flute pedagogy

How I Practice Using the Pomodoro Technique + The Most Effective Practice Journal For You [+ Video]

Last week, I had a lot on my plate with work and taking care of tasks around the house. On Friday, though, I finally had loads of free time, and I was beyond excited to dive into a day a of thoughtful practicing! On a whim, I decided to write out my intentions for the day and shared it in my Instagram story.

I used the Pomodoro Technique to help me focus, and before I knew it, I had practiced for three productive hours! 

I decided to keep sharing my journal for the rest of the day, and it really got me thinking about practicing efficiently and how I use my own practice journal now, plus other ways I’ve approached them over the years.

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Watch the full video here!


The Pomodoro Technique (0:47)

The Pomodoro Technique is essentially a method using a timer to stay focused and productive while eliminating burnout. They recommend 25 minutes followed by intentional breaks.

I set a timer for 25 minutes, and went forth practicing.

I didn’t write anything down until after. This let me totally focus on playing for the 25 minutes. When the timer went off, I was ready for a break – I took a few seconds to write, then did some stretching, laid in constructive rest, watched TV, etc.

I wasn’t tracking the number of minutes I spent on each task – I was just putting in what I worked on during my 25 minutes, plus anything that I noticed that I thought would be useful to me in picking up tomorrow.

All-in-all, this method helped me practice effectively and mindfully for a total of three hours without feeling fatigued or frustrated.


  • When Your Goals Stop You Before You Start (1:47)

Set yourself up for success by avoiding a huge, unattainable to-do list before you've even started.

Read all about how I changed my own issue what that here: How I Learned to Put Paralyzing Perfection Aside and Improve a Little Bit Each Day Instead


  • Intentions vs. Goals (3:14)

    • Intentions are ongoing ideas to carry with you through your practice session.
    • Goals are the individual, specific tasks to accomplish.

It's a good idea to include both!


  • Several Mini-Sessions vs. One Long Session (4:09)

For me, attempting to complete an entire practice session in one large chunk with a few smaller breaks in between feels overwhelming. I often become frustrated and give up when I set this expectation.

I'm now intentional about practicing in multiple phases throughout the day to have time away to rest and feel refreshed before coming back.


Put your instrument down during breaks, even quick ones in between tasks. If you're prone to developing pain or discomfort, give your arms and hands a rest before you feel like you need a break.


  • When to Do What During Mini-Sessions (5:33)

You can get to your tone, technique, etudes, and repertoire over the course of your mini-sessions throughout the day, or you can go for all four in each mini-session!

Practice Journals (6:09)


  • Checklists + Free Practice Tracker (6:30)

    • If making a to-do list before practicing motivates you, do that.
    • If making a to-do list overwhelms you from practicing at all, don't do that.
  • If having a single, sprawling list of what you've accomplished each day for a month holds you accountable, a Practice Tracker like this one is for you!

Most Useful Information to Include in Your Practice Journal (7:36)


1. Metronome Markings (8:17)

Track your progress with technique, repertoire, breath capacity... you'll want to know where you were yesterday to work a little bit faster or slower today.


2. The Most Difficult Keys or Two-Note Patterns in Your Exercises (8:57)

If you played a technique exercise in several keys and one key was a train wreck, write it down. You might forget which one it was tomorrow. If you don't do any of the other keys tomorrow to save time, just do the train wreck key. 

Doing what needs work is the only way to improve!


3. The Measures in Repertoire That Will Need More Work Next Time (9:51)

The exact same idea as the above, but related to repertoire.

When you come back tomorrow, you'll want to know which bars were a train wreck yesterday. Be efficient by focusing just on those bars instead of starting over with the whole thing.


4. Breakthroughs! (10:10)

If something goes right or you solve an issue, document it for the next time something is frustrating. Writing it down helps you ingrain the idea to reproduce it!


5. Simple Key Words (10:46)

If writing too much detail in your practice journal feels like a chore, go for one key word only. This goes back to your intentions. How do you want to feel while playing that exercise? How do you want to sound?

Then, write one word of feedback for how it did feel or sound. You'll begin to notice words that are more effective than others, and this can help you for next time.


6. Ideas +  Inspiration (11:26)

I recently heard an idea about resonance while watching a master class, and I decided to write it in my practice journal. When I went to practice, I dove into the idea and had a major breakthrough!

Have inspiration ready to go the next time you practice!


The Takeaway (12:29)


The rule of thumb for determining what's useful to put in your practice journal:


"Is this going to motivate me today?"


"Is this going to help me tomorrow?"


Fall Favorites: 5 Inspiring Posts for Musicians 

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1. Hilary Hahn Commits to Practicing for 100 Days in a Row—with Unexpected Results

I took on the #100DaysofPractice challenge after seeing Hilary Hahn's inspirational posts, and I especially resonate with her following statement:

“It’s really hard to practice by yourself in a room every day on the same piece and know if you’re making progress or know if the process is working,” Hahn says. “Doing the project kind of created the bond for me where I realized that everyone is thinking about the same things and working toward these things and people do feel isolated at times.”

2. Lessons by Marcel Moyse: The Private Lesson Journals of September Payne, D.M.A

Dr. Payne shares insights into her lessons with Marcel Moyse, including wonderful quotes from lessons on De La Sonorite, Andersen etudes, and more!

"The goal of this article is to illuminate more of his precious teaching and to offer a unique glimpse into the intimate master class setting of lessons that were held at the home of Marcel Moyse in Brattleboro, Vermont."

3. 9 Things Singers Need to Know About Their Bodies - Total Vocal Freedom

Clear, useful advice that applies directly to flutists, too!

"Allow the head to move subtly up off the spine which lets the vocal mechanism hang freely and the breathing and support muscles of the torso work effortlessly." 

4.#FluteFridays: Breathing and Warmups by Mary Hales

Wonderful advice for the crucial components of warming up before your instrument is out of the case!

"...there’s a mindfulness aspect to the way I do my breathing exercises that really helps me get into the zone to practice."

5. Totally bored of playing long tones? Not working out for you? Here’s 15 things to consider tweaking first by Dr. Jessica M. Quiñones

Approaching tone study with mindfulness and a curious attitude, with 15 specific self-observation questions for problem-solving.

"...a physical check-in to see how you are using your body when playing."




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Top 5 Favorite Blog Posts from July


"Ultimately, your technique is only as good as your sense of time." 

Great tips for simplifying the process and reaping the benefits of self-recording while practicing!

“Performance presence is born out of a sincere and deep connection to the music you are playing and the desire to share this with your audience." 

"How setting the right practice goal can help us improve more in the same amount of time (hint: practicing for time or number of repetitions is not the answer)."

"Note the acute observation required here: the tiniest hesitation or deviating muscle movement is to Lynne an indicator of further work being required."

Instagram @joleneflute


How I Learned to Put Paralyzing Perfection Aside and Improve A Little Bit Each Day Instead

Recently, perfectionism and procrastination have come up in one way or another for myself, my colleagues, and my students, and it has encouraged me to take a look at my own patterns and find real solutions to break out perfectionist habits.

What is Perfectionist's Procrastination? 

Have you ever thought about the immense amount of work standing between yourself and your ideal perfect self, and been paralyzed or discouraged from taking any action at all?

Here's what it sounds like for me:

I should really improve A, B, and C, but I'll tackle all that next time when I feel really ready and focused and have lots of time.

I'll wait until I can dedicate a full hour to tone exercises, then I'll finally work on those tapers I need to improve. 

Perfectionist's Procrastination Latches onto ideas like these:

  • Waiting for Ideal Conditions 
  • Waiting for "Enough" Time
  • Waiting to Sound Good
  • Waiting for More Energy

Ultimately, my mind creates an unrealistic to-do list in an effort to fix everything all at once, and when I think about the amount of work ahead of me, I tell myself: next time, next time, next time.

Perfectionist's Procrastination can be deeply rooted in fearing failure and mistakes.

For example, a more honest inner dialogue to the above example might sound more like this:

I could work on my tapers today, but I don't know what I'm doing. I know I'm bad at it, and I don't want to face my weakness.

In addition, the fear of not doing enough leads to fear of not being enough. And that's paralyzing.

Perfection-Oriented vs. Process-Oriented

For at least the past eight years, I've been organizing my practice sessions in the order of tone first, technique second, and repertoire after that, and attempting to do at least an hour of each thing.

However, I often spend most of my energy and focus on the initial stage, losing motivation before I've given the next stages any attention. 

Why do I keep falling into this rut so often? 

  • Perfection in the Practice Room

Perfection wants to finish everything immediately and achieve perfection now. Our faults can give us tunnel vision, and we can throw all our energy into one task, like tone work. While we're giving tone good attention and improving, we can burn out out entire supply of energy and focus, and we have nothing left for anything else.

And musicians need all the skills. Perfection knows this, too, and feels like a failure when giving up before moving on.

Perfection doesn't like to Let Go.

  • Process-Oriented Practice

Process-oriented practice puts in the highly-focused practice that perfection loves, but it comes with permission to let go and move on to the next task.


The following two ideas led me to break out of perfectionist mindset and find breakthroughs in process-oriented practice in the past two weeks.

A. "Improve A Little Bit Each Day"

I recently raved about Dr. Terri Sanchez's Epic Flute Warm-Up, which ultimately led me to purchase her book, The Aspiring Flutist's Practice Companion.

In her book, the smallest phrase came up in the Epic Warm-Up 2.0, and it really struck me:

"Improve a little bit each day."

I've consistently been doing her Epic Warm-Up almost every day for three months because it's fun and manageable, only taking 15 minutes total to feel thoroughly warmed-up. And you know what? I've improved a little bit each day in those three months! 

This was a huge lightbulb moment.

B. Set Yourself Up for Success To Prevent Early Practice Burnout

Now that I've given myself permission to improve a little bit each day, I've created room to realistically invite more tasks into my practice session without feeling overwhelmed.

My next goal involves organizing my tasks in a way that ensures I don't burn myself out too soon, as I was consistently doing before.

I came across a video on Facebook by Denise Tryon, Adjunct Horn Professor at the Peabody Conservatory, on practicing. 

Essentially, she separates her day into three separate sessions, practicing in the morning, afternoon, and evening with ample time in between.

Right away, I realized that I could be improving a little bit, three times a day.
Lightbulb moment number two.

Tips for Beating Perfectionist's Procrastination + Improving a Little Bit Each Day:

After re-approaching my practice mindset based on the above ideas, I implemented a few more ideas to really help motivate me towards consistent, well-balanced, process-oriented practice experiences.

1. Get yourself excited for tomorrow's practice session tonight

  • Re-set your practice space: Tidy up and re-organize your materials, placing tomorrow's first to-dos on your stand so you're ready to go! (Or, place your materials in your bag in the order you're going to use them to make it easier on yourself once you arrive at your practice space.)
  • Listen to recordings, watch videos, or read words that inspire you.
  • Write down or e-mail yourself your schedule for tomorrow, which leads to the next tip!

2. Give yourself a completely reasonable to-do list

  • It is way too easy to prescribe yourself an 8-hour practice session, because your perfectionist self would love that, but I've never executed anything I've planned for myself when it's unreasonable and unattainable.
  • Set yourself up for success! If your to-do list allows you to easily complete every task, you'll feel accomplished and begin craving more rather than feeling burnt out.

3. Use a timer (And actually listen to it!)

  • Many times, I've put a timer on while practicing certain exercises, and have continued on long past the buzzer. When this happens, I usually end up feeling frustrated, exhausted, or both.
  • If your inclination to work past the buzzer comes from feeling antsy or incomplete, learn to give yourself a pat on the back for really focusing and putting good work in, and move on! It'll still be there tomorrow. And the next day. If you leave it feeling like there's more to continue on with, that may motivate you to pick back up and put more work in the next day!
  • In addition, you can now channel all that energy into the next practice task!
  • Timer Tips:
    • Try 3-minutes for one-measure chunks within a piece, 5-minutes for shorter exercises, and 10-minutes for longer ones as a starting point.

In Conclusion

  • I've come to realize that I'd rather put in a highly focused 10-minutes-each on six aspects of my playing every day than one hour of work on only one area. 
  • The best way to improve your weaknesses is by working at them daily. Put your timer on and put in the work!
  • Make the most of your minutes, and keep yourself feeling fresh and focused for each aspect of your practice session.
  • You don't need to "finish" everything. You don't need to solve every issue every time you practice. In order to be sustainable, there must be a point at which you let go and move on. If you feel like you're not done, you'll know right where you need to go tomorrow, and you'll still have energy left to focus on the next tasks on your list. 
  • If you find it difficult to move on before achieving perfection or completion, just remember that there is no end to the possibilities of improvement.

Here's permission to put perfection aside and enjoy the process!

Finally, I came across this video the other day, and found it particularly fitting in the context of doing a little bit of work each day with a lot of focus and care. A few months later, the results are beautiful


How 5 Days of Constructive Rest Improved My Playing

I've been in a slump. My playing has not felt as natural or comfortable recently as I've experienced before. Although my good intentions of feeling grounded, aware, and free are always with me, they have faded into habits that are not completely efficient.

I'm taking my own advice about being in a rut. I'm using frustration as a chance to be curious and excited for the opportunity to improve, and taking action steps to begin climbing out. 

In searching for a means of reconnecting with positive habits and natural alignment, I turned to constructive rest, a practice utilized by teachers and students of the Alexander Technique. 

If you're unfamiliar with the Alexander Technique and constructive rest, read about it here!

After sharing my excitement, I decided to commit to five days of constructive rest, utilizing the free 30-day Constructive Rest Challenge from BodyIntelligence by Imogen Ragone.

Day 1

I got on the floor with a book under my head and began observing. In true case-of-the-Mondays fashion, I fell asleep moments later. When I woke up, I remembered to feel the movement of my ribs with my hands while on the floor. I discovered that I am trying to make movements happen, rather than watching them. To me, it felt that I was adding tension to the abdominals and ribs to "puff my chest out" in order to get air in. I instead began to watch the journey of the air going into my mouth, and appreciated the movements that followed. In playing afterwards, I experimented with the my habit of abdominal squeezing upon inhalation and the watching-the-air method. I was able to get more air, but more importantly, I could play longer phrases with greater freedom when I stopped adding tension right from the beginning of the breath. I utilized the dugout position, dugout-to-standing, and standing on one leg, and I found much more ease in breathing and resonance!

Day 2

I forgot to do it. And after my two-hour rehearsal left me feeling uncomfortable and fatigued, I set a phone reminder so I stop myself on busy Tuesdays and remember to do it!

Day 3

I recorded Altes #5 for Etude of the Week on this day, and noticed myself getting nervous and uncomfortable during early takes. I was rushing myself to get a good take before the sun went down so I could have natural lighting near the window, but the pressure to get it done quickly was not helping me in any way. I decided to pause for Constructive Rest before continuing on, and Imogen Ragone's 30 Days of Constructive Rest e-mail contained the focus words: "I have time," which were appropriate to say the least! I stayed awake this time, and I focused on feeling the movements of breath through the pelvic floor, allowing movement at the hip joints and freedom in the legs. When I came back to record, I felt more of an effortless uprightedness and had an easier time re-focusing as thoughts of doubt came and went. I even remembered to move while breathing. Strangely, I also noticed how intensely my knees were shaking and gripping! My awareness has been too small to realize this was happening before! Keeping the knees in my awareness allowed me to notice that the shaking occurs when the thoughts of doubts creep in, and I could choose to move to feel more grounded!

Day 4

Today I spent time practicing natural inhalations during constructive rest, observing what I'm doing once I reach the top of the inhalation and proceed to exhalation. I noticed that I tense my knees and ankles, for one! (No wonder I was doing it while recording my etude yesterday!) Secondly, I found myself tensing the abdominals just as I transition to exhalation. I can let go once I begin exhaling by reminding myself of length from the sternum to the pelvis. (A cue from Laura Dwyer's Yoga sequence!) I also found myself tensing my upper ribs and chest when trying to inhale, just as I found on Monday. Changing back to observing the journey of air entering through the nostrils or mouth allowed the inhale to occur. The result is that I feel less muscular action, and it feels strange to be doing less! However, I get the most air, and the most regulated exhalation when I do this. (Another example of something I re-learn over and over again!) This time when I came to standing, I was able to better perceive all the points of balance, including my hips, knees and ankles. I found my right knee feeling very unstable compared to the left, and experimented with my right hip joint. I found that I am tucking a bit on this side! When I come into balance at the hip joints, my knees and ankles feel free and stable! 

Day 5

Today's cue of being "without compression" prompted an immediate release in my neck and upper body. I was able to release upward while feeling a release in the back of my head, as well! This was my first prompt when I was originally introduced to the Alexander Technique at Gary Schocker's summer master class in 2009! I was happy to experience this again, and was reminded of the clarity and calm it brings. I also find that cues reminding me to release anywhere in the head, face and neck also encourage freedom in the throat.

Here's What I Learned Overall

1. Committing to Constructive Rest was as simple as remembering to lay on the floor. (Or as simple as setting a phone reminder.) It did not take tremendous effort for me to begin observing once I was on the floor, and I discovered (or re-discovered) something important that helped my playing every time. More importantly, I had a chance to pause without my instrument in hand, and discovered what I am actually doing versus what I think I am doing.

2. The act of doing constructive rest led me to make positive choices through the rest of the day, not just related to posture and practicing. I found myself considering nutritional choices, feeling inspired to exercise, and engaging in positive mental thoughts more often.

3. Having a new cue or helpful phrase made a tremendous difference in allowing me to experience a fresh perspective each day. Click here to learn about BodyIntelligence by Imogen Ragone, and to sign up for the free 30-Day Constructive Rest Challenge!


Books PictureD


The Pianissimo Challenge

If you're anything like me, soft dynamics just are a huge challenge. I have a very hard time maintaining the appropriate core, supported sound when playing in soft dynamics, especially in the upper register. 

In a post a few weeks ago, Sorting Out Discomfort In the Practice Room, I began experimenting with ideas from Emmanuel Pahud's master class videos - specifically ideas about the point of resonance that is necessary for maintaining support at a soft dynamic. 

He notes that we rely too much on the lips to shape the sound with dynamics, and it can really compress notes, adding an undesirable, clenched sound. Ultimately we should we redirecting our focus to allowing the airstream to resonate via the wasabi point.

The Pianissimo Challenge

  • Quite simply, play every etude and exercise a second time, but at a very soft dynamic. 
  • Go slowly to watch tendencies in lip compression, and attempt to shift focus to the airstream and the sensation of resonance.

In doing this, I was able to notice these things right away:

  • I noticed my tendency to squeeze the lips, especially while ascending high into the register.
  • When I shifted my focus to air, I noticed I had to remind myself to feel resonance in the sinuses. It almost felt as though I was breathing through my nose while playing (which isn't actually happening.) Try simulating the experience of inhaling or exhaling through the nose while playing in the upper register. Pahud also suggests releasing some air through the nose after inhalation to start support before the sound. 

Although unable to make this happen every time, tapering high notes and feeling a longer line of phrasing was made much easier when feeling that "wasabi" sinus sensation while avoiding lip compression. 

In addition to practice long tones and etudes at a soft dynamic, I'm also practicing my typical Taffanel & Gaubert exercises differently:

  • Taffanel & Gaubert No. 1
    • Play the exercise at mp, holding the last note and tapering to silence.
  • Taffanel & Gaubert No. 4 / 6 / 9 / 12
    • Play the entire exercise at pp, slowly, paying special attention to changes that occur (in the embouchure) while ascending to the upper register.
    • Add a decrescendo while ascending, and a slight crescendo during each descent. 

What We Can Learn From The Beginner's Attitude

I recently pulled out some old repertoire and read through it for fun. Specifically, the Mercadante Concerto in e minor. The third movement is especially difficult, and as I approached the moment where the intense triple-tonguing begins, my thoughts were:

"I wonder if I can do it..."

To my amazement, I made it through with success! Of course, I went back to re-create the same outcome a second time, but noticed an immediate shift in my mindset: 

"I probably won't be able to do that again..."

Sure enough, I couldn't repeat the passage at the same level I had achieved the first time.

Experience and Pressure

This was not the first time I've had this experience, be it with the first read-through of a new piece, or re-visiting an old one, and it proves the power of our own thoughts.

What is the difference? Trial number one is free of pressure. I am genuinely curious about what will happen, watching myself through the passage. Immediately following this trial, pressure increases. Experience tells me that the passage is difficult, and I'm running through the list of things I need to do to make sure it happens - I'm overthinking. Curiosity is still present, but self-doubt has crept in, telling me that I was just lucky the first time. 

This article explains the similar phenomenon of beginners' luck, and the way an expert feels an increase in pressure, unlike the beginner, who is open to the possibilities of a new experience.

in the practice room

Adopting a beginners' attitude in the practice room is the key to ensuring we improve daily, remaining teachable in any situation. If we begin each day with a similar routine of tone exercises and scales, seeking to learn something new about ourselves each time, we can always grow. If we get bored or as though we've completed or exhausted an exercise, we close ourselves off from new possibilities. There is always room for more!

The attitude of a beginner isn't just for the process of experimentation while practicing, it is coupled with a mindset that should be carried into our approach to performance. Whenever my thoughts involve self-doubt, the result is less than desirable. When pressure is replaced with curiosity and joy, however, I remain free, and what seemed difficult becomes easy.

Notice your thoughts as you approach a difficult moment. Try actively choosing words that are affirming and free of judgement, and practice incorporating this mindset just as you'd practice the notes. The beginner's attitude is all about exploring and reveling in what is possible, approaching the process with joy and self-compassion.

Saying More While Doing Less

Earlier this week, I spent a lot of time listening to various artists. Something that really stood out to me was the musicality of a flutist playing familiar repertoire. She carefully shaped her notes and phrases, making for a unique and impactful performance. 

When I later practiced for myself, I took inspiration from the idea of shaping. I found more to say in between sections, and found myself focusing hard on tapering my high notes to end phrases with a careful shape as well. My perspective of pieces and etudes I knew well felt refreshed, and I felt inspired to make intentional musical choices.

When I took a break, I noticed how tense I had become. For the first time in a while, I had quite an indentation on my left hand from pressing hard against the flute. My hands and arms were very tight, and my throat had been very tight from playing softly.

I later came back to enjoy more musical practice, and noticed the same thing happening again. I focused hard on ensuring every note was beautiful, articulate, and purposeful. However, I left feeling the tension that had been building while practicing.


  • I felt that I needed to add in work to make things happen. I felt less effective musically when instructing myself to feel at ease. This is an issue of finding balance between doing too much and doing too little.
  • While playing at a soft dynamic, my throat takes over to control the sound, which ultimately compromises tone quality and intonation.
  • While listening back to a recording of myself, the musicality I was going for was far less apparent than my efforts would have suggested, noting that my self-perception is skewed.

One Ingredient For Playing Softly

Over the next couple of days, I experimented with playing soft without involving the throat. My main focus in achieving resonance and avoiding a forced feeling is to feel that the roof of the mouth is gently lifting while playing. While playing C through D above that staff, the roof of my mouth closes downward. I compromise the lifting feeling on these notes in particular because they feel more wild than the rest, and I've developed a habit of working harder to control them!

I realized that I need to add in one ingredient when it comes to playing softly - trust. On these notes, I lose trust in playing freely with space in the mouth and close down. I spent considerable time learning to take a leap of faith to maintain openness during these notes. Not only was resonance improved, but I found greater possibilities in dynamic control. Who knew!?

How Can I Say More While Doing Less?

My continuing theme has been finding balance between doing too much and too little. I'm also utilizing my own practice recordings to hear the differences in effectiveness when I'm playing with tension and working hard to be musical, and when I'm choosing to do less and listen more. The key component I must learn to work back into playing is trust. There are great opportunities for making beautiful sounds when I trust myself to inhibit certain habits that compromise ease and openness. If I listen to the piece and trust my body, I can learn to say more while doing less.

Do you experience added tension when trying to play musically? How does trust come into play for you?

Turning Awareness Into A Habit

Choosing to be intentional, mindful, and observant while practicing can expedite our learning process and lead to a number of benefits in our playing.

In our time away from our instruments, do we approach life in a similar way? Are we as methodical? As emotional? As focused? As accepting? As regimented? As nervous? As judgmental?



Choose to observe your thoughts as they occur. Notice how you feel in an array of scenarios, and let yourself be. Practice observing yourself with whatever emotions you're feeling, noting that any feelings you have a visitors that do not define who you are. When it comes time to practice or perform, we can access the power of observation. Freedom from fear and negativity stems from observing and accepting.


physical awareness

We can notice things an array of things when practicing mindfulness. Use all the senses. 

When I first began studying Body Mapping, my teacher Vanessa Mulvey told me to find a trigger action that reminds me to check in, and two of them stick with me:

  • Every time I stop at a red light, I'll check in with my jaw to see if I've added tension.
  • Every time I'm standing in line at a store, I can check in with balance.


Cultivate your awareness habit

As you continue through the week, find a trigger action that speaks to you and your own goals. In addition, make it a point to observe, allow, and accept the emotions that come with the ups and downs of the day.