The importance of a lakeminding practice

Emma Harper on Unsplash

Having lunch with a friend who is going through a large-scale amount of change — new job, moving from the US to the UK, new health protocol and turning 50 — she asked about how to manage the stress and then answered her own question, “I guess I should just be mindful, right? Notice what’s going on in my life.”

“Sure,” I said. And then, “Weeellll …”

It’s not that simple. We sip mindfulness in our breakfast lattes, eat it for lunch in our kale salads and drink it in our late-afternoon-pick-me-up kombuchas. We might get the evening off to…


Manu Schwendener on Unsplash

Flouranguishing: the state of simultaneously flourishing and languishing (see also: being human)

Recently a number of my friends circulated an article about the blah many of us currently feel as COVID drags on. The author named the sensation as languishing. Even as we get vaccinated, so much still seems risky or is outright closed off to us. We aren’t quite depressed, but we aren’t quite happy. We are in the doldrums. Sigh. Some days I languish more than others. Yesterday, for example, halfway through breakfast, out of the blue, I was afflicted with a deep sense of oh-what’s-the-point. …


Annie Spratt on Unsplash

It’s spring. And like the earth, we, too, want to send out fresh tendrils of life, if only we can prepare some fertile ground. Meditation is one source of sunshine for the seedlings of our new growth opportunities.

A week ago, I hit 860 consecutive days of meditation. Unlike other milestone moments in this current meditation streak, I barely registered the new “star” beneath my avatar on Insight Timer. I was already on to my day. It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that my streak-stone sank in. When I’ve finished this draft, I think I’ll go and…


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What is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Hint: Not Superman. He is a who; as in, who is faster … I’m talking about The Pause; that essential and elusive moment between thought and action where we have the chance to stop the bullet of hurt and alienation finding its target. …


(note: this post contains descriptions of situations (including alcohol use) in which there is a risk of or actual sexual violence)

The Wife of Bath is one of the narrators in The Canterbury Tales, who tells a story to illustrate what women want most–their sovereignty respected!
image by ToscaSam on DeviantArt.com

I met my first husband while I was lying on the bathroom floor of his fraternity house. He shook me into enough consciousness to stand me up and then carry me into a quiet bedroom, away from the jam-packed party. I was nineteen years old. I was drunk. I’d passed out for some brief amount of time.

I was in a relationship with him for eight years. After the first month or so, I didn’t even think about that…


True: A smile can make a difference! Neonbrand on Unsplash

I got an “exciting” email from Trail Runner magazine a few weeks ago, announcing with “joy” that its family of companies, Pocket Outdoor Media (POM) had added five “amazing” companies to its portfolio, including Outside magazine and TV.*

In addition to all the expected superlatives, the email concluded like this:

In closing, let me thank you for being a fan and supporter of our brands. We believe that a hike, a run, a ride, or a yoga practice can change a life and change the world. …


Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash

There’s a voice in my head that encourages me to get out for my run, or ride or, in this snowy season, a cross-country ski. You’ll have fun, she says. And even if it’s not fun today, she assures me that I’ll feel better for having done it. She’s pretty much always right. There’s another voice in my head, which tells me that I’m out of shape and slow and why bother. Sigh. I hear her, all too well, even though she’s mostly wrong.

Yet another voice tells me that I’d feel better if I just had that cute long…


PSYCHEDELICS | MENTAL HEALTH

After two medicine journeys, I have a lot more compassion for myself.

Ira Mint on Unsplash

When I read Michael Pollan’s book, How To Change Your Mind, I knew I wanted to change my mind, too. For years, I have been exploring the borders of consciousness, the possibility of expanding those limits and how we can connect more deeply with ourselves and others. I have a daily meditation practice. I’ve attended silent meditation retreats, gone on a vision fast, floated in a sensory deprivation tank, participated in ultra-marathons and hooked my brain up to a neurofeedback machine, among other things.

For two years after I read Pollan’s book, I put out feelers, trying to find my…


Welcome 2021. We begin the year of how-the-fuck-do-I-make-a-plan? And I’m not even talking about grand plans; regular old-style plans and small wishes and intentions feel hard. For me, it’s six days into the year and I’m still trying to figure out both my Word of the Year and my challenge. I usually have both well in hand by now. This year I struggled mightily to find a word. As for the challenge, I’d love your help.

A bit of background. My cousin introduced me to this Word of the Year practice more than a decade ago. As I wrote last…


Today, I hit 2 years straight in my daily meditation streak. When I started, I set myself the goal of 30 days. As time passed, I kept moving the goalposts. I feel good about my accomplishment (and I’ve written elsewhere about what I’ve learned). And yet, as soon as I sense those first inklings of pride, I hear the voice: “Well, you don’t have children, so it’s easy for you to meditate every day.” That’s the collective voice of women I’ve known, friends even. It’s also the voice of our society, which has insinuated itself into my psyche, passing itself…

Mina Samuels

Writer. Performer. Citizen. Traveler. Enthusiast. Author of Run Like a Girl 365 Days A Year and other books. www.minasamuels.com

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