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0 comments on “Mindful Creativity: Highlights from My Smith Center Artist-in-Residency”

Mindful Creativity: Highlights from My Smith Center Artist-in-Residency

Mindful creativity is what I share with military service members, veterans, their families and friends, and staff when I serve as an artist-in-residence for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center each week. Read and listen to my latest interview with Smith Center.

Check out a short video I made during one of my breaks at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

 

 

0 comments on “5 Mindfulness Resources: Podcasts to Jumpstart 2018”

5 Mindfulness Resources: Podcasts to Jumpstart 2018

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January 2018 is almost over. How is it treating you? How are you treating it? When is the last time you slowed down and breathed deeply? How often are you present and aware of what’s truly happening? Need more mindful moments in your life?

I’d like to you invite you to explore how mindfulness can support you in your daily living, creativity, and career with the podcast resources below.

1) Mini Mindfulness Toolkit (43.40 minutes): Includes a reflection on the meaning of mindfulness, a tune-in (pre-meditation check-in with breathing exercises), a guided meditation, and journaling exercises

2) Be Present (16.31 minutes): Includes a body scan to help you relax and come into the present moment

3) Outsmart Stress with Meditation (16.56 minutes): Includes a basic guided mindfulness meditation

4) Open Your Heart with Compassion Meditation (20.07 minutes): Includes meditation that helps you have compassion for yourself when dealing with difficult people

5) Mindfulness on the Go (6.15 minutes): Includes breathing exercises and a guided mindful moment

 

 

0 comments on “Mindfulness & Self-Care Practices for #WomensMarch, Social Justice & Human Rights Activists”

Mindfulness & Self-Care Practices for #WomensMarch, Social Justice & Human Rights Activists

In 2017, I attended the Women’s March with my Sigma Gamma Rho Soror Karla Ray Thompson and Unity sistafriend Kim Davis in Washington, DC. It reminded me of the experiences I had while attending the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, Million Woman’s March in Philadelphia in 1997, and the March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC in 2004.

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Did you participate in the 2017 and 2018 Women’s March events? Are you involved in social justice and human rights in your local community, city, state, or country?

Your social justice and human rights’ work is important. The time you invest to support equality, fairness, and justice is appreciated. I have one question for you: how are you taking care of yourself as you do the work?

If you need tips and tools on how to practice self-care with mindfulness in your social justice and human rights work, listen to the #ThrivingMindfully Podcast. It includes three mindfulness exercises: a tune in (check-in), a meditation, and journaling. May they support you in your self-care practice!

0 comments on “Mindful Creativity: Celebrate National Vision Board Day on January 13”

Mindful Creativity: Celebrate National Vision Board Day on January 13

Have you ever used a vision board? A vision board is a mindful creativity tool you can use to help clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on the highest and best vision of your life.

I started using vision boards in the early 1990s after reading Julia Cameron’s The Artist WayI have used them for my artwork, business, career reinvention, fitness, home decor, personal style, relationships, travel adventures, yoga practice, and overcoming writer’s block with my creativity memoir, That Which Awakens Me: A Creative Woman’s Poetical Memoir of Self-Discovery and tech memoir, Digital Sisterhood: A Memoir of Fierce Living Online.

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A couple of years ago, I learned about National Vision Board Day, an annual celebration held on the second Saturday in January. National Vision Board Day is my opportunity to practice loving kindness as I give myself the gift of time to reflect on, journal about, and create a written statement and visual expression of my highest and best life. Last year I started my vision board process on January 14 and finished it several days later with three different vision boards (see a photo of one of my boards above).

This year I am spending National Vision Board Day as a creativity coach. I will be facilitating a vision board-making session with a client. Listen to the latest episode of the #ThrivingMindfully Podcast to learn how I use mindful creativity to help my clients create their vision statement and board. The episode includes a guided meditation, breathing and journaling exercises, and tips. Feel free to use it to prepare for your National Vision Board Day celebration.

Interested in learning more about how I help people just like you become aware of and express creativity in your own unique way while outsmarting stress and overcoming blocks and challenges? Check out my mindful creativity services.

0 comments on “Be Present in 2018 (Mindful Body Scan Podcast)”

Be Present in 2018 (Mindful Body Scan Podcast)

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Happy 2018!

Start your new year by making a self-care investment in being more present in your body, heart, mind, and spirit. Listen to the latest episode of the #ThrivingMindfully Podcast and learn how to be present with a guided body scan. A body scan can help you relax and connect with what’s happening in your body from head to toe (or toe to head), how you’re feeling, and what you’re thinking. It also trains your attention and can help you release pent-up emotions.

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1 comment on “Mindful Kwanzaa Reflection”

Mindful Kwanzaa Reflection

Happy Kwanzaa! In 1966, Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa as a reflective holiday that invites African Americans to celebrate their African heritage and support and strengthen their community. Kwanzaa reminds us how important it is to call on our ancestors and honor their legacy each day.

Umoja or unity is the first Kwanzaa principle. It reminds us to mindfully practice and express unity in our spirit, heart, mind, body, actions, family, and community. My yoga, meditation, and reiki practices support my practice of umoja. What supports your practice of umoja?

Kwanzaa allows me to be still and reconnect with my ancestors. They are always with me. They help me mindfully practice Kujichagulia, the principle of self-determination. When I tap into their presence, I strengthen myself from the inside out. Because of their love, wisdom, and sacrifice, I can BE my full self, live FREE, and speak my TRUTH with grace and ease. Deep bow of gratitude for their self-determination. It created me. Ase!

What does kujichagulia mean to you?

What are your favorite Kwanzaa principles?

How do you practice Kwanzaa?

 

 

 

0 comments on “#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week #4 – Equanimity”

#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week #4 – Equanimity

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Happy Holy-Days! Welcome to Week 4 of the #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity! Equanimity is the theme for this week.

I launched the Challenge on December 1. It’s hard to believe that we have reached the last week. If you missed the previous weeks, click on the links below.

Week 1, December 4-10: Loving Kindness
Week 2, December 11-17: Compassion
Week 3, December 18-24: Joy

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Week 4 of #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge: December 25-31

Equanimity or upekkha is a state of being that allows you to stand in the middle of whatever thought, feeling, or experience you may have with calm awareness and nonjudgment. Going within and being with all of your stuff (thoughts, feelings, and experiences) on a daily basis helps you plant seeds of equanimity in your garden of self-acceptance. When you give yourself equanimity, you are able to handle the ups and downs of life with more peace. You also access more loving kindness, compassion, and joy. In addition, your capacity to support others with loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity grows.

Theme/Video: Equanimity

Invitation: Slow down and take three deep breaths. Touch your heart with one or both of your hands as you enter into a moment of stillness.

Take three more deep breaths. Right where you are repeat the first prayer out loud or silently three times: May I embody and express equanimity for myself.

Take three more deep breaths and repeat the second prayer. May I share equanimity with others. Inhale deeply and as you exhale thank yourself for showing up in the stillness.

JournalYourThoughts

Reflection Questions and Journaling Exercise: Take some time this week to reflect on and journal about one or more of the questions below.

1) What does equanimity mean?
2) What does equanimity look like in your life?
3) What prevents you from embodying and expressing equanimity for yourself? and for others?
4) What do you want equanimity to look like in 2018?
5) How can you add more equanimity into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines?

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0 comments on “#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 3 – Joy”

#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 3 – Joy

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Welcome to Week 3 of the Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity! Each week during the Self-Care Challenge, you are invited to watch a video and participate in an exercise that includes breathing exercises, reflection questions, and journaling. If you missed the first and second weeks, click on the links below.

  • Week 1, December 4-10: Loving Kindness
  • Week 2, December 11-17: Compassion
  • Week 3, December 18-24: Joy
  • Week 4, December 25-31: Equanimity

Week 3 of #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge: December 18-24

Theme/Video: Joy

Joy is a choice to become aware of and rejoice in the JUICY moments that OPEN YOU up from the inside out. The JUICY moments are filled with goodness. When you can make this choice and appreciate and experience your own JOY, you develop the capacity to rejoice in the goodness of others. That’s called sympathetic joy or mudita. It starts first with you. Remember you are responsible for creating joy in your life. So get to it!

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Invitation: Slow down and take three deep breaths. Touch your heart with one or both of your hands as you enter into a moment of stillness.

Take three more deep breaths. Right where you are repeat the first prayer out loud or silently three times: May I embody and express joy for myself.

Take three more deep breaths and repeat the second prayer. May I rejoice in the joy experienced by others. Inhale deeply and as you exhale thank yourself for showing up in the stillness.

JournalYourThoughts

Reflection Questions and Journaling Exercise: Take some time this week to reflect on and journal about one or more of the questions below.

1) What does joy mean?

2) What does joy look like in your life?

3) What prevents you from embodying and expressing joy for yourself? and joy for others?

4) What do you want your joy for yourself and joy for others to look like in 2018?

5) How can you add more joy into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines?

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0 comments on “#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 2 – Compassion”

#ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, Week 2 – Compassion

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Today marks the beginning of the second week of the #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Did you miss the first week? Go here to learn about it. Feel free to start the challenge at any time!

Each week during the Self-Care Challenge, you are invited to watch a video and participate in an exercise that includes breathing exercises, reflection questions, and journaling. See the schedule below.

Week 1, December 4-10: Loving Kindness
Week 2, December 11-17: Compassion
Week 3, December 18-24: Joy
Week 4, December 25-31: Equanimity

Week 2 of #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge: December 11-17

Theme/Video: Compassion

Compassion or karuna is the act of never giving up on yourself as you recognize and accept that anger, jealousy, arrogance, judgment, and other emotions you prefer to keep hidden exist within you. When you are able to do this for yourself, two things happen. You are able to see the connection you share with others. You are also able to put yourself in their shoes which strengthens your capacity to have compassion for them. Compassion helps you never give up on yourself and others.

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Invitation: Slow down and take three deep breaths. Touch your heart with one or both of your hands as you enter into a moment of stillness.

Take three more deep breaths. Right where you are repeat the first prayer out loud or silently three times: May I embody and express compassion for myself.

Take three more deep breaths and repeat the second prayer. May I have compassion for others.

Inhale deeply and as you exhale thank yourself for showing up in the stillness.

JournalYourThoughts

Reflection Questions and Journaling Exercise: Take some time this week to reflect on and journal about one or more of the questions below.

  1. What does compassion mean?
  2. What does self-compassion look like in your life?
  3. What prevents you from embodying and expressing self-compassion? and compassion for others?
  4. What do you want your self-compassion and compassion for others to look like in 2018?
  5. How can you add more compassionate moments into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines?

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0 comments on “Befriend Yourself”

Befriend Yourself

Becoming your own best friend is one of the greatest self-care gifts you can give yourself. It is loving kindness.

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Take a moment to look into your eyes and befriend yourself today or this week. In that moment, ask yourself what you need to outsmart stress and thrive+work mindfully. Do one thing that helps you meet your need.

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Join the #ThrivingMindfully Self-Care Challenge, a four-week experience that invites you to practice and reflect on loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity.