Mindfulness and Meditation for Reflection

mindfulnessLast week, we talked about winter being a natural time of reflection and introspection. I gave you 5 questions to consider to help you use winter as your own season of contemplation.  It is important to remember that this process only works if you give it time.

Think of it like starting a garden. You do not run out and dig deep holes in random places. The first step is to look at your land, the area you have, and begin to dream and imagine what your garden will become. Then you need specific information about how to grow a garden that accounts for a number of variables, including where you are, what soil you have, and what purpose the garden will serve.Only then can you begin to turn the soil.

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5 Questions to Consider as 2016 Begins

5 questions to ask yourself to start the new year and winterAs the holidays come to an end and the new year kicks in, I want to talk about winter as a time to meditate and be introspective. It is a time to grow deep roots.

The lessons nature teaches us at this time of the year are about death and resurrection, rest and introspection. In the cold, dark months the leaves fall from the trees, many plants die, and the weather is cold and inhospitable.

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Celebrate The New Year With A Memory Jar

Memory JarNow that Christmas Day has passed, we are in the period of time when everyone is looking toward the New Year.  Once again there is hype and an exaggerated focus on parties, fun, resolutions and having the “perfect” person or activity with whom to share the celebrations.

In short, it is another opportunity for elevated expectations and disappointment.

A friend of mine gave me a great idea for beginning the year. For the last decade, she starts New Year’s Day with a cup of coffee and her Memory Jar.  She settles into an easy chair and reads the small pieces of paper contained inside.

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Winter Solstice: An Ancient Holiday That’s Relevant Today

Winter Solstice

In ancient times, numerous beliefs and rituals were based on astronomical events. Many traditions that  started then are still celebrated today.  Tonight – the Winter Solstice – is one of those occasions.

Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year.  Throughout much of history, societies were built around the amount of daylight available.  The shortest day of the year, which comes with the longest night, was immensely important.  It meant the harvest had passed, and they would live on stored goods until the spring.  During the following months there would be hardship and even starvation for some.

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7 ways Self-Compassion Can Help Make Your Holidays Better

Self-compassion and the holidaysAt this time of year, many people are asking themselves how to make it through the holidays. One way to help yourself through the season is by practicing self-compassion.

What is self-compassion?

Kristin Neff, the most well-known self-compassion researcher at the University of Texas-Austin, calls it “a healthier way of relating to yourself.”  It is a tool to help promote psychological healing, well-being, and better relationships.

Rather than beating yourself up, you extend kindness and understanding to yourself. It is a caring attitude, where you can encourage yourself and realize that being human means things can go wrong. Continue reading