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How You Measure Change Could Matter More than You Think

You know it’s time for change.  You’ve set everything up: a new diet or exercise plan, a proposed budget, a schedule of counseling appointments, a new program to discipline your children or spend quality time with your spouse.  All your hope is riding on the new plan… [Read more…]

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If so, please Contact Me and describe your concerns and we'll discuss how counseling can help.

Mindful Monday Tip #14: A Mindful Walk

Explore the Relationship between Mind and FeetCan something you do for a few minutes everyday really improve your life?  Many people affirm that daily mindful practices make a big difference in their lives: they feel less anxious, develop a growing sense of safety and security, and gain deeper personal insight from living more mindfully.  [Read more…]

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If so, please Contact Me and describe your concerns and we'll discuss how counseling can help.

Mindful Monday Tip #13: A Mental Tune-up for Labor Day or Any Day

What if we could give ourselves a mental tune-up on Labor Day (or any day)? Between heading to the pool or firing up the grill, what can we accomplish?  Maybe we can think about something that will give more meaning and enjoyment to our holiday (and everyday) activities. [Read more…]

Are You Ready to Start?

If so, please Contact Me and describe your concerns and we'll discuss how counseling can help.

Mindful Monday Tip #12: What’s so great about the small moments?

Suze ignores the value of small moments….

What might the woman in the cartoon be missing from life?  She may be like a lot us  – easily dismissing small moments that we take for granted.  How often do we drink a cup of coffee, spend a moment with child, pet our dog or cat, or talk to a loved one without being truly attentive to and present with the experience?  It seems so easy to go through everyday activities like a robot and ignore the  small moments. [Read more…]

Are You Ready to Start?

If so, please Contact Me and describe your concerns and we'll discuss how counseling can help.

Mindful Monday Tip #7: How to Handle Mistakes with Mindfulness

What happens when you make a mistake?  We’ve all experienced oops moments with varying degrees of severity: speeding tickets, burned toast, a missed bill payment, a forgotten birthday or school assignment.  What do you notice when you make a mistake?  Maybe your heart sinks and your gut churns.  Perhaps your mind is flooded with unpleasant reminders of your error.  Too often mistakes can direct our focus to a narrow realm of negative possibilities.

Maybe it’s time to challenge the way we perceive mistakes.  Perhaps our oops moments can become doorways to opportunity.  Henry Ford suggested as much when he said, “even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement”.   So instead of letting mistakes shine a light on our failure, this week’s mindful tip challenges us to let mistakes trigger a healthier form of awareness.

Mindful Monday Tip #7:  Mindful Mistakes

At least once each week, permit a mistake to trigger a mindful response.  When you realize you’ve made a mistake:

  • Observe what’s happening in your body – tension, rate of breathing, etc.
  • Notice the negative thoughts passing through your mind, and let each one float away like a fluffy passing cloud.
  • What do you observe when you focus on the oops moment without judgment?
  • What do you learn?
A mindful approach to mistakes may turn many oops moments into doorways of opportunity.  What might you discover with a mindful response to mistakes? 

 

Are You Ready to Start?

If so, please Contact Me and describe your concerns and we'll discuss how counseling can help.

East, West, and Chocolate

“In the sky, there is no distinction between east and west, people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true” (Buddha).

When I look up in the sky from my front yard, I see no indications of direction.  Taking a few steps down my driveway, I see a somewhat rusty reminder of North, South, East, and West.  The sky above me wears no labels, but the ground below has plenty to go around – and so do our minds.

Think about foods: many of us label some foods good and other foods bad.  Yet I would argue that the real problem is not the food itself, but the way we consume it.  Chocolate is not my inherent enemy, but mindless consumption of handfuls of chocolate chips gets in the way of healthy eating.  Think about dogs: some people distinguish between good and bad breeds.  Yet I would argue that the way a dog is raised is what matters most.  Many people are prejudiced against Pit Bulls, but our cousin has raised a very loving, gentle, and affectionate one.  Think about people: how many distinctions or prejudices have  harmed humans?  From the religious leaders of Jesus’s day to modern hate groups, dogmatic beliefs distinguish between who is in and who is out, who is accepted and who is not.  Yet Jesus did not accept the dogma or distinctions of the Pharisees; he claimed that all laws of importance were summed up in two things: (1) love God first, and (2) love one’s neighbor as oneself (Matthew 22:34-40).

I think it’s wise to become mindful of the labels we so easily assign.  We may find that they are inaccurate.  Sometimes dropping inaccurate labels opens up pleasant possibilities: we may discover a healthy way to consume chocolate, a safe way to raise a loving pet, or a new way to make a friend.  When we look up in the sky, may we remember to ask: what  inaccurate distinctions have I created in my mind?

Are You Ready to Start?

If so, please Contact Me and describe your concerns and we'll discuss how counseling can help.