Dispatch 125: Evening Reflections

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The beauty of Monterey, the power of community, and the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful souls all contributed to a truly amazing experience these last few days. As I listen to one of my favorite classical pieces (Adagio Cantabile from Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata #8 - https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=pEYdyXwMn2U&feature=share) I am reflecting on the beauty of all that life offers professionally and personally.

Leo and I are on to playing a (rousing) game of Parcheesi. Tomorrow is dedicated to some self-care and catch-up on other work matters followed by a Mediterranean meal with close friends.

Be well!

Dispatch 88: My Journey Into Mindfulness

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Given the new year is upon us, I thought I would share (again) one of my writings from 2018. Indeed, my time at Saybrook University has transformed me in many ways including my journey into mindfulness. Below is a snippet from the article I wrote for our digital magazine “UnBound” with a link at the end to the full essay. I hope you enjoy!

Over the last few years, the theory and practice of mindfulness has been catching on with individuals and has increasingly worked its way into greater consciousness across various sectors from telecommunications to technology and from healthcare to higher education.

My own journey into mindfulness as well as meditation began when I arrived at Saybrook University in 2014. Initially a skeptic (some would say due to my “Midwestern sensibilities”), I at first struggled to understand the benefits of mind-body practices that seemed grounded in more California/West Coast “woo.” However, I eventually found myself on a journey seeking greater exposure to the science of mindfulness, along with deeper immersion into its practice.

As a result, I have found a renewed way of being in the world that permeates my personal and professional life. The journey is far from complete but one that I have found has had tremendous benefits. Moreover, I have discovered what many alumni, students, and faculty alike attest: Saybrook has transformed them from the inside out.

Here is the story of my journey into mindfulness.

Read the rest by going to https://www.saybrook.edu/unbound/nathan-long-mindfulness-journey/

Dispatch 84: Attributes for 2019

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As I think back to my meditation yesterday, my guide's wisdom for the new year makes abundant sense: rather than make resolutions, we should instead think about and actualize those attributes that we want to further cultivate in ourselves. Indeed, this changes the paradigm of resolution-making from simple goals to a thinking and visioning holistically about one's self.

What are those attributes I want to more fully develop for 2019? We have a close friend, George, who embodies many of these attributes. He expresses joy, wonder, love, kindness, courage and creativity in ways that inspire many. Of the attributes listed below, these are ones I want to further enhance so as to live a richer, more fuller life.

Joyfulness: Living life joyfully - even in times of difficulty - is so key to getting the most out of it. Joy in times of happiness or in times of sorrow is all about living fully each day, recognizing the beauty, yes even the complexity, that life brings.

Wonder: Connected to joy, living life with a sense of wonder is so important. We become jaded as we age, as we work, even as we play. I want to rekindle that sense of awe and wonder about all of life's quirks. From nature to the beauty of family to the nature of the work I do, bringing a sense of wonder everyday will - in my estimation - only add more joy.

Loving Kindness: Yes, there is the squishy kind of loving kindness. And in fact, I want to cultivate even more love, more kindness, more compassion. I want to express loving kindness in ways that further elevate those around me from family and friends to work colleagues. This also means treating myself with greater kindness and love, inclusive of self-care.

Being Present: In a world that is constantly swirling with activity, I continue my mindfulness journey to be more present, more engaged in each moment, each action.

Healthy Mind and Body: A healthy mind and body are vital to living life fully. Daily exercise, eating healthfully (as well as mindfully), consistently reading, writing everyday (journaling, fiction, and research), and taking better care of basic health needs are all part of this important attribute.

Courage: Whether leading or following or just daily living, enhancing courage as an attribute for me is all about trying those things which may be foreign or uncomfortable, even frightening; being willing to step out and try things outside my comfort zone, failing (and learning from failure); knowing when to let go and move on; calling out truth; and continuing to hold steady in the face of adversity.

Creativity: I love, love this word in all its beauty and scope. For me, cultivating creativity comes out best through creation of new endeavors, making music, and writing.

Onward to a great 2019!