The Beach: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire

I am often amazed at the restorative power of nature.  Any metaphorical weight on my shoulders… any stress, confusion, sadness, or anger manages to lift and drift away (sometimes a little, sometimes a lot) when I spend quiet time outside.  Whether I am walking, biking, kayaking, or simply sitting, a little time alone in nature…

The Butterfly Effect: Mindfulness and Our Role In a Bigger Picture

Feeling insignificant?  Powerless?  We all do from time to time, especially when situations large or small seem to be spiraling out of our control.  Our inability to make things the way we want right now, or the helplessness we feel when reading about current events can make us feel like specks of dust being tossed…

Tricks to Enhance Your Mindful Walk: Identifying and Naming

Ah, language.  Isn’t it great?  Through speech and through writing we convey complex messages for infinite purposes.  Words help us inform, comfort, instruct, warn, entertain, question, and commiserate.  But first and foremost, it is through language that we label and name. Classification:  /klasəfəˈkāSH(ə)n/ noun.  The action or process of classifying something according to shared qualities…

Learning Versus Unlearning- A Takeaway from Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

I recently finished the New York Times bestselling memoir, Educated, by Tara Westover.  It is a book club’s dream title, as there are multiple themes and topics for discussion.  The author delves deeply into family relations, mental illness, women’s roles, off-grid living, holistic medicine, and more.  Like any good book, it made me think…  A…

Summertime Hygge: The Perfect Picnic

Hygge.  The Danish word may not have an English equivalent, but the concept resonates strongly and wordlessly in my American soul.  It’s a brilliant little term; a single word which manages to describe a mood, vibe, mindset, atmosphere, and belief system in just five letters.  “Cozy” is a word often used as an English synonym,…

Progressing Mindfully: Going the Extra Mile

I love to walk in the morning.  There is nothing more invigorating than a burst of fresh outdoor air to oxygenate the brain.  Add the surge in adrenaline and endorphins (and with luck, a nice sunrise), and I am ready to take on the day.  Usually, time permitting, I complete one or two miles.  It’s…

Lucky or Unlucky? Decide for Yourself

Feeling lucky today?  If so, why?  If not, why?  Believe it or not, your current situation or circumstances don’t matter.  It is your perception that determines whether or not you are fortunate, charmed, blessed, or indeed lucky.  This idea became crystal clear to me the other day when a seemingly unfortunate experience left me counting…

Cat Magic: Demystifying Their Hold Over Humans

My sister called the other day.  I could hear my young nephew sniffling in the background.  “Aunt Jen?  We have a problem here…”  I waited patiently on the line for the request for that special, crisis-averting, child-soothing nugget of wisdom she needed.  The kind that can only come from an adult who is not the…

Uncomfortable Truths Revealed In Isolation

I am grateful for social distancing.  This may sound obnoxious, considering the reason for this “new normal” is a wildly contagious illness.  Not an inch of our spinning sphere has not been impacted.  There are clearly those who have suffered and/or perished after contracting the disease.  There are the family and friends knocked down by…