9 Tips to Make Your Commute Awesome

Hello fellow travelers! So, this is a post for members of the commuting tribe. I live in suburban New Jersey and commute to New York City during the week. It takes an average of 75 minutes each way, so I spend at least 2+ hours on the train or bus every day. That’s a lot of time and I decided a while back that I should focus less energy being frustrated about it and more energy using it to my advantage. So, here are my top tips for how to make your commute work for you. Maybe you’ll even start to look forward to it?


#1— Make a List and Get Some Things Done

The best hack I’ve got for your commuting time is to make a commuting to-do list and knock out some of your household tasks. I’m big on list-making and I use the Wunderlist app to organize my various lists. I have a to-do list specifically for my commute and will usually make a plan right after I settle in on the train. This uninterrupted time is great for all manner of nagging tasks including grocery shopping (especially if you use an online service like Fresh Direct), kid birthday party planning, vacation planning, ordering kids clothes, making doctor appointments, etc. Of course, this requires some sort of electronic device. I carry my iPad which I have attached to a Bluetooth keyboard, but my husband is able to complete many fo the same types of tasks on his phone.

#2– Make a Plan for Your Day

If your job is like mine, you are managing a never-ending flow of emails, requests, and tasks. If you try to sit down and dive right into your email, you’ll go down a time suck rabbit hole. Instead, spend a few minutes during your commute thinking about your most important priorities for the work day. It will keep you from getting sucked into the email vortex and help you start off the day with your best foot forward.

#3– Get Creative

Getting your creative juices flowing is a great way to either start off the day right or wind down after a stressful day. Writing is obviously an outlet for me, but there are other things you can do on a train or bus including drawing, knitting, or the newest fad – coloring! Studies have shown that regular creativity can reduce stress, so this has multiple benefits.

#4– Meditate

Commuting is a perfect time for meditation, in my view. In fact, the Calm app, of which I’m a big fan, has an entire series on meditating and commuting. The great thing about meditating is that you really can do it anytime and anywhere. The great thing about meditating on your commute is that it can help lower your blood pressure and put you in a great frame of mind to either start a productive day at work or re-enter your family life in a mindful way. Sometimes, if I’ve had a particularly hard day, I will do a loving-kindness or gratitude meditation in order to reset myself before I get home to the kids.

#5– Meet Up With a Friend

I have a dear friend who lives in my town and is often on the same train as me. We’ve gotten into the habit of texting each other to check if we’ll be on the same train. I probably see her in this way about once a week. We catch up for an hour, tell each other our joys and woes, get advice on challenging home or work problems and then part ways. I always feel so much happier after I’ve had this time with her. No surprise, since there is a lot of evidence that meaningful interactions with friends is a key to happiness. The thing is, when you’ve got little kids and a demanding job, it can be hard to make time for friends. This is a great solution to a perennial problem.

#6– Make a Date With Your Spouse

My husband cherishes his commute for different reasons than I do. He is mostly an introvert and is recharged by quiet reflection, so sitting beside me as a chatter away about whatever is on my mind is not necessarily his idea of awesome. But, every once in a while, the commute can be used as a sort of date for the two of us. Friday night is a good pick for this, since both of us are less distracted by work. Try cutting out of work a bit early and meeting your husband or wife for a drink nearby the train or bus station before you head home. You’ll walk in the door laughing together!

#7– Take it All In
Eyes up, hearts open! Gazing out the train window may seem like a waste of time, but it sure isn’t. Beautiful colors in the morning sky. Gorgeous skyline. Stately old trees. It’s not just the beauty, though, it’s also the grime. Sometimes I’ll stare out at the polluted river or garbage filled roadside and recommit myself to doing more to protect our precious earth. Or, as we go through some of New Jersey’s poorest and most challenged communities, I will think about how very lucky I am and contemplate how I can do more to help our neighboring communities. Being mindful doesn’t mean that you are blind or deaf to everything that’s wrong and scary about the world. It means that you notice it all. And, your willingness to be present to it puts you in a better position to have a positive influence.

#8– Make Some New Friends

I recently posted about how smiling changes everything. That has certainly been true on my commute. Friendly smiles have opened me up to new commuting friendships. I got to know one of my neighbors especially well during our commute. Her husband drove her to the train and they’d sometimes pick me up as I walked there. She was a wonderful woman — accomplished, kind, upbeat. She died recently from cancer, way too young, but I felt glad for each time that I had exchanged a pleasant word with her. The people we interact with every day leave a mark. Be alive to every interaction.

#9– Connect with Old Friends

My last tip is to use the commute to reach out to some old friends. Send them a Facebook message or a text. Or, better yet, write an email. Every once in a while, I’ll get motivated to do this and send out a series of 5 or 10 messages in a row. The next couple of weeks will return a series of delightful updates from far-flung friends who are no longer part of my day-to-day, but will always be a part of my heart and soul. 

So, there you go. Commuting is a fact of life for many people. How do you make the most of it?

4 Times You Should Always Say Yes to Your Kids

Parenting, positive thinking

I have two little ones and they are the light of my life. They are wonderful. They are also a never-ending fount of requests, demands, questions, and needs. It can be exhausting. A lot of them time I’m telling them no…

  • Mommy, can I paint the couch? No.
  • Mommy, can I have candy for dinner? No.
  • Mommy, can I ride the dog? Um, nooooo.

So, I’ve been thinking lately about times when I can and should say yes. As they say, the days are long but the years are short. Here are four times when I try to always say yes:

#1 – Can I help?

My daughter is 7 and very interested in everything I’m doing. She wants to help, participate, and learn. She’ll often approach me when I’m in the midst of a complicated household task and ask to help. It’s so tempting to say no, but so worth it to say yes. It may take a bit longer to finish the recipe with her little hands in the way. She may get eggshell in the batter or spill the sugar, but it gives us a chance to really talk. She tells me things about her life in those moments that I just don’t hear at other times. Getting things done together is a great way to bond and it gives me a chance to impart skills and knowledge. So, it may take longer and be messier, but it’s worth it to say yes.

Along these lines, my 4-year-old son is now in the habit of “doing the mail” with me. I collect the mail all week in a basket near the door. He takes each piece of junk mail or envelope to the recycling while I open the next and we make it a race. The other day I did the mail without him and he was so sad. Goes to show that even the most mundane tasks can be a fun way to connect with your little ones.

#2 – Can I tell you something?

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”  – Dr. Seuss

It seems that my kids always want to tell me something important and consequential while I’m carrying a load of laundry up the steps or vacuuming the living room. They have a knack for timing. But when they ask if they can tell me something, I try to stop and listen. Their fears and concerns may seem trivial to me in the moment, but they don’t feel that way to them. And, more importantly, I want them to know that I am always there to listen so that when the big things come along, they won’t hesitate to talk to me. I can remember mulling over problems as a child that felt big and scary and hard to talk about. I’m sure they didn’t seem that way to my parents, but I always knew that I could go to them with what was on my mind and in my heart.

#3 – Can I snuggle with you?

I’m a sucker for a good snuggle. I know full well that the time is coming when they won’t want to lay in my bed in the early morning and snuggle. I try not to borrow trouble, so I push thoughts of that time out of my mind. Time feels frozen when I’m holding my children tight and whispering in their tiny ears. I know that I’ll return to that place in my mind for many years to come. For now, I’ll snuggle with them anytime they want to. Including, I should say, when I’m fully dressed for work, carrying my bag, and ready to rush out for the train.

#4 – Will you play with me?

Confession time – I only say yes to this about 40% of the time. There are a couple of reasons. Most of the time it’s because I’m checking off my weekend to-do list  or trying desperately to wrangle them to bed so that I can eat dinner. And that stuff is important and real. Having an orderly home is part of how I stay centered and calm, which makes me a better mother. But, there is another reason…I don’t really enjoy kids games. It’s true! I’ve watched those moms who get down and dirty playing the kid games or doing crafts. It’s just not me. But, here’s the deal, when my kids ask me to play with them, they are inviting me into their world. Their world is fascinating and weird and funny and, when I do say yes, I usually end up enjoying it. So, I’m resolved to say yes to this one more often.

When do you try to say yes to your kids? 

 

6 Ways Smiling Makes Everything Better

“Peace begins with a smile.” – Mother Teresa

Positivity motivation happiness science of smiling
My father is a dentist and I worked intermittently at his office as a pre-teen and teenager. I remember that he had the front desk personnel keep a mirror in front of themselves so that they could see whether or not they were smiling. He knew that the person on the other end of the phone would hear the smile and that it would make his patients happy. Smart man, my dad. Here are six ways that smiling will make your life better and happier:

#1 – Smiling Releases Feel Good Hormones

It turns out that there is good science demonstrating that the physical act of smiling changes your mood. And, you don’t even have to be happy to start. For me, this sort of outside in approach to happiness is really important. I don’t always naturally feel happy or content…who does? But, knowing a few tricks to pull myself out of the doldrums is empowering. Putting on a happy face, as it were, is a go-to strategy.

#2 – Smiling Makes Other People Happy

How do you feel when you approach someone and they greet you with a warm smile? Good, right? Making other people happy is super important because when people around you are happy they emit positivity and that makes your life better. I remember when my children were babies and we were soooo excited for their “social smiles” to begin. Smiling makes others smile and that will make you happy. It’s a virtuous circle!

#3 – Smiling Makes You More Approachable

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” – William Arthur Ward

I work in New York City and interact with many people during the course of the day. When I’m going about my day with a smile on my face, all sorts of interesting people engage me in a wide range of conversations and interactions. When I’m looking like a grump, they don’t. There is one caveat to this strategy, however. When I first moved this way from a smaller town in New Mexico, I rolled around town smiling and nodding at everyone I passed on the sidewalk. This strategy tends to attract crazy people who are otherwise shunned by savvier city folk. So, it’s all about balance. But, if you enjoy a nice howdoyoudonicetomeetyaenjoyyourday as much as I do, better to err on the side of smiling.

#4 – Smiling Helps You Focus on the Positive

It’s hard to mull over everything that you’re worried about when you are walking down the street smiling. That sort of cognitive dissonance just doesn’t come easily. I notice that when I’m going through life with a smile I tend to look up and take in the world around me. There is so much beauty in the world when we are open to seeing it and smiling makes me much more likely to take notice of the adorable child, beautiful morning sky, pretty flowers, etc.

#5 – Smiling Improves Your Reputation

There are a lot of people at work with whom I interact very little. How do they view me? What assumptions do they have about my effectiveness? It’s human nature to draw judgements about people. Our minds are very good at categorizing information so that we can get through the day without being overwhelmed. Smiling is one of the easiest ways for you to develop a reputation at work as being friendly, at ease, and productive. 

#6 – Smiling FEELS Good!
The best reason to start smiling is that it just feels good. Try it today!

Using Lists to Stay Happy and Productive

If you are like me, you have a lot to get done. It can be hard to stay focused and on track even with work emails popping up, children asking for snacks, and constant technology reminders/alerts/alarms. That, my friends, is where list making comes in. I am a devoted list maker. A few years ago, I read Atul Gawande’s brilliant book, The Checklist Manifesto. Now, I was already a committed list maker by that point, but Gawande’s book showed me how list making could help me deal with an increasingly complex and demanding world. Gawande is a surgeon and applied his philosophy to creating medical checklists that help reduce clinical errors and save lives. I just need to get all my errands done, work projects completed, etc. No matter, the idea is the same. The world is coming at all of us with so much information and data. If you want to stay on track with the things that matter to you, make a list! Here’s some ways to use lists that I’ve found helpful:

Happy productivity motivation list mindfulness mindful

Use Technology

I swear by the Wunderlist app. It can be shared and synced with family or friends and specific items can be assigned accordingly. Imagine assigning your husband a must-do family task during your morning commute and finding that it has been miraculously completed by the end of the day. Hallelujah! (Okay, okay, Wunderlist doesn’t actually make your husband do things, but it sets up things up for good behavior.)

In addition to the satisfying check off bing (I’m a sucker for Pavlovian incentives), it’s also great because you can set up a variety of lists in different categories. Groceries, house projects, blog ideas – you name it!

Set Priorities

One benefit of list making is that it gives you an opportunity to reflect on what you’ll prioritize. When you have a million to-dos swirling around in your head they are all given equal importance. With a list, you can order them and focus on what’s really important. When I’m feeling overwhelmed at work, I will do a brain dump of everything on my mental list. Then, I’ll chose the manageable subset of things that I can reasonably focus on that day or within a couple of days and write it on another list. If there is something that isn’t making the cut for immediate action, I’ll take the opportunity to alert any my colleagues as needed. This exercise leaves me feeling calmer and more focused on making progress. I find it an be especially helpful to make the list for the following day before I leave work. That way, I can arrive and hit the ground running.

Leverage Small Amounts of Time

Along the lines of setting priorities, I use mini lists to ensure that I’m effectively leveraging small units of time. For example, I’ll sometimes start out my commute be entering the list of things I’d like to accomplish during that time in my Wunderlist app. My commute is more than an hour on a train, so it can be a highly productive time. Or, if I arrive at work at 9 am and have a 10 am meeting, I’ll write a short list of three things I will do before the meeting. I’ve found that this keeps me from wasting time that would otherwise feel too short to accomplish anything meaningful.

Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Lists

One of my favorite things to do is to actively incorporate self-care items into my lists. On the weekend, this may include taking a yoga class or having coffee with a friend. At work, it may include meditating for 5 minutes or stretching my neck. There is power that comes with writing something down and prioritizing it in this way. It puts my self-care strategies on equal footing with all the other demands and frees me from feeling guilty for taking time for myself…after all, it was on the list!

How do you use lists to stay happy and productive?

Everything the internet has to say about IT band syndrome

I signed up to run the NYC Marathon in 2016 with Team UNICEF. After a few successful half-marathons, I was pumped to run my very first full marathon. I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon in the spring and began training with plenty of lead time. I got up to a 16-mile long run and then something went way wrong… the dreaded IT Band syndrome. I would run about a mile or two and get this awful tightness that stopped me in my tracks. I desperately tried everything I could think of…supplements, massage, foam rolling, chiropractic, stretching, rest, ice. Finally, I went to see an orthopedist who confirmed the IT band issue and sent me to PT. As the time elapsed, it became clear that the marathon was not happening for 2016. ARGH. Well, here I am a few months later and starting to prepare for the 2017 Marathon. I still get some mild IT band pain but I’m much more proactive this time around. We shall see. In the course of all of this, I’ve read A LOT on the internet. If you are a fellow runner struggling with IT band syndrome, here’s my list of the best resources I’ve found online to help you in your journey:

Explanation of ITBS

  • http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome
  • http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/itband.v2.html
  • http://www.drpribut.com/sports/spitb.html
  • https://www.physioadvisor.com.au/injuries/knee/iliotibial-band-syndrome/

Treatment

  • http://www.active.com/running/articles/how-to-aggressively-treat-it-band-syndrome
  • http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/knee-pain/iliotibial-band-syndrome
  • http://strengthrunning.com/2014/12/curing-it-band-pain-exercises-to-treat-illiotibial-band-syndrome/
  • http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/treating-itbs

Rehab and Prevention Exercises

  • http://strengthrunning.com/2011/02/the-itb-rehab-routine-video-demonstration/
  • http://running.competitor.com/2015/03/injury-prevention/10-exercises-to-treat-it-band-syndrome_125083
  • http://www.runnersloveyoga.com/new-blog/2016/7/24/4hipstrengtheningexercises
  • http://blog.mapmyrun.com/7-exercises-to-treat-and-prevent-it-band-syndrome/
  • http://www.runningonhappy.com/2016/01/iliotibial-band-rehabilitation-or-itb/

Happy Foam Rolling!

Self-care & The Resistance

My Facebook feed has been alive with sound and fury. Righteous anger. Action. It’s been a salve to see so many friends and family members fired up and ready to go. But, my friends, The Resistance needs to persist. And that means that we will need to keep up our energy for the long haul. I want my young son and daughter to reflect back on this time and know that (a) I stood up for the values of equality and justice and (b) that I was a fully present, connected mother. The Resistance is going to need self-care if it will be sustained. Here are some tips:

  1. Get connected with actual live human beings. The internet is amazing. I love it. It can also be oppressive, especially with all of the dark news coming at us every day. Meeting an old friend for coffee or a drink may sound easy, but for those of us with kids, spouses, jobs, etc. it can be really easy to let it slip. Don’t. Make it a priority. It will give you the psychic energy that you need. Being connected to other people is super important.
  2. Get moving. Running, yoga, cross-fit…whatever your jam is. We all know that exercise relieves stress and boosts mood. Now more than ever…
  3. Meditate. It’s a theme on this blog. I really dig the Calm app myself, but there’s lots of easy ways to get started, including just sitting down and breathing for 2 minutes.
  4. Read fiction. A study from a couple of years ago in Scientific American found that reading novels can help you to develop emphathy. Screaming at the other side isn’t going to work. We will need to find common ground in order to be successful and that’s going to take empathy. Plus, reading is super fun.
  5. Get perspective. Read some of the history of other resistance movements to understand how they were sustained over long periods. I recently ordered John Lewis’s March trilogy, which is wonderful and inspiring. Peaceful non-violence was at the heart of the civil rights movement. There is a lot to learn from how the leaders of that movement conducted themselves.
  6. Learn how to resist effectively. There’s a difference between slacktivism and activism. Learn the distinction and get out there. Indivisible has a lot of interesting resources for learning how our government works and how to make your voice heard.

How are you practicing self-care during this period of upheaval?

Running Mindfully

I am a runner. It took me about 2 years to own those words. I started running in my mid-thirties in an attempt to get back in shape after having two kids. As a younger person, I definitely scoffed at running…why do it unless someone is chasing you? Then, I got hooked, I mean really HOOKED. Now, I am training for the 2017 NYC Marathon after being sidelined from last year’s race due to an IT band injury. This blog will, in part, share my running adventures and my very first running post  will address the why of running. 

I call this blog Mindful Striver because I feel that it capsulates the sometimes opposing, often complementary parts of my psyche– a duality to which I think a lot of people can relate. On the one hand, I am a striver. I’ve worn the label ambitious as a badge of honor, knowing full well the the contempt it ascribes when given to a woman. I went to school part-time for an advanced degree and take my job very seriously. At home, I’m always casting about for what needs to be done. Even when I’m left to my own devices entirely, I’ll make a list of things to do and get going. If you have ever put “take a bath,” “take a nap,” or “paint nails” on an actual to-do list, then we are spirit animals. This aspect of who I am serves me very well much of the time, but it can also get in my way. I find it very difficult to slow down and quiet my busy mind. And that, my friends, is where running is so perfect for a Mindful Striver. Running is the very definition of doing something. It scratches all of my itches for goal achievement, measurable success, demonstrative improvement etc. But, it is also a meditation in and of itself. I know, I know, it’s not Oooomfindacomfortableseatandcomeintoyourbreath meditation, but it is definitely a meditation. Consider this:

Running Clears Your Mind

There is nothing like a hard run to drown out everything but your feet hitting the pavement. The first mile or two of a run I’m pretty focused on the discomfort in my body or calculating how long I’ll be out. But, after about 1-2 miles, I calm down and just run. Sometimes I’ll start out a run feeling especially worried or stressed about something and after a few miles it all just seems so much clearer. And, it turns out, there is good science behind this head-clearing feeling. Your brain functioning really does improve markedly from aerobic exercise, with benefits ranging from improved memory to actual brain growth.

Running Focuses Your Breath

So much of meditation is about focusing on your breath and letting everything else slip away. Running gives you this in spades. The breath is a runner’s touchstone. If I can breath comfortably, I know that I’m in the right zone to go the distance. Sometimes, I’ll take out the headphones and just listen to my own breath and my feet hitting the ground. It’s rhythmic, hypnotic even. And the great thing is that endurance training improves your lung capacity and helps your body create a more robust circulatory system. Who doesn’t want more Prana in their system?

Running Binds You to Nature

Meditation helps me to feel connected to the earth and all living things. So does running, in a very tangible way. I live in a very pretty area with stately old trees, beautiful gardens, and wooded areas teeming with wildlife. Running brings me up close and personal. Early morning runs have put me face to face with all manner of creatures, including deer, raccoons (creepy, but alluring), skunks (they look just like they do on TV!), and hedgehogs (those guys are big). I once took a run through a nearby nature preserve and felt like Snow White with all the birds singing and squirrels running around. It is more than just taking in the scenery, my runs remind me that I am part of an delicate and vibrant ecosystem. I finish my runs feeling truly connected to, and more responsible for, my local environment.

Running=Lightness

Runner’s high. Endorphins. Prana. Connectedness. No matter what words I use, it comes back to the same thing. I feel the same way after a run that I do after a meditation session. Because running is meditation. That’s not to say that I don’t get something qualitatively different and important from sitting quietly and breathing. It’s just a reminder that really anything you do with total focus and devotion is a meditation.

Mindfulness is not narrowly defined. It’s a way of thinking. Of being present and unattached. Running is just one way that I get there. How do you get there?

A Practice of Gratitude

This is a post about how to create a practice of gratitude. I have a great deal for which to be grateful. I live in a beautiful place, I’m healthy, my children are thriving, I have enough to eat, and I have a warm, lovely home. But, still, I sometimes find myself wallowing in self-pity and frustration. Over the past year or so, I’ve been consciously trying to strengthen my gratitude muscle and I’ve found that the more I do it, the more naturally it comes. It really is amazing how gratitude can change your whole outlook on life. Here’s a few tips to get started:

Reframe Your Comparative Set
The first and most important recommendation I have for gratitude is to reframe your comparative set. If you are a striver like me, you may have a competitive streak. You may be drawn to compare your life to your colleagues, your college friends, your family members. That’s all good and well and the subject of a different post for the future about the power of being aspirational. But, it is also really important to remember how great you have it. I find that reflecting a bit on what life is like for so many people in the world who lack access to clean water or medical care, live in war-torn places, or struggle to provide for their children, reminds me how basically awesome my life is. I have won the life lottery in so many ways. If people who have struggled and suffered can rise above their circumstances and contribute to the world (e.g.Malala), then I can let go of the fact that my commute took too long. Along those lines, finding a way to spend helping time with people whose challenges surpass your own can be a wonderful way to be of service and put your own woes in perspective.

Write it Down

About a year ago, I started a Gratitude Journal. There are a lot of great apps out for this. I like the “Gratitude Journal – The Life-changing app” because after I make an entry it gives me a gratitude related quote and I LOVE a good quote. It’s very simple and straightforward and I usually end up writing about the same things – my kids, my health, etc. I also end up listing people in the journal. I’ve had a couple of times at work where I’ve told someone that they make it to my gratitude journal and they emit a palpable  warm glow. I try to do my journal entry on my morning commute and I’ve noticed a qualitative difference in my mental outlook on the days that I’ve written in the journal. 

Share Gratitude with Your Kids

Shortly after she started school, we noticed that it was hard to get my then 6-year old daughter to tell us much about what had happened during her day. So, we started a new practice with her that we call What Went Well. Right before bed, we each list three things that went well on that day. Because of What Went Well, she has told me about people and situations at school that I would not have heard about otherwise and it has helped her to focus on all the wonderful things in her life. And, it usually gives me a good chance to tell her about some way in which I am grateful for her. She loves to be listed on our What Went Wells!

Meditate on It

Meditation is awesome and if you are reading this blog, maybe you’ve tried it. If not, no time like the present to be present. I use the Calm app, which I love. They have a 7-days of gratitude series that I highly recommend. The single most helpful tip I’ve used in meditating is to focus on a particular idea or word or feeling. That helps to quiet my busy mind. Gratitude is a particularly powerful idea on which to meditate because it infuses you with such a sense of abundance and well-being. And, you don’t have to be sitting on a cushion in a quiet place to do it. You can stop anywhere, anytime, and spend a few moments of quiet breathing, focusing on all the wonderful things in your life.

Say Thank You

Maybe the most foundational move in the gratitude playbook is to share your gratitude with the people in your life. This practice has the dual impact of uplifting both you and the recipient of your gratitude. At the suggestion of the Calm 7-days of gratitude series, I recently sent my husband an email articulating all the things about him for which I am grateful (or at least a lot of them). He loved it, and I loved sending it. When we really reflect on the people in our lives, we find that there is much in them that we love and cherish. Tell them! It will strengthen your relationships in profound ways.

I believe that a practice of gratitude is the foundation for a happy outlook on life. Thank you for reading this post. For what or whom are you grateful today?

Striving for Mindfulness

Hi new friends. I am starting this blog because I want to create a community of people who are, amidst their busy lives, purposefully slowing down to notice all the wonder, joy, laughter, and pain. I want to be really present to my own life. I want to take it all in. I have young children, a demanding job, a wonderful husband. I’m BUSY. For a long time, being busy felt like an identity in and of itself. I’ve always been ambitious. I’ve learned that achieving and accomplishing and doing is both very much who I am and also my greatest challenge. So, now I’m trying to slow it down. Meditating. Running. Breathing. Eating more slowing. Reexamining my beliefs about myself, the world, spirituality. Developing my habits of gratitude, generosity, and mindfulness. I know I’m not alone. Come along the journey with me…we can learn from each other, one breath at a time.