A Note from Louisa 
Dear Friends,
Often this time of year, when I begin to hear bird song and the temperature invites reveries of impending spring, I find myself writing about rebirth and the new projects they inspire.
This year, however, I find myself thinking more and more about the barrage of difficult news that we are confronted with daily: governmental corruption, school shootings, flu epidemic... It is hard to rest easy in today's 24 hour news cycle world.
For my part, I have noticed an addiction to "breaking news", which I am trying to address through moderation. I will share some of my strategies in the hopes that they may be of use to you as well.
I do confess to reading the headlines in the morning when I get up and I check in with a daily news summary on my way home. The rest of the day, I try to stay clear of updates and their associated triggers. Sometimes, this means redirecting conversation with a friend (and I've noticed that we both seem relieved after having done so).
I am careful not to consume news, or anything stimulating, before I prepare for bed, knowing that I can easily take images and provocative narratives into my dreams. As I get older, I am increasingly rigid about "good sleep hygiene".
Over the last few years, I have learned to change the channel or put down the paper when inappropriate images are prominent. I find myself increasingly vulnerable to this visual stimuli and it is much easier not to take it in at all than to try to rid myself of it once it's been seen.
Of course, my meditation practice and some regular, embodied movement practice are the primary ways that I try to bring curiosity and compassion to the myriad of feelings that are evoked by the unavoidable.
Most importantly, never be afraid to ask for help if you need to. We often demand of ourselves that we "power through", suppress or minimize difficult material. Try talking it out instead. There is much healing power in being witnessed and in witnessing others.
I would love to hear your thoughts and strategies. Perhaps you could share them on our Facebook page and we can create a "library" of healthy practices to help us stave of unnecessary anxiety in this challenging time? You can find us on Facebook @thecenterformindfulliving. We look forward to the conversation.
Above all, be kind and careful with yourself.
In kindness,
  • We've Added A New Sitting Group! Please join us on Monday mornings from 8:15 to 9:00 am for an additional sitting group during the week. We'll be testing this time slot out for the next few months so, if you'd like it to become a permanent addition to the schedule, please be sure to let us know!
  • A reminder that The Center for Mindful Living will follow the OPS schedule in case of inclement weather.
Ongoing Contemplative Practices
  • Workshop: Sitting Meditation Groups  No Charge
  • Workshop: Mindfulness Study Group  No Charge
Workshops & Events

Mindfulness Talk & Guided Meditation

Facilitated by Laura Crosby

Wednesday Mornings, from 11:15 am - 12:00 pm

February 21st -March 21st 


Fifteen minute teachings followed by group discussion & meditation. Deepen understanding and practice of mindfulness as we draw on teachings about bringing mindfulness and meditation to essential life experiences ... stress, relationships, difficult emotions, habits, change, conflict, and more.  Following a 15-20 minute teaching, we will have a facilitated group discussion and a meditation based on the teaching.  Some mindfulness practice helpful, but not required. All materials and supplies provided. This session is freely offered.   There is no charge to participate. 


Compassion & Peace over Lunch

Facilitated by Laura Crosby

Wednesday Afternoons, from 12:30 - 1:30 pm

February 21st - March 21st


Group sessions for cultivating compassion and peace in everyday life Experience and cultivate your innate compassion and peace. Engage in group discussion and mindfulness/meditation practices to bring loving-kindness and compassion to ourselves and others, while finding greater equanimity and calm. Some mindfulness practice helpful, but not required. Bring your own snack. All other materials and supplies provided. This session is freely offered.  There is no charge to participate. 


Basic Mindfulness: Establishing a Meditation Practice

Facilitated by Dan Weidner, MA

Monday Evenings, from 6:00pm - 8:00 pm

March 1st - April 23rd


This Basic Mindfulness course is appropriate for anyone who would like to learn to use their own internal resources to change their relationship to suffering, whether it is stress, physical pain, emotional pain, illness, or discontent. As physical exercise can increase strength, flexibility, and endurance, mindfulness meditation cultivates attention, clarity, and a greater capacity to be open to whatever happens in each moment of our lives.


Participants will learn techniques for sitting meditation; becoming mindful of breathing, body, thoughts, and feelings, as well as strategies to integrate mindfulness into one's daily life and activities in the world. The only prerequisite for this very accessible approach to meditation is a willingness to make an 8-week commitment to the weekly class as well as a commitment to beginning a daily home practice.  Tuition is $180.00.  Scholarships may be available.



Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Series

Facilitated by Kara Cavel, LICSW, Ph.D.

Thursday Evenings, from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

March 22nd - May 3rd (no class on April 19th)


"The guiding principle of recovery is restoring a sense of power and control to the survivor"-Judith Herman


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 by becoming curious about the experience of being.  For those interested, 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. 


Tuition for the 6-week series is $150 dollars ($25 dollars per class).  The group will consist of 6 or fewer individuals due to limited space and it is highly recommended that the participants attend all 6 sessions. 


Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated by Laura Crosby
1st and 3rd Sundays of each month from 4-6 p.m

Join us as we begin Reflections on Silver River by Ken McLeod. This short work is part translation of a revered Tibetan poem on 37 mindfulness and compassion practices and part short reflections on how these teachings apply to life today.  
The Group will read together, so there is no pre-reading or homework involved. Copies of the book will be available for use in the study session or to check-out. There is no charge to participate. Drop-ins welcome at any time - feel free to jump in at any point! While this selection is based on Buddhist mindfulness teachings, the Study Group as a whole is not religiously affiliated. No registration required.
Featured Article
Resisting the Lure of Perfectionism
by Nanci Nilles Psy. D.
Do you hold yourself to impossibly high standards? Often we set unreasonably high goals, and when we fail, we find ourselves feeling deep shame. This pattern of behavior goes hand in hand with perfectionism. Because at the heart of perfectionism is fear. Our lofty goals are often a desire to compensate for some self-perceived lack. Anything less than perfection becomes evidence of our inadequacy.
If you find yourself struggling with perfection, you are not alone. Thomas Curran (2017), a social psychologist who studies perfectionism, reports that perfectionism is becoming more pervasive. Curran's research indicates from 1989-2016 socially prescribed perfectionism has been on the rise. Socially prescribed perfectionism occurs when we seek to obtain approval through achieving our social group's standards. When we fail to meet to meet a standard, be it weight, financial or achievement, the underlying fear is that we are inadequate.
It is essential to understand the role of fear in perfectionism. Perfectionists often have the unconscious belief that, if they are not perfect, something terrible will happen. For example, if someone sees our (self-perceived) inadequacy they will not respect us. This concern is so pervasive that we may not even be conscious that it is present. We cannot address that of which we are unaware.
Awareness of our thought patterns starts the process of detaching from them. Labeling our thought process can also help us to identify less with these ideas. We can begin to question the unrealistic expectations that we encounter within ourselves. With time and practice, we can change from a perfectionist to someone who is content in his or her circumstances.
Another helpful tactic is to focus on positive elements of our performance instead of only the negative. Perfectionists are expert in discounting praise. By directing our focus to the positive, we generate positive feelings and retrain the way we process our situation. This re-wiring also primes us to tune into the positive in our experience more frequently.

When we feel inadequate, we long to feel good enough. Basing our self-esteem on our achievements and social comparison erodes our self-esteem. It is far better to adopt a compassionate, loving attitude towards ourselves. To treat ourselves as kindly as we would our dearest friend. This approach puts a sense of control back in our domain and allows us to let go of our need for perfectionism.
"Perfectionism Is Increasing Over Time: A Meta Analysis of Birth Cohort Differences From 1989 to 2016." by Thomas Curran Ph.D., University of Bath, and Andrew Hill, Ph.D., York St. John University. Psychological Bulletin. Published December 28 2017.