Week 36/Mindful Media Consumption: Tools to Hone Our Inner Wisdom

Melting Arctic ice, hurricanes, bailouts, unemployment, presidential elections, inflation, deflation, recession, depression! We are surrounded by an endless stream of anxiety inducing information – through TV, the Internet, newspapers, radio, and conversation. It is important to be aware and informed citizens, but what is “news” really, and when does another story become something other than news? We turn to various sources for insight to help us deal with uncertainty, and to calm our fears, but rather than clarifying or keeping us well informed, is this media information instead cultivating fear and anxiety? Is our habitual looking or reading simply making us more anxious rather than keeping us informed or educated?

As yoga practitioners and citizens of our society, what can we do about fears that arise in our lives and how can we use the many ideas and tools of yoga to help us cope in these stressful times? Below are some suggestions, both through action and with thought. Choose one or two to begin, but eventually you might find them all slowly working their way into your life. If you benefit, we ALL benefit.

  • Be clear about why you are listening to/reading the news. What are you trying to gain from it? What is your intention and are you achieving this intention? The yogis say that what you put in your field of awareness is food for the senses.
  • Consider limiting your access to the deluge of information. Perhaps even consider taking a “fast” from the news. This will give your nervous system time to settle down.
  • If your life has been affected by difficulty, try to use it, as much as possible, for positive growth and as an opportunity for change.
  • To transform your fear, be present with your feelings, shine the light of awareness on them and have self-compassion for your challenging feelings. Know you are experiencing fear, but you are not your fear.
  • Be mindful of your choices of actions and thoughts, and how each choice affects your state of mind.
  • What nourishes you? Do more of it.
  • Restore yourself through rest or relaxation.
  • Think thoughts and do actions that help you feel connectedness, both inside and outside yourself.
  • Meditate and/or breathe every day. Allow this to be a time to simultaneously connect and to let go.
  • Volunteer your time to those who have less – called Seva (a form of karma yoga, self-less service).
  • How much is enough? Perhaps you really have everything you need?
  • Every day, list three things for which you a grateful.

Yours, in service,

K.O.

Kathy Ornish, c-IAYT

Kathy Ornish is a practicing and certified yoga therapist (c-IAYT) and a certified yoga teacher (E-RYT-500). She serves as Senior Faculty at Gary Kraftsow’s American Viniyoga Institute where she is Faculty Specialist in the Viniyoga Foundations Program for Teaching and Yoga Therapy. Kathy’s yoga therapy practice involves addressing individual’s structural, physiological, and emotional conditions. Her primary emphasis in all her teaching is the breadth of the yoga tradition using the appropriate application of the many tools of yoga in hopes that she can help people realize their highest potential.  For more information, please visit her website at www.goodspaceyoga.com

Week 35/Hurricane Edition: Calm in the Storm

Dorothy Hunt’s quote brings me great solace and comfort as I sit down to prepare this week’s mindfulness post, which will reach many readers that are busy preparing for Hurricane Dorian. The ability to receive warnings and track major storms brings both the ability to prepare in advance, as well as many days of potential angst and panic. It is in times like this that I draw upon mindfulness practices to help me weather the internal storm brewing in both my mind and body, as worry thoughts of the potential storm impact start creeping in. The most effective tools for me all start with AWARENESS of my thoughts, followed by a willingness to accept the thought as just a thought, and then a great big deep breath, followed by a slow steady exhale.

The pre-storm hysteria can bring out the worst in people. We see a lot of irritability and anxious energy released through the fight response and this is often projected onto those in close proximity, like our loved ones. The anxiety brought on by a storm warming or any other warning functions as an adaptive mechanism in humans to energize and activate us for preparation (the flight response). In these moments, it is important to recognize the common humanity of people your encounter – rushing through stores, getting gas, and trying to secure their homes. At times the intensity of the anxiety in an individual is excessive (because of multiple stressors and/ or a preexisting anxiety disorder) and may lead to immobilization, best known as the freeze response. The fight, flight, freeze responses are all responses to signals of danger and it is helpful to recognize the presence of these states.  If you are anything like me you may find yourself moving through all of these states over the next week. Ideally, with the use of tools we are able to move through them and restore some equanimity.

The fight/flight responses both respond to similar tools; they are both responses to the activation of the sympathetic nervous system that releases adrenaline and noradrenaline, preparing the body for action. The amount of these neurochemicals are in excess of what is needed and can fuel some serious aggressive behaviors, such as road rage or vulnerability of losing your temper. If you feel yourself loosing control, try out the DBT skills that follow.  And don’t forget to bring awareness to your actions and BREATHE.

STOP Skills

Stop, literally stop what you are doing or saying (if driving slow down)

Take a deep breath, inhaling slowly through the nose, hold 1-2 seconds, release slowly through the mouth…repeat several times.

Observe what you ae sensing in the body (heart racing, tension, stomach churning, etc), observe your thoughts and look for all or nothing, catastrophic, or overgeneralization in your thinking. Catch the exaggeration and name it without judgment or invalidating the feelings. Name the emotions and notice the thoughts that are feeding the emotions. Continue to use your breathe until it is regulated.

Make a list of things needed and then take action steps one at a. time

Freeze Mode

If you find yourself in a freeze mode, running in circles, clouded thoughts or even immobilized you can employ the 5,4,3,2,1 technique

Name 5 things you see: A tree, dog, grass, cars, a sign

Name 4 things you hear: cars buzzing by, bids, phone ringing, clock ticking

Name 3 things you feel: softness of your shirt, a/c blowing on you, feet on the ground (if they are not on the ground place them on the ground and gently press to sense your feet grounded).

Name 2 things you smell: the grass, perfume/oil

Name 1 thing you can taste: Perhaps keeping candy, gum, flavored water nearby to sip

After the STOP and 5,4,3,2,1 skills you can take a moment to bring awareness back to the present moment. Assess do I feel calmer, clearer, and more emotionally regulated? If so, proceed with your preparations or engage in an activity that is soothing or distracting. Look for more ideas and tips on Sacred Treehouse and Therapeutic Oasis Facebook pages.

For our local readers, we will be cancelling Tuesday evening meditation. However, I will be practicing at 6 pm so join me from your homes and will be sending Metta to all!

Proceed mindfully with greater perspective, wisdom, and self-control….and please be safe! Peace in this moment….even in the storm…look toward your center.

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.

Week 34/Workplace Mindfulness

All throughout my teenage and young adult years I remember my Dad offering words of wisdom about my career path. I recall him often saying “Do what you love and the money will come.” I heeded his sage advice, and followed my heart into a career in psychology. Not too long thereafter, though, I found out that even though I loved working with people, I was often drained after each work day. My motivation and zest for my job was waning. Even though I knew I’d chosen a livelihood that I was passionate about, the workplace stress I felt made me question if I was wrong about this path. The more I pushed through, the less I wanted to. And then, burnout settled in.

Statistics show that workplace stress affects many of us. In fact, a 2018 study indicated that 2/3 of professionals feel that their jobs are more stressful today than they were five years ago, and over 3/4 of the study’s respondents reported that workplace stress affects their personal relationships. Feelings of powerlessness over an imbalance between responsibility and authority; lack of clarity in job responsibilities; inadequate goodness of fit between a person’s skills/values and their job; and an unsafe or uncomfortable work setting that can even include traumatic events on the job can all be sources of stress for professionals.  Burnout often sets in when these stressors are ongoing AND when professionals are vulnerable to emotional reactivity when their resilience to stress has been compromised.

Mindfulness practices in the workplace are frequently prescribed to help increase motivation and job satisfaction, and I believe this is because of their powerful effect on stress. Practicing the following mindfulness strategies daily can significantly mitigate the effects of workplace stress:

  • single-tasking (versus multi-tasking)
  • mindful communication
  • intentionally slowing down during the workday
  • a daily formal mindfulness practice (even 10 minutes of sitting meditation works!)

I know from personal experience that my increased awareness of the early warning signs of work stress have helped me to nip a recurrence of burnout in the bud. And my practicing of non-judgment and self-compassion frees me up from feeling guilty about setting the limits I need to in order to also keep burnout at bay.

For additional reading, I encourage you to check out this article:

https://www.nytimes.com/guides/well/be-more-mindful-at-work

Nicole Davis is a licensed clinical psychologist at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches  Dr. Davis has received extensive training in mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, and maintains her own personal practice in these as well.  At Sacred Treehouse, she facilitates group mindfulness courses, including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, and other mindfulness-based seminars and workshops. She also offers meditation & yoga classes at Sacred Treehouse.

Week 32/The Most Important Thing…

In a recent mindfulness coaching session, a client shared with me her new awareness of what is most important in her life. She expressed finding fulfillment each day and a greater sense of purpose, especially when spending her money in meaningful ways.  She uses her dollars toward something that matters, and the very idea of attending to what matters most to her has started to be the idea that matters the most.

This client shared with me her latest purchase from a website called “Who Gives A Crap”, which sells environmentally-friendly toilet paper and other paper products, and even uses recyclable packaging.  This company gives 40% of their profits to help provide toilets for people around the world.  It may seem like a minor detail, but the idea of being a conscious consumer is one way in which this client remembers what is most important.  And as for providing toilets for other people?  It may sound like a “crappy” job to some, but when you do any task with the intention of improving the lives of other people, it feels like a bonus.

As a psychologist treating complex trauma, I work daily with people who are suffering.  Other people often wonder how I can do this type of difficult work.  In fact, some people see it as a terrible occupation. It doesn’t feel this way to me.  I get to wake up every day and live my purpose – which is to reduce suffering and emotional pain.  It feels like a labor of love.  My second love is to teach mindfulness.  By sharing mindfulness with others, I teach someone “to fish rather than simply feeding them a fish”.  In teaching mindfulness through MBSR and MSC, I help other learn the tools to reduce their own discomfort.  This is what matters most to me.

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.

Week 31/Body Awareness is an Anchor

What exactly is body awareness?  Tolle discusses body awareness as a way to the “inner body” or our life energy.  Yogis call this life energy “Prana”; Buddhists use the word “Chi.” Our minds are often so busy we confuse thinking about and judging our bodies and as being “body aware,” but this is the antithesis of body attunement and awareness. 

Right now take a moment to sense your fingers from the inside out. You can do this with eyes open or closed– it’s not looking at your fingers, but sensing the energy or aliveness that is within each finger and giving your focus to that. If you quiet yourself enough you can actually feel your own essential energy–starting with one small body part and eventually, if the mind doesn’t get in the way, connecting to it throughout your entire body.  
The purpose of this is to connect with a more peaceful, aware state.  If you are agitated with a current circumstance, taking a few breaths and practicing some inner bodyawareness will help you get grounded and clear. This can prevent reactions with others and/or a way to catch negative impulses going on in your own mind; because IT IS beyond the mind. It also helps you be more in tune with your body’s natural desires for food, water, exercise, sleep, play, rest, etc. 

It is amazing how much people push and punish their bodies, demanding  from them more and more, and then become surprised when they crash- physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.  Accessing body awareness is not just a way to become more present for the bodies’ needs, it’s a way to simply become more aware.  As a practice in itself it creates an inner atmosphere of increased tolerance, kindness, patience, and calm—a surefire way to enhance every circumstance.

Photography by Ciro Coehlo

Anni Johnston, LMHC-S, BC-D/MT, CEDS, CYT works at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Movement Therapist.  In addition to her therapy work, Anni offers weekly Beginner and Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse.  She also offers book studies and special workshops throughout the year.

Week 30/Could Nature Be the Antidote?

A wise friend said to me recently that when a person begins to crave being in the outdoors, something in them has shifted spiritually…that they have begun to genuinely embody a felt-sense that they are a part of something bigger.  Life and its pursuits take on a new meaning around this same time, and perspective shifts from one of obligation and going-through-the-motions to one of willingness and gratitude.

I like this way of thinking about spiritual evolution, and I think it also has special value for those of us who may need a little perspective-shift kickstart.  Are you someone who feels disconnected to your purpose in life or from others?  Do you feel annoyed and frustrated about work or day-to-day tasks?  Are you using alcohol or other substances to distract you from feelings of anxiety, overwhelm or to help you sleep? Have you become cynical or jaded when you were once optimistic and excited about making a difference in the world?  For people like me, who work in a helping profession, and for all of us who bear witness to others’ suffering, the above symptoms of empathy fatigue (also known as compassion fatigue, burnout and vicarious/secondary trauma) can wreak havoc on our ability to function and on our sense of self-worth.

Taking time out to enjoy nature.

Stepping into nature and allowing yourself to notice the intricacies and complexity of the world around you can be an antidote to burnout and empathy fatigue.  Surrounding ourselves with Mother Nature’s landscape is an instant reminder of our interconnectedness, and can lead to feeling re-inspired and rejuvenated. In fact, research suggests that experiencing nature with a beginner’s mind, allowing oneself to appreciate and savor through fresh eyes, is connected to increases in feelings of helpfulness, generosity, and ethical behavior.  Being in nature is also associated with lower levels of stress, anxiety and rumination, and can foster clearer thinking and more positive feelings about self and others.

So step outside into nature…if not a possibility IRL (in real life) in this present moment, then maybe journey outside in your mind.  Notice what you see, what you hear, what you smell.  Surrender to that sense of awe that comes.

Nicole Davis is a licensed clinical psychologist at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches  Dr. Davis has received extensive training in mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, and maintains her own personal practice in these as well.  At Sacred Treehouse, she facilitates group mindfulness courses, including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, and other mindfulness-based seminars and workshops. She also offers meditation & yoga classes at Sacred Treehouse.

Week 29/Return to Breath: The Five-Minute Breathing Space

Returning attention to the breath offers us a path home when our thoughts and emotions have carried us into the depth of the past or the unknown forest of the future. Sometimes it can simply be a way to bring what Tara Brach has coined, “a sacred pause”, stepping out of autopilot and reconnecting to what is, in this very moment. 
 
As human beings walking the path of life, we wish for things to be known and predictable.  If we are honest with ourselves, our deepest desires are for things to be ALL GOOD, yet this is not the nature of life. Rather, we are in a web of interconnected forces of positive and negative energies.  These energies will invariably result in all kinds of experiences, including pain and pleasure; joy and depression; love and fear.
 
Mindfulness training can help us discover equanimity -the ability to be centered and stable despite the changing landscape of experiences. Training in equanimity is similar to preparing for an Iron Man competition rather than a 5K. It requires years of practice, teachings, and an abundance of patience and non-judgment during difficult moments that will test your composure. Developing an anchor to help steady you during the storms of life is one essential tool for building equanimity. Daily formal practice helps to strengthen this connection and paves a short cut that makes returning to it in difficult times much swifter, lending a hand to rebalancing when life side swipes us. 

Another helpful tool to carry with you on the journey of life is the Five-Minute Breathing Space , which can be utilized either at the beginning of formal meditation, as a brief midday meditation, or in a moment of distress.
 
The Five-Minute Breathing Space (adapted from the Three-Minute Breathing Space found in The Mindful Way Through Depression) is simple 3-step exercise to help you return to your center.
 
STEP 1. BECOMING AWARE
 
Begin by deliberately adopting an erect and dignified posture, whether you are sitting or standing.  If possible, close your eyes.  Then, brining your awareness to your inner experience, ask: What is my experience right now?

  • What thoughts are going through the mind?  As best you can, acknowledging thoughts as mental events, perhaps putting them into words.
  • What feelings are here? Turning toward any sense of emotional discomfort or unpleasant feelings, acknowledging their presence.
  • What body sensations are here right now? Perhaps quickly scanning the body to pick up any sensations of tightness or bracing.

 STEP 2. GATHERING
 
Then redirect your attention to focus on the physical sensations of the breath breathing itself.
 
Move in close to the sense of the breath in the belly…feeling the sensations of the belly wall expanding as the breath comes in…and falling back as the breath goes out.
 
Follow the breath all the way in and all the way out, using the breathing to anchor yourself in the present.
 
STEP 3. EXPANDING
 
Now expand the field of your awareness around your breathing so that, in addition to the sensations of the breath, it includes a sense of the body as a whole, your posture, and facial expression.
 
If you become aware of any sensations of discomfort, tension, or resistance, zero in on them by breathing into them on each in-breath and breathing out from them on each out-breath as you soften and open.  If you want to, you might say to yourself on the out-breath, “It’s okay…whatever it is, it’s already here: let me feel it.”
 
As best you can, bring this expanded awareness into the next moments of your day.
 
You can learn more about mindfulness training in the upcoming orientations at the Sacred Treehouse.  I am also including some suggested reading and a recording to help you on your path:
 

The Mindful Way Through Depression
 
The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion 
 
The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook
 
Five-Minute Breath Recording:

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.

Week 28/Love is the Way

Our inner state affects how we view the world around us. Most of us have experienced seeing a person or circumstance from a place of negativity, then having something pop that bubble of negativity and suddenly we are more patient, tolerant or accepting—even though nothing has changed outside of ourselves.   The more open we are to see the world from the lens of Grace, i.e. that things are occurring the way they are for a higher reason, the more we can say “yes” to life’s events.   This allows us to be open and even grateful, and with that the more love emanates from us to others.  

People can sense what we are experiencing.  We’ve all had the experience of walking into a room and sensing that a fight had occurred. Conversely most of us have had days when our hearts were full of gladness and we ended up seeing the beauty around us and having wonderful exchanges with strangers and loved ones alike.  As Hawkins says, “we transcend the smaller aspects of ourselves by accepting and loving them. We see the ego as “limited,” not “bad.” 

Every day is an opportunity to practice accepting our foibles, our sticky old patterns and instead to see them as some of our limitations, not our “badness.” It is also a chance to do the same for others at home and work.  Both of these practices will strengthen the other, for we cannot give what we don’t have and so it matters deeply that we are loving, patient and kind with ourselves.  Let the energy of love build in yourself and watch it silently transform your life.

Photography by Ciro Coehlo

Anni Johnston, LMHC-S, BC-D/MT, CEDS, CYT works at Therapeutic Oasis of the Palm Beaches as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Movement Therapist.  In addition to her therapy work, Anni offers weekly Beginner and Advanced Meditation classes at Sacred Treehouse.  She also offers book studies and special workshops throughout the year.

Week 23: Up, Up, & Away! Mindful Travel & Sightseeing

Summer has arrived and for many readers, this means travel plans, day trips, and sightseeing adventures are planned for the near future.  Traveling can bring out both the best and worst in all of us.  It’s always enriching to experience a new culture or destination, but it takes a lot of advanced preparation.  And once we have arrived, we may have to contend with language barriers, cultural differences, and navigating a new place. Putting all of the pieces together is simultaneously exciting and stressful. 
 
How can we ensure that we are a part of our journey rather than apart from it?

Before the Trip


Our minds are always planning and we may notice that we create “mind destinations” to go along with our itineraries.  We anticipate how our vacation will unfold and with this anticipation comes expectation.  Attachment to particular activities or timelines creates rigidity.  Mindfulness encourages open awareness, but once we develop attachment, we run the risk of disappointment.
 
Every step in your experience is important.  Flexibility and openness will allow for a fuller experience.  Don’t over plan activities.  Make sure to leave room in your itinerary for reflection, free time, or even impromptu activity changes. 

During the Trip

Between airports and long commutes to our destination, we may find ourselves grumpy and exhausted.  Mindfulness means listening to what your body really needs and practicing self-care.  Prepare in advance by packing self-care items important to you and make sure to stick to healthy routines:

  • Avoid heavy meals before big travel days
  • Pack your favorite snacks
  • Stay hydrated
  • Bring comfortable clothing and shoes

Once you have arrived at your destination, practice mindfulness in the moment during exploration. After all, it took a lot of work to get to this point!  Smartphones allow us to capture special moments, but also serve as distractions.  Make it a point to experience the environment and culture through your own eyes, instead of through the lens of your phone.  Tips for remaining present and still bring home moments to share with friends include:

  • Allow yourself to snap in the beginning of the activity and learn to refrain from pulling out your phone for every single monkey, bird, or meal.
  • Look out the window – not down at your screen! Edit and upload your photos when you return to the hotel, or better yet, when you return home.
  • Engage in conversations with fellow travelers.  On long commutes, listen to feel-good music or mind-expanding podcasts.
  • Journal about your travels.
  • Bring a book and consider gifting it to another on your journey.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but if you aren’t fully present, do you think you could achieve that word count?
 
Even if you plan to explore locally this summer, I recommend incorporating mindfulness into your experience.  We all need vacations and breaks from the norm.  Our brains grow from exposure to novelty.  Whatever your plans are this summer, take time to mindfully step away from the daily grind.
 
Happy travels!
 
Lizzie

Photo credit: Lizzie Shutt

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Shutt is a student at the University of Florida.  She is passionate about all things green and currently participates in many forms of environmental advocacy, including the #Unlitter movement.  When she isn’t hitting the books, she enjoys cooking plant-based cuisine, composting, and surfing.

Week 21/Ride the Wave

How many times have you felt battered by the waves?  We often find ourselves struggling in that metaphorical sea of waves – strong emotions, unexpected events, illness, and difficult relationships.  They ebb and flow just like the waves of the sea.  And just like a surfer in the ocean, we try to navigate them skillfully.  We try to keep our heads above water.

In our minds, we expect to be expert navigators right from the beginning.  What many of us fail to realize is that it takes years of practice to build the skills needed to manage our emotions and the external events that life throws at us. As a Mindfulness-based psychotherapist trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, I wholeheartedly embrace this quote, yet at times it seems impossible to achieve.

Just as a surf instructor would not send a beginner out into a 10-foot swell, I would also not expect a novice mindfulness student to stay centered in the midst of an emotional storm. Even the most expert teachers lose their balance and get torn up by the coral reef of real life. There is real risk involved in surfing the waves of emotion, including the significant risk of feeling pain and discomfort. No one pops up on a monster wave, staying upright and focused, without significant training. And sadly, this is where the metaphor ends. We can opt out of the ocean if surfing doesn’t appeal to us, but we cannot opt out of our emotions without serious consequences. 

Do you want to learn how to surf the emotional waves of life? If yes, start small and experiment with the following WAVE:

Welcome: Welcome feelings and reactions; allow yourself to open to sensations, thoughts, and urges without acting.

Attend: By giving full attention to this experience moment to moment, not reliving the past or fortune telling the future. Stay present with the full experience by naming and describing what is happening inside the body and mind.

Validate: Identify the truth in your experience (not the absolute truth!) by understanding the thoughts, beliefs, and physiological prompts that resulted in the emotion arising.

Exhale: Let go of the energy created by the emotion, or any resistance of feeling the emotion. Allow the body to soften and settle with exactly what is happening in the present moment.

To become a skillful surfer of emotions, repeat the WAVE over and over. With practice, you will grow stronger and more skillful, enjoying some of the grace and freedom that comes from surfing the big waves.

WARNING: START SMALL. If you find that you are struggling, seek out an instructor (therapist, mindfulness teacher, sponsor, or loved one) to help you conquer the monster waves.  Expect to wipe out, but also be sure to pop back up.

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.