gratitude

Mindful Living: An Introduction to Mindfulness and Meditation

In this course, we will explore meditation and mindfulness practices that can be used everyday to help reduce stress, increase a sense of calm, clarity, and connection, and create greater contentment in our lives.  Each class will consist of a discussion of mindfulness tools and the developing research on the neuroscience of mindfulness, as well as group mindfulness practices.

“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”

― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation include:

  • Increased attention, focus and concentration
  • Decreased levels of stress
  • Increased sense of calm, balance and equanimity
  • Improved mood
  • Greater ability to regulate emotions
  • Improved sleep patterns and overall sense of  wellbeing

Class Dates & Times:  Four week session begins February 26th.  Classes will  meet from 8 pm to 9:30 pm on Wednesdays, February 26, March 5, 12 and 19. Snow date will be March 26th.

Location:  Groove, 108 Chatsworth Avenue, Larchmont, New York.

To Register click here.

 

 

 

 

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Mindful Parenting Exercise:

The lesson that we are enough just as we are is such an important lesson to teach our children and to remind ourselves, as they struggle to figure out who they are and who they want to be.  Adolescence, in particular, is a time when children are constantly judging themselves by comparing themselves to others or their own view of who they think they should be.  We live in an age where children quantify their own worth by how many friends they have on Facebook or how many likes they have on Instagram.  As parents, we need to encourage our children to look inside themselves to discover their own inherent worth and inner strength.  We can do this by praising our children’s acts of love, compassion and kindness, and their willingness to try and take risks, rather than praising only their accomplishments.  In doing so, we teach them to value the strength of their character rather than value only their achievements.

Exercise #1:

Try the following exercise at home with your kids. At dinner, ask each person at the table to take a piece of paper and write down five things that they love about themselves.   Emphasize that these are for their eyes only.   See what happens.   It is interesting to see how easy or how difficult this can be.  Parents should participate as well.  There are no right or wrong answers and there is no need to share.  This is simply an exercise to get people to acknowledge their strengths and foster a positive self-image.  Younger children may find this easy and may ask if they can list more than five things.  It is the teenagers and adults who may have difficulty making this list. Encourage everyone to participate and take pride in the fact that they love things about themselves.  Another variation that might be easier for some, is to make a list of what they did well that day, something(s) they can be proud of.

 Exercise #2:

Another wonderful family dinner exercise is to go around the table and have each person say something that they love about another family member. It can be as simple as loving the way someone laughs, loving the way they are tucked in each night, or loving the silly faces someone makes.  Continue around the table as many times as you want, each time having one person speak about a different person at the table.  This may foster some laughs, some love and some real boosts in self-esteem.  It is also a practice in gratitude by recognizing the little things that others do each day that make us happy.

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Finding the Light in the Midst of Darkness

Finding the Light in the Midst of Darkness

by cheryl on January 3, 2013

in Meditation

In the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, we entered this holiday season with a heaviness in our hearts.  We struggle to comprehend the incomprehensible and to fill a deep hole in our hearts that seems impossible to fill when thinking of the 26 innocent souls that we lost on December 14, 2012.  Yet, we can emerge from this horrific moment in our history by focusing on the incredible acts of human kindness that we have seen following that terrible day.

We are now aware of the amazing acts of courage and selflessness of the teachers and staff who risked their own lives to save the lives of innocent children.  We have heard numerous accounts of first responders who acted with bravery and compassion in dealing with the horrific scene they found at the elementary school that day.   We have seen images of  people from around the country and the world, people from different backgrounds, with different religious affiliations and different political views, offering their support, sending gifts and sharing their love in any way they can during this time of national mourning.  Through these countless acts of kindness, we can feel a renewed sense of hope, inspiration and faith in the incredible strength of our basic human goodness.  This is the good in all of us that we must recognize and foster that can help us overcome our sadness, anger and grief.

 

When we see the heartbreaking images of those beautiful young children who were killed that day, we see in their smiling faces such joy, innocence and life.  This reminds us all to notice those amazing qualities in our own children, in ourselves and in the people around us.  We have heard the mourning parents speak about how blessed they feel to have had their beautiful children in their lives, even if only for a short time.   Their words remind us all how important it is to stop and take a pause in our busy days to notice the richness of our own lives and the beauty of all that surounds us, and not wait until it is gone to fully appreciate all that we had.  We are reminded to tell those we love how much we love them, to give our children an extra hug and kiss and to take the time each day to be fully present in our lives.   We are reminded that life is too precious to be lived unaware of its beauty each day.

 

So, in response to the tragedy in Newtown, we can find hope and inspiration to move forward toward a better future for ourselves and for our children.   We can take away so much from this tragedy that will help us to rise up, be strong, come together and foster the love and compassion that we all have an endless capactiy to give, which is the perfect tribute to those beautiful souls we lost in Newtown.

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Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

by cheryl on May 21, 2012

in Healthy Living

Whenever life is getting you down, try looking at things from a different perspective.  Here are some examples of how it works.

I am thankful for  . . .

For the wife who says it’s PB&J tonight for dinner because she is home with me and not out with someone else.

For the husband who is on the sofa being a couch potato because he is home with me and not out at the bars.

For the teenager who is complaining about doing dishes because it means she is at home and not on the streets.

For the crying of my little ones because they are still young enough to believe that I can kiss it and make it feel better.

For the taxes I pay because it means I am employed.

For the mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

For the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

For my shadow that watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

For a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

For all the complaining I hear about the government because it means we have freedom of speech.

For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking and I have been blessed with transportation.

For my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

For the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means I can hear.

For the pile of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been capable of working hard.

For the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means I am alive.

And finally, for too many e-mails because it means I have friends who are thinking of me.

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