A Note From Louisa


May is such a busy month.  Anyone with school age children can tell you how the many activities of May: graduations, recitals, year-end school program, finals, etc... can challenge us even more than the demands at the holidays.


Not to mention helping children, and academically oriented adults, manage the transitions from highly structured time to the unstructured, lazy days of summer vacation.


It's a lot.


How important it must be for us to attend to our self-care during transitions like these.  Even pleasant events, such as the change of seasons, can bring with them stress and we adapt to new hours, new temperatures, new light exposure.  All too often, we push ourselves through these shifts without adequate attention to our own processes.


Pamela addresses one such transition in this month's article.It is a good reminder to always be kind with our selves.


Being human, even when things are good, requires curiosity, patience and tenderness.


In compassion,


  • 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
Monday 8:15-9:00
Tuesday 7:30-8:00 (silent) and 8:15-9:00
Wednesday 7:30-8:00 (silent)
Thursday 8:15-9:00
  • Workshop: Mindfulness Study Group  No Charge 
         See below for more information
Workshops & Events
Mindfulness Talk & Guided Meditation
Compassion & Peace Over Lunch
Will return this summer! 
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
Taking Care of Yourself While You Take Care of Children
By Pamela Mueggenberg, LMHP, LPC

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." -Mary Anne Redmacher
Happy Belated Mother's Day, from the Center for Mindful Living, to every maternal figure in earshot! We are grateful to you and the nurturing you provide for your family - be that biological or emotional. Your love ripples out and helps our whole world be a gentler place. Thank you.
Being a mother can be extraordinarily difficult. Every shape and role of mother I have seen requires such love, patience and wisdom - and the slow simmering pain of having your heart sprout legs and move through the world outside of your body. I have had the honor of working closely with mothers through my entire career as a therapist - from parents of medically fragile children, foster and adoptive parents, step parents, working with a local nonprofit, teaching parenting classes in Douglas County jail, to my role now as an attachment oriented therapist in private practice.
Because of my philosophy and experiences in attachment combined with my passion for healing trauma, I have found myself a niche with women who are experiencing post partum depression or anxiety, or who have experienced birth trauma.
A recent study of birth experiences in the United States has found that for every woman who dies in childbirth, another 70 come close. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 50,000 women a year have "severe maternal morbidity," a term for nearly dying during or as a result of childbirth. Other women's health organizations believe that number is closer to 80,000 women a year. While these findings show us the urgent need to improve women's access to quality healthcare, I don't believe any adult would be too surprised: we all know a friend or family member who has experienced the terror of a close-call labor.
There are many women who have their own stories of loss of control or existential fear, but because "it all turned out fine" they don't acknowledge the trauma they experienced, or are encouraged to minimize their own emotional needs to heal from their trauma because "you and baby are healthy, you should be grateful!"
Then the busy-ness of motherhood kicks in, along with the long list of expectations: to breastfeed (but not in public), to lose that baby weight, to get back to work (but not too fast lest you be judged going the other direction), to be an open and enthusiastic sexual partner, to raise your child in the "right" way, to get this baby to sleep through the night (Don't cry it out! But don't coddle!), to shoulder the mental labor of running a household - but don't forget, this is a magical time so smile! Enjoy every moment, otherwise you're doing it wrong!
First off, I'm going to let you all in on a little secret: you don't have to enjoy every moment. Moments are fleeting, and they give you a spectrum of joy, pain, despair, laughter, exhaustion... to attempt to "enjoy" these moments is an exercise in sustained guilt. Second, you absolutely don't need to feel guilty for feeling bad after nearly dying. And if you and your baby survived labor with minimal long lasting repercussions, that does not mean that everything is "fine." You have been injured, and that requires healing.
Recovering from trauma is complex and can take a long time, and you have permission to take good care of yourself, listen to your body, and ask for help. It's okay to cry, to be frustrated. And if you need to talk to someone about what happened to you, please know that you can. There is a cadre of marvelous people in the world - other mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, friends, clinicians - who can help you hold some of this weight while you work on feeling better.
If you are experiencing some of the feelings I mentioned in this article, please don't hesitate to ask for help. We here at the Center are a good resource, but we're not the only people in town dedicated to helping. A good place to start is the United Way - call 211 and let them know what sort of help you might need. Childcare, counseling, breastfeeding support, parenting classes and support groups... they have a huge list of organizations around town that can help you. It may feel lonely right now, but know you are not in this alone. You've got this, and we would love to help you.