Greetings and Happy New Year NAU family,
2021 has begun and thus far January is looking to be action packed. Classes have started and the NAU spring semester is off to an online start. Meanwhile, the crises beyond our campus linger. If I’m completely honest, I was hoping that 2021 would bring about some big, magical change. At the stroke of midnight, the world was supposed to be different – calmer, more peaceful, back to “normal.” The first two weeks of this month have challenged me to face that irrational hope and wrangle it into something more realistic. Change, on a systemic level, happens very slowly, over time, in increments that can sometimes seem excruciatingly glacial in pace. So here we are, well into our pandemic and civic unrest marathon – I, for one, am eager for the finish line.
Your EAW support team recognizes the toll this has taken, and continues to take, on everyone in our community. We hear the stories, the heartbreak, the strain, the struggle, and the glorious successes. Our hearts hurt with you and our spirits are lifted when we see you thrive. This is what it means to be in community. To share burdens, celebrate joys, and encourage each other forward each step of the process.
The new year is often a time for new intentions, goals, and resolutions. As we face the back half of this marathon our focus shifts to finishing strong. We don’t always get to choose our challenges in life, but we do get to choose how we get through them. How will this extended crisis change you? How do you want it to? How do we use these challenges to grow and become more resilient? With these questions in mind, we have prepared a semester of programming focused on building resilience, shared community, and greater support. We are here to help everyone finish strong.
Programming this semester:
We will be having a book club once a month during the lunch hour as an opportunity to connect with colleagues around campus over shared discussion of a book related to a resiliency topic. These books will correlate with our Resiliency series topics. Our first book is Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May. First book club is February 16th at 12pm; future book topics will be announced in the upcoming EAW Newsletters. If you need some assistance getting a copy of the book, please contact us.
We are putting together a five-part Resiliency Series of different topics related to building resilience such as stillness, reframing the narrative, play, and positive neuroplasticity. Mike Bouck will be kicking off this series presenting Root to Rise at the end of January. Please check our website and newsletter for registration details.
We are offering three groups this semester!
Men’s Group with Mike Bouck: a support group just for the guys to talk about guy stuff.
Psych’d About Your Body with Ann Collier: a focus on intuitive eating and loving ourselves and our bodies.
Grief Group with Ann Collier: processing death during COVID.
**Please contact the facilitator listed for more information on the groups provided.
Introduction to Mindfulness offered monthly with Mike Bouck
Introduction to Insight Meditation class with Allen Atkins and Cathy Small. This 6-week course starts February 2nd and will be Tuesday evenings from 6-7:45pm.
Foundations of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) with Mike Bouck. This 4-week mindfulness course starts in March.
In addition to these new additions, we will be continuing workshops, counseling, requested presentations, and other support services. Please refer to our website: www.nau.edu/eaw for updated information about all our services and programs.
This is A LOT. We are growing through so much muck right now. It is normal to feel all the feelings and be more than a little weary.
So remember –
You are not alone.
We will get through this – together.
Be kind to yourself.
And, don’t forget to breathe.
On behalf of the EAW team,