Read this article to learn more about how to use mindfulness through nature. Mindfulness in Action I turned the corner at the Iowa Arts Festival, and saw picture after picture of nature: raw, beautiful, and unique. “Oh, look at how cool these are,” I said to my son. “What’s so cool?” asked a voice behind […]
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Self-compassion is an important part of parenting children and adolescents. A few years ago, the Washington Post published an article called “Teaching Children Self-Compassion by Modeling it Ourselves” by Mandy Lange. The article addresses the idea that children learn how to respond to their difficulties, stressors, and mistakes through their own experiences, and through what […]
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Music is powerful Music has existed from the earliest of times to the streaming services of today. Many of us can think of a song connected to something important in our lives. It could a vacation, a fun day with friends, or graduation. When we hear that song again, it often brings back memories of people, events, and […]
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Many parenting approaches fail to address the parent’s thoughts and feelings. By acknowledging and opening up to these experiences, parenting becomes more effective and meaningful.
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“I should be able to do this better,” thinks April. “I just can’t get this project to go well. My work is so hard!” April, like many people, is feeling frustrated and upset about a task at her workplace. As a result, she blames herself, which likely increases her stress, sadness, and job satisfaction. Some […]
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“Your dog is so mindful!” my neighbor yelled across the street. Although my kind neighbor was referring to my dog’s obedience, I smirked at the literal thought of my dog’s mindfulness. Mindfulness happens when we notice everything in the present moment. In doing so, we are often more grateful and more content. Sunshine, my 7-month-old Golden […]
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We are a culture that CONSUMES We are great consumers of food, coffee, alcohol, information, clothes, cars, concerts – if there is a thing, and that thing is good, we consume as much of it as we can. Sometimes, this tendency is harmless; then again, sometimes, it’s a pretty big problem. One of the ways […]
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A wise friend once said to me:
“Mollie, you’d never buy a footlong sub and then tell yourself – ‘I better eat this all in one bite.’”
At the time, I had a good laugh. And now, years later, I think of this all the time. Because when you put it that way, it makes so much sense – it’s crazy to set an expectation like that. You’d choke, you’d be sick, and you’d feel really terrible about that sandwich.
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Sometimes, just coming back to the things we can reach out and touch, the things we hear, see, smell, or even taste can be helpful. Other times, it can be helpful to be prepared ahead of time, to keep a few little tokens on hand that are soothing, enjoyable, and use our physical senses.
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My alarm goes off, quietly at first, and then a little louder. I turn it off, and then start my daily practice. What do I hear? I listen. I hear the birds chirping, the dog snoring quietly, the sound of my spouse making coffee downstairs. What do I feel? I notice the cool breeze from my fan, the softness of my blanket, and the comfort of my bed. What do I see? I slowly open one eye to appreciate the soft, dappled light through my window and the blue sky on the other side. What do I smell? The scent of my laundry detergent still lingers on my pillowcase. What am I grateful for? I am grateful for this day, for my life, for meaningful work, for my family. I take 4 deep breaths and I get out of bed. Thus ends my meditation for the day.
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Sometimes, the world just moves too quickly. Sometimes, there is too much to do, or too much to think about. Sometimes there is too much noise, too much activity, too many electronics, or too many pressures. Sometimes, there is too much drama or just too much talking.
Sometimes, less is more.
But, it is tough to know how to do less. After all, we can’t just tell our bosses or teachers, “no,” when job responsibilities or homework assignments are expected. We can’t just tell our band director that we can’t do the band concert this week or we can’t tell our boss that an important project is not a priority.
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Mindfulness meditation practice seems difficult. The truth is, however, it couldn’t be easier. You can practice anytime, anywhere. Mindfulness is just about noticing the moment and being present in your actions and the world. Some people find good benefit to a regular, formal mindfulness practice. You can do this in a few simple steps: Sit […]
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