Laura Mills

All Talk?

2018-10-10T15:11:51-05:00

  By Laura Mills     This summer I’ve done all kinds of neat things—like attend a yoga retreat, spend a weekend downtown as a Chicago “tourist,” install granite countertops in my kitchen, reorganize my basement, master Mandarin Chinese, learn to play the banjo, and drive across the country—in my mind. That is to say I’ve daydreamed over and over that I made these things happen. Some of these things I’ve even wistfully discussed with friends, making them all the more delicious. Yet as of this moment each remains, well…unfinished. Some even remain un-attempted.     Yep, I dream big. I make lists [...]

All Talk?2018-10-10T15:11:51-05:00

“You Make Me Feel So Young”

2018-10-10T15:11:52-05:00

  By Laura Mills     Last week I attended a parent meeting at my daughter’s preschool, where I discovered that learning is based on play. I love this philosophy, that children don’t require anything elaborate or high-tech to learn new skills and make solid connections in their minds. Plain and simple: children succeed by doing what they do best, by doing what they do naturally.     Since then I’ve reflected on how often I ignore the “plain and simple” in my own life. I over-think, over-plan, over-do, over-analyze….  It’s common among human beings, I think, as we rush around to check [...]

“You Make Me Feel So Young”2018-10-10T15:11:52-05:00

“Undo,” Not “To Do”

2018-10-10T15:11:53-05:00

By Laura Mills       It’s easy to put myself last when gift giving. What I give myself is often hardly a gift anyway; stress, that unwelcome yet persistent part of the holidays, sneaks in and gets cozy as I list, decorate, shop, wrap, rush and socialize. Unfortunately, over the years I’ve realized I harbor a certain over-confidence in my ability to manage stress (“Stress? Never! I teach yoga, for goodness’ sake!”); at the end of the most hectic days, I consistently find that the hardest part of stress management is remembering to do it.     Undoubtedly, I keep [...]

“Undo,” Not “To Do”2018-10-10T15:11:53-05:00

The Truth About Time

2018-10-10T15:11:54-05:00

  By Laura Mills        I admit it: I’m in denial. It should not, cannot possibly be mid-January already. Wasn’t it just Christmas? Some of my decorations are still up. And did I seriously just hear a commercial about taxes? What about my to-do items leftover from 2014…organizing the claim for my car repairs, balancing my checkbook, getting the carpets cleaned, filing away those miscellaneous papers? I refuse, absolutely, to believe we’re halfway through January already….     But I’ve said it before, and I know it to be true now: the calendar on my desk (and the one on my computer, [...]

The Truth About Time2018-10-10T15:11:54-05:00

Coffee Shop Dream Collector

2018-10-10T15:11:55-05:00

  By Laura Mills      I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop, but only because no one showed up to class today. These days I hardly ever find myself sitting with only writing to do for an hour or so—case in point: my last blog post was mid-January. Between teaching (when people come, which thankfully is most of the time), mommy-ing, and attempting to rebuild my life after last year’s changes, sitting in a coffee shop, writing, is an artifact of a time long past. Yet here I am today, because no one showed up to class.      Ten years [...]

Coffee Shop Dream Collector2018-10-10T15:11:55-05:00

The Impermanence of Perfect

2018-10-10T15:11:56-05:00

  By Laura Mills        No fingerprints smear the mirrors; no lumps wrinkle the bed. No lint litters the carpet. The laundry, dishes, and toys are put away. I can even navigate my way through the garage without stepping on anything. This place is pretty near perfect—but I must admit, perfection unsettles me.      I had to impress if I hoped to sell my house. Prospective buyers want to see the counters, floors and other features clearly; they want to be able to picture their own belongings, not someone else’s dirty socks or half-dressed dolls, in the nooks and crannies. And [...]

The Impermanence of Perfect2018-10-10T15:11:56-05:00

Start Fresh, Again

2018-10-10T15:12:02-05:00

  By Laura Mills       This Sunday traditional Chinese families will celebrate Chinese New Year, a holiday of abundant symbolism that honors family unity, joy, and peace. One of the customs observed in preparation for the 15-day-long celebration is the thorough cleaning of the family home; sweeping, scrubbing, polishing and painting represent the departure of bad fortune and an invitation to good. In the physical sense the cleaning clears dirt and clutter. In the mental sense it bestows the promise of a new beginning and indicates the first step towards greater things to come.    I adore this tie between literal house [...]

Start Fresh, Again2018-10-10T15:12:02-05:00

Self-Reunion

2018-10-10T15:12:17-05:00

  By Laura Mills        Last week I had the pleasure of spending nearly a day-and-a-half on retreat. With my husband off and home with our daughter—both excited for some serious daddy/daughter time—I drove out to Lake Geneva, “on break.” And it was awesome.     I’d never done anything like this before. Only once have I gone out of town alone, and that was to a yoga conference at which I attended several classes. That was also before I was a parent. But this, a total “me-cation” during which I had no obligations, was completely new. Looking back, I am [...]

Self-Reunion2018-10-10T15:12:17-05:00

Wise Little One

2018-10-10T15:12:02-05:00

  By Laura Mills     “Mama—sit!”     I turned around at the sink and locked eyes with my two-year-old. She sat straight up at the kitchen table, pointing to my empty chair, glaring at me. It was one of those mornings where I had hustled her out of bed and down to breakfast, my plan being to grocery shop and run a few additional errands and then make it home in time to take advantage of her naptime window. I had eaten my breakfast and now, while she scooped the last pieces of cereal up from her bowl, buzzed around the [...]

Wise Little One2018-10-10T15:12:02-05:00

Meditation in the Middle

2018-10-10T15:12:17-05:00

  By Laura Mills        These days, my meditation practice usually consists of one solid sitting early each morning, after I do some sun salutations and before I prepare for the rest of the day. I sit cross-legged in the middle of my unlit living room, facing the windows, and I close my eyes and focus on my breath. The house and neighborhood are still and quiet except for early-morning crickets and birds; whatever thoughts arise I easily let float away into the semi-silence.     Usually….     One recent day I felt the need to meditate in the middle of the [...]

Meditation in the Middle2018-10-10T15:12:17-05:00