|In the spring of last year, Compassionate Atlanta’s Mindfulness Team was asked to do a workshop for the 12-Step Narcotics Anonymous Group of Cause for Hope, which meets weekdays at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception downtown. The original plan was to do one ninety-minute session, but the group’s enthusiasm for mindfulness meditation during that first workshop made it clear they would benefit from a deeper, continuing exploration of the connection between mindfulness and recovery. The two members of the Mindfulness Team leading that initial workshop, Pam Glustrom and Cathy Crosby, happily agreed to return once a month for a year.
These sessions, ending next month, have been a joint effort between the leaders and group members to figure out ways in which exercises that promote concentration, mindfulness and compassion can benefit those in recovery. Participants have engaged in mindful eating, mindful listening and mindful movement activities as well as breath awareness and body scan practices. There has been lively group discussion on a variety of topics including the importance of self-forgiveness and self-compassion as a road to forgiveness and compassion for others.
For Cathy and Pam, being invited into the room with this group of men and women has been like entering a sacred space and they have felt honored and privileged to participate. From the beginning it has been clear that whether you are there for the first time or one who has attended regularly for years, all are invited to join this circle of compassion and travel the road to recovery together. No matter where you are in your own journey to wellness, this is a place eager to help you find your way.