The World Is Your Canvas

It’s like a dream, inside a dream, inside a dream.

2020 was a challenging year on many accounts.

We returned from Jade Retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica on March 15th, 2020 in Newark, NJ, and were welcomed into customs by the CDC, an awakening of our new reality. Toilet paper was now a commodity.

On the beach in Costa Rica - The World Is Your Canvas - A Trip to Jade Retreat in Costa Rica

Highlights:
– My mother turned 90. She still plays pickleball and is an inspiration to all — we are blessed.
– My two boys have managed to navigate and adapt to us all living under one roof — we do argue over wifi speed and Xbox.

– I got engaged to the most incredible man in St. Barths on Bastille Day. The fireworks in the night sky confirmed that timing is everything.

2020 was spent taking daily walks in the Brandywine Valley, playing a lot of tennis, and cooking and eating a lot of healthy food. We had a small but beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family and Rhys, my mother’s first great-grandson. It was a time of pure joy and love.

The day after Christmas we were fortunate enough to return to Jade Retreat with another family: 5 teens and 3 adults. Jade is located in a blue zone, a destination where the energy feels pure: the perfect place to reset.

I have never been great at meditating. As anyone that knows me will tell you — I have a hard time sitting still. But I have learned this year that meditation can actually make you happier. According to a fascinating article about mindful eating via The Well, research has shown that daily meditation can shift brain activity toward positive emotional states…that make us more likely to engage with the world rather than to withdraw from it.

 

Watching the kids unwind at sunset the first night was all I needed to know the week was going to be the perfect medicine for all of us. We woke up to tennis, surf lessons, zip lines, quad tours, fresh coconuts, and daily walks in the jungle and on the beach. There are no words to describe how great it felt to watch them all unwind and start to relax.

My dear friend Cindy Pettinaro wanted to give back to the community. She took all the kids to the local grocery store and handed out chicken, rice and beans to 10 families. Seeing the smiles and feeling the love was priceless.


Watching everyone reset from the past year was like a dream, inside of a dream.  The first Jade ping pong tournament, laughing, learning how to open a coconut with a machete, seeing monkeys, practicing Spanish, and learning how to make beans and rice with Mau. It reminded us all to appreciate the simple things and to be mindful.

Just breathe. I am grateful for my family and friends.

x, Carroll

FacebookTwitterPinterest

A Mindful Meditation for Parents: Coping with This Chaotic World

Looking to help their kids navigate the pressures of social media — without pulling the plug on the positives we spoke to Dr. Michelle Maidenberg who maintains a private practice in Harrison, NY, and is the president and clinical director of Thru My Eyes Foundation. She is an adjunct graduate professor of Mindfulness at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University and author of Free Your Child From Overeating.

Is social media really the cause of all this anxiety? It’s complicated. Recent studies have noted a significant uptick in depression and suicidal thoughts over the past several years for teens, especially those who spend multiple hours a day using screens.

Twenge’s research found that teens who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to have one risk factor for suicide. And that’s regardless of the content consumed. Whether teens are watching cat videos or looking at something more serious, the amount of screen time — not the specific content — goes hand in hand with the higher instances of depression.

A Mindful Meditation for Parents: Coping with This Chaotic World

I have read articles recently describing how we are becoming immune to all the chaos. Although coping by way of cutting off my feelings could come in handy right about now, I’m finding it impossible to ignore or distract from them. Just as an atrocity passes, it seems like another follows soon afterwards. In the past several weeks our news has been flooded with attempted terrorist attacks, mass murders, hate crimes, raging forest fires, among other things. I find myself and my patients relying on a combination of coping skills including ignoring, distracting, or being dismissive of our feelings. Along with feeling profoundly saddened and mournful, and becoming considerably anxious about the possibility of these atrocities directly impacting us, our families and those we know and love. Read more.

Have a mindful and Happy New Year. Guided Meditation For Mindful Parenting (click to listen). Sit comfortably and gently close your eyes. Mindful Meditation

Dr Michelle Maidenberg

FacebookTwitterPinterest