Note from Louisa
You may have noticed a current of change at CML with a new website and some new programming being offered this fall. With change always comes the complex dance of joy and fear. I find myself excited about stepping into new spaces where everything isn’t quite so known, not yet fixed. On the other hand, we always step into the unknown with a bit of trepidation and nostalgia for what was more routine or rote. It always takes some time for the dust of renovation to settle.

Perhaps this is why we shy away from change? It takes work and energy that we may not believe we have. We are leaving behind what is known, what feels safe and familiar, even if it no longer meets our needs, in service of a future that is not yet quite formed. Giving up the “sure thing” that no longer serves in the hopes of a future that may better suit our needs is hard.

The adventurous among us may see the opportunity for creativity, curiosity, and discovery. Those of us who feel more beleaguered or depleted may bemoan the fact that yet one more thing is shifting under our feet. Nothing solid to stand on. Again.

This is the definition of growth though, isn’t it? We must shed the old skin when it no longer fits or risk being trapped inside, forever bound in an old form. If the caterpillar does not submit to the utter annihilation of the cocoon, she would not discover the beauty of being a butterfly. If we do not molt, our plumage becomes ragged and we can no longer take flight. Change is necessary. Growth can be scary. But to stay stagnant is to perish.

It takes courage to look beyond the liminal space of change. I always find humor in knowing that the fearsome new step of today will eventually become the archaic thing in need of being discarded tomorrow. That cycle again… Birth. Death. Rebirth.

What is trying to be birthed in you right now? How might you be resisting that change? Who can stand beside you as you take that scary step? 

In the meantime, as we adapt to what is new, we are so grateful for your patience as we work to revamp the remote access to our online meditation programming. It has taken a level of persistence and calm that would be puzzling to a digital native, but for this digital immigrant, let’s just say that I am glad of my self-compassion practice.
Blessings on your journey, 
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth on Dundee Day. It was a hot one! And a special thanks to all who contributed to our community art project! 

Our finished Gratitude Garland was comprised of many incredible individual gratitude ribbons and will be on display at in the CML meditation hall for the next few weeks. 

It was such a delight sharing in all the thankfulness and love, and hearing all the stories that found their way on to those ribbons! What a perfect opportunity to express our gratitude for you and the community you help create at CML!


Please join us for these hybrid opportunities for practice:

  • Wednesday Morning Sitting Group - 8:15 am to 9:00 am
  • Mindfulness Study Group – First and Third Sundays 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

These offerings will allow for both in-person at The Center for Mindful Living and virtual attendance on Zoom. All other sitting groups remain virtual at this time. We will be offering several in-person programs this winter (please see below) and will continue to monitor the ongoing public health situation. 

Thank you for your help and understanding in keeping our community healthy and safe!
Daily Silent Meditation             
8:15 - 9:00 am
Monday - Friday Morning

Guided Meditation
1:15 - 1:45 pm          
Tuesday Afternoon
Leaving the Soltane Forest:
The Fox Woman, An Innuit Tale
October 27th – October 29th (Please Note: New Dates)

The Intuit myth of the Fox Woman will guide our first magical journey of discovery in this series of resilience building workshops. Join us for a weekend of exploration, art making, and ritual to help you reclaim the parts of yourself that you have exiled in order to feel loved. This workshop is for you if you are:
  • feeling uninspired, inhibited, and drained
  • struggling with the balance discipline and spontaneity in your life
  • working so hard at caring for others that you forget what it means to care for yourself
  • trying to find a lost version of yourself that once felt uninhibited and free
  • allowing others to define who you are — even though it’s not who you see yourself at all
  • are interested in personal growth but not necessarily therapy
The work we do together on this weekend-long, enchanted journey will have lasting impact, but don’t worry— you don’t need any prior experience with myth, art making, or therapy to take part in this workshop.
Click here for more information.
Click here to register.
*Save $25 if you register by October 8th*
Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy
A Two-Hour Workshop
Facilitated by Dr. Hillary Rubesin
Saturday, November 18th 2:00 pm to 4:00pm
Come join Dr. Hillary Rubesin for an introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy. During this 2-hour workshop, participants will learn more about the field--the theories behind the practice, the different populations typically served, and the ways in which professionals of various backgrounds can ethically incorporate arts-based healing within their own work. Participants will have the chance to engage in different arts-based practices throughout the workshop. No prior arts experience is necessary! Just come willing to play and to be surprised by what emerges.

Tuition: $36 until November 9th. $45 after November 9th.
Click here to register.
This workshop is offered as the first in a series of introductory offerings for those interested in learning more about Expressive Arts Therapy. Save the Date for our future offerings in this series:

February 10th, 2024 Introduction to Psychodrama & The Empty Chair
April 13th, 2024 Introduction to Art Therapy 
Mindfulness Study Group
Facilitated Online and In-Person by Laura Crosby
First and Third Sunday of the month from 4pm to 6pm

Everyone is welcome and invited to join as the group explores mindfulness teachings and practices with two uniquely inspiring works:
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
“…the classic manual on the art of living, written in a style of gemlike lucidity, radiant with humor and grace and large-heartedness and deep wisdom: one of the wonders of the world.” — Stephen Mitchell
Emptiness, A Practical Guide for Meditators by Guy Armstrong
“…with this wonderfully clear book, [Armstrong] invites us to consider and practice different approaches, all of which lead to our own deepening and freeing realization of the nature of awareness and its intrinsic emptiness -- and to the manifestation of compassion in our lives.” — Joseph Goldstein

A reminder that Mindfulness Study Group is freely offered, with no registration necessary and drop-ins welcome. We read together, discussing each section and practicing together as we go. This means no homework!

The “Being Human” Podcast
with Jenna Lopez

Jenna is taking a well-deserved break this month, busy dreaming up new, human conversation topics for upcoming episodes.

If you would like to submit a question, share a story or strategy, please send your contributions here:
Systems Upon Systems
By Pamela Mueggenberg, MA, LMHP
I have been deep diving into neurobiology podcasts lately. Listening to neuroscientists, neurologists, and neuropsychiatrists talking about the squishy stuff between our ears has been a fascinating distraction from more concrete endeavors (should I tackle insurance billing or have scientists explain glial cells to me? Hmmm!). I am also learning more about just how entangled our brains are, how infinitely complex these systems are, and how little I know about how our beautiful, transcendent machine of a body experiences and navigates the world.
You may have heard of Polyvagal Theory, popularized by Bessel Van Der Kolk in his breakout book The Body Keeps the Score. The idea explores our vagus nerve, one of our cranial nerves that begins in the base of the brain and then goes basically everywhere in our body. It traces along our digestive tract, encircles our kidneys and stomach, tells our heart to slow down or speed up, even travels up our neck through our jaw and over our ears. 
Polyvagal theorists believe that as we navigate the world different bands in our vagus nerve are activated to provide connection, protection, or shutting us down when things get to be too much. If we can exercise or activate the vagus nerve and heal our relationship with it, then perhaps we are better able to heal from trauma, stress, and disconnection.
Polyvagal Theory has fundamentally transformed how people think about trauma. Being able to embody security, focus on connection, and regain a sense of safety through the lens of this theory can make my work as a therapist be much more effective. However, clinicians are ethically obligated to follow the science and since the theory has been in practice, research has shown that there is much, much more to the story.
Working with the vagus nerve, we have systems upon systems that are providing a fuller picture of how we feel, how we think, and how we believe the world to be. The cannabinoidal system. The serotinergic system. The HPA axis. The gut-brain axis. The vestibular system. The limbic system. 
All these systems talk to themselves and each other, and all of them can be pushed off-kilter when we have difficult experiences. We can begin the journey of healing through this major pathway of the vagus nerve, but we need to understand how our thoughts, our medication, our diet, our sleep-wake cycles, our hormones and loads of other variables have to be addressed. 
We can think of ourselves in discrete parts: the brain, the heart, the gut, the soul. To do so would be turning away from the more complicated, messier, and far more interesting idea that we are music. There are so many instruments, contributing their song to create a vast orchestral piece. We cannot focus on, say, just the violins and declare us treated. Rather, we need to find a harmony within them, make sure they’re all in tune, and thus find peace in ourselves.