The idea of mindfulness is getting a lot of play these days. Like in this piece, “More Mindfulness, Less Meditation,” by Tony Scott, which appeared on NYTimes.com last week.
I mean, I am a proponent of mindfulness–applying a meditative focus to pretty much anything. Indeed I am! Many of my heroes – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield — have done a lot of incredible and important work to teach mindfulness, to study it, and to inspire people to practice it.
Mindfulness is definitely off the cushion and out into the world: It is taught as a stress-reduction technique with boatloads of studies to support its benefits. It’s a big piece of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, which is such an important thing to have an effective, simple, and accessible treatment for. Clinical psychologists are even using it to help women revive their flagging libidos (here’s a downloadable PDF of an article I wrote for Whole Living magazine about that a few years back). It works.
Before I go too much further, what is mindfulness, exactly? Here’s a standard definition of it, according to Jon Kabat-Zin: “The awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Or, put more simply, “Paying attention to paying attention.”
Sometimes someone else just nails it: Sums up what you do in a succinct, totally relatable way.
(Thank you, dear client! I love you and am totally honored to have worked with you!)
I’m starting to think about re-vamping my website, so I’ve been really trying to distill what I do and why I do it so I can convey it in a handful of paragraphs. Even though I don’t feel ‘ready’ to deal with the logistics of re-creating my website, it’s all I want to think about! So, in this newsletter, I’m going to honor that desire and get some thoughts down on paper.
(I was also inspired to think about plain-language ways to talk about my point of view by this interview I did with the lovely Brooke Thomas of Fascia Freedom Fighters.)
And really, the basis of what I do as a coach is all about seeing.
We are obsessed with the Disney movie Frozen in our household. Even me. Well, maybe not my husband, but I’m pretty sure he knows all the words to the soundtrack, as it’s on constant repeat in our car.
As an example, my 3 year-old-son, Teddy, the other day said, “Mommy, you and I were just meant to be.” My heart instantly puddled and I told him, “Aww Teddy, I think so too.” Two beats later, he said, “Mommy, what does ‘meant to be’ mean?” I had forgotten it’s a line from a Frozen song.
Which…how could I forget? Not only do I know all the words, but they pretty much never fail to bring a tear to my eye. Especially when Elsa sings “Let It Go.”
But first, let me offer a brief synopsis for those who haven’t seen the movie =).
Elsa is the elder daughter of a king and queen. She’s blonde, beautiful, and has also been cursed with the power to freeze things with icy beams that shoot from her hands. Anna is her spunky, plucky, red-headed younger sister.
One of my all-time favorite movies is an oldie-but-goodie: It Happened One Night, starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. Claudette is a socialite in distress and Clark is the rake (natch) who gives her a ride cross-country in hopes of selling her story and cementing his success as a journalist. They share hotel rooms along the way but, this being the 30s, they hang a blanket up in between their beds each night, dividing the room into his and hers. It’s the perfect solution, it seems. Until, Claudette yanks it down one night and their romance is born.
What does this have to do with anything, except a great recommendation to add to your Netflix queue? (Seriously, if you love rom-coms, it’s a must-watch!)
I used to have quite a few of those blankets hanging up in my inner environment. I subconsciously spent a lot of time deciding what was safe to reveal to whom. I learned it early—as the only child of divorced parents, I figured out that when I told my Dad about something Mom and I had done together, he’d feel left out, and when I told my Mom about something Dad and I had done together, she’d get angry.
Note to the esteemed gentlemen on my list: I love that you are here SO MUCH. I welcome you and congratulate you for signing up. And I want to warn you, this post is about periods. =) It doesn’t mean you won’t necessarily find it helpful – particularly if you’re in a relationship with someone who has a period – but this is definitely one that’s skewed toward the ladies. I understand if you stop reading here.
As I write this, it is the official release date of my new book, The 28 Days Lighter Diet.
Can I get a whoop-whoop!?
And I wanted to offer some of the advice from the book that relates to relationships. I mean, a big piece of the book focuses squarely on diet and fitness. It’s tactical, it’s practical, it’s straight-forward, and I love it.
But hey. I’m a life coach. I really groove on the emotional stuff. =) So that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
My daughter Lillian, a kindergartner, is learning about time in school. So there have been lots of questions about it – Are we late? What does the 45 in 11:45 mean? What’s a.m.? What does the big hand point to?
Have you ever sat down and tried to explain an old-fashioned clock to a kid? It’s complicated. The short hand, the minute hand, the second hand. There’s an eight o’clock in the morning and then another eight o’clock in the night. And then sometimes, on government-appointed dates, the time changes an hour.
When you are clear, you know what you want, what’s possible, and what’s just not acceptable any more. When you are clear, you are a magnet for all the things that you want to find you. When you are clear, you naturally repel opportunities and people who are only going to drain you.
I wrote a while ago about how I had recently gotten clear on something that I hadn’t even fully realized was a dilemma: Whether or not I wanted to continue writing as a professional pursuit. I knew something was up, because I felt like I was walking uphill when I focusing only on coaching.
As some of you know, I have a book coming out soon and it’s at long-last time to talk about it. Hooray!
The book is The 28 Days Lighter Diet: Your Monthly Plan to Lose Weight, End PMS, and Achieve Physical and Emotional Wellness.
It’s all about how to sync your diet, fitness, and mind-body pursuits to your cycle, so you can work with your body instead of beating it in to submission.
If you’ve got PMS that just won’t quit, stress levels that never recede, pounds that just won’t budge, or issues with your lady parts, the info in this book is designed to help you find your way to radiant health.
This is a photo of my grandmother, Dorothy Jane, who passed over to the other side last night. She was 93-11/12 (her birthday is tomorrow). I loved her very much even though she often drove me nuts. =) In the end, she went quickly, in her sleep, with her family all around her. It’s a blessing, and quite an emotional roller coaster!
I’ve taken a lot of comfort from this post by someone I respect quite a lot, Danielle Laporte, Remember, you said Yes to this. My Mom and I said yes when we opted to move my grandmother out of Florida (which she loved, but where we couldn’t reach her without a day’s travel and where she was requiring more and more care by people who weren’t family) and up to Rhode Island, so that we could love her up before she moved on. We said yes to having regular lunches with her and taking her to doctor’s appointments. We said yes to creating the opportunity for her to spend regular time with her great grandchildren. And we said yes to being with her as she took her last breaths.
And now, I’m saying yes to sending out a post from the archives this week so I can go have lunch with my mom and uncle and do some laughing through tears as we make arrangements for the next steps.
These suckers (and their many sisters and brothers) took over two months on the vine to ripen. Two months! And then they took another 3 weeks on the windowsill.
A few weeks in, and I was craving some freshly made salsa something fierce. I tried staring at the tomatoes, willing them to turn red before my very eyes. I tried ignoring them, and focusing on the veggies that were ready to go. I admit, I even tried hating those tomatoes at times. =)
Here’s what finally happened: I sauntered down to the farmer’s market and bought some luscious, juicy, heirloom tomatoes and whirred those puppies up into some righteous salsa.