Mindful Musings Blog

November/December: Got Gratitude?

You probably do. Amidst the rush of holidays, as another year winds down, our thoughts turn to gratitude for our lives and people in it. But to truly embody gratitude, we must practice it not just from Thanksgiving to New Year's, but from New Year's to Thanksgiving as...

October: Unchain Your Fears

  "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery/None but ourselves can free our minds."  - Bob Marley In this month of Halloween, it's an ideal time to confront fears – past, present or future – that haunt us. The lens of fear distorts what we see, often exaggerating,...

September: See Routines as Rituals

  "Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life."     - Buddha Often when we are engaged in everyday routines, our body is in one place, while our mind is somewhere else, and our breath is being ignored. We're operating in autopilot. This is mindlessness. And...

August 2015: Patience & Acceptance

  "Nature doesn't hurry, yet everything is accomplished." - Lao-Tzu Sometimes we find ourselves so fixated on perfection and future results we don't enjoy what we're doing in the present. To build patience, practice contentment. Appreciate all your small successes:...

July: In the Heat of the Moment

  In the heat of the summer, anger – among other things – can be aroused. Of all our emotions, it can be the most toxic to our health and our relationships. In the heat of the moment, that's all we have – a moment -- before we blow it. Enter mindfulness for emotional...

June: Throwback Summer

In a throwback to childhood summers, summertime gives us permission to push the reset button and recreate the work/life balance we all crave. Guilt-free. It's instilled in us to work less and play more. We know from experience that old habits die hard due to the...

May: Cultivate Self-Compassion

  Self-compassion is the ability to love and accept ourselves just as we are. If we habitually berate ourselves for less-than-perfect behavior or appearance, we cannot feel it, because we don't feel deserving. And when we don't feel deserving we lean more towards...

March: Mind Your Business

“Won't mindfulness make me lose my edge in business dealings?” This question came up recently during a Twelve Mindful Months class I lead weekly and it is a common concern. Mindfulness is the new buzz word in the media, as evidenced by the many articles boasting the...

February: Be Mindful/Be Mine

  "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." - Jon Kabat-Zinn In February, this month of Valentine's Day, we may gift those we love with cards, flowers or chocolates. But the greatest gift we can give our relationships is mindfulness. The practice of...

December: The 12 Gifts of Mindfulness

* 1. joy 2. peace 3. contentment 4. self-regulation 5. increased focus 6. developed compassion 7. present moment awareness 8.appreciation for what what you have 9. acceptance for what you cannot change 10. liberation from anxiety & cultivated resilience 11. delayed...

November: Harvesting Positivity

  This month of Thanksgiving, when gratitude is in our minds, is an ideal time to focus on harvesting positivity. I learned this concept from Rick Hanson's book Buddha's Brain. Prior to that I had expressed daily gratitude, and even kept a list at times, but fostering...

October: How Nature Helps Us Age Well

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Thoreau's words echo throughout the gardens and trails here at Golden Door. As a hike leader for the past 16 years, I continually hear guests say the 6AM hike is their favorite activity. It's especially dramatic...

September Mindful Musing: Yield to the Present

On a recent trip to Northern California, this sign – yield to the present - came into view as I entered the property of Spirit Rock, a place I was exploring for a future retreat. It made me think about how challenging it is to stay present in today's world. Maybe if...

August Mindful Musing: Got Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the new buzzword.  Although we hear it often, I've discovered – through the Twelve Mindful Months class I teach weekly at Golden Door – that a lot of people aren't exactly sure what it is or how to go about it.  In this post, I hope to demystify it. But...

July: 4 Mindful Ways to Celebrate Your Independence

"Why should I not sit every morning of my life, on the hillside, looking into the shining world?"  Mary Oliver Since July is the month of our nation's independence, I'm taking this month to reflect on personal independence. When we think of independence, usually...

June: Lighten Up

"Live in the sunshine. Swim the sea. Drink the wild air." - Ralph Waldo Emerson The Summer Solstice is here: The sun's up early, and turns in late. Maybe you follow the sun and rise early and set late? Even though most of us are not farmers who rely on extra daylight...

May: Bloom Where You Are Planted

  "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein On a recent hike, after a week of unseasonal, ninety-degree days, I spotted some flowers growing out of a crack in a boulder.  A lone clump of yellow California poppies....

April: Spring Clean Awareness

  "Stop talking, stop thinking, and there is nothing you will not understand." - Seng-Ts'an Spring is here.  Time to awaken your awareness.  Zen Buddhist teachings refer to spring as the metaphor for awakening.  Awakening is like a rebirth.  A naked awareness.  A...