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The Whole Health Life Blog

Embracing Imperfection and the Art of Being A Compassionate Mess

Shannon Harvey

The work I produce is unoriginal, meaningless tripe…I’m a terrible mother, who’s always too tired for her kids…I can’t cook…All this, according to the voice in my head, is fact. Fortunately, of late, I’ve been learning not to believe everything I think.I first began taking notice of the mean voice in my head after meeting social scientist and self-compassion pioneer Kristen Neff, a clinical psychologist from the University of Texas, who developed something called the Self-Compassion Scale in 2003, which paved the way for a new field of psychological research. Since then almost 1500 articles or dissertations have been written... Read full article »


To the World’s Loudest Critic of Mindfulness – A Health Journalist's Response

Shannon Harvey

I confess that I was terrified when I picked up Ronald Purser’s new book McMindfulness.It had been a long time coming after the management professor from San Francisco State University embraced the Mindful Crank persona in 2014 and wrote a series of provocative articles such as The Myth of the Present Moment, and Beyond Mc Mindfulness. During a period in which TIME Magazine was hailing the Mindful Revolution, when Google had started imploring business leaders to Search Inside Yourself and New Republic was declaring 2014 The Year of Mindfulness, Purser raised some thought-provoking ideas. In essence, his argument is that... Read full article »


The Mindful Myth: It’s Not Actually About Relaxation

Shannon Harvey

As a health journalist who writes about the science of the mind-body-health connection and who’s interviewed countless scientists on the subject, you would have thought that when I started making my new documentary about mindfulness, I would have known a thing or two. But just a few weeks into the endeavour I came across a study by neuroscientist Sara Lazar’s team at Harvard which changed everything and made me realise that I still had a lot to learn.The study caught my attention because Lazar’s team had done a direct comparison of two of the most famous meditation programs in the... Read full article »


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