There’s Always Change

How do can we cope, with equanimity, to a stressful and unexpectedly large change in our life? I’ve had a very slowly progressing health issue for the last 30 years that has been kept under control (I believe) by a pristine lifestyle of plant based whole foods, 4-6x per week exercise, and, for the last 20 years, a daily breath and meditation practice. So when my condition started to progress to the point of affecting …

The Power of Acceptance

I recently returned from a road trip to Tennessee where I had the opportunity to participate in the magnificence that is fall leaf peeping.  As you can probably imagine, a road trip through Tennessee meant plenty of time in the car.  While my husband and I had fun listening to podcasts and catching up with each other, there were also many miles spent in quiet reflection.  Outside of the hustle of daily life, I had …

Gift Giving during the Holidays!

Gift giving can be tough! You never quite know what present will light someone up or be quickly set aside. Luckily, I’ve developed some guidelines I’d like to share to help you pick the perfect gift for your loved ones. First, I like to ask the person if there is anything they are ‘needing’ or ‘wanting’ aka “have you had your eye on anything specific that you’ve seen recently?” However, if it’s someone I would …

Mindful Eating: 3 Ways to Gift Yourself with Presence during the Holidays

What an amazingly fun-busy-joyful-crazy-exhausting-energizing time of the year!  This is often a time where people lament the abundance of food and fear the plethora of options at parties and on the holiday table.  However, I choose to embrace this food-filled time of year with open arms and happy taste buds!  The variety of flavors, events and traditions can provide an opportunity for mindful eating that we don’t get at other times during the year. But …

5 Tips for Lifting Sadness After A Busy Holiday Season

1. Be Patient The brutal return to reality after the holidays is tough for many. After a busy holiday season filled with fun, family, friends, and entertainment, readjusting to normal work or school schedules can feel like a near impossible task. Practice mindfulness and patience with yourself as your mind and body readjust to a new routine. Schedule time for self-care, and radically accept your emotions, thoughts, and needs with each passing moment. Transitioning out …

Simplifying Your Holidays

November is already upon us, and before we know it, we’ll be caught up in the holiday season whirlwind. While many of us dream about peaceful family gatherings, celebratory parties, sipping on warm apple cider, and opening our favorite gifts; the holidays frequently do not turn out this way. Last minute holiday shopping, fighting frenzied crowds, running low on cash and being pulled in a million different directions can quickly damper any cheerful holiday spirit. …

10 Tips for Coping with Holiday Stress

The holiday season can bring mixed emotions for many. For some, it’s their favorite time of year but for others, it brings feelings of sadness and loss. Here are 10 tips for coping with holiday stress this season: 1. Honor Your Feelings The holidays often arrive with a chaotic set of demands: parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, and entertaining (to name a few). It is important to acknowledge your feelings amidst this hustle and bustle. It …

Surviving the Holidays with Mindfulness

As Thanksgiving begins to seep its way into my favorite magazines and retail stores, my fierce self-compassion for setting boundaries and asserting my usual need for peace and quiet wanes. For years I have overspent, overscheduled and overdone the fall and winter holidays so much to the point that I found myself cringing at those first holiday warning signs, even the yummy holiday things like pumpkin-everything. I began to procrastinate on not only holiday-related tasks …

Sacred Sangha

The sharing of life’s ups and downs, as we navigate them skillfully (and sometimes not so skillfully!) is life changing. This excerpt from a poem written by Lynn, an MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) and MSC (Mindful Self-Compassion) graduate, captures the essence of what a Sangha can provide a person on this journey.  The Sangha is one part of the threefold refuge in Buddhism, and refers to a community of friends who study, meditate, and participate in retreats to bring about and maintain …

Walk Among the Trees

While doing a walking meditation in the woods of Gainesville this past winter, I connected to the trees around me. Pausing to take in the beauty, strength, and resilience of these living creatures inspired me to do my part in helping to preserve them. I have been called a “tree hugger” on many occasions, yet I do not believe I deserve that level of admiration. What I can own is the desire to preserve and …