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.
Thursday, August 11, 2016 · 10 Comments
To be human is to be in relationship with difficult people.
The reality is if all the difficult people in our lives felt deep kindness in their hearts, they would cease to be difficult people. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Peace in oneself, peace in the world.”
Aside from learning how to create a calm and stable mind, one of the months in my 6-month global online program A Course in Mindful Living (coming early October, 2016) is spent entirely on learning how to realize the power of compassion and connection in our lives formally and informally. This not only impacts us, but the people around us, and the emotional contagion of it can create immensely beneficial ripple effects.
There’s an informal practice that I’ve been doing for a while that is so simple and yet so impactful in working with difficult people and also bringing a sense of balance and perspective in the moment, it’s almost shocking to me. I live in Los Angeles, California which is well known as a city with one of the highest degrees of traffic. If we were to be able to peek into the average LA driver’s brain I think you’d see a hyperactive amygdala and most of the blood flow moving out of the prefrontal cortex. In other words, LA drivers can be a large group of difficult people with emotions and stress running high.
One day while I was driving here I was cut off by some sports car who seemed to be speeding weaving in and out of the car lanes. My teeth locked together and my shoulders tensed and what went through my mind is only appropriate on HBO.
In that moment I realized how tense I was and likely how out of control that driver was. It made me think of all the cars on the road and how many people were very likely tense in their cars.
That simple recognition sparked the beginning of something important.
My shoulders dropped a bit and the question arose, “What is it that I’m actually needing right now?” The word “ease” came to mind.
So I said…
Tuesday, August 2, 2016 · 3 Comments
Lately I’ve had a lot of aggravation in my heart.
Right now there seems to be so much turbulence and violence, verbal and physical, in the world. On top of that, because our brains’ are wired with a negativity bias, we’re automatically drawn to the fear, anger, and turbulence. The media knows this and so they keep updating their pages with new stories about negative things.
The cycle is vicious, depressing and contagious, leading to more anger, fear and reactivity.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Our hearts don’t need to be aggravated anymore, instead they need to be touched and soothed, acknowledging the pain and opening up to a vision of a brighter future.
Here is a wonderful family’s rendition of singer, songwriter Matisiyahu’s song One Day.
Monday, August 1, 2016 · Leave a comment
We all want to be happy, undeniably.
For some people happiness comes easier than others, but what we’re starting to understand is that happiness, that sense of connection and ease of appreciating the good moments and being more graceful and resilient during the difficult ones, is a skill and strength that we can all build.
Here are Five Simple Ways to Increase Happiness in Daily Life
(Note: Set all judgments aside when you read this, practice them for yourself and let your experience be your teacher).
- Practice happiness for other people’s happiness – When you see someone doing good things for themselves like exercising, laughing with a group of friends, or experiencing an accomplishment, practice being supportive to them in your mind. Say things like “good for you for taking care of yourself” or “glad you’re having a moment of joy,” smile in your mind at them or just say “Yes!”
- Practice non-violent communication toward yourself – We’ve known for a long time we’re our own worst critics and the way we talk to ourselves has a major impact on how we feel. Being a little self-critical is okay, but most of us experience it all too regularly. That has to be nipped in the bud as a practice. See if you can label any of that self-judgment and in that moment flip it to actively thinking about things you like about yourself.
- Continue Reading →
Monday, July 18, 2016 · Leave a comment
There seems to be a whole lot of mind troubling and heart wrenching news in the world today. The world’s current atmosphere can give our minds endless fuel to race, worry, and catastrophize.
When you turn on the news these days, it’s all disaster. These disasters are real, but the stories in our minds that the world is going to hell in a hand basket may not be. Our brains are designed to project into the future and attempt to predict the worst case scenarios so we can be prepared.
It doesn’t do us any good to continue in a state of auto-pilot with a hyperaroused nervous system, spreading worry, negativity and catastrophe throughout our social circle. Not only are our storylines a source of suffering, but spreading these catastrophic stories through our social networks creates an emotional contagious of emotional suffering.
We already get enough of that through the news. The news knows that our eyeballs get fused to the screen at signs of danger and plays on it so it can sell more soap. It’s a business and the bottom line is truly to make more money and it knows how to play on our concerns. This is the same for MSNBC, CNN, and Fox news – money has no party loyalty.
The news isn’t going to make a big fuss about the millions and millions of dollars going into mindfulness and compassion research globally, or about these police officers who paid the check of a Continue Reading →
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 · 7 Comments
People often ask me, when is the best time to bring mindfulness into your day and aside from saying, “anytime,” a great way to integrate mindfulness is with something we all have to do – eat!
It’s wonderful to bring mindfulness to eating, not only can this help us have a better relationship with food, but it can help us appreciate, savor and bring a whole lot more enjoyment to it.
Enjoy these Three Mindful Things to Do When You Eat