Mindfulness is being in the present moment in an open and friendly way. It's both mind-training and heart-training.You can start right where you are.
Hi, my name is Joy, and I’m glad you’re here. Mindfulness is true medicine. Small steps have big impact. To learn more, watch this short video:
On Thursday, I had lunch with a close friend’s daughter. She’s a first-year student at Lawrence who’s thriving: creating community, cultivating strong study habits, and taking care of herself. My spirit was buoyed after our time together.
As many of you know, I volunteer in prison, teaching meditation and mindfulness. My prison Mondays give me perspective, purpose, and meaning. Those days are tiring and sometimes heartbreaking, yet they’re also hopeful, inspiring, and real.
Grief is complex. It’s both communal and individual. We all understand loss and sadness: it’s part of the human condition. Yet we experience these sensations differently, and it’s one individual, not the community, who lives inside extended grief for a specific person. Everyone walking down the street knows pain, yet that pain comes from different losses.
The weekend weather was gloomy. I didn’t sleep well last night. And this is the 4-year anniversary of the day I learned my mom would die. It’s a strangely vibrant yet also unsettling time. We officially enter fall, which is the season of grief, according to Chinese medicine.
I love doing yard work. It’s a chance to be outside, move my body, and connect with nature. My many garden beds bring me joy. Gardening is a wonderful mindfulness practice. Yet I’m equally happy to mow lawn, clean brush, and trim hedges. On Saturday, while Mark raced his sailboat on Long Lake, I embarked on an afternoon of yard work.
On Saturday, I completed an 8-mile, 25-obstacle Tough Mudder race. My team consisted of people I love: my niblings EJ and Mandy, and my close friend Steph. Our support crew included more people I love: Mark, my dad, and my sister Jenny. It was a love mud-fest!
Two weeks ago, I asked for your help: Tell me how and why my prison stories inspire you. You, my FB followers, and my Y meditation class shared beautiful, wholehearted words. I entered prison Monday with two pages of genuine well-wishes from the “streets.”
On Monday, I co-led a meditation retreat in Oshkosh prison. Our mindfulness group met for extended practice, all members staying the whole 2.5 hours, deepening their awareness, feeling vulnerable yet safe, and practicing peace.
In 2011, two years before I left academia, I embraced creativity. I took a poetry course, a self-portraiture class, and a path-finder tutorial that included daily writing and exploration. I dove into these experiences. They helped me understand and see myself differently. They awakened my heart.
On Saturday, after the farmer’s market, we sat on the back porch reading books. Currently, I’m rereading Pema Chödrön’s “When Things Fall Apart.” It’s the most dog-eared book in my library. I found it 20 years ago, while reading scads of self-help books. Pema’s words were so real and true.