Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A season of stillness

Build an emotional foundation for 2014 with unique programs

Express Staff Writer

    Monday, Jan. 6, lived up to its Blue Monday reputation with mayhem and chaos, weather and corrupt politicians peppering the mix, but the tone for 2014 doesn’t have to be set by the past.
    To counterbalance things, consider participating in the seventh annual Winter Feast for the Soul taking place today, Jan. 15, through Feb. 23.
    The purpose of the designation is to unite people in their commitment to a 40-day practice of stillness, which, advocates say, will ensure a life-changing experience of the importance and impact of stillness.
    During the event, the days are orchestrated individually with guidance from a free online faculty of teachers. The event launches globally with an opening ceremony, which can be found by visiting
    The St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation, the St. Luke’s Center for Community Health and the Flourish Foundation have partnered to bring “A Winter of Mindfulness and Emotional Balance to the Wood River Valley.” This series is designed “to inspire emotional harmony in 2014,” according the organizers.
    By definition, mindfulness is the deliberate cultivation of awareness of one’s own thoughts, feelings, physicality and surrounding environment to develop a greater sense of ease. The series will introduce audiences to psychological and contemplative theories and practices for achieving exceptional mental balance.
    Individuals will learn how to use mindfulness and emotional skills to constructively cope with emotional fatigue. And, specifically for healthcare professionals, there will be methods of self-care and mindfulness to help improve the health and wellness experience for patients and providers alike.
    Through lecture, meditation, stories, poetry, role play and practice, individuals could ultimately be able to cultivate mindfulness in their own lives.
    It all begins with a free presentation by Susan Bauer-Wu, R.N., a Tussi and John Kluge Endowed Professor in Contemplative End of Life Care.
    Dr. Bauer-Wu will present “How to Live Fully with Joy and Ease,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum.
    Workshops led by the executive director of the Flourish Foundation, Ryan Redman, set for the following week will supplement Bauer-Wu’s presentation to provide a comprehensive mindfulness experience for community members and healthcare professionals.  
    There will be separate workshops offered for the community and healthcare professionals.
    For the community, the “Cultivating Emotional Balance: An Introduction” workshops will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 30, Feb. 6, and Feb. 13 in the St. Luke’s hospital River Run Rooms.
    For healthcare professionals, Redman will be joined by celebrated emotional psychologist Eve Ekman from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, and 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, in the St. Luke’s River Run Rooms.
    Pre-registration for the workshops is requested to 727-8733.

Community events
- Dr. Susan Bauer-Wu will speak Saturday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. at Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum. Free.
- Cultivating Emotional Balance workshops: Thursdays, Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, from 6-7:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center, River Run Rooms, south of Ketchum.
- Details: 727-8733.


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