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Engaging in Mindfulness

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Engaging in Mindfulness

Renee will lead you in two short mindfulness practices. Try some short mindfulness practices to engage in the present moment, this small gratitude and loving kindness practice to help you be more mindful.  We’ve also included “6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today” by Alfred James.

6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today

By Alfred James

In this busy world of ours, the mind is constantly pulled from pillar to post, scattering our thoughts and emotions and leaving us feeling stressed, highly-strung and at times quite anxious. Most of us don’t have five minutes to sit down and relax, let alone 30 minutes or more for a meditation session. But it is essential for our wellbeing to take a few minutes each day to cultivate mental spaciousness and achieve a positive mind-body balance.

So if you are a busy bee like me, you can use these simple mindfulness exercises to empty your mind and find some much-needed calm amidst the madness of your hectic day. I’m going to cover 6 exercises that take very little effort and can be done pretty much anywhere at any time:

  1. Mindful breathing
  2. Mindful observation
  3. Mindful awareness
  4. Mindful listening
  5. Mindful immersion
  6. Mindful appreciation

Let’s get started…

  1. Mindful Breathing – This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time. All you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute. 1. Start by breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for approximately 6 seconds. 2. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body. 3. Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath. www.pocketmindfulness.com 2 4. Purposefully watch your breath, focusing your sense of awareness on its pathway as it enters your body and fills you with life. 5. Then watch with your awareness as it works work its way up and out of your mouth and its energy dissipates into the world. If you are someone who thought they’d never be able to meditate, guess what? You are half way there already! If you enjoyed one minute of this mind-calming exercise, why not try two or three?

 

  1. Mindful Observation – This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps you notice and appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment in a more profound way. The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment, something that is easily missed when we are rushing around in the car or hopping on and off trains on the way to work. 1. Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon. 2. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows. 3. Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time. 4. Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence. 5. Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.

 

  1. Mindful Awareness – This exercise is designed to cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they achieve. Think of something that happens every day more than once; something you take for granted, like opening a door, for example. www.pocketmindfulness.com 3 At the very moment you touch the doorknob to open the door, stop for a moment and be mindful of where you are, how you feel in that moment and where the door will lead you. Similarly, the moment you open your computer to start work, take a moment to appreciate the hands that enable this process and the brain that facilitates your understanding of how to use the computer. These ‘touch point’ cues don’t have to be physical ones. For example: Each time you think a negative thought, you might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and release the negativity. Or, perhaps each time you smell food, you take a moment to stop and appreciate how lucky you are to have good food to eat and share with your family and friends. Choose a touch point that resonates with you today and, instead of going through your daily motions on autopilot, take occasional moments to stop and cultivate purposeful awareness of what you are doing and the blessings these actions brings to your life.

 

  1. Mindful Listening – This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way, and indeed to train your mind to be less swayed by the influence of past experiences and preconception. So much of what we “feel” is influenced by past experience: For example, we may dislike a song because it reminds of us of a breakup or another period of life when things felt negative. So the idea of this exercise is to listen to some music from a neutral standpoint, with a present awareness that is unhindered by preconception. Select a piece of music you have never heard before. You may have something in your own collection that you have never listened to, or you might choose to turn the radio dial until something catches your ear. 1. Close your eyes and put on your headphones. 2. Try not to get drawn into judging the music by its genre, title or artist name before it has begun. Instead, ignore any labels and neutrally allow yourself to get lost in the journey of sound for the duration of the song. www.pocketmindfulness.com 4 3. Allow yourself to explore every aspect of track. Even if the music isn’t to your liking at first, let go of your dislike and give your awareness full permission to climb inside the track and dance among the sound waves. 4. Explore the song by listening to the dynamics of each instrument. Separate each sound in your mind and analyze each one by one. 5. Hone in on the vocals: the sound of the voice, its range and tones. If there is more than one voice, separate them out as you did in step 4. The idea is to listen intently, to become fully entwined with the composition without preconception or judgment of the genre, artist, lyrics or instrumentation. Don’t think; hear.

 

  1. Mindful Immersion– The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in the moment and escape the persistent striving we find ourselves caught up in on a daily basis. Rather than anxiously wanting to finish an everyday routine task in order to get on with doing something else, take that regular routine and fully experience it like never before. For example: if you are cleaning your house, pay attention to every detail of the activity. Rather than treat this as a regular chore, create an entirely new experience by noticing every aspect of your actions: Feel and become the motion when sweeping the floor, sense the muscles you use when scrubbing the dishes, develop a more efficient way of wiping the windows clean. The idea is to get creative and discover new experiences within a familiar routine task. Instead of labouring through and constantly thinking about finishing the task, become aware of every step and fully immerse yourself in the progress. Take the activity beyond a routine by aligning yourself with it physically, mentally and spiritually. Who knows, you might even enjoy the cleaning for once!

 

  1. Mindful Appreciation – In this last exercise, all you have to do is notice 5 things in your day that usually go unappreciated. These things can be objects or people; it’s up to you. Use a notepad to check off 5 by the end of the day. The point of this exercise is to simply give thanks and appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life, the things that support our existence but rarely get a second thought amidst our desire for bigger and better things. For example: electricity powers your kettle, the postman delivers your mail, your clothes provide you warmth, your nose lets you smell the flowers in the park, your ears let you hear the birds in the tree by the bus stop, but…
  • Do you know how these things/processes came to exist, or how they really work?
  • Have you ever properly acknowledged how these things benefit your life and the lives of others?
  • Have you ever thought about what life might be like without these things?
  • Have you ever stopped to notice their finer, more intricate details?
  • Have you ever sat down and thought about the relationships between these things and how together they play an interconnected role in the functioning of the earth?

Once you have identified your 5 things, make it your duty to find out everything you can about their creation and purpose to truly appreciate the way in which they support your life. For more advanced mindfulness exercises, and two 30-minute meditation music mp3s… Click here to read more about my bestselling book. Copyright © Alfred James. If you would like to reproduce this content in part or full, please contact [email protected]

So many losses to cope with

Red Deer Primary Care Network (RDPCN) is a partnership between Family Doctors and Alberta Health Services. Health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and pharmacists work in clinics alongside family doctors. In addition, programs and groups are offered at the RDPCN central location. This improves access to care, health promotion, chronic disease management and coordination of care. RDPCN is proud of the patient care offered, the effective programs it has designed and the work it does with partners in health care and the community. www.reddeerpcn.com

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Central Alberta

Two days left to join “Wine Survivor” for The Lending Cupboard! Join a team or make your own

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TLC SURVIVOR CHALLENGE IS BACK – WITH A TWIST!

WHAT IS IT?

A game of elimination with the potential to win lots of wine & more! That’s right this time around we have added a twist! Wine not your thing, maybe its craft beer or a favorite spirit? This year the winners will be awarded liquor store gift cards so they can make their own choice!

WHAT CAN YOU WIN?

NEW THIS YEAR!! As a team member, you have TEN chances to win a boat- load of wine, spirits and more! In the end the winners get to choose.

HOW DOES TLC WIN?

Fifty percent of the registration fee supports TLC!

HOW DO YOU PLAY?

Join a team or pick 5 friends and start your own team. Each team must appoint a Team Captain who will keep the other team members informed.

Each team must have 6 members and they will give their team a fun name. TLC will assign each team member their own unique number once we receive the Team Registration Form.

Your team will not be registered until ALL team members have submitted their $40 registration fee. No exceptions!

Your team captain will collect your money and email addresses.

Your registration fee and email address must be submitted to your team captain no later than Wednesday, October 21st, 2020. (Challenge launch date is Friday, September 18th, 2020)

All teams must be registered, paid in full and delivered to TLC no later than Wednesday, October 21, 2020 (TLC is opened Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00am to 4:30pm).

You can increase your odds of winning by joining more than one team! Just remember that you will need to pay the $40 registration fee each time you join a team.

HOW DO YOU WIN?

This is a game of elimination – YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR NAME/ NUMBER TO BE DRAWN!

Draws will begin on Monday, October 26th, 2020 and will be held daily until the final draws are made on Friday, October 30th, 2020.

The team Captains will receive an email each draw day showing the standing of each team. The team captain will then forward the information on to their individual team members.

As long as one member of your team remains you are still in the game – you have six chances to win!

The first team to be eliminated will be our “Biggest Losers” and each team member will receive two $20 liquor store gift card.

EXAMPLE:

Based on 100 teams entering:

The Biggest Loser = each team member will receive 2 gift cards ($240 team value) 9th Place Finish = each team member will receive 4 gift cards ($480 team value)
8th Place Finish = each team member will receive 5 gift cards ($600 team value)
7th Place Finish = each team member will receive 6 gift cards ($720 team value)
6th Place Finish = each team member will receive 8 gift cards ($960 team value)
5th Place Finish = each team member will receive 10 gift cards ($1,200 team value) 4th Place Finish = each team member will receive 12 gift cards ($1,440 team value) 3rd Place Finish = each team member will receive 14 gift cards ($1,680 team value) 2nd Place Finish = each team member will receive 16 gift cards ($1,920 team value) Final Surviors

1st Place Finish = each team member will receive 23 gift cards ($2,760 team value)

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We hope to have a minimum of 100 teams involved but of course the more teams the larger the prize so connect with your family, friends and colleagues.

Please spread the word and let’s see how many teams we can put together for this great cause!

TEAM LEADER INSTRUCTION SHEET

Thank you for putting together a team(s) for The Lending Cupboard’s Survivor fundraiser. The more teams that we have, the larger the prize AND the more money The Lending Cupboard (TLC) receives to further support our community!

The following is a list of the things that are required of you as the Team Captain in your group of six people:

  • You and your members should pick a fun name for your team. Put this name in the designated spot on the registration form, along with your name as Team Captain.
  • Make sure you have correct email addresses for all team members as this is the way that you will communicate.
  • Please collect $40 from each team member.
  • The $240 total team entrance fee can be paid via cash, debit, Visa or MasterCard or cheque made payable to The Lending Cupboard.
  • If paying by debit, Visa or MasterCard – it might be easier for you as team captain to have your members pay you, than you could pay TLC via your desired card.
  • Team members need to have their money to you by Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at the latest (the sooner the better). Once you have collected the registration fees you must deliver the full package to The Lending Cupboard by Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at the latest. We are open Monday, Wednesday & Friday from 9:00am to 4:30pm for drop off. Please ask for Dawna, Janice or Kathy when you do your drop off.
  • Each team member will be assigned their own unique ticket number and you, as team captain, will be emailed a copy of your teams’ registration form with your team’s assigned numbers on it.
  • Once the draws start on October 26th, 2020 as team captain you will be mailed the results after each draw – you can then forward the results onto your team members so they can follow along.
  • The final draw date is Friday, October 30th, 2020. This is the day that the winners will be announced! If your team is a winning team, you will be notified of the date and location where you will be presented all the cards that your team has won!

    If you have any questions or concerns, please email one of the following:

    Dawna Morey

    [email protected]

    Janice Shimek

    [email protected]

    Kathy Cole

    [email protected]

THE BIGGEST WINNER is THE LENDING CUPBOARD AND OUR COMMUNITY!!

AGLC Lic. #564352
Good Luck and Thank You for Supporting The Lending Cupboard!

Why Support The Lending Cupboard?

The Lending Cupboard is a registered charity that provides equipment to enhance quality of life by maintaining mobility, independence and dignity to people in Central Alberta. Since 2006 The Lending Cupboard (TLC) has been providing medical equipment to those who need it. Whether your needs are short term or long term, minor or more serious, we are here to help.

We lend out medical equipment for: extreme sports injuries, those recovering from illness or surgery, end of care, children, youth and adults, senior citizens.

Equipment available through the TLC: Air cast, bed rails, bath chairs, bath lifts, commodes, toilet risers, crutches & canes, hydraulic lifts, toilet safety rails, transport chairs, walkers, wheelchairs, super poles, roho cushions.

 

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#RedDeerStrong

The Ross Street Patio – A Summer to Remember

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“If you wish to make a space safe and vibrant you must occupy that space.”

If you happened to visit the Ross Street Patio installation over the summer, you likely would have seen just that; a vibrancy that was created through positive, collaborative engagement. 

 

  The Ross Street Patio installation has been a mainstay in Red Deer’s downtown for close to a decade. The area, located on the north lanes of Ross Street adjacent to the Cenotaph Park offers beautiful greenery in the form of planters, flowers and trees as well as patio tables with umbrellas and benches. Each year the City of Red Deer with the support of the Downtown Business Association create this lovely space for citizens to gather and enjoy a coffee or snack, enjoy programming in the form of live music and other entertainment, and take in the sights and sounds of a more bustling city centre. 

  The summer of 2020 saw a massive increase in foot traffic to the area, possibly more than any summers in the past. The spring was a time of uncertainty for many of the businesses in the area, and the restaurants in the area were making preparations to open their doors to the public after being closed for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Restaurants and bars were given the green light to reopen their doors in late May and by early June most had.

   Over the course of the following few weeks, these businesses began setting up their own patios within the boundaries of the Ross St. Patio. Tribe, Tacoloft, Occam’s Razor, and The Velvet Olive Lounge/Capitol Package Store are all very different food and beverage joints with one thing in common: they were all neighbors sharing the same uncertainty. 

   And then, it happened. What began as a conversation on the patio with Kyle Key, owner of the Olive and the Capitol Package Store, and musician Paeton Cameron, and a few others, became what would be remembered as one of the greatest summers on the Ross Street Patio to date.

   The Velvet Olive had previously been “the spot” for live music downtown. With open mic nights for musicians to have space to show off their talents, and other live music events weekly. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic these live music venues were prohibited from showcasing live music inside their establishments, leaving musicians with essentially nowhere to play, and left music lovers longing to hear live music again. 

 “Let’s do it outside.” 

   It was a thought, then a conversation, and then it was happening. On a warm Thursday night, Kyle, Paeton, and friends put up a tent directly in front of the restaurants, plugged in a couple speakers, and invited musicians to sign up for the first ever “Open Mic Night” – outdoors, on the Ross Street Patio. It didn’t take long before the people began to gather, safely and respectfully, to listen to the live music they had been starved of for months. And it didn’t take long for the other businesses to see the benefits and reap the rewards. By the following Thursday, Tribe, Tacoloft, and Occam’s Razor all offered to support the live music by pitching in on costs, promotions, and maintaining the space. Before long there were up to 3 live music events per week that were programmed by the businesses. This was in addition to the programming created by the DBA and made the Ross Street Patio the most popular space in town. And the businesses all reported a remarkable increase in foot traffic and sales as a result of its popularity. Over the next few months the area had garnered such attention that photographers and film crews began attending to document the successes, and the citizens of Red Deer were calling to make reservations at the establishments, sometimes weeks in advance. 

  One of the last great events to take place on the “Ross Street Stage” was a collaboration between the 4 businesses, four breweries, and 11 local musicians. The “Save Our Stages – Originals Open Mic” night on Sept 18 was broadcast live over the internet. Each of the 11 musicians was invited to play 3 songs, all originals, to the excited crowd that filled the seats of the businesses’ patios and the Ross Street Patio seating. Filmed and broadcast by the team at Hot Shoe Studio the event was a huge success, culminating in a show of support by the local RCMP. As the sun set, approx 10-12 RCMP patrol vehicles slowly passed the Ross Street Patio with lights flashing and sirens sounding as a salute to the citizens of Red Deer and the businesses for doing their part to make the downtown safe and vibrant, by occupying that space. The cheers were deafening, and the tears of joy were real. What a summer, and what a city.

 Thanks to the City of Red Deer for providing the space. Thanks to the Downtown Business Association for the support and additional programming. Thanks to the businesses for breaking down their silos and working together for the greater cause. And thanks to the citizens of Red Deer for showing up, supporting local, and being generally good in the world. 

I’ve never been more proud to be a Red Deerian, and I can’t wait for next summer. 

To watch the full Originals Open Mic video click here: https://youtu.be/8fzMIT8pIyE

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