mindful living | mindful leading

Teaching life balance and collaborative leadership through mindfulness

Dr. Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of holistic leadership and gender issues. In addition to teaching mindfulness through this website and podcast, is a writer, speaker, retreat developer, and leads as co-founder and senior minister of just church.

Dr. Snyder’s research established that the stereotypic masculine-style leadership is ineffective and damaging. Those who engage in mindfulness spiritual exercises (group and solo) will align more closely with gender-neutral sex-role attributes; and is supported by evidence from the fields of anthropology, neuroscience, behavioral science, and theology.

Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and theology of social justice.

Read about Dr. Snyder's Educational and Professional Background

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Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone

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Soong-Chan Rah

"Nicole Snyder provides insight into a form of spiritual formation and leadership development that moves us beyond gender stereotypes. Emerging generations will resonate with the call for balanced leadership and balanced lives that move us beyond the drive and ambition of a previous generation’s leadership dynamic."

Soong-Chan Rah
Author of Prophetic Lament and Return to Justice

Mindful, creative, leadership coaching.

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Mindfulness Podcast

Taste

continuing the 10-day mindfulness challenge to begin your Lenten season intention

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Smell and Memory

continuing the 10-day mindfulness challenge to begin your Lenten intention

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Touch

continuing the 10-day challenge to start your Lenten season intention

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Look

continuing the 10-day mindfulness challenge to start your Lenten season intention.

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Hear

continuing the 10-day mindfulness challenge to begin you Lenten season intention.

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Breathe Again

The 2nd day of the 10-day mindfulness challenge for a Lenten season practice.

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Breathe

The first of a 10-day mindfulness challenge to begin a Lenten season practice.

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Ash Wednesday: Mindful in Returning

A challenge to 10 days of mindfulness practice during the Lenten Season.

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Imperfect Perfection: focus on the current excellent thing

Finding the beautiful wisdom in first learning and then to teach.

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Groundhog Day and Doing Teshuvah

By straying from my true self – over-estimating or under-estimating who I am – I have sinned against the one whose image I bear. Repentance, Teshuvah, is returning to that space at the very center of my being where Jesus resides, where I am most truly – and being that.

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The Agony and Awe of Parenting

Welcome the meannesses visited on your child by seeing the brilliance into his heart and recognize our responsibility to awe.

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Mindfulness and Depression

Mindfulness practice is one of those methods that are indicated to help alleviate depression. But one feature about being in the habit of practicing mindfulness is that it helps to prevent one from delving as far into the depths in the first place. It also offers tools that are practical and easier to access.

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An End-Of-Year Examen

Practicing mindful attention of examen for this year – see it for what it has been, notice your reaction to the events, hold loosely these things in God’s presence, and bring our intentions for the new year into awareness of God’s presence and intention toward you, toward me.

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Consent to Love

We all possess the capability (as created in God’s very image) to conceive and grow creative life, to give birth to a nurturing love toward other human beings. We are equipped with the capacity to consent, as Mary did, to the presence of God’s Spirit, the creative life and love within.

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A Collision of Peace

As long as some are not at peace, I cannot really know true peace. The prayer, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,” assumes that peace will exist in me – that the source for that peace I’m meant to be instrumental in sharing – must dwell within me.

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Joy: Cultivating Delight During Advent

What brings you joy? It isn’t as if we can expect joy to just appear. It is true that some circumstances we find ourselves in might occasionally bring unexpected joy. But it isn’t usual. The practice of loving kindness is a beautiful reminder that every person around me has the same desires and needs that I do. And praying for their well-being shifts my perspective. And maybe I can appreciate them. Perhaps, even delight in them.

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Hope in the Midst of Advent

When you hold in your hand the things that distress you, the fist clenches and everything seeps through, between the fingers – coming apart. Practice hope this week, the holy indifference – hold loosely the things that seem to be falling apart or breaking you apart so the More Than can have space, have room, to hold it all together.

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Thanksgiving Forest Bathing

Spending time among trees is healing, and we can find wisdom and refreshment from them, particularly as Thanksgiving is upon us in the US this week.

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Awe And Wonder

We see the signs, but not their meanings. We are not blinded, but we have blinders. What I notice shapes my mind. And I choose what I will or will not notice. And in doing so, this affirms my prejudices, and confirms my expectations. Awe and wonder erase expectations. The ability to be surprised is exactly that: an ability – one that must be fostered, nurtured, practiced.

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Nourishing Language

The language of emotion, and mindfully using our words. It is a mindfulness practice to reflect on the words we use to ascribe meaning to a situation or emotion, relationship or perspective.

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Episode 10: Brain-Mind – Healing Mindfulness

the first episodes focused on noticing, attending our senses so that when automatic routines are paused for some reason, automatic reactions can be attended with grace. When on autopilot, any interruption is an opportunity to react – and, for me, it is usually with irritation. Our brains are made to accommodate new information and stimuli by allowing our bodies to do many things automatically.

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Episode 9: Meditation in Traffic

When I consider chaos (Chicago traffic, for example) I am reminded of the genius artists apply to the chaos of media, of possibilities and expressing beauty, ascribing meaning through the chaotic elements. By practicing visual prayer, meditation in sight, it becomes easier to see into the landscape no matter the contents, evidence of God’s presence.

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Episode 8: Holistic Body Scan and Image

Our bodies are complicated terrain. Most of us have a love-hate relationship with it, likely heavy on the hate end of the scale.There are more factors than any medical, psychological, sociological, anthropological, theological field can name for my occasional disdain for my body, but none are satisfying and none can really explain why perceived imperfections make me feel negatively toward my body. Because whatever I do not like about my body I internalize and ascribe a moral failure or deficiency to it. But why?

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Episode 7: Taste

To really taste something, I need to slow down, to sit and pay attention to what I’m eating. Taking in a breath automatically draws in the fragrance from the meal. And if I take a few breaths before taking a bite, I might distinguish some of the ingredients used in the dish. Taking time with my meal allows my body to digest the food – enough time to provide the sense of satisfaction and fullness so I do not eat more than I need.

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Episode 6: Smell and Memory

Smell is a powerful sense. In fact, psychologists and neuroscientists believe it is the most powerful of all the senses to evoke emotion and memory. This is because the olfactory bulb, which starts inside the nose and continues along the lower part of the brain, touches two areas important for processing emotion and memory: the amygdala and hippocampus. The other senses do not run the same course, so they do not have the same impact on memory and emotion. A smell is more easily linked to an event and the associated feelings of that event.

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Episode 5: Touch

Often, we feel things without seeing that joy or pain for what it is. Rather, it is internalized and becomes part of the self, often in very physical manifestations.

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Episode 4: Look

Overreacting to an internal judgment about my inadequacy can undermine – attack – the healthy strengths I do possess, and render myself socially or professionally infirm. Also, perhaps we do this as a society by passing judgment without thought, without real insight, and attack the whole of another’s position. In doing so, we debilitate constructive civil conversation.

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Episode 3 Hear

It is certainly true that in order to center our hearts and minds, quiet is extraordinarily important. But sometimes you can fight fire with fire, and with a cacophony of sound a single tone, a chime or gong can serve to draw the mind away from the chaotic noise – toward a center.

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Episode 2 Breathe Again

When I am rushing around trying to get all the things done that seem so urgent, or twirling around in my mind the circumstances in which I find myself that feels overwhelming or impossible to endure, I find that I am nearly holding my breath, my breathing is so shallow. Because I am so focused on everything I’m concerning myself over I cycle through inhalation and exhalation at the minimum to . . . still be breathing. So, we practice more breathing.

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Episode 1 Breathe

Breathing is foundational to any mindfulness practice, so this first exercise will be about noticing how we breathe.

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One of the most difficult activities for human beings, perhaps the most difficult, is to listen. It asks that I remain still for a time, that my focus lingers on the object of my listening attention for the duration of the message being communicated. It is active. It is intentional. It is human. When Louis… Read This Article

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