Ashley Bovin

Skills for Re-Entry, Part II

Moving forward with awareness and kindness I recently heard someone comment that there’s less room for small talk after the year we’ve all had. We’ve been through something significant together, even while apart, and we probably have a lot to say about what happened, or what we lost, in the last year. Still, like me, you may have noticed yourself answering the well-meaning, asked-out-of-habit “How are you?” with a one-word answer that doesn’t sum up how you’re feeling. But how would you answer that question? Do you feel in touch with your experience? Or have the days been passing by? …

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Skills for Re-Entry, Part I

Re-entering a world that’s far from “normal” What a difference a year makes. Here in Michigan, it was announced yesterday that remote working is no longer required, and those who are fully vaccinated can work without masks or social distancing requirements. Even before that, many were struggling with the thought of returning to the workplace, feeling their employers aren’t honoring employees’ safety and well-being by “returning to normal” at such a pace. But what we’ve all gone through in the last year was not normal. What we’re slowly (or not so slowly) re-entering is not normal. Even the way of …

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To What Do You Pay Attention?

Each of us has a finite amount of attention we can use each day—and that was true even before we entered the current “volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous” state of the world.  Still, even though it seems the world is demanding a lot of us each day—and the hamster wheel shows no signs of stopping itself—it’s worth asking ourselves: Am I giving my attention to the things that matter to me? For everything we (purposely or inadvertently) pay attention to: Work (particularly outside of “work hours”) Social media/email/texting News (especially of the political variety) Our attention is removed from activities, items, …

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How Do You Care for Your Mind?

And an update on our mission In January 12’s newsletter, we shared the recent Ten Percent Happier podcast interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. My takeaway from the discussion is that the single most important thing we can each do at this moment of great personal, political, and global turmoil, is take care of our minds.  Practicing mindfulness helps us notice our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations, which creates the foundation necessary to objectively examine our biases, discomforts, and the values and judgments we’ve inherited from others rather than consciously formed for ourselves.  Yes, I agree; …

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Rebuilding Trust in Our Bodies

“What is always speaking silently is the body.”  – Norman Brown There are many reasons why we grow to mistrust our bodies.  My struggle to connect with my body stems from multiple sources, including how I was raised to not trust my body’s cues around food.  I’ve been pondering this quite a bit lately, since I recently participated in the Mindful Eating for the Holidays workshop. I was just reminded of it again while scrolling Instagram. I follow an account, @family.snack.nutritionist, that shares strategies for parents to have less stress around mealtimes with their children, and helps with building healthy …

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Creating Space When Life Feels a Bit Too Routine

As I write this, we are 10 months into 2020, 7 months into a pandemic, 5 months into renewed racial justice protests, about 2 months into the school year, and a week away from a momentous presidential election. It feels cliché to comment on how unusual of a year we’ve had—but we can all agree it’s been a difficult year, for many reasons.  And though I’ve been struggling with anxiety, missing seeing my friends and their babies in-person, and grieving the loss of the ability to pick up and visit my favorite local coffee shops and small businesses on a …

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Not Another Zoom Call!

We’ve all gone through a year+ now with video meetings taking the place of in-person connection. And Zoom fatigue is real.  Yet, we’d like to invite you to our upcoming online multi-week classes, or our free introductory classes two weeks before.  We get it: The last thing most people want to take on these days is one more Zoom call.  But while most video conferences on your schedule are asking for a chunk of your time, energy, or input, our online classes are meant to help you add some peace, balance, and restoration to multiple areas of your life!  Overcoming …

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What We Get Wrong About Suffering

It’s a fact of life that no one is immune to suffering, and it’s safe to say we each experience it in a variety of ways as we continue to navigate the modern world. As a mindfulness center, we neither want to brush off that reality nor dwell on it. But we also feel this moment—when many of us are still feeling especially unsettled—offers an opportunity to shed some light on the concept of “suffering,” what it really means for us in daily life, and how you and I can help alleviate it—starting with ourselves. There’s a great definition of …

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Why Silence Scares Us

Like many people, you might hear about mindfulness and meditation and think, “Silence? Slowing down? That’s just not for me.” In our on-the-go, productivity-and-achievement-minded culture, the thought of sitting still, or embracing silence, can seem like the opposite of what will help us make progress in our lives. Yet if we don’t take time to slow down and zoom out from our day-to-day habits, our lives might start to live us in a way that eventually makes it hard for us to recognize ourselves! A result of our achievement-oriented culture is that many people fear or avoid slowing down and …

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Learning to Listen to the Body

Today, I decided I needed to do some yoga or meditation before getting started with work—especially because I neglected to do my usual meditation immediately after waking up this morning. I’ve let that slide more than I care to admit in the last couple months. I use the word “yoga” loosely in referring to my practice because I feel like I don’t really “practice” it. So far, it has consisted of warmups for my pole fitness classes or what’s been included in mindfulness classes I’ve taken. But sometimes—and this has only been true for me in the last handful of …

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