Becca Peters

BECCA PETERS is a therapist in private practice and an educator and consultant in Mindfulness and Compassion Training for public and private organizations. 

July News and Upcoming Events

Dear friends,

I write to you from NYC where I have spent the last several weeks with my family. Each time I spend extended periods of time in Manhattan I learn a little bit more about myself. The cadence of life is faster here; the sensory stimulation is constant (wildly varying between pleasant and unpleasant); and endless choices about how I may spend my free time. The options that I am particularly curious about are not the options limited to what Broadway shows to see or when I will dine with friends but more noticeable are the thoughts, attitudes, mood states, or daily self-care routines I will cultivate.

As Pema teaches us: Life is a good teacher and a good friend, Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in=between states an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and ends beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open-ended state of affairs.

What astonishes me is that when I am truly present and willing to engage with the fullness of life I am reminded of the simplicity of my needs. I am reminded of the natural rhythms that sustain my well-being such as proper rest, no alcohol (it’s been over a year and a half of this life-changing experiment), moving my body in a way that is kind and gentle, daily meditation and nourishing the body with clean and healthy food. Rest, movement, sitting in silence, nourishing food. I always come home to these practices and I always find the truest version of myself in the simplicity of life. I invite you to listen in and see what simple practices you might cultivate that will sustain your health, heart and mind?

Please see below for the wonderful practice opportunities in 2018:

September: 8-Week Mindful Self-Compassion Course
October 12th: Relational Mindfulness Book Signing
at King's English  6 pm.  Bring a loved one, friend or spouse!
October 13th LOVE IN ACTION, Day-Long Retreat with Deborah Eden Tull
November:  6-Week MAPS II Course

Weekly sitting group will begin in September - more details to come...stay tuned.

With love,

Becca
 

February Offerings and an Invitation of Self-Care

How can we heal, change and grow if we do not change our habitual ways of living, being and loving? We are in a time of transition and change in the world we live in yet we are often terrified of trying on new ways of thinking, living, being and loving. What are symptoms that change is imperative? A run down immune system, feeling over scheduled and with little time for yourself, feeling impatient and letting that brevity of care seep into the relationships that matter the most in your life. These type of symptoms are here to wake you up to make brave decisions towards health, connection, wellness and love.

Think about the last time you were asked to attend an event and you were exhausted + run-down from the week, yet you still said “yes.” Do you recall how you felt saying yes? Maybe resentful or wishing you could stay home and rest? What did you fear might happen if you spoke your deepest truth? What if instead of “yes” you said, “You know, I would love to be there but I really need to take care of my health and wellness and stay in this evening?” What if we lived from a place of honest communication and began to shift the paradigm from Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) to Fear of Missing IN? Fear of disappointing another to considering our own needs as much as we consider everyone else's.

It may be helpful to unpack what I mean by the word “In.” It means the turning toward our whole and full experience of being a human and listening in, checking in and nurturing ourselves. It may begin with a simple question of self-inquiry: How am I? How am I really? And what do I need to feel well?
 

For some of us it’s warm, cozy and rejuvenating to spend time with ourselves and for others the idea of this sounds terrifying. One of the gifts we receive when we turn our attention to our own process is that we notice natural rhythms that are otherwise overlooked. When teaching meditation to groups of practitioners it is quite common for many to notice fatigue as soon as they direct their attention inward. Why? Because most of the time we live on auto-pilot as a defense mechanism to avoid the overwhelming demands of life. Many of us are just trying to get through the day. However, when we do step into a few moments of stillness we often learn so much about our body, mind and heart. We may notice that we feel sleep deprived, or are hungry, or maybe we need a massage. We may notice that we are feeling stressed and distracted and that a breath of fresh air may be just what is needed to reboot. These are just a few examples of how the simple act of turning toward our inner experience provides much wisdom on the natural rhythms of what our human body + mind + heart need to reach wellness. I invite you to take a moment now.  Rest the soles of your feet on the floor beneath you, sit with an upright and easy posture, and take 3 slow deep cleansing breaths. Sit in stillness for 2 minutes and notice what you notice without judging your experience. How is your mind? Busy? Clear?  What’s on your heart? Sadness? Joy? Worry?  Move your attention to notice your body. Can you feel the pressure of your body on the chair beneath you? Are you relaxed, energized or tired? Take a few moments to acknowledge and honor what you noticed and with this awareness begin to align your next moments in a way that supports your truth. Self-care is like building a muscle. We practice slowing down, checking in  and noticing what we notice. From that place of honest, non-judgmental and loving awareness you can begin making shifts in your choices and behavior to practice deeply aligning with your needs. Have fun with this, it’s an experiment in exploring the willingness to live life with greater consciousness and care for yourself.

Self-care is the soothing feeling that comes from sinking into a warm bath, having a cup of tea or sitting down with a good book. Take a moment and remember the ways you already take care of yourself and see if you might implement one additional act of care into your day today, and again tomorrow, and build a pattern of self-care that will tilt the scale away from living on automatic pilot toward living an embodied life. If self-critical thoughts arise as you begin know that it is normal to feel nervous or resistance when we challenge old ways of living to make room for the new. Keep moving towards love.
 

Please join me for a 2-Hour Mindful Self-Compassion workshop on Sunday, February 18th from 1:30-3:30pm at Avenue’s Yoga in Salt Lake City. Advanced registration is required and space is limited. You belong and I hope you will join me.  Click here for more details and to register.

gabby bernstein judgement detox


My book this month which is part of an inspiring collection of books for sale at the SHOPPE is: Judgement Detox by Gabby Bernstein. It is a companion to the Universe Has Your Back cards that many of you have and love. Let’s spend more time reading, listening to and surrounding ourselves with inspiration to remind us that life sustains us and that we are part of a big, juicy world. 

My fave new products at the SHOPPE at Metta are:


Velvet Journals and beautiful paper goods: 

rise and shine journal
velvet journals at metta
malas

All gemstone malas are HALF off through the month of February, going quickly, so if you've had your eye on one of these beauties, now is the time! Message me to make an appointment to shop.

All other jewelry is 20% off through the month of February to celebrate the month of love. 

gemstone jewelry

December Offerings, Healthful Holidays and Items at the SHOPPE

Since I last wrote to you I am officially one month settled into a new and slower paced professional rhythm and I am discovering a little bit more about myself each day as I move through daily life with more spaciousness, rest and time. I must admit that I miss each one of you with whom I have sat across from over the last decade. This mindful observation period of time is fortified by my choice to eliminate alcohol from my life now over 1 year ago. This means that I have gone through times of joy, hardship, trial and celebration fully feeling the range of emotions and without numbing my senses. I am truly happy to choose health over habit and hope that my sharing with you serves as loving support and encouragement if there is an area in your life that could use a little (or a lot) of loving awareness.

This is the topic I would like to share with you this month as we enter a time of parties and holiday socializing which often include alcohol. Alcohol has different meanings to each of us, even those of us who have never had a drink for religious or health reasons.

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November Insights, Offerings and Books to Read

What I know to be true: Now is the time. We cannot wait to take care of ourselves because how we care for ourselves translates into how we care for one another and how we care for the planet. It’s time to cultivate wakefulness in our moment-to-moment lives. What holds you back from making changes that will support your health and well-being?
 

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A Micro-Moment: 6 Words That Changed My Day

Earlier this week I wrapped up teaching the transformational 8-week Compassion Cultivation Training Course from Stanford's CCARE program at Metta Mindfulnes Center in Salt Lake City. In a very short period of time group members learn how to turn toward suffering and make room for shared joy and connection. As a group, We wake up and Rejoice in life just as it is. The benefits are strengthened through continued practice and dedication of living a life of Compassion for ourself and another. Just as we build and strengthen a muscle through exercise, so can we grow and cultivate Compassion through daily practice. When we spend focused time priming the heart and mind to seek out ways to offer and receive Compassion we are transformed. I would like to share a sweet story that illuminates how a simple verbal exchange, a micro-moment, left an imprint on my heart. 

I have had a series of surgeries and medical procedures over the last 5 months that have given me insight into the world of Western Medicine, of which I have deep gratitude for modern science and skillful physicians. Holistically, my preventative approach to wellness resides in Eastern Medicine, Meditation, kind body movement and eating a plant-based diet. Yesterday, after 2 visits to medical doctors for treatment of an on-going issue related to my last surgery, I stopped into Real Foods Grocer to pick up a few items to make my daughter's favorite meal. Although part of me wanted to go home and rest a larger part of me knew that cooking this meal for her would bring us both so much joy and nourishment. I chose to listen closely to the part of me who wished to create connection with my daughter. When we pay attention, our hearts guide us to ease and connection. If I were to use a metaphor to describe the opening and closing  of the heart, I would offer the image of a peony flower. When closed you notice the petals tightly huddled together protecting what is contained inside. When fully open the petals appear buoyant and supportive of the center and also wildly joyous opening to the sun. 

I arrived to Real Foods with a heart partially opened and feeling sad to have spent much of my day in doctor's offices which caused me to miss time with a best friend. I was aware that part of me was physically suffering and part of me was committed to remain open to the present moment experience of the unknown. (Side note: The awesome researcher Barbara Fredrickson calls the ability to hold both sensations "co-experiencing" and she shares through research this is a factor is resilience and life satisfaction). When I walked to the aisle of produce I was struck by the vibrancy of colors and the freshness of the nourishing vegetables in front of me. I could feel my desire to touch and smell each one grow as I paused to notice the details of shape, form and texture. After mindfully selecting and filling my basket with an abundance of parsley, beets, green apples, arugula and ginger I made my way to the check-out line. As I was mid-way through the check-out process a short and elderly "gentle" man wearing a huge smile and a cowboy hat  stood in line behind me. He waited  patiently to pay for 2 gallons of milk. We made eye contact and smiled at one another and as I began to notice his patience I said to him "You got behind the wrong lady, I am sorry this is taking so long." He smiled both with his mouth and his eyes and said "It looks like you selected a lot of healthy vegetables. I am happy to wait, I WANT YOU TO BE HEALTHY."  I could feel his words undoing another layer of petals around my heart. In that instant, I knew I was not alone. The stranger next to me was no stranger at all. He offered Loving-Kindness to me by wishing me well with all of his heart. He may have no idea how deeply his words penetrated my tender heart nor how this softening would carry me through the night in my interactions with my beloved daughter. She and I were both recipients of his Kindness and Compassion. 

I shared this story with my daughter while we made dinner that evening. She said to me, "Mama, the way you describe the man at the store is the same way you describe your great uncles who helped take care of you when you were a little girl." Again, another connection, another layer of softening. I smiled and nodded in agreement while she looked at me with a sparkle of knowing in her eyes. 

Each moment of the day we come in contact with many people for whom we do not know the details of their life. Each of these micro-moments presents an opportunity to act with Kindness and Compassion. How many times have we shown up frantically to the store, running through our to-do list in our mind, barely making eye contact with the cashier or others around us, or forgetting to connect even with ourself. When we SEEK out ways to act with and to receive Compassion and Loving-Kindness we not only moisten our own heart but our words or gestures may be the heart-felt medicine a stranger needs to moisten and heal her own. As Barbara Fredrickson writes in her book   Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become, she claims that “love blossoms virtually anytime two or more people . . . connect over a shared positive emotion.”

**Becca Peters will offer another 8-week Compassion Cultivation Training course in January of 2016. Please reach out to her if you'd like to reserve a spot for yourself or as a gift for a loved one by emailing her at: mettaslc@gmail.com

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The Vastness of True Happiness

A Mind Entangled in Knots, if undone, will no doubt be free.

(excerpt from Thupten Jinpa's "Essential Mind Training")

 

In speaking of the second of five Mindfulness Trainings, specifically speaking of True Happiness, Caitriona Reed offers a spacious perspective of the magnificence of the unknown. An excerpt below is taken from her thoughts housed within "For a Future to be Possible" by Thich Naht Hanh:

"…We cannot fix the world, we cannot even fix our own life. By accepting failure we express our willingness to begin again, time after time. By recognizing failure we change, renew, adapt, listen, and grow. It is only by practicing without expectation of success that we can ever truly open to the world, to suffering and to joy. What extraordinary courage there is in risking losing what you know for the sake of the unknown; risking what you think you are capable of for the sake of your true capability! What profound freedom - not having to get it right all the time, not having to live for the sake of appearance! By opening to our own failure, we open to the magnificence of the unknown, participating unconditionally, renewing our life."

 

Summer Mindfulness Course Registration is now Open On-Line!

As you know, the Compassion Cultivation Class to be held in March at Metta Mindfulness Center is currently full. Many of you have inquired about the next  Mindfulness Class offering. I am happy to announce that I will offer a 6-week summer course beginning in June; UCLA's Mindful Awareness Practice course. Take a peek at the attached flyer...and please don't wait to sign up if you are interested...classes fill up quickly.



Becca Peters, LSCW is an educator in Mindfulness, Meditation, Compassion + Self-Compassion

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