Day by Day… Taking Steps to Happiness… Together
Step by Step, on the path of healing…
I’ve been thinking about how I can use my resources to be of more service to people and their healing, and I’ve come up with a few ideas. I would like to invite you to two new resources I am offering to the healing and mindfulness communities…
Free Weekly Recharge calls
I am offering a free half-hour call, once a week, in which we can connect, practice recovering and returning to ourselves, and set an intention for that week. It will be an opportunity to stop, be heard, and be supported by the collective wisdom of the community. For call-in info, as well as any changes to the schedule, click on the “Join Our Community” link to the right, and I will send you information by email.
Online Community Practice
There are so many online resources that it can be overwhelming to navigate them and we just end up reading about the thousand choices without putting any of them into practice. The important thing though is that we DO something, so sometimes we just need to stop and choose. We will have a weekly practice assignment that we can check in on, learn from others, and receive support for our own challenges.
- For this week, I’m taking advantage of a free online resource that I stumbled upon… A four-week course called How to be Happy. At this page you can sign up for daily email reminders to help you practice. I will also be sending a weekly reminder with a link to the page with that week’s lesson. After reading the intro page at the link above, please go to the first assignment. Don’t look at all the others yet!!! Let’s stay in the step we are in.
Next week on the call, you can check in about how the assignment is going. If you feel like checking in during the week, leave a comment below. Community means that our participation supports others! So don’t hesitate to put in your 2¢.
See you on the call!
p.s. read on below for a little more background.
I decided to offer these services, because for many months I have been reflecting on how I can do two important things:
- Improve and strengthen my support of my colleagues and clients on their healing path.
- Extend the reach of my work, so that more people can experience ongoing support by experiencing the real benefits of mindfulness and its healing qualities.
(My secret mission for the last 14 years is world peace and happiness, but I’m gonna work with these two goals for now! :^)
As I reflected, a few things kept coming up. First of all, I know that healing happens in community. As Thich Nhat Hahn said,
The Buddha’s medicine is made of only two ingredients: Sangha (community) and Time.
(For those of you who don’t really know who Thich Nhat Hahn is, he is one of the most important teachers of mindfulness alive today, and perhaps ever! He is now in his 80s and has been practicing as a monk since he was 16. During the Vietnam war, he was exiled from Vietnam because he refused to endorse either side, instead committing to resolving their differences. He came to the west, and with a group of amazing colleagues created the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The Reverend Martin Luther King nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his importance in creating a global community of peace. He is still teaching today. You can learn more about him and find out where he is teaching by visiting www.PlumVillage.org)
The first ingredient: Community
I know for myself that my healing path has relied heavily on the support and love of others. From the weekly Peace Circle I started many years ago, which was the first step toward taking my commitment to being a source of healing in the world seriously… to the wonderful meditation group in Brooklyn that was my spiritual home for many years, and allowed me to learn from others who had been walking that path a long time… to the community of practitioners I work with at East Village Holistic Therapies, who both love and challenge me, and offer me the opportunity to take my practice to a new and deeper level… I have seen how my growth and healing is magnified by being in these groups, and how my own healing supports others without my even trying to do that.
I also know from offering the MBCT program over and over, that a lot of the healing in that workshop comes not just from the skills that I’m teaching, but from the community practice of sitting in a room together week after week and exploring ways to be open and gentle with our own experiences.
Practicing healing in community does two very important things: First it gives us information about how others’ paths are like ours, and we get to learn from watching them navigate their own challenges. Secondly, it teaches our nervous systems what healing feels like. Because of the way nervous systems interact through mirror neurons and other connections, we literally resonate with others, so that as they experience a healing shift, we experience a corresponding shift in our nervous system. Our nervous system learns how to heal. I will be writing more about this later — there’s fascinating research on how this works.
So one of the steps I want to offer is to create supportive community for anyone who is looking for this kind of connection.
The second ingredient: Time
I usually meet with my clients or workshop participants once a week, and other folks I know meet with a meditation group weekly, and I know that meeting once a week is VASTLY better than not at all, but like going to the gym once a week, it can only do so much. If we are in particularly bad shape, either physically or emotionally, or if we just want to make steady progress, we need more than weekly support. We need to develop habits and daily practices, and for many of us, we need community to help us do that. So I am creating a support net where you can find ways to get as much ongoing support as you want and need. This way, we can all benefit from one another’s participation and help one another heal and be happy. Since I’m only one person, my intention is to create a hub where we can gather and support one another in taking step by step, because in community we can do far more than I can alone in terms of contact and in sharing resources with one another.
Please leave comments below, or feel free to write to me using the Contact Mary link.
Peace in Oneself, Peace in the World!