Tag Archives: Meditation

Who Knew?


Who knew that a simple little tag on a simple little blog post would steer me down a new path?

The tag?

The path?

The blogger, Smilecalm, liked my last post. It’s always a good feeling to receive a ‘like.’ I believe (s)he likely found me because of the mindfulness tag I added to that post. So I in turn visited Smilecalm’s blog and soon found myself immersed in a whole new world. One click led to another and I discovered inspiration in the simple practice of mindfulness and in people such as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The next thing I discovered was that there are people developing mindfulness practices in schools! Somewhere I read someone lament, “We tell our students all day long to ‘Pay attention!’ yet we never teach them how.” Whoa.

Mind you (no pun intended 🙂 ) I’ve never had my own, regular, meditation practice. But the idea of teaching my students to be mindful resonated deep within me. My teacher antennae knew it had detected something good. So after investigating how to get a mindfulness practice going in my classroom, it became evident that I needed first to develop my own mindfulness practice. You know, kind of like how you should be able to swim yourself before you teach another to do so.

And this mindfulness practice will take some time to develop. My first step is to enroll in an MBSR 8-week training. The price for the course is over $400. This is a hefty price. However, last year I was the recipient of a two thousand dollar cash award from my school to use as I wish. My intention is to spend the money to benefit my teaching practice (which in turn, would benefit my students). I make it sound as though I’ve stashed that money away for this very purpose. The reality, however, is the money came at a much-needed time when my son’s tuition was due. I think it stayed in my bank account for maybe two days. That said, I feel I owe 2k to my own teaching practice, and participating in this course seems to qualify.

The course starts April 27th. I understand there is also some light yoga involved, which I believe I will like. (I’ve been peeking at the hot yoga schedule lately…no promises). Also, for anyone interested, Deepak Chopra and Oprah have their free 21 day meditation going on now.

Isn’t it the neatest thing when you can trace the ripple effect of a single action? I hope Smilecalm will make it back here to learn how his ‘like’ awakened me. It’s the essence of a true Bodhisattva, leading others to enlightenment. I am grateful for the guidance and filled with gratitude.

*[Side note: In the spirit of the ripple effect and just before hitting publish, I was thinking about how I tagged my last post with mindfulness because of my experience of going through my father’s last box of remaining belongings. And then it occurred to me, that as a child, my father was always, and I mean always saying to me, “Amanda, pay attention!” How ’bout that?! Who knew?]*

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M is for…


Movie and Meditation!

If you’ve got some time, here is a link to view, free for a few more days, a new film, Origins:


It is about food, past and present and our changing relationship with it.  I loved it.

Also, I have been participating in Deepak Chopra and Oprah’s 21 day meditation about the power of attraction, desire, manifesting the life you want.  It is the best one yet. I can’t believe how much I’m getting out of it. Will likely purchase it. It’s that good.  You can check it out for free here:

https://chopracentermeditation.com  There are about five days left, enough to see if you like it.

I’d be interested to hear what you think if you check them out. Both the movie and the meditation reflect the space in my head these days…especially the messages in the meditation. In fact, me mentioning it here may very well be the universe manifesting something for you as we speak!!


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This is a sad post. You might consider taking a pass on this one.

I just discovered last night that a blogger I follow, Rhonda Elkins, has passed away.

I am deeply, deeply saddened. I had been wondering why she hadn’t posted in so long. Checking in again yesterday, I noticed a large number of comments on her last post. So began the realization that Rhonda was gone.

Her story is tragic.

She started her blog as a means to grieve the suicide of her 23 year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, in April of 2013. Kaitlyn was a brilliant, young woman in medical school. She suffered a lifetime of depression, unbeknownst to her family. While enduring the unimaginable loss of her daughter, Rhonda managed to write a book. It is a story of love and heartbreak, and shines a light on suicide, especially the isolated suffering of the gifted. Here is an excerpt from Rhonda’s blog, written just two days before she died:

One Day When I Die…….

Posted on August 26, 2014

by gatito2

Here I am once again, to seemingly come on my blog and brag about my book. But I can honestly say, that though it may seem like I’m bragging, I am not. The reason I ever write about my book or post my reviews is because it drives home the fact that what happened to my daughter has happened to so many medical students, residents, doctors and young people in any station in life. And unfortunately, there are many more depressed students out there scared to get help and we must do something about it. And by doing this hopefully more can be done about this problem. I feel good that it is getting good reviews and though it is no longer in the top 10 of its category, it is still in the top rated section in its category…

Rhonda’s voice was crystal clear. Enduring a lifelong struggle with depression herself, she shared the most heart-wrenching. personal and lonely times of grief, as well as her deep love for her surviving daughter, Stephanie and  her husband, Allyn. I am absolutely stunned to learn that Rhonda too, took her own life. Her voice is missing from the dialogue of how to understand this tragic loss of life. I just can’t believe it.

Tonight I was meditating on the first chakra, the root chakra of safety and security. The centering thought, “My life energy protects and secures me,” (chopracentermeditation.com) caused me to dissolve in a puddle of tears. Why didn’t Rhonda’s life energy protect and secure her? Why?

The pain and suffering of her beloved family is profound. I am humbled in the face of this tragedy. I can only surmise that Rhonda’s pain and suffering was so great and unrelenting that she was unable to conceive of a life with any hope. Knowing her through her writings, I just can’t reconcile her suicide with her intimate understanding of the devastation her death would cause those she loved more than life itself.

Here is a link to Rhonda’s blog, “My Bright Shining Star”:

And here is a link to her book:

I am so sorry Rhonda is gone.
I hope she is at last able to rest in peace.



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Hot Yoga?

fat yoga

Have you ever done Hot Yoga?
I haven’t. I’m thinking about giving it a try. For $29 I can go unlimited times in a month.  After that an unlimited month is a whopping $180.

Today I have this dull ache in my lower back and in the back of my thighs. It started last night. Feels a bit the way I feel when I have a fever. Wondering if this is detoxing from coffee and wheat.  Thing is, I don’t feel deprived yet with taking gluten out. We’ve been pretty good this summer avoiding processed foods and had very little bread. Same with the sugar. I bought some black tea and had it with a packet of Stevia. Really like it. I think I’ll be able to transition from coffee to this fairly well.  I’m just not sure what this ache is all about. Definitely not exercise related.

So, I’m feeling like a good body stretch would make me feel better. A colleague of mine did it over the summer and loved it. Also said she thought of me several times thinking I’d love it. I’m a bit intimidated though. I don’t look anything like those pretty little yoga girls. I’m mortified at the thought of exposing my flabby arms. Showing up in my oversized Rangers t-shirt might be blasphemy! Perhaps this is a misconception of mine. The website seems to underscore how okay it is if you’re not flexible or a beginner. I want to ignore my concern about not fitting in. Hell, I’m not much of a fitter-in’er anyway.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt the calling of yoga. It’s always been something I thought I should try. That and meditation. I’ve done some Deepak Chopra meditations this last year, and really liked them. They’re probably like kindergarten meditations in the scheme of things, but a good start for me. Last spring my son and I would even listen to them driving to school in the morning!

Looking forward to getting my copy of Wheat Belly. Might even be in the mailbox now.
I think I’ll go check.

(Remembering my Dad on his birthday today.)

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“When communication comes from your core self—your pure voice—it is simple, kind, understanding, and appreciative. In this flow of expression, you are able to share your true self with the world in thought, speech, and action.”  -Deepak Chopra

Blogging has been on my mind for a while now.  And I’ve been thinking about why in the world I would want to do such a thing.  There are a couple of very good reasons for me steer clear of this endeavor.

First of all, I hate really dislike writing.  It’s one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me and continuing my education.  I just cannot fathom writing a dissertation.

Secondly, I’m a rather private person.  Not because I’m up to anything interesting.  I think I’m just too wary of others judging me–especially since I’m a public educator.  I would, however,  like it to matter much less (what others think of me) than it does.

On the other hand, author and artist, Austin Kleon, just wrote a book entitled, Show Your Work.  I happened to watch a talk he gave this year at SxSW about the importance of putting yourself out there; your work, your ideas.  What happens as a result is that you attract like-minded individuals.  This really resonated with me.  As I explore new territory, I like the idea of connecting to and attracting like-minded people.  You can check out Austin’s blog and his talk here.

Yesterday morning I randomly tuned into a short meditation about the 5th chakra of expression (visualize light blue).  It was about the importance of expressing your true self and letting it be known. It seemed synchronistic that I would be hearing this message within twenty-four hours of starting my blog–a message to me from the universe.

I suppose that’s as good a reason as any to blog.





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