Note From Louisa
 
I've spent some time recently considering that the word I chose for 2020 was "spaciousness". Of course, when I chose that word in late December, I had no idea what was on the horizon, or how the Universe would collude in my exploration of spaciousness.
 
First, there was the shift to working from home at the outset of the pandemic, and a transition in my concrete understanding of space, and how I occupy it and make use of it. There was a restructuring of the day, and the week, as I "made space" for a new way of working. There were demands in my family that led me to consider the edges of spaciousness.
 
Then came the murder of George Floyd.
 
Spaciousness now presented itself in a different way for me as I watched myself begin to contract against, not only the cruelty that we can clearly demonstrate toward one another, but in avoidance of my own complicity when I benefit from systems of oppression, even while I denounce them.
 
My task now, nearly half way into 2020, is to lean into the spaciousness of what is arising in our collective experience.
 
How can I be expansive in my understanding of oppression and the role I play in it? Can I resist the urge to contract and turn away? Can I avoid the unhelpful indulgence of guilt and shame that lead to paralysis and inaction? Can I let this painful moment be my teacher and create the necessary space around it to dismantle my own ignorance and fear?
 
These are not easy questions. Growth never shows up with comfortable slippers and a cup of hot tea. Compassion does though. And I imagine that both will be needed to address this latest lesson that spaciousness has offered me.
 
Blessings on your journey,
 
Louisa
Announcements
NEW MEDITATION SCHEDULE FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS:
 
Please note that we are no longer offering beginning meditation sessions. If you require instruction, we are always happy to provide guidance at the start of the sit! We are also reducing our guided sessions to Tuesday afternoon only. Please join us when you can!
 
CML VIRTUAL MEDITATION SCHEDULE

Monday
 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


Tuesday  8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)



1:15-1:45 pm
Guided Meditation (Louisa)


https://zoom.us/j/449591451
Wednesday 8:15-8:45 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


https://zoom.us/j/812616656
Thursday 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


 https://zoom.us/j/812616656
Friday 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Dan)


https://zoom.us/j/244959183
***Please watch for changes to Zoom links, as they are updating the program in late July. We will email you with new links once they are available.***
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CML THIRD SPACE


CML Third Space is a virtual community where we can gather, meet new neighbors and friends, and engage in resiliency building to help us stay  connected and grounded through this difficult time.


Please join us online on Sunday nights from 7:00-8:00 pm CST for a co-created space where we use mindfulness, connection and play to keep our immune systems strong and robust.

This week, we'll continue discussing white privilege by focusing on the ways in which our hearts have changed through this movement and how to pursue further internal change.

Sunday, June 28th, 7:00 pm
Third Space Gathering: White Privilege, Part Four

  Please join us on Facebook at the CML Third Space page .
Workshops & Events
ONGOING OFFERINGS
 
CML Third Space
Rotating Facilitation Online
Sunday Evenings 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Please see information above in announcements.  
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Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated Online by Laura Crosby
First and Third Sunday of the month from 4pm to 6 pm

The Mindfulness Study Group is beginning its new book selection, In the Face of Fear, Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging Times. This anthology features teachings from the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chögyam Trungpa, Sylvia Boorstein, Jack Kornfield, Norman Fischer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein and many others. Its 33 essays explore how we can:

  • remain open, joyful, and caring, even when life is stressful 
  • access our innate confidence and fearlessness
  • turn difficult times into opportunities for spiritual development
  • discover that our true nature is always awake, wise, and good, no matter what is happening   

You can join us for the Mindfulness Study Group the first and third Sunday of each month from 4-6pm via Zoom at this link.  Our sessions are freely offered, drop-ins are welcome, and there's no registration necessary. We read together - so no homework! - and discuss each chapter. Books are available from lcrosby@me.com.

Featured Article
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How is COVID-19 Impacting Relationships?
By Daniel Tipton, LMHP
 
A remarkable amount of people (those who know I am a couples counselor) have said to me,  "You must be getting a lot of clients because people are spending so much time together." I was interested in how the pandemic might change my clients' stories. I thought I would share what I have seen thus far. These are based on my observation. I have not conducted formal surveys.
 
My first observation is that it has intensified problems that were already present rather than creating new ones. Now that people are together more, it is harder to ignore issues. The small things they redirected to their subconscious are now more glaring as there is a higher frequency  of related incidents. People who could get by focusing on the routine of life without addressing deeper issues are now coming to see me.
 
Another problem is time management. The pandemic thrust people into their home, forcing them to create new schedules and routines. Many of my clients complain about not having enough time together. Now, they have considerably more time, yet they still find ways to disengage from each other.
 
In my experience, quality time is more an issue of commitment and motivation, than logistical barriers. A quote I often share is, "If you don't have time for quality time, you don't have time for a relationship." I understand that many people are busy, but often there are deeper problems with intimacy, rather than simply, "making the time."
 
COVID-19 has undoubtedly increased stress on families and couples. Each of us has a finite amount of energy to give each day. If simply getting through a day is taxing, there is only going to be so much left for the couples to, "fill each other's buckets."
 
In this case, I start by helping couples determine what is an "inside job or outside job." In most cases, when clients see how important quality time is for repairing their relationship, new solutions arise due to increased motivation to change. This is the "outside job."
 
The inside work is where I come in to help couples address barriers to emotional connection and effective conflict management. Life is hard and we have to make space for connecting, especially with our commitment partner.
 
Relationship satisfaction is a huge factor in overall life satisfaction. Those couples who are managing conflict well and emotionally connecting are going to engage life stress as a common goal rather than an excuse to withdraw.
 
These are just a few observations. We have yet to see how the long-term effects will manifest in relationships. What I tell people is that most every couple could benefit from having a well-trained couples counselor at some point in their life. This pandemic is helping some of those people get into counseling sooner. However, I imagine that other couples might put continue to put  counseling off to deal with pandemic related challenges.

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The Center for Mindful Living is a space for healing that hosts independent practitioners and educators coming together to create an Urban Sanctuary in the middle of the city.