Ditching Evaluation

What if- just for a little while today we gave up all that constant evaluation of everything, most of all, our own sweet selves.

Evaluation, while it does have an eventual place under certain conditions, is generally just a form of death in which we give up our choice.

Because if we decide ahead of time whether something is either “good, bad, friendly or mean,” we eliminated all choice and are basically saying I’m not actually here and have no reason to be because I already “know” how it’s going to turn out. And we write off others in their truth and so much possibility!

But part of the juice and excitement in life IS making choices as we step moment by moment into the beautiful wild uncertainty of life.


7 Days: B&W No People No Explanation 

Free First Saturday Meditation

Join me for a free community meditation this Saturday. If it’s nice we’ll practice outside in the lovely garden.


Open to all regardless of experience. Perfect for you folks out there who have thought about meditation but wonder what it is, if you can even do it (hint: YOU CAN!) All you need is your body, heart and mind and the determination to come with an sense of open curiosity. Also for experienced practitioners. Guided vipassana or insight mediation, which uses the breathe as a guide into our present moment experience.

I recommend bringing a notebook or your favorite journal with you. We do a little writing after we sit to check in with ourselves, noticing small changes, bringing awareness into consciousness.

We have some meditation benches and cushions but if you have your own, please bring it with you.

May all find and know peace.


Just one question for you.

What’s one thing in your life about the way you think, speak or behave that you most wish you could change?  
And this is not to bring up any judgment, criticism, or shame. This is simply an invitation to step courageously into our vulnerability, and see what’s there. And knowing, as Brene Brown puts it, that we are hardwired for struggle. We are made to get through this. We can get through this, and as Sylvia Boorstein puts it, we can get through our struggles with a bit more grace.

And, this exercise is not just to make a list and be like wow, that’s depressing. But rather to create a list that will really help us make the kinds of changes that are really aching deep in our hearts, souls and minds for transformation. Myself I’d like to be more patient.

So how about some full disclosure here? 

Myself, I’d like to be more patient. Some years ago I got a tattoo on my left wrist just on the inside of it so that I could see it wherever I was in whenever I was doing and be reminded. 

Pause. Breathe.

Take a break. 

See what feels real but may not be true. Beware of the other person’s perspective. 

I’ve gotten so much better with this but I find usually lately that it’s not the big things that drive me bat shit crazy, but sometimes the little things totally catch me.

I’d also like to deepen my practice and meditation so that some of the old dragons  in my heart and mind can continue to wear themselves out so that I don’t feel so much like stepping away or pushing them down when those bad ole boys rear their ugly heads.

I want to practices as Pema Chodron  suggests in facing these dragons and demons directly, neither pushing them away, suppressing them but rather embracing them-looking them straight in the eye and without any judgment just observing so that slowly slowly over time they will wear themselves out and no longer have the grip over my emotions and cognitions that they may have once had.

 Something that I find very helpful to remember on a daily basis lately, is simply this; that every moment is the very perfect teacher. And that moment is available to us at all times. How fortunate we are to have this wise teacher available whenever we can be aware of its presence. 

So seize the day friends. Seize the peace. And make today amazing.

   And I’d love to hear from you below what are you struggling with, what would you most like to change, and what things have worked for you in the past? Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing. Together we can make the world be the change we want to see. More love, more compassion, More empathy.


Tai Chi-Mindfulness for Youth

Dear calm and peaceful hive mind,

I want to offer a tai chi and mindful movement class for youth.

By youth, I mean elementary through middle school. Though, I’d be very interested in adding a class for teens specifically. (More on that later!)

8 year old meditating
from http://www.rawforbeauty.com

What time would be best for you all?

Saturdays are already full from 9-4 with a variety of classes. What say you?


Please suggest 1-3 options in comments below or email me and I’ll try to find what makes sense for the most of you. Thanks very much, Hillary

2014-05-27 11.36.29

Mindfulness for Children & Youth


I want Calm Chicago to offer mindfulness for little ones.

Please suggest 1-3 times and days which would best be suited for you.

Saturday is pretty much full already with other offerings. By little, I’m talking nursery school- kindergarten. Thanks!  Here’s a cool video of mindfulness at work with little ones.

Can’t wait to hear from you. Let’s make the world more peaceful one sweet child at a time.

Please suggest in comments below or in an email.

8 year old meditating


Saturday Coffee and Zen

Here is today’s reading from  

Every day that I read this book, something grabs my attention. Makes me focus. Startles me somehow. It feels like the pleasant smack of truth. 

So, here for your consideration is today’s smack:  


I know I’m a great over complicater. This reminds me that the thing that I crave most, a sense, a feeling of connection with others and with the rest of the world is simply a matter of fully paying attention. 

So, this is going to be my practice today. I don’t want to “half-experience things” I don’t want to carry the weight of my previous experiences because generally my feelings or thoughts about experiences can be negative. I want to put it all down and just do it. I want to feel complete, don’t you?

May all beings find peace. May we all help alleviate the suffering for all beings. Thank you so much for stopping by. I’d love to hear what you think.