Here are 10 TEDTalks to change your life, per a request from Grandview Heights staff who took the Mindful Growth course with me last week.
#1- Kelly McGonical, “The Upside of Stress” – McGonical shares how the way we view stress changes the physiological repercussions that stress has for us.
#2- Brene Brown, “The Power of Vulnerability” – Brown discusses her research on the “whole-hearted” and how their ability to be vulnerable also allows them to be courageous.
#3- Brene Brown, “Listening to Shame” – Brown talks about the inverse of vulnerability and how shame keeps us from connecting with others.
#4- Matt Killingsworth, “Want to be Happy? Stay in the Moment” – Killingsworth shares his research on how “mind wandering” keeps us from being happy; his study is the largest on happiness to date.
#5- Carol Dweck, “The Power of Yet” – Dweck explains how mindset shapes our ability to grow.
#6- Angela Lee Duckworth, “Grit: The Power of Perseverance” – Duckworth describes the key to success in any field (grit) and why we should bring it into schools.
#7- David Steindl-Rast, “Want to be Happy? Be Grateful” – Steindl-Rast describes gratitude as the root of happiness, not a product of happiness.
#8- Julian Treasure, “Five Ways to Listen Better” – Treasure gives a quick, informative talk on the value of silence and listening.
#9- Amy Cuddy, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are” – Cuddy explains how a two-minute practice can give you more confidence and change the ways others see you and the ways you see yourself.
#10- Larry Schwartz, “Nature. Beauty. Gratitude.” – Videographer Schwartz presents the video on gratitude narrated by David Steindl-Rast along with his other time-lapse nature images.
As I reflect upon my own mindful gratitude practice and gather resources to reboot my Mindful Gratitude workshop, I am continuing to explore the work of Brother David Steindl-Rast. The “Stop. Look. Go.” practice is one of the new tools I found and wanted to share. It is an informal practice that happens in the comings and goings of daily life and takes only a few minutes and some reflection. Here are the three parts:
1.) Stop. This alone is a quite valuable practice. We live in a culture that is all productivity, rush and noise. Can we take a moment and be still? What benefits might we experience if we do? In Steindl-Rast’s words, we need to create “stop signs” in our lives that create a pause and be still.
Take a moment and reflect: where might you create a stop sign in your own life? What cue will you use as a reminder?
2.) Look. Be curious about your own experience in this moment. What do you see? Hear? Feel? For what can you experience a sense of gratitude? You don’t need to manufacture anything, and if something quite difficult is happening, there is no reason to try and change it. Perhaps you just remember that you are alive. That you are breathing. That there is no moment exactly like this moment.
3.) Go. What seed for action is this moment offering you? Living is an art that you create as you go. How can you make it beautiful for yourself? For others? Ask yourself these questions and wait patiently for an answer. When you get one, do it, act on the insight that comes from your own intuition and reflection.
Need inspiration to start this practice? Here is a beautiful video from gratefulness.org’s website.
Did happened when you took a moment to stop, look, go? What did you find? Please share your thoughts below.
In reflective conversation and in the surveys I send out to participants after working with me, I find that gratitude practice is consistently the most impactful in daily life. Many months later, even people who are not doing formal mindfulness meditation are still using the Beautiful Moments practice and experiencing gratitude as a part of daily life.
I am doing a gratitude workshop with two amazing administrators on Monday who are trying to implement mindfulness practices into their whole building. We are going to explore gratitude together, and I am happy to have this opportunity to find some new resources and revisit some old ones.
While reconnecting with the work of David Steadl Rast, whose TEDTalk is below, I once again came across Gratefulness.org.
I took the opportunity to engage with the “light a candle” practice they provide through their site. I used the moment of pause to be grateful to all those people who support my work in the world and are willing to engage in the process of growing with me. Then I made this dedication:
After making a dedication, the candle burns for 48 hours, and there is a link to click and be provided with a mini-candle for your laptop during that time.
Mine is burning right now, and every time I see the flame, I am mindful of the love it represents.
For what can you be grateful today? Please leave your thoughts below.
Thought I would share some of the Smoky Mountain sweetness from my vacation in North Carolina last week. Enjoy!
Catching the rolling clouds overhead,
powerful forces of beauty
reshaping the landscape’s light and shadow
Admiring the flowing elements softly changing the earth,
inhaling the sweetness of less inhabited air
Finding a kindred soul while searching a cabin bookshelf,
reliving my pilgrimage through the written word
Feeling held by candle light and love
appreciating the magic of regular moments
made particular by caring hands and connected hearts
Translating absence to deeper appreciation
attempting to express with inadequate words
the “love that let us share our name”
Confessions of a Struggling Minimalist: The Joys of Tidying Up and the Struggles of Living with Less
It’s hard to imagine a more quintessentially American expedition than taking a train out West, a.k.a. our holiday season this year. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of traveling by rail or landing in the frosty winter of Montana, here are a few images to capture the experience.
For the ceremony, we decided to each create a sky lantern where one side would be an honoring of present and passing lives and the other side would be a welcoming of new gifts.
Immediately, this time was different from the last in that Mel’s adorable little children were not quite ready for bedtime. In the pictures below, what you don’t see are the tiny hands, feet and voices in the background and Mel trying to coerce her little people back into their beds.
It is 3:53 am on Thanksgiving day. I have been up since 3:30, but I also shut off my bedroom light at around 8:15, so I guess I have had a solid night’s sleep- not that I have been doing any clock watching.
It has been 32 hours since I have had anything but water and hot tea. I am mostly over the hump now. Around 5:00 yesterday I started getting a headache, followed by body pain and general lethargy, but now I feel fine.
Opening the first page of a new notebook,
blank space soon to be filled
beginning again, pen to paper,
poised to fill the pages