Note From Louisa
Last fall, speculating about the ever-nearing winter with friends, I first heard the words "polar coaster". The Farmer's Almanac had offered up this term as a prediction for the coming months. As I write this, the ambient air temperature is 52 degrees warmer than it was only 72 hours ago! Polar coaster, indeed!
I find the idea of "polar coaster temperatures" reminiscent of the wild variations that I can experience internally throughout the day as well. I might begin the day with a sunny disposition, only to see the frost set in only a few minutes or hours later, seemingly out of nowhere.
To add insult to injury, there is no handy meteorologist helping me to plan for my internal day. Will I need my umbrella, or my extra warm gloves?
Just as I grab my coat to warm my cooling body, or shed layers when I am too hot, I must use my self-regulation skills to address the internal environment and approach my experience with curiosity and compassion.
It doesn't do much good to get mad at the weather, but it is important to know how to dress appropriately for it. What skills can I clothe myself in when hurt or vulnerability has made me cold? Mindfulness? Self-Compassion? Loving Kindness?
What stories do I need to shed in order to remain non-reactive when things heat up? If I am committed to not over-heating, can I release what no longer serves, just as I store my winter boots when there is no longer snow on the ground?
We Midwesterners must be hardy to withstand the environmental conditions that the body finds itself in. We must also develop the resilience to care for the volatile "temperature shifts" of the internal environment.
Then, no matter the weather, or its volatility, we will always be comfortable.
With Compassion,
New Meditation Groups!
Please note that starting in February, we added the following sitting groups:
Thursday mornings at 7:30 (silent sit)
Second and Fourth Sunday at 6 pm (45 minute silent sit)
Please join us!

Inclement Weather Policy:

When Omaha Public Schools are closed, we will suspend activities of the Center as well. We will also send out an email to notify of cancellations. If inclement weather falls on either a weekend or school holiday, please check with your specific instructor or facilitator regarding cancellation and rescheduling.

Ongoing Contemplative Practices:  (No Charge)
Workshop: Sitting Meditation Groups
Workshop: Mindfulness Study Group (see below)
Workshops & Events
Hosted at The Center for
 Mindful Living
Trauma Sensitive Yoga
A Six Week Gentle Yoga Series
Facilitated by Dr. Kara Cavel
Tuesday Nights April 14th to May 19th
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Because trauma is often stored in the body, yoga-based interventions are a way to approach healing through a somatic experience in an effort to rebuild a sense of connection to the self.

For those interested in this series, you can expect to engage in an embodied practice that utilizes movement and breath work as a way to experience the present moment, feel empowered to make choices, take effective action, and to experience the flow of creating rhythm or synchrony with your breath and body.
This yoga series is ideal for individuals who have an established relationship with a psychotherapist and who attend weekly therapy.

The group will consist of 10 or fewer individuals due to limited space and it is highly recommended that the participants attend all 6 sessions. 
Tuition for this 6-week series is $125 dollars

Click here to register. Once registered, Dr. Kara Cavel will email or call to discuss any questions you may have. If you have questions prior to registration, contact Dr. Kara Cavel at or 402-933-4070, ext 5.
Yoga Nidra
A Six-Week Restorative Offering
Facilitated by Dr. Kara Cavel
Tuesday Nights April 14th to May 19th
7:15 pm to 8:00 pm
Yoga Nidra is designed to move the body into a deep state of relaxation using a series of breath, body, and awareness exercises. It is an effortless disengagement from THINKING which allows the body to restore itself. This practice intends to address the imbalance of tension that often creates stress by training the body-mind to be disengaged from stress producing thoughts. There is no wrong way to do this practice. 
The group will consist of 10 or fewer individuals due to limited space and it is highly recommended that the participants attend all 6 sessions. Tuition for this 6-week series is $75 dollars.
Register here. Once registered, Dr. Kara Cavel will email or call to discuss any questions you may have. If you have questions prior to registration, contact Dr. Kara Cavel at or 402-933-4070, ext. 5.
Register for both classes and dedicate your Tuesday nights to self-care!
Ongoing Offerings
Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated by Laura Crosby
First and Third Sunday of the month from 4pm to 6pm
Join us as we begin  A Path with Heart, A Guide through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield. Considered an essential classic that many return to again and again as part of their mindfulness practice,  A Path With Heart offers inspiration and teachings for living mindfully, intentionally, authentically and compassionately - or as one reviewer put it, with "full-tilt compassion." 
The Group will read together, so there is no pre-reading or homework involved. We will read, discuss and practice mindfulness meditation based on the teachings of the book.  Copies of the book are available for use in the study session or to check-out.    

This Mindfulness Study Group is freely offered. There is no charge to participate. Drop-ins welcome at any time. While this selection is based on Buddhist mindfulness teachings, the Study Group as a whole is not religiously affiliated.
Featured Article

Connect with Nature this Winter 
By Nanci Nilles Psy.D. 
Not only is nature beautiful, now there is evidence it may reduce type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, sleep disorders, pre-term birth, and premature death.
An examination of the evidence from 140 studies involving populations from the UK, US, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, and Japan, suggests communities with higher levels of green space are more likely to report overall good health. The study defined green space as both open underdeveloped land with natural vegetation as well as urban green spaces such as parks and street greenery. (Twohig-Bennet 2018) 

There are theories as to why nature seems to heal. Some speculate the increased physical activity and socialization, which often accompanies outdoor activity, is responsible for a decrease in inflammation. Others speculate the outdoors exposes the body to a wider range of bacteria than an indoor dwelling, which strengthens the immune system.
Being in nature also seems to switch the body into a "rest and digest" mode, which is the opposite of the fight or flight mode. The fight or flight response diverts physical resources from "nonessential" functions such as the immune system. When the body is in nature and feels safe, the immune system strengthens which improves overall mental and physical health.  

It can be tempting to hole up for the winter in front of screens. However, a walk around the neighborhood, stepping outside a work site for a breath of fresh air, or faithfully filling the bird feeder may be more healing and helpful than you would have ever thought - no need to wait for spring to get a dose of nature's healing. 
The Health Benefits of the Great Outdoors: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Green Space Exposure and Health Outcome. Environmental Research July 2018. Twohig-Bennet et al.
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.