Posted by the JF&CS Events Team
On September 19, Audrey Schuster and Melissa Weiner Janfaza hosted 20 women at Melissa's home for a workshop led by Peggy Kaufman, founding director of the Center for Early Relationship Support® (CERS), entitled "Mindfulness in our Work and our Lives."
Peggy led the group in a discussion about mindfulness in our own lives and how it is becoming a theme in the groundbreaking and innovative work that CERS offers families. She shared that the greatest challenge of achieving awareness is that our minds "have a mind of their own." They are often busy focusing on what just happened or what is to come or all the "what ifs" that we contemplate. Mindfulness is about being able to recognize our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment in the moment.
At this workshop, Peggy taught participants to recognize an experience as it is happening, accept and acknowledge the experience, investigate with curiosity and compassion to gain perspective, name the feelings present, and then engage with new self-awareness. Daily strategies were also shared to help focus and build enhanced awareness.
Mindfulness is becoming an ongoing part of the CERS practice with staff and volunteers. Research on mindfulness shows significant health benefits. The practice can change the brain, help us focus, and enhance relationships. Enhancing the relationship between parent and child is the ultimate goal in the work of CERS.