• A Moment for Mindfulness: Tuning Into Your Taste Buds

    By Mindful Magazine on Thursday, September 11, 2014

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    ​Mindful eating is not directed by charts, tables, pyramids, or scales. It is not dictated by an expert. It is directed by your own inner experiences, moment by moment. Your experience is unique, making you the expert. In the process of learning to eat mindfully, we replace self-criticism with self-nurturing, anxiety with curiosity, and shame with respect for your own inner wisdom.

    In this post, I will discuss a crucial method for savoring all the tastes and smells of the delicious foods you eat—by practicing relaxed, patient, mindful eating.

    Mindfulness Is the Best Flavoring

    As I write this I am eating a lemon tart that a friend gave to me. After writing for a few hours I’m ready to reward myself with a tart. The first bite is delicious. Creamy, sweet-sour, melting. When I take the second bite, I think about what to write next. The flavor in my mouth decreases. I take another bite and get up to sharpen a pencil. As I walk, I notice I am chewing, but there is almost no lemon flavor in this third bite. I sit down, get to work, and wait a few minutes.

    Then I take a fourth bite, fully focused on the smells, tastes, and touch sensations in my mouth. Delicious, again! I discover, all over again (I’m a slow learner), that the only way to keep that “first bite” experience, to honor the gift my friend gave me, is to eat slowly, with long pauses between bites. If I do anything else while I’m eating—if I talk, walk, write, or even think—the flavor diminishes or disappears. The life is drained from my beautiful tart. I could be eating the cardboard box.

    Here’s the humorous part. I stopped tasting the lemon tart because I was thinking. About what? Mindful eating! Discovering that, I grin. To be a human being is both pitiful and funny.

    Why can’t I think, walk, and be aware of the taste of the tart at the same time? I can’t do all these at once because the mind has two distinct functions: thinking and awareness. When the thinking is turned up, the awareness is turned down. When the thinking function is going full throttle, we can eat an entire meal, an entire cake, an entire carton of ice cream, and not taste more than a bite or two. When we don’t taste, we can end up stuffed to the gills but feeling completely unsatisfied. This is because the mind and mouth weren’t present, weren’t tasting or enjoying, as we ate. The stomach became full but the mind and mouth were unfulfilled and continued calling for us to eat.

    If we don’t feel satisfied, we’ll begin to look around for something more or something different to eat. Everyone has had the experience of roaming the kitchen, opening cupboards and doors, looking vainly for something, anything, to satisfy. The only thing that will cure this, a fundamental kind of hunger, is to sit down and be, even for a few minutes, wholly present.

    If we eat and stay connected with our experience and with the people who grew and cooked the food, who served the food, and who eat alongside us, we will feel most satisfied, even with a meager meal. This is the gift of mindful eating, to restore our sense of satisfaction no matter what we are or are not eating.

    - Dr. Jan Chozen Bays

    Jan Chozen Bays is a pediatrician, mother, wife, and longtime meditation teacher. She is the author of Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food. (Shambhala Publications).

    Mindful will return in October with their next guest post. In the meantime, visit mindful.org for feature articles or to subscribe to the magazine in print or digital format.

    [Photo Credit: Dan Zen, license]

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  • Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine

    By Momentum Magazine on Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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    ​Riding a bicycle is a smart, fun, easy, and stylish way to get around. The reasons for riding a bike are boundless: whether it is to improve your health, to save money, to reduce your carbon footprint, or to simply have fun.

    Finding ways to add bicycles to your daily routine is surprisingly uncomplicated. We’re not talking about long, sweaty rides in dedicated athletic clothing. A daily bicycle ride can simply take you where you need to go, from picking up fresh groceries to exploring nearby neighborhoods and parks. 
     
    At Momentum Mag, we regularly highlight how bicycles can be a part of our readers’ lives in easy, convenient and fun ways! Our positive and solutions-based editorial includes city and people profiles, style guides, smart riding solutions, family riding tips, urban bike travel, and of course, reviews and product showcases of great city bicycles and accessories that will enhance any urban lifestyle.
     
    Below, we share five ways to add a little more bike to your life:
    • Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine  -

      Start Small
      Every day, we take small trips that can be made easy by bike. And often times, biking only marginally lengthens these five-to-ten minute trips, offering a much more enjoyable experience. Try shopping by bike or plan a bike-powered picnic on the weekend. Or, try hopping on a bike share with a daily membership, a non-committal introduction to city cycling. Finally, join a bike tour, a great way to “get to know your city” (or a new one!) with a rental bike and an enthusiastically-knowledgeable guide.

    • Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine  -

      ​​Bike To Work
      Whether part-time, full-time, or just joining national or local Bike to Work Days, making your commute by bike can give you more energy and better prepare you for the day ahead. We recommend that you keep the trip nice and simple, and ride in a way that is comfortable for you. Special gear is rarely needed, but a few key items can help!

    • Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine  -

      Find A Bike You Will Love
      If your bike is uncomfortable, you’ll rarely choose to ride it. Finding a comfortable bicycle, one that you will love to ride, can be fairly straightforward. A bicycle with an upright riding position lets you feel in control, is often better for your body, and has the added bonus of looking hip and stylish. If you plan to travel or mix your rides with public transit, then a folding bike may be right for you. And if you're looking for the ultimate car-replacement vehicle, there is nothing like a cargo bike.

    • Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine  -

      Make Any Bike Excuse-Proof
      For many cyclists, the most challenging part of riding a bicycle is overcoming the excuses not to ride. The weather and the ability to carry your daily essentials are some of the most common excuses you will encounter. While it is okay to say “no” to riding in a heavy downpour, a wet ride is made more enjoyable with fenders and a chainguard that keeps grease away from your pant legs and dress hems. To carry items, a pannier bag or basket on a rear rack will act like a trunk, making unexpected purchases no problem at all.

    • Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine  -

      Wear What You Want
      Riding a bike does not require a special wardrobe. You can ride in dresses, both short and long, and in any clothing, whether appropriate for a formal office or for laying around on the beach. You may want to avoid wide-leg trousers if your bike doesn’t have a chainguard, but our best advice is to always dress for your destination.

       
      Momentum will return in October with their second guest post. In the meantime, visit momentummag.com to subscribe to the magazine in print or digital format—and to learn more practical tips about incorporating bicycling into your daily routine.

       

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  • A Moment for Mindfulness: Three Ways to Focus the Wandering Mind

    By Mindful Magazine on Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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    ​It happens all the time: we’re working away on something we have to get done, and suddenly we realize that for quite some time we’ve been lost in a daydream about something else entirely. We don’t know when our mind went off track, nor how long we’ve been meandering away from our task.

    On average, our minds wander 50 percent of the time. The exact rate varies enormously. When Harvard researchers had 2,250 people report what they were doing and what they were thinking about at random points throughout their day, the doing-thinking gaps ranged widely.

    But the biggest gap occurred during work, as mind-wandering is an epidemic on the job. Thankfully, we can take steps that will help us stay on task when it matters most. Here’s how:

    1. Manage our temptations.

    Many of the distractors that pull us away from what we’re working on are digital: tweets, emails, and the like. But now, several internet apps can help reduce the temptation to wander off. Google Chrome offers two free apps that do this: Nanny for Google, which blocks off websites we might be tempted to visit for a custom length of time, and StayFocusd, which limits the amount of time we can spend in our inbox, on Facebook, or wherever else we might be seduced away.

    2. Monitor our mind and take second thoughts.

    Noticing where our minds have gone – checking our twitter feed instead of working on that report – gives us the chance for a second thought: “my mind has wandered off again.” That very thought disengages our brain from where it has wandered and activates brain circuits that can help our attention get unstuck and return to the work at hand.

    3. Practice a daily mindfulness session.

    This mental exercise can be as simple as watching our breath, noticing when our mind has wandered off, letting go of the wandering thought, and bringing it back to our breath again. These movements of the mind are like a mental workout, the equivalent of repetitions in lifting free weights; every rep strengthens the muscle a bit more. In mindfulness, the brain’s circuits get stronger for noticing when our mind has wandered, letting go, and returning to our chosen focus. And that’s just what we need to stay on task.

    - Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and Focus

    Mindful will return in September with their next guest post. In the meantime, visit mindful.org for feature articles or to subscribe to the magazine in print or digital format.

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  • A Moment for Mindfulness: Practice in Posture, A Seated Guide to Meditation

    By Mindful Magazine on Friday, July 11, 2014

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    Meditation is not all in your mind. In fact, it begins and ends in the body.

    When we think about meditating, we often get distracted by our own thoughts. So in this post, we are going to do something about what’s happening in our heads.
     
    Meditation involves taking the time to pay attention to where we are and what’s going on, and that starts with being aware of our body. That very act can be calming, since our body has internal rhythms that help it relax—if we give it a chance.
     
    Here’s a posture practice that can be used to begin a longer meditation practice, or perhaps a practice to help stabilize and relax before carrying on with the rest of your day.
     
    TIME: 3 to 5 minutes
     
    1. Take your seat. Whatever you’re sitting on—a chair, meditation cushion, or park bench—find a spot that gives you a stable, solid seat, not perching or hanging back.
     
    2. If on a cushion or on the floor, cross your legs comfortably in front of you (If you already do some kind of seated yoga posture, go ahead). If on a chair, make sure the bottoms of your feet are touching the floor.
     
    3. Straighten—but don’t stiffen—your upper body. The spine has a natural curvature. Let it be there. Your head and shoulders can comfortably rest on top of your vertebrae.
     
    4. Situate your upper arms parallel to your upper body. Then let your hands drop onto the tops of your legs. With your upper arms at your sides, your hands will land in the right spot. Too far forward will make you hunch. Too far back will make you stiff. You’re tuning the strings of your body—not too tight and not too loose.
     
    5. Drop your chin a little and let your gaze fall gently downward. You may let your eyelids lower. If you feel the need, you may lower them completely, but it’s not necessary to close your eyes when meditating. You can simply let what appears before your eyes be there without focusing on it.
     
    6. Stay there for a few moments. Relax. Now get up and go about your day.
     
    - Barry Boyce, Mindful Magazine Editor-in-Chief
     
    Mindful will return in August with their third guest post. In the meantime, visit mindful.org for feature articles or to subscribe to the magazine in print or digital format.

     

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  • A Moment For Mindfulness: Introducing Guest Bloggers Mindful Magazine

    By Mindful Magazine on Thursday, June 12, 2014

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    We’re excited to introduce Mindful Magazine, a publication that celebrates mindfulness in all aspects of daily living, as our all-new guest bloggers. Mindful will be sharing relevant tips and inspirational features on a monthly basis, offering insight into a simpler, more peaceful way of living. Join us—and see firsthand how mindfulness can impact your everyday life.  

    We hear the word “mindfulness” a lot these days. 2014 has even been called The Year of Mindful Living. What exactly are people talking about?

    Mindfulness. It's a pretty straightforward word. It suggests that the mind is fully attending to what’s happening, to what you’re doing, to the space you’re moving through. That might seem trivial, though we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that makes us anxious.
     

    Yet no matter how far we drift away, mindfulness is right there to snap us back to where we are and what we’re doing and feeling.

    If you want to know what mindfulness is, it’s best to try it for a while. Since it’s hard to nail down in words, you will find slight variations in the meaning in books, websites, audio, and video. Here’s an all-purpose definition that treats mindfulness as a quality that every human being already possesses, rather than something we have to conjure up:
     

    Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

    While mindfulness is innate, it can be cultivated through proven techniques, particularly seated, walking, standing, and moving meditation (it’s also possible lying down but often leads to sleep); short pauses we insert into everyday life; and merging meditation practice with other activities, such as yoga or sports. When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, enhance performance, gain insight and awareness through observing our own mind, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.
     
    Mindfulness meditation gives us a time in our lives when we can suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness—to ourselves and others.
     
    - Barry Boyce, Mindful Magazine Editor-in-Chief
     
    Mindful will return in July with their second guest post. In the meantime, visit mindful.org for feature articles or to subscribe to the magazine in print or digital format.

     

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Archive Vault

  1. 2014 (80)
    1. December (4)
      1. December 17 2014 Holiday DIY: All Wrapped Up in Holiday Cheer
      2. December 10 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Holiday Party Planning
      3. December 05 2014 Retailer Spotlight: Exploring the Lone Star State with Whole Earth Provision Co.
      4. December 02 2014 Five Looks for the Holiday Season
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      1. November 26 2014 Fall Cleaning: Five Ways To Tidy Up Your Shoe Collection
      2. November 24 2014 Thanksgiving DIY Overload: Bringing the Outside In
      3. November 19 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Rest Up for the Holidays
      4. November 14 2014 Recipe Time: Serving Others with Thanksgiving Favorites
      5. November 11 2014 Retailer Spotlight: Heading West with Schnee's Shoes
      6. November 06 2014 Shop the Trend: Fresh and Festive Cranberry
      7. November 03 2014 Fall Days at Dansko: Our Halloween Celebration
    3. October (10)
      1. October 31 2014 The Switch to Standard Time: Ideas For Our "Extra Hour"
      2. October 30 2014 “Be Good to Your Feet" With Dr. Stacie Grossfeld
      3. October 28 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Get Out and Explore
      4. October 24 2014 If These Shoes Could Talk: Stories From Our Fans
      5. October 22 2014 Autumn Road Trip: Lace Up Chantal and Take a Leaf-Peeping Adventure
      6. October 16 2014 Recipe Time: Fall Favorites with Mugshots Coffeehouse
      7. October 10 2014 10 Fall Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
      8. October 07 2014 The Ultimate Nurses’ Bucket List (And A Giveaway, Too!)
      9. October 03 2014 Dogs & Clogs: Recommendations from the Experts
      10. October 02 2014 Dansko and the Monarch Butterfly Lifecycle
    4. September (8)
      1. September 22 2014 Runway Rundown: Q&A with Designer Karolyn Pho
      2. September 19 2014 Spotted: TV Host Meredith Vieira
      3. September 18 2014 Kickstart Your Daily Routine With Airman Annelise Rowe
      4. September 17 2014 Dansko Voted Best for Workers
      5. September 12 2014 The Birth of a Comfort Generation
      6. September 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Tuning Into Your Taste Buds
      7. September 05 2014 Staff Picks: Our Favorite Fall Styles
      8. September 04 2014 Get to Know Tamara: Our Go-To-Work or Go-Out Shoe
    5. August (10)
      1. August 29 2014 Four Nursing Lessons and One Big Giveaway
      2. August 27 2014 Allison and the Country’s Top Food Markets
      3. August 25 2014 Recognizing our Footwear Family with Five Anniversaries
      4. August 21 2014 Shop the Trend: On Active Duty
      5. August 19 2014 Momentum Magazine: 5 Ways to Incorporate Bicycling Into Your Daily Routine
      6. August 14 2014 Touring Dansko Headquarters: Our Five Favorite Spots
      7. August 12 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Three Ways to Focus the Wandering Mind
      8. August 08 2014 The “Art” of Mneme Therapy: How Kim Ingwaldson Makes A Difference Every Day
      9. August 06 2014 Five Dancing Tips and One Stylish Sandal for your Latin Dancing Routine
      10. August 05 2014 Retailer Spotlight: Vintage and Modern Shoe Care Tips from Simons Shoes
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      1. July 30 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: A Dip & Dessert BBQ Spectacular
      2. July 28 2014 Shop the Trend: Refreshingly Cobalt
      3. July 23 2014 A Passion for Fashion: Q&A With Marcus Allen
      4. July 21 2014 Dansko and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Team Up to "Save the Bay"
      5. July 15 2014 The "Idiosyncratic Fashionistas" Weigh In: How Do You Form a Style Identity?
      6. July 11 2014 A Moment for Mindfulness: Practice in Posture, A Seated Guide to Meditation
      7. July 10 2014 Fran’s Four Fabulous and Functional Summer Hairstyles
      8. July 08 2014 10 Summer Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
      9. July 03 2014 Retailer Spotlight: 10 Paddlesport Tips from Route 96 Power and Paddle
      10. July 01 2014 The Essential Guide to your Fourth of July Tablescape
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      1. June 30 2014 In the News: Dansko Co-Founder and CEO Mandy Cabot
      2. June 27 2014 Food, Farms and Comfortable Clogs: Q&A With Cooking Light Executive Chef Anna Bullett
      3. June 24 2014 Summer Days at Dansko: Team Day 2014
      4. June 20 2014 Cabot Creamery Makes a Difference in Local Communities
      5. June 17 2014 Shop the Trend: Rooted in Vintage
      6. June 12 2014 A Moment For Mindfulness: Introducing Guest Bloggers Mindful Magazine
      7. June 10 2014 Kickstart Your Art Collection with these Five Artsy Tips
      8. June 05 2014 A Woman of Many Titles: Q&A with Image Consultant Michele Gustafson
      9. June 02 2014 Trend Alert: Your Complete Guide to Normcore
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      1. May 30 2014 Shop the Trend: Fresh and Fabulous Florals
      2. May 28 2014 10 Summer Suitcase Essentials for your Next Adventure
      3. May 22 2014 Brooklyn Chef Justin Warner Shares Three Kitchen Essentials (Hint: He wears Dansko shoes!)
      4. May 20 2014 Let Your Garden Grow: An Early June Planting Guide
      5. May 16 2014 A Month of Celebrations: Dansko Recognizes Teachers and Nurses
      6. May 14 2014 A Mixologist’s Journey: Q&A with Bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (And a Cocktail Recipe, too!)
      7. May 13 2014 Dansko Volunteers Hit the Road During "Footwear Cares" Month of Service
      8. May 08 2014 Mother's Day 2014: Why Do We Celebrate Mom?
      9. May 07 2014 Lace up Your Sneakers and Visit Our Top Walking Cities
      10. May 01 2014 Six Stretches for your Workday
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      1. April 29 2014 "America's Best Cook" Contestant Presses Onward – In Dansko Clogs!
      2. April 25 2014 A Step-By-Step Guide to Planting your Arbor Day Tree
      3. April 23 2014 Shop the Trend: Bright, Bold, Beautiful Tangerine
      4. April 21 2014 Earth Day 2014: Five Steps for Conserving Water at Home
      5. April 17 2014 Q&A with Street Style Blogger Dana Landon
      6. April 14 2014 Recipe Time: A Sweet Spring Treat from King Arthur Flour
      7. April 01 2014 10 Spring Adventures for 10 Dansko Shoes
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      1. March 28 2014 Volunteers Leave a SPLASHing Impact
      2. March 26 2014 Spotted in Dansko: Acclaimed Chef Suzanne Goin
      3. March 24 2014 Celebrating Employee Ownership with a Little Competition (And a LOT of Laughter!)
      4. March 21 2014 Suits, Sweaters and Dansko: Q&A with New York Designer Drew Villani
      5. March 20 2014 Now Introducing: Word of Foot!
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