Tag Archives: Mindfulness

12May/15
How to Lift Your Mood

How to Lift Your Mood

Have you ever been in a situation that dragged you down and left you feeling heavy? We’ve all had those and it’s usually difficult to shake off the bad feelings. In the following video, I describe a small strategy that will show you how to lift your mood.

I like to call this strategy the human helium balloon. We all know how light a helium balloon is and you’ll use this mental image to make yourself feel lighter. This strategy combines effective breathing and visualization and much more since it uses your other senses.

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05May/15
A Day of Mindful Eating

A Day of Mindful Eating

After filming my video on mindful eating, I wanted to take one day to film or photograph all of the food I ate in an effort to be more mindful. I also ate all of my meals and snacks sitting at our kitchen table, where we eat a majority of our meals.

As you can see, eating mindfully doesn’t mean eating in solitude. My family was around for most of the meals (and my son was there for the meals I didn’t post video of) and we enjoyed conversation and time connecting together. Eating with other people can definitely be a practice in mindfulness if conscious attention is being paid to your food and the sensations that are connected with it.

Do you practice any aspects of mindful eating? Share with me what you do, when you eat or things that you’d like to change to be more mindful. It is a process for me to be aware of the food I’m eating and to stay connected to the experience.

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17Apr/15
Mindful Eating

Mindful Eating

We all need to be more mindful in our lives. Many of us eat our emotions, when we’re bored, or we are dis-engaged from our food. Eating mindfully is a way to connect more with the practice of eating, re-enforce a healthy relationship with food and it allows you to be fully present while eating. Here are five simple ways to eat more mindfully:

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23Feb/15
How to Cope When Life Feels Stuck

How to Cope When Life Feels Stuck

How to Cope When Life Feels Stuck

Image courtesy of artur84 / freedigitalphotos.net

I really enjoy reading. I don’t have as much time to do it as I’d like, and I will sometimes opt for the mental ease of watching television before I pick up a book, but I do enjoy reading. I hesitate to call myself a “reader” in the same way that someone who jogs recreationally hesitates to call themselves a “runner”. To them I always say, if you’re running voluntarily, then you’re a runner. The same sentiment could apply to reading as well, I suppose.

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06Jan/15
Learning to Let Go

Learning to Let Go

Learning to Let Go

Image courtesy of chayathonwong2000 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Giving advice is often easier than receiving one and applying it! Let it go is a popular saying these days. But what does it mean? For some, it means letting the grieving process run its course. For others, it means letting go of an argument between friends or colleagues; or letting go of a harsh comment someone gave you. It also means letting go of being a perfectionist. I need to work on all of these and I hope that by writing this post, I’ll be able to take my own advice.

You should carefully reread the first paragraph because there are at least ten mistakes in it. If you consider yourself to be a great reader and writer, you should have found some by now. For those of you who are perfectionists, let me stop you right here, I did not intentionally insert ten mistakes. For the rest of you, imagine searching for these mistakes, never finding them but always wondering where they might be or if you found all of them. That is a silly example of how it feels not to let go.

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31Dec/14
Most Popular Posts of 2014

Most Popular Posts of 2014

Most Popular Posts of 2014

Image courtesy of anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

To everything – turn, turn, turn. There is a season – turn, turn, turn. And a time to every purpose under heaven. Cheryl and I found a new purpose this year, sharing our life, our love for life and life lessons we stumble upon along the way.

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11Dec/14
Broken but Beautiful

Blemished and Beautiful

Blemished and Beautiful

In case you don’t know me personally, or haven’t yet been overwhelmed by my fitness analogies, I like to work out. In fact, for the last few months it’s been something that I really look forward to doing. When days are tough or frustrating, I know that once I get under the weight of a heavy bar and push myself hard physically, I will feel so much better. Exercising frequently brings many great rewards, both physically and psychologically, but one unforeseen side effect was how scratched up my wedding rings would get from the weights.

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20Nov/14

Purposefully Unproductive

Purposefully Unproductive

Image courtesy Serge Bertasius / Freedigitalphotos.net

I’m a mom of two young kids (in case my “ponytail as a hairstyle” didn’t give it away yet) so “I’m bored” are two words I haven’t said in a long time. Whether it’s tidying up the toys, folding laundry, or a myriad of other jobs, there is always something that needs to get done.

Can you relate? I’m sure you can. No matter your season of life there is always something that needs cleaning, work that needs to be accomplished, and plans to prepare for.

Lately though I’ve been practicing being unproductive. It is taking active un-learning to stop thinking about the next thing that needs to get done long enough to be still and enjoy the moment. Sometimes I do it for 30 seconds while I am drinking my first morning sip of freshly brewed coffee. Other times I try and sit quietly for 5 minutes, this is about as long I can tolerate until the urge to get up and do something kicks in.

There is a fear of falling behind that permeates our decisions. Our work continues to mount as we don’t complete it. We also feel that we are the most capable and that if we didn’t act, nothing would get done. There is an old saying that goes: “the graveyards are full of indispensable people”. It is a telling, albeit somewhat morbid, statement that life goes on, with or without us.

So what value is there in stopping, then, if it risks us falling behind? Here are three observations from my own experience with being purposefully unproductive.

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14Nov/14

Maintain Proper Form

Maintain Proper Form

photo credit Freelart / Freedigitalphotos.net

As someone who enjoys fitness and working out, few things make me cringe as much as someone doing an exercise with poor form. Whether it is a misaligned spine or crooked knees, my instinct is to want to correct them so that they will avoid injury and also find more success in their training.

All instructors understand the importance of teaching the proper way to do things, and the impact of correcting mistakes early on. As a mom I want to have the same approach when it comes to instructing and raising my children. If I want them to learn how respond to stress with patience and a calm reaction, how does flying off the handle contradict the message I’m hoping to teach?

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11Nov/14
How I'm Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable (and why you should too)

How I’m Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable (and why you should too)

How I'm Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable (and why you should too)

Photo by George Stojkovic, freedigitalphotos.net

Are you comfortable? Right now? If you’re standing you probably wish you could be sitting. If you’re sitting you’d probably prefer to be reclining. And if you’re reclined? Why not take a nap.

We all strive for comfort.

Whether it’s in the clothes we wear, the way we plan our finances, or the friends we choose to be around, our decisions are often made with our own comfort in mind. In his book, The Mindfulness Solution, professor of psychology Ronald D Seigel says that we are addicted to seeking pleasure, so much that we are unable “to just be”.

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