Managing the Stream of Thoughts (7 minutes)

The human mind produces thousands of thoughts a day. Some are vitally important yet many are not. If you’re like most people, though, you tend to believe that your thoughts are factual. Our thoughts occur within our mind, in a private internal environment where there is no one to challenge them. It is said that the mind is a great servant but a poor master. And, when you consider this, you may begin to see that you are often in a pattern of being a slave to your mind. Mindfulness offers the possibility of looking more critically at our thoughts. In doing so, we realize we have choice about which ones we give attention to and how much.

The fact is that we have choice about how we relate to our thoughts. Mindfulness involves becoming curious about things, including our own thoughts. By invoking this type of curiosity, we begin to see that we have more choice than we may have realized. We gradually become the master of our mind.

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Working With Difficult Emotions (10 minutes)

There are so many emotions that arise within us. We may feel joyful about a smile from a loved one. Sad about a missed opportunity. Angry at something someone has said to us. Some emotions feel tame, others overwhelming. Some pleasant. Some not.

We get little training in how to be with all of these emotions, little modeling of how to comfortably ride these waves. We may believe that, instead of experiencing an emotion, we’ll do better to push it away! But, does it truly go away? Many times the answer is no. Unprocessed emotions can hit when we least expect them and, when that happens, we can get derailed, taken off course by these seemingly surprise visits the emotion has made.

In mindfulness, we gain practice simply being with whatever arises. We also begin to see that all states pass, and that feeling them is truly the path to their passing smoothly and easily.

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The Importance of Pausing (8 minutes)

You may be used to a very busy pace, sometimes without even noticing it. If you tune in and notice, you may find that your day is spent almost continuously rushing about. Jumping out of bed, getting ready for work, managing your commute, taking care of many patients.

The days can be so busy that, by the end, it all seems like a big blur. You may not recall what you did or what you ate for lunch. Spinning in constant motion, leaving you feeling disconnected—from yourself, from the people you interact with, and from a sense of fulfillment. From your very experience.

Mindfulness helps strengthen our sense of connection with the moments of our lives. Pausing is one way to enhance this connection. Pausing allows us to see that there’s a space between what was and what’s next. That space is the present moment.

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