Each time I sit down to write this newsletter, the same thoughts run through my head. They go something like this: What if my family reads this and something I say upsets them? (Hi, Mom!) If I leave something out, does that make me a liar? (My worst nightmare is a James Frey-esque scandal—he’s the guy who was called out by Oprah for making up parts of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces.) What if something I write annoys someone, somewhere? Which would be worse – having a ton of people read this, or having no one read it?
I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been wussyfooting around claiming my role as an expert in mind-body matters. Yes, despite my 15 years of practice, intensive trainings, published articles and book, and appearance on the Today Show, I’ve been secretly believing I really didn’t know what the heck I was talking about. Read more…
Craving a little beach time, right this very minute? Here’s a 90-second ambient audio clip from our trip to the beach this past weekend. The roar of the wind is loud, so start with your volume a little lower.
In addition to the wind, you can hear surf, seagulls, a Dad building sandcastles with his kids, and maybe even a little snippet of a radio playing nearby. It’s not so much a serene beach moment as a full-on, jam-packed, let’s-see-how-many-people-we-can-fit-on-this-strip-of-sand beach trip.
I’m sure there’s more to be detected here. What else can you hear?
I love the calm clarity that comes meditating. But I don’t always love the idea of meditating itself. Some days when I’ve been running around like a crazy person, sure, sitting in one spot focusing only on what’s going on with me is compelling. But some days it just doesn’t have much allure.
If meditating feels a little like eating broccoli or flossing — or something else you’re supposed to do because it’s good for you — here are some legitimate ways you can do it that don’t require you to sequester yourself in a quiet room. Hooray.
This is actually an article that I wrote for Beliefnet.com, so to give you the full scoop, I’m going to send you over their (most awesome) site.
(This is my first monthly article that I’m writing for them, and I’d love to get my stint over there started with a bang. If you read and like the article, please share it with your people. Please and THANK YOU!)
I’ve been taking Alexander Technique lessons for 12 weeks now, and it is starting to seep in to my subconscious.
The Technique is a combination of body awareness, mindfulness, cognitive behavior, and biomechanics. I started taking lessons because my on-again off-again neck crick was stuck in the permanently on position, and visits to the chiropractor and massage therapist were only making it feel better for a day, max.
Then I was assigned an article on the Alexander Technique for relief of back pain, and I asked my expert source how to tell if the technique might be right for you. She said, “Any time you see a chiropractor or get a massage, but the benefits only last a day or two.” Ding, ding, ding. I did some Googling and contacted a local teacher the next day.
Fast forward three months, and here are my biggest takeaways: Read more…
Sometimes doing the things you know are going to make you feel better about yourself feel like drudgery. I know, because I’ve tried several different times to quit doing the things I know I need to feel like a sane, vibrant, intuitive person, because it was all feeling like too much. And each time, all the energy I thought I was saving myself I ended up spending on feeling like crap, and on wishing that I didn’t feel like crap.
Each time I ended up there, I had to figure out how to drop any sense of obligation I felt to do all the things I’ve learned it takes to keep myself humming, and remember that I do this stuff because I love the way it makes me feel.
Here’s my current list of things I do to take care of my mind and body, and the connection in between them. In no particular order, they are: Read more…
You know I’m all about getting your mind and body on speaking terms so you can hear what you truly want, right? (Right?) Well, it’s not the only way to make sure the decisions you make and actions you take jibe with the real you.
My good, old friend — she’s not old, our friendship is — Toni McLellan offers another way: by being creative. She’s not picky about how you fly your creative flag. She’s only adamant that you do something inventive on a regular basis. That’s why she founded the fabulous Makearoo: Creativity Camp for Grown-ups (where I was proud to be a virtual presenter this past May), and blogs at Makearoo.com. It’s also why she has blackboard paint on the wall behind her desk, and once took a photo of herself every day for a year — but we’ll get in to more of those specifics in a moment.
I asked Toni to be interviewed here because I know even the simplest crafty-type stuff — starting seeds, fingerpainting with my kids, cooking — scratch an itch down deep in my soul, and yet I don’t leave much time for them in my life. I wanted to know: Why is she so in to creativity? What’s her story? How can scrapbooking lead to inner peace? All these questions and more are answered in the following Q&A. I hope you enjoy it! Read more…
Today’s listening meditation comes to you straight from my home office. (How exciting!)
On this glorious summer day, you can hear whir of the fan, birds, a passing car, and occasionally, the shade tapping on the window sill when it’s stirred by a nice cool breeze.
We’re just back from a fabulous week on Block Island — a small (3 miles by 7 miles), under-developed island 12 miles off the Southern coast of Rhode Island. The water is crystal clear, the land is hilly and green, and with old stone walls everywhere, the terrain looks like Ireland. This is the view from the backyard of our rental house.
It was our first vacation of any kind in two years, and our first restful vacation since we had kids. This trip was all about simple pleasures: daily trips to the beach, drippy sandcastle making, ice cream excursions, bike rides, the farmer’s market. And I learned a couple of simple lessons while we were away: Read more…
Here, for your listening pleasure, is a one-minute audio file of the background noise I heard on a walk to nearby Blackstone Woods. You can hear birds chirping, water rushing (the bench I found is on a bluff about 20 feet above the Blackstone River in Providence) and the dull roar of 195 in the distance.
When you listen to it, soften your ears and invite your eardrums to register every little nuance of noise. It’s a simple, soothing meditation. The first of what I hope will be many!
We didn’t do anything yesterday, and it was divine. Well, I should be clear: We didn’t have anything planned for yesterday. And as a result, we did a number of fantastic things:
- Snuggled on the couch
- Played restaurant in the backyard
- Futzed around in the garden
- Finished our weekly laundry project in record time
- Took naps
- Watched “Chicken Run”
- Ordered in Indian food for dinner
- Got to bed at a decent hour
It was just what the doctor ordered, and it didn’t happen by accident.