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Mindfulness

Actually, We Have Lots of Chances to Raise Our Kids Right


I recently came across a Facebook meme that said, “You only get one chance to raise your kids right.”

My gut reaction to this post was, “Ugh. Well, I’ve already screwed that one up. Forget the college fund. I need to start a therapy fund.” The truth is that I get frustrated with my daughters, I snap at them, and yes, I have even been known to hide from them. (Only in the bathroom, and not...
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Mindfulness

The Cover of Time and The Reality of Mindfulness


I finally got my hands on the latest edition of TIME Magazine--the one with the serene, skinny, white, blonde woman soaking up rays or meditating or whatever she is doing on the cover.

The article on mindfulness by Kate Pickert was good if not surprising; it included a general overview of mindfulness, a bit of history about Jon Kabat-Zinn and the development of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and a summary of the...
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Meditation

13 Ways Mindfulness Makes Me a Better Parent


I recently got the following question on my Twitter feed: Do you feel meditation has really changed you? More relaxing, less stress? So on?

The short answer to these questions is YES! All of the above! But that answer isn’t terribly helpful, so I thought it would be useful to share just how my meditation and mindfulness practice helps me to be a better parent.

Before we get into the details, I feel compelled to...
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Mindfulness

Why I Write About Mindful Parenting

A piece of Thich Nhat Hanh's calligraphy I purchased at the conference last week.

“This meditation stuff is so great. You’ve got to do it. What a pain in the ass.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the individuals most responsible for bringing for bringing mindfulness and meditation to western popular culture, said those words at a conference I attended last week.

I...
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Mindfulness

Exciting News!

I am thrilled to share that I am currently working on my first book! The book will explore that which is most important in parenting: our relationship with our children, our ability to take care of ourselves, and how we can stay fully present through the ups and downs of all of it. It will draw on my personal journey through parenthood, my professional and academic experience in clinical social work, and my ongoing practice of...
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Mindfulness

Mindful Parenting: Finding a New Definition of Productivity


This weekend my family and I went away on a retreat to the mountains with a number of other families with young children. We had all been encouraged to leave our cell phones off, and I was happy to comply. It was easy to do because I wasn’t worried about getting things done or making plans for the weekend; my “job” while we were there was to hang out with my family and friends and...
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Mindfulness

Mindful Parenting: It’s Not About the Words We Use


Last week I wrote a post for about how much I didn't want my daughters to take ballet. Even though I didn't use the word "mindfulness," the post was essentially about mindful (and mindless!) parenting. My initial reaction to the ballet issue was based almost entirely on my angst about my own terrible experience with ballet in my childhood and my worries about the future and what ballet might mean for my...
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Mindfulness

Mindfulness: Can It Make Parenting Easier?


There’s no question in my mind that mindfulness can make us all better parents, both by helping us to stay tuned in to our own thoughts and feelings so they don’t unconsciously dictate our actions AND by giving us the skills and tools to truly connect with our children so we can best respond to their thoughts and emotions with kindness. I have found that my own meditation and informal mindfulness practices have made a...
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General

Mindful Parenting: Nothing Special?


I am currently re-reading Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. It's a long book, but well worth the time. I came across this quote and wanted to share it:

"In the Zen tradition of meditation, people are fond of saying that the practice is nothing special. The practice is nothing special in the same way that being a mother or giving birth is nothing special, that being...
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Mindfulness

Mindful Parenting: Will I Ever Get It Right?


“Wow. I’m never going to get this right."

Those words passed through my mind last night as I sat on the floor trying to focus on my breathing. I was in a conference room with nine other people, nine other parents who had also signed up to take a mindful parenting class at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

As I heard my classmates talk about their struggles with raising their children—most of...
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