Let’s consider if ‘Hot Mess to Cool Oasis’ is right for you – Q &A

So you’ve heard me mention about my HOT MESS TO COOL OASIS course and your interest is piqued. You really do need some time and space in your life for YOU but can’t seem to find it easily. This course sounds like a good thing, but you’ve got some questions…

HERE are a few things to help you consider if this course is right for you:

Q. How much time will it take?
A. This course is six weeks long, from October 31 through December 15 (skipping Thanksgiving Week).
Every week, on Mondays, you’ll receive a lesson in your inbox that will take 15 to 20 minutes to read and do.

You might practice what you’ve learned for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
Group calls (lasting 45 minutes) will occur on Thursdays.

Q. How much does it cost?
A. $197 for the whole program – less than the cost of a couple of therapy sessions.

Q. It’s kind of expensive. Do you have a payment plan?
A. Yes it is a chunk of money, but you can spread it out by making two payments of $115 by October 30 and November 28. Investing in yourself now will undoubtedly benefit you for the long run.

Q. When are the calls?
A. Calls will be on Thursdays at 11 am. The dates are as follows: 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15. Calls will last 45 minutes.

Q. What if I can’t make the calls?
A. No worries. If you can’t be live for the calls, you can listen to the recording at your convenience. You’ll still get all the information, and  when you submit any questions you have by email, they’ll be answered in the next call.

Q. I’ve tried other self-help courses. How do I know this one will work?
A. You are clearly someone who cares about making positive changes in your life, and are willing to put forth effort to make that happen. In this course you’ll have a nice balance of structure and flexibility with the practices, so you’ll be able to create a plan that works for you. This course is different in two ways: it’s specifically designed for overwhelmed folks with busy lives, and it has the component of small group support.

Q. I don’t meditate right/I get started OK but fall off the plan because of how much time it takes/ Do I have to meditate one hour a day?
A. Lots of people starting in mindfulness believe they don’t do it right. I remember I used to think (critically) that I couldn’t even breathe right. Looking at the (negative) thoughts or judgements you have about yourself is an important part of doing it, and when you can notice those things that means that you are actually doing it right! We all have a desire to do things right.

This is not a mindfulness course where you have to meditate for one hour a day. It is purposely created to be accessible throughout the day, in pockets of moments. One of the most effective and deeply profound courses on Mindfulness that I have taken, lasted literally 10 to 12 minutes a day. Just because your reality doesn’t include much time to sit and meditate does not mean you have to miss out on the power of mindfulness, available moment to moment.

Q. How will this course help me to develop a practice of mindfulness?
A. The blend of short lessons that combine nuggets of wisdom/learning with easy to do practices seems to work best to help integrate information; and makes mindfulness practice more doable.

You’ll notice more noticing throughout your day – and that changes your framework of how you approach your life; which in turn will help you in building practices that actually fit. This course can help create the structure that you know you need. There are as many ways to be mindful as there I don’t meditate right/I get started OK but fall off the plan because of are ways to cook or exercise. This course will help you find some tools that make sense for you in your life.

Q. Is this course like a therapy or support group?
A. This group is not a therapy group. It is actually a lovely complement to therapy.
You will receive support from me about how to use Mindfulness in your daily life to make things easier and in acknowledging how your experience is going.

And you will experience the support of other course participants as you hear and share how you’re integrating the practices; how folks are feeling; and simply in the sharing of practices together.

Q. How does being “present” help me? How will I ever get anything done, if I go slower?
A. Being “present” helps you to live your life more fully from exactly where you are. Being in the present releases you from the painful grip of the past or the illusory pull of the future.

To go slower is to get more present, which actually helps us to be more connected in our relationships; make better decisions; not flit around mindlessly, and direct our attention, so we can actually be more productive, with less agony.

Q. I always seem to self sabotage. How will this course help me to stay on track?
A. You know you need to take better care of yourself, but you keep de- prioritizing or putting yourself at the bottom of your list. This course will help you to thoughtfully assess that thinking and learn some ways to not succumb to that, that are self compassionate.

You will understand the importance of putting your own oxygen mask on first, so you can be more helpful to others.

Q. How can this course help me from getting carried away by my negative thoughts?
A. You will learn some mindful practices that help you to pay attention in new ways, to that internal critical voice. You’ll recognize that underneath that mean voice is a tender vulnerable part of yourself.

You will be then be able to offer kindness and care to that part of you that usually negates you, or has been wounded by you; and gradually shift your thinking – which will open up the possibility of being able to get free from that tyranny you have lived under.

Q. Doesn’t trying to do Mindfulness become stressful? What are the cons to doing more mindfulness?
A. Initially, you might find some things to be stressful to you as you try to find some uninterrupted time, or try to keep your mind from wandering, but the very practice of applying mindfulness to those challenging situations is what mindfulness is about and will help you to learn better ways of managing these stressful situations.

Q. I don’t have any experience with Mindfulness. Is this course still good for me?
A. The only experience you need is the capacity to breathe, and a willingness to learn.

Q. I’m not sure if this is the right time for me to take this course (not enough time, money, or trust that I will actually do it).
A. This would be a good time to pause, take a deep breath and check in with yourself. What’s underneath that reluctance to do some self-care? If you feel guilty or selfish or just afraid to prioritize yourself, I would encourage you to be kind to that part of yourself that holds you back and try carving out space for yourself with this course. Just that process alone will be empowering and will help you to set up positive pathways for yourself.

If, on the other hand you are certain this is not the right time for you, no worries. You can catch it next time.

Q. How can this course help me as a person of color?
A. As a woman of color myself I can be an ally to your experience. I know the pain of alienation, or the discomfort of finding yourself to be the only one (of color) among many who are not. I believe mindfulness is a wonderful way to allow for the healing that needs to occur, around your ethnic, racial, and cultural identity, and how that has impacted or been impacted by your inner life and the world you live in.

Q. Who is this course NOT good for? This course is not for you if:
A. You have no curiosity about how you might make things better for yourself in your inner life or the world you live in.

You have a full, regular, consistent, vibrant meditation practice that you never miss, that completely sustains you.

You always manage to prioritize yourself, never treat yourself unkindly; never experience frustration or conflict with any of the people you share your day with; don’t ever struggle with a sense of unworthiness or criticalness; you never try to avoid unpleasant feelings, you always freely turn toward your pain. You are always able to get back on track easily after a setback.

Q. I am really curious and interested in the ‘HOT MESS TO COOL OASIS’ COURSE. Where do I find out more information?
A. To find more information that will help you to decide if the course is right for you, please click here.

Q. How do I register for the ‘Hot Mess to Cool Oasis’ Course?
A. Registration opens soon. Be the first to know when it’s open here.

Listening with Heart
Cindi Rivera, MFT Marriage, Family Therapist
www.cindiriveratherapy.com
criveramft@gmail.com
(510) 482-4445

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