Archive for June, 2011

The Most Classic Error When Trying to Fix Depression

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Everyone, at some point in their life, will be affected by depression; whether it’s their own or someone they are close to. Almost 19 million Americans alone have periods where they feel a lack of pleasure or interest their usual activities combined with feeling tired and heavy, potentially overly emotional or numb, and an onslaught of negative and self defeating thoughts that can keep invading the mind over and over again.

The more periods of this depressed mood we have in life, the more likely we are to fall back into them again. Why does this relapse occur and how can mindfulness offer hope?

Falling into a depression feels traumatic and just like getting bit by a dog causes us to be fearful of and oversensitive to dogs, our minds and bodies become oversensitive to associations with the depression causing us to react to any sign of it. Feeling low mood is normal for everyone, but if we’ve experienced depression in the past, this may be a trigger for thinking depression is about to set in again.

If we feel tired or if we notice sadness, the mind pops up with the worry ”uh oh, that is how I felt when I was depressed, maybe I’m getting depressed.” Our minds begin to go into overdrive with negative self judgments, “I am a failure” or “I am weak” or “I am worthless.”

It then tries to solve the mystery as to why we are becoming depressed again and the more it tries to solve this puzzle, the deeper it sinks into depression. Think of a worried, judging person coming at you trying to solve your problems when you’re already not feeling well. Probably not what you’re looking for. You see, it’s not the low mood that’s the problem here, it’s the way we get stuck in habitually relating to it that pours kerosene on the fire, with our minds continuing to fan the flame rolling us into a full blow depression.

The practice of mindfulness teaches us a different way to relate to our thoughts, feelings, and emotions as they arise. It is about learning to approach and acknowledge whatever is happening in the present moment, setting aside our lenses of judgment and just being with whatever is there, rather than avoiding it or needing to fix it. It’s the mind’s attempt to avoid and fix things in this moment that fuels the negative mood.

So, if sadness is there, instead of trying to fix it or figure it out, we might just acknowledge the sadness and let it be. If self-judgments arise (e.g., I am weak, I am a loser) out of past sensitivities to having been depressed before, we can acknowledge that they are associations from the past, let them be, and then gently bring ourselves back to whatever we were doing. In doing this, we’re stopping the ruminative cycle that might occur between our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations that can play off one another leading us to a relapse.

Now, this is easier said than done and it takes practice.

Practice – One way to practice mindfulness is to use the breath as an object of awareness. You can place attention at the tip of the nose or the belly and as you breathe in, just acknowledge the breath coming in and as you breathing out just acknowledge the breathe going out. As if you were greeting and saying goodbye to an old friend. When the mind wanders, as it will always do, just say to yourself “wandering” and then gently bring your attention back to the breath just noticing it coming in and going out. Most of us catch the mind wandering and gently bring it back billions of times, so know that it is normal for the mind to wander often. You can do this for as little as 1 minute or as much as 30 minutes or more.

Practice with this when you’re feeling well and you’ll be better able to recognize when your mind wanders off to ruminations and self judgments when you’re not feeling well. If you’re not feeling well and the mind begins to ruminate, as you practiced with the breath, just label it as “ruminating” and then gently bring your attention back to whatever you were doing. Being more present may also give you the ability to be more flexible and call a friend or do something that then gives you pleasure or connection with others. This is an act of self care and helps stop the cycle of rumination and cultivates more patience, compassion, and peace.

It’s often helpful to be guided with a voice in doing these practices via CD or in person, however, you can absolutely do this on your own as well.

As always, please write below with any comments, questions, thoughts, or additions that arise after reading this. Your comments below help provide a living wisdom for us all to share and benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

Mindfulness and Hypnosis: Conversations in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Mindfulness and Psychotherapy has been gaining a mounting interest among  thousands of clinicians and clients. The following is one in a series of informal conversations between Trudy Goodman, Ph.D., Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. and Steven Hickman, Psy.D., the teachers for a unique upcoming professional training retreat entitled “Mindfulness in Psychotherapy” to be held October 2-7, 2011 at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center in Southern California. This series is primarily aimed toward clinicians, but I’m hoping if you are not a healthcare professional you can also gain some insight from it. Enjoy!

Today Steve, Trudy and I talk about the similarities and differences between Mindfulness and Hypnosis.

Trudy: (I recently had an opportunity to explore the differences and similarities between mindfulness practice and hypnosis with a client. I thought it might be worth exploring here in our ongoing conversation on mindfulness and psychotherapy.)

In mindfulness practice, we give our full attention to one subject at a time as a way of training our minds to be attentive to another dimension of awareness, “beneath” the discursive consciousness & the thinking mind (what your hypnotherapist calls executive functioning), and yes – the protective activity of the amygdala can be activated and trained via conscious, mindful breathing for example. Meditation does mirror the receptivity of hypnosis in this way.

In hypnosis, one is led and taught how to drop down beneath the flow of habitual patterns of thinking and perception to a receptive, open state where the therapist’s suggestions can be embedded and incorporated into conscious living. We are doing something similar but different, too. We may also invoke the relaxed, alert, receptive altered state, but we emphasize investigation, inquiry, and looking deeply at what is arising (with the intention to understand, rather than to judge, and the accepting, non-judgmental approach, is similar in hypnosis).

One difference is that with mindfulness meditation we are learning how to be both receptive – open, relaxed, alert; and active – forming the intention to stay with experience as it arises and passes away. One goal of MBSR training is to establish and cultivate mindfulness — your ability to direct your awareness intentionally towards what is actually happening, in real time, moment by moment, so you can receive more information, understanding, and compassionate insight as your life unfolds.

There’s no conflict between what your hypnotherapist tells you and what we’re doing because we are actually engaging many capacities of consciousness simultaneously when we focus on one thing at a time – many cognitive and emotional qualities come into play, like the intention to aim or direct awareness, to sustain a close connection with the subject of awareness, AND with awareness of the ebb and flow of mindfulness itself – a kind of meta-awareness – with clear comprehension combined with the suffusion of warmth, acceptance, kindness, even affection, into our mindful awareness of ourselves, others and our world.

So yes, your mind can and does operate on more than one level at a time. What we are doing is bringing more and more of this activity into conscious awareness, in service of developing more and more mindfulness and metta – so that we can make more conscious choices about the way we relate to experience. Hopefully choices that result in our living wiser and more compassionate lives, and enjoying more peaceful, harmonious, loving relationships along the way!

Steve: While I am no expert in hypnotherapy, I do have a strong sense that both mindfulness and hypnosis share an interest in helping people “get out of their own way” in regard to longstanding but dysfunctional, limiting or unskillful habits, attitudes and behaviors. The single-pointed, quiet and patient focus of both practices allows us (both client and therapist) to see these habitual patterns against a plain backdrop of awareness, rather than the cluttered one of everyday busy-ness.

I liken our attempts to make sense of our problems with our typically distracted, multi-tasking minds to trying to watch a movie when someone is trying to carry on a conversation with you at the same time. Both the movie and the conversation might make sense in their own rights, but together they become a mass of conflicting and confusing features that seems completely overwhelming and sometimes discouraging. Mindfulness practice (and therapy) allow the client to develop the attitudinal skills to observe this chaos and respond patiently and kindly, and the attentional skills to direct attention (and psychological resources) toward the “real” issues and perhaps away from imagined or feared ones. This shift can allow a person to see things for what they are, and to recognize where the constructions and stories that we all create are just that: creations, and not facts to be dealt with or resolved.

I am told that hypnosis cannot bring about behavior that is not first desired by the patient or client. If someone does not truly want to change a particular behavior, hypnosis has not magical ability to transcend that desire. Similarly, intention is at the heart of mindfulness in psychotherapy. We seek to tap into the natural intention that each of has to move toward ease, kindness, compassion and fulfillment, by reducing the “obscurations” of habit and conditioning, and thereby reduce suffering. Not much difference between hypnosis and mindfulness in that, is there?

Elisha: I want to make sure we’re differentiating here between mindfulness as a way of life and formal meditation practice. We can practice mindfulness in formal and informal ways and I think the guided formal meditation practice is the one that can be confused with hypnosis. Having been the recipient of both, I would say the big difference for me is that mindfulness is couched within a much larger context and can be seen as a way of life. Not in any dogmatic religious way, but as a philosophy and practice that we can bring into all the things we do.

Mindfulness at its core trains the mind to more actively drop into a kind attention, cultivating a natural warm presence to bring with us throughout our days. In my opinion, this is at the core of self-healing.

Mindfulness also brings people together in community who are interested in living a more present and compassionate life. This may be one of the most important pieces. Ultimately it’s my belief that the most helpful way for people to make change is through a community of peers who support them with this.

I see people who engage with mindfulness in psychotherapy and beyond having an inclination toward wanting to be a part of a community that supports a more mindful life.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

Start Your Day Right, Start Your Life Now!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

I’d say the majority of us start off our days with an alarm ringing us awake. As we wipe the sleep out of our eyes and drink our morning coffee or tea, the cobwebs begin to break away and the doors of the mind open to start looking forward and planning/worrying about the day.

The reality is, the planning and worrying sometimes doesn’t wait and they dart in the moment we open our eyes. So, I’m going to suggest a simple and easy idea that could have a major impact not only how you start your day, but how the rest of the day unfolds.

Take a moment to consider what’s really important to you in this life. Is it to be a good person, to listen to the people you care about, to engage in altruism, to live with an open heart, to pay attention to your kids, to unplug from your phone at certain times during the day, to be more forgiving, to be more honest, or maybe to simply to practice being more mindful.

Fill in the 5 spaces below (in your mind) that you’d like to keep on the tip of your mind throughout the day.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Either write these down right now on a piece of paper or download a note app on your phone and put it on your home screen.

The simplicity of this practice is to spend at least 1-minute every morning taking a few deep breaths and then reviewing these 5 intentions, feeling them in your heart and mind.

This by itself would be great, but if you want to make this even better, place these minutes in the middle and end of your day as well. The end of the day could be more of a reflection looking back and see where you connected with these and where you could do better next time.

You want to make this even more effective? Gather up a few friends who are interested in aligning the way they want to be in this world with their actions and create a little group where you check in on one another giving each other ideas and encouragement throughout the way.

This may the simplest and fastest route to getting your mind and actions aligned to living the life you want to live.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interactions create a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

PLAY NOW: How to Bring Mindfulness into Your Life

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Derrick was 13 years old when he stepped into my office complaining of “just not enjoying anything in life.” His parents told me they’d tried everything. They had him playing piano, going to soccer practice, involved in drama practice, along with a few more activities. “He just doesn’t seem to be interested in any of it,” the mom said.

One day, Derrick came into session and I asked him if he could tell me his happiest memory. Sitting slumped into the couch, his head perked up and he said: “I remember when I was six my parents bought something that came in a big box. When they emptied it out, I played in that box for hours, it was my favorite place. It made me happy.” It was clear that Derrick was missing out on his natural right to have more play in his life.

Play deprivation doesn’t just apply to kids, but to all of us. We can easily fall into a state of being overly strict with ourselves and taking life too seriously.

To bring mindfulness into our lives and cultivate a healthy, flexible and resilient mind, we need to loosen up on ourselves, allowing openings to arise, and then like cultivating a garden add in nutrients that facilitate the kind of change we’d like to see. You can think of play as a fundamental way of bringing mindfulness into your life creating spaces for your healthier mind to take root.

I created the acronym PLAY NOW to help us remember the essential attitudes of mindfulness to bring into every day life:

  1. Play – This is the essence of being curious, loose and having fun with these writings and practices. We can easily fall into a state of being overly strict with ourselves and taking this work too seriously. This only tends to harden the soil of our minds and sap our energy. So allow yourself to adopt an attitude of playfulness where there’s lightness to this work. One way to cultivate an attitude of play is to bring a beginner’s mind to each practice, noticing what we’re paying attention to as if for the very first time. This is an effective way to prime the mind to break free from habitual ways of perceiving and reacting. Notice when you’re beginning to take this too seriously and putting pressure on yourself. We could all use a bit more play in our lives.
  1. Love – To be present to our lives can be deeply joyful and also unutterably painful. When I say love, I’m talking about compassion, empathy, and bringing heart to this practice. Lack of self-compassion might be thought of as the great unnamed epidemic in our culture. Know that part of this work is learning how to care and love ourselves even in the midst of difficulty. Cultivating a compassionate eye to our pain sends the message that even the most difficult parts of ourselves are worthy of love. Imagine what might happen if we watered the seeds of love and compassion over and again.
  2. Acceptance – Much of the tension we have with life is through subconscious drives to avoid what’s here. If there’s stress or pain, we’d rather be somewhere else. Acceptance simply means accepting the reality that something is here and letting it be. This is at the heart of helping the mind learn how to be here for this life that is only happening right now. We’re training the mind to move from an avoidance mindset to an approach mindset otherwise we maintain a cycle that’s simply not healthy. When we avoid what’s here, we miss out on this moment of our life, it’s gone. It’s really that simple.
  3. Yoga – When most people hear the word yoga they picture many people in a room with their mats stretching and moving their bodies. In Sanskrit yoga means “to yoke,” which is another way of saying “to unite.” A famous yoga teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar said, “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” We can use the word yoga as a reminder of uniting our minds with our bodies. An essential part of coming into the now is getting connected with our bodies. Our bodies tell us when we’re stressed, anxious, sad, angry, afraid, and when we need to recalibrate. The actual physical practice of yoga creates many openings in the body which also reminds us of the space that is there.
  4. Non-Judgment – This is another core attitude to apply to help break up rigidity of our minds. Unconscious snap judgments come so fast that you’d have a hard time seeing the space between reading this sentence and the thought that arises, “This isn’t going to work for me,” “Nothing’s really going to change,” or “This is going to change my life.” Practicing non-judgment helps us step beyond the lens of right and wrong and into the direct experience of the now as it is.
  5. Openness – Part of the reason we miss out on the moments of our lives is because we’re not open to them. If we paid attention to the body when we’re feeling stressed we might notice a sense of constriction somewhere. Openness encourages novelty, curiosity, and the opportunity to break out of habitual patterns and engage life with fresh eyes. When we’re open we’re more receptive to all of our senses of touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste. We miss out on a lot of life because of living on automatic, we can encourage our minds to open up to what we may be missing.
  6. Welcome – While we can be open to the experiences of our lives we can even take it one step further by welcoming what is here. The way we talk to ourselves has a tremendous effect on how we feel. When we’re hateful and judging toward our uncomfortable feelings, we basically feed our minds hate and judgment. That simply doesn’t make us feel better. When we’re welcoming with what’s here, even if it’s a gathering of sorrows, we feed our minds with warmth and care. This supports a healthy mind. On the other hand, welcoming our joy allows us to savor the moment, reminding us of the joy in life which can support resiliency. Either way, welcoming is good.

Just like you can focus on any one thing and then your mind unintentionally wanders off onto something else, your intention to integrate these core nutrients into your life will surely wander. That is perfectly fine and expected, treat this in a playful way as if you were training a little puppy, simply forgive yourself when this happens and invite yourself to come back to this post as a refresher whenever you like.

There’s nothing mysterious about applying PLAY NOW into your life. It’s very practical. In the same way that you can learn, practice and repeat how to read and over time it becomes automatic, the experience of cultivating this playfulness can create a natural sense of flexibility, resiliency and a healthy mind.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

Bringing Playfulness Back into Our Lives: Hafiz

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

There’s a certain way of relating to life that I try and come back to again and again. It’s something that we often lose as adults along the way as life gets filled with overflowing and endless list of “to-dos.” It’s not our fault, our brains are wired to make life routine, getting us disconnected from the wonders of everyday life. Hafiz, a 14th century poet and mystic, sums up this way of relating to life best:

Every Child

Has known God,

Not the God of names,

Not the God of Don’ts

Not the God who ever does anything weird

But the God who only knows four words

And keeps repeating them, saying:

“Come dance with Me”

Come Dance

If you’ve followed my writings, you know that I believe bringing back a sense of playfulness into our lives is a critical factor in our mental health. Play is important to with ourselves, in relationships, at work or with parenting. This isn’t something we can just think about because the reality is for many of us; we don’t practice it much and it goes against the grain.

The first thing is discovering what playfulness looks like in your life.

In order to get a sense of this follow this short practice:

  1. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  2. Bring the word “playfulness” up into your mind.
  3. Notice the thoughts or images that arise with it.

There are layers to this practice. For me, the first thing I saw was playing a game with my kids. Then I did the practice again and I saw spending time with friends, and as I did it again I saw that playfulness even applies to the difficult moments in my life.

Learning how to relate differently even to our difficult emotions can be thought of in the form of dancing with them as Hafiz writes. We can learn to pay attention a difficult feeling such as stress, anxiety, anger and fear with a sense of warmth and openness.

Then what happens? Our mind says, “No, no, no” let’s get away from this and tries to find refuge in alternate ways of avoidance (e.g., shutting down, drinking, smoking, anxious thinking, etc…). When this happens we can think of this as if we’ve just swung our partner out and now it’s time to gently and gracefully bring him or her back in and “be with” the feeling that’s there.

This is a deeper layer of play and we can practice this graceful playing and dancing with what’s difficult in just small moments as we’re able. This is ultimately a path toward creating a more integrated and healthy self and gives us a sense of self-reliance.

So, take this as an opportunity, a space in your life right now to get a sense if you’d like to bring more playfulness into your life? What would it look like and can you give yourself the opportunity to bring it into even the difficult moments?

Even bringing small moments of play back into your life can make a big difference.

As always, please share your thoughts, questions and stories below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

3 Steps to Cultivate Hope, Compassion and Healing

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Once in a while a story comes into your life that immediately touches that soft spot in your heart and gives you a gift to carry around and support you in difficult times. I didn’t know Jeff Guyer’s, but my wife was closer with his sister. A few days before his final moments of battling with Sarcoma, an aggressive cancer, he wrote out a post to his friends and family that can be summed up with a single word – acceptance. His message to everyone came from his connection with Bernie Siegel’s quote in Faith, Hope and Healing: Inspiring Lessons Learned from People Living with Cancer, “Breathe in hope, breathe out love.”

The fact is we’re not all fighting cancer right now (although I’m almost positive we’ve all been touched by someone in our family or friends who has fought the battle), but adversities come up in life that can knock our spirits down.

Whether it’s a sense of battling with anxieties about what the future, cravings and urges for a “fix” to take away the pain, or a relentless form of stress from work or family, the deterioration of hope happens to all of us.

Done slowly and intentionally, “Breathe in hope, breathe out love” is a way of activating the parasympathetic nervous system which acts as the brakes to our anxieties. We begin to regulate our blood flow and calm down a bit.

At the same time it is an act of opening up to a sense of support during the difficult moments in life and activating your heart to cultivate compassion, which has been shown to be a source of well-being. Compassion implies that we recognize we’re not alone. We feel a connection to others with a sense of wanting to help.

To practice “breathe in hope, breathe out love” you don’t even need to be the one who is suffering. You can direct this toward someone in your life who is suffering. Breathe in the hope for them and send the love back to them.

You can also begin this practice with yourself, then move on to someone who is suffering, and then move onto a larger group of people who are suffering.

I never knew Jeff, but he gave me this gift that I now give to you.

Try this out for a minute, two minutes or longer. You can do this entire sequence or just choose one of them:

  • You – Practice breathing in hope, connect with your heart, and breathe out love to the rest of us. As you breathe in you can shorten the words to hope on the inhalation and love on the exhalation.
  • Someone who is suffering – Take a moment to think of this person and then breathe in hope for them and as you breathe out love imagine sending that love to them.
  • A Group who is suffering – This can be a community you know of, a country or everyone in the world who is currently suffering. Breathe in hope for all of these people, connect with your heart and as you breathe out love, imagine it seeping into all of these people.

This practice helps nurture compassion as a more readily available trait in you and perhaps, as some research suggests, may send out energy that actually supports the people you do it for.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

Feeling Vulnerable? A Mindful Strategy to Relax the Enemies Within

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

relax the enemies withinWith the world getting smaller and smaller due to the internet, we all know to some degree the many wars that are currently being waged. But how about the wars that get waged in us all the time? It’s as if we perceive enemies within us trying to take us over. I remember one time I was working within an organization and there was a depression course being listed for patients and the marketing for it said, “Kill your depression for good.”

What? Pour negative energy into your depression? Doesn’t sound like a good cocktail.

There is an African Proverb that says:

“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

This is similar to Thich Nhat Hanh’s saying:

“Peace in ourselves, peace in the world.”


I think it’s helpful to consider that all parts of us, the parts that feel afraid, anxious, depressed, addicted, secure and insecure make up who we are. None of these are enemies, but instead, my vulnerabilities that need quite the opposite of aggression.

However, our nervous system reads them as enemies, because we are wired to try and get away from anything that causes us pain. So our minds go on an ambush of rumination to try and fix or get away from the pain.

And then this causes more suffering, makes us more vulnerable and sensitive to the people around us.

When we’re able to befriend our own pain, there’s less of a knee jerk reaction to judge and fear the people around us. Why? Because we feel more secure in who we are.

The next time you feel these uncomfortable feelings arising:

  1. See if you can recognize your reaction of wanting to get away from it.
  2. Find where you experience this feeling in the body.
  3. Imagine cradling the feeling while also imagining being cradled.

This is not a path to a quick fix, but rather a new way of being with yourself in this life.

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Photo by The Italian Voice, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com

How To Stay Young in the Midst of Getting Older

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

I remember when I was a kid playtime was what I looked forward to the most. I think that’s on par with most kids. But something happens to us as adults where we get indoctrinated into a system where play gets relegated down the priority list. It’s not something we intentionally choose, it’s a subtle process where a belief is planted and nurtured that play simply isn’t important and as the years go on we wonder why we “feel so old.”

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said:

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

This quote hits the nail on the head. Youth is a matter of mind and attitude. I was recently sitting with a friend, who is 62 years old, but he doesn’t look 62, he looks younger. He told me, “My face reflects who I am on the inside.”

Yes, this is true; he is a playful guy, “young at heart” as they say.

Here is an excerpt from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook that says it all. Read it over a couple times:

“- Intention shapes our thoughts and words.

– Thoughts and words mold our actions.

– Thoughts, words, and actions shape our behaviors.

– Behaviors sculpt our bodily expressions.

– Bodily expressions fashion our character.

– Our character hardens into what we look like.

It has been said that by the time a person is 50, he or she gets the face they deserve.  This is how the mind directly affects the body.”

The truth is, we’re never too old to start playing again. The question is how can we bring more play into our lives?

Here’s one thought:

In her book The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron suggests creating an “artist’s date.” All this means is take 2 hours a week to do something creative and/or fun that you would normally tell yourself that you don’t have time to do. If you are in a city, this could be going to a neighborhood you’ve wanted to visit, going to a museum, or even going on a hike somewhere that you’ve wanted to visit.

You can also take it to journal, play guitar, read poetry, sit in a coffee shop and write, play video games, or start on that art piece you’ve been putting off because “I just don’t have the time.” The point is make it time just for you, a time of intentional play that you normally would not give yourself permission to do.

Don’t negotiate with your mind that’s telling you there’s no time, just plan it and do it.

We need to water the seeds of playfulness in our lives, this is what keeps our youth alive and my guess is it also elongates our lives.

Give it a try!

As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Reposted from Elisha Goldstein’s Mindfulness Blog on Psychcentral.com