Archives for death


5 Year Blog Anniversary and My Top 10 Favorite Posts from 2013

Believe it or not, five years ago starting a blog called Mindfulness and Psychotherapy seemed like a risky venture. At the time, some people I mentioned it to said, “Well, there are a whole lot of blogs that come and go within a year.” The integration of mindfulness, compassion and neuroscience as a therapy in our daily lives has now become key to millions of people. Through posts and interviews we've looked into practical applications for stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma, grief, happiness, joy, self-compassion, forgiveness, relationships, business, medicine, technology, politics and so much more.

Since the inception of this blog we've seen the publications of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, The Now Effect and Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler.  It has been incredibly rewarding to share these years with you and I wanted to thank you all deeply for all your interactions, they have been a source of living wisdom for me and the other readers to benefit from.

Now, here are my Top 10 Favorite Posts from 2013:

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Learn from the Dying, Live without Regrets

While regrets are things that most of us don't want, they can actually be good. They are teachers from the past for the decisions of today and tomorrow. They tell us what we would have liked to have done differently if we had known then what we know now. One of the greatest regrets people who are dying have is wishing they had been more present to life to have made different choices like not being so focused on other's expectations, spending more time with close relationships, not working so hard, having the courage to express feelings, and not buying into the negativity so much and choosing happiness.

But life is routine and routine is resistance to choice. But that can all change for us right now.

To live in the future without regrets, think about what in life are you allowing to be routine? As soon as we see the routine, we step into a space of awareness, a "choice point" to live the life we want to live, without regrets.

Have you allowed…
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When Forgiveness is the Only Thing Left to Do

Almost 15 years ago Saundra Adam’s grandson, Chancellor Lee Adams came into her life in the most heart-wrenching way. One night in 1999 after the past NFL player Rae Carruth and Cherica Adams went to a movie they got into separate cars to drive back to Cherica’s house. As Cherica parked another car drove beside her revealing a gun and fired a number of rounds into Cherica. At the time Cherica was in her third trimester with Chancellor and had enough energy to dial 911 and implicate Rae in the shooting. The paramedics got to Cherica in time to save her son’s life and performed an emergency c-section. Because of Cherica’s death, Chancellor had been oxygen-deprived and would spend the rest of his life with severe disabilities unable to feed and change himself.

But Saundra, his grandmother who inherited him tells this a different way.

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Lessons from the Last Round of Life

Human beings are social creatures and the fact is, we need one another for support and survival in this world. Too often in the midst of our relationships one person says or does something that offends another and a spiral of hurt and grievance begins between the two.

People get so boiled over with anger inside and make a choice not to connect or make amends with the other because "they don't deserve it." What we're missing in this picture is that this grudge, this boulder of anger we're carrying within us, is actually hurting us!

I have seen it now a number of times. "What was the last thing I said to him before he went out the door?" she asked on the day her boyfriend was killed in a tragic accident.

We're heard a resounding cry of this years ago during 9/11. Why does it take something so severe as death or threat of injury to bring us back to our senses to what is truly most important...our connections.
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A Secret to Resiliency in Mental Health

In the years that I’ve been working with people either directly in therapy or teaching mindfulness groups, I have been fortunate enough to witness some wonderful transitions. However, most of us think that’s where therapy ends, and one of the secrets to not only maintaining mental health, but continuing to thrive is by giving back and helping others.

This is what often gets forgotten, but Jeff Bell, author of many books, including Rewind Replay Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, has an answer that makes this opportunity easy to access.

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Voices: Mindfulness and Healing the Loss of Someone You Love

A short while ago I opened an opportunity for people to send me stories of mindfulness that can show the rest of us how it has had a practical impact on a particular event or their lives. I’m calling this column of Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, “Voices.”

A number of people wrote in with stories. If you have a story, continue to writing in and as long as there are good stories that teach the rest of us how mindfulness can work in our lives, I will choose from them from time to time to post on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy.

Of course those that get chosen can also send me a link that I’ll include in the post where people can learn more about them.

Here’s a truly touching story of mindfulness, grief, courage and healing by Mimi Handlin, MSW, Senior Certified ADHD Coach:
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Invitation: Get Your Story Posted on the Mindfulness and Psychotherapy Blog

A couple weeks ago I highlighted a therapist in Los Angeles named Stan Friedman who had a story of how he broke free from the auto-pilot of negative thinking and into a space of choice and possibility. I want to open this up as an opportunity for people to send me stories of mindfulness that can show the rest of us how it has had a practical impact on a particular event or their lives.

I will choose from them from time to time to post on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy to help give insight to the rest of us of how mindfulness can be practically applied for our health and well-being.

Of course those that get chosen can also send me a link that I’ll include in the post where people can learn more about them.
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A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook: Monday's Mindful Quote

There is a tradition on the Mindfulness and Psychotherapy blog. Every Monday, I cite a quote or a poem that is related to mindfulness and psychotherapy in some way and then explore it a bit and how it is relevant to our lives. For me, quotes and poetry can often sink me into a state of greater understanding.

This is a special day as it marks the release of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook. So, I'm going to begin with something from the book. We open up A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook with a very appropriate poem by Mary Oliver, entitled "The Journey":

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice—

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

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