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.
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 · 2 Comments
Everyone at some point in their life will be affected by depression whether it’s their own or someone they are close to. Almost 19 million Americans alone have periods where they feel a lack of pleasure or interest their usual activities combined with feeling tired and heavy, potentially overly emotional or numb, and an onslaught of negative and self defeating thoughts that can keep invading the mind over and over again.
The more periods of this depressed mood we have in life, the more likely we are to fall back into them again. Why does this relapse occur and how can mindfulness offer hope?
Falling into a depression feels traumatic and just like getting bit by a dog causes us to be fearful of and oversensitive to dogs, our minds and bodies become oversensitive to associations with the depression causing us to react to any sign of it. Feeling low mood is normal for everyone, but if we’ve experienced depression in the past, this may be a trigger for thinking depression is about to set in again.
If we feel tired or if we notice sadness, the mind pops up with the worry “uh oh, that is how I felt when I was Continue Reading →
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 · 2 Comments
Vietnamese Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “Peace in oneself, peace in the world.” Iconic singer and songwriter Michael Jackson wrote, “I’m lookin’ at the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways. No message could have been any clearer, if you wanna make the world a better place, just look at yourself and make a change.”
In The Now Effect you may have read about the science behind why everything you do matters,
The social scientists Nicholas Christakis, MD, PhD, and James Fowler, PhD, conducted a study to look at the effect of social networks. To determine if there was a causal relationship for obesity, they mapped the relationships of 12,067 people who had more than 50,000 connections to other people that were assessed repeatedly from 1971 to 2003 (not online social networks such as Facebook but physical networks of people). They found that, indeed, “birds of a feather flock together.” However, they found something much more interesting: obesity doesn’t start and stop with immediate friends and family; it is “contagious” by up to three degrees of separation.
They also went on to find that loneliness is contagious by three degrees and that each person you have in your life Continue Reading →
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 · Leave a comment
Some days are just bad days where we wish we could give up this whole adult charade, go to recess and get back to when times a bit simpler.
Can I get and “Amen?”
Life seems to get too serious as an adult, more responsibilities mean more worries, more stress and more body aches.
I’ve spoken to hundreds of people about this exact issue and posed the question, “What does play mean to you?” Sadly, often times the response is a blank look as if the term “play” is a foreign word.
Then I ask them to remember what play was like when they were kids. Many people remember play as an unstructured time where they were engaged in something, interesting, enjoyable and satisfying.
Even just this reflection can begin to kindle the flames of play, you can try it out right now to see what I mean.
If you can get like me at times where I feel like giving up adulthood, then I ask you, “What would the days, weeks and months ahead be like if Continue Reading →
Friday, April 22, 2016 · Leave a comment
We’re wired to take things for granted and this earth that sustains and supports us all is no exception.
It’s quite wonderful that we have a day to celebrate the earth and at the same time it would be even more wonderful if we could wake up with that awareness every day. The implicit connection and gratitude associated with it are associated with resiliency and well-being.
Drop your shoulders, settle in, here is a meditation for the Earth… enjoy!
7 Step Meditation to Start Your (Earth) Day
- First, start off by sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.
- Consider what the world needs more of – More kindness, reverence for nature, protecting life on this planet, thriving wildlife and rainforests that continue to produce beauty for our eyes and oxygen to survive.
- Consider what the world needs less of – Global stress, human disconnection, over consumption, over fishing, world hunger, maybe pollution.
- Sense your connection to this planet – Remember you were born on this planet and it is this very planet that sustains you. and how you will eventually be released back to the earth.
- Continue Reading →
Thursday, April 7, 2016 · Leave a comment
In 2010, when A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook was about to be published I stepped into my publisher and right there on the wall were printouts of dozens of covers for all the new mindfulness books coming out in the next year. In that moment I said, “Oh no, mindfulness is going to get watered down and people are going to get turned off to it.”
Well, that didn’t happen, but something else has…
The Current Mindful Wave – Shallow Waters are Noisy
Science and technology have brought on the dawn of delivering mindfulness in a million different ways. The options are endless at this point, you can access mindful learning through a variety of apps at your finger tips, you can pick through various meditations or find an ever expanding list of self-paced pre-recorded courses online, you can find it live online and if you’re lucky you can find a local group to access in-person. You can learn it in businesses, schools, healthcare companies, Buddhist centers and in secular meditation studios popping up all over the country.
In many ways this is so incredible, but in the process it seems like the stage of mindfulness has reached a point there’s a lot of “mindful noise” out there that has the potential of making it difficult to decipher what the practice is anymore, who is credible and where to start or continue.
For example, learning mindfulness is not just about sitting down and practicing mindfulness. There are other important factors to weave in to optimize the integration of the practice in daily life. One example is the essential need to take the time and space to learn how to create calm and stability in our minds in preparation to settling into many of the practices that are just being offered through most apps and programs out there. It’s like telling someone to get on an untamed horse and just ride. This usually doesn’t go well.
As a result, many people have difficulty truly realizing the fruits of the practice in any enduring way for themselves and in relationships.
The Next Mindful Wave – Still Waters Run Deep