Mindfulness Cycle

There is a cycle to mindfulness:

Awareness of our thoughts and feelings at the current moment,

Thoughts will wander or become distracted through outside distractions,

Realizing our thoughts have wandered,

Bringing our focus back to the thought, feeling, and activity of the moment

Why does the cycle of mindfulness matter?
I believe the most important part of learning mindfulness is to understand that the job of the mind is to think. It is not designed to stay still, so our thoughts will wander. Our goal is to know when our mind is wandering and develop the discipline to bring our thoughts and feelings (awareness) back to the moment that we are currently experiencing.

Why do I want to practice mindfulness?
Does this sound like another think to add to your to-do list? Like any new skill it does take some time and dedication to develop. However, once you develop this skill it actually lessons your to-do list.

When you begin to live mindfully, you are more aware of your thoughts and feelings. This may sound as thought it will make life more complicated, but it makes things easier. When you know what you are feeling. When you understand how a situation or relationship is making you feel that awareness opens options for you. You now have the option to change how you act or react to a situation. You have the option to set boundaries. You have the option to change the direction your life is going.

Having awareness and options doesn’t mean that things will magically change overnight. What it does mean is that you have the knowledge to know what in your life is aligning you with joy, gratitude, and abundance and what is dragging your down, depleting you, and making you feel like life is being sucked out of you.

Most of us spend the bulk of our time working on our survival needs, which for most means making money. As such, for many individuals their work is either something they are deeply passionate about or they feel as though it is sucking the life out of them. If you feel passionate about your work, great! Continue with that but be sure to set time aside to avoid burnout.

If you feel work is sucking the life out of you or a necessary evil to pay the bills that is a huge message to yourself. Changing jobs is not always easy or convenient but there is always something we can do to begin to alleviate negative emotions until the larger change can happen.

When I worked in the finance industry, one of my roles was quality assurance of paperwork for the sales department of medical equipment. Month end in finance is always stressful as documentation and accounting have deadlines. Quality assurance means that you make sure all the legal requirements are being met; which meant long hours and a lot of people double checking your work. This also meant I had to make copies of things for each file.

That time at the copy machine is when I did a mindfulness exercise. I made sure that my focus was completely on putting the papers in the machine, pressing the buttons, watching the papers come out, separating the copies from the originals and returning to my desk. Boring yes, but those small moments gave me the break from all the commotion around me, constant interruptions, and demands of the job.

Those little mindfulness breaks kept me from only focusing on the stress of the day and allowed me to not become one giant ball of stress. Which made it easier for me to keep my actions and reactions more in alignment with the logic needed at work, rather than the emotions brought on by stress.

Mindful practices:
Awareness through the senses: Use your senses of Touch, Taste, Sight, Sound, and Smell to immerse yourself in the moment.

Live in the moment: Be truly open and accepting of what is happening in the current moment without expectation or judgement. This opens you to simple joy and gratitude.

Accept yourself: Do you give yourself the same loving kindness and compassion that you would give a friend or loved one?

Breathe Focus: Overwhelmed with emotions? Negativity or Anger getting the best of you? Exhausted? Stressed? Focus on the cycle of breathing for 10 breathes and see the change in your body, mind, and spirit. What is the cycle of breathing? Inhale deeply through the nose. Feel air travel into your nose, your lungs and diaphragm expand, pause and exhale feeling the slow release of air. Repeat.

Body Scan Meditation. Lie on your back, arms at your sides with the palms of your hands facing the sky. Focus your attention on each part of your body beginning with either the head or the toes. This is an awareness exercise to see how each part of your body feels; what messages it has to share. No judgements just connecting and listening.

Movement meditation. This can be done with any repetitive task (crochet, dishes, vacuum, folding towels, etc) Focus on the task at hand, when your mind wanders bring it back to the task at hand. This is perfect for practicing focusing on the moment. It also is helpful when feeling overwhelmed with emotions.

Sitting meditation. This can be done in a chair or on the floor. Be comfortable and your back straight but relaxed. Hands can be in your lap or on your thighs or knees. Palms up or down. Begin with breathe meditation. There are also guided meditations.
Walking meditation. Focus on the act of walking and connecting with the ground beneath you.

May mindfulness and loving-kindness guide your way,

Joy as a Legacy

Wherever we go we leave an impression on a person through the way we make them feel. The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like. This is why we are drawn to particular people, situations or environments. When we purposefully align our energy with joy, we align ourselves with our personal truth and the Universe.

The more we work on listening to our heart the more we become aligned with our personal peace and passion. This aides us in creating a life that we adore. If we choose joy as the emotion to resonate with, this shifts our energy to put us in alignment with ourself and the Universe. Does aligning with joy mean that we are never going to be cranky or have a bad day? No, it does not. Will this mean that all our financial, physical, or relationship problems magically disappear? Unfortunately not.

What aligning with our personal joy to live a life of peace and passion means is that you will know more of who you are and what you want. This is how we choose relationships that bring us joy. Jobs that not only support us financially but don’t leave us feeling numb inside. Most importantly, this is how we decide on the boundaries that we do and do not need in our life, as well as the manner in which we will accept being treated.

Joy is your compass. Following joy will lead you to a life of peace and passion. When we operate from joy, peace and passion follow us. Our emotions guide us to when something is or is not working in our life. Recognizing this allows us to use our tools of meditation, mindfulness, and journaling to show up for ourselves and make the best decision for ourself.

Today, make a list of what is bringing you joy in your life. Then make a list of what is not. That’s the first step. Bring awareness to your situation. Once you are aware of your situation you can pick one thing that isn’t bringing you joy and use mindfulness to become more aware of the situation and see what about it doesn’t resonate with you. Once you can observe the facts without extreme emotions then you can begin to plan a course of action to change things.

Choose joy and begin to lead a life of peace, passion and alignment with yourself and the Universe. Joy is the compass to Know Thyself.


Meditation & Mindfulness while Sick

Hello My Friends!

The last several days I have found myself relying heavily upon my meditation practice as I navigate three sick children under the age of ten. Joining lack of sleep has been our friends cranky, whining, and extra tears. Breathe meditations and mindfulness have helped me be more patient and present for everyone’s care right until I woke up sick and congested.

As I was moving around and realizing just how awful I felt in my body, I also noticed my mood. It sucked. I was grumpy and did not want to be a caretaker today. Beginning to breathe in to do a 10 breathe meditation I felt my inability to breathe through my nose happen and recognized this wasn’t going to work … now what?

Meditation while sick is helpful for your mood and your body. “When you can get into that quieter state of mind through meditation, your body isn’t releasing stress hormones into the bloodstream,” Jane Ehrman, Cleveland Clinic for Integrative Medicine.

I thought of doing some guided meditation and then realized I had the focus of a kitten following a laser pointer. So, I needed short focal points to help me relax and be mindful. I didn’t want to be snapping at my kids because I was feeling crappy.

One of my favorite methods to shift my mood is water. Off to the showers it was. As I let the lava hot waters rain over me, I visualized the dark ick rinsing off me and down the drain. When I began to feel lighter I visualized bright healthy healing waters running over my body strengthening me. As I worked on my mental state the steam and heat did wonders for me physical state. Out of the showers, I put on comfy clothes and made my way to the kitchen.

Back to water. I got a cold glass of water to rehydrate me and put a kettle on to make soothing tea. Each time I have been stressed or thirsty; I pause for a moment and ask my body hot or cold? tea or water? Then I answer the call by getting the requested water and focusing on the act of drinking for 10 sips. These moments help ground me in my body, environment, and mind.

Being grounded in yourself and environment is helpful when the cytokines affect the part of your brain that deals with emotions and reason. I find it helpful to be honest about any moodiness that I may be experiencing while ill. Expressing myself to those around me keeps any situation from escalating.

For example, I made it clear to my kids that I was aware I was grumpy and had less patience than normal because I didn’t feel well. I also made it clear that this was not their fault or their responsibility, but that I know I am struggling today and will do my best to not take my emotional state out on anyone around me. If they do find that I am taking things out on others they can can let me know that I may not be acting in loving kindness. We all need gentle reminders. Also, it let’s the small people in my life know that everyone is human.

Self awareness combined with self honesty are important to add into your mindfulness practice. Being aware of a situation, behavior and emotions of yourself and others does you no good if you cannot be real with yourself. Until you are willing to be real with yourself, you cannot be real with others.

If you feel sick you don’t have to let that derail your practice, but you may want to try alternative methods of meditation or mindfulness:

  • Breathe meditation
  • Guided meditation
  • Sensory activities
  • Mindful moments with water or tea
  • Mindful body check-ins
  • Focus Meditation on a plant, clouds, candle, etc

Mindfulness and meditation don’t need to stop because you are sick, but they may need to adjust to fit your physical, mental, or emotional state. Use this time to adapt your practice, be self aware and heal. Don’t push through what you always do just because it is habit. Don’t be a superhero and not rest. Adapt. Listen to your mind, body, and spirit. Take the time to heal and be the best you that you can.


The Art of Releasing What no longer serves you

Hello Beautiful Self!

It is time we dive into another part of mindful living … the art of releasing. I call it an art, because it really is an art. Releasing or letting go is hard for everyone. You are not alone in that. However, we all need to let go of things that no longer serve us. Once we have become aligned with our mindful observations and are aware of what is either no longer serving us, what we have outgrown, or what is flat our holding us back we need to release it. Let it go … say Bye Bye and thanks for all the fish! I have no idea why that Douglas Adams line just popped into my mind, but there you go …. humor for a difficult topic. Release. Let go. Let be.

Sometimes, all we have to do to let go is just let something be. Let it take a natural course away from you. There are relationships and situations in our life where we are the driving force. When that relationship or situation is a cause of negativity, stress, toxic patterns and behaviors or whatever about it is no longer in alignment with your greater good and you are the driving force in keeping that relationship going simply stop feeding it. Stop giving it all the time and energy you have been and let the natural course take place. In many situations it will just fade away from you when you allow yourself to put your energy elsewhere.

Other relationships require more active roles to disengage and release. Relationships where lives are physically, financially, or purposefully combined on a day to day basis are the most difficult to release. The stigma of changing life, career, home, and community can be huge. I have personally experienced both the healing and wounding of leaving a long-term relationship, career, and home that was the “American Dream” on the outside, but in my reality my waking nightmare.

Side note; I was able to post-vaccine connect with longtime friends and heart family this weekend. Through our overview catching up I learned that after 7 years divorced my ex-husband is still bad mouthing me for leaving him. Once, this would have made me withdraw, now I no longer care what he thinks or what mud he slings for he is stuck in the mud and I have blossomed like the water lily rising out of the mud. My life is more aligned with myself and my greater good. I have a happiness I never thought I would have, because I aligned with my mindfulness and did the scary thing. I released what was not only not serving me, but what was suffocating me.

Which brings me to the next point on releasing. Releasing isn’t just about letting go, but aligning with your personal power. Things don’t feel right to us or work in our life when you live out of alignment with who you are. When you do not know yourself or live to please others through expectation, societal demands, yearning for love or whatever your reason is for not living in self alignment or Know Thyself, then you either give away your power or simply ignore the fact that you have power.

Were you aware that you had personal power? You have choices, you have free will, you have hopes, dreams and the ability to be in alignment with yourself. You can serve your needs and be of service to the greater good. This is not mutually exclusive. But first, you have to get really clear on what is and is not working for you. Sometimes it will feel like nothing in your life is working and that is okay. We don’t have to climb to the top of the mountain today. What we do have to do is put one foot forward and be aware that things aren’t serving us.

So where do you start? pick something small. For example, I have an ongoing struggle with soda or pop, whatever you call it. I do great for a long time, then start drinking it again which leads to over drinking it. Going cold turkey doesn’t work for me, so I need to ween myself off it. There is a lovely lavender and honey tea that I like, so I make sure to have that in the house. After my first pop, the next time I get that sugary craving I make the cup of tea and have that instead. By doing this, I am currently down to 1 soda a day from 3. I would love to cut it out all together and I will get there. Small steps. Each step forward build the confidence and momentum to move forward.

Where will you start today? What is your plan if you stumble or struggle in releasing? How can you give yourself creative, loving support that is in alignment with your goals? Drop a comment and let me know.

In Loving Kindness,

Mindfulness and Goals

As the optimism of the New Year Resolutions fade, let’s focus on how we can use the practice of mindfulness to maintain and achieve our most important goal for ourself in 2021.

The practice of mindfulness can guide your on the journey to attain the goals that you wish for yourself and your life. Comment with the number one goal that you wish for yourself this year and we can discuss how mindfulness can help you achieve this goal!

Comment below or come to the facebook community that is just beginning!


Mindfulness + Observation = Awareness

Mindfulness is a skill that we have within us. Like many skills, we need to nurture and cultivate them so they can continue to improve bringing more value to our life. Where does one begin to cultivate mindfulness?

First, we have Observation + No Judgement = Mindfulness. After a period of observation without judgement that skill becomes a part of who we are. Did we slip and forget to not judge? Did we act or react without observing the situation? Totally cool, just take a breathe or five until we can slide back into our vibe of mindfulness.

Once you have this established practice of mindful observation without judgement in your life an automatic awareness is built into your life. Fantastic right! Now what? So you have been observing without judgement and that has made you more aware of what is happening in your life with habits, relationships, and the actions and reactions of yourself and others.

This awareness is where we begin to make mindful choices. Choices can be scary, especially in the times that it feels as though we have no good choices. However, being aware that we have a choice to continue as we are without making any changes or make a change that is mindful of our true self is honest self awareness.

Honesty with ourselves though mindfulness can and will bring massive change to your life. This change starts with internal awareness of yourself, your life moments and the actions and reactions that you give. The honesty begins when we are not only aware of the action or reaction that we are giving to a present moment, but when we begin to act or react in a way that is aware and authentic to who we are and what we want and need.

This can be done with loving kindness because we are first observing, then acting or reacting without judgement. Removing judgement from our moments allows us to make space for awareness of the emotions that we are feeling and sharing with our actions and reactions. Sharing anger becomes intentional and not reflexive. Expressing joy becomes a choice instead of suppressing your light.

How can you live in mindfulness today?

What mindful observations have you made about yourself or any one situation today?

Are these observations in alignment with your loving kindness or not?

I hope these prompts aid you in your path of mindfulness.

Mindfulness Begins with Observation

The Little Things? The Little Moments? They aren’t little.

John Kabat-Zinn

Majority of our lives are made up of the small, the mundane, the unnoticeable. Hollywood and the shape of modern American society have set expectations that life is full of large noticeable moments. Imagery of sun glinting off our smiles indicate health and stress free living. I don’t know about you, but when I step out the door I am not taking any moment to pause. I typically am concerned with keeping the toddler from running straight across the street to pet the neighbors dog (cars be damned!) or the overzealous puppies from darting out the door.

Photography, videos and advertisements have taught us what perfection should look like. Social media has brands for all parts of life from hot mess moms to Pinterest moms. When is the last time you saw a mom with messy hair, sleep deprivation and pajama clad wandering the late night market for cold medicine for a kid on social media as the new trend?

I call bullshit. What all of that has done is set us up for unrealistic expectations so someone else can promote their thing (which I don’t fault anyone for promoting their thing). However, that is not an accurate representation of daily life. Life is messy, chaotic, confusing, and emotional. There are productive and focused moments. There are moments where you lose your train of though because the voices of Donald and Goofy float in from another room accompanied by a child’s giggles … this is a moment. A real, live beautiful moment. Did it derail my train of thought, yes. Is it worth hearing his laughter and joy? Absolutely.

When I was younger I was so into the flow of things that I got in trouble for being different. I wanted to sit and watch the sun on a leaf instead of being in cheer. That wasn’t the image for girls my age so off to cheer I went. Social Imagery has a powerful impact on perceptions and expectations. These perceptions and expectations can take the place of personal realities and norms if we are not mindful of our truth.

Gorgeous photography, trending news, apps and the like are fascinating. They serve as a distraction from our everyday and give us things to discuss with co-workers and acquaintances which can help with relationship building. However, the distractions can warp our perceptions of ourselves.

Mindfulness assists us in bringing us back to our life and our moments. When we accept that our life will have more small moments than large a relief can wash over us. Carrying a constant expectation that life is going to have a string of major changes/announcements/moments is asking ourselves to constantly be ON. Instead of being ON, be mindful.

Cultivating a practice of mindfulness will increase the likelihood of finding the opportunities that are in front of us as they are instead of looking for opportunities with a preconceived notion of how they should appear. The more we can focus on the moment and see it for what it is the easier our life will be. Removing preconceptions from our lives is a game changer.

Suddenly, we aren’t worried about doing things the way someone else said we should but finding the solution for ourselves that aligns or fits with who we are and how our life flows. Mindfulness matters. Mindfulness brings awareness to ourselves of what is or is not working. By identifying how we are feeling in the moment we identify what isn’t working. Once we acknowledge what isn’t working then we can make the shifts and changes needed for peaceful living.

Simple ways to begin mindful living:

  • Observe how you feel when asked to commit to something. What is the first answer that runs through your mind? What is the answer that left your mouth? Do they match?
  • Observe if you have a default answer to any commitment question. Are you the person that will always say yes or are you the one people ask for a short time and then stop because they know the answer is no? If you have an auto-default on answering, why is that?
  • Observe your physical body when speaking with people or doing tasks. Do some people leave your body feeling tight and sore? Are you relaxed with most interactions? What do you think your body is telling you about your interactions?
  • Observe your mental state when doing tasks or interacting with people. Does a task wear you out or leave you energized? Do you get grumpy and bitchy or remain calm? Is there dread or peace associated with this task?
  • Observe your emotional state when doing tasks or interacting with people. Are you worn out at the thought of having to interact with this person? Does a social event fill you with dread or peace? Do holidays have you buying a bottle of whiskey and making an escape plan before going somewhere? Does this invitation feel like an obligation you must do or fill you with joy?

Pick one place and begin your observations with mindfulness. No judgement just observe. I recommend that you take the time to journal your observations. This will allow you to notice trends and patterns.

Take a breathe. Reflect. Be Mindful and reclaim your life.

Mindfulness & Words

Just for today, pause before you say your words. Take one small moment to reflect on the words that are in your mind.

  • Do these words feel heavy or light?
  • What emotions do the words convey?
  • Are these words making you feel good about yourself?
  • If these words were said to you, how would you feel?

This exercise in mindfulness can change so much in your life. Words are the most powerful thing we have at our disposal. Our words convey emotion, truth, reality, perception and so much more.

Each of us has said something and instantly regretted it. If you had taken a moment to speak, would you have uttered those words or changed the way you said what you needed to say?

Words shape the world around us. Our children believe and internalize what they see and hear. What they hear you say to them, about them, shapes their perception of their self. This perception further shapes their self image and relationships with their self and others.

Your relationships are shaped by both words and actions. Do your words and actions match? Are you in alignment with your thoughts and expressions?

Taking a mindful moment before speaking to check in with yourself and see if what you are saying and what you are feeling match can change everything. If you are saying yes to a commitment, but your body and mind are screaming no through feelings such as anxiety, tension, irritability, etc. Then why are you saying yes?

Use these clues to find truth in your life. If each of us used mindful moments to connect with ourselves and consider how our words and actions do or do not match, the world would be a better place. We can start making profound changes with little moments.

Honest with ourself is the most profound change we can make. Understanding that we really do have choices and freedoms is profound. Matching our words to our actions is the best gift we can give ourselves and our society.

For one hour, I want you to practice mindful moments in speaking. This could be the most terrifying, exhilarating, freeing experience of your life. Be completely honest with yourself if your words and emotions line up.

If they do, great keep doing this and making sure you are living your most authentic self, but take the check in one step further. What are you conveying into the world? Is it anger and hatred or loving kindness and compassion? What do you want to convey with your words and actions? Hope or Despair? Change or compliance?

If your words and actions don’t match up ask yourself why you are not allowing that to happen? Change your filter and ask yourself why you do this? Why do you keep your words and your actions from matching? Journal. Meditate. Take a run. Do what you need to and dig into your truth. Discover the core reason you do not do this. Once you know the reason, then you can take the next step into making the change to bring your words and actions into alignment with yourself.

With Mindfulness & Words,

Mindfulness & Self Care

Today is interesting. I woke up feeling pretty wrecked from my monthly cycle, but still have to mom, teach school and coordinate life for three other humans. As such, I am trying a gentler flow for the day. We will see how it goes as focus is difficult with all the distractions and feeling pretty wrecked physically.

For those who don’t know what it is like for women or who are blessed to have gentle cycles; a bad month can feel flu like with the aches and pains, along with your lower abdomen constantly cramping and a tight lower back that feels like you worked out too hard or lifted something the wrong way. This is accompanied by headache, neck ache, moodiness and the constant feeling of having to use the bathroom. Then there is the expectation that you are to keep performing at top level instead of giving your body the rest it needs at this time.

However, since the current structure doesn’t allow for days off when we feel horrid mindfulness helps save the day. By being mindful of how my body is feeling I can review my task lists and see what I can rearrange. Today, physical labor is off the list. I will focus on the tasks that are gentle on my body and if things go well get to bed early.

Mindful moment. I pause to breathe and listen to my body. What is it telling me? I hurt, I am tired, my sinus’ are bothering me and I am thirsty. Okay, how do I remedy this? Thirsty, that will help with the aches and pains if I am properly hydrated. One of my favorite drinks is hot water with honey, fresh lemon and fresh smashed ginger. If I am not in the mood for something sweet I leave out the honey. So off I go to put the kettle on.

Teaching my children has revolved around the sofa and my heating pad. We are taking turns between group class topic discussion and individual time. A snack tray on the kitchen counter to handle the kids nibbles means that I do not have to get up every five seconds to feed someone. Now, art lessons give them a creative outlet and a break for myself.

Self care isn’t always easy, especially when we have responsibilities. Utilizing mindfulness can tell us what we need. Knowledge of our life and stepping back to objective in what we really need to accomplish versus what we feel we have to do can assist us in managing our day. This will help us with responsibilities and self care. Balance is hard. Sometimes we need to take it moment by moment.

While learning to embrace mindfulness and self care it is okay to take things moment to moment or task to task. Give yourself permission to be mindful and practice self care while you handle your responsibilities. Incorporating self care and mindfulness will slowly begin to shift your perspective, which will create subtle shifts in your life.

Cheers to self care and mindfulness,

The Art of Relaxing

Not everyone knows how to relax. For some, attempting to sit still, relax and enjoy a mindless activity like TV is absolutely anxiety inducing. The list of what we aren’t accomplishing is running through our minds and the fear of being unloveable, not valued, and useless rises within us causing anxiety and panic. There are a lot of reasons that this can arise in adults. Mostly, it has to do with your childhood and early relationships.

Fast forward years to decades later and you are an adult trying to enjoy some down time. It is impossible and causes so many side affects. Anger and resentment that everyone around you can chill out but you can’t. So you are working on chores and getting more and more upset that others are not seeing the messes because you don’t want to look too closely as to why you can’t do what everyone else does.

Learning to relax is a struggle. I resent that I had been taught that my value in a relationship is tied to what I do for others. It makes unstructured quality time so difficult for me. However, I am fortunate to have people around me who understand the struggle and why I have this problem.

Gently, my partner is helping me with this. for months he has been encouraging, sometimes pushing, me to take time after the kids are in bed for myself. Just a small amount each time. It hasn’t been an easy path to try and learn to just let chores go and focus on my wants and needs.

Being asked what I want to do for myself is so very difficult. I wait for it to be devalued, so sharing it is terrifying. This weekend my partner got me to admit something I had been wanting to do. I have been wanting to rewatch a lifelong movie series that I love, but I haven’t been wanting to say anything because I know that he dislikes the first movie in the series.

Support can be amazing. Being reminded you are loved is amazing. We started the marathon and will continue through the coming week. These little things can make the world of difference to someone who was taught that their only reason to be loved was in acts of service.

Life is about finding the peace within. Emotional healing is about understanding and finding the peace within. Mindfulness and meditation can really help to find those. Give yourself the gift of 15 minutes a day. Do breathe work. Take a long hot shower. Do one thing that you can focus on for that period of time. Notice how you feel. Make a note of any memories or emotions that arise.

One moment at a time healing can happen.
In Peace,