Creating a Foundation for Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment, without clinging to it, without pushing it away or trying to escape it and without wanting it to be otherwise. It involves meeting whatever arises with acceptance and with an attitude of interest, curiosity, and kindness. One of the most important foundations for mindfulness practice that is often overlooked is self-compassion. How many moments during a day do we meet ourselves with acceptance and without wanting ourselves to be otherwise? How many times in a day do we meet ourselves with kindness? No one ever taught me how to treat myself with kindness and compassion. When I was in my early 20s, I became so weary of treating myself mercilessly that I committed to a yearlong practice of self-compassion, and it radically changed my life. Practicing self-compassion is one of the most significant things we can do in the interest of our own personal and spiritual growth and in the interest of realizing our personal and professional intentions and goals. Neuroscience research shows that when we treat ourselves with kindness and compassion, we feel happier and more fulfilled, we experience less suffering and we experience less anxiety and depression. Just for today, try treating yourself with kindness, and notice what arises.
“A good place to start is with yourself. See if you can give yourself gifts that may be true blessings, such as self-acceptance, or some time each day with no purpose.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn
Ghost Trees photography exhibit by Jen Johnson opening reception will be held September 22, 2017 6-9pm at Expo 216, 216 N. Front St. Wilmington, NC. Ghost Trees explores the liminal space between what was, what is and what will be in an ever-changing world. The project began as an investigation of the dying bald cypress trees and environmental degradation in the Cape Fear River basin. As the project progressed, it also became and exploration of the ways in which my vision has become both limited and expanded due to a midlife onset visual impairment. I am donating 10% of my portion of the profits to Cape Fear Riverwatch, Inc. as they are one of the leaders in advocating to get the newly discovered cocktail of perflourinated chemical compounds (including Gen-X) and other chemical toxins out of our river and drinking water supply.
I’m opening up additional hours of phone and Skype mindfulness training and coaching sessions. My coaching sessions are $125 for a 50-minute session, and I offer discounts for 3 month and six month packages. I currently have 5 spots open for 1:1 distance clients. I’m also offering photography mentoring sessions! Check out some of the new ways you can work with me.