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Issue #4  //  Mindful Moments 

“Life is only available in the present moment.” 

- Thich Nhat Hanh

From Melia:

With so many inputs in any given day, especially if you’re parenting young kids in this season of life, it’s easy to spend much of your time preoccupied -- with worries and To-Do lists (the future) or regrets and the good old days (the past). We’re zoomed forward or backward in time and missing what’s happening in this moment, whether it’s the hot water running over your face in the shower or the clouds passing overhead as you walk across the parking lot.

In his TED talk, All it takes is 10 mindful minutes, Andy Puddicombe cites Harvard research that our minds are lost in thought almost 47 percent of the time. 47 percent! So we quite literally spend half our lives in our own heads unless we consciously take action to bring ourselves back to the here and now.

Mindfulness is one of those concepts that takes seconds to understand but much longer to master. It’s simply paying full attention to the present moment, being fully immersed in what we’re doing and whom we’re with.

Fortunately, with mindfulness and meditation becoming more widely practiced in recent years, there are a lot of supports available as we build this skill.

  • The Headspace, Calm, and Shine apps have guided meditations and other tools, like random notifications with mindfulness tips.  
  • You can use a three-breath pause to center you as you transition from one activity to the next (and also to calm down when upset or anxious). 
  • Paying attention to sensory detail, the sights and smells and sounds around you, anchors you in the present.

The key is to be patient with yourself – and I’m talking to myself here! – and just to bring your attention back when it wanders. Because it will. It’s the nature of our monkey minds. Mindfulness is an ongoing practice, not a destination.

Even one mindful moment in your day is better than none at all. And with practice, you’ll create more and more of them. Even on the busiest days, what’s more important than experiencing our one wild and precious life with awareness as often as we can?  

🎙 Latest Episode: #16 - Breaking Through Limiting Beliefs

The beliefs we have about our capabilities aren't actually facts, and they can often hold us back from change and new possibilities. 

On this episode, we talk about our own limiting beliefs – one of Melia's is, "I’m always going to struggle with anxiety" and one of Gill's is, "I have to be productive all the time." And we discuss five strategies to help you build a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.  

👉 Steal This Tip: Tap into the "power of yet"

Carol Dweck, the researcher behind growth mindset vs. fixed mindset, tells a story about a high school that gives the grade “Not Yet” to students who don’t pass a course. 

She says: “I thought that was fantastic, because if you get a failing grade, you think, I’m nothing, I’m nowhere. But if you get the grade ‘Not Yet,’ you understand that you’re on a learning curve. It gives you a path into the future.” 

Use the words “yet” and “not yet” when working toward a goal. Research shows it helps builds confidence and persistence in kids – and it can benefit us adults, too!

More on this: 


Episode #5: Prioritizing What Matters, Part I🎙

We’re using a three-step process to better identify our priorities: 

  1. Define your priorities by writing them down. 
  2. When you’re presented with a choice about how to spend your time, consider if it moves one of those top priorities forward. 
  3. On a regular basis, evaluate how your priorities are matching up with the way you’re actually spending your time.

Listen to the episode for more on this process. 

😄 Things We Text Each Other

via @sarahdizzle

An expression of joy turns dark in the Upside Down...

😍 Stuff We Love Right Now

On the Interwebs  🖥

  • We Are Generation Catalano

    NYT Style published a fun look back at Gen X pop culture. If, like us, you feel in between generations, take the quiz, “Are You Secretly a Millennial?” It’s for that "weird microgeneration called the Xennials" – people born between 1978 and 1983 (ahem, 1980 and 1983 here) – and includes references to some of our faves, like Daria, My So-Called Life and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.

  • The Sketch Guy 

    Carl Richards’ sketches for the New York Times column The Sketch Guy are as simple as they are profound; they stick with you. He illustrates investing in friendships, taking a single step toward your big dream, and making your future bigger than your past. That last one includes this killer question from author Dan Sullivan: If you and I were to meet three years from today, what would you want to have happened for you, personally and professionally, in order to consider those years a success?

  • TED Talks, Transcribed

    From Melia: Did you know that TED talks have a transcripts (and in 40 languages)? It made me so happy when Gill mentioned this to me; on, you just click the Transcript tab under the video. Of course I’d love to sit and watch many of the 18-minute talks in their full glory, but I just don’t have that luxury right now! The transcripts are great for skimming and vetting what you’d like to watch. Also, TEDx and TEDSalon talks are shorter than 18 minutes.

  • Opening Young Minds

    Sesame Street has introduced Karli, a Muppet in foster care, and Arthur’s teacher had a same-sex wedding 😭😭😭

    In Our Ears  🎧

    • From Melia: 
      • Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend: I LOVE this podcast. To me, Conan is one of the funniest people alive, and this format – vs. the short interviews on his show – lets him tap into his more thoughtful and unscripted side. My favorites so far: Lisa Kudrow (they are old friends who credit one another with their careers), Stephen Colbert, Michelle Obama, Ben Stiller, Nicole Byer, and Adam Sandler (they tell an insanely funny story about being neighbors). 
      • Sara Bareilles: We already recommended her new album, but I’ve since become obsessed with “Fire” (see her SNL performance 🔥🔥🔥) and “1000 Times” from The Blessed Unrest. “Many the Miles” and “Bottle It Up” are other old faves of Gill’s and mine. I went down the rabbit hole Googling my new BFF and learned that she has a book of personal narrative essays about her life and music -- naturally, I one-click ordered it immediately. I adore her!

    • From Gill:
      • Heads Will Roll (Audible Original): SNL’s Kate McKinnon and her sister Emily Lynne (yay, sister projects!) created this absurdly funny scripted comedy that cracked me up so much. It’s about an evil medieval queen trying to quash a peasant rebellion and her raven minion (a cursed princess) dealing with an identity crisis, with lots of clever winks to modern pop culture and politics. The supporting cast is stellar: Tim Gunn, Meryl Streep, Audra McDonald, the Fab Five, etc.

    On Our Plates & In Our Glasses  🍽 🍹

    • Minty Cocktails (From Melia): Darren and I are growing mint in the backyard just so we can make mojitos and mint juleps.
    • Overnight Yeasted Waffles (From Gill): These waffles rise perfectly and require very little hands-on work. Just mix most ingredients the night before and let them do their thing – worth planning ahead!  

    Until next time! 


    Melia & Gill 😘😘

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