Start 2018 with self care!
Staff and faculty are invited to join weekly meditation session at the Notre Dame Campus. The free sessions will begin January 9, 2018, continuing every Tuesday thereafter until February 27th. Sessions run from 12-12:30 pm in B100E.
Please note that the first session on January 9th will be one hour long (12:00-1:00pm).
Meditation helps reduce stress, increase happiness, while improving concentration, mental health and overall well-being. To learn more, check out this article on 20 Scientific Reasons to Start Meditating Today.
If you have any questions please contact Beverly Wood or Suenita Maharaj-Sandhu, Workplace Equity Diversity Coordinator, HR.
This is a joint effort of the Workplace Equity Diversity Inclusion Committee & Healthy Minds Healthy College Initiative.
THRIVE Week is a time devoted to demonstrating the importance of self-care and balance on the development of positive mental health that supports academic and career success. This year, THRIVE will be held November 6-10 at all RRC campuses.
The weeklong series of events is a partnership between the RRC Students’ Association and the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative.
THRIVE Week 2017 features
- keynote Speaker Kyle Nobess
- therapy dogs on campus
- paint night
- massage therapy
- sweat lodge ceremony
- music therapy and more!
Check out the details in our Notre Dame Campus THRIVE Guide and Exchange District Campus THRIVE Guide.
Each year, roughly 4000 Canadians die by suicide. Not only are these losses tragic, but each individual who dies by suicide was no doubt connected to a community of people who will experience complex grief. There are family members, colleagues, and friends who are left to sort through intense feelings, sometimes of helplessness, guilt, or pain.
The Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network (WSPN) recognizes that communities like RRC have an important role to play in both preventing suicide and supporting individual and collective healing; we agree. Laureen Janzen, Manager of Counselling and Accessibility Services, is a WSPN member and has been helping to plan World Suicide Prevention Day 2017. There will be a free public event over the noon hour on September 8th.
As part of the Healthy Minds Healthy College initiative at RRC, we would like to invite staff, students, and faculty to join us in observing this important day. This year’s theme is “Building Communities of Hope and Resilience.” Please contact Breanna Sawatzky at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending with the RRC group. As you will see below, the event is about an hour in length and is open to all in the community.
Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) has partnered with the College’s Healthy College Healthy Minds initiative to bring students and staff more opportunities to de-stress, learn about their mental health and join the mental health conversation. This week long series of events, held at both Notre Dame and Roblin Campuses, offers a wide array of activities for both staff and students to participate in including:
-Meditation and Yoga
-Mental Health First Aid Training
-and more activities!
Please view the Thrive Week Guide below for times, dates and a full listing of all activities.
Notre Dame Campus Thrive Week Guide
Roblin Centre Campus Thrive Week Guide
By Mario De Negri, Fitness Coordinator for Athletics and Recreation Services
I’d like to take a few blogs and talk about ways to achieve gratitude. If you were at the “Say YES to Everything” talk we spoke briefly about how this applies to the work of acceptance. Gratitude is a very selfless state. Different actions can be ways to gratitude but we are ultimately looking to be living the state. When we exercise these actions they strengthen us to see things that we might not be seeing given we’ve choose to block them or not be aware of them. These actions when practiced on a regular basis start to become the new “normal” and within this state we see things the way they are and that becomes more frequent.
Seeing things for the way they are makes it feel difficult to be grateful. How can I be grateful when my girlfriend dumps me, or when my friend doesn’t seem to have to work as hard as me to make more money? All of this can be true only if we resist seeing the real picture. I’m not saying these things don’t make happy feelings but what I’m saying is that with practice of gratitude when these things happen we are better equipped to manage these feelings.
Avoiding comparison is a tough one because we are programmed to want to keep up with the Jones’s. That if we don’t happen to have what others have then we are somehow less worthy of receiving. This is very dangerous as this thought process is the very reason we are not receiving abundance. Being able to not compare ourselves leaves us open to focus on the things we do have. This will lead us to more gratitude. I know I want the car with heated seats but if my suffering is coming from a place because someone else has what I want then I am the one who suffers not them. Instead being grateful I own a car at all, or even that I am lucky to know someone who can have a car with heated seats invites more happiness and lets the world unfold for me without my resisting or trying. So by comparing ourselves to others only limits us from our true greatness. When we can accept ourselves for who and where we are then the gates of gratitude will open.
Appreciation is also another action to achieve gratitude. When we appreciate the space we are in presently then we invite more joy into our lives. If we harbour resentment to our situation it will continue us on a path of suffering. It is easy to reject the cold winter, to spend a whole season living for the spring to come without any appreciation for the now. It takes discipline to find appreciation for where we are at. I appreciate the winter as it gives me more cuddle time with my friends and loved ones. I appreciate that the trees can be at such ease, almost unaffected by the cold. I appreciate I can walk freely in the sun without fear of my personal safety or how quiet and calm the winter can be. There are many opportunities to feel appreciation but we must discipline ourselves to the reality of life.
Another thing we can do for gratitude is care for my body. This again is an easy one to neglect as we take it for granted. We expect it to walk and move and breath and heal for us but we so seldom give anything back. We must look at our body as a relationship much like another person and treat it with the same love we want to receive from others. We cannot be in happy relationships if we never do our part to create a feeling of being grateful. We tend to be the worse towards ourselves over everything else. So taking some time to care for my body, with some gentle loving, stretching, and moving, feeding it well will lead to gratitude. When we care for our bodies it will care for us. This is the universal principal to happiness when it becomes a cycle state of constant giving and receiving. We must first be willing to give and be willing to receive.
Try out some of these and just keep them in mind, or write them down on post notes to leave on a mirror or stove. Do not judge yourself if you forget or move into a state of ungrateful. Just watch it and when you see it gently make the change. Play with it and leave it everywhere so you are consistently reminded of why you can be grateful.
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Over the past few weeks the staff on NDC’s 5th floor have been sporting an Amaryllis growing competition.
This all started back in October when I sent a little email around to see who might be up for some friendly competition and raising a beautiful plant (a great distraction over the cold winter months). Not long after that 14 staff chipped in $10 dollars and 14 Amaryllis’s were bought and planted.
The objective of this competition was to see who’s plant would be the tallest and who would be voted best dressed by Dec 16th. There was intermittent measuring and smack talk was encouraged.
Within a week all of our departments (Staff Learning & Development, Sustainability, Nursing, Environmental Safety and Health, Developmental Learning, Research and Planning, the Recycling Team and Recognition of Prior Learning) were mingling, popping in to see the plants and of course sizing up the competition.
By Dec 16 plants that started at 4 cm were now 50-60 cm with beautiful red blooms. When it came time to pick our winners, our celebrity judges, Nancy Alexander and Lori Grandmont, had a very difficult time selecting only two. They chose the “McHansen” from Nursing as the tallest plant and “Jorge” from Staff Learning and Development for best dressed.
At the end of the day we all walked away with a beautiful plant, a few more friends that we got know on our floor, and the experience of sharing in some great RRC team spirit.
When did we acquire the fear to make mistakes? I was wondering if a child would learn to walk if every time he/she falls down, the parents criticize him/her. I wonder if a surfer would get to enjoy the experience of learning to surf, if every time he falls down, he thinks, “Here you go, I failed again.” Before we learn to ride a bicycle, we fall many times. At the end, learning to ride a bicycle is worth the effort.
In school, we are marked down if we make mistakes, if we fall down below the standard. There is research supporting the idea that innovation blossoms when people are given the space to make mistakes. Even Mahatma Gandhi valued experimentation and said, “Freedom isn’t worth having if it doesn’t include the freedom to make mistakes.”
Then why don’t we allow and encourage making mistakes? At work or business, we avoid mistakes in order not to be seen as incompetent. There is an underlying message that in order to be successful, we need to be experts. How would we learn if something works for us or is for us, unless we try it first?
The fear we have of making mistakes is the underlying cause for procrastination. If we lived our lives as a surfer who knows that falling down is a natural part of the experience, we would take more risks. There are so many difficult conversations we are avoiding all the time with our boss, our partner, friends, family, etc. That book or e-mail we wanted to read/write or send. That new business idea or product you are overanalyzing.
If we fall down (because if we risk, you will fall), you will get up and keep going for the sake of the adventure of being alive. So why don’t we accept falling or failure as part of the ride? We are afraid of feeling something unpleasant. At the same time, the same unpleasant feeling is a reminder that we are alive.
This week on the Monday Mash we share some great links on music, memory, and the martial arts.
- Aikido turns conflict on its head. I’ve been fascinated by Aikido for years but have never followed my fascination into a class. The last session exercise classes here at RRC didn’t offer the Ki-Aikido classes that were offered previously and I was kicking myself for not taking the classes sooner. And since I hadn’t learned any form of Aikido yet I didn’t know how to redirect my kick and flow around it.
- If you really pay attention. This is a completely lovely story about paying attention. If you read it you can be warmed by a memory-story about learning to listen with the heart.
- SoundCloud. The SoundCloud website is an online audio distribution platform that allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings by users. [wikipedia]. You have to sign up so that means another darn password to remember. But it’s free (or you can choose to go the paid subscription route) and you can find treasures to listen to! Or upload your own sounds, music and stories. There seem to be new audio files of all kinds uploaded every day. If you are a listener you will never run out of wonder. If you are a sound maker you will have an enormous audience.
- Virtual Choir. I had no idea I was a fan of choral music until I heard and saw Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir version of Lux Aurumque. The virtual choir concept and what Eric Whitacre has done with it is stunning and fascinating all by itself. He describes how it all started and how the process developed in this TED.com talk. You can find performances of choir music he has composed and conducted, some with virtual choirs on YouTube. I started with Lux Aurumque and continued exploring from there. Transcending is the word that floats into my brain when I think of this music.
If you have a link or a photo that you’d like to share send an email to email@example.com and we’ll try to include it in a future “Mash” edition.
As I was doing my daily scan of news, interesting tidbits etc…I came across this interesting question. I am sad to say I was not nearly as creative as the gentlemen who answered below. Keeping our minds actively engaged is just as important as honing our physical selves, so how would you answer this question. Don’t jump ahead or you will ruin it.
What would you do?
You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus:
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? Think before you continue reading. Read More →
Submitted by Mary-Ann Shukla
When I mention to people I use meditation to reduce stress, I get mixed responses. Sometimes it is a snicker or I might get an occasionally ohmmm… more often the response is one of interest. When I read the article attached I saw how other people and companies are introducing meditation into the workplace. It did get me thinking “so how could I introduce this to my workplace”. If and when I figure that out I’ll let you know.
In the meantime the article was for me an affirmation that I am not alone in my struggles and I should continue my practice and more importantly share what works. Those of you on the fence about what to do about your stress level read on – Meditation finds an omm in the office.