Archive for March, 2012

Helping the Smoker in Your Life

Friday, March 30th, 2012

When someone you love is a smoker, it’s hard not to worry, and it’s hard not to nag.  In our work with smokers who are trying to quit, we often hear, “my spouse/kids/partner/grandchildren have been after me to quit for years.”

The key word here is “years” — in other words, when smokers do finally decide to quit, it isn’t usually in response to the pleas of loved ones, but because the smoker has finally found an internal motivation for quitting.  In fact, the “nagging” of a family member, while always well-intentioned, can have the unfortunate effect of making the smoker feel resentful and alienated.  After all, as a nonsmoker, you are focused on all the scary health consequences of smoking.

You may not know about all the things that make smoking so irresistible for the smoker.

Chocolate Cake For Dessert

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

“Topping off breakfast with a piece of chocolate cake may help dieters lose more weight…. In a study with nearly 200 obese, non-diabetic adults… participants who added dessert to their breakfasts – such as cookies, cake or chocolate – lost an average of 40 pounds more than a group that avoided such foods” (according to researchers from Tel Aviv U., source: APA Monitor, April 2012, Vol 43 (4)).

What do you think is going on here?


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Here’s a little “video” I put together a few weeks ago to go along with the Lotus Effect material. Enjoy.

Resource: Lotus Effect: Shedding Suffering & Rediscovering Your Essential Self

Identity Detox

Nothing Left Over But This

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Quinoa leftovers from the day before yesterday


yesterday’s Thai leftovers (of Tom Yum soup)


the leftovers of presence from today’s mid-morning zazen (meditation session)


a mindful eating moment, with nothing left over but this particular here-and-now.


Share your mindful eating moments at Mindful Eating Tracker

An Unofficial Apology to Smokers

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The antismoking crusade was ready to grasp anything that could demonize smoking, and in 1988 the US Surgeon General declared on his own authority that smoking was an enslaving addiction and that nicotine was a drug of abuse equal to crack cocaine. On its face the statement was and is preposterous, but the media loved its capacity to conjure anxieties and to foster allegations of dark conspiracies.… No official apology or change-of-mind admissions are likely to be forthcoming, as they should.

Gio Batta Gori, Virtually Safe Cigarettes

Smoking always was a bit of a hassle: you had to remember to take your cigarettes with you wherever you went, you had to make sure you had a light, and you had to have money on you to buy cigarettes. But at least you could smoke pretty much wherever you wanted. Things have changed.

You’ve been run out of society, like a leper. Tough break. Modern-day smoking—in a society of closeted hedonists disguised as puritans—has become a game of hide-and-seek in which you, the smoker, are hunted down and corralled into a designated “smoking preserve” by guilt-tripping public health crusades.

While Gio Batta Gori, the Health Policy Center epidemiologist and former tobacco-industry consultant quoted above, appears to call for an apology to the tobacco industry, we feel that the only apology necessary is owed to you, the smoker. This is an offer of apology to you. We feel that you have been treated unfairly, and we wish to make amends.

I’m Back, with Company

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

I’ve been on a kind of sabbatical from blogging on PsychCentral since last summer, busy with finishing my latest self-help project which is called Reinventing the Meal: How Mindfulness Can Help You Slow Down, Savor the Moment, and Reconnect with the Ritual of Eating.  The book is to be published by New Harbinger and is due out in September 2012.  In a separate post, I will share the foreword by Donald Altman, a former Buddhist monk and the author of One Minute Mindfulness and Meal by Meal.

In the meantime, allow me to introduce my new co-blogger, Marla Somova, Ph.D.  Last year, she and I co-authored the recently released Smoke Free Smoke Break: Stop Smoking Now With Mindfulness and Acceptance.  A few words from her…

Greetings PsychCentral readers and fellow bloggers, and welcome to the new and improved 365 Degrees of Mindful Living blog.  I am pleased to be joining my co-author and spouse, Pavel, in helping bring more awareness and mindful practice to many areas of your life.  We hope that this blog will be a place to discuss and learn about habits both good and bad as well as relationships with the people and things that shape your experience of yourself and the world.

Select books by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.:
Mindful Emotional Eating Reinventing the Meal
Present Perfect
Eating the Moment

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