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Grocery Store Employees Need Mindfulness, Too

A grocery store isn’t considered a typical place to practice mindfulness. I know—I worked in one. Still, my coworkers and I saw firsthand how much of a positive difference this practice can make. For professional grocers, their daily work environment is challenging at best, and often traumatic. There’s the physical stress of manual labor: stocking, shelving, cleaning, ringing up groceries, and moving eight hours a day, five days a week, week after week after week. Then there are the emotional burdens: the racism in the parking lot, the sexism i...

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The Planet Alzheimer’s Guide

Share “Bill could not speak but his artwork became his voice. He loved to fill his paper with complex horizontal layers of dark, warm, earthy watercolors. He wasn’t satisfied until the whole paper was filled. If he hadn’t finished the work at the end of the session, he was happy to come back to that specific unfinished painting during our next meeting. It turned out that he was a prominent geologist for many years. “It is the joy and habit of making art that encourages arts engagement as a sustainable activity. Persons with Alzheimer’s/Dementia...

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A Guided Meditation to Give Gratitude for Your Body

Jantira/Adobe Stock Some days I wake up and notice that my spring has already sprung and each movement has a kind of creaking quality. After years of practicing mindfulness, it makes me smile. Whatever experience I’m having—good, bad, pleasant, unpleasant—I will never pass this way again.  This is an invitation to explore the experience of the present moment in all its gory glory. You can do this practice sitting, standing, upside down or whatever way you find the present moment.  Let’s start by taking three nice big breaths. Breathe in for a c...

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The Other Tom

Share The American Psychiatric Association estimates that 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Many others have not been diagnosed. Research tells us that when movies attempt to shed light on the emotions and experiences that are part of living with this diagnosis, the stories can be hard to watch. Still, films can be powerful allies in building empathy for both the patient and the family. Elena (Julia Chavez) is an unmarried working-class Mexican immigrant putting in long...

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5 Things You Should Know About Letting Go of the Past

Adobe Stock/Davide Angelini A common fear is that letting go might make you passive. We are often so driven by our pain and fear that it is hard to conceive of any other way of existing. The reality is that letting go will not make you dull, and it certainly will not turn you into a pushover. What it does do is reconfigure your mind so that you are no longer carrying the heavy weight of the past into the present. If you are seeking to reclaim your power, one of the essential steps is realizing how much of your power you have given up to the hur...

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Difficult News

Share God, when sad thing happen,you are sad, too. You understand. Thank you, God,for always hearing us. Help us to be kind and peaceful, always. We light a candle to remind usof your love for all. —Traci Smith in Little Prayers for Everyday Life

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Tuesdays in Jail

Share “My goal with the inmates is to remind them of that spirit spark — as an early beloved spiritual teacher of mine called it — that lies within them. Twelfth-century poet Hafiz said it well: 'I wish that I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.' “I start there. I listen. I respond with whatever occurs to me to let the men know I see their astonishing light. I speak to that. Ask journaling questions intended to guide us all there. “Though we are separated either by a metal grate or, in the ...

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Tuesdays in Jail

Share Tina Welling is an author of novels and a nonfiction book called Writing Wild, in which she describes creative writing as her spiritual practice. She lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she has also recently spent seven years in the Teton County Jail teaching journaling to prisoners. Welling writes of being motivated by the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, who taught about the “belly of the whale” segment on every “hero’s journey”; and Welling believes that being incarcerated can, “if used well,” become part of every life journey, p...

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7 Mindfulness Books We Can’t Wait for You to Read


What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What it Can Teach Us Kim Haines-Eitzen • Princeton University Press Most of us likely think of deserts as barren with no redeeming value. Not so for Kim Haines-Eitzen, who finds a rich soundscape there that promotes solitude. That gift of solitude, she says, explains why some of the earliest contemplative practitioners, the Desert Fathers, sought refuge there. Haines-Eitzen grew up in the Middle East and, from an early age, was taken with the power of the desert, both the simplicity of its la...

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Tech Yourself, Don’t Wreck Yourself

Apps help us complete daily tasks, organize our calendar, connect with people around the world, or blow off steam with a little entertainment. Others vie for our attention with pinging notifications and endless feeds. These apps were designed with wellness and inclusion at their core to help us connect authentically online—without sacrificing privacy or principles. 1) Blackfullness With the new app Blackfullness, founders Sonia Russell and David Walker aim to highlight the ways African Americans are already practicing mindfulness—though they ma...

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An Attitude of Gratitude


What’s one thing about yourself that you’re grateful for? Definitely my resilience. I get knocked down, but I get up again!—@sherwalt1 My capacity to hold loving and kind space for others and my willingness to continuously move toward self-acceptance and self-love. That I can see beauty and be grateful even through challenging moments. I love my divine beautiful heart.—@Vioroz01 My capacity to forgive (and my ability to not only see but to genuinely feel joy from the myriad of life’s everyday, perhaps even ordinary, offerings).—@reticent.grace ...

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How Writing Three Lines of Poetry Can Open Your Heart

Life has so much to offer, if we’d only listen. The evening was young and my body tired from being in motion all day. There was an intrinsic quietness in the air, with gray skies above and an unceasing but very tender rainfall. I sat at my desk, looking out of my back window as I often do after a long day of reading or writing. The usual sounds of insects and animals on a late summer evening seemed to be very few. The candle flame to my left on my ancestor altar reminded me of the sacredness of resting, so I allowed myself a moment to just be. ...

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How to Hold Boundaries with Skill and Care

Early in my recovery from addiction, I attended the wedding of an old friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. I arrived at the event alone and was standing by the bar when an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, who I had only met once before, approached me. She noticed I was sipping water, and it seemed to really bother her that I wasn’t indulging. She said hello, then immediately launched into, “Why aren’t you drinking tonight?” She didn’t know I was in recovery and I wasn’t comfortable sharing, so I just said I was good with water and that I liked he...

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What Self-Love Really Means

Every now and then, and less often than appropriate, I realize how grateful I am to help produce Mindful magazine. I’ve been on a healing journey most of my life. It’s been messy. And clarifying. And hard. I joke with my friends that I make the magazine that I need to read at the moment, but that’s not far from the truth. It’s my privilege to humbly call in a community of big, wise hearts—who are out there in the world, illuminating the edges of where the practice of mindfulness meets the sharp points of broken systems and battered spirits—and ...

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The Truth About Parasocial Relationships

Julia Child—the celebrity chef whose life has lately been chronicled in an HBO series and a CNN documentary—was surprised to find that when her gawky, quirky public television cooking show became a hit, viewers seemed to think they knew her. More than that, they wanted to show up and be part of her life. She needn’t have been so surprised by all this since, only a few years before, sociologists Richard Wohl and Donald Horton had stumbled upon this phenomenon, calling it “parasocial interaction.” These fancy words describe something we’re all fa...

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What’s New in Mindfulness: Indigenous Wellness, Quilts of Compassion, and More

Since the 1940s, bird, insect, and small-mammal populations have been in decline, partly due to modern-day farming practices, but a new study shows that farmers can reverse these effects by dedicating small areas of unproductive land to create wildlife-friendly habitats—and that, in turn, creates thriving crops. Researchers at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology monitored for a decade the impact of 1 km x 1 km wildlife habitats on Hillesden Estate, a 1,000-hectare commercial farm. The authors of the study saw dramatic increases in species of...

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Getting Started with Mindful Writing

For most of my life, I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with my brother. I loved him fiercely, and knew he felt the same, yet somehow our encounters were frequently followed by drama and misunderstandings. After a challenging conversation, I’d often pull out paper and pen and write my feelings down. Thoughts would swirl and emotions would spill out onto the page, my right hand sometimes aching from all that poured out of me. Airing my feelings through writing allows me to not only “blow off steam” when I feel sad, frustrated, or angry, but also...

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Encouraging Healthy Mindsets for Teens

Research gathered from the University of Rochester, Yonsei University College, and University of Innsbruck. Get Smart Researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria wanted to study how different meditation styles would affect automatic behaviors. They randomly assigned 73 adults to one of four groups for internally focused meditation, externally focused meditation, open monitoring meditation, or a waitlist control group. All meditation group participants were asked to attend two sessions per week of roughly 30 minutes each for four weeks...

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Break Up Your Work Day with Purposeful Pauses

In a culture that increasingly asks you to move faster and do more to be effective, the idea that what you actually need to do is stop seems counterintuitive. Now, I don’t mean to stop for the sake of stopping. What I am talking about is the need to train yourself to take a pause (I call them purposeful pauses). When you begin to routinely take a few moments to intentionally stop, you can begin to notice when you are living your life on autopilot. And, you can begin to notice when you are, in fact, not bringing your best self to those things in...

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Little Prayers for Everyday Life

Share Difficult News God, when sad thing happen,you are sad, too. You understand. Thank you, God,for always hearing us. Help us to be kind and peaceful, always. We light a candle to remind usof your love for all.

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About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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