On Wednesday, November 20, we hosted Erika Long, co-Founder of the Community Mindfulness Project (CMP) for a fascinating in-person Pathway Session. During the session, Erika went through a number of concepts about the power of mindfulness. Among the ideas were these: 1) Taking deep breaths sends a signal to the brain that we are safe; 2) We have the power to re-wire our brains throughout our lives; and 3) Wishing an end to someone’s struggle boosts are own resilience (even the person who cut you off in traffic.)
Erika covered the 3 buckets of human needs, which are Safety, Satisfaction and Connection. She gave us a few book recommentations, including Hardwiring Happiness by Rick Hanson, and his new book, Resilient.
Erika covered brain science several times, including breaking the brain down into medial (concerned with I/me/my future, my past) and lateral (being part of something bigger) sections.
We participated in a few short meditations, and Erika was extremely helpful with suggestions for using mindfulness to reduce stress and improve sleep. Her favorite meditation tracks (on the CMP website) are included here: 10-Minute Breathing meditation, 5-Minute Loving Kindness meditation, and Taking 10 meditation.
Other books that Erika recommends include: Peak Mind, by Amishi Jha, PhD, Search Inside Yourself, Cheng-Meng Tan, Good Morning, I Love You, Shauna Shapiro, PhD. Among podcasts, she’s a fan of Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris.
To conclude, Erika and CMP are great partners not just for our parents but also for our loved ones who struggle. In the past, Erika led our Vigil attendees in a Mindful Moment before the candlelight ceremony. We will continue to rely on CMP for tools that support self-care, personal growth and recovery. We are lucky to have this non-profit in our community.