Living the Mess is Moving to Substack.

By Sarah Chauncey | December 29, 2022

After nearly a decade, I’ve decided to turn Living the Mess into a free Substack newsletter. This will allow me to pitch ‘posts’ as articles to mindfulness magazines and, ideally, to build a larger readership so that I can eventually write an LTM book (or five).

Read More

Why Learning to Observe Thoughts is Important

By Sarah Chauncey | December 22, 2022

The other day, one of my sisters texted me about scheduling our annual “sisters’ Zoom” for the day after Christmas. I’d offered to host, because I have a paid Zoom account. She sent me the time that worked for all of us, and I acknowledged the text. Less than an hour later, she texted the…

Read More

Your Thoughts Aren’t What You Think

By Sarah Chauncey | December 16, 2022

Nearly all of us think, and we think all the time. Most of the time, though, we don’t notice that we’re thinking. Thinking is so automatic, like breathing, that it flies under the radar. However, those thoughts-that-we’re-not-noticing frequently cause pain, both for ourselves and others.  Learning to notice my thoughts, then learning to question them,…

Read More

Five Ways to Find Moments of Joy in Everyday Life

By Sarah Chauncey | September 9, 2022

Our day-to-day emotions often fluctuate depending on what’s happening around us. Yet in my experience, it’s possible to find moments of subtle joy each day. Here’s how.

Read More

Eight Tips for When You’re Feeling ‘Meh’

By Sarah Chauncey | August 5, 2022

Our bodies are sensing instruments for navigating the world around us, and they respond to numerous factors that are beyond our conscious mind and control. Sometimes, we just feel meh. Here’s how to cope.

Read More

How to Differentiate Between Thoughts and Feelings

By Sarah Chauncey | July 22, 2022

We humans are complex beings. We have brains that generate thoughts, a connected physiological system that creates emotions, and six or more senses that guide our knowing beyond the realm of thinking. And often, we get thoughts and feelings confused. When we do, it’s a recipe to make us unhappy. I’ve found that learning to…

Read More

Five Practices to Connect More Deeply with Nature

By Sarah Chauncey | July 8, 2022

Paying deep attention to nature not only calms me, but also, it helps me understand myself as a part of nature. Here are some calming practices to bring you inner peace and connection with nature.

Read More

Seven More Insights that Transformed How I Live

By Sarah Chauncey | July 1, 2022

This is the third in a three-post series about how two spontaneous insights utterly changed the way I experience the world. To read Part 1, click here. You can read Part 2 here. I’d been an ambitious intellectual snob In my younger adulthood, I was a ruthlessly ambitious creative. My motto was, “If I can’t…

Read More

Five Insights That Changed My Experience of the World

By Sarah Chauncey | June 24, 2022

[This is Part 2 of a three-post series.] Last week, I wrote about (some of) the pain that I’d experienced for the first 44 years of my life. In April 2010, what I thought I knew about life and being human was blown wide open. I woke up one spring morning feeling happier and more…

Read More

How Intense Suffering Led Me Towards Inner Peace

By Sarah Chauncey | June 17, 2022

I was the last person anyone would have expected to have a profound transformation. It came through immense suffering and my eventual desperation to try anything to find inner peace.

Read More

Four Ways Spending Time in Nature Can Boost Your Mental Health

By Sarah Chauncey | June 2, 2021

In nature, the myth of human exceptionalism is stripped away and shown to be a false construct. The stillness in nature resonates with a part of us that seeks quietude. At some cellular level, we remember that yes, we are part of nature, too.

Read More

Let’s Not Go Back to Normal. We Can Do Better.

By Sarah Chauncey | May 26, 2021

Normal is a setting on a dishwasher. Like many people, I’ve now had my first COVID vaccine shot. While I’m relieved to be protected and glad to contribute to protecting the “herd,” I dread the idea of Western life going back to the way it was. I loved the not-normal. When everything shut down in…

Read More

A New Chapter for Living the Mess

By Sarah Chauncey | May 15, 2021

Have you ever received an email from someone you really care about, and you didn’t respond right away? And after a few days, weeks, months, it became even more awkward to respond, because you waited so long? You really wanted to connect, but your delay became a huge boulder in the path of your relationship?

Read More

Five Ways to Find Calm When Your World is On Fire

By Sarah Chauncey | January 8, 2021

As I write this, most of us in North America are reeling from the events of the past 48 hours (and worldwide, reeling from the past year). Americans, in particular, are facing uncertainty and confusion that I don’t believe we’ve seen in my lifetime.

Read More

Looking for the Light at the End of the 2020 Tunnel

By Sarah Chauncey | December 30, 2020

In my 30s, I began making commitments instead of resolutions, because I could see that making a “resolution” was setting myself up to fail (and therefore, feel bad about myself). Then I began setting intentions. That worked a bit better, though I quickly learned that I can set all the intentions I want, but life might have other plans. A few years ago, I stumbled across a post about someone choosing a guiding word for the year, and that really resonated with me…

Read More

How I Recovered from Post-viral Fatigue Syndrome (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

By Sarah Chauncey | February 20, 2020

My doctor didn’t think I would recover from post-viral fatigue syndrome. I did. Here’s what happened and what helped me.

Read More

Reflecting on a Year of Change

By Sarah Chauncey | December 22, 2018

It’s been 18 months since I last posted, yet Living the Mess has been on my mind every day. While I haven’t been writing posts for this site, as a friend pointed out, I have been living the mess and so experiencing source material for future posts. It didn’t seem right to jump back into…

Read More
Five Mindfulness Lessons Learned from Moving

Five Mindfulness Lessons from Moving

By Sarah Chauncey | August 26, 2017

Moving is, by definition, massive change. It may not be possible to have a move that isn’t complex, but it can be (almost) stress-free.

Read More