Note from Louisa
March feels like so very long ago. It's the last time I had lunch with my husband at a restaurant, met a friend for a glass of wine after work, or filled the tank in my car. It seems so strangely distant, though it really wasn't that long ago.
And yet, there is no end in sight. We are being advised that this may only be the beginning, though many of us are already weary of isolation and uncertainty.
A sense of grief is starting to arise. Certainly, in those of us with sensitive immune systems, or who have gotten sick, or who have perhaps lost someone they care about to this virus. It's a reminder of our mortality and loss of control.
But grief is present even in those of us who are merely coming to understand the truth of our situation and who are grieving the life that was.
Change is hard at the best of times. Our central nervous systems are designed to seek out certainty, stability and familiarity - all of which are currently in short supply.
Change though can be a powerful teacher.
Though we did not seek out this lesson, as with all transformative experiences, it comes to us wrapped in confusion, discomfort and loss. We cling to how things were and how we want them to be again. We may even believe that we can fashion the world that was into being by simply pretending that it never changed.
And yet, we miss the point.
Herein lies the chance for real change as we are invited to soften our rigid expectations, develop resiliency in the face of discomfort, and learn that the only thing with any veracity is the present moment.
Things will not "go back to normal". So much of the world is being dismantled and the existing structures of the world are calling for transformation into something more sustainable for all of us, not just some of us. It is a necessary reset that we need to stop fighting and learn from.
Eventually, restaurants will fully open again, and commutes will be reinstated. But, if at the end of all of this, something deep within each of us has not changed, if we have not softened our certainty, relaxed our need to create the world to serve our own needs, if we have learned nothing about fortitude, courage and compassion, then we have truly, and tragically, missed the opportunity.
Blessings on your journey,
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
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 the second and fourth Sundays of the month 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.
Join us next on August 9th. We'll be discussing changes in our perspective since COVID and ways to maintain flexibility in our perspectives in the coming months.
Sunday, August 9th, 7:00 pm
Third Space Gathering
Please note that the Zoom link above may be replaced in the coming weeks due to changes in Zoom's security settings.If you are on our mailing list, we will send out an email with new links should they become necessary. If you have difficulty connecting, please go to our website where the most current links will be posted.
Water from the Desert: Finding Resilience in Times of Uncertainty
An Online Workshop Facilitated by Dr. Louisa Foster
Saturday, September 12th (August 8th is FULL)
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
In this day-long workshop, we'll use guided imagery, meditation, contemplative writing, and creative problem solving to rediscover our own innate strengths and find what more is needed to invite greater resilience into our lives. Learn innovative strategies that can be accessed in both personal and professional settings to tap into your own creativity and wisdom. Our journey will include personal journaling, small group work, and embodied sharing within the larger group as we find our way forward together. Workshop includes a lunch break. No prior experience with meditation is needed.
New Tuition Rates:
I'd like a little support to join the group
I'd like to join the group at the middle rate.
I'd like to help support scholarships.
Register before September 9th
Please direct any questions to Louisa@thecenterformindfullivingomaha.com
While you may experience therapeutic benefits in this workshop, it is educational in nature and not intended to be a substitute for mental health treatment. This program meets the criteria of an approved continuing education program for 4.0 hours for mental health practice in the State of Nebraska for LMHP, LIMHP, PLMHP, and LPC practitioners.
CML Third Space
Rotating Facilitation Online
Second and Fourth Sunday of the month
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Please see information above in announcements.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Practice of Making Mistakes
By Dr. Kara Cavel, LICSW
Right now, there are two pandemics in the United States ----COVID-19 and racism.
"COVID-19 has claimed more than 100,000 American lives, and unequal access to quality medical care has contributed to the incredibly disproportionate impact of COVID-19 among traditionally under served Black and Brown populations. The other pandemic - institutional racism - has been responsible, in some way or another, for untold fatalities for more than 400 years" (
NASW Social Work blog
During this time of reckoning, repair, and change, I have often felt overwhelmed and confused with how to be of service to my community supporting the pursuit of equity, justice, inclusion, and solidarity.
My pronouns are she, her, hers, and I am a White, heterosexual, cis-gendered, able-bodied woman. These identities have advantaged me throughout my life and have only recently been examined.
As a person who has benefited from these identities, I have been hesitant to get involved in the process of social change because I have been uncertain of my role in the process, fearful of making mistakes, of unintentionally centering myself, and/or of being criticized. My desire to participate in social change in the "perfect" or "right" way has been a barrier to finding my purpose and role.
I was recently introduced to the work of Deepa Iyer, a South Asian American writer, strategist, lawyer, and racial justice advocate. Whether you are a newcomer to the work of social change or have regularly participated in movements or organizations where you are called to action, I have found Deepa Iyer's framework entitled
Mapping our Roles in a Social Change Ecosystem
useful in helping me reflect on what role I play in the process of social change.
Brene Brown, a White social work scholar and author states, "I want to get it right, not be right," in her recent interview with
Austin Channing Brown
, a Black author, speaker, and leader in racial justice work in America. Her words along with Iyer's framework have helped me navigate how my perfectionist tendencies and my desire to be perceived as "right" have interfered with my involvement.
When thinking about social change, Iyer asks her readers to reflect on the question, "When (and not if) I make mistakes, how do I acknowledge them and course correct without feeling like I've failed?"
Making mistakes is an inevitable part of being human. Making mistakes and acknowledging them is a practice I continue to invite into my life. Apologizing in a way that acknowledges my intentions and the impact my intentions have had on others is a good place to start.
I invite you to reflect on the experience of "being right" versus "getting it right" and how this may show up not only in your involvement in social change, but also in your interpersonal and intra-personal life. What, if anything, is the barrier to your involvement in activating change within yourself, your relationships, or your community? How does acknowledging this obstacle invite you to engage in the cycle of taking action....making mistakes.... doing better....dialogue and reflection....taking action....making mistakes....doing better......?
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.