Marriage and Divorce

Can Practicing Mindfulness Lead to Unconditional Love?

Is it even possible to find unconditional love?

Unconditional love. A love that comes without any conditions, expectations, constraints, or parameters; a love that just IS. A love that is so perfect and so pure that it's given freely -- no matter what.

Does it exist? And if it does, is it possible to practice in the context of a relationship? Can we truly love someone unconditionally?

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Children and Teens

5 Helpful Tips to Help Children Manage Stress

Being a kid these days is intense. Here's how to help your child cope with the pressure.

You know how awful stress makes you feel. But seeing stress on your child’s face or hearing it in his or her voice? That feels even worse!

You recognize these feelings oh so well -- overwhelm, anxiety, exhaustion, restlessness, irritability, and a mind racing with less-than-helpful thoughts. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or "real" you think the threat is, to your child some challenges of childhood (and young adulthood) seem larger or stronger than he or she can handle.

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An Unwanted Neighbor

Your alter ego, Negative Nelly, inches closer. "You are a fraud. Success? Ha. You are fortunate to remember your child's name. Ohh -- and good luck with that presentation. Maybe you can ask Rick Perry for speech advice." You wince, pleading with the merciless critic to play nice. He mischievously chuckles, gloating at his latest victory.

The critic's name is Isa. He belittles every move, condemning you to a tortured existence. Sensing that twisting knot in your stomach, Isa pounces. Like a bad comedian, his timing is always off -- before a date, a meeting with the boss, or a presentation.

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How to Find Your Flow

Creativity should be an essential requirement for everyone’s life. We all need a few hours here and there where it’s possible to lose track of time because we are so engrossed in the activity we’re doing.

I think it’s safe to say that everyone has experienced flow at some point in their lives. Whether it’s baking, writing, painting, playing music or drawing there seems to be at least some form of flow for nearly everyone. Some people even lose themselves in busywork. Regardless, we all know what it’s like to (thankfully) lose our train of thought and become so engrossed in something that you could spend hours doing it simply for the joy of it.
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Loving the Small Stuff

I am really feeling the benefit of peppering my day with mini-meditations right now. The next one I want to share with you is this: loving the small stuff.

I learned this wonderful mini-meditation practice from one of my teachers recently. It’s one that she does every day and I can see why.

I am already a fan (and frequent practitioner) of gratitude practices. I include them in my online and face-to-face programs. But this one has a really delightful twist.
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Brain and Behavior

Mindfulness: Essential for Everyone

What do Oprah, LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ariana Huffington, Hugh Jackman and Phil Jackson have in common? They are all famous and rich? Sure, but a core component of their journey to success is their regular practice of mindfulness.

What makes a life successful? What are its component parts? There is birth, school, college, drugs, alcohol, money, vacations, sex, children, aging, grandchildren, death, and yet there is no recipe for combining all of these to assure a happy life. Deciding that you can know how you will live by defining the number of children you will have, exactly where and when you will vacation, how much money you will make, and what your profession will be is as futile as assuming that you will know how you will feel after eating a slice of orange cake simply by knowing the ingredients that went into the cake.

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Tis the Season of Giving But Are We Forgetting the Other Half of the Equation?

It’s that time of year again. Malls are overflowing with shoppers looking for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Tis the season of giving in full bloom.

Especially during these trying times, it’s important to remember what’s most important in life: honoring and appreciating our loved ones. As Freud famously recognized, “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humaness.” Living with a sense of meaning and nourishing our important relationships makes our existence richer.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Use a Journal for Better Emotional Health

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada, one in every four Canadians will develop at least one anxiety disorder in his or her lifetime. The pressures associated with our fast-paced society can take their toll on the best of us. Repeated exposure to moderate levels of stress can lead to the development of any anxiety-related disorder, such as panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as other psychological and physical ailments.

Most advertisements would have you believe that medication such as antidepressants are the only way to deal with anxiety. Medication does have its merit for certain conditions such as agoraphobia. Before the problem gets out of hand, however, there are simple ways to better manage your emotions and increase your psychological health.

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Anxiety and Panic

How to Thrive — Not Just Survive — the Holiday Season

If the sights and sounds of Christmas evoke dread, anxiety or depression, you’re certainly not alone. It’s likely that many of your friends, family members, co-workers and neighbors experience similar emotions. There’s just so much to do -- last-minute shopping for gifts and meal items, decorating the home, figuring out tax-saving strategies to implement before the end of the year, determining where to hide the presents so prying eyes won’t find them -- and on and on. It’s enough to make you want to take a break.

Here are some tips for getting through the holidays with a minimum of struggle.

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