Warmth for Yourself

Prairie Smoke
The Pasque Flower an early spring flower

Waiting for Warmth

Spring in Eastern Ontario has taken its time in coming – the frost sank deep into the soil this past winter. We waited a long time for the days and nights to be consistently warm – so that the soil temperature could support new growth. It is much the same with our inner environments, many of us spend decades chilling our hearts with critical self-talk. In order for fundamental change to take root within ourselves, we need to warm up our hearts with a gentle acceptance of ourselves. No, we are not perfect, but that is what inspires creativity and variety in life.

One of the first steps in being kind to ourselves, is remembering how we speak to our own best friends. We are thoughtful, we want the best for them, we consider carefully before speaking potentially hurtful things.  Consider forming an intention to treat your Inner Self as your best friend. She’s known you all her life, she moves when you do,  she doesn’t walk away when the going gets tough. Who better than that for a best friend?

So forming this intention to be your own best friend, say to yourself:

May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I live in peace
May I live in safety
May I live with ease

Persistence – Invaluable

All sewn up!
All sewn up!

Our lap blanket really does exist! I am weaving in the loose ends, then the Maplesoft Therapeutic Knitting Group can present the finished product to their recently opened Multi-faith Chapel.

Weaving in ends in knitting and in life takes persistence, returning focus again and again to one object. In our fast paced lives many other distractions compete for our attention. I accept this work happily, knowing that the effort will benefit many. This is my meditation.

Mindfulness Skills for Well-Being

Benefits

Benefits of Mindfulness
Benefits of Mindfulness

This 8 Week Mindfulness Program is intended to teach you the practice of mindfulness through meditation, so that you can ultimately develop a mindful awareness.

Mindfulness can:

  • reduce overall levels of anxiety and depression
  • reduce harmful levels of stress
  • enhance your immune system’s performance
  • enhance clarity of mind and creativity
  • boost your quality of life

 Program Details

This Mindfulness Program is an 8 week introduction to mindfulness through practical instruction, meditation, mindful movement, direct observation and home practice. It is designed to help you increase your sense of well-being.

The program includes 8 sessions of 2 hours each, a full day of meditation at the mid-point of the program, guided meditation recordings, and supplementary materials to reinforce the weekly sessions.

Dates: Thursdays 10:30 am – 12:30 pm starting May 7 2015 through to June 25 2015 including a day-long Meditation Retreat on June 6 2015

Location: City of Ottawa Archives; James K. Bartleman Centre; 100 Tallwood Drive; Room 115, Ottawa, Ontario

Fee: $150 for 8-week course, 1 day retreat and all required materials [ec_addtocart productid=”248″]

Nicki Benton will  facilitate this program with Francine Portenier’s assistance.

Francine Portenier
Francine Portenier

Francine
My first career in Systems Design Engineering focused on “making things better”. Now  I focus upon communicating and being with people to help make their lives richer and fuller.

 

Francine founded Twin Willows Farm to initially offer Equine-assisted Therapy. She now facilitates the first Therapeutic Knitting Group in Canada and Meditation Practices, assisting in Mindfulness Programs. Francine shows you how to cultivate well-being as an individual and to boost resiliency – your ability to bounce back from setbacks.

Nicki Benton
Nicki Benton

Nicki

Nicki Co-founded the Ottawa Peer Recovery Centre, and also facilitates recovery programs, empowering individuals to find their voice and walk their unique recovery path with confidence. She has been practising mindfulness in her own life for five years.

 [ec_addtocart productid=”248″]

Site Upgrades

Singing Bowl
Singing Bowl

I’m trying to upgrade my site to allow you to register and pay online for our new Mindfulness Skills for Well-Being course starting May 7th. I apologize for any delays in signing up.

7 Essentials of Mindfulness Practice

 By Dr. Frank Lipman, www.drfranklipman.com | January 11, 2015
(Shutterstock*)

(Shutterstock*)

Nearly twenty years ago, I did a workshop with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., whose first book “Full Catastrophe Living” and overall teachings have had a lasting influence on me. This book is a classic on the topic of mindfulness and it has played a spiritual role in both bringing this practice into the Integrative Medicine World as well as in developing the method we teach our patients on how to deal with stress.

I would like to share with you the Seven Essentials of Mindfulness Practice, adapted from this great book.

Non-Judging

Be an impartial witness to your experience. Observing without judging helps you see what is on your mind without editing or intellectualizing it, or getting lost in your thoughts.

Non-Striving

No goal other than to be yourself. It is not about achieving bliss, relaxation or anything else.

Acceptance

A willingness to see things the way they are. By fully accepting what each moment offers, you are able to experience life much more completely.

Letting Go

Of thoughts, ideas, things, events, desires, views, hopes and experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant. Allowing things to be as they are, without getting caught up in our attachment to or rejection of them. It means to give up resisting or struggling and allowing things to be as they are. Watching your breath as it goes in and out is an excellent starting place for this practice of letting go.

Beginner’s Mind

Free of expectations from past experience. Remove the attachment of the past and just be.  Watch the moments unfold, with no agenda other than to be fully present.  Use the breath as an anchor to tether your attention to the present moment.

Patience

Remembering that things must unfold in their own time. An alternative to the mind’s restlessness and impatience. Not letting our anxieties and desire for certain results dominate the quality of the moment.

Trust

In yourself and your feelings. A feeling of confidence that things can unfold within a dependable framework that embodies order and integrity.

This article was originally published on www.drfranklipman.com. Read the original here.

*Image of “stone path” via Shutterstock

Resilience – Bouncing Back

After a Setback – Finding a New Normal

Reflecting
Reflecting

We are all human beings and thus subject to the ups and downs of living – because not even the richest or the smartest or the most positive can avoid suffering.

Suffering is our reaction to what we perceive are negative events. Our reaction is often to run away from and ignore these negative events or thoughts in the misguided hope that perhaps they won’t follow us or will get bored and move on to someone more deserving. Unfortunately, these things seem to have the tenacity of toilet paper on the bottom of a shoe.
Once we turn around and acknowledge the negative event, and really look at it with curiosity, it can lose its hold on us and its ability to make us suffer.

Controllable versus Uncontrollable

Negative events can often be divided up into those that are largely controllable and those that are beyond our control.
Where we can exert some measure of control – then a problem-focused coping style is most effective. Thus if you tend to be late for work then doing something to solve the problem, such as getting up earlier, arranging your clothing and lunch the night before; is the most effective coping strategy.
Where the negative event is beyond our control, then an emotion-focused coping approach will be more effective. This approach will help us deal with the emotions the stressor brings up; since we can’t change the situation itself. Thus if we are waiting for hours in a doctor’s office, the best approach would be to notice our emotions, and choose how we wish to respond and deal with our uncomfortable feelings
In our Therapeutic Knitting Group, we have recognized the wonderful ability of quiet knitting to fill up the hours of waiting time with productive and creative knitting. It is one of the tools that you can use to soothe and distract yourself in such situations. Another tool, that complements knitting, is the skill of Mindfulness.
Mindfulness allows you to become aware of your emotions, to reduce your stress and become better able to regulate your stress and emotions, if that is your intention. It allows you to adapt to rapid change; to know yourself better, and to transform yourself in the face of uncontrollable life events. Over time, it can adapt to your changing intentions, and allow self-exploration and ultimately transcendence. beyond the self to occur. It can strengthen your resilience.

Tips for Well-being
Tips for Well-being

 

We don’t offer you mindfulness as a cure for your disease. Rather it holds the possibility of vastly enriching your  life, helping you cope with symptoms and side effects, and improving the quality of your days. Mindfulness may also enhance your immune system’s performance and help reduce harmful levels of stress hormones in your body, changes that can only be beneficial.” (Ref: Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery, by Linda E. Carlson and Michael Speca)