Do you have at least one TRUE FRIEND? Are you a TRUE FRIEND to at least one person? Might they need you right now? Do you need someone? Can you say so?
It occurred to Pooh and Piglet that they hadn’t heard from Eeyore for several days, so they put on their hats and coats and trotted across the Hundred Acre Wood to Eeyore’s stick house. Inside the house was Eeyore.
“Hello Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Hello Pooh. Hello Piglet,” said Eeyore, in a Glum Sounding Voice.
“We just thought we’d check in on you,” said Piglet, “because we hadn’t heard from you, and so we wanted to know if you were okay.”
Eeyore was silent for a moment. “Am I okay?” he asked, eventually. “Well, I don’t know, to be honest. Are any of us really okay? That’s what I ask myself. All I can tell you, Pooh and Piglet, is that right now I feel really rather Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. Which is why I haven’t bothered you. Because you wouldn’t want to waste your time hanging out with someone who is Sad, and Alone, and Not Much Fun To Be Around At All, would you now.”
Pooh looked at Piglet, and Piglet looked at Pooh, and they both sat down, one on either side of Eeyore in his stick house.
Eeyore looked at them in surprise. “What are you doing?”
“We’re sitting here with you,” said Pooh, “because we are your friends. And true friends don’t care if someone is feeling Sad, or Alone, or Not Much Fun To Be Around At All. True friends are there for you anyway. And so here we are.”
“Oh,” said Eeyore. “Oh.” And the three of them sat there in silence, and while Pooh and Piglet said nothing at all; somehow, almost imperceptibly, Eeyore started to feel a very tiny little bit better.
Because Pooh and Piglet were There. No more; no less. ... See MoreSee Less
It's Sunday. Maybe for some of us it's a slowed down kind of day. It has been for me... Maybe you had a chance to linger over morning coffee or stay in sweatpants with a good book. Where inside yourself do you feel the delight in these moments? What important place inside is delighted?
Maybe your fur friends cuddled in a little closer this morning when you rolled back over rather than getting up to an alarm. Maybe you gathered with friends for a walk in the morning air or shared morning pancakes. What happens in your heart in these moments? What happens to your breath? What happens to your sense of hope?
Maybe it really was time to dust the bookshelves and you pulled out the cleaning supplies and turned up the music. What moves in you after a job well done? What moves in you when you procrastinate?
Going a little slower ... dropping a little deeper ... whenever and however we can ... is like reviewing a movie frame by frame; it becomes possible to notice more detail. See the things in-between the moments.
When life moves along at a rapid clip, we can miss so much. Like the way the little muscles around a smile change ever so slightly with the added element of surprise. The way that dragonfly lands so lightly -- barely resting it's feet at all -- on the edge of a tulip because the cat just rounded the corner. The sweet way one of your roommates left a catalog on the counter open to a creased page with the bright yellow summer dress. (They will look good in that dress!)
Sunday -- or whatever day -- maybe there is time to slow things down. Maybe this feels good. Maybe this is needed; welcomed and relished. What does it feel like inside to slow down? How do you know how much is enough?
This is the exact place --- in the thoughtful questions --- where your life slides in close and sparkles alive with mindful awareness. ... See MoreSee Less
I had a friend diagnosed with cancer this week. Thursday he was hiking a beautiful trail. Friday he was in ICU with a tumor discovered wrapped around his lower vertebrae. No symptoms before Thursday. No clarity after Friday. You know...? I took the news like a gut punch. My heart broke. But also my heart broke open . . . . into a clarity that I want to live each moment with depth.
The ancient traditions tell us to treat each moment as precious. None squandered. What matters most to you? Take a minute with this question. Health matters. Loving connection matters. Feeling and healing myself matters. Using my time and energy to turn toward truth; seeing BS as BS. It's not so hard to identify the priorities. So what is it that then leads me/ us to forget or neglect these priorities? And eat poorly, drink too much, gossip rather than connect, neglect our need for quiet, waste time on boring projects, surf the internet rather than walk in the woods?
What leads to the collective hypnosis that these moments of ignored priorities don't really matter? "Lighten up", they say. "Let yourself have some fun", they say. "You have plenty of time for it all", they say.
Tell that to my friend.
This life is known in each moment. And each moment --- how I spend each moment --- is the most important decision I ever make. Mindfulness practice brings me back; slows me down. I DO want what matters most to me. For gosh sake, THESE are MY priorities... And I will choose them first. How about you? ... See MoreSee Less
At University of Idaho, today is graduation day. Out come the silly hats and ancient robes. Fancy shoes, hopes, and dreams. This will be the first graduation I've missed in about a decade... and I feel the sadness of not being present as so many wonderful students, their families, and their friends gather to celebrate the momentous milestone of completion. Or is it the milestone of beginning anew that they are all celebrating?
Isn't is so interesting... endings lead to beginnings and beginnings mark endings? How can we possible know where we are or what is best in a situation like that?
Well, we probably can't. And that is the wiser truth, I think. We are in a both/ and kind of situation. When we are starting, we are ending. And vice versa. And this offers an incredible opportunity for mindfulness . . . to be present to ALL of it. Goodbyes are tender. Goodbyes are painful. Hellos are filled with opportunity. Hellos are uncertain and scary. And they mix and mingle together in a rich cocktail of deep experience. This mindfulness practice allows space for all of this! Right? We know all about this spaciousness.
As you put on your silly hats and ancient robes today, graduates, may you be filled with the fullness of your life. And may you carry that fullness with you in all your new adventures. This is a portable practice.... keep it handy. For those of you not graduating today, be a little present to the beginnings and endings that ARE alive for you right now .... and turn a little attention toward those. ... See MoreSee Less
The campus is alive with change. End of one semester; start to another (summer). Some of us are off to new adventures. Some of us are living the daily moments of the current adventure. No matter what... it is nice to be reminded to return to center. Return to our core wisdom in mindful ways . . . over and over and over. And then live and love and flourish from the deep knowing that resides inside. Live from that vein of gold that runs inside you... Your practice keeps you connected to this ... so, close your eyes and breathe. And then... do. ... See MoreSee Less
It's almost midway through finals week here at the University. Maybe it's a good time to mindfully check in with yourself. How are you? How ARE you really? You can do a nice mindful three-point check-in and reconnect to your here and now experience. What is a three point check-in?
It's a quick, structured, refreshing mindfulness check-in... Settle yourself into a comfortable place to sit. Close your eyes and take one or two or, maybe, three nice long breaths. Then do a little once over of how you are feeling physically (first point to check in with). How's your belly? Your shoulders? Your appetite? Your level of restfulness? Is there anything you need... right in this moment to feel even a tiny bit better physically?
Now check in with your mind (the second point of check in). Try not so much to drop into the content or thoughts you are having -- more the state of your mind... busy? frantic? peaceful? foggy? clogged? Maybe offer your mind a little appreciation for how hard it works ... and see if a breath or two can ease your mind just a little for the duration of this practice.
Lastly, check-in with your emotional state (third point of check-in). Try to feel your heart. Feel the energy and sensations of your emotion. Ragged? Heavy? Light? Where do you feel what you feel? Belly? Heart? Chest? You might breathe a nice deep breath right into whatever you are feeling and offer yourself a little compassion. Is there any tiny thing you could do to feel every so slightly more uplifted? So much happens in this human experience. A little uplift is a nice thing.
It often feels so good just to feel what we feel; notice our overall state. Sense into the three points. And be gentle with ourselves for these few minutes.
The three point mindfulness check-in. When time is limited... just do a 1 or 2 point check-in. Either way... you win! ... See MoreSee Less
My University of Idaho Mindfulness Projects:
More about UI Mind >>
Dr. Derrick’s clinical approach encourages eyes-open, courageous self reflection tempered with self compassion. She has an expertise in therapeutic techniques which help identify patterns of thinking interrupt happiness and create resilience. The path to personal growth is challenging yet playful and she uses dialogue, mindful awareness practices, guided imagery, dream content, humor, and her warm welcome to create safety and healing. Her unique approach grows out of years of training in academic psychology, Jungian dream work, mindfulness, and body-based awareness.
Jamie Derrick has been a licensed psychologist in Idaho for fifteen years. She graduated from Stanford University and completed clinical residencies in the Yale Medical School/ West Haven VA Medical Center, the Stanford University Student Counseling Center, University of California at Berkeley Psychology Department.
Dr. Derrick is a warm, welcoming faculty member at University of Idaho. She has taught courses on human development, emotion, mindfulness, and the creative arts.
Jamie is a UCLA certified as a mindfulness teacher (Mindful Awareness Research Center). If you have or want to develop a meditation practice, she can help support that in her classes or in one to one consultation. She can also tailor mindfulness instruction for your setting --- she has offered mindfulness classes in the workplace, school environment and has provided consultation to business executives facing the challenges of complex decisions and workplace interactions.
“I cannot describe how wonderful it is to have your lovely voice guide my mind and body into a relaxed state in the middle of the day. If there is any way to continue the Pod-Casts, I (and many others) would be grateful! .”
“Jamie explained meditation in a way that finally made sense.”
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“The half hour is a little oasis within the week. I am so much more focused when I return to work.”
“IU's TEDx talks about kindness, big doubts.”
-- The Moscow Pullman Daily News, April 11, 2016
“Creating a Mindful Campus.”
-- The Argonaut, February 2016
-- The Argonaut, September 2015
“Meditate Stress Away.”
-- The Argonaut, February 2015
-- Lewiston Tribune (Balance Insert), April 2015
“Mindfulness on the Palouse.”
-- KRFP Yin Radio, May 10, 2015
“Mindfulness & Stress Reduction.”
-- Idaho Public Radio, May 8, 2015