Note From Louisa
At the beginning of each year, I set an intention for myself. Not a New Year's resolution per se - I have learned that these are already forgotten by the third week in January, leaving in their wake some sense of disappointment and self-criticism.
Instead, I mean a commitment to focus my attention and resources on a particular value or attribute that I would like to develop over the coming year. I then distill this down to a single word that reflects that value so that, in moments of overwhelm, I can call on it for guidance.
Some of my intentions in the past have included Compassion, Softening, Creativity, Gratitude... You get the idea.
In the weeks leading up to the new year, I begin considering what is most needed in my life at this time. What value do I want to spend the next year exploring, reading about, experimenting with, and incorporating into my art and my meditation practice?
My 2018 year was dedicated to Manifestation and bringing forth dreams and aspirations into the world. It was a busy and productive year and, while I am grateful for the wonderful tasks that were accomplished, it had an untoward effect of furthering my addiction to busyness and over-commitment.
As we head into 2019, I've been yearning for some balance, a course correction to invite some rest after "a year of doing". By October I was fairly certain that 2019 would be about (and would NEED to be about) rejuvenation... slowing down and self-care.
What a daunting prospect!
Dedicating an entire year to taking care of myself? Where to begin? What word/trait/attribute can possibly incorporate all that will lead me toward that value?
I auditioned a few... Simplicity.... Release... Listening... I finally landed on the root, or what seems to be the common denominator of all of these intentions....
It seems obvious now that I name it. It feels like all self-care, all relational aspirations, all perceptions and understanding of both ourselves and our world, must first be accessed through and grounded in STILLNESS.
Meanwhile, Laura is crafting her article for this issue and, lo and behold, she writes about... you guessed it... STILLNESS.
It seems like a subversive act in our culture to slow things down and approach the tasks of life not from a project management lens, but rather from creating space for that moment between breaths, between heart beats, between thought and action.
Perhaps accessing the real juice of life requires us to find the stillness within to know and appreciate all the beauty and joy that is already present in our selves, those we love, and the tremendous world we move through, all too often with busy minds and shut eyes.
What will stillness bring to 2019? How will we experience ourselves if we are silent and surrender, allowing the world to act on us, rather than striving to act on it?
Happy New Year! May 2019 be one of intention for you!
We at The Center for Mindful Living hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season. And we would like to extend you warmest wishes for an amazing year.
Omaha Meditates 2019
Wisdom House Collaborative is
partnering with the Center for Mindful Living to celebrate Omaha Meditates on New Year's Day. Please come join us from 11 am to noon on January 1st to start 2019 with intention. If you wish to take the Omaha Meditates pledge to dedicate one minute or more to the goodwill of the event please go to
Omahameditates.org. Or visit the Wisdom House Collaborative website at wisdomhouseomaha.com where you'll find their New Year's Resolution page that talks about recent scientific findings on the mechanism for changing our habits through literally rewiring our minds and bodies beginning with the training of attention and clarity.
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
Workshop: Sitting Meditation Groups
Workshop: Mindfulness Study Group (see below)
Trauma Sensitive Yoga
A Six Week Gentle Yoga Series
Facilitated by Dr. Kara Cavel
Tuesday Nights January 22nd to February 26th
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
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.
A Six-Week Restorative Offering
Facilitated by Dr. Kara Cavel
Tuesday Nights January 22nd to February 26th
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.
. 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.
If you would like to attend both the Trauma Sensitive Yoga series and Yoga Nidra series, we are offering a discounted rate of $200 for the six week series.
Communication Teacher and Author Oren Jay Sofer
to Share Teachings and Community in Omaha
The Art of Mindful Communication: Living Your Values
Evening Talk ~ Friday, February 22, 2019 ✦ 7-9pm
Oren Jay Sofer will help us explore how our contemplative practice can provide a foundation for bringing more compassion, clarity, and connection into our speech and relationships. Oren will be offering teachings from his new book, Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication. The evening will include a guided meditation, lecture, and time for questions and answer. For those who wish to explore the topic further, see below for a daylong training on this topic.
Say What You Mean: Creating Meaningful Conversations
Daylong Retreat ~ Saturday, February 23, 2019 ✦ 9-5pm
In this daylong session, Oren will share the foundations of an integrated approach to skillful communication. We will explore how to bring more mindfulness and care to our communication - our listening, speaking, and thinking. The day will include a combination of guided meditation, discussion, and interactive practice. This workshop is appropriate for all levels of experience; NVC will be taught at an introductory level.
The complete event flyer is available 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.
Stillness and Simplicity ... 'tis the season
By Laura Crosby
If your first inclination is to shrug off the possibility of simplicity and stillness during this time of 'tis the season, you're not alone. If you are thinking that exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed are more likely, fair enough.
Perhaps you find yourself just "pushing through," making your lists and checking them constantly. Looking toward the promise of some peace and some space, sometime beyond the holidays.
And yet ...
What if sprinkled everywhere amidst the frenzy there are moments of pure stillness and natural simplicity? What if the peace and space is always there - even during holiday parties and family gatherings, shopping and decorating, cooking and cleaning, bundling up and shoveling out?
Deepak Chopra shares, "In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you."
It can seem as if the demands and busyness take over and squeeze out any hope of stillness and simplicity, let alone the deep contentment they make possible. At times like these, even moments of great beauty and joy are often under-savored, distracted as we are by the hustle and bustle.
Yet there can be stillness and simplicity within a full life and even within a demanding time of life. We needn't surrender to one at the price of the other. Stillness makes the full life fuller. Simplicity makes space, time and heart for the demands to soften into promising possibilities.
This stillness and simplicity are far more available inside and around us than we think - even and especially during life's most hectic and stressful moments. You might experiment with accessing your own stillness and simplicity this season in the following ways ...
- Incline with Intention
Consider inclining toward some stillness and simplicity with an intention for the day. "When you set your intention, it sets the compass of your heart and your psyche," as Jack Kornfield reminds us.
- Sense into your own stillness
When you find yourself sitting still - in a meeting, at a stop light, at a meal -sense the stillness in your body, heart and mind. You may also see whether you notice any simplicity in the moment.
- Turn it off and let the simple silence in
Experiment with turning off the radio, the news, the music for 5-10 minutes each day. Choose one stretch of your commute or your errand-running and notice the stillness and simplicity within and around you.
- Know you are breathing
When you get in the car or just before you get out of the car (or both!), take one natural breath, sensing the body's simple in-breath and simple out-breath.
- Drop one thing from your list
Consider whether there is one thing on your to-do list - including your mental to-do list - that you can delete. Play with erasing it from your list as entirely as you can.
- Slow down
Notice when you are rushing and see what it's like to slow down even 10%. Bring some attention to the sensation of slowing down, noticing what happens in the chest, stomach, jaw, eyes, throat and hands.
- Notice when you're stirred up
When you find yourself whipped up into a worry or a hurry, see if you can tune in to the sounds around you for a few minutes, listening mindfully.
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.