f*** off time

Yikes. It has been several months since I last wrote a post. There have been many preoccupations in my life, all very important and appropriate.  I have enjoyed seeing clients, running workshops, doing admin work and contributing to discussions in the global arena of coaching. And I had spare time; I left room for gadget-free nights with my husband Karl and gathering with dear friends. And then I made sure I exercised enough, was eating right, getting enough sleep………….. Continue reading

what thoughts and feelings really are

canoe wall bridge_
The brain is a remarkable organ.

The evolution of the human brain reveals itself in the layered structures that give rise to reflexive action, learning, memory, and eventually self awareness. These components help to explain our often conflicting responses to life events. Under stress we experience physiological changes and emotional reactions that can overpower cognitive reflection. Complicating things further, our brains have a negativity bias that predisposes us to give greater priority to threatening or frightening stimuli and downplay positive events. The good news is
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attention, intention

I am a very organized person. This is part of being a minimalist. I set goals and I look for outcomes.
Also a part of minimalism is mindfulness. If I am consciously curating what I need and don’t need during the day then I am paying attention.
For example, I am ‘listening’ to my body while sitting at the computer. I notice that my neck and shoulders are stiff. What is happening? Sometimes my posture slips. Sometimes it is stress. I recall that I have not taken a break. I need to stretch. I know that stretching in the morning allows me to feel comfortable at my desk.
My goal is to do this before I sit down each day. My intention is to honour my body, to care for me.

a daily slow down

a photo of the author smiling broadly while on a swing in a playground.

An empty swing tempts this kid. (photo by Karl)

Say that title out loud and it sounds like a country dance. Yet the mood of this post is decidedly quieter with a lower heart rate!

My regular readers know that I practice mindfulness in the form of meditation and walking around my neighbourhood.  Even when running (walking?) an errand, I gently notice my surroundings which makes me smile and feel calm as I arrive at my destination. How can we get more of that feeling? Continue reading

just sit

a photo of Karl meditating in front of a window that looks out over dense green trees.

Morning ritual. (photo by Jo)

by Karl Pruner

What is meditation? There may be as many answers as there are meditators. As a practitioner for forty four years, I can only say for sure what it means to me. Meditation means rest. In meditation, my mind rests in the awareness of the present moment. Noises come and go. Thoughts come and go. I let them come and I let them go, without any action required on my part. I am not distracted because I have no goal, no expectation, no preferred outcome. I am awake but, otherwise, I’m on a short break from choosing, deciding, preferring, wishing, feeling, thinking and/or doing.

There are lots of meditation techniques, most of which develop mindfulness of the present moment by offering the mind a simple task, along with an invitation to gently and uncritically return to the task, each time you become aware that you have become distracted. One of the simplest techniques was described by Buddha. Continue reading