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Case Study: A Mindfulness Based Approach to Stress Reduction

Mindfulness is a practice that individuals and groups can do on a day-to-day basis. It can enable people to change the way they think and feel about their experiences, especially stressful experiences. As a mind-body approach, it can increase one’s ability to manage difficult situations and make wise choices.

A growing body of evidence has found that when people intentionally practice being mindful they feel

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Self-Care: Questions to Ask Before Giving Up

Sometimes we forget about ourselves, taking care of our own needs last, if at all. Isn’t it time you committed to your health and self-care? A great place to start is to ask yourself the following key questions:

Two Toxic Thoughts You Accidentally Think Every Day

And how to stop doing that.

You might not think you have a morning ritual, but you do.

“I didn’t get enough sleep.”


“I don’t have enough time.”

According to Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money, we unwittingly think those two scarcity-themed thoughts every single day, before we do or think about anything else:

“Before we even sit up in bed,

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My Big Red Tomato, Not!

I dug excitedly into the soil, carefully dropping two tomato starts into the holes. I gently covered the roots, watered, and clapped my hands in glee. I knew I’d soon have gorgeous, plump, juicy red tomatoes, just like my dear friend Jane’s.

I did everything I was supposed to…I thought.

Although I watered faithfully, it wasn’t long before I realized the tomato plants were looking

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Toes in the Mud

I quietly tiptoed out of my grandparents home, dawn’s light just breaking. Green grass still damp with dew, I stopped to listen to beautiful birdsong before continuing my pilgrimage across the lawn. My destination, an old metal faucet that dripped little by little. I dipped my toes in the mud, feeling the squish of cool, slippery earth. Every morning, I snuck out of my grandparents

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Dandelion Wine: Summer Memories

“It was a quiet morning, the town covered over with darkness and at ease in bed. Summer gathered in the weather, the wind had the proper touch, the breathing of the world was long and slow. You had only to rise, lean from your window and know that his indeed was the first real time of freedom and living, this was the first morning of

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In My Grandmother’s Kitchen

She was up at dawn preparing bacon and eggs, fresh fruit: the smell of fresh bread baking, like the bright sun shining in the early morning, was indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight. We spent summers there, my sisters and I, in my grandmother’s kitchen, deep in the heart of Connecticut. Life was good, the days rich with the bounty of summer and

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Changing Your Story

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford

April Fools’ Day, recognized worldwide and sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, is widely celebrated as a day that tolerates practical jokes and general foolishness. In fact, the earliest recorded association between April 1st and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392), so the celebration has been with

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Beginner's Mind

It happens every time I teach mindfulness meditation: someone thinks they’ve done it “wrong”. I don’t mean “wrong” in my opinion, but in theirs. Somewhere, somehow, people have gotten the idea that meditation is some magical state, achieved by the most perfect of meditators, where the mind is blank and absolutely everything is tranquil and calm. Have you ever had this thought or experienced what

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A Daily Practice of Gratitude

“Mimi, look! These thorns have a rose on the end!!” —Lauren Smith, age 4

While similar words were stated quite eloquently in the 19th century by French poet Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, “Some people are always grumbling that roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses,” my granddaughter, Lauren, had never heard the words of the poet when she uttered her discovery and delight.

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One Word: Courage

“Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else

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Navigating the Holidays Mindfully

The holiday season is fast approaching, and while I love many parts of this special time of year, I also feel anxiety as my to-do list begins to grow.

While my experience might be an anxious one, I know for others the holiday season triggers stress, depression, and sadness – making this time of year anything but merry. Whether you find yourself alone this holiday

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My Wish For The World

As mother of the groom, I was asked to say a few words in honor of this grand occasion, on a lovely afternoon in May:

I started by wishing that the day would be the most beautiful day for them – with many more to follow. I extended the wish to everyone: may this be our opportunity to cherish the same sacred memory –and to

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New Beginnings

With the arrival of March, you may be thinking about spring…about emergence and new beginnings…perhaps about bright yellow daffodils breaking through the ground to delight the eye and dispel winter’s gloom. I wonder if you, like me, feel a sense of wonderment at the knowingness of nature. How these brilliant flowers, after surviving a season of cold, deep in the ground, bloom and flourish and

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Loving Ourselves

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” —Buddha

The month of February focuses our attention on loving others. Cards are bought, candy is given, kisses abound.

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One Word: Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn

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Silver Lining: Reflections on a Life-Changing Event

This month marks the 6-year anniversary of an event that changed my life forever. I am sharing my story as a statement of gratitude and hope. May the words remind you of the power of faith, of finding the silver lining, and of healing. And may you experience joy and peace in the New Year.

December 17th, 2009, started out as an ordinary day. I

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I Can Only Walk: One Woman’s Story of Triumph

She stepped onto the treadmill next to mine at the gym in a town I was visiting. I had slowed down, being nearly finished with my workout. “Hello” she said with a warm smile. I returned her greeting and we began to chat. She was a cancer survivor, she told me, having spent years enduring radiation and chemotherapy. I noticed the absence of regret or

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Mindfulness Basics: A Simple and Usable Review

Thankfully the word “mindfulness” is becoming what we call, in our culture, a household word. We see it everywhere from books to articles to talks – on YouTube, TED talks and other media channels. Being a pioneer in the “mindfulness movement”, I am overjoyed. Yet I got to wondering: could we use a review, a “short version” of what mindfulness is…and isn’t? Maybe we’ve forgotten

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Handling Difficult Moments: It Can Be As Easy As Breathing In And Out

Like any new habit, the more you integrate mindfulness into your day, the stronger it becomes and the more likely it is to be accessible during difficult moments. This may sound too simple to be impactful – again, see if you can be curious and simply notice – setting aside your judgments and allow your experience to guide your way.

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