Would you like to learn some strategies and techniques designed to help people act with more confidence, be genuine and assertive, handle conflict productively, change unhelpful thinking habits, cultivate compassion, and ultimately live a life that is directed by meaningful actions? If so, then I offer to you the option of a retreat, a half-day, small group experience. Here is how it works.
Social engagement is our most evolved stress strategy for keeping ourselves feeling calm and safe, as compared to the less evolved strategy of the fight-or-flight response. Interacting socially with other people (e.g., making eye contact, listening in an attentive way, feeling understood, etc.) can help us think and feel clearly. Mindfulness is the process of cultivating awareness of the mind and body in order to be fully present with whatever is happening in the moment and without filters or the lens of judgment.
Low awareness of the mind and body can lead to getting caught up in thoughts and feelings. Being “hooked” by certain thoughts and feelings can result in disengaging from others and from our lives. In particular, the more we try to hold on to positive and avoid negative thoughts and feelings, the more we get entangled in them, and the farther we distance ourselves from the things that matter to us.
Gather with others to create a retreat where you can combine social engagement and mindfulness to counteract the stress of trying to control your experience all of the time. Take time for you. Tend to the areas of your life where you want to increase your sense of satisfaction. Connect with others and with yourself. Just be here now, accept what is, and see new options.
There is one retreat a quarter, each going for about four hours. You are welcome to bring your own snacks. Each retreat includes education, exercises, and mindfulness practices from Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. The intention is that learning, practicing, and discussing new behaviors will empower you to try these behaviors in your life. The concepts vary. Show up and see what happens!