One of the greatest side benefits of mindfulness is developing 'presence'. What does that mean? It means offering our attention to another person without getting reactive --- listening, being kind. But not feeling compelled to have an opinion or fix things when someone is sharing about the ups and downs of life. (This doesn't mean we don't offer help if they ask; but our primary reaction is to simply be good company).
I learned this quite by accident back in graduate school. One of my friends' mother had leukemia and seemed to be doing pretty well. But one night the hospital called and asked if she could come --- and I went along for support. We were seated in a comfortable waiting area and one the nurses took me aside and said 'your friend's mother died about 15 minutes ago'. Good grief! What is there to say when this kind of loss happens. I just sat with my friend, holding steady as I could as she wailed, held her hand, and told her over and over 'I'm right here with you' and 'I know; this hurts so much'. I wasn't' fixing anything. But my presence mattered deeply to her.
Presence is the single most healing behavior we offer to another person. It is the primary feature of therapy that leads to positive outcomes. It is the aspect of parenting that helps babies to regulate and develop when they are very young. And it is a treasure to have this experience in relationship with a friend, a lover, a teacher -- especially when we are confused, upset, or just want to know we are not alone. If we all got more of this type of interaction with others --- I honestly think we'd change our world.
AND... this what is truly amazing.... presence is precisely what we learn to offer OURSELVES in mindfulness. We show up with awareness to our own selves without much need to be reactive; being near to experience without judging or fixing or belittling. So we learn presence with ourselves in our practice and it is a simple enough shift to then offer this very same thing to others ...
Presence is profound. ... See MoreSee Less
Hello everyone.... I wanted to reach out to my local folks and ask you for some ideas. The attendance at the weekly noon drop-in has ebbed and flowed this semester and seems to be overall dwindling. I am still deeply committed to making the drop-in available and I think it is valuable to the campus. Can you offer any thoughts or ideas about how to get the word out more? Do you think the weekly in-person meetings are worth keeping them going? Would classes be of more interest? I'm honestly not sure of the best way to meet the campus needs/ interests. Please share your insights. ... See MoreSee Less
How is your practice going? One of the powerful things we can do with mindfulness is become aware of our thoughts... and try to disengage from habitual patterns. It's so easy to hear and respond to the soundtrack of our thoughts without even really noticing how much they shape what we do; what we say; what we feel. So here is an interesting practice you might dabble with... [can you include yourself in this???!!!] ... just becoming really aware of what it's like to "Try not to say anything negative about anyone for 3 days".
What would that be like? What would you have to do to put the brakes on sh*t-talk? Where would it be hard? Where would it be easy? Do you feel resistance to the idea right away or are you sort of curious to give it a try? What would that be like for 45 days?
I'd encourage you to give this a try... even for a single day ... it's a great way to become more aware of how embedded it is to speak unkindly and what it feels like to cut back. ... See MoreSee Less
My University of Idaho Mindfulness Projects:
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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.
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“Creating a Mindful Campus.”
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“Mindfulness & Stress Reduction.”
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