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Avalon Recovery Society

Cultivating Mindfulness with SHE RECOVERS


Written by Kim Westlake

October’s topic for our SHE RECOVERS Sharing Circles is “Cultivating Mindfulness."


Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed with a perpetual “to-do” list? Squeezing out every bit of energy you’ve got to look after others or meet demands you’ve put on yourself?

Last Saturday, I hit the “screw-it” button and went mountain biking with my son and grandson although I had a huge list of things I needed to get done. I have been accused of being a human doing in the past and I’m working hard on trying to become more of a human being.

For me, mindfulness is giving myself permission to be in the moment and trust that everything else will get done - often easier said than done! I’ve spent most of my life forgetting this truth - it is always now. The sunny day, the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, have a laugh and enjoy the moments. More often, I’ve chosen to prioritize my work “to-do” list. My work ethic has contributed to many things I’m proud of in my life, - I’m a “getter done” gal, but I have regrets too - precious moments lost that I will never get back.

“When you are present in this moment, you break the continuity of your story of past and future. Then true intelligence arises, and also love” - Eckhart Tolle

We often fail to appreciate what we have until we’ve lost it. Recovery is about giving ourselves permission to start where we are - perfectly imperfect, to increase awareness and start to make incremental changes in our lives. Cultivating mindfulness is proven to reduce pain, anxiety, and depression; improve cognitive function; and even produce changes in the brain related to learning and memory, emotional regulation, and self-awareness . Connecting with breathwork, meditation, spirituality, nature, movement and listening to our thoughts and feelings are some of the ways we can practice mindfulness.

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, the mountains and my family were calling again to go riding and I listened and enjoyed the moments. Mindfulness is not a passive practice. It is hard work when we make the choice to do things differently and create change in our lives. What mindfulness practices do you benefit from in your life? What areas do you want to cultivate further?

Join us this Saturday at the SHE RECOVERS Sharing Circles Sea to Sky Group at Avalon Women's Centre North Shore and Avalon Women's Centre White Rock.  All women are welcome - whether or not you identify with the “recovery” or not - we are all recovering from something at times in our lives and we recover stronger together.

Times & Location:


Saturday, October 12, 10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. at Avalon Women's Centre North Shore

Saturday, October 12, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Avalon Women's Centre White Rock

SHE RECOVERS Coach Kim Westlake

Each month at our SHE RECOVERS Sharing Circles Sea to Sky Group we focus on a different topic that supports building recovery capital and resilience in our lives.  Kim Westlake is a Certified Life & Recovery Coach and SHE RECOVERS Coach and facilitates the monthly circles.  For more information or to join us, please visit Sea to Sky Coaching or contact Kim at

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