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”Namaste - may the light in me, honor the light in you…”

A 12-Minute Meditation to Create Space in a Storm of Emotions

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Sometimes we can see our intense emotions coming, and sometimes we can’t. Emotions can build up, increasing in strength slowly. At other times, they crash down on us all at once. We can get lost in our emotions, swept up in a feeling. They can be beautiful and they can be scary. In all of these ways, emotions are like storms. In this practice, Scott Rogers guides us to take the role of observer to difficult emotions, so that we can more easily create the space we need to let them go.

We begin this 12-minute mindfulness practice by bringing ourselves into a posture that’s upright and stable. We lower or close our eyes and bring our attention to our body sitting in the chair. As we breathe, we are aware of where our bottom meets the seat of the chair and of where our back meets the back of the chair. We are aware of our feet and where they make contact with the ground, our shoes, or our socks. We are aware of the sensations of the body, of the hands resting one in the other or on our lap. We are aware of the fingertips, the palms, the points of contact, as we begin this practice by coming to our senses as we breathe.At times, things can become intense and quickly turn, much like a hurricane, so this practice will draw upon the metaphor of a hurricane to help us understand our own true nature. It can help us understand the ways that mindfulness practice can be helpful in observing our nature moment by moment. That observation can create spaciousness around the tumultuousness that can arise during the course of our day and at times throughout our life. We take three slow, deep breaths. A little slower and a little deeper than we might otherwise take. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. Inhale and exhale. The hurricane arises when the conditions are sufficient for it to come together and, in time, it dissipates, much like our own emotional conditions. So, let’s look at a few of the different aspects of the hurricane and see how they connect to our own thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and the spaciousness and ease that we can find with agitated thoughts, feelings, and sensations. There are times when we experience agitation and frustration in the body, much like the strong, gusty winds and heavy rains that feed into the hurricane. We might reflect for a moment on times when we have felt that intensity in the body—that tension, that tightness.Thoughts arise from time to time that can be judgmental, pessimistic, and reactive, like the outflow of high-level clouds that intensify the hurricane as they move away from it. We might take note of thoughts that arise in our mind now, or thoughts that have arisen today, that carry that judgmental, harsh, reactive quality. Just notice these thoughts as we breathe. There are moments we experience intense emotions like anger and fear that are akin to the eye wall, the extreme conditions that form around the eye of the hurricane. You may notice these arising now, perhaps because of the circumstances of the day, or that they arise on a fairly regular basis. And so, too, there are times we experience inner calm, much as is found within the eye of the storm. This is a reminder that we don’t have to have the intense and agitated thoughts, feelings, and sensations go away to find that inner calm, that inner tranquility. By shifting to an observing state, we find freedom from the intensity of those thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It’s like finding our way into the eye of the storm,  into a place of our own safe refuge without needing anything to change. Let us settle into the body, aware of thoughts, aware of feelings that will come and go, aware of the sensations in the body, aware of preserving and allowing the breath to anchor us a little bit more fully, to steady us a little bit more comfortably into the moments of this practice. In doing so, we begin to develop and cultivate a resilience to steady us in the moments of our life. Breathe in and out, allowing this moment to be as it is. When, from time to time, the mind wanders, gently return to the sensations of the breath flowing through the body. When you’re ready in the next moment or two, with awareness, lift the gaze, open the eyes.
Original author: Scott Rogers
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7 Self-Compassion Reminders for Parents of Kids Who Are Struggling

It can be isolating, confusing, and even exhausting when your child is having a hard time. As parents dealing with a range of our own emotions, we usually have few outlets and little time to get support.

First, let me be clear. I am not sharing from the perspective of a mother who got it all right—feel free to check with my now-adult children on that—but as someone who has continued to learn along the way. I hope that I can offer even one takeaway you may find helpful and I fully acknowledge that hindsight is on my side here.

And let’s be honest, right now, and maybe even always, all children are struggling in some ways. There will always be difficulties, stress, struggles. So, this article is for all of us who love and care for children of any age. What I offer here are just a few nuggets and a bit of encouragement along the way. 

7 Self-Compassion Reminders for Parents of Kids Who Are Struggling

1) Parenting not perfecting

Can we let go of the need to be perfect even for just a moment? Please remember that what is on social media is not the whole picture and often not even close to the accurate picture. No one out there is getting it “right.” We are all just human beings learning and growing and doing our best. Let yourself make mistakes and then notice how you treat yourself when you do. This is where heavy doses of self-compassion are a true gift which leads to my next reminder…

2) Hold yourself with kindness

The underlying message in any of these suggestions is to hold them lightly with great kindness to yourself.

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3 Guided Meditations to Help You Find Balance This Holiday Season

While the holidays are typically a time of celebration, they can come with certain expectations and a pressure to meet those expectations. Whether it’s the pressure to make it a memorable experience for your kids or the pressure of facing complicated family dynamics; the holidays can be just as stressful as they are celebratory. 

To meet whatever might come up this holiday season, we’ve gathered a few guided meditations to help you cultivate balance and equanimity in the midst of the holiday rush. 

1. Let Your Practice Guide You Beyond Crisis Mode

When life feels chaotic, mindfulness can provide a safe space within ourselves for us to feel at home in. Georgina Miranda shares a variation on a loving-kindness meditation to feel more grounded and at ease, no matter your external circumstances. 

2. Allow the Storm to Pass: A Guided Meditation for Resilience

When we put space between ourselves and the whirlwinds of emotion, we can find stability and cultivate resilience. Scott Rogers leads us in this guided practice using the metaphor of a hurricane to help us recognize the qualities and the impermanence of even our stormiest emotions.  

3. A 12-Minute Meditation to Create Inner Balance in the Face of Change

Life is rarely, if ever, constant. And it can be difficult to remain balanced in the midst of change. But taking the time to be present can help you notice the moments of joy and love that’s right in front of you. Susan Bauer-Wu shares a guided meditation to ground us in the present moment and cultivate equanimity.

Original author: Oyinda Lagunju
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Find Your Focus with Amishi Jha

Stephanie Domet: Hello, and welcome to Real Mindful. This is where we speak mindfully about things that matter. We meet here twice a month to introduce you to some of the teachers, thinkers, writers, and researchers who are engaged in the mindfulness movement. You’ll hear all kinds of conversations here about the science of mindfulness, the practice of mindfulness—and the heart of it. I’m Stephanie Domet. I’m the managing editor at Mindful magazine and mindful.org. And this is Real Mindful.

Today on the podcast, my guest is Dr. Amishi Jha. Amishi has been featured many times in Mindful and on mindful.org for her work with high-stress cohorts like first responders and military service members. We spoke with her in the early days of the pandemic about the military acronym VUCA, which stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous—and how our brains react to VUCA circumstances, plus how mindfulness can help us regain ownership of our attention. You can read an excerpt from her book Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day in the December issue of Mindful, which is on newsstands now. Amishi and I connected a few weeks ago for a Mindful Live session, and we’re pleased to bring you that conversation on Real Mindful today.

For now, I’m very pleased to welcome Amishi Jha to Mindful Live. Amishi is a neuroscientist and a professor of psychology at the University of Miami. She’s the author of Peak Mind: Find Your Focus, Own Your Attention, Invest 12 Minutes a Day, which has just been published by Harper One. Amishi’s research focuses on the brain basis of attention, working memory, and mindfulness based training. She was selected as a science and public leadership fellow by PopTech and she serves on editorial review boards of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Journal of Experimental Psychology General, Frontiers in Cognitive Science, and Frontiers in Psychology. She is a regular contributor to Mindful and mindful.org and as a person who’s currently struggling with focus, I could not be more glad to have you here today for this conversation. Amishi, hello, and thank you so much for joining us today. 

Amishi Jha: Oh, it’s so great to be here with you, Stephanie. 

SD: So I mentioned that I’ve been struggling with focus, and I wouldn’t be surprised if every interview you’ve done around this book has started with a similar admission from those. How common is the struggle?  

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Original author: Mindful Staff
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