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Everything posted by Rachel

  1. Gillian, I thank you for your kind and soothing message. And for the reading recommendations. I’m very grateful. I have been going for long walks and visiting my favorite tree each day, which has soothed me at the edges. I’ve also been doing root based, grounding yoga practices where the flow of apana (downward flowing energy) is activated and helps to stabilize me. Sitting in daily meditations with forgiveness and acceptance at the heart. Lots of journaling and herbal tea too. As we experience life, we change. I have used previous periods of transition in my life as opportunities to explore the self and to allow for whatever change was meant to arrive through the difficulty. That is sort of where I am right now. I am looking into somatic therapy (as opposed to traditional talk therapy) as a new way to learn about patterns and the imprints from my past as well. It has been an unusual time to be in a relationship from a distance, and now for it to end at a distance is equally odd. So I’m very grateful to this community for their presence and support. Be well, everyone. Rachel
  2. Thank you so much for the feedback! It means so much, especially since you have so much expertise.
  3. I am attaching a link to one of my kids' meditations which incorporates movement. This is the first one from the Adventurous Animals series based on the Yamas and Niyamas....it is called Kind Koala and is based on the Yama of Ahimsa. Please forgive the plus at the very end, which was in my contract with Boldfish, the digital wellness platform that contracted me to create the podcast. The platform is sadly now defunct. Please also note this is the unedited (no music, perhaps a bit of background noise) version. In any event, I would love your feedback and wanted to share how I incorporated movement into the session. Be well. Rachel https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gBaMVtDN_N7iyKQYEVEUzEz1OfMWAZEY/view?usp=sharing
  4. @VBZivkovic Both links are requesting access? Thanks for recording and sharing. Looking forward to sitting with you.
  5. Addendum- I just clicked on the link from @bombabird and it was exactly what I was needing in this moment. Thank you.
  6. I have recently found myself unexpectedly uncoupled and it has brought up many things for me. I am trying to hold a non-judgmental awareness for whatever arises. I have experienced grief, a sense of unworthiness, shame, blame, sadness, disappointment, and freedom. All are welcome at my table. All are seen and acknowledged. Tears flow, I journal in a free form way, I walk in nature to feel a sense of connection. I feel overwhelmed because i honestly was caught unaware (which feels rotten and jarring), but I can sense my inner strength and acceptance in ways I have not before when faced with a loss. If anyone has any resources for heartache- please send them along. Be well. Rachel
  7. I would love to sit with this as a guided recording. Keep us posted @VBZivkovic
  8. @lovingkindness To add on to Gillian's post- I would strongly suggest reading Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness, as the experience you are describing is discussed in detail in the book (by David Treleaven). I have not experienced that strong a reaction to meditation, though my experiences tend to be more of a dissociative nature than felt in my physical body. Be well. We are listening and here to support!
  9. Good morning- With young kids, say, ages 4-8, incorporating gentle movement into mindfulness is key. Linking movement with familiar things such as colors, animals, or the weather helps young children with visualization and uses multiple sensory modalities to stay present. I was fortunate to create 2 series of podcast meditations for this age bracket- one was called The Rainbow Inside Us, and each short meditation focused on a chakra and the color and energies associated with it. The other was called Adventurous Animals, which used the Yamas and Niyamas as the basis for the mindfulness work. Each animal (and corresponding movement) personified one of these yogic principles. They were quite well received. With older kids, I think it is best to emphasize the most concrete ways to connect with ourselves. Breathing exercises and journaling and getting out into nature seem the most logical ways to engage otherwise often contrary adolescents. Keeping it real gives teenagers a chance to experience the benefits directly instead of hypothetically, scientifically, or philosophically. Hope you all remain safe and well. Rachel
  10. I’m always happy to see a question about poetry and books! My short list for writings that inspire me in my mindfulness journey: The poetry of Rumi, Hafiz, Mary Oliver writings of Thích Nhat Hanh Inward by Yung Pueblo writings of Jaiya John (recently discovered through my teacher- worth following him on Instagram) Wishing all of you ease. Rachel
  11. Hey everyone... I just got so much out of reading through your thoughtful questions and responses. Thank you for all of it. Truly. i wanted to share something tnat I think would be of great interest to those of you here on this thread. I’ve registered and think this resource can offer so much to us. It is a free trauma skills summit given by Sounds True, and the link is below. https://product.soundstrue.com/trauma-skills-summit/register/?_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJyYWNoZWwucG90dHMyN0B5YWhvby5jb20iLCAia2xfY29tcGFueV9pZCI6ICJKTURnYXEifQ%3D%3D
  12. Today I am grateful for increasing openness between my teenage son and me; for my healthy body; for my the love and support of my partner.
  13. Mindfulness has been instrumental in helping me to unlearn several things that are related to the same habituated pattern. By anchoring in the present moment and learning to cultivate compassion for myself, I have loosened the grips of self criticism and self judgment. Within this, there has been a softening and allowing for my experiences. Learning to accept and allow runs alongside the lessening of critical behaviors and leaves more space for love, forgiveness, and freedom. Each morning when I sit in meditation, I am reminded that I deserve my own love, affection, and care. Mindfulness has and continues to support me in this important unlearning (& learning). Wishing all of you here peace and ease. Rachel
  14. Rachel

    Day 1

    @Muchtoomuch I have been meditating and practicing yoga for years, and I still have some difficulty with deep belly breathing. I have a hard time softening around my belly which results in a feeling of tightness or restriction. It is something I continue to be aware of. That said, I have recently learned that it isn’t accessible to breathe deeply for everyone. Trauma can be a reason why. As such, I have explored softer styles of breathing, particularly during mindful meditation, that far better suit me. Joseph Goldstein gives a wonderful cue to breathe softly, as opposed to deeply, which for me at times feels too fast, forceful, or pressure-driven. My awareness of breath has improved as I allow myself to breathe softly and feel it where it lands in this way- which is often in the rise and fall of my chest but not in a tense way. I can feel my shoulders and upper back relax when I concentrate on the softer inhale and exhale. I hope this is helpful to you. Be well- Rachel
  15. I have recently learned that empathy is the identifying with the feelings of others, while compassion is being called to help. This has helped me reframe compassion for both myself and for others. Viewing compassion as something actionable has made it more concrete for me. I, like @Gillian Sanger am regularly drawn to metta and tonglen styles of meditation. In both, the concepts of helping, wishing, meditating in the interest of increasing the well being of others is, to me, the action of compassion. I also really like the self-compassion work of Kristin Neff, who taught me about the shared humanity of suffering during a very fragile and difficult time in my life. The idea that self compassion can be the tiny act of placing a hand on your heart or holding your own hand to alleviate your own suffering shifted things for me. When I am feeling self critical or shaming myself, those things continue to bring. me some small places of ease. Lastly, I heard Pema Chodron speak of something in a recent interview called Compassionate Abiding. You can take a listen to the conversation (I have listened 4 times!) at the link below. Tami Simon from SoundsTrue is a wonderful interviewer. I learned so much from this podcast and use compassionate abiding daily. https://resources.soundstrue.com/podcast/pema-chodron-compassionate-abiding/
  16. Yes! That is the intent. However, I found that once I really got into it (beyond the 30 days), there was a flow to just doing the daily prompts. I realized that much of my 'work' was related to a few core things that were related, and that my daily entries continued to speak to that ongoing growth and attention. In other words, I like to use the daily prompts without a '30 day-time's up' mentality, and just meander through the days as opposed to feeling like I should have a hard finish. That said, I do reread my entries every 20 or so and reflect. Hope this is helpful!
  17. @Gillian Sanger- I am so happy that you found resonance with the future self journaling practice! Wonderful! My affirmation for today: I am able to make space for whatever comes up for me today.
  18. Yes! Dr, Nicole LaPera. Below is a link to the future self journal information and prompts. https://yourholisticpsychologist.com/future-self-journaling/
  19. Journaling has been a safe refuge for me for years. I have notebooks filled from pretty much every phase of my life as far back as adolescence. For the last 178 days, I have followed prompts for daily journaling from @the.holistic.psychologist called future self journaling. I find it really transformative to both have a practice that is rooted in repetition as well as to gauge my own growth from a standpoint of the direction I am moving in as well as things I hope to manifest in word, thought, and deed.
  20. @Karen Hello! I’ve been an early childhood educator for over 20 years. With young kids, I have always incorporated movement into mindfulness. I’ve also utilized themes, such as colors and animals to help children conceptualize things. As a single mom with a teenager and tween, it definitely seems more challenging to get my own kids to practice or consider mindfulness. With them, I try to speak more through my actions (maintaining my practice and altar or taking big deep breaths in front of them when I feel overwhelmed, for example). They do both journal which is an offshoot of my own practice as well. Hope this helps! Be well.
  21. I really like the box breathing and alternate nostril breathing as well. Thanks for sharing!
  22. Thank you, Gillian- for some reason, any time I try to add a photo or video (other than a link)- even for a profile pic, I get the message that the file is too big, although I am not sure why. I would love to share the video of Julia, so if anyone can give me a little tech support, it would be appreciated.
  23. On another note, here is something I hope will also remind us all of our shared humanity. Meet my daughter, Julia. https://www.instagram.com/p/CB_ePuGjd4eI5R0vUz71Flo_PugH4AXCjr7ntU0/?igshid=sg5qc5wyhx2s
  24. I am so humbled to have come upon this thread today. I was recently in deep discussion with my partner about the school to prison pipeline, the prison industrial complex, and the common denominators of systems of oppression and childhood trauma. As some of you know, I work in one of the most impoverished cities in America (Newark, NJ). I live in a large city with obvious signs of the inequities of gentrification everywhere you look. The haves and have nots, the seen and the unseen. One thing I am learning from a friend and sangha member who teaches mindfulness at Rikers Island is the difference between a jail and a prison. Jails, like Rikers, are supposed to be places where people are housed for short periods of time, awaiting bail or trial. Conversely, prisons are where folks go to serve out their sentences. Typically, prisons more often provide people with educational, spiritual, and rehabilitation services (though they are still often inadequate). Because of this, many resources (like the Compassion Prison Project) are not available to those incarcerated in jails. To compound the problem, many folks at places like Rikers are there for low level offenses but cannot afford bail. This system is another glaring example of how those who are most vulnerable as a result of childhood and intergenerational trauma are left behind. Seeing that woman's work and connection with those men was inspiring. I had initially set off with the intention to use my mindfulness teaching with children and families living in marginalized communities- but I am called to thinking about the work done in prisons and wonder if I might be able to serve in that capacity...perhaps melding my professional work as a literacy instructor and my mindfulness work. This has really opened up such a vein on compassion in me. I am so moved to act. Thank you all for sharing. I am deeply grateful. Rachel
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