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  2. I miss my hugs and I think this should be a reminder for me as well to give and get a hug from one. You are right about the image-flung out and crazy hippie tree huggers. We are the ones who get what is real though. Enjoy your arboreal hug. I started this early and came back after my walk. I had a wonderful tree hug and had a hard time letting go.
  3. Considering the tragedy that occurred on Monday of the police killing of George Floyd, I have relied on mindfulness to keep myself in a state of relative calm. I can barely watch the video but I feel that as a citizen I need to be informed of the horror of the incident, because I think that the US tends to whitewash the history of our cruelty to black people, indigenous people, and other minorities. It is too easy to look away from these police killings; to minimize or rationalize the violence. I belong to a movement in Minneapolis called Humanize my Hoodie. Following is their mission from their website www.humanizemyhoodie.com The Humanize My Hoodie Movement originated from a demand to end the killing of Black and Indigenous People across the world. As descendants of slaves, we recognize how hoodies have been used to amplify the myth of Black criminality. Our mission is to debunk that stereotype by designing revolutionary campaigns for Black and Indigenous People of Color to be HUMANIZED, not criminalized. Part of being mindful for me is being involved in activities that feed my soul. That includes Humanize my Hoodie, and Path to Freedom, which is about teaching mindfulness and life skills to prisoners. I'm passionate about sharing the gifts I've received in life to those less fortunate. This is not about being righteous, it's about the compassion and humanity that encompass the very core of mindfulness and being present. If we are in our bodies and aware of our true nature, the desire to give and contribute is as automatic as breathing.
  4. Today
  5. Jo L


    I agree with both of you, and thank you for quoting the brilliant Brene Brown. I actually had to opportunity to meet her when she gave a talk in Minneapolis, and she is down-to-earth and just lovely. I always defined guilt to my clients as the nagging feeling you might get after you do something that goes against your values. In this way, it can be useful, because it can keep you from repeating an action that is not helpful (such as stealing a candy bar.) However, holding onto guilt is not productive and a waste of mental energy. I defined shame similar to Brene, and noted that it is typically a sense of being a bad or even evil person, which is internalized in childhood when the message is given, typically by a care giver, that there is something wrong with the child. The message can be given directly, ("there is something wrong with you, you're an awful child!") or indirectly, such as when a child is a victim of abuse, since a young child is by nature egocentric and doesn't understand that abuse is not his/her fault. I believe that shame is the source of addiction and other compulsive behaviors, and that is takes a lot of work to heal, but it is possible. Mindfulness is certainly an excellent strategy since it is about acceptance, letting go of ego-attachments, and living in the moment. I think therapy is usually necessary too, in order to process trauma and incorporate all aspects of one's identity into a healthy self-image.
  6. Jo L


    Wonderful! Thanks Joseph. I look forward to learning from you as well.
  7. Thanks for sharing @Gene Williams! This reminds me of something I read in Brené Brown's book 'Daring Greatly'. In it, she differentiates between guilt and shame, explaining that guilt is the feeling 'I did something bad' whereas shame is the feeling 'I AM bad'. Here's a little more from her blog on the topic: "Based on my research and the research of other shame researchers, I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt. I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort. I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection. I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure. I think the fear of disconnection can make us dangerous." https://brenebrown.com/blog/2013/01/14/shame-v-guilt/
  8. Thank you for sharing your reflections @Faune. I love your sentiment that everyone should try hugging a tree at least once. I can vividly recall the first time I hugged a tree as an adult - not where I was exactly but what was moving through me. I remember thinking that 'tree huggers' are so misunderstood. Mainstream consciousness tends to think that 'tree huggers' are really 'out there', and yet given that the world's trees are so fundamental to the wellbeing of our planet and human life in countless ways, it seems so rational to honour, give thanks to, and lovingly embrace these beings. Thank you for the reminder... I will hug a tree on my walk today.
  9. Yesterday
  10. Hello @Joseph, I can really identify with what you are saying. My background is in social work and when I began my career, this was also my experience. I remember working with people who were in conflict with the law. I also had to check my values, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and assumptions. One strong memory that has stayed with me for many years is a pearl of wisdom from an experienced community worker who often said, "Just because you made a mistake, it does not mean you are a mistake". When I think about this statement, I often think about the powerful role that stigma has in shaping peoples lives. We need helpers and providers who work in our systems to take the time to check their values, assumptions, and beliefs because people who work in the helping profession have an important role to play to help people to understand that they are not mistakes and they matter! I see mindfulness as a pathway to bring this kind of awareness. Thank you for sharing your journey. Kind Regards, Gene
  11. I walk every morning. As I said when I first came on here I used to walk in the woods behind my house which I loved. I walked with my dog, Henry, for many years but he died a few months ago and can not walk there yet. I live on a road that I do not love but it is very pretty and not manicured except for right around people's houses. The rest is trees and streams. Today I walked by the big pond up the road. There was fog over the mountain and there was the sound of early morning birdsong. Sometimes I have to remember to stop and listen to the peacefulness of it. Walking every day can keep you in touch with the seasons as you notice what comes up and when. I am not the happiest person but seeing wildflowers or birds or groundhogs or turtles or birds in the pond brings me bits of joy. The natural world is what counts. The things we as human make are not really a part of that but nature is well, natural and how things should be. I am surrounded by trees and have hugged them. Everyone should try hugging a tree at least once.
  12. Thank you for this post @Rachel, I have been hyper busy with work this past week. I appreciate the reminder keep my feet on the floor, step near a window, take a deep breath and know where I am right now.... and everything else is just temporarily visiting. This will be my practice for today. Many thanks! Gene
  13. Hello friends,

    I have been a bit swamped at work right now have not had a lot of mental space to participate in forums. I hope to return to regular posting soon.

    Kind Regards,


    busy cat GIF

  14. Hello! It appears that it a tech glitch that is being looked into now. Thank you for drawing this to our attention! If you can send me a direct message here in the community, I will message you directly with details on how to get the PDF once its fixed.
  15. Beautiful reflection Rachel. Thank you for sharing! My 20-minute morning meditations are supporting me this week by helping me to remain present in the morning. It is tempting to turn quickly towards my phone as I wonder what emails await me... but I have set an intention to not look at my personal devices until I've gotten out of bed and sat for 20 minutes. This morning's practice was so lovely that I plan to have another 20-minute sit very soon.
  16. Lovely reflections Joseph! So nice that you and your wife are out taking daily walks. I was out again in the woods today and noticed the aromas just as intently - so very fresh and invigorating!
  17. Last week
  18. Happy new week, everyone! Mindfulness is giving me an assist with managing all that comes with being sheltered in place with my two kids while managing my household, my own work, and their school schedules. There are at least several moments each day where I may feel a rising sense of frustration, anxiety, or spaciness- and yet when I can catch myself in those places (or heading toward them), I can, as Joseph Goldstein so eloquently puts it. simply begin again. I can remember that the recognition of the mind wandering to the what ifs or the past is the practice of mindfulness in action. In those moments, I may just set my feet on the floor, step near a window or out into my small urban backyard, take a breath, feel my body, and know that I am right where I am, here, now. Everything else is just temporarily visiting. Be well. Rachel
  19. Yes, ma'am,that is me. I am trolling the web to learn as much as I can about mindfulness, and I am looking forward to learning more from you, Take care, Joseph
  20. Thank you for thepost. Recently, I was out walking with my wife-- I walk daily, and now she walks with me--something that I am gratefull for. I was struck by the freshess of the smells--newly mown grass, new leaves on the trees, and blossoms--intoxicating. I was also struck by what I was seeing--birds and animals moving about, and the brightness of the colors-- grass, blossoms, trees, ferns-- a crimson epaulet on the red winged blackbird. I alsonoticed new things that I had not noticed before, like-- hey that woods has trees in it.. Thanks, Joseph
  21. A few books on my summer list: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare The Source of Self Regard by Toni Morrison
  22. Does anyone have any recommendations for summer reads? Though we may not be taking summer vacation as usual, I still hope we are all able to take some time off to rest and reset. My recommendations for summer reads (both fiction and non-fiction) include: -Circe by Madeline Miller -Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés -Embodied Enlightenment by Amoda Maa -Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin
  23. Yesterday I was out for a walk with the dogs and mindfully made a point to be more present with the smells around me. Since the start of spring, I have noticed the beautiful aroma of the woods becoming stronger. It is one of my favourite scents to encounter. I also noticed the vibrancy of the spring blossoms as their scent filled my nose. And as I really tuned into that floral aroma, I felt myself opening up to the joy of the world. I felt drawn towards the feminine aspects of this reality, wanting to fully receive and contribute to the beauty of the world. Has anyone else noticed any interesting energies, sensations, or insights arise from tuning into the natural world?
  24. Beautiful reflection @Faune! Nature is indeed remarkable. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dog. That is such a difficult loss. Wishing you well!
  25. This week's question asks: How is mindfulness practice supporting you this week? Perhaps mindfulness is helping you to remain compassionate towards others. Perhaps it is opening your eyes to seeing a situation in a new way. Perhaps it is offering you a greater sense of trust in life. Perhaps it is helping you to listen to your body. If you feel drawn to contributing here, share one or multiple ways that mindfulness is supporting you at present.
  26. Hello All

    I highly recommend this book- true story of an attorney who represents minorities given the death sentence (often innocent people and/or juveniles, as well as fighting for changes in incarceration and helping inmates transfer to life on the outside. There's much more I wont get into. I learned a lot about prison and how The author, Bryan Stevenson, says "the racial terrorism of lynching in many ways created the modern death penalty." That''s one line of many I highlighted. Apparently it  is also a movie. sn't sure where to post this, but wanted to recommend an excellent bok

    Just Mercy.jpg

  27. Guest

    Day 3 printout

    I'm on day 3 of the 100 day challenge. I tried to download the pdf but it says missing pdf file in the program. Is there not one for day 3 or is that some kind of tech glitch?
  28. Jo L


    Thanks so much Gillian! I will definitely check it out- you're right, it is very relevant to my interests. Thanks again!
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