Mid-Week Balance: 26 December 2012

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this can be a challenging week.  If you are fortunate enough to have your family with you, you may be navigating multiple tensions and relationship histories.  If you are living through a holiday without a loved one, you may be struggling to find the spirit of the season.  And I suspect that many of my readers, even if it’s been a good holiday, are walking with a sense of how fragile our moments of peace are.  So, for this last MWB roundup of the year, I have collected some posts that are about sitting with, and honoring, our sadness.  I also have a section that is focused on mindfulness and self-care.

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Honoring our Sadness

Dr. Ashley Soloman does a wonderful job of reflecting the ambivalence that many of us feel when we think about the terrible losses in Connecticut in her thoughts about sitting with our own feelings of sadness.

Rosie Molinary reminds us that part of what we are called to do in moments of darkness is nourishing the light within our own hearts and lives.

Dr. Brene Brown offers a wish that we be able to feel our pain and react with awareness, gratitude, and the deliberate choice to feel joy when it is offered.

Mindfulness and Self-Care

One lingering effect of graduate school is that I am always curious about research.  So I’m fascinated when there is research supporting the value of self-care.  This week, I have a double-feature of self-care related research.  First, some emerging research suggests that mindfulness practice might counteract the negative effects of multitasking on your mental performance.  Or, if you prefer to get your research dose in video form, check out this video research summary.  The researchers use brain scan imagery to show that people who mediate seem to experience pain differently than people who don’t meditate.

Leo Babauta explores the gap between knowing what actions would make us feel  better and taking those actions, along with some concrete suggestions for narrowing that gap.  This is a nice post to consider before we enter a new year.

And finally, a beautiful poem from Marianne Elliott, reflecting on what we can learn from our bodies.

That’s it for me for this week.  As always, I look forward to your suggestions of posts you find helpful. Thanks for spending time with me in these posts.

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