Does worry keep you awake at night? Does fear of making a “wrong” decision cause you to procrastinate or miss out? Does worry keep you from enjoying precious time with family and friends? Do fear and worry put a wall between you and God?
Jesus said “do not worry about your life.” Yet how many of us let worry keep us from enjoying life in the moment? Using meditation and tools of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the Mindful Way through Worry and Fear teaches you to to notice your worry thoughts and refocus them on what’s in front of you to do in this moment. You can train your mind to let go of worries and fear and adopt the mind of Christ.
What Can We Expect?
The Mindful Way through Worry and Fear meets two hours weekly for eight weeks plus a daylong retreat. The goal of the class is to develop two habits:
- noticing thought patterns that maintain or exacerbate fear and worry
- turning the mind to the mind of Christ, focusing on what there is to do in the present moment.
- Practice and learn different types of meditation, including Lectio Divina, contemplative prayer and loving kindness as well as simple breathing meditation, body scan and mindful movement
- Identify personal triggers that lead down the rabbit hole of worry and fear
- Practice and learn to identify muscle tension and pain that signals fear (and anxiety)
- Practice noticing thought patterns that sustain and exacerbate worry and fear
- Practice and learn how to turn the mind from worry and fear to adopting the mind of Christ
- Explore what is the mind of Christ in our crazy-busy lives
Experiential teaching methods include meditation, readings, guided discussion and experiential exercises. Participants learn concepts in the context of discussion based on Socratic questioning. Other than the first session, didactic instruction is not used. Participants must agree to keep all discussion confidential.
Daily home practice is key to achieving the goal of the class, which is to form new habits. Home practice will include four elements.
- An assigned 20-30 minute daily meditation
- Commitment to do two daily activities mindfully (i.e., something you would do daily regardless)
- Notice and count a particular type of thought or emotion (e.g., self-judgments, all or nothing thinking, storytelling)
- Assigned reading (no more than 3-4 pages a day devotion)
How Can My Church Participate?
Churches sponsor classes for their members and the community, if they choose. A church may sponsor a class on its own or partner with other churches. One Mindfully does the following:
- leads eight 2-hour classes and an 8-hour retreat
- provides marketing materials, including blurbs for your newsletter, flyers and posters
- works with a designated point person to make decisions about time, dates, whether the class will be open to all or focus on an affinity group (e.g., youth, seniors, women, men, LBGTQ, stay-at-home moms)
- teach one Sunday School class or make one presentation to sponsoring group or committees to encourage participation.
The sponsoring church will provide space for the class, a larger space with kitchen access for the retreat, promote and register participants, provide access to photocopier for handouts and collect fees. Payment in full is due before the first class.
Who Should Participate?
The class is designed for people who want to:
- Learn and practice meditation in a Christian context
- Manage worry thoughts and learn to live more fearlessly
- Practice noticing destructive thought patterns and turning the mind
- Experience the present rather than rehashing the past or worrying about the future
- Explore the embodied mind of Christ and what it means in our crazy-busy lives
The class is not intended for participants with severe clinical depression or debilitating anxiety. Participants will be screened. Those whose current symptoms require a different level of care will be referred to the Mindful Way through Depression and Anxiety, which provides the same content in a clinical framework.
What Does It Cost?
Participants will pay a fee for the Mindful Way through Worry and Fear to the sponsoring church. An 8 week class is $195/participant. The fee covers all classes, an 8 hour retreat and handouts.
One full scholarship will be given if the class reaches maximum enrollment of 12 participants, if needed. Scholarship may be divided between two people but must go to participants who otherwise could not attend.
Classes that do not reach the minimum enrollment of six participants will be canceled or rescheduled and a non-refundable fee of $195 will be billed to the sponsoring church.
Churches who commit to offering a class in 2019 will get special pricing. Participants who sign up will be given a significant discount, bringing the cost of an 8-week class to $160/participant. This is a one-time offer and will not be repeated. Classes will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
One Mindfully is now booking classes and retreats for June 2019 through 2020. To learn more about sponsoring a class or retreat, contact Sandra Miller, MSW, LCSW at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-399-8568.