Who are the people that make Copper Beech Institute what it is? Theresa Nygren is one of the Institute's Mindful Self-Compassion teachers. Here, she shares with us some of the personal things that have shaped and inspired her life. Meet her in person for a workshop on Mindful Self-Compassion or movement meditation in the coming weeks.
My favorite time of day is… The early morning when the sun has just risen and the chirping birds welcome the light. I love walking my dog at a nearby golf course in this early morning light. The dew glistens on the grass as other creatures are stirring to life. Enveloped in this quiet landscape, I feel a deep sense of gratitude for my life and everything in it!
I started practicing mindfulness… Officially, I started a mindfulness practice in 2006 while participating in a MBSR group. Upon further reflection, I have had an informal mindfulness practice throughout my life. My earliest memory is walking through a dusty, rocky cow path on the way to my grandparent's dairy farm. The rich sweet smell of manure, the sight of the Holstein cows swishing their tails to keep the flies away, and the waving fields of corn stalks all captivated me and brought me fully into the present moment. The natural world has always had that impact on me. Mindful walking is one of my favorite outside practices. I am able to absorb the goodness of the natural world through all of my senses and feel the benefits of both the movement and the nourishing environment.
Three things I can’t live without are… My free and full expression of movement on the dance floor; belly laughs with loved ones, the kind that end in tears of joy streaming down my face; new adventures and all the excitement and joy that brings.
I teach mindfulness because… I want to offer this powerful practice of presence to as many people as possible. I have a caveat to share though, and that is I feel deeply moved to teach mindful self-compassion so that I can help transform a culture of people berated and beaten down by their strong inner critics. We all are imperfect, we all struggle, but when we can open up to this truth and offer compassion, liberation awaits.
These three things I never thought I’d be doing…
- Teaching Let Your Yoga Dance. I took years of dance growing up, but due to some unfortunate circumstances moved away from it in my teens and adult years. I have returned to my early love of movement and have been able to weave this movement piece with my mindfulness offerings.
- While growing up, I always wanted to become a teacher. My dad dissuaded me from this career path since my older cousin was teaching and found out it was a really hard professional undertaking. Instead, I became a Social Worker. It is such a pleasure to be incorporating my love of teaching with the mindfulness groups, retreats and workshops Angela Mazur and I offer. I really do love to teach!!!
- I never thought I would be writing blogs to both promote our offerings at Copper Beech and for our website; www.mindfulselfcompassionateway.org. This endeavor has never been a strength of mine but I have come to really enjoy it.
I’m inspired by …People who against all odds succeed in life.
My guilty pleasure is… a good piece of 70% dark chocolate.
The best advice I ever got was… Don't give up no matter what!
The most important things on my bucket list are… I don't really have a bucket list. Case in point, this September, we are going to Japan. This wonderful opportunity showed up and I said "yes". Japan was never on my radar. The thought of sixteen hours in the air doesn't really appeal to me. But, since I love adventure and new experiences, who am I to turn away such an amazing invite.
There is a trip calling me though and that is to volunteer working with the elephants for two weeks in Thailand. I will make this happen in the near future!
The last thing I do at night is... Review my day and think about all that I am grateful for in the day just lived.