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Exercises / Practices

Integral Practices for Times of Transition

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By Joy Reichart, New Ventures West, Guest Contributor

Gearing up as nature is winding down

How are you feeling this September? If you live or grew up in a place where the school year starts around now, you may have a mysterious, bone-deep response to this time of year. In the northern hemisphere, days start shortening, leaves start turning, and most beings prepare to hibernate and migrate. Meanwhile, human life picks up its pace, yanking us in the opposite direction of our animal instincts. Th…

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Feel you have nothing left? 3 Practices to replenish

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By Joy Reichart, guest contributor, New Ventures West

“I have nothing left.”

It’s a sentiment that’s been in our shared consciousness for a long time, and recently I’ve started to hear folks actually name it. Maybe you have too. 

World events have taken their toll, and many of us find ourselves with very little energy, resources, spirit left in us. The pandemic fomented a sudden shift in pace and orientation that revealed much of what is outdated and imbalanced in our lives, and in the world.…

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We Need to Rethink Anxiety - 3 Actions to Take

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By Max Strom, guest contributor

Why is it that so many people in urban environments across the world are now experiencing exponential growth in anxiety and depression? What can we make of the fact that anxiety is now an epidemic in America? It’s also alarming that suicide was the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 10 and 34. 

Most of us are thankful that we live in a time when we have medications for anxiety and depression, but I haven’t met anybody who wants to liv…

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How to Manage Your Attention in a World of Distraction

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By Mike Normant, guest contributor

You've engaged a mindfulness routine, and now you’re never disrupted by noise encountered in this busy world, right? Actually, I’m kidding...

Focusing your attention amidst life’s constant distractions is incredibly challenging, even for advanced practitioners. Hour to hour and day to day, it’s difficult not to get lost in thought or be pushed and pulled by the next interruption. 

 So that’s where the “superpower” of managing your attention comes in. I’d lik…

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In What Ways Can Mindfulness Help Create a More Peaceful World?

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By Brian Pappas, guest contributor

From the nightly news to the neighborhood barbeque, conflict and disagreement are all around us. A quick survey of the day’s news details the ongoing war in Ukraine and continued strife over immigration, gun control, abortion, the 2020 election, and COVID. Our national unity has been declining for nearly three decades. It seems anything can and does become contested and politicized -- even professional golf is now embroiled in conflict.  

As a mediator and a …

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How ‘free’ is our free time?

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By Joy Reichart, New Ventures West, guest contributor

Recently, as part of an organizational retreat—one that was centered on asking questions and being in a space of unknown, of emergence, of creation—we were invited to engage in a 24-hour media fast: no articles, books, TV, podcasts, social media. Essentially cleansing our minds and bodies of the incessant bombardment of other people’s words.

When the invitation was first issued I felt myself go white with terror. My panicked mind started pr…

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When Forgiveness Becomes an Act of Self-Care

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by Jim Blake, guest contributor

Sooner or later, despite our best efforts, every business leader will have feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, insecurity, and fear. Too often we ignore these feelings by pressing them down or attempting to put a positivity bandage on them. But avoidance will only lead to a cycle of repetition. Instead, we must have the courage to look at our pain, our sorrow, our trauma—and the feelings that result—without letting them define us.

Depending on your life experien…

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Self-Awareness: A Mindful Look in the Mirror

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By John J. Murphy, Guest Contributor

“What are you feeling right now?” asked the executive coach. “Good,” responded Bob without a second thought. “Hmmm,” the coach pondered. Then she reminded Bob of what he had been learning about emotional self-awareness and added, “Bob, tell me what you are feeling – the emotion - because good is not a feeling.”

How often have we been asked how we are feeling or doing, and we replied in this way?  A friend asks how we are doing, and we say mindlessly, “Fine,…

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Micropractices That Give Me Pause

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View Upcoming MBSR Classes


By Mary Beth Stern, Mindful Leader MBSR Instructor

One of the important tenets of a mindfulness program is not only to teach the experiential practice of formal meditation, but to impart practical tools for incorporating awareness into the unfolding of everyday life. In MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), these two pillars of practice are what distinguish mindfulness, not as a means to an end or a technique for achieving a desired outcome, but as a way of …

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3 Ways to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking With Mindfulness

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By Alex Tzelnic, guest contributor

According to the most recent Chapman University Survey on American Fears, 29.3% of those polled were very afraid or afraid of death while 29% said the same about public speaking. The fact that ceasing to exist ranks just a hair above standing in front of people and making legible noises is hardly surprising: dying is a tough concept to grasp, but anyone who has ever felt their pulse thump, their throat go dry, or their knees knock during a presentation can rel…

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