Before you close your eyes: things to know about meditation

"Do you meditate?" It's a common question these days. Almost everyone I speak to has taken a mindfulness program or is looking for a place to learn how to meditate. It's an exciting time as well because, as healthcare professionals, we're finding ways to help people that seem to be making a difference in their lives. [...]

10-Minute Mindful Movements Practice

Before attempting any movement practice, please follow the advice you have been given by your physician, physical therapist, or any health care professional about your range of motion, injuries, and physical limitations. Recognize that this is your practice.  You must listen to your body and only work to your level of ability.  If the practice [...]

5 Essentials to Help Your Mindfulness Practice

At the start of our Mindfulness Based Symptom Management (MBSM) program, I ask the participants what they think mindfulness is. They usually say some version of "Being in the Now" or "The Present Moment".  I ask again at the end of the eight weeks and typically they say, "It's being aware" or "It's knowing that everything [...]

Are you weaponizing your mindfulness skills?

Allan faithfully attended each class of the Mindfulness-based Stress Management program we offer at the Ottawa Mindfulness Clinic. He shared openly about his anxiety and insecurity as a father to three children and a son caring for ill parents. The heart of his distress though was in his relationship with Debra, his partner of 15 [...]

I am not this body: Mindfulness for Pain Management

Pain is unavoidable. We inhabit a system that is engineered to become wonky, cranky, and otherwise uncooperative over time. We know this conceptually but not when and how it matters. Why me? What now? tend to be our responses when the body fails us - as it inevitably does. In case you think this is only a [...]

Self-Compassion Practices for Emotional Distress: It’s not just about being kind

Self-Compassion practices and programs are gaining momentum in psychological treatments and look like they might well become the next wave of transforming our painful feelings. Mindful Self-Compassion (1), developed by Drs. Christopher Germer and Kristen Neff, is an approach that can be both an adjunct to conventional therapies as well as a stand-alone treatment model. The interesting [...]

Solitude, Solstice & the Longest Night

  We enter solitude, in which also we lose loneliness… True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible. One feels the attraction of one’s most intimate sources. In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives. The more coherent one becomes within oneself as [...]