Healthy Mind

Felice Shapiro

Things I Never Thought I’d Say or Hear A Year Ago

At times, I barely recognize the former me. A slow drip or should I say an injection of hope is on the horizon as the vaccine rolls out and into the arms of friends and family but in the meantime...... I wonder about the behaviors of the new me that have become embedded over the past year.  "No problem, I can wake up at 5:30 for our yoga class." Did I just say that? Yup.  ...
young woman stand in the room open curtain see sunrise

A Jab of Hope

I’ve always prided myself on being a keen observer of human behavior. In pre-pandemic times, if you described a stressful situation, I believed I’d accurately predict how my friends will react. As we battle the gut wrenching COVID infection rates upending our world, I’ve been doing a deep dive into how those I know best are coping with its aftermath of anxiety and depression. Who would arrange all their hangers to go the same way. Who would read 20 books. Who would have the hardest time adjusting. How arrogant I was. Behavior during COVID times is hardly rational....

The Curious Life Choices of an Introverted Control Freak

I joke that I like to “plan my spontaneity,” but most who know me well, know I am not really joking. Over the years, friends and colleagues have encouraged me to drop my guard, to be less “bossy” and to compromise more. Let someone else plan something for a change, they’d say. What they didn’t understand is that my desire to control my universe is deep-rooted. It started with a revelation when I was about eight years old....
loneliness

8 Ways To Combat Loneliness, Especially Now

During the COVID-19 crisis, all of our lives have been disrupted. We're not connecting with family, friends and colleagues like we used to, and it's easy to feel lonely. To help some of the people I was coaching, I wrote down eight ways to combat this feeling and tested them on our business clients, executives, and even some friends. What they found was they could, indeed, address their own sense of being alone and fill their days with well-being and even happiness....
Skiing and listening to music

Throwback Music That Fills The Soul : What’s On Your Spotify Playlist?

My Harman Kardon stereo was my bed mate in high school. America's Horse with No Name, The Doors Rider's On The Storm, and Steve Miller's Joker and Toker and Midnight Smoker tucked me into my dreams each night. I can't remember it all but Bruce Springsteen carried me through my first romance and although I gave up the boyfriend, I never gave up Bruce....
Person deadlifting

Self-Discovery Through Deadlifting

A few months ago, I became a grandma, and I’m proud to say that I can safely rise from the floor while holding my granddaughter. I also grew my hair out to its natural silvery gray. Now I resemble that vibrant older woman I envisioned five years ago when I began deadlifting. In this elder stage of life, deep core strength grounds me in myself, fully present to the here and now, which is where I want to be....
Books on a table on a ship

My Solo Fling with a Mediterranean Playboy

It was a blustery August day in Marseille. The view overlooking the Mediterranean was dramatic. The waves crashed against the rocks, mere feet below my table. I chose Restaurant Peron because it was extensively featured in famed author Peter Mayle’s Caper series. The four books ran the gamut from vintage wine theft and unsolvable diamond heists to the influx of Russians along the French Riviera, and a real estate deal gone bad....
House for sale

Seller Beware

It should have been so easy. Everyone else had done it in a snap: why not us? The real estate market was booming in our town and after 3 years of vacillation, of should-we-stay-or-should we-go we decided to go. We called our agent friend, our neighbor, who had sold two houses already on our street, and told her we were ready...
meme

Move Over You’re Sitting too Close to Me

“Why is she sitting so close to me?” I think, as I feel my heart rate going up. “If I stretch my legs a bit, maybe she’ll scooch over.” “It’s fine. We are outside, on a boat – the air is constantly moving.” “Let it go, Karen. She is staying at your house and that’s indoors.” Yes, this is my internal dialogue on almost a constant basis. Obsessively analyzing the situation, calculating six feet, looking at air flow and wind direction....
Felice

I Gave Myself A Yoga Oscar For Sitting Still, And I Want To Thank…

Dearest Teachers and Yoga Community: "Thank you, thank you for allowing me to gift myself this Oscar for the least likely getting to stillness  category.  I couldn't have done this without you. This particular Oscar isn't about the best down dog competition to be sure, it's about sitting. And it has taken me 22 years of practice to embrace sitting still....
Magical autumn forest with sun rays

No Downside To Being An Optimist

At 10:00 on the night before Thanksgiving, two nurses walked into my room to say, without a trace of panic, that the ninth floor had to be evacuated to prepare for an influx of COVID patients. All seventeen of us were immediately to be transported to the fourth floor. Calmly and efficiently it took them ten minutes to maneuver my bed, my IV, and all my belongings thrown on top of the blanket, through silent hallways and down two elevators to my new room....
Nutcracker Ballet

Lost In A Nutcracker Fantasy And Other Couch Travels

We wandered to the kitchen as the TV kept on, and when we returned to the couch, there was Hoda, narrating the Nutcracker story performed by the Boston Ballet.. Without a verbal redirect, Bill and I settled in and ate our bowl of turkey chili and watched Clara and her Nutcracker prince dance. Bill is not a ballet nut to my knowledge and I go once a year with my birthday twin to Alvin Ailey with our posse....