Mindful Expat Episode 11: Embracing Change & Going With the Flow

What you’ll learn in this episode:

• How change is an inevitable part of our lives — especially when we’re living abroad — and how accepting and even embracing change (rather than resisting it) can allow us to be happier.
• Some tips for learning how to accept and embrace change in your life — including practicing being fully present, recognizing that this too shall pass, welcoming change (or relaxing into it), practicing gratitude, and practicing self-compassion. Read More


Mindful Expat Episode 9: The Wolf You Feed (aka Building Mental Habits)

What you’ll learn in this episode:

• About my experience at the Families in Global Transitions (FIGT) Conference last week.
• About the link between our thoughts and our feelings and some strategies for becoming more aware of automatic thoughts.
• The parable of the two wolves and how it can be a useful metaphor for thinking about the types of thoughts we’re cultivating in our lives.
• The importance of mental habits and cultivating habits that lead to the experiences we want to have (rather than those that make us feel distress). Read More


Mindful Expat Episode 7: Diving Deeper into Mindfulness & Balancing Acceptance with Change

What you’ll hear in this episode:

• A discussion of the different attitudes of mindfulness — beginner’s mind, non-judgment, acknowledgment, non-striving, letting be, self-reliance, and self-compassion.
• That acceptance and commitment to change and growth are not in opposition to one another and can, in fact, coexist.
• About my plans to attend the FIGT conference next week!
• A sneak peek at what’s coming up in next week’s episode.
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Mindful Expat Episode 4: Everyday Mindfulness in the Expat Life (with Guest Jodi Harris)

Today’s Mindful Expat Guest is Jodi Harris!

Jodi is a life coach who specializes in working with expats and others living abroad, helping them work through life changes, define their priorities and goals, and build a satisfying and meaningful life for themselves! Originally from the United States, Jodi has lived in Northern Ireland, Spain, the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, and she now lives in Tokyo, Japan (for the 2nd time), with her husband and 3 children. (See below for more information about Jodi’s work and how to follow up with her.)

What you’ll hear in today’s episode:

• Jodi’s approach to helping her expat clients begin to integrate “everyday mindfulness” into their lives.
• The importance of making room for all emotions (not labeling emotions as “bad” or “good”).
• Jodi’s approach to helping expat parents integrate mindfulness into their own lives and model mindful awareness — and acceptance — of their emotions to their children.
• Jodi’s approach to helping expats develop a sense of “home” within themselves wherever they go.

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A Taste of Mindfulness: Fine-Tuning Your Awareness Through Mindful Eating

raspberriesThe practice of mindfulness involves focusing our attention on the present moment — as it unfolds from one moment to the next.

However, when you’re just getting started with practicing mindfulness, it can be hard to know what to focus on. So many thoughts and distractions come into our minds, and it can be challenging to remain in the present.

To begin to train our awareness to stay in the present moment, we often use different “anchors” — such as our breath, sounds in our environment, or sensations in our bodies (like a cool breeze on our skin or the chair beneath us) — to keep us grounded in the present moment.

All of our senses can serve as potential anchors, helping us keep our metaphorical feet planted in the here and now. One of my favorite exercises for practicing mindfulness — mindful eating — incorporates all 5 of these senses. Read More


Learning to Listen to Yourself

woman

You know that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach? The one that says something’s not right?

Or the ease and comfort you have when you’re with someone you really trust? The feeling that says, “This person is safe. I can let down my guard.”

Or maybe you’ve noticed how energized and excited you feel about certain aspects of your work and how drained you feel by others.

These feelings have important messages to tell us if we only listen. But too often, we don’t tune in enough to hear what they have to say. Or if we do, we don’t trust them.

Maybe we did trust them once upon a time — but we’ve been burned.

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The Legend of the Two Wolves

wolfThere’s an old Cherokee legend about two wolves that goes like this:

An old man was talking to his grandson about life.

He told the young boy, “A battle is going on inside of me. It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents all that is bad — fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other wolf represents all that is good — joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, and compassion.”

The old man then turned to the boy and said, “The same fight is going on inside of you, and inside of every person on this great earth.”

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he turned to his grandfather and asked, “But which wolf will win?”

And the old man replied, “The one you feed.”

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Mindfulness Abroad

womanYou may have noticed that I’ve written a fair number of blog posts on the subject of mindfulness so far.

And if you’re an expat or international student following this blog, you may be wondering what mindfulness has to do with your experience of living abroad.

Good question!

While the practice of mindfulness can be helpful for almost anyone, those of us living outside our comfort zone for a period of time may find it especially helpful for a number of reasons. We’ll talk about just 3 of these reasons today. Read More


What Are You Waiting For?

rosesAre you waiting for something, thinking that when you reach that next step, then — then! — you can finally start living?

Or relax?

Or allow yourself to be happy?

Many of us struggle to live in the present moment. We spend a lot of time thinking about either the past (ruminating about things that happened or didn’t happen) or the future (worrying or anticipating things that may or may not happen). But relatively rarely are we really living our lives in the present moment, the here and now.

And one of the many things that can get in the way of our really living in the present is our goals.

Now, I have nothing against goals. Goals are great! The problem isn’t having the goals, it’s telling ourselves that we can’t… SOMETHING… until we reach them. That we can’t give ourselves a break. That we can’t be happy. That our lives won’t be complete.

Until X.

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