Articles

Thoughts, ideas, resources, and announcements for helping professionals and for all

Healing a Soldier’s Heart: A short documentary of a pilot program using mindfulness and loving kindness meditations.

This week, I would like to share a video I came across in the spring that I found interesting and inspiring. It’s a documentary of a pilot program that was run through Veterans Affairs in Seattle teaching to veterans mindfulness meditation, loving kindness meditation, and concepts related to compassion for oneself and for others.

The veterans in the group were all suffering in various ways, which you learn snippets of over the course of the video. The group members also experience positive changes over the program, Read more ›

in Articles,Compassion,External Resources,Mindfulness,Self-Compassion

Tattoos on the Heart and other reflections

Recently, I read the book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle (2010, Free Press). I do not remember how I learned of the book (I am thinking it may have been a library search) but for whichever way it came across my path, I’m glad that it did.

Gregory’s writing is filled with insights I could spend the next decade (if not the rest of my life) reflecting on and trying to live by and inspire. He is an ordained Jesuit Priest who worked for 20 years in the Boyle Heights of Los Angeles: Read more ›

in Articles,Compassion,Counselling Reflections & Skills,External Resources,Working with people who self-injure

A tip for when you are trying to relax…

Hello friendly readers. It’s been an absolutely gorgeous long weekend in my region and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it.

This video arrived in my inbox recently and I wanted to share it. It made me laugh out loud. The author of the email commented: “perhaps the delivery of the message is also important”. For those attending Read more ›

in Articles,Mindfulness

Bliss (April Photo Challenge Week Five)

Samples of my sources of bliss: being in wilderness, in nature, teaching, writing, reading, expressive arts, wholesome food, inspiring, caring, creating, listening to the songs of birds outside my window, sipping tea and watching the snow fall or the garden grow.

What are some of your own sources of bliss? While it may not be possible to inhabit them fully all of the time, could you carve out some time, even 5 or 10 minutes, to honour one?

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Torn, Muddy, and Golden (April Photo Challenge Week Four)

It is easy to fall down on your kneesFrom a long poem and wonderful book by Mary Oliver called The Leaf and The Cloud (2000, p. 48):It is easy to fall down on your knees
when the shining rain begins to happen.

It is easy to be thankful
for the bundles of wild roses
ledged along the dune.

Is is as easy as if you were yourself a flower in the field,
the rain tossing you and tossing you,

until you are that flower—
as torn as muddy as golden as that.

—-

I have always loved those lines and remembered them, if not exactly, but their essence in my heart. Read more ›

in Articles,Counselling Reflections & Skills

Look Closely (April Photo Challenge Week Three)

A quick glance from afar and we might conclude something is spent, dried up, haggard. We might feel this way sometimes too — even as if there is nothing good or workable. Stopping and slowing and looking closely, we can still find a gem. Sometimes we need help from an outsider and their view.

As always for me, the star reminds there are many paths, many points that can lead to and support the same centre Read more ›

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Balance (April Photo Challenge Week Two)

Balance. There is a concept in exercise physiology that to get maximum benefit, we need to alternate activity with rest, that we need to alternate more demanding activity with lighter activity, and that we need to have varied activity that differentially supports the development of flexibility, endurance, and strength. This sounds to me like a lesson for life. Students and hard-working non-students take note: in general one extreme or the other isn’t generally helpful. Read more ›

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Forever (April Photo Challenge Week One)

I imagine that the Forever inscribed and placed on this bench refers to the love and bond someone (or a group) has with another who is no longer living– a bond that will last forever. Encountering this bench made me feel quiet, and it made me also reflect on other bonds that we have and other commitments. Read more ›

in Articles,Compassion

April Photo Challenge: Photos and Thoughts

Life can be full of distractions. Maybe life is one distraction after another on some level and sometimes  satisfaction comes from engaging with what comes. I am moving offices May 1st and that has been one of my late winter/early spring distractions. To-do lists, anyone?

Of course, some things that come our way are very hard, painful, frightening, or sad. Then, if we can, being able to bring as much gentleness and care to ourselves (and others) Read more ›

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Heartfulness, Self-Compassion, Open-Heartedness

It’s been a while since I’ve written. The mid and late fall were taken up with seeing clients and with supervision meetings–preparing for what did end up being my final exam to complete my registration for autonomous practice with the College of Psychologists here in Ontario. (Note: I’ve passed. I’m done!) Tragically, a week later I experienced a heart-breaking loss in my life. Then it was the holidays. I’m unfolding from all of this and am both getting back to routines, as well as consciously and deliberately working to create some new ones.

Today I would like to share a quote from a wonderful little book I read in the fall by Jon Kabat-Zinn called Arriving at Your Own Door: 108 Lessons in Mindfulness. Read more ›

in Articles,External Resources,Mindfulness,Self-Compassion,Working with people who self-injure

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