All posts filed under: Mindfulness & Meditation

Full Moon Meditation

Tonight, the night of the full moon, I meditate. Lying in a circle of mostly strangers in the grass. In a park above the ocean. Cool and breezy. My sweater wrapped around my body. Listening to our leader’s cues, imagining my body filled with light and energy, grounded to the earth. I breath in deeply, then exhale, allowing my thoughts to settle, being gentle with myself. I open my eyes and let them settle on the dark blue sky above me, allowing my body to sink into the soft grass. When was the last time I lay in the grass and stared at the sky? In the cool night air? The sound of the waves filling my ears? Soaking in the beauty of this moment, I am calm and at peace. And happy. And filled with love.

I don’t understand …

I don’t understand why some dogs bark at all other dogs. I don’t understand how anyone would think Donald Trump should be the actual president. I don’t understand why it’s harder to lose weight than it is to lose your mind. I don’t understand whether it’s better to have high expectations or low. I don’t understand why people judge one another so harshly. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to recognize our shared humanity.  

On Running Late

I woke up 15 minutes early this morning in an attempt to not be late, because for the last few weeks, it seems that every day we (my teenage son and I) leave later and later. And so I thought today, I will not get on my phone right out of the shower. Because I love to lay back down in bed right out of the shower and grab my phone. But that always makes me late. Because if I get on my phone, somehow like one minute turns into 15 mintues. And then I get dressed, and then I make the lunches, and then I put my makeup on, and then I’m late. So today I thought I would make our lunches before I got dressed for work. And not get on my phone. I started to bring my lunch to work recently in an effort to eat less crap (carbs and processed foods). So now I make a lettuce wrap, apple slices, a bag of nuts and a bag of veggies for myself and I make a sandwich …

My Disappearance

Over the course of the last two years, my life has been in flux. I moved 1600 miles away from my home, my oldest son and my best friend.  I left a 25-year marriage.  I gave up a 10-year career.  I have ceased to be a presence in a number of people’s lives, and they have ceased to be a presence in mine. To some who love me, or used to love me, some friends, some relatives, quite a few colleagues and coworkers, and a handful of neighbors, in a way, I have disappeared. I no longer live next door. I no longer work with you. I no longer see you in the coffee shop each morning. You no longer read my words. You no longer stop in my office on your way down the hall. You no longer consider me your sister-in-law or your wife. We are no longer Facebook friends. I am no longer your lunch buddy or your team member. You no longer wave hello. You don’t see me at church. You don’t see me walking my …

Seek Not for Love

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.–A Course in Miracles My task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for creativity, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for health, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for friendship, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for fortune, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it. My task is not to seek for energy, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have …

Critic, move on

I had just sat down to write in my journal, but my thoughts were scattered and I was starting to feel pressured by the clock. I only had 45 minutes before I needed to leave. I hadn’t writen anything today.  I was thinking I should, but I didn’t. I was down on myself for “wasting” the morning away. “I’m a f**king idiot who has nothing to offer.”  That’s what I just heard myself tell myself.  WTF?  What am I going to do with the merciless judge and jury in my head? Should I sit here and try to gather evidence that I am worthwhile? Should I debate the point? Should I make a list of my good qualities and try to convince myself that I actually do helpful and meaningful things and some people like me. I am not an idiot. And I do have something to offer. But for some reason, this inspector general is never satisfied. It always wants more. More more more more more more more. Should I distract myself from this …

Frustrated? Take a gratitude break.

First published on Huffington Post, June 25, 2013. Is there someone in your life whose mere presence drives you crazy? Has a certain situation got you all stirred up, but you’re not sure how to fix it? Have you ever been completely convinced you were right, yet no one else seems to care? Yes! Yes! And yes! We’ve all been there. And how do we usually handle it when we are bothered and frustrated and can’t seem to shake it off? Maybe some of these strategies sound familiar: We play out the complaint, the conversation, or the annoying behavior in our minds repeatedly. We bitch and moan to anyone who will listen until they agree with our point of view. We try to fix the problem by analyzing every detail, every possible scenario. We have an imaginary conversation with the object of our discontent — a few hundred times — until we are convinced we know how it is all going to play out. While these strategies may make us feel good for a moment …

Don’t Think. Get Up!

First published on Huffington Post, January 2, 2013. Where do you fall with the New Year’s resolutions question? Are you a fan? There is certainly an argument to be made that resolutions are not particularly effective or that they assume we need to be different than we are — thinner, better, richer, wiser — to be happy or feel fulfilled. I agree that it is easy to miss the mark when setting New Year’s resolutions, but I can’t resist the temptation to set them. I love any opportunity for a fresh start. I keep my resolutions affirmative. My aim is not to resolve to be better than I am, but to be as good as I am — allowing myself to grow into my divine purpose and potential. As I set my goals, I include an intention, affirming the qualities I am willing to be. My goals look something like this: Goal: I am developing a habit of daily exercise and healthy, conscious eating. Intention affirmation: I am fit, healthy, and beautiful. Goals like this work for …

Mindful Anger Management

First published on Huffington Post on May 3, 2012 The other day I was driving down the road feeling peaceful and happy. Life was good. All was right with the world. As I signaled to change lanes, the driver next to me wouldn’t let me in, and impulsively, I reacted. I yelled sarcastically, “Thanks a lot!” Then I called her a name. I proceeded to get angrier because I missed my turn. Then I paused and observed how ridiculous I was — in two seconds I had gone from joyful and content to angry and yelling at a stranger. Have you had a similar experience? Have you ever snapped at someone because the perfect order of your world unexpectedly went awry? We all have our strategies for dealing with anger — some healthier than others. When we unconsciously lash out at people, it can be hurtful to both them and us — or just plain embarrassing. Recently His Holiness the Dalai Lama had this to say about anger: “The first drawback of anger is that it …

How I Broke All the Rules — But Still Quit Smoking

First published on Huffington Post  on September 3, 2011 I was a smoker for 28 years. This month I celebrated one year smoke free. Even though I tried to quit many times before — probably 20 to 30 times in the last 10 years — this time felt different. This time it stuck. If you are struggling to gain your freedom from cigarettes, I hope I can give you a few new tactics to try. This is what made the difference for me, once and for all. In many of my past attempts, I tried the usual tips and tricks. I set a quit date, threw out the ashtrays and elicited support from friends and family, but in the end the standard methods didn’t bring me success. So this last time, I broke nearly every rule but still managed to quit. So what made the difference? I finally challenged the belief that I needed a cigarette. “I need a cigarette.” Smokers say or think this all the time in any number of ways. If I …