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The Prairie Files II – Meeting in Mindfulness

There was an added support meeting tonight in Calgary, AB. I love these meetings. They have been going on for over 2 years now – specifically created and tailored for our clientele. It’s a Friday night in Calgary and I wasn’t sure who or how many would be attending. I had a guesstimate, but that’s about it.

As we walked closer to the room I could hear men’s voices, loud, clear, and distinctive. I knew at that moment that I couldn’t wait to see who was in the room! The board room was big, spacious, and had great chairs (chairs matter if anyone has to sit in one for long).

It may sound strange, and I hope it doesn’t, but it’s kind of like going home for Christmas. You see people you haven’t seen in a while, and you get to enjoy hugs and in each new memory, or roll of laughter, or words vulnerably shared, is kind of like unwrapping a present (for me anyway).

The room keeps filling. The door keeps swinging. The faces familiar and smiling keep appearing. To watch the interaction of the guys who attended our alcohol treatment and drug rehab program together is priceless – I’d give money to share these moments over and over again. Men keep piling in and the roar of the voices continues to grow. Gotta move over, there’s not enough room.

Carissa, our head facilitator, runs the Calgary group and let me tell you she runs it well. We check-in, we share, there is honesty, and there is truth. The dialogue flows and we get to this place where we talk about mindfulness. We talk about the stresses of life and that they are normal. That there is an axis of ups and downs throughout our day. What matters is how we manage these stressors or ups and downs. Insert more mindfulness here. Insert pausing before reacting here.

The meeting ran for 2 straight hours. It would have and could have gone longer had it not been reeled in. That’s when you know it’s good – time doesn’t matter. There is no gap of space or waste of time, but endless opportunities for growth.

I can’t quite explain the depth of tonight’s meeting because sometimes finding the right words to the feeling is impossible. I walked away tonight with a head full of insight and clarity, a heart full of love and gratitude, and a few new tools in the tool shed.

Be mindful. Train your brain. Find your pause button. Love yourself. Get to know yourself better. Be honest. Share. Community. These are only a handful of things that I pulled from tonight’s meetings and that is simply incredible to me.

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