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 …

What is Stealing Your Joy?

You would never invite a thief into your house, so why would you invite joy thief into your mind? Unfortunately, we find that uninvited guests may arrive on a daily basis, requiring us to use discernment as we learn to respond wisely. Discernment starts with mindful awareness that thoughts are simply activities of the mind that come and go regularly. But what if they don’t seem to go? Some move in, set up shop, and work away in the …

Discovering Inner Fitness

Is there anyone who doesn’t have a bucket-load of information about what being “fit” means?  It’s everywhere! We are given “fitness guru” suggestions on billboards, TV, radio, magazines, the web and anywhere information is being streamed.  Fitness has become such an American obsession that it has begun to do real damage. It is painfully evident that many in this country are struggling to achieve and maintain what I’ll call “inner fitness.”  When stripped of the toxic body-perfection messaging, and …

Self-Compassion to Combat Work Stress

Most of us are no strangers to work-related stress.  No matter your industry, position within your organization, or your job requirements, stress in the workplace leaves almost no one immune to it’s effects.  So whether your work stressors are large or small, stem from office politics or dynamics, or are as a result of high-risk or even traumatic events that occur within your work duties, we can easily conclude that job stress is an occupational …