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If your well has run dry, be it from lack of support at work or at home, economic uncertainty, or lack of control, you have to focus on yourself first. Noticing your breath is a shortcut to filling the well and investing in the deepest part of you, for yourself and those you love.

Eleven years ago, I left my dream job as co-founder of an art ranch and retreat center. People came for the weekends to enjoy art and live music, organic food, and yoga at a historic hacienda with incredible cliff-top views. Even though I taught yoga, breathwork…


Be kind to yourself.

“Like a river rolling through a canyon, self-criticism erodes the rock of our identity.”

A critical mindset has long been our silent, albeit superior partner. It’s often the master of ceremonies that keeps us in line and drives us to succeed. Self-compassion is considered suspicious, selfish, and too self-focused to have real benefits. Yet when we meet challenges with compassion, the brain responds in a way that keeps the body and mind calm. Engaging in compassion helps us to be more equipped to deal with problems and crises as they arise.

Peace resides in acceptance.

A few years ago, my mother scrawled this message in pink lipstick on her bathroom…


Thoughts can be sticky. So sticky that we can’t tell where they end, and we begin. We believe our thoughts and identify with their message. We give them our attention and coddle them, even when it would do us better to think about something else.

With this characteristic in mind, which thoughts do you want to make stick? Because the ones that stick determine your outcome — who you meet, what you see, and what you know.

Imagine you’re in the Sumatra rainforest. You hear parrots squawking, you can feel the humidity clinging to your skin, and then you see the most beautiful and delicate orchid hanging from a tree that captures your attention.


Keeping bees, attending the garden, minding the baby — these small acts of focusing our attention can change the way we talk, what we talk about, even what we dream. In these moments, we develop keenness in thought, vision, and hearing that pours over into the rest of our experiences because it becomes part of us.

Attentiveness to our experiences can soften the edges around a fixed mindset that sees the world in contrasts of black and white. Instead, letting the new information seep in and color our world with each further incident and reminding us that change is happening…


Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

Collective rituals are an important way to make connections, especially during the quarantine. They help mark time, create connections, and give meaning to others that otherwise would not have shared in these experiences.

Think back to a time in your childhood, maybe you played a team sport. For me it was softball. Imagine running back to the dugout, huddling together in excitement and chanting:

We don’t play with barbie dolls (x2)
We just play with bats and balls (x2)
We don’t wear no mini skirt (x2)
We just wear pants and t‐shirts (x2)

And when the bases are full:

That’s…


New ways of being demand new ways of thinking.

At each moment, we get to choose what to take with us and what to leave behind. Moments such as this, a pandemic that stops the world from working, magnifies our opportunities to adjust our values. Making a choice means engaging the imagination to realize a new way of being in the world. A groundbreaking choice that shatters convention.

How do we want this moment to influence the next?

In Italy, the city of Milan responded to the coronavirus crisis by calling for a change that focuses on having more outdoor space. The plan includes converting 22 miles of currently paved…


Know your emotions. Acknowledge them. Release them.

Honey Yanibel Minaya Cruz via Unsplash

Multiple studies show that engagement is one of the primary keys to happiness. When you participate with an enthusiastic, whole-hearted emotional investment, you are like a bubbly child on a playground. Understanding and then releasing emotions is the key to the kind of meaning that makes engaging worthwhile.

When you have an emotional commitment to your goals, you are more likely to reach them and do so with a level of effort beyond what is required.

Emotions give you clues about how to navigate your environment. They inform you when others cross your boundaries. They tell you when you need…


Thank you for caring, delivering, picking up, supporting.

Compassion is a state of being, a quality of self. It’s not an emotion; there’s no pity or sympathy, or even empathy for another. Hospital workers are the face of compassion right now. Along with other essential workers, they are currently the backbone of our economy. Nurses, doctors, hospital staff, and first responders top the list. Food delivery drivers, sanitation workers, caregivers, and good neighbors are keeping us safe in extraordinary ways. They are showing us the genuine meaning of compassion at work right now in the world. …


A result-oriented mindset sees only half the picture.

Pixaabay

Birds stay aloft by balancing both wings on the wind. A bird with one wing cannot soar to great heights or glide through the breeze on sunny days. Like birds, when we want to fly, we have to engage both of our wings. Ancient yoga texts compare the wings of a bird to the two states of being that we have to balance to soar — focused activity and relaxed ease. …


Unexpected moments offer us a chance to let go of what we think we know and can lead to the formation of new ways of seeing.

Pixabay

Planning is an essential part of structuring your day. At times, even that needs a sense of balance. Plan too much, and you become rigid, unable to veer from your habits — overthinking becomes the norm. Not planning enough dampens morale and motivation. Senses dull, and the mind becomes tired and scattered.

Too much thinking lands you on the thought loop carousel. You need an antidote — to listen out for your spontaneous nature.

Jane Arie Baldwin

Unwinding as You Age Expert

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