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Mindful : April 2014
Thinking of trying meditation or sign- ing up for a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class? Your options are no lon- ger limited to the big cities on the coasts. Here are just a few we’ve noticed recently. If you are in Tennessee, there’s the Chattanooga Center for Mindful Living, which offers a series of guided medita- tions and workshops, including Mindful- ness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and a course on how to eat more consciously. “There are a variety of ways to join us,” says Nora Bernhardt, a board member at the center. “Some are more formal and others you can just drop in.” In Omaha, Nebraskans can try The Center, where two meditation groups— one sitting and one movement-based— convene regularly. And if Texas is home, the Austin Mindfulness Center has just launched a membership program offering a five- week beginner’s mindfulness course and a class based on Kristin Neff’s book, Self- Compassion. ● All Over the Map Clear Out the Clutter Q: What’s three times the size of Manhattan? A: The 2.3 billion square feet of rentable self- storage space in the United States, accord- ing to the Self-Storage Association. Hoarding, it seems, is not confined to the ex treme cases on reality TV. Lots of us are inundated with clutter. “We live in a nation of excess,” says Don Aslett, author of Clutter’s Last Stand. “We buy in excess, and that really affects our minds. It’s very hard to get rid of stuff once you have it, but when you do offload it, within minutes, you can breathe more easily.” Still putting off spring clean- ing? This might inspire you to get down to business: 1) Dealing with physical clutter helps you sor t your mental clutter. Pam Holland, who runs Mindful Decluttering and Organizing, says when she goes into her clients’ homes or offices, she always star ts off with a modest mental workout to get their head in the game. “It’s a simple five-minute exer- cise,” she says. “First I invite them to let go of judgment or guilt about the state of their home or office. Then I ask them to replace it with gratitude for the home or office they do have.” This helps people see how good their decluttered space will look and how much that will put their mind at ease. 2) Sometimes clutter is really about procrastination; tell- ing people your plans helps make them happen. The most common excuse Holland hears when she engages a client is “I just don’t know where to star t.” It helps to have someone else give you a hand. “Make your path public and people will jump in and help you,” says Aslett, who suggests it’s harder to back out when you’ve admit- ted the problem to friends or family. “Sometimes you just need a guide, or even just a compassionate presence,” says Holland. “I do my organiz- ing when my mom comes to visit just because she’s there.” 3) Clutter can be about holding on to things from the past; letting go can be a relief. Holland worked with a client who struggled to get rid of a wedding dress from a marriage that had ended. Once she did, she felt a real sense of freedom. “The impor tant thing to recognize is that we don’t lose any part of who we are if we let go of mere objects.” ● 2014 Mindful Calendar of Events Upcoming conferences, festivals, and symposia of interest MARCH 14–16 Mindfulness in Education Network Conference • Washington, D.C. Presenters include Tim Ryan, Mirabai Bush, and the Holistic Life Foundation. www.mindfuled.org/ conferences/2014-conference- information APRIL 2–6 12th Annual International Scientific Conference for Clinicians, Researchers, and Educators • Norwood, Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, www.umassmed.edu/cfm/conference/ index.aspx APRIL 9–13 Cultivating Leadership Presence Through Mindfulness • Phoenicia, New York Hosted by The Institute for Mindful Leadership. Menla Mountain Retreat. Teachers include Janice Marturano and Mariann Johnson. www.instituteformindfulleadership. org/CLP.html MAY 8–10 Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education Annual Heart-Mind Conference • Vancouver, B.C. Speakers include W. Thomas Boyce, Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, and Linda Lantieri. www.earlylearning.ubc.ca/blog/2013/ oct/24/annual-heart-mind- conference-may-8 -10-2014 We’re building a grassroots listing of mindfulness resources for our readers at mindful.org. If your local center offers mindfulness meditation or MBSR, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. OVERHEARD “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, buttoliveina way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela 12 mindful April 2014 now Illustration by Gavin Potenza