For example, addictive behaviors may have numbed the pain at one time, but now the addiction has become a ball-and-chain. Perfectionism and people-pleasing once helped us to avoid disapproval, but now our true sense of self is crumbling under the weight of others’ expectations. Avoidance and anger may have been employed to keep potentially unsafe people at a distance, but now we are drowning in our loneliness. In other words, the methods of getting through difficult times in the past are now keeping us stuck—disconnected from the beauty of our present life.
Frequently, these self-limiting patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving are most apparent, and most problematic, in our close relationships. Utilizing attachment theory as a guide, we can discover how these patterns were set-up in our relationships with family and romantic partners. Gaining clarity about our patterns of attachment avoidance (i.e., love avoidance) and attachment preoccupation (i.e., love addiction) empowers us to let go of old survival mechanisms that are no longer serving their purpose and establish healthier ways of relating to ourselves and others.
While it is true that we can’t change the past, we can change our perception of it and our relationship to it… and that can change everything! The Mind & Heart workshop is designed to help in this process of growth and genuine change. Mindfulness, a contemplative practice and state of being that allows us to be more present with the life that is here, can facilitate increased awareness of our unique survival patterns that are now limiting our growth. Coupling mindfulness with greater compassion and acceptance for self and others can enable us to take meaningful and sustainable steps towards lasting change. Mindfulness (Mind) and compassion (Heart) are powerful tools for transforming the pain of the past by learning to accept wholeheartedly ourselves, as we are, in the present moment.
Psychiatrist, researcher, teacher, and workshop designer, Jon Caldwell, DO, Ph.D., will personally facilitate the workshop. The Mind & Heart workshop is a scientifically researched intervention that entails a mixture of highly informative material and experiential exercises using mindfulness and compassion. Because these ancient practices will be applied in unique ways to heal past wounds, people of various skill levels with mindfulness can benefit from the workshop. Also, the practice of mindfulness and compassion does not need to interfere with workshop participants’ spiritual beliefs, but can serve to deepen existing belief systems. All that is needed is a curious mind, a willing heart, and an intention to heal!