Spring is an oft-used and apt metaphor for rebirth and new life. The sun is out, the air is fresh, and the soil is dark and rich, teeming with creatures and roots waiting to erupt from
"I cannot cause light; the most I can do is try to put myself in the path of its beam. It is possible, in deep space, to sail on solar wind. Light, be it particle or wave, has force: you rig a giant sail and go." -Annie Dillard
This March, I've been waking up slowly, yawning back to life.
It's going to take time to come back, but I see the sprouts;
the buds are once again shining.
This new season can be a great time to reconnect within ourselves and with our CAN families and students, cycling in new awareness, compassion, and resilience.
Below are some practices we might want to consider for ourselves and/or CAN's After School Programs:
In the morning: Tune into your natural awareness (awareness that simply comes with being human) free from judging and characterizing - just noticing and sensing
Settle into your seat, scan your body, connect with breath, follow the out-breath, 5 mins
In the evening: Tune into your meta-awareness (becoming aware of your thought process); noticing our thought process outside of experiencing the thoughts themselves
Feel the bottom of your seat, feet flat on the ground, use breath as an anchor for our attention, notice your mind is like a waterfall of thoughts, let your thoughts go, 5 mins
2. Compassion -
In the morning: Imagine yourself surrounded by a circle of the most loving beings, making generous offerings of love and goodwill to you
Sit comfortably, imagine being encircled by people who love you, receive their love by silently repeating phrases of tender love and care for yourself, imagine your skin is porous and you are receiving this warm, loving energy - you are receiving love simply because you exist, send loving care back to the people in your circle, 10 mins
In the evening: If you find yourself ruminating on things you regret or mistakes you've made, try letting go with this exercise
Bring to mind one thing you have done or said recently that you feel was kind or good, think of one of your qualities or skills that you like or appreciate, recognize that you want to be happy, don't feel ashamed of your longing for happiness, allow impatient thoughts or judgments to emerge
The point is not to deny our mistakes, but if we keep rehearsing them, analyzing them, creating stories around them, we are reinforcing the pain and alienation they have already caused; reflect and build a bridge to a place of kindness and compassion, 10 mins
3. Resilience -
In the morning: Tame your inner critic
Focus on your breath, notice your judgments at work and they are more than a single thought, practice leaving that voice alone (don't wrestle with or appease it), breathe in, notice; breathe out, let go, wish yourself well, 10 mins
In the evening: Ease into sleep
Begin lying down, observe your thoughts, notice if you caught up in effort, frustration, or fear with compassion for yourself, shift attention to sensations in your body, move from your feet up slowly up to your face, bring attention back to breath
Exercises from: https://www.mindful.org/take-a-3-day-mindfulness-journey-6-practices-for-spring/
APRIL BABIES! It's your month to celebrate. Happy Birthday! If you see these folks this month and around their birthday, send them some love <3
Aakriti Gupta, Bryant Program Assistant - April 3
Harrison Metzler, Director of GBC - April 18
Ameenah Cameron, Bryant Program Assistant - April 28
Kimberly Sells, GBC Program Assistant - April 30
Y'all - we've been getting some super donations, like bikes and large bags of food and snacks. Wow!
Know someone who wants to partner with us?
If you ever get connected with someone who is interested in donating to CAN, let Frankie know so we can get their donation on-record and send out official love and appreciation on behalf of our organization.
Same for volunteers! Send them to Paige so they can begin the onboarding process.
RECRUITING Summer Program Facilitators! Please spread the word to everyone you know that CAN is now officially hiring Summer Program Facilitators for our 2021 Educational Summer Camps! More information can be found at: https://www.canwashtenaw.org/jobs
Next All Staff Meeting is April 9 at 2pm - If you can make it, you are invited to join our all staff meeting. Here, we'll discuss what's happening across CAN and you will have an opportunity to share the projects you are working on, which we love to hear and is helpful for those of us working across all CAN sites.
Tips & Tidbits
Updated CAN Academy General Resources Pages
Check out www.can-academy.org/general-resources to find Educational Activities & Professional Development resources.
Many are usable right away and some are still in-development. If you ever see something you think is missing or could use improvement, let Katie know and we can work out ways we can continue to grow and evolve our tools and resources.
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