Summer Newsletter

This summer I have had the honor of hosting a series of small group workshops for Mindfulness Skills for Stress Reduction. We are midway through the series with three more sessions available in August. I am also planning a series for teenagers as well, to begin on August 11 .

Participants have been able to come from 1 to 6 workshops where they have learned and experienced mindfulness practices. The workshops may be taken one on its own, or any number total up to six. They are related to one another and offer similar themes, but each class is different. I bring in a combination of guided meditations, writing, thoughtful reflection and insightful teaching, meant to provide hands-on experience.

Mindfulness is about being present in the moment with awareness and without judgment. This means paying attention to one’s feelings, thoughts, body sensations in the present moment on purpose, while accepting whatever it is that comes up. This is helpful to being able to cope with stress because the present is really the only moment we have to live in fully. So often we prolong or add to our suffering when we ruminate about the past or worry and project ourselves into the future. We spend a lot of time trying to hold on to what was; or avoid what is; or make happen what isn’t. As human beings we often do not accept what is and are frequently engaged in trying to make things be different. Mindfulness offers ways to bring our minds back to the present moment, accept more fully what our experiences are, feel our feelings more genuinely, have compassion for ourselves and others, be more attuned to our inner experiences and in the world experiences; be able to calm ourselves when faced with challenging situations and not be so overwhelmed or driven by our emotions.

Participants have found the workshops to be quite meaningful and useful. They felt they were able to resolve or at least lighten the load of some painful worries they were carrying, related to work transitions, coworkers, family members. Many have found it powerful to combine a guided meditation –  especially around difficult emotional circumstances – with personal uncensored writing. People have commented that the exercises have been very doable and sometimes surprising in the impact they have on them, and are easy to remember to do outside of the groups. Each has been inspired and felt capable to do these practices and benefited from the workshop experience.

If you would like to share this experience and learn some mindfulness skills to help you deal with the stress in your life, you can still sign up for  August sessions: August 11, 18th, 25th – Tuesdays from 5 to 6:30 PM. $45 for one session or $120 for three sessions.

Also if you know of an older teen (16+) who could benefit from learning skills to cope with their stress, being able to have more balance with their emotions, and doing it in a kind way, please share the information about the Teen Mindfulness Skills Workshop – three sessions in August (Wednesdays, August 12, 19th, 26 – from noon to 2:45 PM – must attend all three sessions. $225 for three sessions).

RSVP now for any of these groups. Group size is limited. cindi.rivera@att.net or (510)482-4445.

Leave a Reply