October 2017 Newsletter

Hello friends,

I’m happy to be checking in with you during this crispy beautiful October.

Does Sept and Oct feel like the beginning of a ‘new year’ in your home? I know it does in mine – the fall is often a great time to hit the reset button on routines + schedules. As I write this, we are midway through a 6 week Intro to Mindful Awareness (MAPS) class underway on Tues nights in Halifax. What a wonderful group of individuals – with open and curious minds! Another 6 week program will kick off in late January. If you’re interested in updates on that offering, please send me an email at this link.

Last month I was fortunate to travel to LA and San Francisco to hang out for a week –  a bit of work, a bit of social time, and a 4  mindfulness meditation retreat. Other than the ever-looming reality of rattlesnakes, I was able to settle into the retreat, and appreciated the opportunity to have this break from home + work routine. Are retreats something you’ve done or are curious about – they can offer a great foundation for a new mindfulness practice – or reinvigorate an existing one.

I’ve been thinking a lot of about self-compassion lately – admittedly this is a tricky concept for many of us. Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Kristen Neff and her important book that has turned so many onto the science + practice of self-compassion.

PS I will be re-starting my monthly free drop mindfulness hour in support of 100+ Women Who Care Halifax in early November – stay tuned!

enjoy the leaves – with gratitude, Beth 🍂🍁

FAQ’s

Q: I noticed that this week I seem to be feeling a lot of intense emotions when i am meditation – why is this happening?For some of us, paying a visit to ourselves and ‘being with what is’ may be a new  – and buried emotion may surface. This is normal – and often an important step along the path. Mindfulness meditation gives us an opportunity to learn to ride the waves of our unfolding life. Be gentle with yourself. You can touch in, and then perhaps pull back a bit, gradually getting used to the reality of what is bubbling up to the surface….be kind to yourself. Nothing to change or fix. 😌

Q: Mindfulness + meditation seems pretty self-involved – shouldn’t I focus more on others and being a better person?

My simplistic + ‘part answer’ response to this concern is to think about the safety instructions given on airplanes: “put on your own oxygen mask before you assist those with you”. Many people find as they begin to learn the texture of their thoughts, and perhaps shift more often to a ‘responsive’ mode from a ‘reactive’ mode, they are able to show up for life and those they care about with greater awareness and ease.

Q: I actually think i am naturally pretty ‘mindful’ – do i still the to practice formal meditate?

Hmmmmm….this is an interesting + juicy question! My bias is that yes, some degree of formal sitting practice is helpful. If you think of mindfulness as a form of ‘brain fitness’ then perhaps we can think of sitting practice as our time at the gym! Having said that, we can bring mindfulness to our lives in informal ways as well – in conversation with others, how we relate to difficulties at work – or even how we eat our lunch! Explore what works best for you – but don’t be afraid to stretch a bit out of your comfort zone😄

Q: I keep falling asleep when I meditate – what do I do?

Get some sleep! Seriously though – if your body is tired and slipping into sleep as you meditate, then you can give in and sleep – or perhaps you can adjust your body, open your eyes if you practice with eyes closed, check in with sensations in your body, take a few deep breaths to waken, whatever feels right. You may want to explore a different time of day to practice meditation. The main thing is to be gentle with yourself – no need to suffer! You may well just be tired …….😴🛌💤

Would you like to dig a bit deeper into the maze that is the mindfulness movement? Visit the resource page on my website for free links and other information!

 

The Mindful Project offers workplace mindfulness programs, public programs, one on one support + the signature UCLA 6 week Intro to Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPS)Building on 25+ years of corporate and consulting experience, I’m proud to be the 1st Canadian graduate of the 1 year Certificate in Mindfulness Facilitation (CFM) offered at the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC)  To learn more – read my bio here 🇨🇦

info@bethwallace.com
902.489.0098
www.bethwallace.com

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Self-compassion – do you “treat yourself as you would treat a good friend”?

So many of us have been conditioned to achieve goals + acquire ‘things’ as a barometer of our life’s success – and as an avenue to boost our sense of worth. Even after achieving the goals we’ve set, many of us still carry a deep feeling that something needs to be ‘fixed’.

Studies show that an increasing desire for things as a path to happiness + contentment in fact leads to lower life satisfaction and ease. (As reported in Huffington Post: “Professor Tim Kasser and colleagues have published a paper in the journal Motivation and Emotion that uses four studies to demonstrate that wellbeing declines as people become more materialistic. Becoming less materialistic also predicted improvements in wellbeing.” *)

Many of us are drawn to mindfulness as a way to ‘fix’ what seems wrong – with ourself, and with our life in general.
Dr. Kristen Neff who gained tremendous following with her book:  SELF COMPASSION, reminds us to ‘Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend’. This is a great read!

* Kasser T, Rosenblum KL, Sameroff AJ, et al.  Changes in materialism, changes in psychological well-being: Evidence from three longitudinal studies and an intervention experiment.  Motivation and Emotion.  2014; 38:1-22.

Spirit Rock Meditation Centre – Woodacre California

A couple weeks ago I was in California – one of the highlights of my week there was a 4 day retreat I sat with Mark Coleman and Diana Winston at Spirit Rock Retreat Centre 45 minutes north of San Francisco. The retreat included a ‘device renunciation’ ceremony. As a silent retreat, that means no devices! And so dozens of folks lined up to drop their phones, iPads, laptops into a basket (all carefully marked with their names of course!) to be retrieved at the end of the program. Many of he participants were tech execs from nearby silicon valley – it was very touching seeing how radical an act this was for them – and the swirly emotions it obviously brought up.

I really noticed over the 4 days how easy it is for me to drop into a judging + comparing mind – and also how tired I was! Retreat time is often an experiment in contrasts – really great at times, super sucky and tough at other times – but always worth it.

Have you experimented with sitting a retreat? Curious what it is like? It’s a great way to deepen your practice, and check in with yourself – and a great kick-start or refresh for a mindfulness practice. There are retreat centres all across North America – and likely a program nearby for you to check out! Give a whirl and let me know what you think. 😀

Allow
by Danna FauldsThere is no controlling life.
Try corralling a lightning bolt,
containing a tornado. Dam a
stream, and it will create a new
channel. Resist, and the tide
will sweep you off your feet.
Allow, and grace will carry
you to higher ground. The only
safety lies in letting it all in—
the wild with the weak; fear,
fantasies, failures and success.
When loss rips off the doors of
the heart, or sadness veils your
vision with despair, practice
becomes simply bearing the truth.
In the choice to let go of your
known way of being, the whole
world is revealed to your new eyes.
Happy to be sharing news of my recent partnership with Toronto + Vancouver basedTidalShif– an award winning learning & development organization. Not only do I get to hang out with the terrific team of individuals that work at TidalShift – but I also have the privilege of collaborating with their fantastic client base, facilitating workplace mindfulness programs across CND. 🇨🇦

Talk to me!

info@bethwallace.com
902.489.0098

www.bethwallace.com

If you haven’t already, please follow me online 😎

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