Being Your Own Best Friend:Booting Anxiety & Building Compassion


Being Your Own Best Friend:Booting Anxiety & Building Compassion

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The rose doesn’t strive to be beautiful. It just opens.

This is one of series of Calm Chicago Chill Out sessions, which bring very small groups of people together for self care, listening to each other and ourselves, healing, and exploring the possibilities of living fully, authenitcally and from a sense of grounded peace and interconnection. The cost is low to make it super accessible. I invirte you to join in right away while there’s still spots.

We’ve all seen thos folks who always seem calm no matter what’s going on, right? Whether it’s in the midst of some crazy crazy weather, or a major deadline at work, or the El has broken down and sitting on the tracks forever, or dealing with major medical or health stuff. They just seem to be able to surf through it. While we are quietly or not so quietly cursing and secretly hating them, and knowing that for sure, we sish that was us but that we are the sort of person who is not CALM or self possessed and never will be.

If anxiety (social or otherwise) is a thing in your life and you’re tired of that being so; if you’ve heard about the importance of self care and compassion but can’t seem to get any, this workshop is for you.

Abiding calm and self love are not things that we can just wave a wand and BOOM, you have infinite amounts of them but you can learn how to cultivate them through simple practices that you can do at home, in the bathroom, in the car, on the El, everywhere you are in your day to day life. We’ll use tools from mindfulness, yoga and positive psychology, to give you the direct experience of learning how to get better at dealing with anxiety and bulding up your self love so that you can really become your own best friend. You’ll leave knowing how to practice these outside of class so that you can keep building those skills and feeling stronger and better day by day.

You will learn:
We’ll take these 2.5 hours to focus on supporting and encouraging you with specific exercises to help you feel better right here and now and making sure you know how to take the practices home with you with confidence.

How to practice simple awareness that bring you back to the moment with love
How to practice “on the fly”
How to identify what makes you feel great and get more of that good stuff
How to give yourself love and then spread that around to help create peace inside and out in the world
Quick tips for pausing amidst the chaos of life and emotions

Who should come to this?
You. Anyone who wants to be able to be able handle lifes inevitable ups and downs with more grace and ease; wants to feel safer, shappier, stronger no matter what is going on.

Who’s teaching this?
Hillary Johnson is a photographer and mindfulness and creativity coach who’s been leading retreats and helping people feel better and companies work better since 2008. She’s into travel and helping people feel authentic interconnection between themselves and all things. Also border collies, cattle dogs and bicycling.

Register with PayPal to: calmchcago at gmail dot com
$15.00

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Kneeling Youth at AFI


What are we to make of Belgian artist George Minne’s solitary kneeling youth and how might contemplating this work illuminate something of our own condition? 
You notice the little card doesn’t help us much. 

Let’s discover together at the next Art for Introverts (AFI). Get your tickets here!

See you at the museum!

Art Balances Us


Rise and shine art lovers! 

There’s still time to register for my class on Saturday at the Art Institute of Chicago, in which we might figure out how this piece of art, this lovely painting of a young woman with a book, sitting quietly might help us ourselves to find a way to be rebalanced from the stresses of everyday life. 

Perhaps she reminds us that it’s good to sit down and step away from the news, to turn off our digital media. 

The directness of her gaze might indicate that she’s speaking straight to us, inviting us to enjoy even a moment of solitary contemplation perhaps with a good book. 

Because certainly with the work schedules that we all keep, the challenges of trying to strike a work/life balance, we could use a little help seeking balance. Couldn’t we? 

I hope you’ll join us. 

Here’s the link for tickets.

 #artastherapy #artforintroverts #artinstituteofchicago #ArtInChicago #ArtAsTherapeuticExperience #learningtosee #alaindebotton #chicago #LadyBoss #entrepreneur #carpediem #ilovemuseums #chicagocreatives #artbalances

4 Ways Meditation Changed Her Life 


Something that makes me super happy in working with my coaching clients individually or in groups, is when people are able to identify for themselves the many positive influences and benefits that formal meditation and (less formal) mindfulness practices, bring into their lives. 
It’s so exciting when people can see for themselves the many profound changes that they’ve experienced. 


Today one of my wonderful clients was able to identify for keyways and what her life was better: 

1. Able to deal in healthy ways with school and relationship challenges 

2. Able to remain more focused and less distracted by worry or anxiety 

3. Increased overall social engagement and wellness 

4. Emotional intelligence has increased significantly, resulting in much more emotional control and resiliency. 


One of the things that I think is so important to keep in mind, and I feel like it’s a niche that my work really occupies, is that frequently people think mindfulness is another item to check off a to do list. 

It’s not! 

It’s something that can be a seamless part of everything we do enhancing our happiness and appreciation every day of our lives. 

There’s only one thing we can control in life and that is our reaction to what’s going on. Mindfulness can help us to drop the catastrophe brain and be happier no matter what.

Wishing smooth sailing to all.


#Mindfulness #Meditation #Happiness #EmotionalIntelligence #Resiliency #Chicago #HappyChicago #onelife #CalmChicago #metta #eyeoftheheart #everydaygratitude #ChicagoCoaching #ChicagoLifeCoach #ChicagoCreativityCoach #SpringTimeReboot #SelfCare #SelfLove

Free 1st Saturday Community Meditation


Are you feeling stressed, trying to balance life, family, work?

Do you feel like sometimes you’re just skimming life or missing out on something critical?

Do you sometimes feel like you’ve lost something you once had and can’t quite put your finger on it?

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Meditation can help you regain your compassionate, patient, adaptable center.

You will learn how to:

  • handle stress with greater ease
  • discover the true source of your unhappiness or suffering
  • understand how the causes of suffering operate
  • find the way out of suffering
  • cultivate step by step practices that support peaceful and happy life
  • be more present for your daily life
  • deal with difficult emotions
  • to recognize harmful and beneficial habits
  • let go of harmful habits
  • cultivate healthy habits
  • and much more

We offer free community meditation every first Saturday of the month.

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Donations gratefully accepted.

WHERE: 1839 S Halsted

WHEN: 1st Saturday of each month 9-9:45 am

OTHER: Please refrain from wearing perfumes and colognes. Wear soft comfy clothing. Layers are good.

 

Spring Break Stress-Buster


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Do you answer yes to any of these?

Are you a college student feeling a bit stressed out?
Do you sometimes have trouble concentrating right when you need your mental focus most?
Do you try to “cram” before tests?
Do you sometimes feel anxious about all the work load – balancing school with work, friends and family?
Do you want to end this semester with your best work?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this mini-retreat is for you.

Studies repeatedly show that students who meditate do better on tests of all kinds. They also feel less negative stress and maintain better over all health.

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Learn to adapt, refresh, succeed
Designed specifically to address the needs and pressures of college students to help you complete your semester in the best way possible, the retreat is for beginning meditators with no or little experience, and more experienced practitioners.

You will enjoy:

  • transformative morning or movement
  • meditation
  • writing
  • unleashing your full potential
  • leave feeling relaxed and alert
  • You will learn strategies for developing your powers of focus and concentration
  • how to take tests with less stress
  • cultivate self compassion.

    Come in comfortable soft clothes, bring a yoga mat if you have one, and a notebook and something to write with.

    WHEN: March 26, 2016 9-10:30 am
    WHERE: 1839 S Halsted St
    TUITION: Just $25
    QUESTIONS? Call Hillary at 312-714-4563 or email me at calmchicago [at]gmail [dot]com

    Advance registration requested. https://squareup.com/market/hillary-johnson-2
    P
    lease share with your favorite college students!

Namaste,

Hillary

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Mindfulness and Work


Maybe you’ve heard about meditation or mindfulness and wondered if you could help you feel better and do better at work.

Perhaps, you’re just feeling super stressed out from work, and technology overload and wondering what might help you feel more grounded.

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I have good news for you.

You can feel better and getting started can be simple.

Even a few minutes of meditation each day is enough to get you started and feeling more peaceful.

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To ease your search for info, I’m going to periodically round up a few good articles to share with you all.

There are so many great pieces out there about the positive impact that meditation has on us in our workspaces and more coming out all the time as science continues to prove true what experienced meditators have known from time immemorial.

Meditation changes our brains for the better allowing us to feel happier regardless of external conditions, to be more engaged and empathetic, more compassionate for ourselves and others. I like to think of meditation as going to the gym for your heart and your mind.

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(And by the way, you don’t actually have to sit on the floor to meditate. You can use a chair!)

Here are four quick reads that give you a sense of the many wonderful potentialities of meditation. Enjoy!

1. From The Chicago Tribune, Aug. 2012 “Be More Mindful for a Better Workplace” A very accessible article highlighting the benefits of the clarity that mindfulness brings to the workplace.
2. From Forbes Magazine, April 2015, “Future of Work: Mindfulness as a Leadership Practice.” A very readable article which highlights not only a terrific who’s who in businesses using mindfulness but also a great review of key benefits and measurable outcomes.
3. From the Harvard Business Review, an article about mindfulness and management issues. 
Still have questions? Give me a call and I can help you get started with guided one-on-one or group sessions. 312-714-4563
Your happy place is waiting for you.
Hillary
SailingPsychologist