Real Love is possible!

    I am loving, Real Love, by Sharon Salzberg where she guides readers on a deeper understanding of love through direct experience and challenges both cultural myths and individual preconceived beliefs on love in relationships. Despite learning many of the ideas, concepts, and research findings she shares in this book through other mindfulness teachers and as a DBT trained therapist, I find this book refreshing, hopeful, and easy to both read and directly apply to daily life. 
 
     Sharon Salzberg, is an internationally renowned mindfulness meditation teacher best known for spreading lovingkindness practices throughout western cultures. I have immersed myself this month in both her Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connectionand Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Kindnessbooks as a support for taking on the Sacred Treehouse 100-day Challenge of Loving kindness Practice. For me, I have a found it easy to start this practice the moment I wake up each morning by bringing attention to the two furry babies snuggled in my bed. I just start with them each morning and then allow other beings to come to my mind naturally and I usually end by extending these wishes to be SAFE, HEALTHY, HAPPY, and FREE to all beings everywhere. 
 
     One of my favorite exercises in the book is bringing mindfulness to relationships by setting an intention to be open to the present moment, with curiosity to truly “SEE” the beings the universe brings our way. That’s right! Even the ones who may seem IN OUR WAY.  I love this and I often share one of my favorite “self-challenges” I use to move closer to people who are difficult, who reject me, or when I experience aversion or judgment toward someone. This is really an opportunity for awakening to my own conditioned beliefs and habits and to move opposite to them. Rather than reinforcing my automatic thoughts and feelings- I choose to move toward them with curiosity, first directed inward at my own reactions and then I shine a brighter, wiser light on them to bring awareness to what I may have missed by closing down upon experiencing the automatic judgments or emotional reactions.
 
     Here is an abbreviated version of the exercise in her book to try if you like challenges:
 

  1. Begin to notice your interactions with people in your daily life. Notice if your intentions vary depending on the person you are engaging with and if your expectations, assumptions, or judgments impact the interactions. 
  2. With each mindful interaction try to notice something surprising or try a new way of interacting and notice what arises.
  3. Even with familiar people bring curiosity to conversations by asking open ended questions.
  4. Consider including any difficult people you encounter into your daily lovingkindness practice.


Sending love and kindness,
 
Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty
 
Need support in overcoming obstacles?

Just email us at info@sacredtreehouse.org to set up individualized mindfulness coaching. 

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Opening the heart…again and again.

Living with your heart wide open may not feel safe or wise in each moment of daily life. However, this month I would like to invite you to take the STH (Sacred Treehouse) challenge to practice opening the heart every day, for 100 days. That’s right -100 days of LOVINGKINDNESS practice.

The practice of opening the heart can help us restore the ability to open when safe, especially if the heart is closed or guarded from the inevitable wounding of the heart that happens in this human life or worse may be  closed as a protection from early trauma.

WARNING: Opening the heart can be painful! You may notice that I express some warnings when I invite people to explore or deepen a practice and it is to help those who are not currently part of a community or Sangha to proceed carefully. In this case if your heart is closed as a protection you may experience some of the pain that is there as you start o open and connect with the heart. This is not indication of doing it wrong or not being helpful-in fact it is part of the process of opening the heart to all that is here. To feel love, joy, and compassion we must open up again and feel it ALL.

If you need support return to Sangha on Tuesday evenings, or are you out of your mindfulness practice? If you are an MBSR grad you may attend the next  full day silent retreat- February 28th 10am-4 pm.by signing up here:         

                                        MBSR Full Day Retreat

Want to take the 100 DAY CHALLENGE? Here are recordings to get you started.

  Patty Shutt’s Guided: Lovingkindness 

 Chris Germer

Sending love and kindness,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty

Need support in overcoming obstacles?

Just email us at info@sacredtreehouse.org to set up individualized mindfulness coaching. 

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Living and loving from the heart

February brings to mind so many things that symbolize love and connection to me such as Valentines Day, my sisters birthday, and the month of our traditional heART show, hence the photo chosen this month. 

Living and loving from the heart can be joyful and painful, and despite preferring the joyful part, our lives are deeply enriched and often propelled toward greatness from a place of feeling the painful side of love. Further as we bring more love to ourselves and others who are experiencing the painful side of love we can crack open the endless wellspring of loving connected presence. 

So how do we live a heart centered life? Well most  readers can guess I would recommend starting with mindfulness as a foundation of self awareness that can expand  further into deepening awareness of our interconnectedness and also deepening our awareness of what matters most. It is critical to develop mindfulness with kindness, or what has been coined “Kindfulness”. 

When we start with ourselves and cultivate kind awareness, then self acceptance, understanding, and love can grow where once lived criticism, judgments, and hatred. Living a heart centered life requires us to tap into our heart and open it up. Unfortunately for most people this process of opening the heart can bring forth pain and all the experiences, beliefs, and emotions associated with past times our hearts have been hurt, broken, or even smashed. 

So why bother?

Witnessing the reopening of the heart is painful and often a struggle that requires great assistance from others and perseverance in facing unfelt parts of the pain of being harmed or neglected. Yet witnessing those who continue to live with hearts closed is far more painful. I guess that is part of why I do what I do for a living, as a psychologist and mindfulness teacher I am dedicated to helping people reduce their own suffering and start to live and love again. 

For those reading this who are still protecting your hearts, it is critical to know that it is okay and even understandable because whatever we discover that “protects” us can be difficult to ever release or let go of because it may have helped you to survive. Surviving is critical, however the skills and tools  used to survive are ones that often get in the way of living and loving. So my wish to anyone reading this who is living with their heart closed, I wish you the safety, and the love and the self-kindness that is required to open the heart again to feel the joyful side of love and connection. 

For those whose hearts are open my wish is that you will give space and time and send that loving energy to people who are suffering, especially those suffering from a heart that is wounded. We are healed through loving connected presence and each person who cultivates loving connected presence is a healer and is healed when they are in that state. 

So what is loving connected presence?

It is mindfulness + love and kindness + connection in community. When we cultivate one we can grow in the others, however when we practice and cultivate all three we can begin to live our life from this place and this is where the miracle or magic of mindfulness appears. 

You don’t believe me?

It’s ok- don’t -just try it and discover for yourself how mindfulness + love and kindness + connection through community can transform even the most brokenhearted. 

Not sure where to start? 

Start with beginning mindfulness classes, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) that are all available at the Sacred Treehouse or if you need more support check out DBT at the Therapeutic Oasis or in a therapy practice in your state or country so you can receive professional help from a  therapist who is trained in Mindfulness Based Interventions or (MBI’s). 

This month we will continue to share guided practices designed to increase loving connected presence and inspire readers with books and interviews of people who are turning the painful part of love into healing. 

Sending love and kindness,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty

 Need support in overcoming obstacles? Just email us at info@sacredtreehouse.org to set up individualized mindfulness coaching. 

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Beginning again and again…100 times!

 As we end the first month of 2021 and this chapter closes in our lives, I would like to invite you to simply drop into this moment…right here….right now… pause and notice all that is here.

This week I am happy to share a brief guided practice to cultivate a way of beginning again, both in formal practice and also a way to begin again in daily life. 

The guided practice is less than 10 minutes so feel free to use it as a beginning to your practice each day or if you have stopped practicing…begin again with this guide practice. 

           Click Here: Beginning again and again!

Journal prompts:

1. Take some time to reflect on the ways you have already chosen to begin again this month, this week, or today.

2. Notice any judgments of self and others and try to let go of what did not happen, what you did not do this month, or what did happen and what you did do, good or bad, happy or sad. Simply notice what the mind clings to and write it down...then let it go by returning back to the present moment again and again. 

3. Identify what has served to support, motivate, and inspire you this month to live more mindfully, to practice, to be present in this moment. create a list, practice gratitude both toward yourself for any small or large steps toward conscious living and others who inspired or supported you. 

4. Write some personal notes, texts, or emails of gratitude (and include yourself by writing a letter of thanks!).

Finally, remember that wandering off the path of presence is part of this path, wake up, bring acceptance and kindness toward yourself (and others), then begin again.

With Love and gratitude,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Nourish your mind…it matters!

Only three weeks into the month and the new year, and my best laid plans with all the positive vibes and intentions hit a wall. Splatt! How about you? Perhaps you are sailing into the new year with ease, yet all around us there is turmoil, tensions, fear, and division. It landed me in just the position I needed- stillness. Unfortunately it was not the kind of stillness that was pleasant and soothing or even welcomed. nonetheless I am certain it was just what I needed. 

      I struggled to find words or inspiration to record my intended practice for this week’s blog entry and so I just sat and sat and sat until I finally acknowledged all that was here. The new chapter is not all good, not all cheery, and I was struggling to generate a guided mediation to support others because I needed to be still and do a bunch of nothing and feel all my feelings that went unfelt the past 10 days.

     Then finally I turned toward my inspiration, my books, and today it was Pema Chodron’s, Comfortable with Uncertainty thatcalled to meIt is filled with one page passages that guide meditators both on and off the cushion to build the inner strength to face each day with courage, hope, and most of all love. All three books by Pema lay by my bedside and nourish my mind when I get scared, overwhelmed, or even lost. My first meditation teacher, Eknath Easwaren taught his 8 point program that included meditation, and number eight was to read 30 minutes a day from the teachings of the mystics and so I owe this habit to my beloved teacher who instilled something that I can turn to when, “things fall apart”. 

     Sending Metta to you and all beings and may we cultivate inner peace and spread love everywhere we go. And when you face darkness- may you have a book nearby to ignite your light again so together we spread love and hope over fear!

With Love and Gratitude,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse faculty

 Need support in overcoming obstacles? Just email me us at info@sacredtreehouse.org to set up individualized mindfulness coaching or join our upcoming classes of MBSR or MSC for guided practices in a supportive community.

Go to www.sacredtreehouse.org

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Living Mindfully with Lizzie Shutt

As we promised each month we would be interviewing and sharing a special guest who embodies mindfulness off the  cushion and it is an honor to share this audio interview with Lizzie Shutt, @livwithliz and Lizzieshutt.com. 

      Lizzie is a senior at UF, majoring in horticulture and has her own holistic health coaching business and consciously connecting blog. She shares her intention to SERVE as a mentor, a guide, and a proud contributor to many like-minded non-profit organizations, such as #unlitter, heARTshow.org, and WISETRIBE.us She is clear about her mission to help foster a connection between oneself and nature and be a guide for others to live a healthy, fulfilling life, while consciously living in harmony with nature. 

     Lizzie shares with us the new chapter she started this month as she co-hosts an online course with yoga instructor Bailey Walick called The Yoga of Living: Alive to Thrive.  Checkout @baileyyoga on youtube for a gentle evening bedtime yoga.

Listen here to full interview:

Living Mindfully with Lizzie

With Love and gratitude,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse faculty

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Beginning a new chapter: January 2021

 I always appreciated new beginnings, especially as a student in school when a new year or semester began and I started a new notebook, it was like a clean slate. There is a sort of freshness to starting new and through the practice of mindfulness I have learned to incorporate beginner’s mind into daily living. A fresh, open, curious mind can lead to feeling fresh, lighter, and more open hearted. 

     The start of a new year lends itself to bringing on the same feelings of a fresh start, even if it is just another day. Perhaps, if we approach this month, the beginning of a new year with beginners mind, we can invite in new ways of perceiving and experiencing the same old things. Maybe nothing changes much at all, except our approach to it and this can change everything. 

     This new year, new you vibe inspired me tc change the look and feel of this blog, while still delivering inspiration for mindful living. Ghandi’s reminder that your life is your message will guide me as I set out this year to live more mindfully, bringing inspiration to our students and readers from the treehouse faculty, our favorite authors, and other people in the world taking mindfulness off the cushion. Each month we will highlight an individual or group who emanates mindfulness in daily life through their work, their passion, and their actions. 

 What is the message you are sending to the world? 

     Would you like to revise this message? If so to what? 

     What actions are needed “to be” this new message?
      

     Remember, new year- new you, so take this opportunity to set your intention on BEING a positive message. Sacred Treehouse is committed to planting seeds of peace, hope, and love. So let go of the past and know that with beginners mind you can begin again, a new chapter. Be sure to let go of perfectionisms, because there is no perfect message, you are allowed to struggle, and you get to begin again, and again, and again. 

     Need support in overcoming obstacles? Just email me us at info@sacredtreehouse.orgto set up individualized mindfulness coaching or keep a look out for group classes (all virtual for now).

With Love and gratitude,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse faculty

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Mindfulness: Make it a Habit!

How can something be so simple and yet so challenging? As Sharon Salzberg states, “mindfulness is not difficult”, right? Or is it? I guess with all things so profound and deep we will discover the presence of a dialectic where it will contain (both/and) both simple and complex, easy and difficult, all at the same time. People often give up before really giving mindfulness a shot because there are so many preconceived notions and narrow views about mindfulness, meditation, and even yoga, often filled with images of monks sitting in a lotus posture or a perfectly sculpted body in tree pose. For most people the practices will be challenging from the start because the mind and the body are often moving at a pace that will generate discomfort, unease, or irritability as you attempt to focus attention and slow down. 

I like to think of mindfulness as a muscle, and as a human being we all come equipped with the capacity to exercise, tone, and build our muscles. For the weak and less conditioned body, it will be difficult to repetitively lift a 45-pound weight, just as it will be difficult for a beginner in mindfulness practices to sit for a 45-minute meditation. What changes over time? If one lifts the weights regularly, they build up muscle strength and the stamina to increase the weight and duration. If one practices mindfulness daily, they too will build up mind strength to stay focused and present for longer durations. Again, as Sharon points out we need to “remember to do it”. The practices are simple and yet hard to discipline the body and mind to engage in the regular practices long enough to become a habit….it is only then that we can remember to be mindful just as we remember to wake up, to sleep, to eat,  to brush our teeth, or to use the restroom. The state of mindfulness will become just like that of a satisfied belly, a good night sleep, or the comfort from a love one’s embrace. As your practice develops and you come to truly know and embody the state of mindfulness, there will eventually be a pang, or a sense in the mind and body when you get lost or caught up that will call you back to cushion, chair, mat, or walking practice. The return can be like coming home from an arduous, freezing mountain climb to find a warm fire and hot meal or for my fellow Floridians, like coming home from a brutally hot summer workday to a cool pool and an ice-cold lemonade. Ahhhhh…..home at last! 

For me having the accountability and a support of a community, our Sacred Treehouse Sangha, motivates and inspires me to continue even during difficult periods of my life. For beginners, the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR, is a great way to get exposed to various practices with the support of a community for a long enough duration to cultivate a daily habit that allows you to feel the pang or sense in some way a calling back to mindfulness when you get caught up in the past or future (8 weeks to be exact). We all have those pangs or callings and sometimes we get fooled into feeding them cookies, or booze, or online shopping. Yet none of those things can satisfy us like the returning back home to mindfulness. When one learns to rest in awareness then one has found the path to where mind, body, and soul can be at peace, even amidst the challenges of life.

Don’t just believe me, try it for yourself and I mean really try it out, meaning make a full 8-week commitment and join us in 2021 to build a mindfulness practice and daily habit. Dr. Nikki Davis and I will be co-teaching a virtual LIVE class on Zoom and we look forward to having you join our community and gain the support you need to build a mindfulness practice that is right for you. If you are an MBSR graduate, look for our advanced offerings of Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) or take your practice off the cushion and into your life with “Live with Lizzie” in The Yoga of Living Course. Check it out HERE….after all- the point of daily practice is to wake up and bring mindfulness to living fully in presence. Stay tuned for a growing Sacred Treehouse community and more opportunities, both virtually and in person as 2021 unfolds. 

May your holiday and new year celebration be safe,
May you be healthy and strong in mind and body,
May you be truly happy and content, 
May you be peaceful and calm,
May you be filled with lovingkindness and compassion, and 
May you live with ease.

With Love and gratitude,

Dr. Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty

Patty Thomas Shutt, is the founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a Licensed Psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Be the present!

Take the NO PHONE pledge: 

I will put down my phone this Holiday for 3 or ___ hrs a day to be fully present with those I love. 

Go ahead take it….Express it out loud, making a commitment to those you are with in person or virtually this season. Consider putting it out of sight or on silence. Then turn toward your friend or family member (s) who are present or afar (on the phone or video). Look them in the eyes; listen with intention; let go of your expectations; be curious and give each and every person your unwavering awareness. 

I know it is difficult and there are real limitations, however I challenge you to take this pledge and see what happens.

Observe what this approach does to your experience moment-by-moment — you may find that it expands and deepens your connections, as well as your sense of the memory after the moment passes. You’ll likely discover that presence is one of the most precious gifts we can give and is needed more than ever. Our presence adds far more value to both our lives and the lives of others than any material object can.

Most of us would like to think that we are present in our daily lives, but the truth is that so many of us live a far distance from ourselves and from our experiences. We often operate on a sort of autopilot of feeling and behavior not just in the midst of our daily lives, but even more in the face of those who matter most to us, our loved ones.

With the simple and repeated practice of awareness, we can give presence to everything the season brings — from warmth and joy, to difficulty and tension — without needing to change or fix anything. We may find that being better connected to the moment in this way, a better connection to our self and to our family and friends begins to grow and flourish.

Mindfulness is not just a gift for us individually, but collectively too. In these challenging and turbulent times of division, discord, and the pandemic, mindfulness has the power to reinforce the shared humanity that holds us all together. The individual is reflected in the collective, and when we bring awareness to the way that we relate to ourselves individually — that is, when we develop deeper understanding  and acceptance, through mindful attention and a more compassionate connection with our self — this becomes mirrored in our interactions with those around us in the collective. It’s contagious. However, just like a virus, some are more immune to spread than others, so practice patience, don’t give up,  and be sure you lead through example not by issuing “orders or demands”. Keep your eye on your behavior and intention to give the gift of MINDFUL attention and let us know what gifts it brings to you and others around you this season. 

Want to learn more about mindfulness? Get more intensive training? Check out the virtual offerings and consider giving yourself the gift of mindfulness in 2021 at the virtual Sacred Treehouse. Just click HERE

May you and all beings be safe, healthy, happy, and loved this season and may you get to taste the sweetness of mindfulness and whatever else it brings.,

With love and gratitude,


Patty and The Sacred Treehouse Faculty

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.

Sense and Savor the Holidays

Mindfulness is all about getting out of our heads and into the present moment and the best way to do that is by connecting with our senses. Why? Because we can’t smell tomorrow,  or feel yesterday! The Holiday’s are such an amazing opportunity to practice mindfulness, even with all the restrictions placed on us this year. We can expand, open awareness, and take in the beauty, the sweet and  savory, and the music. Bringing present moment awareness unlocks the potential to see with beginner’s mind and allow the present to bring what gifts it has to offer. 

Some tips on using your senses:

When you do venture out shopping for gifts or taking a casual stroll, be sure to really tune into the sights, sounds and smells (if you can through your mask) of the season. Feel the winter weather change, perhaps cold and frosty or just a slight change in humidity. Notice how the Christmas songs can take you back and give you a certain feeling inside, take in the smell of pine needles and holiday lights. Be present for these things and truly observe the sensations in the body.


Mindfulness not only helps with truly savoring all the traditional treats the holiday brings, it also helps limit the overconsumption that often accompanies holiday parties and family meals. We tend to end up consuming more food and drinks than feel comfortable.  This holiday season is the perfect time to practice using mindfulness to help us determine when we’ve had enough. By really savoring our food and drinks more slowly, we can naturally notice when we’ve had our fill. We can use mindfulness to check in with our bodies and follow the signals that it sends about fullness. So rather than acting when our mind says: “I want another cookie!” we can listen to what our belly says. If you notice that you are comfortably full or maybe that your belly is already bursting then pause, thank your mind for that thought and try to leave the cookie platter — or simply close your eyes and smell the cookie. Sometimes savoring with the nose is just as amazing as savoring with the tongue. Try it out!

Another big part of mindfulness is acceptance and compassion and this applies not only to others, but also ourselves. Set the intention to be kind to yourself! We spend so much time leading up to the holidays thinking about everyone else and trying to create the perfect atmosphere for everyone. Make a point of just noticing how you might be putting too much pressure on yourself, or beating yourself up when things don’t go as planned, or feeling like you ate too much. In those moments just remember to take a few deep breaths. And like you would tell a good friend: don’t be so harsh with yourself, you are human!

In the frantic race toward the holidays, we might  forget that — as beautiful as Christmas can be, as special as Chanukah may be to you, and even the celebration of Kwanzaa — they are just another day (s) that will come and go. Bring awareness to the expectations you might be holding for the season. Every time you notice your mind racing ahead and creating inflated or unrealistic expectations, just take a few breaths and come back to the present moment. The same intention can be made when thinking about any family gatherings you have planned this year if you are fortunate to live nearby. The mind can anticipate and create an expectation of past drama already being played out in the mind. Ruminating about what could happen won’t help and will only makes you more tense during the days before the event. Let go of any expectations and greet the day when it’s at the door.

Pay attention if the mind starts to “should” on your holiday season and practice acceptance and gratitude for what is present. if your celebration is on video chat this year, make teh best of it! However, if you need time to grieve any losses, especially loved ones, give your self ample time to feel the love still aching in your heart and turn toward it with kindness and warmth. Know that you need extra special care when grieving so really let go of as many demands, expectations, obligations, and let yourself feel what you feel because there is no “right” way.

My heart goes out to those who lost a loved one or suffered greatly this year. May your heart feel the love and compassion that I call around you and may you find some peace and ease in the moment of presence.

With Love and gratitude,

Patty and The Sacred Treehouse faculty

Patty Thomas Shutt, founder of Sacred Treehouse, is a licensed psychologist and co-owner of Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches Dr. Shutt is passionate about helping others discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.  She offers Beginner Meditation & Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse, in addition to Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self-Compassion and various book studies throughout the year.