How To Use Mindfulness In Times Of Crisis & Challenge

This past week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life.

A week and a half ago, we got the news that there had been a death in the family, (my partner) Matt’s Uncle Keith. It was a shock, and we were making arrangements to travel to Sydney to support the family and help with funeral arrangements. But then, we got another call the next day. Matt’s dad (Gary), we were told, had a heart attack and was in hospital fighting for his life – it felt like our world stopped turning.

We’ve spent the following week at the hospital in the intensive care unit camping out in the waiting room with loved ones, taking turns at going in (they only let two in at a time) and coaxing him to wake up, singing to Gary, chatting with him, massaging him and holding his hand.

At first there was a lot of hope…but as each day passed, the chances of his recovery became smaller and smaller. We were then told his brain damage was to severe and that he’ll never be the same… and will probably remain in a coma for the rest of his life. Decisions about whether to ‘turn off the machines’ that are keeping him alive – have been put to us from the doctors. We also find ourselves not being able to go to Uncle Keith’s funeral because we are still supporting Gary and making important decisions about his care.

I don’t think words could ever truly describe the emotional intensity and confusion of what the family has been going through. Half of us have also become sick with colds and the flu. We’re all exhausted from the emotion and the long hours spent in the ICU waiting room.

And yet, there is something beautiful that has happened in the middle of it all. Something unexpected. We have been using things we all learnt from the summit (almost the whole family participated) to ground ourselves in presence in this extremely challenging time. It turns out that the summit is a gift we give to ourselves at a time when we need it the most.

There have been five main ways that mindfulness has helped me and the family during this time. I’d like to share these in case these may be helpful to those out there who find themselves in a similarly difficult time. May these bring peace and presence into the darkest of days.

1. The 3-Breath Hug

The 3-breath hug has been the most beautiful way to ground ourselves and reconnect with each other and our moment-to-moment experience. Kristen Race shared this simple practice on Day 23 of The Mindfulness Summit as a practice for mindful parenting, but we’re finding it invaluable right now to bond as a family.

When one of us (or all of us) becomes very distressed, we have been coming together for a 3-breath hug. Imagine this situation – we had a very emotional family meeting with a doctor (telling us that Gary will never be the same due to massive brain damage) which ended with another family member in the room having a seizure and another one nearly passing out. We then had alarms going off and nurses rushing in to help. Very stressful, very difficult. We gathered outside the room right after that meeting, put our arms around each other and had a 3-breath hug to ground ourselves and give each other love and support. What a gift!

The kids especially love it when they’re stressed and it’s a way that the adults can wrap them up in love and support in the middle of it all.

2. A Mindful Mantra ‘This Too’

When life presents us with the unpleasant and the unwanted there is a strong tendency of the mind to resist what is happening. Resistance to pain, though, just creates more suffering. It’s futile. So here we are in this extremely stressful situation. A loved one in bed fighting for his life, probably not going to make it out of that bed alive. That’s very unpleasant. Feelings of fear, grief and loss naturally arise, and if I let them come and go without suppression, that is healthy and natural.

But if I begin to get into mental resistance patterns like ‘why is this happening to me?’ or ‘it’s not fair’ or ‘this shouldn’t be happening’ or ‘I want this to stop/ change/ go my way’ then I start fighting with reality. I start fighting with the present moment – and that, I know, is completely futile and just creates more layers of suffering. I will also lose touch with myself and the present moment if I get into resistance.

But the tendency to resist is strong when there is a lot of unpleasantness. That’s why I have been using my mantra that I always use in difficult times ‘This too.’

‘This too’ is my abbreviation for saying ‘I accept unconditionally the unfolding of this present moment in whatever form it takes – this too is allowed and accepted.’

‘This too’ reminds me to soften my resistance. It reminds me to stay grounded in presence (as best I can) and connects me to background of ease and peace even in the middle of this pain. I often repeat it mentally, sometimes out loud.

3. One Conscious Breath

We spoke at the summit, about the power of just taking a few deep, slow, conscious breaths – especially when you’re stressed. Breathing just a couple of breaths this way whenever we have felt overwhelmed has been so soothing for us all.

I’ve also been using my time in the ICU waiting room to do these mini-breath meditations, taking this time to step out of the mind and reconnect with my body and being-ness. It’s so simple, but has been profoundly nourishing.

I might just close my eyes and take one long slow breath, or maybe ten, if I have a minute free. One conscious breath brings me back to my self – reminds me that the world is still turning, birds are still singing and the sun is still shining through the window. There is more to this moment than just the pain, it’s all alive and it’s a miracle.

4. Creativity to Connect

As I mentioned, there is a lot of waiting around so we were looking for ways to be mindful while we waited. It’s all too easy to become caught up in the stressful energy of the ICU ward and all too easy for the mind to start running ‘what if’ scenarios while you wait.

At the summit, Danny Penman spoke about mindfulness and creativity and we also did a DMC (Daily Mindfulness Challenge) of colouring in. It was a fun and grounded practice and one we’ve brought into the waiting room. We’ve got a whole bunch of mindful colouring in books and so we have all been engrossed in mindful coloring in between visiting Gary by his bedside. Check out some of our creations! We ended up with a lovely board of pictures to put by his bedside.

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5. Keep Up A Daily Practice & Do Things That Nourish You

It’s common that we tend to abandon our daily practice on the darkest of days – when we’re sick, tired or stressed – but that’s exactly when we need it the most. I’ve found my daily meditation an incredible gift during this time. It’s been a time of cultivating self-compassion and gentleness. It’s been a way of opening up to the wholeness of life and reconnecting to what really matters.

We’ve also made sure that we are doing things that nourish us like eating well, going for swims in the ocean and getting some exercise. This is a way of self-nourishing at a time when I think many of us feel like drowning our sorrows in junk food, booze and unhealthy habits. It’s an act of kindness to ourselves in a time of uncertainty and pain. Also, reach out to get support from your loved ones. You don’t have to do it alone.

If you’ve faced your own challenges and can share some tips with us, please do in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you.

I hope this blog post may help anyone going through similar challenges to what we face right now. The main thing is to just take it all one step and one breath at a time.

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Comments

  1. Melli: we don’t know each other, although I saw your lovely face every day during the mindfulness summit. My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for posting this at a time of immense personal challenge and thinking of how you might help others when it would be all too easy to retreat into your own cocoon. I wish you strength and peace of mind. Your family is so lucky to have you there.

    • Hi Marianna, oh I sure know what you mean about the desire for the cocoon….and I do have some time for that too….but I also know that it’s not just me that suffers….being in the ICU ward shows you that quick smart. Thanks for your kind words and warm wishes x

  2. Brenda Forrester says:

    I am so sorry for your losses. These practices you used in such a critical and stressful time are prescriptions for peace, love, and acceptance. Thank you for sharing them, and for reminding us and that “this, too” is part of our life journey.

  3. Tabitha Beaven says:

    Simply beautiful Melli – thank you for sharing and inspiring me that living in this way every day rather than only when you need it can give you the strength to work through situations like this. In my thoughts x

  4. Deep love and respect to you, Melli – and a huge 3-breath hug to your whole family moving through this experience.

  5. Oh melli, what a time! I offer my deep condolences to your family. This is an incredibly helpful post! Thankyou ?

  6. Pat Kennedy says:

    Thank you for taking time to share during this difficult journey. Surrounding you and your family in love and light.

  7. Kia ora Melissa, Our whole country has been in mourning with the recent unexpected death of a well respected, humble man, who also happens to be a national hero/sportsman. Im not a rugby supporter nor very sporty but I love yoga and am still in awe of the richness that the summit offered. I/we are all connected in grief. So………..my friend Liz sent this piece from Martin Samson ( from Adeliade) as a call to unite in creating new inspiring collective thought-feeling forms to help all of us be more Humane. Its been edited a bit… and it speaks to me.

    Each morning in the rising Sun take a moment to feel part of a united community, without philosophical borders, and then feel the energy of a better humanity imprint itself into the life-light energy of the Sun. It will shine and inspire all upon whom the Sun light shines! As a united humanity, we can generate the energy as a circle of light that moves with the light of the Sun, with the light of the new dawn each day, to change the world.
    The inner work of each individual will be to let go of our inner voices that cause separation and antagonism They are the thought energy forms that create the outer manifestation of destruction in the world. We can take responsibility for our inner bigotry and prejudices, our cynicism and fear, and place them on hold. Remove them from our field of consciousness and open our minds and hearts to creating the feelings and thoughts that will make the possibility of us being Human more probable. Our thoughts and feelings are as important for the world as our actions are. It is time to raise each other in mutual love; to ascend to our full humanity together.We can live in peace, love, care, tenderness and collaboration to care for the earth and all her inhabitants. We can, collectively, send well being, peace, love and compassion to all concerned in these areas. I wish you well Melli and for your family who are doing what they need to right now and that is all that matters. This too shall pass (neh/isnt that so?).. Arohanui/Love BIG from a small group of yogites and human beings. xx

  8. Gillian Watt says:

    Thank you for sharing what has been happening in your life recently. Thank you as well for sharing with/reminding us what to do during dark and difficult times. What you facilitated in October has had far reaching positive consequences across the whole world. May you and your family experience the love and support that has been mindfully sent to you at this time. ?

  9. My thoughts and prayers with you and your family ! This is so beautifully written. Tears just rolled down my cheeks. Stay strong and stay positive. Its very nice and courageous of you to share this personal experience. I’ll always remember this message when I’m facing a crisis. Thank you.

    • Thanks Mukula. I am truly and honestly so glad your here. Since October I have never felt so held and supported by so many people that I’ve connected with online. I am going through some dark days but I have never felt more wrapped up in community either. I never realized the internet could bring about this kind of close knit community. I mean i knew it could create community but this level of support and kindness….wow! Thanks for being part of it x

  10. Thank you for sharing this so clearly, Melli, at a time of great distress and confusion for you and your family, and thank you for outlining your ways of continuing to practice mindfulness in the midst.
    One very powerful practice I would offer, which I learned from reading Pema Chodron: at such a challenging time, when things are happening that we so powerfully don’t want to happen – our whole bodies tend to constrict with an attitude of rejection, in an attempt to resist the experience of the moment. This happens acutely around the heart chakra. By taking deep and mindful breaths, we can direct the focus of our attention to the heart area, and we can feel and acknowledge the constriction, the rejection, the resistance. In that moment we can breathe compassion and warmth into the heart area, and allow it to flower open, to accept the pain and the confusion. Then we can let it go.
    Love and peace and comfort and ease to you all. Jenna

    • I love this! Funny, i just wrote almost this exact little tidbit above to Marianna re her grieving for her dog. I agree darling – the breath can help to soften the resistance in times of great pain. Thanks for reminding me and for being here x

  11. Kerri Morris says:

    Sending you all the warmth our family has. This is just the hardest thing, and my heart is truly wth you.

  12. Thank you Melli for sharing this. My heart goes out to you & your family at this time. I wish you all the strength in the world & massive hugs. The Mindfulness Summit was truly amazing & I love dipping back into it & relistening to some of the talks. May your presence be a guiding light.Xx

  13. My heart goes out to your family. I also discovered how powerful meditation was during the tragic times in life. Another method that was so helpful to me was “breath walking”. Walking in cadence with my breath in and out through the nose – 4 steps on the in breath – 4 steps on the out breath. I did this anytime I walked into the hospital and out or around the hospital. If I ended up walking faster I might change the count to 3 breaths and out my mouth. I hope this is helpful to you. Prayers for peace and comfort to you and your family.

  14. Dear Melli,
    Reading your post and noticing both the sadness and inspiration. Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts and feelings and what has been of benefit in your challenging time. You ask if anyone has other tips to share – in addition to people, I’ve found that being with nature, the changing sky, water and plants supports feeling grounded by the breath and that stroking and looking into the eyes of my dog gives a deep sense of heart connection when the brain is inclined to rush towards worry and fear. Go well, Sue x

  15. Pauline Wightmann says:

    What a wonderful thing to share. Sending peace and healing energy to you and yours.

  16. Pamela Thedos says:

    Melli, thank you so much for sharing not only what’s been happening with your family, but how you’re all choosing to be in it, as fully present as possible. I’ve found that adopting Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Full Catastrope Living” approach to be profoundly helpful. It has enabled me welcome the chaos, and almost feel privileged to experience the richness of being in a multitude of circumstances that bring about every kind of emotion. “No one could write this stuff” has often been said to me regarding the convergence of stressful, heart-wrenching, and challenging events that I regularly find myself in. This same thing can be said to you and your family. It’s seemingly unbearable, but you’re committed to getting through it in a beautiful way. Thank you for extending yourself to your readers in this very difficult time.

  17. I am so sorry to hear about the crises in your life. You and everyone involved in the summit continue to have such an amazing impact on my life and it’s good to see that mindfulness is helping you deal with such incredible stress.

  18. mary purdy says:

    Thank you for this post a great reminder for when things do happen and I shared it so your supportive post can spread.

  19. So well written. Melli, you are a light, a strength, an inspiration for many. Thank you for all of your insight. I will include you and your family in my Metta. ?

  20. Betsy Higgins says:

    I’m so sorry for your hard times and losses. My family went through the same thing with my Dad….heart attack, hope of recovery, and then the news that the brain was damaged beyond help and he would never recover….and the decision to make. I wish that I’d had mindfulness then to help me through. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. May you be peaceful and at ease.

    • Betsy -you’ve been right here huh? You know the whole journey from the inside out. I’m sorry your Dad is gone darling…so hard losing a loved one. Thanks for your blessings and the same to you – Wishing you ease and peace and love. Thanks for posting and being here with me x

  21. Thank you. This is really helpful. My husband had a major heart attack on November 1st and we disconnected him from life support on November 5th. I am just numb with grief. I am part of a mindfulness meditation group and staying present has been a huge help with coping with this awful new reality in my life. And I am scheduled to retire in less than three weeks, so lots of transition in my life.

    • valerie mc says:

      Dear Marcia – sending you lots of love and support. As I approach retirement i realise that I am also fearful of life snatching things away from me – like you have just experienced. I am so sorry and I send my most heartfelt condolences. May you find your courage to go on, when days are dark and be assured that the thoughts of the mindfulness community are with you. Sending you love and peace., Valerie Mc, GB

  22. What a beautiful post to share in such a difficult time. I’m so sorry to see your family is going through this. Also so thankful to see you’re being blessed by the Summit the way you’ve blessed others. I have a friend who went to the hospital last week for pneumonia and is now in hospice in a coma. He has four young kids. It’s devastating when something like this happens suddenly. I’ve worked in cancer support for years, and as hard as it is to watch a disease slowly take someone, it also gives everyone time to adjust, to connect and support the patient while he is still fully present. It is such a strange feeling to love and care for someone who does not know you are doing it. To me, whatever I can do for my friend does not feel like enough, simply because he cannot know it and respond. It is teaching me a lot about myself and love. Because I know in my heart that the acts of love are just as powerful even if he never knows, perhaps even moreso.

    I write this just to acknowledge how difficult your situation is, how normal all the feelings of shock and confusion and wishing are. You’re doing some beautiful things to get through this together. Somehow we heal. One breath at a time. *hug*

  23. Sending metta to you and your whole family, Melli. What beautiful and heartfelt words you write here. Wishing you peace and continued strength to accept things as they are.

  24. Joyce Soares says:

    Melli,
    You, Matt and family have been in my thoughts/prayers. I absolutely LOVE the mindful coloring pieces for the hospital room!! What a creative way to relieve everyone’s stress and bring bright joy to the person in the hospital. Thank you for sharing how mindfulness is helping all. God bless.

  25. I’ve found that losing a loved one is stressful on so many levels. The loss itself, but also the reminder that we are impermanent, life is impermanent, and it is felt more deeply than any other time in our lives when we are reminded so starkly. Love, however, is not impermanent. Hold on and love, and be as present as possible, as mysteries unfold at times like these. I am sure your loved ones know your love. Take good care. ~Cathie

    • Your right Cathie. It’s impermanence staring at you in the cold hard light of reality. So real right there in front of you. So confronting and so opening. It has brought up so many feelings for all of us. I take so many deep long slow breaths these days….and the breath brings me back to the aliveness of the moment – even when its very very scary – it’s still alive.

  26. Hand lotion is a wonderful way to give yourself (and loved ones) a massage-on-the-go. And if you find (or make) some with soothing smells like lavender, the lotion will tap into multiple senses to center and calm. It’s portable and subtle even in the midst of difficult meetings and discussions.
    Sending hope for healing for all of you.

  27. I just wanted to thank-you for your post on how to use mindfulness in time of challenge – it came to exactly when I needed it.

  28. My heart goes out to you Melli. It is an extremely difficult time for everyone.

  29. Martine Large says:

    Thank you for taking the time amid your troubles to share these thoughts. I am new to mindfulness. Today I had some bad news about my health, but you have reminded me that there are ways to cope with stressful and dark times. I wish you and your family very well in going through your own difficult times.

  30. Wishing you the strength you need. Look after yourself too.

  31. Milli you seem to be doing well. I like that ever in the middle f crisis you are practicing being. We are all interconnected so I am sending you peace and joy.

  32. Merrilee Baker says:

    Since doing the Mindfulness Summit I have started writing a journal and continued exploring the teachings we were introduced to. One interview was with Dr Rick Hanson. He spoke about a few short neuroenhancing techniques, one of which was RAIN. He mentioned you could use for happy emotional states as we as troublesome ones. After getting in touch with your state connect with others in the world who are feeling the same. It happened spontaneously this morning after I had a great surf/paddle. Excerpt from my journal: Mt Agung stood regally and fully defined although wisps of cloud fringed on all sides. The sun, a big red ball of fire rose over the palms. I had paddled out to Shipwrecks where small waves were breaking on furtherest peak. Then sets came through for 15 minutes, head high, fast fun and all on my own…Awesome coral, a turtle, breathe, paddle, reflect on compassion meditation. Feeling blissful, sending state of bliss out to connect with everyone else feeling this way right now (Dr Rick Hanson meditation) but my mind brought me to Meli and everyone else feeling pain at this time. A tear, a heaviness in the heart, sending loving compassion to all those feeling pain today.
    N (in RAIN) stands for non-identification so I have a relationship with bliss wired in my brain but I am not bliss, I also have a relationship with sorrow.

    • Beautiful, just beautiful. Feeling tired, confused and a little sad….but also supported and a strange calm is in the background. Feeling connected to all people in the world feeling challenge and presence at this time. Sending compassion and love to all….and to Merrilee. Darling thanks for reminding me of my connectedness x

  33. I can sure relate to this right now. My neighbor and best friend died suddenly the week before Thanksgiving. Not an accident or anything, his body just gave out from years of drinking. Even though I knew he wasn’t all that healthy it was still a shock. He was only 57. I’ve handled it okay, off and on. But these suggestions are definitely going to be used.

    And thank you for your transparency about the situation. Too often people tend to be vague when others’ can be helped by hearing what someone else is going through, (and how they’re handling it) and possibly even helping the person in pain. Like you are to me. I pray things get easier. Deb

  34. Thank you Melli. I can’t imagine your pain, but your words are beautiful. As I will soon be dealing with the loss of a friend I appreciate your blog and will revisit it to help ease the pain. Continue to be kind to yourselves.

  35. Thank you for sharing this sweet girl; what a difficult time you are all having. Sending you loving vibes.

  36. Camille shaw says:

    Hi meli and matt,

    Thinking of you. Yes one step at a time. I have a very beautiful gorgeous friends share an amazing close relationship with I am a daughte she never had. She has cancer and I know this will be her last Xmas . We laugh we cry we talk and talk. I am very aware of being totally present in the moment when I spend time with her and her husband . It’s a long story but they have already had 2 sons die 2 sons remain. Both have had cancer. It will eventually take her we are both nurses that’s where we met she was my boss. When I come home I reflect and spend Time in nature and with my animals
    And practice mindfulness we w are all so lucky to walk this earth I believe the most important thing is living every moment if it is yr last leaving a healthy footprint so when your time is near You can die with dignity And a contented heart 🙂

    • Camille, Thanks so much for taking the time to connect. I have tears streaming down my face reading this. You have such courage and dignity and warmth. You’re a true inspiration darling. My heart is with you and your friend-mum. I wish you many beautiful moments with her. Moments filled with aliveness and humanity and love and presence. I wish you all peace and presence in all of your days.

  37. Anthony Hurdidge says:

    Hello Melli,
    Thank you for sharing your current situation, with us, I hope it has offered some comfort just being able to write how things are, at present. I have spent many decades with trauma and so I can share some of your pain.
    I have been practicing mindfulness for 12 months and it has made a huge difference to my coping strategies, but what really boosted my self control, my mindful conversations, were the summit talks. Recently, I have experienced some near misses, with vehicles, both on my bike and driving the school mini bus. Before mindfulness, I would have needed a couple of days off work, such would be my physical/mental reactions. Now, with the understanding of the power of the breath, I remained calm and focused. We have a similar strategy, 3 slow deep breaths followed by saying “this, too, will pass”. I add ” nobody got hurt, I’m calm. They’re in real need of calm”.
    My wife has commented how my reactions to major incidents has changed, for the good, as she would be the one to guide me back to normality, and it’s all down to Mindfulness.
    I wish you and your families good health and some comforting news very soon. I’m sure you are all supported and prayed for, by the Summiteers around the world.
    Thank you and God bless,
    Anthony

  38. Kimberly B says:

    The Mindfulness Summit was so well done and such an uplift; and the whole time I kept being impressed by you personally Melli; now here you are immediatly afterwards being challenged in ways the world does. They say, its not what happens but how you respond and you are walking the talk. Sharing your self in this way is a great example of Mindfulness. Thank you and blessings to all your family and Thank you for being a living example of how to embody the practice. I really appreciated the Summit and now I am very impressed by how you are using Mindfulness in your life to face such difficulty. With Love.

  39. So much to say: Thank you so much for who you are. My heart goes out to you and yours. Especially at this time..am cradling you, quietly “this too, dearest, just be in this moment….
    I’ve been having issues, not life or death, however, am sad but as you pointed out “this too..” in my family..I’m the “different one”, the one who has stepped away, the “weird, crazy one”.. I can not be “fake” it anymore! But it’s hard when the “tribe” does everything in their power to “hold” on…am 75 years young and will just be me…been awakening since 1973, .teach Hatha, am an LMT, have 2 sons, 4 grandsons, a wonderful life partner (2nd time around husband is my heart of gold),,,funny, as I see these words am thinking “all right, all right, all right”, – sending love your way…

    • Thank you so much for writing this blog. I can’t tell you how much it’s helping me in this moment. My dog Strider suddenly became very sick on Monday. My exhusband had to rush him into the emergency pet clinic because he had a tear on his heart and had internal bleeding. He was suffering and is an older dog and the Dr told us he probably would not be able to recover completely due to his age. My exhusband had to make a snap decision and could not reach me. through advice from the doctor he Decided to have our dog put to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I found out that my dog had passed the night before. I was in overwhelming panic and self judgment for not being able to keep my phone on and be there for my dog In his last moments on this earth. I was not able to meditate for two days. i have started back today and it’s helping immensely along with advice from your blog of being present and not creating more havoc with my thoughts of how it could be different. I really appreciate you sharing your personal experience. This has helped me not feel alone in the world.

      • Oh Robin, I’m so sorry about Strider…and I’m so sorry for your heartache in losing him so suddenly like that. We have a little cat named Rumi and so I can understand how much one can love a little fur-child. I am so glad this blog has been helpful for you honey. That was my wish – that it would reach out to you in this moment of grief and loss. I’m here with you. We’re here with you. In your meditations, if really intense emotions come up – I find it really helpful to use the breath to just breathe right into the pain and soften into it rather than trying to change it or indulge in it. Sending you love and support x

  40. Hi Melli,
    I practice mindfulness in Arizona, USA. My husband is from Perth and all his relatives are there so we’re on our own over here with 2 kids. I, too, am no stranger to heartache and struggle. I had a thyroid surgery just last week. I struggle with anxiety and fear (less so since starting mindfulness practice last year). I have a friend who is only 34, has 3 children and no family nearby and who has had many health crises. I asked her for advice on how to let go when our desire is to grasp onto our thoughts, our selves, each other. She said, “I think we have our trials so we can learn and grow. Things we can’t control we have to let go of. Otherwise we use our precious energy on things we can’t change.” Allowing and acceptance is letting go, I think. It’s the grasping, the holding on, that causes us to suffer. In the thick of crises, it’s feels impossible to see the other side, that a day will come when it won’t be so intense. This last week it helped me tremendously to be reminded that when the smoke has cleared a new version of me will remain. What will I have learned, how will I grow? This idea holds the promise of life abundant, the sprouts after a bush fire. When the bottom falls out, no doubt, it’s sucks. You are not alone, sister. You are part of a human family that knows the exhaustion of hospital rooms, the tension headaches of staying focused and alert, the relief and guilt of being able to walk out of that hospital room. Your work is important. Your story matters to so many people! We are all connected. Namaste.

    • Oh man, you are just so beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing your own story and reminding me of the story we all share as humans. Life is incredibly beautiful and mysterious and also scary and painful too sometimes. We’re all in it together. Thanks darling. Your so =sweet for taking this time to share an connect in this way. Love you. Namaste sister

  41. Dear Meli,

    I feel for you, your family, all of your suffering and your loss and wish you peace and rest at this difficult time. Thank you for your generosity of looking outwards, to embrace and share what possible learning there can be for others, when it must be so hard to keep a grip on your own emotional states. This for me is Mindfulness in movement and I’m sure your words of wisdom will soften the pain of many of us who find ourselves in pain now or will inevitably do at some time in our lives. Take good care. with love.

  42. After reading Melli’s difficult story, and all the heartfelt comments, I knew I had to tell my story, as well. My spiritual path began back in 1959 with reading Krishnamurti. My challenges then we’re typical of a young mother with a non-communicating husband. The transformation I experienced was profound, and carried me for many years. Later it helped me deal with an extreme challenge having to do with a pedophile, a trial, and prison. Surviving all that, there were years of peace, and a happy successful career as a college instructor teaching self-healing through the mind-body-spirit connection. I studied and taught all the great masters and teachers, including Jon Kabat-Zinn. All was well until October 2013, when one son was diagnosed with cancer, another with muscular dystrophy, who then came to live with me and my husband. For the next 1 1/2 years we watched our son slowly deteriorate from cancer, with ongoing pain and the ravages of pain medications and chemo, and travelled from our home in California to Washington, DC, 4 or 5 times to be with him and help care for him. In January 2015 his mind had gone and he was sent home with Hospice. Just then I had emergency surgery for an obstructed small intestine. I recovered after one month enough to travel, and my husband and I went back to DC. After seeing our son for 4 days, barely able to communicate with him, my husband was rushed to the ER in a Maryland hospital, for the same thing I had — obstructed small intestine. He had surgery the same week that our son passed away. We were both too involved with his condition to even be able to grieve. That was in March of this year. My husband has not fully recovered yet. My explanation from a mind-body perspective is that our stomachs had been tied in knots from watching our son suffer. All of this is to say that with all of my knowledge and tools, it has been very difficult to remember to breathe, to meditate, to find inner peace. But I know enough to not judge myself, and to allow myself to experience the extreme anguish. Slowly I am managing to return to some normalcy. I feel for you, Melli, and everyone else in the world right now suffering untimely deaths and injustices. We are being strengthened. Bless us all.

  43. These are wonderful, beautiful suggestions you describe for a place I have been and many others as well. For me, the mindful creativity was knitting and the moments I could breathe steadily were inside the hospital chapel but also in stolen moments among trees outside. Over 2-1/2 years my child was in and out of hospital, time in the natural world became my saving grace to reconnect to myself out of the very “unnatural” environment of the hospital. Love the 3-breath hug idea and wish I’d known of it then. Thank you. Much Love and Grace to everyone in your family.

  44. Oh Melli, my thoughts are with you and thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful post.
    Three years ago my world changed with a phone call that my dad had had a heart attack and was in ICU. We spent weeks at the hospital in ICU with other families going through the same thing & it feels like some kind of parallel universe, having to make difficult decisions on behalf of your loved ones. We were blessed to have almost another 3 years with dad and then when I didn’t think we could experience anything like that again, this year within one month we lost my godfather (who is like an uncle to us) unexpectedly and then my dad. I love all your mindful suggestions ( we used mindful colouring in books in hospital! )and it’s so great to be reminded of how mindfulness can help in hard times, especially as in the west we’re really not that equipped to deal with death. Looking forward to listening to the new meditation!
    love and light xx

    • Vanessa, thanks for reminding me that we are not alone. I’m so sorry for your pain darling and i so hope that some of what i posted can be helpful to you and your family. Love Melli

  45. Peace and serenity in the deepest way! God bless!

  46. So sorry to hear of such horrific hardship for you and your family, I can relate to much of what you shared, I use essential oils in my bath to help me so I can sleep/rest at night. Stay hydrated , lots of hot lemon water with a pinch of pink sea salt, also wear scarfs to keep your neck warm. I am sending you much love and praying for strength and help and guidance .XO

  47. Debra Winston says:

    Thank you Melli, for sharing how mindfulness – and coloring! – can nurture us during a crisis. Your summit was an inspiration and we are more resilient for practicing and learning about mindfulness. Every encounter is another tool in our box of coping strategies. Blessings on you and your family, knowing you will emerge stronger.

  48. ed symmes says:

    Watching you every day for a month, and marveling at the awesome technical support Matt provided, we know your parents, your family. Perhaps in a way that you can’t see on your own. We see what they have produced. And what you have created from their gifts. To me, you two are an awesome example of how the treasure that one builds on earth remains in the hearts and minds of all those they have touched on their brief journey on this planet. Love and support, Ed and Rhena Symmes

  49. Melli, Thank you for Sharing and helping even in your most difficult time. We, all the people tha saw you smiling every day, want to wish you and family a fast recover. May you and family be in peace. Sending you much love an good energy. ???

  50. I didn’t know about your family’s sad trials until today. You have given so much to all of us, gifts that continue to heal, uplift, sustain and bring joy. I am so glad you can experience some of the love you gave to us flowing back to you and your loved ones. Your crisis blog was also wonderful today – something I’ll definitely print out and file away. You all will definitely be in my Metta as of today, Big hugs, Phyllis

  51. Thank you for this remarkable sharing ! I am so sorry to hear of your family losses and extreme health challenges this past week!! How incredibly stressful yet I am so moved by your ability to reach out to us all with such clarity… applying mindfulness in real , grounded ways, from the Summit and your own practice , especially under such extreme duress! Most of us would crumple into a bundle of tears, anxiety, caffeine & alcohol. How natural though to choose to stay present and allow your feelings to move naturally without disconnection. Wow. Your father in law is blessed to be surrounded by your conscious TLCare as he decides what he wants to do now too. I send you and your family my prayers, love and compassion as you continue to navigate so admirably through this crisis. Much love Melli and take good care.

  52. I also lost my father-in-law 1st of November and the funeral will be tomorrow. I so can share your feelings and find the means you suggested added with as good sleep as possible supportive. I have tried to be there for my husband in his sorrow, but your post made me realize how important that really can be. We all will need that strength also in the future and we must get it somewhere to be able to share it. Mindfulness is one really good source. I wish you strength and blessing.

    • Dear Melli and Matt, what an incredible challenge for you and your family and what an incredible and inspirational mindfull response you all shared and are still sharing to the same challenge!!! Onwards and upwards, we are all standing by you and the heartfelt prayers are for the best outcome for all of you – beautiful, courageous, compassionate and absolutely amazing people.

  53. I’m sending you love and support, Melli. Thanks for your post, this is very helpful.
    Francis

  54. eva-maria says:

    Hello Melli,

    I was part of the summit too. What a coincidence! I had such a difficult and challenging time these days, /not as yours though/. My point is – that your post is like magic /healing/ coming at the right moment, and at the right place. Miracle. I have one more thought though:
    After everything challenging passes. Hopefully with a good outcome. We have to be grateful. For the breath we have. For the sun we have. For the life we have. For the friends we have. For the relatives we have. For the support we have. To not forget. To never forget if possible. To not be submerged immediately only in the tiny daily trifles of life. To appreciate every single moment. Really.

    • Dear Melli and folks around the globe
      After reading the countless comments by folks around the world it strikes me that we are one. That no matter what edge of the globe we reside in, no matter what our faith or our race, we all share the common bond of loss, pain and grief and the shared emotion of joy and love.

      As I read, I thought of the grief group I just attended for the last night after a six week period, and how there, no matter what our ages our life circumstances, I could see myself in every one of those 13 other people. I felt the pain of the mother who lost her teenage son to an accidental drowning; the depth of sorrow from a mother whose two adult children died within four months of one another. I empathized with the woman cried every time she came for the father she was loosing day, by day to Alzheimer’s. I thought perhaps the group was not for me until I sat through two of the classes and was taught my our loving facilitator, that loss and grief and loss and grief. It does not have to necessarily be the loss in the form of death, but even the loss of “the fantasty” of what one thought their life was going to be like. I fell under that catagory, having divorced after 27 years. And here, three years after the divorce, I find myself in a deeper more abstract pain than I even felt in the first two years of the divorce proceedings and first two years of the divorce. And then within the group I began to actually grieve all of the other griefs in my life: the suicide of my brother, death of my mother a year later, serious psychological illness of my son, and my own wounded childhood having survived abuse.

      So when I read your story, Mellie, of how you are mindfully moving through the process with a sense of love and acceptance and awakening, I am so encouraged for my own journy and spurred on to mush forward with courage and love. I thank you so much for your mos beautiful world wide effort to reach out and show us we are all one, and that we can choose a peace conscious path! Much love, peace and Light to you Mellie and all

  55. Geri Savits-Fine says:

    Facebook is not part of my daily habit so I just read your news and post. You’ve given me the world, Melli, with the Summit and going back to a daily practice, and I just want to send you hugs from Toronto. I’ve been through many deep losses and know that they eventually find a comfortable place to rest. It’s wonderful that you have such love and support surrounding you, and an inner peace that you can always call on. Take care.

  56. Narayanan Ramasamy says:

    Thank you Melli for sharing with us. I rarely respond to blog posts but I felt I need to write to you to personally thank you for this post, for organizing the summit and following it with emails. I appreciate your selfless effort.
    I am a retired scientist,and am a student of Vedānta. I have studied the Upaniṣads and the Gītā full-time for several years and taught vedānta texts for a few decades. I was curious to know and understand mindfulness practice and you provided an excellent opportunity by organizing the sessions. I enjoyed listening to them, but could not participate in the meditation challenge due to travel to a place that was “digital free”. (Yes, such places do exist). I am happy that I was able to download and listen to 12 sessions I missed. Thank you.
    Practice allows one to let the essential teaching to sink in the mind, and help you with living the life despite what it throws at you. Your blog eloquently states that!
    Thank you again for sharing.
    Ram

  57. I am so sorry for your loss and all that you are going through, Melli. My husband and I moved 7 hours away from our home to live with his mother for 2-1/2 years while she needed support to stay in her home with Alzheimer’s; she died in March so we are back home now. Life is very “real” when facing these circumstances. You were brilliant in putting together such incredible thought leaders on mindfulness for the Summit. Now, Melli, with this posting you have added your name to that list of influential people in the field. Your honest, thoughtful and moving post passes on to all of us how mindfulness plays out in real life… real life. Thanks so much for all that you are doing. Blessings to you and Matt as you move forward, taking all of our love and support with you.

  58. These experiences force our vision to magnify reality, and ultimately our hearts. From so much suffering a vast array of space is created where love begins to dominate. I took care of my dad for many years as he slowly and painfully was overtaken by cancer, and finally left his body behind. But what overwhelmingly left me in awe of life was the amount of love and clarity that took the place of fear and suffering. Meditation on death has been one of the most trans formative vehicles of metamorphosis in my life. Contemplating ones own death and the care you would choose to be surrounded by can help open facets of perspective… we would all wish to be surrounded by love and light at our most vulnerable moments. Self compassion is the beginning. Thank you for sharing Melli, I’m sending you and your family light and love.

    • Hi Lillie, Thanks so much for posting and for sharing an intimate part of your life. It’s one of the most mysterious parts of life that death – that which we fear most – is actually a vital part of living a full rich and meaningful life. The more we hide from impermanence and contract back in fear, the less alive we tend to be. Instead we busy ourselves, trying to stay distracted so that we’re never left ‘in a quiet room alone’ (to quote pascal). When we come face to face with it, as you did, and as I am now, it can be terrifying and totally profound and sacred all at once.

      I am in that quiet room right now. Face to face with the fear- also being opened up and softened – and oh yes vulnerable as you say. Also having realizations about what matters and how I’ve been holding back. Thanks for your light. I feel it here with me x

      I wish you peace and presence. I am so glad your part of this community

  59. Amazing post. I so enjoyed you shepherding the mindfulness summit. I am on Cape Cod in the USA….a beautiful place near the ocean. I go there each morning to connect with myself and nature. Each day when I go I will think of you and your loved ones and send you my love and support across the ocean.

  60. Mindfulness is still foreign for me. I am working on it. My thought and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing during this difficult time.

  61. I just really want to express how much I appreciate the solidarity, kindness and love I am feeling through all your comments. Thanks for taking the time to write and thank you (from the bottom of my heart) for being here – Love Melli

  62. Mellli,
    Having been through something amazingly similar with my father in law, I can empathize with your position particularly. Balancing your feelings, with supporting your partner (and his family of origin) in their feelings and decision making is a delicate task. From your post it sounds like you are doing it with grace and love. Wishing you strength and peace.

  63. Outi Alaja says:

    Hello Melli,

    I am so sorry for your loss!

    I admire you for writing this text during your difficult time, for sharing your tips for others to use.

    As it happens, I am doing thru something in my life right now that is causing a lot of sorrow and grief. I will take your tips to heart and remember them – thank you! Kindness and self-compassion are much needed in these times.

    Much love to you, Matt and your family – may you continue to find peace within!

  64. Stacy Elsey says:

    Hi Melli,

    I have come to think of you and many others from the summit as part of my true refuge. I hope you can take comfort in knowing that everyone’s lives you touched/changed during the summit can be a refuge for you too. I appreciate your honesty and positivity. I have spent months and months in a pediatric ICU with my son and if only I knew then what I know now. However, if that were true I would never have come across the path of awakening and mindfulness. Thinking of you and your family. This too xoxo

  65. Melli,
    Many condolences to you and your family. I am so glad that you have a mindfulness practice to help you work through and process the difficult emotions.

    I used to work in the hospital as a nurse, and have spent time at the bedside of my own family members. It is precious time. Time to be right there in it feeling what you feel,but also knowing that it’s ok to dose your pain and not feel like you have to take it all on at one time. Sometimes it’s just too much.

    When I spent a few weeks at the bedside of my grandmother this spring I let myself cry everyday, but it was also really important for me to realize that I was still alive amidst it all. I went for runs and went over to my friends house to play with her kids to remind me that life can still be found amidst such strong feelings of loss.

    Best wishes to you

    Stacia

  66. Dear Melli,

    Hearing you in that little room facing fear and confronting death is a huge undertaking and you are being so brave turning to face it rather than avoiding. Your blog will help so many others and the point ‘This Too’ is so right. In fact you can extend the phrase a little to encompass a comforting thought ‘This too will change’. Impermanence can feel so scary and yet when I say this phase to myself in ‘good’ times it reminds me not to be complacent and expect everything to stay well forever; In the ‘bad’ times it reminds me to ‘hang on in there’ because this time too will change and whatever the outcome we can be kindest to ourselves if we don’t struggle to make it any different than it is.

    I still use Thich Naht Hanh’s teaching on meditation on impermanence in a 3-breath meditation with my son to really appreciate the time we are together in health; Breathing in/out, I know we are together right now; second in/out breath I imagine he was no longer in the world (scary but that will pass); third in/out breath I appreciate that he is still here but I know that I shouldn’t take that for granted as the situation could change in the blink of an eye. I will teach him these thoughts when he is old enough not to feel distress at facing the loss in advance of the actual day when I die, but in the meantime we connect in a mutual 3-breath hug and appreciate those peaceful moments together.

    Remember Melli, each of us sending you a message at this tough time is visualising you in that little room, so allow yourself & your family to know we are with you via the virtual world and are present with you right now. xxx Tina

  67. Susan Scott says:

    Hi Meli, I’m so sorry to hear about your family challenge. I know what a harrowing time it can be for all of you but also what a beautiful, and healing time it can be as well.
    Our family went through some similar circumstances over 4 years ago when our son who was 28 at the time, with a wife of 2 years and an 11 month old son, was hit by a car whilst cycling. He remained on a coma for 12 months and spent another 12 months in the Liverpool brain injury unit before coming home to his wife and son in a fairly non responsive state with 24 hour care. It shattered our seemingly perfect lives. We continued to believe in his ability to recover and still do despite doctors very dim prognosis. We always believed he could hear us and knew we were there. He totally understands everything we say. It is only more recently that the doctors agree with us. We were by his side every step of the way, spending over 2 years in the hospital environment. It became our world. It certainly did take it’s toll affecting physical and mental health issues of familymembers. Fortunately we took it in turns to be up so we could support the one who was down. What got us through were a number of things that may help you and others..
    1. Gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal. Seeing and finding the blessings in each day and giving thanks for them, no matter how small they appear to be.
    2. Saying a mantra. I had a few.
    Let go let God. Just surrendering to what ever happens helps to let go of resistance to whatever is happening at the time.
    “This too will pass. ” reminding ourselves of the changing nature of all things real or imagined. That it really is a projection of our thoughts about the circumstances.
    “It will all work out in the end it just isn’t the end yet. ” teaching us to let go of expected outcomes and what we want to happen but remembering the perfection of all life, no matter the perceived unfairness of it all.
    3. Seeing the miracles in life. The first day I was driving to the hosptal and I was thinking, “how will we ever get through this,” when a car appeared in front of me with a sign the filled the back wind screen that read ” miracles happen.” Miracles do happen as long as you are open to them, and let go of how they should appear and look, as well as being aware of them no matter how small and gong thanks for the miracle no matter what shape it appears and let go of judgement.
    4. Finding the gift or blessing in each circumstance.
    5. Keeping a sense of humor. Finding the joy in little things and learning to laugh at ourselves. Taking time out to have some fun.
    6. Staying connected to others.
    7. Exercise and meditation practice.
    8. Reading inspirational material.
    9. Doing a course in miracles.
    10. Looking at others who had it worse than you.
    11. Reminding yourself that in some way everyone is facing some challenge in life. To each person their challenge is big. We can’t compare our challenges because we are never given more than we can deal with.
    12. Breath. Come back to the breath.
    I hope something from this list hits a cord with you.
    Sending love, light and many blessings to you and your family. And remember that no matter how bad things appear to be it too will pass. Sue Scott. Hugs to you all.

  68. Hi Meilli,
    My thoughts and love to you and Matt at this challenging time,
    I want to thank you so much for the mindfulness summit and everyone that took part it was an amazing journey.
    At this time for you both and you family, I just want to share a bit of my story with you, In brief I had a lot of different struggles and challenges growing up and it wasn’t until I was about 35 that I realized that I had to change, change somehow. I remember over the next few years that I actually spoke to my parents at different times about these challenges and how I felt and how I made them feel to, at the time I didn’t know anything about mindfulness at all never even heard of it till later when I was 40. It was then at 40 I realized that I could change and that as I changed things around me changed bit by bit.
    So after furthering my learning’s around mindfulness and meditation and some other spiritual and therapeutic methods I was so grateful at how being mindful helps us daily. I am so grateful that I have even began to teach basic mindfulness courses to others too now and try to pass on the wonderful control that mindfulness can bring to us for others to experience and use themselves. I had never really thought or experienced personally at how mindfulness could help in time of loss but I got this opportunity last year.
    On December 23rd 2014 my Mum passed away suddenly, she lived in Florida and we lived in Ireland so we did not get to see each other that much in person but did connect via skype, phone and facebook often. Due to it happening so suddenly I didn’t know what I was going to do, I knew I had to get over but also knew, that I had to also had to be here for Christmas for my family and children here and give them just as good a Christmas as usual.
    Using mindfulness I was able to do this and the kids had a wonderful Christmas. How I used it was like this, I knew I was sad and upset, and I knew it was okay to cry and ok to be upset, but I also knew that I had no anger. I also knew I couldn’t change what had happened, and instead of feeling why me, getting angry or diving into days of aimless drinking etc, I found I was able to connect with all the great memories we shared together, the smiles, the hugs, the love we shared and as we had already shared our struggles with each other previously there was no guilt, no regrets, we had had the most wonderful true connection a parent and child should have.
    I feel that if I had not found mindfulness the situation would most definitely have been totally different. I think about Mum every day and some more than others especially as it approaches her 1st year anniversary, and although there is a sadness there is also a happiness too and they balance each other out I find. One thing I have learned through mindfulness, practicing, learning and teaching is that we are all human and we will have human emotions, anger, frustration, sadness and life will throw challenges at us, and yes we can fall of the wagon so to speak and not use mindfulness every minute of every day however if we are practicing it daily we will “notice the noticing” as we heard from the mindfulness summit and that’s ok too, once you notice it just get back on that wagon and use your mindfulness again and as we keep doing this we will use it more and more and find the benefits huge to ourselves.
    Sorry if my post goes on a bit long lol, I just had to share my experience with dealing with loss and how mindfulness has helped me, it is not a magic wand but it is a powerful tool to draw on even when times feel really tough and using it daily either formally or informally has amazing benefits. Thank you foe sharing your blog with us and in this tough time I wish you love and peace and send you deep gratitude for all your work in promoting mindfulness to the masses . x James

  69. Thank-you Melli for doing so much giving, even in times of pain and need. You are such an inspiration, such a beautiful being.
    I often remember Vidyamala Burch’s words, “Just this moment. Just this moment. Just this moment”…may you all feel loved, may you all be at peace.

  70. valerie mc says:

    Hello Melli
    I meant to write and say how much I had enjoyed and benefited from the summit and then I read your post about what you are currently going through! Sending much love Melli – your wise honest words have already inspired so many people and we are all thinking of you and Matt & family. May you know continuing courage and peace. Love from the UK, Valerie

  71. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Thank you for being so generous and still thinking of sharing wisdom in times of crisis.

    Hugs to you and your family.

  72. Hazy jane says:

    Hi Melli,

    You are in my thoughts. Amazing words! I found this post at the time I needed it the most. I too am currently in the same situation with my mum being criticially ill. The doctors have told us a vast array of diagnoses and they currently have no clue why she is so ill. It is heartbreaking but I have found deep solace in the breathe & have spent several nights colouring at her bedside. Thank you for taking time to post this article. Sending you much love & positivity. Hayley x

  73. A year and a half ago I lost my father after a 5-day cancer agony
    I “took” charge of the situation because I am an MD and have an extremely small family.
    I remember how I promised to him while he was in between this life and death that I would commit to become wiser and grow up. To lessening useless suffering by learning to accept. To embrace “This Too”.
    I “reaaalllyy” sat down with all my heart for the first time some weeks later.
    My heart goes out to you all from the other side of the Planet with immense intensity and light.
    <3

  74. Matt & Melli – you are both in my heart at this moment. I wish you peace as you navigate the stresses of these situations. As a person with ptsd related to loss, I’m not sure my ideas come from a place of victory but maybe small ones. I’ve known others who’ve dealt with grief and trauma in less conflicted ways than I and that’s always a source of wonder. Maybe just that observation might be helpful – that grief varies and it’s both connective and separating. It’s an opportunity for compassion but can be cause for misunderstanding. There’s an ebb and flow that sometimes bumps up against expectations – externally directed or self-assigned. In my family that led to “roles” and sadly created fractures that never healed. I’m struggling through triggers as holidays and anniversaries collide, so it occurs to me to say that memories matter long past the acute crisis. And it’s not too late to make memories with positive intention perhaps. What I’ve learned from ptsd is that even the smallest sensations and images and activities can get hooked to memories. Later they can comfort – like angels’ speaking in the mind; but the case of ptsd – they’re more like demon stories 🙁 I realize mindfulness means living with present awareness, but knowing the present informs the future I wonder if noticing and choosing the things that are building blocks for positive memories is really a form of kindness. I think you’re already on the path thru the artwork of mindful coloring and 3-breath group hugs and just noticing the birdsong. Music is something that’s always helped me. And pets. And family stories. Collect them with kindness. Sadly I have a photo album from my grandparent’s youth – faces I don’t know and life stories I’ll never hear. You mentioned the thought of “this too” intended to allow many emotions in awareness at once; I think I’m trying to suggest “this and then” intended to envelop a relationship across life/time in shared moments… Much comfort, C in CT

  75. Hi there,
    I´ve just read your post and thanks for sharing it, it seems a very brave thing to do. I teach mindfulness in Spain and my dad in England has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The shock is tremendous and the emotions of having to commute to England to see him while he´s having chemo is also very very hard, in fact this is the hardest, most awful experience there is for me at any rate so far in my life. Thank god for my practice as it also helps me to connect to what I can do now and how I can be now, rather than catastrophising about the unknown future (in my dads case). Unfortunately, my family don´t know the practices and I´m interested to know what you think about introducing a little bit of mindfulness to my mother in particular. She´s wound as tight as a clock and cannot let go at all owing to likely total collapse and she is in the major caring role at present. I´m not entirely convinced now is the right time for her to start paying attention to her breath, for fear of the enormous emotions that my also appear and she is not in the right space to handle this right now. Thanks for any comments and sending metta to your family Mellie. Love Jackie p.s big fan of the summit.

  76. I am so very sorry for your loss Melli, and send my love to you, Matt and your family.
    It’s taken me a long while to write, but I wanted to let you know how much support you have given me. I lost my husband late September, I thought he would be coming home from hospital and so was in deep shock. My yoga teacher emailed about the mindfulness summit, it was a gift from heaven. I spent my mornings in bed with my tablet listening over and over, it was so wonderful, I felt the love and warmth of a great community. Those very dark days were made more bearable and helped me hugely, personally and also in supporting my closest friend during her last days, sadly she left us in mid December. My husband was very spiritual and practiced meditation, and was an immense support during the 2 years after I lost my father. I have for a long time ‘been meaning to’ make mindfulness/ meditation a part of my life ….in October last year I knew it was imperative.
    Although somewhat belated, I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Summit and wish you and your family love and peace.
    And of course please keep up the amazing work that you do!
    Pat x

    • Hi Pat, I have tears in my eyes as I am writing this. I am so sorry for the loss of your husband honey. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. To hear from you that we (the whole summit community) gave you love and warmth in your darkest days just deeply touches my heart. I hope this enriching, healing and heart opening practice of mindful living will continue to hold you, comfort you and allow you to touch the preciousness and wonder of life each day….even with all of the pain.

      Thanks for your condolences for us too….and for your loving wishes. We are building some more cool stuff for our community at the moment and we’ll let you know about it soon. Love Melli

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