Note From Louisa
 
I've noticed an interesting phenomenon lately. I call it "The Relaxing". For me, it began when I started dressing more casually for my work day. After all, I was just going to a different room in the house.
 
Soon after, I stopped wearing make-up and most of my jewelry. (For the record, I have ALWAYS worn pants). I felt more relaxed, more authentic in some way. And, after checking with colleagues and friends, I've found this to be somewhat commonplace.
 
Perhaps it's the surreal nature of having the structure of our lives overturned so suddenly that makes all the rules feel like they're up for renegotiation.
 
Do I really have to do things the way I did them pre-lockdown? If we're dismantling routines and structures out of necessity, then why can't I recreate something that feels better to me and, in the process, release what no longer serves?
 
Not all of "The Relaxing" is welcomed. Right now, I'm glad I never colored my hair, though my perm is growing out and I had to violate the contract I made with my eleven year-old self never again to cut my own hair.
 
Still, "The Relaxing" is yielding to "The Becoming" in some ways. The pretense is fading. This is who I really am and what I really look like when I shift my attention from the structured roles I play into just being who I am.
 
There is no curated me that adorns social media. There is no coiffed me that longs to be received in a particular light, or needs to shape someone's perception of me. My house is a mess. I'm confused, anxious and don't have it figured out at all. And, it's all okay.
 
Yes, there is some ego work to be done here. But, in the end, what a liberating gift to be truly seen and to not have to be anything other than I am. It seems exhausting now to do it any other way.
 
Warm Blessings,
Louisa
Announcements
NEW MEDITATION SCHEDULE FOR THE SUMMER MONTHS:
 
Please note that we are no longer offering beginning meditation sessions. If you require instruction, we are always happy to provide guidance at the start of the sit! We are also reducing our guided sessions to Tuesday afternoon only. Please join us when you can!
 
CML VIRTUAL MEDITATION SCHEDULE

Monday
 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


Tuesday  8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)



1:15-1:45 pm
Guided Meditation (Louisa)


https://zoom.us/j/449591451
Wednesday 8:15-8:45 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


https://zoom.us/j/812616656
Thursday 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Laura)


 https://zoom.us/j/812616656
Friday 8:15-9:00 am
Sitting Meditation (Dan)


https://zoom.us/j/244959183
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CML THIRD SPACE


CML Third Space is a virtual community where we can gather, meet new neighbors and friends, and engage in resiliency building to help us stay  connected and grounded through this difficult time.


Please join us online on Sunday nights from 7:00-8:00 pm CST for a co-created space where we use mindfulness, connection and play to keep our immune systems strong and robust!

Sunday, May 31st, 7:00 pm
Third Space Gathering: Surrender

  Please join us on Facebook at the CML Third Space page .
Workshops & Events
ONGOING OFFERINGS
 
CML Third Space
Rotating Facilitation Online
Sunday Evenings 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Please see information in announcements.  
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Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated Online by Laura Crosby
First and Third Sunday of the month from 4pm to 6 pm

The Mindfulness Study Group is beginning its new book selection, In the Face of Fear, Buddhist Wisdom for Challenging Times. This anthology features teachings from the Dalai Lama, Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, Chögyam Trungpa, Sylvia Boorstein, Jack Kornfield, Norman Fischer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein and many others. Its 33 essays explore how we can:

  • remain open, joyful, and caring, even when life is stressful 
  • access our innate confidence and fearlessness
  • turn difficult times into opportunities for spiritual development
  • discover that our true nature is always awake, wise, and good, no matter what is happening   

You can join us for the Mindfulness Study Group the first and third Sunday of each month from 4-6pm via Zoom at this link.  Our sessions are freely offered, drop-ins are welcome, and there's no registration necessary. We read together - so no homework! - and discuss each chapter. Books are available from lcrosby@me.com.

Featured Article
woman_reading.jpg
The Healthy Mind Platter
By Dr. Kara Cavel, LCSW
 
Dan Siegel, a clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, an author, and one of my personal academic heroes, offers practical tools supported by research in several of his books, notably Brainstorm (2013) and Mindsight (2011) to develop and maintain well-being.
 
Siegel uses the phrase The Healthy Mind Platter which highlights 7 daily activities that promote well-being.
 
1)  Sleeping is crucial for our bodies and especially our brains. It helps with memory consolidation, insulin function and food metabolism, immune function, stress reduction, and mental functioning such as thinking, problem solving, handling emotions, and connecting with others. According to the United States National Sleep Foundation, the recommended amount of sleep for optimal health for adults is 7 to 9 hours (Siegel, 2013, p. 285).
 
2)  Physical time includes moving your body throughout the day. Move your body in any way you can. This is good for your brain as it enhances neuroplasticity---how our brains change in response to experiences. Try dancing, walking, yoga, or any activity that increases your heart rate for about thirty minutes a day.
 
3)  Focus time includes focusing our attention on one thing at a time in order to give our brains the opportunity to do what is was built for--processing energy and information, linking information to other information, and consolidating the neural firing into long-term structural changes (Siegal, 2013, p. 286). Try reading without interruption, doing a cross word puzzle, or writing/journaling for twenty minutes a day.  
 
4)  Time-in refers to sitting with ourselves and reflecting on our inner world. Bringing awareness to your breath for five minutes a day is a great way to strengthen the part of the brain that regulates attention, emotion, and thinking.
 
5)  Down time refers to doing nothing! Yes! Do nothing! Take a portion of your day and dedicate it to doing nothing, having no plans, and giving the brain a break.
 
6)  Play time includes laughter and engaging in activities with ourselves or others that bring joy, freedom, and wonder! Doing this will help to reinvigorate the part of your brain that helps you think outside of the box.
 
7)  Connecting time includes cultivating our relationship with others in order to enrich our lives, find more meaning, and develop wisdom through reflective conversations.
 
I hope these practices create a stronger sense of well-being for you throughout the next month!
 
References:
 
Siegel, D.J. (2013). Brainstorm: The power and purpose of the teenage brain. Penguin Group.    
 
Siegel, D. J. (2011). Mindsight: The new science of personal transfor

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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.