043: How to Start Practicing Mindfulness With Debbie Norris

Dr. Deborah Norris is a psychologist who took a major career and lifestyle leap! She worked as a neurotoxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for fifteen years. During that time, she was practicing mindfulness and working as a part-time fitness instructor. In 2009 she left the EPA to open The Mindfulness Center in Bethesda, MD with her two daughters.

As President of The Mindfulness Center, Debbie researches and teaches mind-body practices while providing a welcoming facility for other practitioners to offer their services. Customers are able to benefit from classes, small groups and 1:1 sessions for yoga, acupuncture, counseling, tai chi, massage, hypnosis and more.

Listen to the podcast to hear Debbie discuss:

  • Starting the Mindfulness Center and working with her two daughters
  • Her son’s encouragement to write her book, In the Flow
  • What mindfulness means and practices that can keep you on track and guide you to a richer and more wonderful life
  • Meditation is a practice and mindfulness is the outcome
  • The health benefits of mindfulness and related mind-body practices
  • Research that demonstrates the effectiveness of using mindfulness to treat chronic pain
  • Online meditation programs coming soon to the MindfulnessCenter.org
  • Debbie’s previous work as a Neurotoxicologist for the EPA and her interests in how specific drugs affect the brain
  • Debbie’s role as Director of the Psychobiology of Healing Program at American University and why she loves teaching students!
  • How dancing introduced her to the practice of mindfulness
  • Her new book! In the Flow: Passion, Purpose and the Power of Mindfulness
  • How feeling safe opens your heart. The meaning of courage – keeping the heart open even when you’re afraid
  • Intuition – taking your awareness into your body and seeing what you’re sensing there
  • Embracing and accepting The Monkey Mind…our stream of consciousness…”The Voice Within”
  • Carrying the momentum from mindfully meditating into your life
  • The D.C. Childrens’ Hospital study demonstrating that guided meditations can help children overcome trauma from entering the hospital and from medical treatments
  • Bringing the practice of mindfulness into schools
  • How to start meditating

Quotes from Debbie:

On mindfulness: “If everybody would do this, learn to meditate, the world would be such a beautiful place.”

“Any exercise that connects you with this form of self-awareness, what we’re finding is it enhances not only self-awareness, but the capacity for self-regulation and self-control. And a lot of people shy at that word control, yet that is what we seek. I prefer to call it coordination, the ability to coordinate what we choose to do, how we choose to feel.”

“Different things work for different people. The journey to well-being is not a single path. It’s different journeys for different people.”

“To stay physically fit is not something that you just do occasionally.”

“I think a lot of us feel like we’re seekers. We’re on this journey looking for the way to live right. What makes things tick…how do we keep setting ourselves upright, or as I say in the book, ‘back in the flow.’”

Contact Debbie:

The Mindfulness Center
Mind Body Journal
Twitter: @MindfulnessCntr
Facebook: Facebook.com/TheMindfulnessCenter
Debbie’s book: In the Flow: Passion, Purpose, and The Power of Mindfulness