I sit down on my meditation cushion for day 999 of my current meditation streak. This particular cushion is a stack of two stained decorative pillows on a day bed in an Airbnb in Montreal, where I’m staying with my mother, the first time I’ve seen her since the beginning of the pandemic. The mind chatter starts right in:

Why do I never get any credit for my accomplishments? I’m so tired of these people who tell me that their daily activities are “meditations”-running, gardening, whatever. Last night it was counting stitches in knitting and something about watching sports and…

A new way to be more present and less triggered

Samuel Austin on Unsplash

As I approach 1000 days in my current daily meditation streak, I am trying something new — I’m doing the lovingkindness meditation in the third person AND, for good measure, I’m adding my Internal Family Systems parts into the mix. IFS is a modality that encourages us to acknowledge, name and befriend all those voices in our head, the encouraging and discouraging ones alike.

I’ve been giving myself pep talks in the third person when I’m doing sports for a while now. Ever since I learned that it may be more efficacious than talking to myself in an I-statement. Sports…

Meet the committee in my head who show me the way

FLY-D on unsplash

I went on another sacred medicine journey in early May (here’s my piece about my previous two journeys). This time I voyaged in a hybrid vessel of MDMA and psilocybin, a new and powerfully interesting spaceship for my experience, a combination of psychological and psychedelic. Three messages stood out in the journey:

1. The path that I’m on, while not yet clear or fixed, is the right one.

2. My connection to the universe is real and it is an exchange of energy. The universe offers me a battery recharging station when I am low (not just to me, to…

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…

Jeshoots.com on Unsplash

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…

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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