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Dec. 11

Don’t just be authentic. Be authentic to the best version of yourself in this moment. What is authenticity? I’m always confused by what it means to “be authentic.” Authentic to what? Authentic to how I’ve acted in the past? Authentic to what I perceive I...

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Dec. 10

You need to love your “self” before you can transcend it. Many spiritual communities emphasize transcending the “self” or “ego.” The notion is often coming from a place of wisdom and compassion, but it can cause great harm without further explanation and...

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Dec. 9

What if a break up wasn’t the end of the world, but a learning in a much larger journey? Relationships, specifically marriage, seem to be one of the few things in life that we expect to remain constant. Most other things we expect to change—job,...

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Dec. 8

Focus is a lost art. With technology at our fingertips, multiple tabs on our desktop browsers, and increasing technological stimuli, the capacity to focus is becoming a lost art. Yet, being able to sustain attention on what is most important to you,...

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Dec. 7

To attract new people into your social sphere, become the person you’d want to hang out with. Are you looking to surround yourself with people you appreciate and admire? Well, let’s reverse engineer this. First, think about why you were attracted to...

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Dec. 6

You’re ok, and it’s time to change. The process of growth often holds this paradox. On one level, we’re ok exactly as we are. On another level, we need to make some shifts. When you’re born, there’s no idea of anything that’s wrong with you. That’s your...

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Dec. 5

The comfort of thinking something COULD work can keep us from seeing if it ACTUALLY works. I had a friend who finally started meditating after years of talking about doing it. When I asked him what took so long, he mentioned that there was fear that it...

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Dec. 4

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” -Lily Tomlin Perhaps you’re ready to hear these words, and perhaps you’re not. Wherever you’re at is ok. But at some point, if you’re looking to loosen the shackles of the past, some degree of...

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Dec. 3

When you shut down lines of communication, you lose the potential for truth. This was a spontaneous quote that came to me in a dream. I have no memory of the context or what sparked it, but I woke up with these words resounding in my mind. I didn’t...

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Dec. 2

Acceptance comes when the pain of non-acceptance is greater than the alternative. Acceptance, in all its many forms and depths, can be tough. Our minds don’t want to accept certain realities. Even though we may know we need to accept something in order to...

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Dec. 1

Fill yourself with love, and let it spill over to the world. Lovingkindness meditation is a form of meditation that aims to cultivate “heart qualities” of mind. Specifically, one develops an unconditional compassion and care toward oneself and other...

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Nov. 30

Seeing new possibilities for the future starts in the present. How does mindfulness prepare us for the future? As we pay attention to what’s happening in the present, we learn the nature of things to come. We learn that an emotion is impermanent. We learn...

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Nov. 29

There may come a time when you grow out of certain friendships and relationships.   You can appreciate the people who were in your life, for what they did, and how they served you.   We’re constantly changing, though. And the people we once chose to...

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Nov. 28

It’s easy for our hearts to harden. Trauma, betrayal, stress. Or maybe we were just conditioned to not feel into that space. This seems to be especially true for men (myself included).   There is a tenderness that comes from keeping the heart open, and...

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Nov. 27

What can we trust?   Can we trust our thoughts? Can we trust our emotions? Can we trust our intuition? Can we trust other people? Can we trust our beliefs?   All of these things can betray us. So what can we trust?   Perhaps we can trust that there’s...

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Nov. 26

Abundance seems to be the hot word these days.   “Live the life you deserve. Have abundance of wealth, joy, spirituality.”   This is well and good, and there are certainly psychological barriers we need to break through to help us be open to this level of...

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Nov. 25

Mindfulness is not about being present for the sake of being present. It’s about being present for the sake of understanding reality.   As mindfulness becomes mainstream, it gets further reduced to “just be present” and “live in the moment.” For many,...

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Nov. 24

Every moment of mindfulness is a moment of letting go. Any time that you bring non-judgmental awareness to your experience, whether in meditation or daily life, you are practicing the ability to not be “caught” by your experience. You are training yourself...

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Nov. 23

In the space of mindful awareness, we’re ripe for creative insights. Research by Lorenza Colzato in 2012, shows that mindfulness meditation, specifically open-monitoring meditation (just watching all thoughts, emotions, sensations, and experience come and...

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Nov. 22

In the space of mindful awareness, we’re ripe for creative insights. Research by Lorenza Colzato in 2012, shows that mindfulness meditation, specifically open-monitoring meditation (just watching all thoughts, emotions, sensations, and experience come and...

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Nov. 21

How much different would your life actually be if you got everything you thought you wanted? I was driving through the Hamptons on Long Island recently. I went to a local beach and saw some of the surrounding houses, all of which were 20 million dollar+...

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Nov. 20

How much different would your life actually be if you got everything you thought you wanted? I was driving through the Hamptons on Long Island recently. I went to a local beach and saw some of the surrounding houses, all of which were 20 million dollar+...

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Nov. 19

Stop trying to be confident. We’re often under the impression that we need to be extremely confident in something in order to do it, but unless you’re a complete narcissist, you’re not going to develop that confidence until you do that thing over and over...

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Nov. 18

Self-loathing requires a “self” to be loathed. So who is doing the loathing, and who is being loathed? Sharon Salzberg, a great meditation teacher in the west, once asked the Dalai Lama what his thoughts were on self-hatred. He didn’t understand the...

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Nov. 17

You can’t change the people around you, but you can change the people around you. -The Minimalists There may come a point in your personal journey where the people around you become too toxic. Perhaps your life is headed in a different direction than...

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Nov. 16

Sometimes we’re just in survival mode. Moments of intense pain, trauma, chaos. It’s just survival mode. There’s not going to be peace; we’re just trying to get through it. What we may be able to do in these moments is minimize the suffering. Working with...

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Nov. 15

You do not need to be fixed. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are, and always have been, whole. It's mostly fair to assume that when you were in your mother's womb, there were no ideas of what was right with you or wrong with you. You...

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Nov. 14

There is no way to know what the best decision is. All you can do is make the best decision in this moment based on the understanding, evidence and intuition you have. To certain people, you’ll be wrong. And to others, you’ll be right. And whatever happens...

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Nov. 13

Pain is a biopsychosocial phenomena. New research by Lorimer Moser suggests that physical pain is a biopsychosocial phenomena. If you walk through the woods and feel a pinch on your foot, when you look down to see that it’s a twig, the pain will often...

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Nov. 12

A habit is a 3-step loop: Cue, Routine, Reward In the book, “The Power of Habit”, writer Charles Duhigg discusses a three-step loop involved with every habit: A cue, a routine, and a reward. The cue is the trigger that makes the brain start searching for...

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Nov. 11

Who do you need permission from to be who you are? Whose permission are you waiting for to be ok with being you? Parent, friend, mentor, therapist? You don’t have a chance of being anybody other than yourself. Master that. Refine that. Grow into that. You...

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Nov. 10

Patience. Real change is less like a fire cracker, and more like an explosion deep in the sea. As you sit your meditation practice, just commit day after day. You’ll have pleasant moments and unpleasant moments. It’s just part of the process. But that is...

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Nov. 9

In any difficult conversation, there is much more going on beneath the surface than you realize. In the book, “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most” the authors describe 3 sub-conversations that a person is having with themselves when...

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Nov. 8

Your nervous system seeks out what’s familiar, not what’s good for you. It’s a confusing thing. Why do we fall into the same patterns over and over again? We know “this kind” of person is not good for us, and yet we repeatedly date people just like them....

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Nov. 7

There’s no ONE way to wellbeing. Many people purport to have the answer to what it means to live the good life. Philosophers, religion, and now academics. All contribute new ideas to this exploration based on their own lens of how this question should be...

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Nov. 6

Instead of eradicating your weaknesses, maximize your strengths. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. The tendency can be to focus on and eradicate our weaknesses. However, research suggests that by identifying your unique strengths and applying...

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Nov. 5

You’re not lost. Have you had the experiencing of feeling lost? You’re not sure of your next step or where your life is headed? Everything seems to be happening around you but you don’t know where you fit into it all?   It’s uncomfortable. But perhaps...

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Nov. 4

Has nothing good happened yet? Maybe you’re just growing like bamboo. My jiu jitsu teacher, Milton Regis, used to liken our martial development to how bamboo grows. He told us that in the first 5 years after planting bamboo seeds, you don’t see anything....

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Nov. 3

Sometimes Plan A is not an option. Chris Feudtner is a pediatrician who focuses on improving the lives of children with complex chronic conditions and their families. He often has to have conversations with parents that he describes as the most difficult...

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Nov. 2

If you need to tell people that you’re meditating for them to know you’re meditating, keep meditating. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, says that for the first years of meditating, don’t tell anyone you’re meditating....

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Nov. 1

One of the most painful things for me to hear about is how brutally people beat themselves up with their own minds. And it’s so common. Abrasive thoughts can have tremendous power over us if we have not trained ourselves to experience them differently....

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Oct. 31

“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character and will.”  –William James William James, widely considered by many to be the first American psychologist, said this back in the...

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Oct. 30

Don’t dwell on your cant’s. Dwell on your cans. This may read as a basic, pop self-help quote, but there’s more wisdom here than meets the eye. The brain’s negativity bias will be more inclined to focus on what is not good in your life and what you can’t...

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Oct. 29

If you self-sabotage, it’s because you associate more pain than pleasure to what you want. Have you ever found that when pursuing something good for you, you get to a certain point, and then you self-sabotage? Almost as if the closer you get to attaining...

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Oct 28.

How can we have a mindful relationship to goal setting? When one is setting a goal, you can use mindfulness to check in with yourself to see what is it that actually inspires me about this goal? Is it a sense of what I’m going to get once I achieve it? Is...

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Oct. 27

There is a delicate balance between being and doing. Another way to look at this is the relationship between mindfulness and getting things done. I strongly believe we must first understand what it means and feels like to actually “BE” before we have any...

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Oct. 26

Equanimity: When our mind lets go. Equanimity represents a moment when our mind ceases to pull or push. It’s completely at ease with what is here. Restful, awake, knowing. And from personal experience, it’s an incredible space of mind to inhabit. In this...

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Oct. 25

Sometimes the best meditation is sleep. If every time you sit down to meditate, you fall asleep within 15 seconds, you may want to check in to see how much rest you’re getting. While some research suggests meditation can reduce the amount of sleep you need...

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Oct. 24

When you’re in a difficult situation that you cannot change, ask yourself: “What greater purpose might this be serving in my life?” Let’s say you’re working for someone who is rude, inconsiderate and hurtful. However, you need the job, and you don’t see an...

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Oct. 23

What sparks joy in your life? I first came across this question in Marie Kondo’s book “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The premise being, when attending to your physical space, instead of focusing on things you’re getting rid of, focus on things...

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Oct. 22

Finding your life’s meaning is another one of those things that can feel daunting and/or too big to tackle. Some people have a natural sense of their life’s purpose and meaning, and others develop this over time. And some people may never feel like they...

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Oct. 21

Trauma cannot be healed in a vacuum. Trauma happened at a time when there wasn’t someone there to help us process, integrate and understand what just happened. And often, it was the result of being betrayed by someone who was supposed to be that someone...

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Oct. 19

People always ask me what the biggest shift was during my time in Burma. Obviously, there were many shifts, and some I can’t even put into words. But my knee jerk response is that I became my own best friend. In spending so much time with myself, in a...

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Oct. 18

There’s a song by Colin Hay called “Waiting for my real life to begin.” In it, he says: “Any minute now, my ship is coming in. I’ll keep checking the horizon […] And you say, be still my love Open your heart Let the light shine in But don’t you understand...

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Oct. 17

Meditation is not about just being with your breath. It’s about all of the things that pull you away from just being with your breath. One of the overarching intentions of a meditation practice is cultivating a mind that can be at peace despite inner and...

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Oct. 16

"What do you want to do every day for the rest of your life?" How could you possibly know this? “What do you want to do every day for the rest of your life?” This is often used as guiding question to figure out what you should commit to, but I’m not sure...

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Oct. 15

Committing to a regular meditation practice of 10, 20 or 30 minutes might feel intimidating. For many people, it becomes an all or nothing event: “Well, I can’t do 20 minutes today, so I guess I’m not meditating.” How about you start by just committing to...

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Oct. 14

Personally, I find it difficult to create a sense of calm and peace before a big event or opportunity. There’s too much energy in the body and any sort of trying to temper it seems to create more agitation. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a similar...

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Oct. 13

In the mindfulness world, there’s a big emphasis on how we use our minds to influence our wellbeing. Because of this, we sometimes neglect the role of the body and how it can be used to influence our wellbeing. One way to observe this is by noticing your...

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Oct. 12

The questions you ask yourself create the running narrative in your mind. For instance, if after spending too much time in a bad relationship, you say to yourself, “why am I such an idiot?”, then you’re going to get a series of answers to that question,...

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Oct. 11

Is there a wrong way to meditate? Yes. If you’re creating more distress for yourself during the meditation process then you’re not meditating. Now, a key point here is that we’re not talking about the experiences that are arising. Simply by choosing to sit...

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Oct. 10

When I first started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I got my ass kicked. I would practice 1-3 hours a day, 5-7 days per week, and each time I trained I would get tapped out by people I was grappling with. Rear naked chokes, arm bars, kamuras, all of it....

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Oct. 9

Wherever you are right now, look at an object nearby. Maybe your phone, a coffee mug, your computer. Now, expand your awareness so that you’re in touch with the space around the object. The object has an outline, and outside of that outline is space. This...

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Oct. 8

In the world of mindfulness, the encouragement is to not immediately run from discomfort if it arises in your experience. This is important on the path of finding ease within dis-ease, and making friends with the parts of ourselves we’re most suffering...

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Oct. 7

I recently listened to a podcast that interviewed Larry King. I was fascinated by the amount of curiosity, interest and eagerness to learn that Larry described bringing to his interviews in his 60-year career. I think this is a great mindset for one to...

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Oct. 6

We all have things we’re working on. “Baggage” if you will. As you enter the stream of personal growth, there may be a feeling like you need to fix everything, change all of your negative conditionings, fully heal from all of your trauma before you can...

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Oct. 5

New research in psychology, specifically by Dr. Stephen Maier, shows that Learned Helplessness is not learned. Instead, the state of helplessness is our default response to a threatening situation—curl up in a ball, protect ourselves, get quiet, and do...

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Oct. 4

People often ask: “How do I practice non-attachment?” Well, non-attachment is actually not something that we can practice. If you want a piece of cake, trying really hard to not want it, isn’t going to serve you much, nor will pretending that you don’t...

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Oct. 2

There's a story made popular by Jon Kabat-Zinn about how hunters used to catch monkeys in India. They would cut a coconut in half, hollow out one side, and drill a hole in the center that was just big enough for a monkey to put its hand through. After this, they drill...

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Oct. 1

Wendell Berry wrote: "It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work. And when we no longer know which way to go, we have come to our real journey." If you're at a point where you no longer know what to do or where to go,...

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Sept. 30

Live in alignment with your personal ethics, whatever they may be. If you don't, it's impossible to find real peace. You can lie to other people about who you are, but you can't lie to your heart.

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Sept. 29

How often do we look toward the external world for comfort? New shoes, car, food, partner. Even when we're bored, the first thing we do is reach for our phones. We try to fill space, to find ease in dis-ease.  It's an interesting phenomenon, though: The...

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Sept. 28

Often when we find ourselves stressed, agitated, and overwhelmed, we're caught in a negative cycle of "what if." What if I lose my job? What if he or she breaks up with me? What if this person passes away? When you notice your mind caught int his way, take...

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Sept. 27

People say wisdom comes with age. Let's explore that.The logic of this sentiment seems to be that, with age, one has had more experiences in life, which have garnered insight into how to most skillfully navigate life. I can get on board with that. However, I know many...

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Sept. 26

On his death bed with Tuberculosis, Henry David Thoreau remarked that there can be as much peace in disease as there is in health when the mind conforms to the nature of the body.On the deepest and most subtle levels, it's not the nature of our experience that creates...

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Sept. 25

Impermanence can be scary. Our brains are wired to hold onto experiences and develop predictable scripts to explain ever changing phenomena. We tend to fight impermanence, but it's like fighting gravity. You can't win and it will just create more suffering. In...

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