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What goes into a blog post? Helpful, industry-specific content that: 1) gives readers a useful takeaway, and 2) shows you're an industry expert. Use your company's blog posts to opine on current industry topics, humanize your company, and show how your products and services can help people....

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Self-Compassion and Meditation

Written by Jude Johnson, MA, LMFT According to neuroscience, our brains our wired to focus on the negative as a survival strategy, so we are more likely to obsess over a snide remark made by a colleague, than we are to focus on a compliment given to us moments later.  If we are in physical pain, we are likely to focus intently on what hurts, rather than surrounding parts of the body that are at ease.  Since we are wired to judge and focus on the negative, we can find some relief by showing more compassion to ourselves when we recognize this familiar pattern. Kristin Neff, Ph.D., has pioneered research on self-compassion and notes three major components:  1. Having a sense of friendly and kind attention to...

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Three Quotes That Inspire Mindful Attention

Written by Jude Johnson, MA, LMFT According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, “the practice of mindfulness is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”  While this definition is accurate and from a well-respected authority on mindfulness, these words don’t fully capture the experience of mindfulness. Mindfulness teachers talk about paying attention with attitudes that are non-judgmental, curious and friendly, yet somehow, these descriptions rarely illuminate the true sense of being mindful.  Music and poetry are often able to convey concepts to our hearts and minds that go beyond an intellectual level.  There are several quotes below by Jon Kabat-Zinn that get to the heart of mindfulness and I hope that these quotes inspire you to learn more about the benefits of a mindfulness practice.  If you...

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A Step By Step Guide To Mindful Living

  The 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program was created by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and since that time, thousands of people have participated in MBSR courses offered around the world, including leading medical centers such as Duke, Stanford and Harvard.  MBSR is a step by step guide to mindful living that teaches you how to gain a greater sense of balance and resilience. Over the past three decades, extensive research has shown the effectiveness of MBSR. Research shows that most people who complete this type of course find: An increased ability to relax Greater energy and enthusiasm for life Powerful resources for coping with stress and uncertainty Enhanced stability in the midst of difficult situations Increased clarity and creative thinking Reductions in pain...

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Following my dream

For the last several months I have been working hard to develop my website, blog and podcast. I have been speaking at conferences and providing mindfulness trainings in efforts to start my first Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Class.  I love to teach meditation and the personal and professional rewards have been amazing.  Despite all the success, I have three people singed up for my first class that starts April 23rd and need at least two more to hold the class.  While I am concerned that all my efforts may turn out to be ineffective, I have decided that setbacks and apparent failures are part of the path to success.  I will never give up on my dreams because I believe that my persistence and commitment...

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Is Mindfulness Gobbledygook or a Path to Authentic Living?

  Some of the most stressful situations are ones with no clear solutions. When stress is chronic, we often turn towards judging, criticizing, and blaming.  We make attempts enhance or numb our experiences to avoid the pain.   Many of us turn to things like  food, drugs, alcohol, internet, television, video games, or just fill in the blank with your habit.  What is your go to strategy?  Think of the times you didn't want to face a situation. Maybe an unexpected bill, a conflict at work, or the loss of a loved one had you mindlessly eating a bag of potato chips in front of the TV or drinking in excess. We develop avoidance strategies like these because we don’t want feel unpleasant.  While we aim to be...

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Why is intention important? Really?

This questions could be answered so many different ways and many of us have different answers based on our circumstances and life experiences.  However, I believe that there are essential ways of paying attention that can allow us to experience the richness and beauty of life.  One practice that has significant value to me is remembering to have gratitude. As I was driving today, I was reminded  of a moment that I shared with my four year old son Carter.   We admired the beauty of a sunrise.  Reminding Carter that being grateful is important, reminds me to have gratitude. It is hard to remember what’s important when we are faced with stress, pain, illness or loss.  When you are under stress how do you respond?  Many of...

What you won’t hear about during halftime at the Superbowl

According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 90 percent of doctors’ visits are stress related. Stress comes from all areas of life: home, work, school, community, medical conditions, and relationships. We are often contemplating the next tasks on our endless to-do lists, anticipating scenarios in our minds that have yet to occur, and revisiting past events, resulting in a cycle that can be difficult to manage and may feel overwhelming.  While it is normal for our minds to wander into the past and future, this kind of mental gymnastics itself generates even more stress! As the scientific community understands more about the surprising impact of stress on our health, stress management has increasingly become an important focus of studies and research. As a consequence, recent...