Beth Kurland, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, author and public speaker. She is passionate about using mindfulness and mind-body practices with her patients of all ages, and in her own life, to help promote well-being and emotional healing and wholeness. She is the author of three books: Dancing on the Tightrope: Transcending the Habits of Your Mind and Awakening to Your Fullest Life; The Transformative Power of Ten Minutes: An Eight Week Guide to Reducing Stress and Cultivating Well-Being (awarded Finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Health and Wellness Category), and Gifts of the Rain Puddle: Poems, Meditations and Reflections for the Mindful Soul (awarded Winner in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards Gift/Novelty Book category). Beth is a regular blog writer for Psychology Today and PsychCentral. Her website BethKurland.com offers many free meditations and resources, and many of her meditations can be found on the free app Insight Timer. You can also follow her on Facebook at Beth Kurland, Ph.D.
My Goal of the Day:
To show up as my best self today and to inspire others to show up as their best selves and help them to grow inner resources for resilience and well-being.
My Thought of the Day: Remember to carry your tools with you Beth! One of the things I teach and write about is how we can carry simple tools with us throughout the day, that don’t take a lot of time to use, that can shift how we show up each day and help us cultivate well-being. My newest book shares five essential tools that help us to work with the common inner obstacles or habits of our minds that we all experience as human beings, that get in the way of our well-being. Sometimes the hardest part for me is simply remembering to use the tools that I already have. The other day I walked into the house all irritable and tired, and started recounting many of the little, negative and stressful events of my day to my husband. In this moment, when I caught myself doing this, I remembered to use my tools (which I try to do), and actually walked back out the door and back in again. Coming back in the door, I shared some of the small, positive parts of my day that I didn’t even realize how enriching and meaningful they were until I shared them. This totally shifted my mood (and made me a lot more pleasant to be around too).
My Action of the Day: Do one thing that steps me out of my comfort zone, or one thing that takes me closer to a long-term goal.
My Deed of the Day: Helping my patients to see their own inner strengths. I have the privilege of sitting with my patients and hearing many difficult circumstances and challenges that they have faced, or are facing, in their lives. I try to help reframe their life stories, to assist them see their own courage and strength, and see ways in which they are competent and resilient. Often people may not at first view themselves this way, and it can be helpful to hold a mirror up to them to let them see this for themselves.
My Tip of the Day: Do one small thing to leave the world a better place today. It could be as simple as giving the cashier a warm smile and thank you, or reaching out to a friend in need, or calling a relative who would appreciate hearing from you, or saying hi to the coworker who is sitting alone in the cafeteria. While it may not always seem like a big deal, these small actions can have powerful ripple effects and a more positive impact than you may realize.
My Pic of the Day:
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City? I think of “my city” in two different ways. I live fairly close to Boston and I love that Boston is so rich with things to do for every interest, with beautiful places to venture. I also love that Boston feels like a very manageable city to me that is never overwhelming or too crowded. I also think of my “city” as the town and surroundings that I live in, and I feel grateful to be surrounded by such natural beauty of nearby lakes, ponds, state parks, etc. I am a country girl at heart and I would take the woods and grass any day over buildings and concrete pavement.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? I love making smoothies for breakfast. One of my favorites is: frozen banana, frozen berries, almond butter, almond milk, chia seeds, cacao nibs, maca powder, spinach and kale.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Sleeping peacefully with my eye pillow and white noise machine. Occasionally if I wake up prematurely from a particularly vivid dream I might get up and write it down in my journal.
10:00 AM – If I am not seeing patients at this hour, I am exercising or meditating. I try to fit both of these into my daily routine as it helps me feel my best. I love to run, swim, bike and do yoga. I have always had a love of moving through space and I don’t feel complete without this in my day.
12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Having lunch in my back yard on a beautiful summer day. Usually it’s a giant salad of some kind where I throw in all of the best of what I’ve got in my fridge.
7:00 PM - I might be preparing dinner with my husband and catching up from our days, or sometimes meditating together.
11:00 PM – Happily asleep
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)? Water, water, water. And sometimes tea, especially when the weather is colder. I used to be better about getting 8 glasses of water a day, and I am trying to get back to this. I really don’t drink anything else — except for the juices that I make in my blender which my son used to have to hold his nose to drink because they tasted so bad to him.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? I love Insight Timer. I use it to meditate with, usually by just setting the timer (with nice sounding bells). I try to sit for 30 minutes on most days, but you can set it for any amount of time. There are thousands of guided meditations on there as well (including some that I’ve created). Sometimes I’m in the mood for guided and it’s great to explore all that’s available. (I seldom listen to my own meditations because it’s weird for me to listen to my own voice.)
What should everyone try at least once? Snow shoeing in the woods. I tried this for the first time last winter and I had the most amazing experience. It was just hours after a large snowfall and I went by myself to a woods with walking trails near our house. There was not a soul near by, the snow was pristine, and the sun was bright in the sky so that it looked like jewels shimmering in the snow as I walked along. It was one of the most peaceful and serene experiences I’ve had. At one point I couldn’t help myself — I just plopped myself down in the snow and sat there by a pond and meditated. It was a great workout as well. I try to carry those happy places around with me so that I can call them back up when I’m stressed.
Where do you enjoy getting lost? I love getting “lost” and exploring when I’m going for a run on vacation, venturing to places I’ve never been, and not knowing where the road will take me. I do happen to have a terrible sense of direction, so I have to be careful not to get too lost. One of my favorite runs in recent years was when I was in Paris, running along the Seine. I paused a few times to take pictures of street signs on my phone so I would remember how to find my way back. I’ve never had to use my GPS, but I do feel better knowing it’s there just in case.