Mid-Week Balance: 2 November 2011

I’m not sure what’s happening in your part of the world, but here in the Midwest, November is making itself felt with some crazy weather.  It was 75 degrees yesterday.  It’s supposed to snow tonight.  The change of seasons couldn’t demonstrate itself much more dramatically.  With the beginning of November, clients have already started expressing concerns about getting through the holiday season.  So, in honor of the changes, and the anxiety, I’m dedicating this week’s round-up to revisiting a great tool: mindfulness meditation.  I’ve included posts about what mindfulness is, some of the research behind it, and some good strategies for using it.  I hope that you find something helpful.

Let’s start with this post from Wildmind, the Buddhist meditation blog, that reviews a study from Harvard Medical school.  The study’s goal was to better understand the mechanics of how mindfulness works and what might contribute to it being helpful.  It’s always nice when current research is presented in an accessible way.

In this article, Dr. Elisha Goldstein uses a new book by Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s leading teachers of mindful practice, to reflect on our need for connection.  I enjoyed the example of a leaf as a starting point for a deeper meditation practice.

In this second article from the Wildmind practice blogs, teacher and writer Sunada explores how simply meditating for part of your day may not produce the kind of overall results you’re seeking–which is consistent with the Harvard study.  She suggests a handy acronym, as she invites readers to STOP (stop, take a breath, observe, proceed), which can be introduced consistently throughout your day, as a way of broadening your practice from a designated “meditation time” to an attitude about life.

As always, I’ve picked a few posts that may not have originally been about mindfulness, but that do a great job of illustrating hte principle.  The first is from Anna Guest-Jolly, of the Curvy Yoga blog.  In her post inviting us to “tune our instruments,” she first shares some fantastic quotes about the principles of creativity and our own state of mind, and then offers a practice to help us focus on our intention.

And finally, I picked this post from Mara’s Medicinal Marzipan blog because it does a lovely job of illustrating the principle of self-compassion that I think is an essential complement to a mindfulness practice.  She explores an experience of feeling pushed back into old fears, and shares how she found her way back to her center.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s mindfulness in action.

As always, if you have a favorite resource, please don’t hesitate to share.  This week, I hope that the resources provide good tools for you to engage in your self-care.

Photo Credit: Ann Becker-Schutte

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Ann – Enjoyed your post on Mindfulness….and I re-began my mindfulness practice again this week!
    I have been a meditator for many years….and then I slip off the bandwagon as other things crowd into my life such as exercising! But when I begin my practice yet again, it is profound how much just a 10 – 20 minutes a day of a relaxation/awareness practice really changes things for me.
    Good post!
    take are, Kathy

    • Dr. Becker-Schutte says

      Kathy,

      I notice the benefits of my meditation practice–even when, like you, I let my practice slip for a bit. I always appreciate resources that help me get myself back on track.

      Warmly,
      Ann

  2. says

    This is also very relevant for me. I went to a conference last weekend on using and teaching mindfulness in psychotherapy. I’ve never been a meditator, but always been drawn to it. I suppose there’s always a first time.
    Thanks,

    Carolyn

    • Dr. Becker-Schutte says

      Carolyn,

      I’m not a champion meditator, but I appreciate the kind & gentle approach to meditation that mindfulness practice offers! I hope you enjoy the exploration process. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Warmly,
      Ann

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