You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.

Jon Kabat-Zinn


Can you think of a time in your life, perhaps it’s even right now in the midst of this pandemic, when you felt depleted or out of control, burdened by responsibilities and stress, and feeling like you were drowning? For most of us, that feeling of being overwhelmed is quite common, and it can leave us exhausted, anxious, and unhappy. When we’re underwater, we lose our perspective and the ability to think clearly about our circumstances. We may let the waves perpetually crash over us, or feel like we’re adrift, our negative thoughts carrying us out to sea. 

As Jon Kabat-Zinn, the father of the modern mindfulness movement suggests, it is possible to learn how to surf the seemingly endless waves of challenges in the oceans of our lives, and ideally even enjoy the ride. Skilled surfers are balanced, strong, focused, and patient. They observe and are attuned to their surroundings, keenly aware of what is happening around them, responsive to their environment, but not swept away. Sometimes, they wipe out, but they are resilient enough to get back on their boards again and again, seeing each new wave as an opportunity to practice, learn, and fully engage in the experience.

Learning and practicing some fundamental mindfulness techniques allows us to better navigate the ebb and flow of our own daily experience. Mindfulness teaches us to be more fully aware and dialed in to the present moment, which in turn gives us a stronger sense of control in our lives. When we practice mindfulness, we have more agency over our thoughts and behavior, allowing us to respond more skillfully to specific situations, instead of being mindlessly carried away by habitual reactions. We feel less stressed, and generally more content, blissfully riding the waves.

Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be delivering more information on mindfulness and meditation techniques. If you’re interested in learning more about it, Meredith Tedford, our in-house Mindfulness Coach, is available for one-on-one training and instructional sessions. Contact her here for more information.


Meredith Tedford

Meredith began exploring mindfulness over six years ago when an injury sidelined her yoga practice. It was not until stepping away from the mat that she realized how much she valued the mental benefits of yoga as much as the physical ones, and the mind-body connection inherent in practice. She discovered she could replicate and cultivate that same sense of calm and ease in seated meditation practice, and through continued study and practice has an even greater appreciation and understanding of mindfulness as a tool to support and enhance all aspects of daily life. Her current study of mindfulness practice is through Lesley University’s Mindfulness Studies program, the only M.A. of its kind. She will complete her degree by Summer of 2022, focusing on the integration of mindfulness in physical fitness programs. While Meredith is beginning her journey as a Mindfulness Coach, her background in Communication and Education informs her philosophy of teaching and learning. She strives to embody compassionate, mindful practice in engaging with students of all ages, recognizing that learning is a lifelong endeavor, and everyone is capable of personal growth. Meredith’s mindfulness practice has helped her to better manage stress and anxiety, become a more effective and compassionate communicator, and enjoy each small moment with much more focus and calm. It is both Meredith’s privilege and purpose to share mindfulness practices that support overall health and wellbeing with others. Meredith’s personal interest in mindfulness practice has been bolstered by her study of traditional Buddhist philosophy. She is also certified in Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness practice and Advanced Mindfulness Based Interventions for Children and Teens, as well as being a certified Reiki Level 2 practitioner.

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