Five Mindfulness Lessons from Moving

Five Mindfulness Lessons from Moving

When I moved into “Little House on the Big Island” in 2008, I was a chain-smoker who drank at least 2 litres of Diet Pepsi every day. I was on six different psychiatric medications. I could swallow a handful of pills dry (and often did, several times a day). I had...
Leaning into Fear and Uncertainty

Leaning into Fear and Uncertainty

Part I “Will you be around this afternoon?” My landlord texted me two weeks ago. “I’d like to come over and talk to you.” “Sure,” I responded. My mind began spinning. My landlord and I, who have become friends over the nine...
We Don’t Know Anything, Really

We Don’t Know Anything, Really

None of us really knows what we’re talking about. Not me, not you, not anybody else. I mean, we know some relative things about living on this planet, but in the big picture, the absolute? Nothing.  We live in a culture where there’s a premium on having...
The Lifespan of an Emotion

The Lifespan of an Emotion

In neuroscientist Jill Bolte-Taylor’s memoir, My Stroke of Insight, she notes that the physiological lifespan of an emotion in the body and brain is 90 seconds. The sensations—adrenalin, heat in the face, tightness in the throat, rapid heartbeat—arise, peak and...
Separating Facts from Stories

Separating Facts from Stories

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” —Jiddu Krishnamurti Stories are how we make sense of events in our lives. We string together a narrative so that life doesn’t seem entirely random. In some situations, this is...
Snowstorm as a Metaphor

Snowstorm as a Metaphor

The accumulated snow from the past two weeks finally began melting today, as temperatures moved slightly above freezing for the first time in…what seems like a very long time. As I was walking, I passed the juniper bush in the photo above. It’s right...
Labels are for Jars

Labels are for Jars

The very first thing I did, on my path to healing, was to stop labeling my brain. This was a huge shift. Labels had been my crutch for years. I’d been an active and eager participant in finding external reasons why I was the way I was. I’d had 12...
There is Nothing Wrong With You

There is Nothing Wrong With You

We live in a culture that sells the promise of 24/7 productivity (without even asking if that’s desirable), constant giddy happiness, creativity that never gets blocked, financial wealth and endless sexual vitality. Oh, and perfect pores. That’s not life....
Cultivating Inner and Outer Silence

Cultivating Inner and Outer Silence

If you’re like me, you cringe at sudden loud noises—the sudden roar of a motorcycle gearing up, firecrackers, a cannon blasting (just me? I live in a town that fires a cannon every day at noon. It’s a tourism thing.) Years ago, I lived in New York, which is pretty...
Learning to Observe Thoughts

Learning to Observe Thoughts

One of the foundations of inner peace for me is realizing that I am not my thoughts. In order to do that, though—and this is pretty much the core of everything I practice and write about—I had to learn to observe my thoughts, to recognize that the thoughts exist on...

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