by Jeanne Fratello, DigMB
Although the local election season - along with other hotly debated city issues - may seem to have divided the community, the Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) wants to do its part to bring people together. On April 6, BCHD will hold a free community mindfulness workshop aimed at smoothing over beach cities divisions.
The workshop, to be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, will be run by Eric McCullum of Insight LA, Tristan Coopersmith of Life Lab, and Greg Flaxman and Shiori Lange of BCHD. The facilitators will incorporate evidence-based meditation techniques, including:
- Intention setting: Making a choice to pay attention to something, deciding to be present and enjoying things while they happen.
- Loving-kindness: Focusing and extending feelings of love, kindness and compassion toward people.
- Visualization: Picturing what you desire and then visualizing it over and over again with all of the senses.
- Mindful breathing: Bringing focus to each breath by experiencing or observing it rather than changing it.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend the workshop, but advance registration is required at bchd.org/mindfulness.
Childcare will be provided from 5-8 p.m. at Adventureplex (located just down the street from the event) for children three and older. The cost is $25 for the first child and $15 for siblings. Dinner from Fresh Brothers Pizza will be provided. Please register at AdventurePlex.org no later than March 23.
The mindfulness workshop, held in partnership with the city of Redondo Beach, marks the second time in as many years that BCHD has offered a mindful outlet during a hotly contested local election.
In February 2015, at the height of the oil drilling debate in Hermosa Beach, the first mindfulness workshop was held at the request of then-City Manager Tom Bakaly, now CEO of BCHD. Hundreds of locals, many planted firmly on opposite sides of the issue, attended the event. Its success prompted BCHD to offer an ongoing series of mindfulness workshops, which have drawn more than 1,500 participants to date.
“Data shows that feelings of stress, anger and worry run high in our community, and I’ve seen firsthand how amplified these emotions can become during an election,” said Bakaly. “The goal of our upcoming workshop is to help residents meaningfully connect with one another and learn evidence-based techniques that can reduce daily stresses and improve overall well-being. I encourage everyone in the beach cities to take advantage of this resource.”
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