Cultivate Mindfulness Through Active Engagement

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Photo by Carolyn V on Unsplash

Now that so many magazines and books promote the benefits of mindfulness, it is no wonder that the number of people who practice meditation has increased. But, as someone who has had an off and on meditation practice for more than thirty years, it is also no surprise to me that some studies show up to a third of people that have meditated discontinue their practice. Some people simply find it hard to sit still. Sometimes (especially after a trauma), meditation can be anxiety provoking. Sometimes people simply don’t feel like they have the time.

While I have personally found…


Social and Economic Needs Are Always Part of the Equation

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Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

When I hear people talking about public health issues, especially since the pandemic, they often pit public health needs against economic needs. For example, “I know COVID 19 is a public health threat but the economy matters, too”. Quick reads of titles from reputable research journals can give the impression that health and economic researchers also see health and economics as a dichotomy (although deeper reading reveals another story — more on that later). Take this title from Vox EU: “Valuating health vs wealth: The effect of information and how this matters for COVID-19 policymaking”. Or, consider this Science Daily…


Your Origins Are Always Relevant

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Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

The friend I spent the most time with as a teenager wasn’t a “best friend.” Michelle was a “neighbourhood friend,” the kind of person you meet simply because they live a few houses away and ride the same school bus. I got to know her more because even though I was only three years older her mother hired me to half “babysit” — not over her but because she and her sister were always fighting. Eventually, I visited while not on the job to play Tetris, talk about “stuff” and do art in the same room together. …


How play got me through the trials of this past year and helped me regain my focus, creativity, and connection

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

No matter how you look at it, 2020 was a tough year for everybody. I was fortunate in that some previous life challenges had been resolved, freeing up vital energy. It also probably helped that my fascination with change can compensate for its anxiety-provoking properties. But, despite this, the year did not spare me. It forced me to rethink my entire career; gave me a house filled with teenagers and young adults continuing their education from home; took away the ceremony of milestone events like my daughter’s graduation from high school; greatly reduced social and travel opportunities; generally conspired to…


Every Creation Begins With First Attempts

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

What do you picture when you think of essay writing? I think many people remember the sweaty-palmed panic of churning out an essay during high school English exams. Maybe you picture irritating assignments asking you to defend your opinion on a topic of no personal interest? I am one of the lucky few with some positive memories regarding essay writing; in part due to having a high school English teacher who allowed a considerable range of writing within the formal structure. …


Some Wisdom from Kahlil Gibran on the Parental Journey Toward Letting Go

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“Mom shoots an Arrow” by DJOtaku is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This was the year I thought I would have a very spacious nest. My oldest child had already moved out for university. My daughter graduated from high school and had an apartment lined up for her boyfriend and herself. My husband and I thought it would just be us and our sixteen-year-old. But pandemics have a way of changing plans, and we now have three legal adults living at home in addition to the three of us. I am fine with the situation. We are trying to give everyone a sound start before they go off on their own. …


Why it’s important to focus on cultivating thoughtfulness rather than on thoughts themselves.

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“thought that counts? ❤” by HeatherHeatherHeather is licensed under CC BY 2.0

My friend, Marie, told me a story about an experience I believe most of us can identify with. When she was a teenager, she had not yet met anyone who identified as being in gender transition (or “trans”) or as gender fluid. She was with a friend in a public space and saw (from her point of view) a man who was a cross-dresser. Her friend referred to the person using feminine pronouns. Marie was upset with her friend, thinking it rude of her to speak about someone who (to her) was obviously male as if they were a woman…


How being open to serendipity has broadened this introvert’s life

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“Strangers On The C Train” by James Loesch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I have known my husband since high school, so when people ask how we met they are expecting a typical high school sweetheart story. Or maybe the usual “introduced by a mutual friend”, or we shared a class. But actually, when we met he was new to the area, we were in different grades, had no friends or classes in common, and hadn’t even bumped into each other over a lunch break. When I tell the story of how we met, I say, “It’s because I walked up the stairs like his mother.”

It was the middle of one of…


Connecting with my adult kids now that they can understand the truth within the fantasy

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“Christmas Elves” by Kris King Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

All three of my kids have pointed out a puzzling inconsistency regarding my personality. I am maddeningly honest according to most people. I’m the sort of person who tells telemarketers that I’m enjoying my television show too much to speak to them. If I’m admiring the physique of a friend’s partner and they ask what I’m looking at I’ll risk their ire by saying, “Your husband’s abs have been distracting me ever since he took off his shirt.” If I’m late for an appointment on a day there was road construction but I was also late to leave, I don’t…


Turn the Liabilities into Net Profits!

Many people claim that it costs a lot of money to raise children; especially teenagers. Some even claim their teens have driven them to the dual plagues of bankruptcy and insanity. But I believe that with a little creative problem solving and a pinch of magic (found in mushroom patches) we can all find ways to actually turn a profit by raising teenagers.

1. Save on illness related costs by getting your teenager to eliminate junk food in your home.

Junk food is so tempting to eat but also so bad for you — increasing your waistline, your blood pressure, and the cost of your prescriptions. Teenagers are a natural prevention for junk food related health costs…

Bethany Dugas

I’m a business trainer specializing in workplace wellness and environmental sustainability. In my spare time I dabble as a mad scientist and street philosopher.

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