Category Archives: Stress Management

Teens Discover Context and Compassion

mindfulness-for-teens-amy-edelstein

I’m sitting at a café having miso-mushroom soup, processing my meeting with an inner city high school principal about expanding the Mindfulness and Cultural Development program next year. The pilot was so successful; she would like to see it reach the entire freshman class. “I want them to have a full 4 years of support from the pressures they are under!”

“I think they are heroes for just being able to pay attention to their teachers in this academically challenging program. Some of them are dealing with such intense problems at home and in their neighborhoods.” The sole school counselor, serving 550 students with everything from college applications to behavioral interventions, nods her assent.

An image flashes across my mind from earlier this month. A lanky sweet looking girl in a yellow and orange bikini roughly kneed and handcuffed by a burly Texan policeman. The infraction? Going to a pool party.

To be a teenager in an inner-city these days is to be faced with issues far more complicated than first loves or summer jobs at the ice cream shop.

There isn’t an easy answer to the complex social, cultural, economic, environmental, and physical problems that face this next generation. But, there is a potent and profound way to empower our young adults, a way to help them cultivate inner strength for outer stability.

That’s where this innovative program Mindfulness & Cultural Development comes in. With all the benefits of classical mindfulness training, students gain objectivity on the thought process and de-stress through focus and non-judgment. Then they cultivate one more skill, which may make all the difference. They look at their experience in a vast context of cultural and evolutionary development. It’s fun. It’s powerful. And it creates space for heart and compassion in spades.

How does “context” create compassion? Continue reading

Mindful You: Where Did the Day Go?

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You arrive at the end of your day.

Do you know how many steps you’ve taken?

Do you know how many calories you ate?

How many minutes were spent on a phone?

How many spent on “you time” or wrangling kids or making dinner?

Where did the whole day go?

Sometimes our days are a cyclone at best. If we made it out alive, it’s cause for celebration. The trouble when we stay in a perpetual survival mode. We live constantly like we’re barely squeaking by- grab the cookie from the office kitchen since there’s not a second for lunch! Send one more email from bed! “What is this lady’s name?! I know I’ve met her before!!” Continue reading

An Exercise in Listening

Just because we are in our bodies does not mean we always know what it’s saying.
It can also be easy to push past what our bodies are telling us when we’re at a loss.
Our overwhelming exhaustion can be ignored when we have commitments to meet.
The unsettled feeling in our gut can be explained away as indigestion.
But our bodies are also highly sophisticated machines that can do so much more than we give credit for, often times. So are you listening?

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So let’s do a quick exercise in listening. Continue reading

New Mallika Chopra Interview with Alan Steinfeld of New Realities

Recently Mallika was able to sit down with Alan Steinfeld of New Realities to talk about Living with Intent. She shares her journey of losing herself in the midst of life, expectations and work. In an effort to reclaim purpose, peace and joy, she sought out other authors, friends, family and all varieties of people exemplifying a life of intention. She spent time reconnecting with old lessons and learning new ones. She shares them here!

Continue reading

Laura Ling Shares the Ritual that Saved Her Life

In early 2009, international reporter Laura Ling found herself in China standing on the boundary of North Korea as she sought to bring attention to North Korean refugees escaping the region. This was not the first time Ling was in a high-pressure area but she was not expecting to find herself captured and indefinitely detained by North Korean military.

She was so far from her family and was unsure whether she would ever return home. She was able to receive letters from home and knew that candlelight vigils were being held in the hope of seeing her safely returned, but in the midst of a tumultuous political climate, who know if that would happen? In the space of not knowing what her future would hold, Ling began a practice that would change her life forever. She shares her moving story here: Continue reading

I’ve Never Met Leonard Cohen.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Rowland/REX/Shutterstock (3439301j) Leonard Cohen Leonard Cohen in concert, Vector Arena, Auckland, New Zealand - 21 Dec 2013 Music legend Leonard Cohen, live in his final concert of his current tour

If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that Id like to do.” – Jim Croce.

I wonder what it feels like to be Leonard Cohen.

I mean think about it. Here’s this guy, this larger than life, almost MYTHICAL figure, who has entire generations of people hanging on every word, croak and chord, desperate for whatever truth he can wink at you.

He is the icon of an epoch. The tortured soul of a generation.

And what a beautiful era it was, full of sexual intellectualism, sinister wit and dripping with magical prowess that we have never witnessed since maybe Pan or Plato.

And that is a lot of pressure. Even for Leonard Cohen.

I came close to meeting him once.

Continue reading

From Intent.com: The Love of Family

Intent Anne Theresa

You’d be hard-pressed to find the perfect family if you had all the time in the world to look. Single parent, both parents, no parents.
Siblings, no siblings.
Extended family is another can of worms altogether.

As humans, we’re all in process. We’re sorting through the experiences, habits, memories of our existence and deciding what to hang on to and what to let go. Some of us are very intentional about it. You’ve seen others be destructive in their choices. At the same time, every single human you’ve ever met has a genealogy. They belong to a family whether or not they know it or choose to participate in it. Maybe your family has those people. It can be easier or harder to love someone depending on what part of the process they are presently living.

Our encouragements for living and loving amidst a tough family situation? Continue reading

Weird Breathing Tip To Help You Feel Better

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We took a break from hard work this morning and in our internet wanderings found this quick and weird breathing exercise on HuffPo! Belly ache? Brain need a rest? If so, you can try this tip from literally anywhere (except underwater. Don’t try this underwater.) Continue reading

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