In this issue:
Day Long Retreat in Rancho Mirage, Ca
Mindful Eating Workshop: In Los Angeles- Saturday, Dec 17, 2011
A Mindful Eating Exercise
The Center for Mindful Eating
Free Cancer Classes
Conference on Mindfulness and Youth 2012 UCSD
Books and Movies
I thought I would dedicate this newsletter to the topic and practice of mindful eating. I don’t know about your workplace, but there seems to be an avalanche of food sliding into the office where I see patients during the week. I don’t mean baskets of organic apples and oranges, raw almonds and whole grain crackers…no, more like candy corn for Halloween, and Doritos just to name a few choice items… and soon I am sure the next wave of holiday foods will slide in. There will also be many opportunities for feasting at holiday events . So what a great time to practice Mindful Eating! Instead of unconsciously reaching for food that you may not event taste as you munch in front of your computer, or reach for when you feel stressed, try using the tools from Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Take a few consious breaths, check in with yourself about your feelings, see if what you really crave is a stretch or a walk around the block, or conversation with a freind.
Often I am struck by the fact that as I hear people in the office talking about wanting to lose weight, and see this abundance of food everywhere, I think about how many folks in the world don’t have enough to eat. Lets’ take a deep breath together with this in our hearts for a moment and see how we feel. If there is somethign you feel moved to do for others, why wait? An organization local to me in the desert called Hidden Harvest, ‘gleans’ produce that would otherwise be wasted, and gives it to the farmers who grow it but often don’t get to eat it. Check out Hidden Harvest and be inspired. As we move into the holiday season, I’d like to invite you to bring your mindful (non-judgmental) awareness to what you are putting in your body and even more importantly, how and why you are doing it. One of the reasons dieting fails (and there are many studies to back this up) is- there is a missing piece – by just focusing on the ‘what’ of eating, we are missing the crucial awareness, why are we eating and how? By taking a mindful pause before following the impulse to eat, we may have the opportunity to discover what we are really hungry for. What I observe is that many of us are really hungry for connecting with each other. As opportunities to gather together around food arise, lets’ see what it would be like to consume less and connect more. A great thing to do with your mouth (besides chewing and tasting) is to express your real feelings towards others, and to be kind to yourself and others as you do it.
Many studies show that applying the practices and principles of mindfulness to eating- as it has been taught for stress reduction, (MBSR) allows people to heal their very complex relationship with food, their bodies and their weight. To learn more about this, please join me in a 3 hour workshop I will be presenting at Insight LA in Santa Monica on Saturday December 17th. You may enroll through their website. If it is not up yet, send them an email to reserve a spot at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at 310-774-3325. In early 2012 I’ll be presenting my 8 week Mindful Eating for Healthy Living program at various locations, check my website for dates and locations. It will also be posted in my next newsletter.
Practice a Mindful Eating excercise with my dear friend and senior MBSR teacher Bob Stahl PhD right now with this great video
Also visit and then perhaps join The Center for Mindful Eating, is a site where you can take advantage of many free teleconferences and classes from the worlds leading experts in the field.
Free Classes for Cancer Patients and their families; Eisenhowers’ Lucy Curci Cancer Center Thursday, Nov 17th 6:00 PM , or Monday, Nov 21st 3:00 PM, led by Beth Mulligan and Hugh O’Neill Call 760-674-3628 for more information.
Last Daylong Retreat of 2011- Saturday , November 12th , 9:30-3:30 The Annenberg Center at Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, CA. Cost $45.00 or whatever you can afford . Bring your own lunch! Register at www.mindful-way.com/retreats
New Year’s Retreat -Yokoji Zen Mountain Center, Idyllwild, CA Wednesday December 28th – Sunday January 1st
The annual end of year retreat. A regular retreat schedule builds up to New Year’s Eve, when we join together for different ceremonies and periods of zazen (meditation) up until midnight. The ceremonies include a fire ritual, where we gather around a small fire and burn bits of paper with our hindrances from the past year. In the morning on January 1st, we gather again around the fire and burn papers with our resolutions for the new year, acknowledging the transition between 2011 and 2012 by letting go of the past and embracing the future. Learn more here.
(this retreat is conducted by teachers and staff from YZMC and is not a Mindful-Way event though we highly reccomend it!)
I recently received this from a student currently enrolled in my MBSR class. She is the director of a large medical department, with some stress related health problems of her own that brought her to the program:
“I really like emailing you in between our weekly sessions because it is a way for me to stay connected with the practice AND because when I do get insights it is great to share with you. I’ve done the 30 minute sitting meditation twice at home since our last session. I am amazed that I can do this because I’ve always had this view of myself as having a hard time relaxing and letting go of worries. But after completing these meditations, I had this thought (and I don’t want to lose the thought, so writing it down helps):I am often so preoccupied with so many pressing issues at work and those preoccupations dominate my thoughts and so much of the thoughts are centered on what will/might happen in the future. But I realize that it’s important to appreciate my life and the moments in my life NOW and to realize that I can do what I can at work, but I can’t control every outcome and every issue. So I will continue to do the best I can, but I’m hoping that I can begin to let go of worrying about what will or might happen. And, rather than worrying about all the possibilities, enjoy what I have right now. I guess I see it as a balance between working hard to try to achieve optimum outcomes, but recognizing that I can’t control all the outcomes; if I put more energy in my life and all the precious moments now I will be happier and more at peace. I think I’m learning not to be so hard on myself. Thanks for reading/listening to my thoughts. It is very helpful to me.
Save The Date!
Bridging the Hearts and Minds of Youth: Mindfulness in Clinical Practice, Education and Research San Diego, CAFebruary 4-5, 2012
This first-of-its-kind conference will feature keynote speakers Rick Hanson, Ph.D., neuropsychologist and author of The Buddha’s Brain; Susan Kaiser-Greenland, author of The Mindful Child and co-founder of the Inner Kids Foundation; cognitive neuroscientist and noted mindfulness researcher Amishi Jha, Ph.D.; and Pamela Siegle, M.S. and Chip Wood, M.S.W., noted authorities on childhood development and contemplative education.
The keynote speakers will be complemented by a varied lineup of workshop presenters and teachers gathered together to not only share their work thus far but to advance the field of mindfulness with children and teens in educational, community and clinical settings.
Download a flyer for this meeting.
Books, I bet many of you have read this already, but in the spirit of the topic this month I can’t resist mentioning it again: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
and the great film Forks Over Knives
If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness and live in the Los Angeles, Pasadena or Loz Feliz area, check out Insight LA. In San Diego, look into UCSD’s Center for Mindfulness , in Riverside County and Orange County check out our programs at Mindful-Way Stress Reduction and the UC Irvine Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine or for national and international resources go to: The Center for Mindfulness at U Mass Worcester You can also take classes on line through emindful.com There are many great books and CD’ s available also. I recommend A Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein
The Latest Research : To alway be up to date in this emerging field, subscribe to Mindfulness Research Monthly here and read past issues.
Check out our : The Mindful Channel on You Tube
To Learn more about Mindfulness Meditation
Schedule a one-on
One Stress Reduction session with Hugh O’Neill by calling 951-750-9020
Or buy a CD set on the website. Click here to order
Fllow our blog here and find out what we are up to on facebook
Also available from Mindful-Way two short free meditations you can download to your ipod or phone. A great way to de-stress quickly whenever you need to. You can find them on our website on the free audio page.
Please visit us on the web for updates click here
Thanks for all your support and participation. One breath at a time, one moment at a time,
Beth Mulligan, PA-C
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention in a non-judgmental way to what is inside us and around us, moment to moment.
When we live mindfully, we are actually remembering a natural way of being in the world,a way in which we are more present and not missing our lives lost in thought.
I encourage you to learn about Mindfulness in a class or book to enhance your joy in living and improve your health.
In The Workplace