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Director of Marketing and Communications
ASU Biodesign Communications

What is mindfulness to you?

I like this definition from Saki Santorelli: "When we stay in the present, we make wiser choices and take things less personally. It's compelling and emancipating." For me, it's primarily about respect for self and respect for others. It means actively and gently resisting becoming an automaton; luxuriating in all of my senses.

How do you use mindfulness in your work, research, or practice? 

I am, at heart, a writer, so I get tangled up in words. The advent of social media (and the goal of saying it all in 140 characters or less) often squeezes the juicy juice out of language for me. So poetry is most often my mindfulness practice. The cadence, the textures, the visualization all feed my soul, my heart and my brain - causing me to travel an entirely different route than the day-to-day drumbeat of creativity. Here's one of my favorites: 

Wild Geese

 You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.    by Mary Oliver

How has the practice of mindfulness affected your life (personally and professionally)?

When one actively veers away from routine, new synapses fire in the brain. Creative thinking is at the core of my work, my adventures and my personal life. Nothing excites me more than a new idea!      

How can mindfulness transform society?

Self-love and love of others. tp me, is essential for a happy existence. Veering away from judging self or judging others opens the door to unknown and often amazing connections. We never really know what the universe has in store for us, but if we are present and open, listening deeply, we can discover the undiscovered and emit positive energy throughout our families, our communities and our world.

What does the future hold for the practice of mindfulness?

Given the onslaught information (which will continue to grow like wildfire), I believe that most humans will need to consciously embrace a mindfulness practice in order to avoid being run over with rumination. In science, we are just in our infancy when it comes to understanding our brain, yet fairly recent breakthrough discoveries are leading us to new revelations and new means for maintaining a healthy sense of self -- and thus, be an active, positive contributor to the world around us.