Change Your Brain With Mindfulness

It wasn’t all that long ago that scientists believed that our brains stopped growing and changing in our mid-20s. Then, new technologies were born. EEGs, PET scans, and fMRIs gave us the ability to observe the inner workings of living, functioning human brains, and everything changed! These amazing machines created a window into a brain that is constantly molding and re-molding itself from birth to death. When we learn something new or train in a new skill, our brains get bigger in areas that relate to that new knowledge. When we quit using certain areas of the brain, they shrink. …

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I’d Rather Be At Peace Than Be Right

Let’s face it: Who’s NOT talking about COVID-19 these days? Everywhere I turn, that’s the topic du jour. With all the division, I can’t help but feel like I’m supposed to “pick a side” among the many conflicting viewpoints, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to know what to believe. It doesn’t take much self-reflection to acknowledge that we each have a tendency to hold certain people and certain professions as more trustworthy and therefore a source of truth. But the challenge in this digital age is that I can conveniently find whatever evidence I need to reinforce my personal biases …

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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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You’re Stronger Than You Think

I’ve been contemplating resilience in adversity a lot lately. We’ve been forced into a position where we can either fold to the insurmountable obstacles in our path or reach deep down inside and find the reserves to climb out of the hole. This pandemic has pushed us all into a place of discomfort and uncertainty, and the question we must ask is how are we going to respond? Because as we are continually reminded, we don’t get to choose our circumstances, but we do get to choose where we go from here.  Where it All Began When I was younger, …

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I’m Not a Mess! Life is Messy

“Life is hard!” It was such a relief when I first heard that. Until then, I had believed that life was hard because of some internal flaw and I was to blame. When I hit a bump in the road my internal message was, “I am such a mess.” I had entirely missed the message that “Life is just messy.” From my vantage point, all those other people were perfectly happy, enjoying wonderful vacations, and doing meaningful work because they had it together; not that they had found ways to triumph over the messiness of life. Struggling is Not an Error—It’s …

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The Wisdom of a Broken Heart

A poem by Jeni Juarez What saddens me the most about the current state of the world is how people everywhere are becoming so paralyzed by fear; that they are struggling so much to access their emotional resilience—their unarmed heart. It is this turning away from—this armored heart—that keeps us separated, alienated from one another; unable to feel the warmth, the magnificence of a heart-to-heart connection. What encourages me the most about the current state of the world is how people everywhere are becoming so paralyzed by fear. Because my deeper wisdom tells me that suffering is Grace. It forces …

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Spiritual Bypassing in the Time of COVID-19

by Susan Duesbery, as originally posted in Elephant Journal The other day I was speaking with a woman who told me that she was “excited” about the positive changes the coronavirus was already ushering in. She went on to express the hope that a new world order based on love would replace current systems based on corruption and greed. After she spoke these words, I realized that I’d seen a lot of similar comments on social media lately. In many ways, I couldn’t agree more with such remarks. But there are two sides to this coin, and to ignore one …

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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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