Note From Louisa
Wow!  What an amazing journey we have been on for the last few weeks while settling into our new space.  Thank you so much for all of the cards and emails, encouraging phone calls, and warm wishes throughout this process.  We look forward to welcoming you to our new Urban Sanctuary and showing you around the next time you stop by for a workshop, class, or to sit in stillness with us.
We are also thrilled to welcome Daniel Tipton of Tipton Counseling, LLC, who is joining us on this new leg of our journey. Daniel specializes in couple's work and has written this month's article of the importance of forgiveness.  I hope you enjoy his clear voice and bright energy.
Our new space will afford us new opportunities for growth and offerings.  If there is something you would like to see offered, discussed, or explored, please email us and share your thoughts. 
Thanks to you, our community grows...
With compassion,

Congratulations to Nebraska's First Board Certified Trainer
in Drama Therapy!

Louisa received her accreditation as a Board Certified Trainer last week from t he North American Drama Therapy Association at their annual conference in Kansas City. When you see her, give her a high five!
Inclement Weather Policy

In response to our freak snow shower a couple of weeks ago, it may not be too early to remind everyone of our inclement weather policy - When OPS is closed, The Center is as well. Please stay safe!
Massage Therapist Rae Minten
We are so excited to welcome Rae Minten to our community! Rae has massage and Reiki appointments and you can learn about her services, pricing and how to schedule and appointment here . What a lovely opportunity to express gratitude to your one, precious body!
Ongoing Contemplative Practices
Workshop: Sitting Meditation Groups
Workshop: Mindfulness Study Group (see below)

Workshops & Events
Mindful Self-Compassion: Moving From Shame to Self-Acceptance. A Comprehensive Program to Cultivate Peace and Compassion in Ourselves & Others.
Four Day Long Retreats, Saturdays 9 am to 4 pm
December 1st, January 12th, February 9th, March 9th
Nurturing a strong, positive relationship with ourselves is at the very foundation of emotional well-being and resilience.   This series of four day-long retreats will help you to develop the skills necessary to turn toward life's challenges with tenderness and curiosity, rather than avoidance, anger or shame.
Research has found that having a self-compassion practice acts as an effective buffer against anxiety and depression. Learning to soothe and comfort ourselves in times of distress increases our sense of gratitude and happiness, and enhances all of our relationships.
Each retreat includes small group exercises, opportunities for private reflection, and guided meditations. No prior experience with meditation is necessary. Maximum 12 participants. Tuition $125.00 per session. Must commit to attend all four sessions as skills and course content are designed to build on one another.
The Sixth Annual Buy Nothing Day Retreat
A Half-Day Meditation Retreat

Instead of waiting in long lines for the opportunity to fight over even more discounted, unnecessary stuff, please join us on Friday, November 23th from 9am to 1pm for a more grounded approach to the holiday season.  We'll gather to discuss the role of Mindfulness in a culture of consumerism, and sit together in meditation to reflect on gratitude and abundance.  There is no charge, but please register here.
Mindfulness Talk & Guided Meditation
Facilitated by Laura Crosby
Wednesday Mornings, from 11:15 am - 12:45 pm
Mindfulness 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 20-30 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. This is a drop-in offering. No registration is required.
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
Relationships: The Proving Ground of Forgiveness
By Daniel Tipton, MA
Why are relationships so hard?
One of the reasons is that the person with whom you've chosen to journey represents a mirror; a reflection of yourself. When you get angry at the other person, it is because you are seeing something about yourself in them.
As hard as this may be to believe sometimes, it is always the truth. When you decide to commit to a person, you are committing to facing the most vulnerable parts of yourself. When you share deeply with somebody, your flaws (and also your greatest strengths) inevitably surface. It can be frightening to face vulnerability. And when you are frightened, when your core self seems to be threatened, the primitive brain often activates and goes into fight or flight mode. You may see it as something the other person says or does, but your reactions are always due to a "threat" to something within yourself.
Herein lies the beauty and necessity of relationships.
If you are triggered, it is certainly because there is something inside you that is asking for healing. In your heated moments of yelling, name-calling, etc..., is the little voice inside you saying, "Please, love me. I am so afraid."
This is why forgiveness is the ultimate calling in any relationship. It is the greatest tool, in my opinion, for leading a happy and healthy life. A relationship presents you with innumerable opportunities to practice, make mistakes, and try again.
Forgiveness is the answer to every question. There will always be situations that seem too complex, but with free-flowing love and acceptance, they can be addressed with greater ease. An important thing to remember is that you don't forgive the other person to pardon them from wrongdoing. You forgive to set them free and also release yourself from the burden of holding a grievance.
When you choose to forgive, you are forgiving the part of yourself you judged and attributed to the other person. What a loving thing to do for yourself! 
Ideally, all of us could let go of grievances right away. It is difficult and we often could use somebody to offer validation and mediate our reactions. Sometimes, a third party is helpful for allowing strong emotions to be brought forth, respected, organized, and reframed. This is how a good couples counselor can help you out of a stuck place in your relationship.
Always remember:
When in doubt, forgive. 

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.