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Breathing Exercises for Anxiety: Relief Too Easy to Avoid

Breathing Exercises for Anxiety: Relief Too Easy to Avoid

On any given day, I might avoid half a dozen ways of relieving anxiety. Zone out for 5 minutes first thing in the morning? I can’t wait that long to check the news or Busy Phillips’ Instagram stories. Go for a walk? I might have to […]

Brenda Ueland: “Anyone Can Write, Any Old Way”

Brenda Ueland: “Anyone Can Write, Any Old Way”

Does the fear of not being good enough hold you back from writing, or trying any other artistic endeavor? Brenda Ueland’s book, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit, can help you get past this anxiety no matter the art […]

Into the Garden: Guided Meditation (6 MINUTES)

Into the Garden: Guided Meditation (6 MINUTES)

In this 6-minute guided meditation, take a walk into the garden. Use the recording or, if you’re leading a meditation, you can read it yourself using the transcript below.

Into the Garden

Close your eyes and breathe easy.

You’re standing at the entrance of a garden.

The garden is encircled by a wooden fence covered in English ivy.

In the middle of the garden is a tall, round water fountain encircled by yellow rose bushes.

Stepping stones spiral around the perimeter of the fence into the garden’s center.

You step onto the first stone, turn right, and begin your journey inside.

On your right, ivy-covered fence.

On your left, yellow rose bushes.

At your feet, stepping stones surrounded by a thick carpet of Irish moss.

And in the center, the fountain flows.

The stepping stones lead you around the perimeter of the garden, spiraling deeper through a small passageway into the circle of rose bushes.

Only now are you able to see lavender growing at the base of the fountain.

The fountain is close enough for you to touch, but there are more stepping stones before you.

You wind your way around what’s left of the path.

On your right, yellow rose bushes.

On your left, lavender, its deep purple flowers in bloom.

And in the center, the fountain flows.

You step onto the final stone, facing the fountain, your path through the garden complete.

The fountain pours from the top, first into a shallow pool, then a deeper pool below.

A breeze blows.

You take in a deep breath. It’s fragrant. With lavender and rose, of course, but also the faint scent of orange blossoms that the breeze blows in from a distant tree.

Overhead, a bluebird circles and lands on the fountain’s edge.

It takes a sip then jumps inside the shallow pool, bathing in the fresh, clean water.

The fountain flows.

The breeze settles.

The bluebird flies away.

When you’re ready, open your eyes.

In the center, the fountain flows.

See other guided meditations.

For unguided sessions, try this simple approach to meditation.

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The Sweetest Boy She Never Knew

The Sweetest Boy She Never Knew

Has your anxiety ever convinced you to reject someone you really wanted to be with? I’m not talking about some obvious asshole, who you’re attracted to but know would be nothing but bad news. I’m talking about rejecting someone sweet, who seems like they’d be […]

Wendy Whelan’s Story Begs the Question: What’s Wrong with Seeing a Woman in Decline?

Wendy Whelan’s Story Begs the Question: What’s Wrong with Seeing a Woman in Decline?

I need a reminder now and then that getting older is a good thing. I found one in Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, an extraordinary documentary about her retirement from the New York City Ballet. Here’s a piece I wrote about it for The Huffington Post — Wendy […]