The Practices That Sustain Us, Part II

We’re now in the third week since a State of Emergency was declared in Michigan due to the Coronavirus. Our lives have changed drastically within a short amount of time. It’s okay to acknowledge that this is really hard.   As a follow-up to last week’s blog post, we’d like to share more on how GRCFM team members have been meeting their difficult experiences snce the impact of the pandemic began sinking in, and what practices have been important to us in these challenging times.   We hope our stories give you comfort in knowing you’re not alone in what …

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The Practices That Sustain Us

As a Center focused on teaching mindfulness, resilience, and self-compassion, we are in the business of supporting our community during the challenging times of life. Each of us has had a personal experience of the transformative power of mindfulness practice, and so we offer it outwardly as a gift with reverence and longing to help. Just like all human beings, we experience fear, anger, grief, and sadness, and it is our continued practice that sustains us. These are unsettling times, and we are all looking for some ground to stand on. We’d like to take a moment to share with …

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Resilience During COVID-19

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” —M. Scott Peck The Coronavirus pandemic has shuttered schools, closed restaurants, canceled events, disrupted travel, and changed our lives in both small and dramatic ways. We are truly in uncharted waters as we try to navigate the choppy waters of uncertainty and change.   Please know that we are …

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What is Resilience?

Resilience in nature is often defined as the ability to bend without breaking, or to return to an original condition. Resilience in human beings is the capacity to weather adversity, to encounter difficulty and to bounce back, and to even grow from our struggles.   Resilience is important because no matter what we would like to believe, we can’t insulate ourselves from misfortune. The fact is, no one gets out of this life without experiencing struggle and suffering. And it is often these very challenges that give our lives meaning.   So, how do we meet the inevitable challenges of …

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Do Christianity and Mindfulness Go Together?

By Irene Kraegel, PsyD Mindfulness & Christians When I first started teaching mindfulness to students on the campus of a Christian university in 2013, I approached the topic with some trepidation. Would the community reject mindfulness as incongruent with Christian faith? Would I receive a deluge of emails from angry parents and freaked out students? Would there be suspicions and questions popping up at every turn in my conversations with faculty and staff about mindfulness meditation? I am happy to report that none of this was the case. Christian believers in my circles of faith—both at work and at church—have …

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What a Feel-Good T-Shirt Slogan Can Teach Us About Mindfulness

I’ve noticed a phrase floating around on the internet lately, on mugs and t-shirts for sale and colorful social media feeds, meant to promote a positive attitude: “No Bad Days.”   The first few times I saw this phrase, I thought it was rather dismissive. I feel confident saying that I’ve had plenty of bad days in my life. And this trendy new feel-good phrase wants to erase that? It’s not that easy! “No Bad Days” presented itself to me as just another form of toxic positivity, meant to keep us from acknowledging the difficult times in our lives (and in others’). …

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Your Life As a Meditation

by Lynn Rossy, PhD I have taught many people to begin meditating; and I am aware that there are a LOT of misperceptions about what it is and isn’t. Because I have found the practice so very beneficial in my life, I have spent my entire career helping people overcome their misperceptions so that they, too, can reap the joys that arise from understanding how you can bring meditation into your life—both formally and informally. There are many types of formal meditation practice such as sitting meditations, body scans, mindful yoga, mindful walking, and mindful eating. These practices ask that …

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Embrace Your Love of Food This Holiday Season

The holidays are filled with the warmth of love from family and friends, brilliant decorations, and an abundance of food and traditions. Many of us eagerly anticipate the traditional foods of the season while worrying about how to manage the numerous social events. The stress of the holiday season combined with the abundance of seasonal foods, including desserts and treats, creates understandable challenges for eating in a way that honors our health and well-being. There are so many distractions—external and internal—that pull us away from the experience of just tasting and enjoying our food. The practice of mindful eating—returning to …

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We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” —Hopi Elder Anyone who has spent as much time as I have in the self-help section of a book store can tell you that there are innumerable opportunities to improve upon this thing called “me/you.” The possibilities of self-fixing are mind-boggling and endless. Self-improvement is our national pastime, and there are all kinds of ideas about how to be different and better or how to make up for some flaw. Some books share their insights with humor, others in seriousness, but what they all have in common is the absolute conviction that …

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The Gift of the Breath

“Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes If it were always a fist or always stretched open You would be paralyzed Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding As beautifully balanced as birdwings” Rumi I remember the first time I felt my breath. No, it wasn’t as a child in my mother’s arms or even as a young adult; it was in some nondescript moment, sitting on my sofa, simply breathing in and breathing out and feeling the soothing comfort of my breath. That was a big AHA moment for me because I realized that …

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