From Metacognition to Mindfulness

Early in my teacher training we focused on metacognition: helping students acquire knowledge about their own cognitive processes. When students understood how they perceived and processed information, they could use this understanding to help themselves best learn.

I think of mindfulness as metacorpulcognition: understanding how our bodies and minds interact. I notice how this interaction affects the way I perceive and process information. Neuroplasticity, or flexibility of the brain, allows us to reshape the physical structures involved in this interaction. I am amazed at our brains’ ability to form new neural connections, particularly the positive changes that can result from mindfulness practice. I like taking caring of my brain, along with the rest of my body, mind, and spirit.

If you want to read more about this, you can check out my page on the science supporting mindfulness.

In the meantime, just breathe deeply. Pay attention, on purpose, to what you are experiencing right now. You are taking care of yourself, which is good for you on a deep level, and for those around you. Just pay attention to what you’re experiencing right now. And right now.

And right now.


Filling Up the Cup

Sometimes we writers, and humans, really, need to refill our cups of creativity and abundance.

cappucinoWe’ve poured it out on pages, on people we love, on the world.

heart anemone


But the world gives back when we let it. Love. Beauty. Peace.


We can take it all in, deeply…


looking closely…

Carpinteria girls 2013 170 (1)


listening carefully…


and watching the stars.

tidal pool starfish sunset

I find it in the mountains, at the beach,

on city streets, and especially…

sleepy pug

whenever I see a sleepy dog. There’s something about the slow rise and fall of a canine chest, the gentle snore, those dream-tickled twitching paws. Dogs are perfect examples of being fully in the moment, whatever that moment may be.

I was blessed this week to experience a renewal of abundance in Carpinteria, California. Paying attention to the ocean and moon, I met creatures in the tidal pools at low tide, found treasures washed up by high tide, and let the rhythmic sounds of the waves wash over me. Jules

We danced in the sand.
Julie Gail

And now, my cup is full.

Filling Up The Cup

Sometimes we writers, and all humans, really, need to refill our cups of creativity and abundance. I did just that this week in Carpinteria, California, with two of my best friends from Colorado. But as beautiful as the setting was, I do that wherever I am with them. Sitting with really good friends is like sunshine on the stormiest days of our lives. We know there will be days like that. We know we can weather them together, even if we are far apart. We are connected. I am grateful. On stormy days, when my toes are frozen, or have been stomped on and hurt, this day, today, this warm sand, will still be a part of me. Because I wasn’t distracted. I wasn’t doing anything. I was just being, with friends, at the beach. I am just being.