Kara Cavel
A Note from Louisa 
Happy 2018! I hope that your holidays were full of joy and laughter and that you are greeting the New Year renewed and ready to embrace what lies ahead!
Our new year at CML brings the addition of Dr. Kara Cavel who will be joining our clinical team this month.   Kara holds a doctorate in social work and is a tenured professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University.
As you will see from her article this month, she values the mind-body connection and her work is informed by embodied wisdom.  Kara is trained in trauma sensitive yoga and we are looking forward to sharing her rich skill set with our community. You can read more about her on our website .
With joy and gratitude,
  • 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 , 2018
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, 2018
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, 2018
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.

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
Renewal: Recommitting To Ourselves
By Kara Cavel, Ph.D., LICSW
As we move into 2018, I reflect upon the happenings of the past year.  For some of us, finding wellness in the past year may have been a considerable challenge.  We were faced with the reckonings of many wrongs, and continue to manage the inevitability of uncertainty and change. 
As a yoga practitioner and instructor, I have relied on my contemplative work rooted in the practice of breath and movement to ground myself in these moments of uncertainty and change.  In order to engage in this work, I remind myself that my breath is connected to my body and most importantly, I do, in fact, have a body!
I function in this world all too often from the neck up, heavily utilizing my intellect to engage in the everyday happenings of life.  Recognizing and noticing my body has invited more curiosity about how I feel in an effort to create a new way of knowing.  For me, this new way of knowing, deeply seated in the investigation of how my body feels, has led to a practice of activating my breath and body to create change.
Noticing that I can change the way I feel by paying closer attention to my breath and body has led me to understand the power of using both to effectively regulate emotional experiences, relying less on my tendency to intellectualize, and more on the experience and feeling of knowing. 
For me, the use of breath and body awareness is an invitation to cultivate my relationship with myself.  When I separate from myself, I am unaware of my breath, my body, or the dignity of the present moment.  Inviting myself back to my breath in times of arousal or discomfort has heightened my awareness of its power. 
The breath is a gateway to the nervous system.  Using my breath, gives me access to regulating my responses.  When I am able to do so, I feel safe in my body, and from this safety, I am able to access a more curious, creative stance toward the happenings of every day life.
In the upcoming year, I invite you to find opportunities to nurture this connection with yourself.  Being present in your body and being aware of your breath can occur anytime throughout the day. 
  • Try noticing your body and breath in small doses first. 
  • Be curious and investigate the sensations that arise in you during certain times of the day. 
  • As you begin to notice these sensations, try making a choice to take five breaths, inhaling and exhaling through you nose. 
  • Notice the breath for these brief moments. 
  • Or perhaps you move your body in a new way. Notice how the body feels as you choose to take a different form. 
Discover.  Be interested.  Perhaps you will find that you have the capacity to change the way you feel through this noticing and investigative process.