“Beyond the Couch” Season 2 Kickoff!

I’m really excited today to kick off “Beyond the Couch” podcast‘s second Season! We had such great episodes last season where we highlighted some of the ways that you can get back on track after difficult, painful, and even scary experiences so that you could recreate joy, freedom, and happiness to build a life that you want to celebrate.

I wanted to ensure that, as we continue with Season 2, we keep highlighting tips, tricks, practical resources, and insights from topic experts so that you can put the pieces together to create that life that you want to celebrate.

One of last season’s highlights include our Mindful Monday series – which I’m really looking forward to continuing and expanding upon in our second season! This season we will also introduce gratitude as a key factor in Mindfulness.

As we focus on celebrating you in your amazing life, I wanted to highlight a few triumphs. Many of you contacted me to share the ways that you were feeling stuck and paralyzed in your life. Some of you even felt like it was out of line for you to be feeling that way because you had something positive come into your life and yet it was hard to move past the anxiety or it was still hard to feel joy, excitement, or happiness enough to keep moving forward.  And many of you were feeling like nothing was really wrong but that nothing was really right or feeling good either. What stood out to me in your correspondences was that the combination of insights and information along with practical tips and tricks as well as the Mindfulness based practices really helped you find the clarity you needed to first figure out what it was you wanted in your life then to draw upon the resources and practical tools to get those things in place. In fact, several of you shared your favorite Mindfulness activity, which I’m very excited to share:

Maryanne, USA: “Mindfulness has helped me really experience my meals and change my relationship with food. Mindful eating was the missing ingredient in my weight loss efforts over the last 12 years! It has really made a difference in my self esteem and relationship with my body and with food overall.” 

Michael, Australia: “I love the practical ways that movement meditations help me focus on what my body is doing throughout the day. Mindfulness with the body scans and walking meditations have gotten me in more touch with what I’m doing and I value the way I can use the Mindful movement practice to connect with my body after a long, busy day.” 

Diane, Canada: “I have come to understand my breath. When I am just going about my day, there are so many opportunities for me to just pause and see what’s happening with my breath. Once I do, I can notice that I am participating differently in my activities. Just the awareness of breathing without changing it is my favorite – I can do it as many times a day as I want and anywhere!”  

I mentioned a few minutes ago that “Beyond the Couch” podcast will be adding a gratitude component into our Mindful Monday series this season.I wanted to take a moment and share my own gratitude for this incredible community of listeners as well as the community where I practice. Your trust in me has meant a great deal and I have tremendously valued sharing “Beyond the Couch” with you! As I was awarded the “Best Mental Health Service” award in my community last year, I was filled with gratitude at the opportunity to support so many of you in your lives and committed to sharing even more of the best of what lies beyond the couch to fill your life with celebration. This season, I dedicate the celebration to you in your amazing life!

“Beyond the Couch” has also been selected as one of the FIRST podcasts to be featured on Spotify! If you have not yet done so, please feel free to listen and, if you think others may benefit from the same, please feel free to share.

You can listen to the episode, subscribe, share, rate, and review it here! And as always: If you missed any of the episodes, they are always available via iTunes, on my website, and YouTube. Don’t forget to check out the new Spotify podcast platform for our episodes as well!

You can also click RIGHT HERE to listen now!

If you’ve found the “Beyond the Couch” episodes helpful in some way, please be sure to leave a rating and review so that 1.) I know what helps you and 2.) so that others in the same boat can find what they need.

Thank you so much for helping to spread the word through your downloads, subscriptions, ratings, and reviews. It has been incredibly exciting for me to share this with you and I am humbled to continue bringing you valuable information, tips, resources, and experts!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

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Even Just ONE Mindful Moment Matters

Many people have started to find their rhythm again after the hustle and bustle of the hectic season. Some are still looking to find their footing. Still, many others are looking to figure out the new normal for themselves amidst new goals. After so much activity and taming giant to-do lists, you might be finding it hard to focus on just doing ONE thing in this ONE moment. It might feel like it’s hard to see why just that ONE really matters unless it’s part of a bigger whole or has a grand agenda attached to it.

Here’s the thing – It’s natural to feel that way and, yet, it can hold us back from allowing in some of those very things that can help us get on the pathway towards exactly where we want to be so that we can cultivate the life experiences that are meaningful to us. In fact, one of my favorite things in the Mindfulness Matters group is a story about how just ONE simple act can have a tremendous impact on every single moment that follows.

Here’s the story:

Once upon a time there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. 

One day he was walking along the shore.  As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day.

So he began to walk faster to catch up.  As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean. 

As he got closer he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?”

The young man paused, looked up and replied, “Throwing starfish in the ocean.”

“I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”
 
“The sun is up and the tide is going out.  And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”
 
“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”
 
The young man listened politely. 

Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it
Into the ocean, past the breaking waves and said –  “It made a difference for that one.”

We can easily find ourselves getting caught in the whirlwind of life or even falling into a rut where it then becomes hard to just make ONE shift. It’s in those one small acts and moments where we can begin a new pattern for ourselves that allows us to make great gains. Each week in the Mindfulness Matters group, we take steps just like this to help bring in a powerful tool for turbocharging your life to quiet your inner critic, break out of your mental rut, and tune into your best self so that you can carve out the life that serves you best. I’m happy to talk to you about how this group can help you get where you want to be – you can easily get in touch!

In the meantime, what’s ONE thing you can do today to make sure you wrap up your day with greater clarity and a bigger smile than when you started it?

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch! Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the New Year!

Please feel free to comment and share your favorite Mindfulness tip with me! That way, we can spread the word together – because even just ONE act of Mindfulness matters!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

 

Break Out of Your “Mental Rut” to Turbocharge Your Life!

Have you caught yourself just whirling through your day, finding yourself at the end of it and just wondering where the hours went? Or maybe you’ve looked up from what you were “busy” with to find yourself puzzled by how it just got done without you even noticing that you were doing it. Sometimes, we find ourselves relieved that we just managed to get yet another item on our to-do list done. Yet, we might often feel like we’re on a fast spinning carousel ride that we can’t get off of. We might find ourselves overwhelmed, frazzled, or even just like we “miss” being a part of our lives. This is where that autopilot mode can take us – a life filled with days that are devoid of our awareness and participation.

In a car, we can sometimes drive for miles “on automatic pilot,” without really being aware of what we are doing. In the same way, we may not be really “present” moment-by-moment, for much of our lives: We can often be “miles away” without know­ing it.

On automatic pilot, we are more likely to have our “buttons pressed.” Events around us and thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the mind (of which we may be only dimly aware) can trigger old habits of thinking that are often unhelpful and may lead to worsening moods. snapping at our loved ones or colleagues, and not really understanding what quite set us off.

By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, from moment to moment, we give ourselves the possibility of greater freedom and choice; we do not have to go into the same old “mental ruts” that may have caused problems in the past.

This is where the gift of Mindfulness can bring tremendous benefits – not only to ourselves, but to those around us who are impacted by our experiences. The aim of Mindfulness is to increase awareness so that we can respond to situ­ations with choice rather than react automatically. In other words, we can break the grip of autopilot and its reactions. We do this by practicing to be­come more aware of where our attention is and deliberately changing the focus of attention, over and over again. We do this without berating ourselves so that we can keep moving forward rather than getting pulled back into the same tailspin.

As we prepare for the next round of the Mindfulness Matters group enrolling in just a few short weeks, I wanted to share a short exercise with you for react with more intention and deliberation in our lives so that we can escape the mental ruts and access greater freedom and choice in our day-to-day experiences.

This exercise is designed to easily bring mindfulness into your everyday life so that you don’t have to feel pulled away from the things you love and care about to take care of yourself.

Choose one task each day that you often do in automatic pilot. Things such as brushing your teeth, eating a meal, attending lectures, showering, preparing for bed, walking in the park are suitable. It is probably best to stick with one activity for a week or longer rather than changing the activity regularly.

When the time comes for that activity, do it in a fully mindful frame of mind. Pay attention to the activity itself, noticing with intentional awareness what is happening right now. For instance, with teeth brushing you might feel the touch of the brush on each tooth and the gum, note the noise it is making become aware of the taste of the toothpaste. Just like in the breath awareness, if you find yourself thinking of other things, then simply note it for a second or two and return to the sensations associated with brushing your teeth.

If the activity is likely to be longer than a few minutes – such as eating a full meal or walking in the park – then practice the first three minutes mindfully. Pay attention to what you see, the sounds you hear, the feeling of your clothes as you walk and what can you smell.

As a general aim, stick to the sensations present at the time: touch, sight, sound, taste, smell. You may also note what emotions and bodily feelings you have – like noticing your breathing becomes faster or tension in your muscles.

At the end of the exercise, continue the next activity mindfully for as long as that Mindful state lasts.

What did you discover about yourself as you went through this exercise?? What did it feel like to slow down and really participate in your life to get out of that mental rut?

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self into the New Year!

Please feel free to comment and share what it was like to get yourself back in charge and escape the never-ending mental rut!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Don’t forget to get access to more valuable content weekly here!

P.S. Groups are an amazing way for us to lean how to express ourselves and understand that we are not alone. The Mindfulness Matters Group will run on Tuesdays from 6:30pm to 7:30pm  beginning on February 26th and running through April 16th. Get in touch to talk about how this might help you get yourself back on top!

MORE Tips and Resources to Stay Mindful!

For many of us, the holiday season can be riddled with stressors, frustration, loneliness, or even disappointment. In the midst of that, we might even feel out of line because the holiday season is “supposed” to be filled with cheer and “should” have joy and merriment. This can lead us to feel even more frustrated, alone, and like we’re a bad person for our reactions.

Here’s the thing – even positive experiences and situations can bring with them some difficulty. We may not have influence on the long lines or the traffic jams – but we do have influence on the ways that those things impact us. Learning to navigate disruptions and the tough feelings that leave us feeling frazzled can be a really valuable skill for us so that we can really maximize the joy and connectedness we have throughout this holiday season.

I recently spent some time talking with Deborah Turner of Natural Awakenings and Rockland World Radio’s “Connections with Deborah Turner” to talk about some ways we can navigate our emotions this time of year. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a holiday or you’re feeling stressed juggling work and family life, this time of year can bring with it some challenges. Deborah and I talk through a number of ways to build your tools for more easily busting stress so that you can feel like your best self again.

Be sure to listen to the conversation HERE so that you can get some more tips on how to navigate difficult emotions, bust through the stress and frustration, use Mindfulness to sort through your never-ending to-do list, and even leverage more sleep this holiday season!

I really loved sharing these tips with everyone because I know the pressure that this time of year might bring for many of us can be intense and detract from our experiences. It’s important to me that sharing information about how simple tools like working on our sleep a bit differently or just noticing our breathing and using the cracks of time can bring with them  great gains. That way, we can start to feel more like ourselves and reconnect with the things and the people in our lives that bring us joy.

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self into the New Year!

Please comment below and share what stood out to you as your  favorite tip with me!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

 

Tips and Tricks On Becoming Mindful

As we get closer to the holi-daze, you might be finding yourself feeling more and more overwhelmed and your to-do list growing bigger and bigger. You might even find yourself tense and panicked with your thoughts racing and your inner critic on overdrive. And yet, you’re wishing for a break to catch your breath, slow down, and enjoy the spirit of the season to connect with your loved ones instead.

You may find yourself wondering “How do you even get started at this point?” One of the things I share in my Mindfulness Matters groups early on are some tips and resources that you always have with you. In fact, I am compiling a list of some of my favorite resources for the next round of the group starting in February! To kick start that, I wanted to share some of these with you beforehand so that you can more easily navigate the holi-daze and make sure that your already overbooked schedule is filled with the things this season that not only bring more joy into your life, but some tools and resources that leave you feeling better equipped to handle some of the stressors that come with this time of year!

Click HERE to get access to my favorite Mindfulness resources and tools so that you can reclaim the holiday season with ease!

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you through the thick of the holi-daze and bring the cheer back into your holiday!

Please leave a comment and share your favorite Mindfulness tip with me! That way, we can spread the word together!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

 

Gratitude and Thankfulness

Here in the United States, we shared a holiday focused on gratitude. We spent time with loved ones, with foods we cherish, and, for many, we spent time giving thanks for the abundance of our lives.

Gratitude brings with it many more benefits than has historically been recognized. We have come to discover in more recent years that gratitude not only helps us to shift our present state so that we can more fully participate with and experience our joys, but that gratitude can also facilitate our greater overall long term experience of happiness.

A Mindful awareness of our experiences with gratitude allows us to reframe what we experience. In doing so, we allow ourselves to both experience exponentially greater gains as well as to more fully immerse ourselves in what we still seek in our lives.

Yet, many people still find themselves focused on the deficits and paucities in their lives when they give thanks. Gratitude, to some, feels hurtful and frustrating – it might necessarily bring on painful reminders of what is still lost or unattainable.

It is precisely in these areas of awareness that we can be even more grateful – these pangs of pain and distress give us many signals as to what we may still need and what we do have that we may have lost sight of. It is gratitude that can allow us to create even more in our lives. Shifting our focus from the awareness of these deficits to the awareness of what we have even embedded within them allows us to receive and to give even more fully.

The following poem elaborates on this principle:

“Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.”

Be Thankful – Author Unknown

Please share a comment and let me know what you spent the holiday giving thanks for!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

 

 

Getting It Done!

Maybe you have been feeling overwhelmed by all the things on your to-do list. You might even find yourself holding your breath and rushing off from one thing to the next without even noticing. This time of year, in particular, you might feel like you are being swept up by all that you have to get done.

I recently shared some information on how we have become wedded to our busy lifestyles and never-ending to-do lists. For many of us, success and status are measured by how busy we have gotten and yet, we often wish we could slow down.

One of the challenges has become wanting to accomplish it all and yet slowing down the pace. While this might seem like an impossible feat, there are ways of slowing down while enhancing our productivity and performance. This way, we are not bombarded by feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and overwhelm so that we can still accomplish what we value and spend time relishing components of our lives that allow us to recharge. We can find ways to be more present in our relationships and also nurture our own physical and emotional well being – and, in turn, the areas we invest our energy into become turbo charged as well.

Read on for some tips on helping yourself become more skilled at improving your productivity!

Please share your experience with me – leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on how you slowed down your go-go-go schedules while focusing on the life you want to celebrate!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!