Video #3: To Heal, Catastrophic Thinking Can (And Should) Be Stopped

In this third video in a 10 part series, I answer the question of how meditation has changed my healing process. One clear example is the (everyday) phenomenon of "catastrophizing." This is when we take an uncertain situation – for instance, some pain, injury, or emotional crisis – and we imagine everything getting much worse, like a runaway train. By the end of the daydream (it could all take place in 10 seconds in our mind), we feel drained of hope and are tense with fear. Meditation helps cut catastrophizing thinking before it…continue reading →
The 4 Biggest Myths about Learning to Swim

The 4 Biggest Myths about Learning to Swim

Learning to swim is a major bucket list activity, and for many people it stays on that list far too long because of basic misunderstandings about what it takes to swim. Recently, I met a woman in her 40s who was ashamed to admit that after months of group lessons, she still couldn’t swim more than a couple yards without total exhaustion. She described herself as “unteachable,” and figured that she just wasn’t a “water person.” As I worked with her, it was clear that she had as much swim capability as the…continue reading →
Unhooking Shame from Pain: A Way Out Of the Cycle

Unhooking Shame from Pain: A Way Out Of the Cycle

Pain is tough, of course, but the thoughts and feelings which pain can stir up are the real nightmare. In my own history and my private practice teaching adults with pain, feelings of shame are never far behind a chronic pain condition. In our culture, it seems easy to interpret pain or loss of function as a personal failure. We look around at gluten-loving, sedentary, slouchy coworkers and think: why don’t they have pain? I’ve tried so hard, done all my stretches and exercises, watched my food and drink, and still, my body…continue reading →
Reduce Stress and Distraction through a Short Body Scan

Reduce Stress and Distraction through a Short Body Scan

You’ve heard of 8 minute abs, but have you heard of an 8 minute body scan? Me neither; so I created this short embodiment practice that you can practice on your own when you’re feeling lost in worry, or perhaps a bit frantic and out-of-body. In this audio, I’ll guide you to include the felt sensations of your body, from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. This requires no special powers of concentration: just two ears and about eight minutes which, by the way, is the approximate time…continue reading →
What No One Told Me about Chronic Pain

What No One Told Me about Chronic Pain

The pain is the easiest part. In my mid-20s, I consulted an orthopedist when my wrists started to feel warm after typing. He recommended ice packs and ibuprofen. In a thick Brooklyn accent, he asked, “You wanna take a couple days offa work?” The couple days stretched into months, and then years. Though neither of us knew it, this was the beginning of a chronic illness, and his prescription for Advil seems almost quaint to me now. The pain spread from my fingertips to my neck, and I couldn’t press a button or…continue reading →
How Can I Work Smart at My Computer?

How Can I Work Smart at My Computer?

Recently at a “Mindfulness in the Digital Age” workshop, I discussed several apps, products, and other resources that have helped me work with more sanity and health. I’ll share them below. If you have found something that works for you, please do email me or comment below since I intend to update this list. What my computer rests on: As you can see from the photo above, my laptop is raised (on a fascinating read called "Super Baby Food" :-)) so that when I'm sitting on my stool, I don't have to drop…continue reading →
Mindfulness of Technology: How to Stay Afloat in a Sea of Notifications

Mindfulness of Technology: How to Stay Afloat in a Sea of Notifications

Simplicity is a highly valued aspect of smart phone and app design. The less buttons and choices showing, the better the "user experience." Yet, for all of the simplicity and beauty in the design around technology, why do our minds feel muddled and our bodies contorted after staring at the screen? As an antidote to unhealthy habits around technology, there are some, you guessed it, apps meant to help. A software like RSIGuard, for instance, helps remind you to take breaks and do small stretches while working. The most sensitive app, however, and…continue reading →
Creating a Culture of Life around Technology

Creating a Culture of Life around Technology

So I guess it’s time to follow through on those New Year’s resolutions… I'm reminded of a quote, "We overestimate what we can accomplish in the short term, and we underestimate what we can accomplish in the long-term." I have not underestimated my ability to forget the name of this person, but the point seems clear given the various fads of self-improvement out there. When we make a slapdash effort to get fit, start meditating, lose weight, etc. we often have unrealistic expectations for ourselves. If we don’t notice immediate signs of improvement,…continue reading →
Conquer Fear of Water and Manage Chronic Pain: Swimming and the Alexander Technique

Conquer Fear of Water and Manage Chronic Pain: Swimming and the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a set of skills that helps improve our performance with less stress and tension. It's a natural complement to swimming. By applying the AT to swimming, students have been able to overcome fear, stroke with greater efficiency, and breathe easily. That's why I am offering a special – you guessed it – Surf & Turf package that combines the two. The Alexander Technique helps to:  Improve the body's coordination, from as "simple" a movement as sitting, to swimming the front crawl.  Improve posture and natural muscle strength.  Dramatically increase…continue reading →

Where I Swam on My Summer Vacation

My summer never feels realized until I've crawled into the middle of a freshwater lake. This year, my family headed up to Canada to spend time on the shores of Lake Ontario. This is our second year going up to Sandbanks Provincial Park which has white sand, clear blue water, and uncrowded beaches. This video is from a swim I did on East Lake, which feeds into Lake Ontario and is about 7 feet deep (with patches of creepy crawly vegetation) for its 2.5 miles across. My hardy boat crew consisted of Vincent  and Valerie,…continue reading →