What if wasting time were the key to success?

Growing up, I learned that staying busy was the only way to achieve great things and fulfill my destiny – whatever that might be – as a smart person. As a result, I filled sashes with Girl Scout badges, became a perpetual spelling bee participant, ran for every student government office, played basketball, soccer, and softball, ran track, cheerleaded, entered beauty pageants, sang in the choir, edited the yearbook, played piano, and participated in every contest that crossed my teachers’ desks.

I was torn between being driven to prove I was more special and talented than everyone else and just wanting to be one of the gang. This struggle came into sharp relief my junior year in high school, when I missed out on a John Cougar concert (that my friends are still talking about) because I was at a symposium in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania—the prize for my winning essay on “What is terrorism?” Read more…

4 Ways to Invest in Your Health

I was happy to be included in an article on Lifehacker.com on how to reinvest your health insurance rebate check back in to your health. Taking the time to answer the question inspired 4 others ways you can sink a little bit of money in your wellbeing for big payoffs that go way beyond the relatively small number of dollars they require. So, without further ado, here they are!

1. Make yoga a habit. Buying a pre-paid class card at a yoga studio will typically get you a reduced per-class rate, and will inspire you to actually get to the classes before the card expires. (Before you plunk down your dough, however, ask about the fine print — some cards become worthless after the expiration date; others only require you to pay a small surcharge to use the classes after the expiration dates; some allow you to give your pre-paid classes to a friend; others are more strict.) Or, you could buy a subscription to an online yoga studio, such as yogaglo.com, and get a lot more classes for your money. Read more…

Stop Wussyfooting

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…

Listening meditation: Scarborough Beach

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?

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5 Weird Ways to Meditate

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!)

5 Weird Ways to Meditate

3 Not-So-Obvious Truths I’ve Learned from the Alexander Technique

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…

Should, Schmould

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…

Be More Creative: An Interview with Makearoo.com Founder Toni McLellan

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…

Listening Meditation: My Office. Summer.

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.


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If You Want to Nap, You’ve Got to Lie Down (and Other Life Lessons I Learned on Vacation)

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…

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