How to Practice Relationship Building

We don’t meditate to become better meditators. We meditate so we can bring mindfulness out into the real world, and thrive in our interactions with others.

Illustrations by Asia Pietrzyk

“Let’s play Ramona.” Those three words from my six-year-old inspire a deep internal cringe (that I attempt to be mindful of). “Ramona” is my daughter’s invented doll game, based on the beloved classic book Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary. Beezus is the “good” sister—the dutiful, polite, compliant daughter, while Ramona is the “bad” little sister who locks a dog in the bathroom, scribbles in library books, and cooks her doll in the oven.

Mira, my daughter, has worked out the game so that she is Beezus and I have to act out Ramona’s voice, but, did I mention? Ramona is a mermaid doll with pink hair. Ramona threatens to do terrible things like spray paint on the wall, hit people really hard, and pee on the rug. Beezus/Mira responds with horror and admonitions at Ramona’s plans, and always manages to thwart the evil intentions. “Ha-ha Ramona, you can’t pee on the carpet because I sprinkled magic fairy dust on it!” “Rats,” says Ramona.

My mostly agreeable daughter is clearly enjoying acting out her shadow side, or at least watching it acted out by me. For this reason I am willing to play this game, despite the fact that I…

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  • Mindful Staff
  • September 21, 2023


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About the author

Diana Winston

Diana Winston is the Director of Mindfulness Education at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center and author of several books including The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering your Natural Awareness.