, not be happy.

BUT,

I have a theory that in this moment in time we’re going through an evolution as a species where because of the overabundance of things pulling our attention, we’re being thrusted into growing our awareness – the kind of awareness that breeds balance, well-being and a greater sense of what matters.

So people are being turned onto mindfulness more. More spaces are offering it, more institutions are studying it and there’s greater media to get the word out about it.

Mindfulness provides us with awareness and the opportunity to take wise actions to further balance this negativity bias.

This is an evolution of an enduring happiness, you on board?

Continue Reading →


Uncovering Happiness: The Natural Anti-Depressant Effects of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Depression is the brain’s ultimate avoidance strategy.

For over 350 million people worldwide, it saps the ability to engage life and creates resistance around doing things that matter. Whether you want to work on a new project, get out and exercise, or sit and meditate – whatever it is that is in the direction of growth – the resistance of depression comes alive.

In Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, I explore some of the neuroscience behind what keeps a person stuck in a depressive loop and how to get unstuck. In the process, we discover a host of natural anti-depressants.

Not only can we create an anti-depressant brain, but we can also lay the tracks for a more enduring happiness.

Understanding how depression impacts the brain gives us clues about our natural anti-depressants. For example, studies have shown that a depressed brain has significantly more activity in the right prefrontal cortex than the left prefrontal cortex (PFC).

  1. The right side is associated with avoidance, negative emotions and stuckness.
  2. The left side is associated with approaching, positive emotions and resiliency.

Relapse prevention is about resiliency so . . .
Continue Reading →