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.
"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."
Author of Prophetic Lament and Return to Justice
Finding the beautiful wisdom in first learning and then to teach.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make Advent meaningful. Anticipate the celebration of Emmanuel’s birth with another. Designed to guide you into personal, centering prayer during the Advent season, and intentional prayer for a young person (or anyone, really!) Download the pdf document to share and write in, or link to the eBook version. Start today! It is 4 weeks until… Read This Article
After the preparation and partaking of Thanksgiving’s feast, I might be forgiven a bit of indolence. Yet, as we shared a veritable bounty in the more-than-sufficient space of our home, the reality that there exists countless others with no home and insufficient nourishment persists. It is an immeasurable gift that I enjoy an overwhelmingly gracious… Read This Article
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
A common phrase I used with my children when they were developing implements for their communication toolbox was, “Use your words; hitting is not ok.” And it was a useful instrument that led to many discussions about how harming another body in such a way communicates a lack of regard for that person. Then, after… Read This Article
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