Energy, Family, Service. We all have our own values, beliefs and intentions, and perhaps these specific concepts make up the core of your life. While we are all made beautiful by our pursuit of unique passions, there are certain timeless values that commonly weave their threads into our life tapestries, and it is hard to ignore these virtuous three: Energy, Family, Service. Beneath the “trunk” of Energy lies an unimaginable network of “roots” encompassing the practices of nutrition, sleep, exercise, stress management, time in nature, bathing in sunlight, completing a goal as part of your greater intention- the list could go on and on. Moving into another “forest” Family we find again another web of connections far beyond the technically genetic. From sisters and brothers to fathers and mothers, adopted siblings and friends who spend more time at your home than some of your siblings, and even the stray dog or cat you took in from the local SPCA, the forest of family is an enchanting one where the possibility for nourishing connection is endless. Not to be outdone, the value Service speaks to our greater intention, our higher purpose, our passion to create a more joyful world for others. We do not need to list the infinite number of ways one can serve, so we will leave you with a powerful reflection from one of the greatest “serviceman” our country has ever known:
“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
Energy, Family, Service. Put another way, Self-Care, Support, Selflessness. Whatever your values, whatever your language, whatever your purpose, we hope you find this message inspiring, some food for thought, a spark for the soul.
Have a wonderful week!
The Weekly Drop In Fall Schedule is complete. In the meantime, we encourage you to pursue your own personal practice. We have provided a suggested practice schedule below.

Daily Personal Practice Suggestions

Example Day 1

10-15 Minute Yoga Practice Focusing on setting an intention for the day

20 minute mindful lunchtime walk 

10-15 minute Mindfulness Meditation

Example Day 2

5 minutes of reflective deep breathing

20 minute mindful, silent meal

15-20 minute Compassion Meditation

Example Day 3

10-15 minutes of T'ai Chi

20 minute conversation over a meal, coffee, tea with a close friend

10 minutes of reflective writing, gratitude journalling, etc

Each of these days provide on average 45 minutes of reflective, connection! While for many of us the idea of having a dedicated 45 minutes at any given time to give to such practices would seem completely unrealistic, the summation of multiple reflective "snacks" can arguably provided a much more nourishing meal


Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb.


Little tree
Little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don't be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i'll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you're quite dressed
you'll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they'll stare!
oh but you'll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we'll dance and sing
"Noel Noel"
e.e. cummings


Returning to the always entertaining TedTalk platform, our “Watching Wholeness” video this week comes form Caroline McHugh as part of a Tedx event in Milton Keynes, England. In this beautifully touching talk, McHugh shares her perspective on the empowering process of freeing oneself from the isolating confines of a socially imposed identity. We encourage you if you have 25 minutes, to listen in to McHugh’s words as she opens a door for you to walk your own way, and perhaps, even more importantly, opens a door for you to make such a walk possible for someone else. Enjoy the talk!

The Art of Being Yourself
Caroline McHugh


 Our “Words for the Heart” take us into an exploration of the “coincidence”, the “beyond reasonably explainable by chance.” As part of the blog author Nicos Hadjicostis shares his own personal experience of explaining the unexplainable, of discovering a deeper meaning to a sequence of events and feeling a visceral sense of gratitude for this “secret” personal message imparted during apparently random circumstances.
His beautiful summary of gratefulness is a must read

"Gratefulness. An indescribable feeling of thankfulness appeared spontaneously, not only because the gift of this unique event was given to me, but also because I was simply Alive.
We hope you enjoy the rest of his thoughtful reflection."

Just For Me
Nicos Hadjicostis


Coming from the angels working at the Charlottesville based peer support group “On Your Own” we share a wonderful story for our “Inspiration for the Heart” that speaks to the possibilities for creating healing, wholeness and a relief of suffering from debilitating psychosocial afflictions, all with a the simple act of being human. Connecting back to our message last week on the value of truly listening, this piece offers further evidence for the tremendous need of safe spaces to share one’s story, but also paints a picture of hope into how nourishing such a welcoming and wholesome place can truly be. Enjoy! 

A Surprising Low-Cost Treatment for Depression
Sandy Hauman
NPR IQ Radio


Paul Sills
Enjoy the weekly events and continue to share your passions with all those you encounter.
All the best,
Compassionate Awareness and Living Mindfully (C.A.L.M.)
A Student Led Initiative striving to provide an opportunity, for those who seek it, to live compassionately and practice mindfulness in all aspects of life
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