Being present: a healthy approach
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention by intentionally focusing on the present moment.
How do we do this? One way is to go within the body, sensing without judgment. Try this now. Bring awareness to the sensation of breathing in and out. Focus on the cool air of the inhale, the warmth of the exhale. Observe the way your body does this without analyzing or labeling. When the mind wanders as it will, gently return your attention to the sensation of breathing. No matter what is going on around us, we can relax into our Being by observing the breath this way. That is mindfulness.
Do you struggle with the idea of sitting still? You are not alone. Happily, there are as many paths to mindfulness as there are people on our planet. We are here to help you Find Your Way.
For example, Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Peace is Every Step suggests walking meditation. He writes: "Our breathing has the function of helping our body and mind to calm down. As we walk, we can say, Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I bring peace into my body. Calming the breath calms the body and reduces any pain and tension." Try this! Stand up and take a few steps with the rhythm of your breath. What do you notice?
Ellen Langer, founder of the The Langer Mindfulness Institute at Harvard University, has conducted data-driven studies of mindfulness without meditation. She advocates paying attention to the task at hand through novelty and engagement. You might experiment with this the next time you're driving or commuting. At every light, pay attention to what's outside the window. Observe your surroundings - the contrast between sky and leaves, sun glinting on glass or water, people walking or dogs running. Inevitably, you'll revert to contemplation about past or future events, as we all do. But notice that, too: Here I am, thinking. Again, look out the window to seek a new perspective.
When you paid attention, was there a shift? Could you feel a sensation rising inside, perhaps even sense possibility? Mindfulness is practice that helps us feel better in all senses.
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Write & Release
*Fall 2018: therapeutic massage!
Co-create your mindfulness practice
At Be Well Be Here, we begin by exploring what makes you unique to co-create mindfulness practices that enhance your well-being. Our collaborative session involve experimenting with a variety of mindful wellness modalities, deepening mindful experiences until you Find Your Way.
Lara Wilson, MA, MCMS
A well-published author of short fiction and writing teacher, Lara expanded her writing consultancy to establish Be Well Be Here after successfully completing breast cancer treatment with the help of an optimistic outlook, top-notch doctors at Dana Farber, a team of holistic practitioners, a community of 100 caring friends, a deep connection with nature, and a dedicated 30-year meditation practice. Aware that decades of mindfulness practice and study were fundamental to her positive health outcome, Lara deepened her healing arts practice and education. After treatment, she earned her second-degree Reiki designation, a certificate in restorative/yoga nidra, and continued to study qi gong with experts such as Master Yang Yang of the breast cancer center at Memorial Sloane-Kettering in NYC. At Harvard, Lara studied the science of mindfulness with Ellen Langer and associates, learning from data-driven research how a powerful mind/body connection along with integrative therapies can promote improved health. Most recently, she pursued a master's certificate in mindfulness studies at Lesley University, delving deeply into the history of mindfulness through the Buddhist traditions.
Her variety of experiences teaching and learning mindful wellness modalities enable Lara to help clients of all backgrounds discover new modes of expression and self-care to enhance well-being. Teachers whose work continues to inspire her are Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Christina Feldman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Gregory Kramer, and Pema Chodron. Lara’s experience as a lifelong student of meditation, a storyteller, a writing teacher, and a devotee of holistic health inspire her to share her expansive mindful wellness methodologies with a broader community. As the mother of four children who attend four schools, she’s also an organizational guru.
Lara continues to passionate about the written and spoken word. She earned a master's degree in English & American Literature in 1994, and received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship (2010) as well as fiction scholarships from both Bread Loaf and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She recently joined the board of directors of the Concord Public Library, and serves of the steering committee of The Bridge Year of the Concord Festival of Authors. Prior to this, for six years she served as a member of the board of directors at Boston’s renowned non-profit writing center, Grub Street, where she has been a manuscript consultant and fiction teacher for over a decade. Lara has been a featured panelist at national literary conferences such as the Muse and the Marketplace and Associated Writing Programs (AWP), and has spoken to hundreds of young people as a mindfulness curriculum consultant at public and private schools in the northeast and southern US. She remains passionate about co-creating mindfulness practices with current clients and people of all ages / backgrounds interested in the journey of mindful wellness.
Be Well Be Here
Calm. Compassionate. Collaborative.