Mindful Monday: Listening to Others

Listening seems like it should be the easiest thing to do. If we’re lucky enough to have our hearing intact, we take sounds in all day long, whether we want to or not. Isn’t that listening?

Not exactly. That’s hearing. Aka perceiving sound. Listening is paying  attention to what is heard. Much more difficult.

Mindful Monday: Mindfulness of Emotions

I’ve been feeling some things the last day or so. By things, I mean emotions. More uncomfortable emotions than I’d care to feel. There’s some good ol’ sadness, anger, and resentment mixed in with a bit of fear and regret. I’d rather not feel this way so there’s been some resistance to feeling them. Which is never helpful. But alas I’m as human as the next person, no matter how much I try to fight it. 

On Creating Your Own Magic

Sometimes, okay, often, I can get caught up in the day-to-day obligations or wish that things were different. Easier, more exciting, more abundant, more magical. Lately, the desire for magic has had a starring role in my thoughts. The wanting to experience that feeling of seeing a firefly soar around the night sky for the first time as a child over and over and over. 

Mindful Monday: Reality Bites and How to be Mindful of Our Thoughts

This morning I woke up from a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dream. I won’t get into the details because it’s way too long and complicated, and the details are becoming more fuzzy as the day goes on, as often happens with dreams. But it was rough. And I dream deeply. There’s nothing lucid for me. I’m wholly in another reality, another dimension, entirely believing it to be the truth, no matter how strange it is. I often wake from these dreams incredibly relieved that it’s only a dream. Although, sometimes it takes me hours to connect back to waking reality and regroup from the emotions I experienced during it.

On Hygge: The Fall 2019 Edition

Aw yeah, it’s finally autumn!!! Or fall. Whatever you wanna call it. The three exclamation points shows how supremely excited I am for my favorite season. It hasn’t quite felt like autumn here and we had a cooler summer than the last couple years so who knows if that’s over. Sometimes hot weather can last well into October. So it’s all very confusing. Nonetheless, I’m determined to start embracing it immediately. 

Mindful Monday: Cultivating Gratitude

This past Saturday, September 21, 2019 was World Gratitude Day. I’m a couple days past acknowledging this, but gratitude isn’t reserved for simply this one day (and Thanksgiving). Gratitude is an incredibly important daily practice that can drastically improve life quality.

On Loving Our Environment

A week long global climate strike has started today. It might seem odd to write about the environment on a therapist’s blog, but when it comes down to it our environment greatly influences our mental health and overall well-being. Also, I am an outdoor therapist so it makes sense. 

Mindful Monday: What the Actual Heck is Mindfulness?

I recently realized that as much as I talk about the importance of being mindful, I haven't been so mindful of explaining what the heck mindfulness actually is. And how to do it. Thus, I committed the cardinal sin of mindfulness. Assuming. I figured because "mindfulness" is so hot these days that everyone already knows what it is. But come to find out, not so much. 

On Creating Your Own Luck

It’s Friday the 13th! The exclamation point is a happy exclamation point as I have a love affair with Friday the 13th. I don’t look at it as a day of bad luck at all. It’s more like an interlude between Halloweens. Unfortunately without the costumes, candy, and parties, but I still enjoy the mysterious and unexplainable and some good ol’ fashioned getting the crap scared out of me.

Mindful Monday: Physical Pain

There’s a reason we have an opioid epidemic. Humans don’t like to feel pain and our society has told us we shouldn’t feel pain. Physical or emotional. Emotional is usually what I focus on, but since physical pain is inextricably linked to emotional pain, it’s important to understand how mindfulness can help ease physical pain too. 

Mindful Monday: Urge Surfing

We all have urges. To say things. To do things. To eat chocolate. Or cheese. Or broccoli. To have a glass of wine. Or La Croix. To jump off or on things. To pet a dog. To have sex. To smell flowers. To scream at someone who’s pissed us off. To throw up the middle finger in LA traffic…

Mindful Monday: Transforming Fear

Yesterday, I went for a bike ride. It was as a part of Ciclavia, an event in Los Angeles that shuts down miles of Los Angeles streets to cars so that people can bicycle, skateboard, roller skate/blade, run, walk, etc. Long as it’s person and not motor powered, you can move about however you want. I’m a big fan of this Ciclavia. It’s an opportunity to safely explore areas of Los Angeles in a different way. 

Mindful Monday: Progressive Muscle Relaxation

I’ve been a bit tense this week. Maybe a lot tense. I think many of us have been. There’s been a lot going on. More than I’m currently prepared to tackle in one little written article. Which can lead to also feeling helpless.

Mindful Monday: Quitting

Last week I quit something. Something kinda big. A work project. Because it wasn’t good for me. 

Historically, I haven’t always been very good at quitting things. I grew up with a belief that you see things through ‘til the end of time. Some might call that loyal and noble. Others might call it stupid. I’d say it’s a bit of both depending on the situation. But that’s all judgment anyway and we’re trying not to do that here. 

On Disconnecting to Reconnect

Last weekend I went camping. Out to the middle of nowhere. Which meant no cellular service or Internet access. 

Oh it was glorious!

Now, obviously, I’m big on connection. Connection to others. Connection to our inner self. Connection to something greater. Connection is absolutely necessary for fulfillment in life. Huge fan here. 

On How to Hygge in the Summer

The summer solstice has come and went. Which means it’s officially summer! Even if the daylight is slowly decreasing. “Sad face” since I don’t think emojis are appropriate for a professional blog post. And I don’t know how to insert one on my computer. 

Even if our longest day of the year has passed for this 2019, that doesn’t mean celebrating these warm months should end. So here are my summer seasonal hygge suggestions to accompany the spring, winter, and autumn suggestions of the past year.

On Transformation

Or metamorphosis.

Last week, while out gardening, I found a monarch butterfly chrysalis. This beautiful light green and gold accented shell hung inside an empty container in the midst of its transformation. Being the nature geek that I am, I did a happy dance. I’d never seen one out in the wild (The wild being an urban backyard.).