Research shows the power of mindfulness meditation. But many people believe they don’t have time to meditate. Could brief periods of mindfulness be an effective solution?
As part of the 200-hour meditation leader training I recently completed with Sage Institute for Creativity and Consciousness, I researched brief periods of mindfulness to find an answer.
This question has long intrigued me.
At the very first meditation retreat I attended, several decades ago, the teacher directed us to sense our thoughts and body sensations. We slowed our movements and maintained silence to focus on how thoughts and body sensations arose and passed…
I’d had the same psychiatrist, a woman I trust with my life, for years. I thought we’d covered all the ground. But a few years before I started running, dark, angry moods, yelling fits, and tantrums transformed me into someone I didn’t recognize. As I pondered her questions, searching for a cause, a memory surfaced.
“There were those times I nearly maxed out my credit cards, and had to return a ton of things when the bills came.”
She nodded, then said…
Jon Kabat-Zinn said “We can’t change the waves, but we can learn to surf.”
Yes, leave the bad marriage, the wrong job, the “money pit” house. But the day will come when you cannot “leave.” There will be a pandemic and you will need to stay in your house because your life and the lives of those you love and the lives of total strangers depend on it.
And you will sit in your basement on an old zafu you have had for 25 years with the latest dog trying to crawl in your lap. And when the dog finally…
Political signs dotted the yards. This was a presidential year and the nation was on edge. It didn’t matter which party the signs supported, they annoyed me. I longed for the green simplicity of empty yards. — Nita Sweeney, Depression Hates a Moving Target referring to the 2012 election.
Eight years later, two houses at the end of a block in our suburban, residential neighborhood dueled it out with competing candidate flags. …
Seriously. I cannot think of one single legal thing you should not do when you hold that very first brand spanking new copy of your very first, brand spanking new book in your shaky hands.
Not. One. Legal. Thing.
But what should you do?
BEFORE you take 10,000 selfies or ask your poor, exhausted husband to take 10,000 photos of you and your book, and you share 5,000 of those images on social media, take a breath. Pause. Have a private moment with your lovely new baby. Just the two of you.
That name on the cover? THAT’S YOU!!! I…
I sometimes surprise my students when I ask them to try meditation during my adult writing classes. “What’s meditation have to do with writing?” more than one has asked over the twenty years I’ve taught. When I first began to teach, meditation was seen as a hippie, woo woo, new age thing. Some students even feared it might interfere with their religion.
But things have changed.
Now, most students are at least familiar with some meditation technique and many have a regular practice. …
“I’m a private runner,” I told my sister when she invited me to the first annual Steps for Sarcoma 5k. She had signed up to walk the three-point-one-mile course in memory of her daughter, Jamey, who died at twenty-four of osteosarcoma. The race raised money for cancer research. I hung my head as I declined, but the thought of running “in public” turned my stomach.
I’d only recently begun slow jogging the quiet streets of our suburban central Ohio neighborhood after a high school friend posted her interval workouts on social media. The thought of my neighbors watching me haul…
I’m a white, middle-aged, middle-class woman who lives in an affluent central Ohio suburb. While I was in high school, growing up in white, rural Ohio, the first family of “colored people” moved into our district.
They were Italian.
Despite my lifelong desire to reform racism out of myself, the absence of people of color during my formative years skewed my perspective. Things I don’t know and haven’t experienced make me a danger to the black friends I love. I’m committed to facing my white privilege and racism. Until I own it, I can’t do anything about it.
I don’t remember which one of us decided to reclaim Mother’s Day, but it began with an impromptu day-long road trip. With little fanfare or notice to anyone except Ed, the #onehundredpercentgoodhusband, my sister Amy and I hopped in her convertible and drove north up Route 23 to Putnam County, the part of Ohio where both of our parents were born and grew up. We visited our grandparents’ houses, the cemeteries where our grandparents and other relatives on both sides of the family were buried, and we stopped at fast-food restaurants to eat.
We bypassed the buffets in restaurants with…
A friend recently posted an Ashley Stahl meme with alternatives to “I’m Sorry.”
“I’m sorry I’m late” became “Thank you for waiting for me.”
“I’m sorry I’m so needy” turned into “Thank you for being there for me.”
As someone whose brain transforms the mere hint of another person’s displeasure into the worst failure of my life, I found these subtle changes empowering.
Then I took it a step further and created a single one that fits most situations.
Especially during this dream-come-true publishing adventure, I’m learning, growing, and pushing my edges all while trying to relax into a “new…