SPIRIT OF GIVING: Mindfulness Expert Aims to Promote Community Healing

A mindfulness coach encourages Londoners to come together and find inner peace this holiday season, while making a tangible impact on the city’s indigenous, Muslim and homeless communities.

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A mindfulness coach encourages Londoners to come together and find inner peace this holiday season, while making a tangible impact on the city’s indigenous, Muslim and homeless communities.

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“I think London is a wonderful city with so many wonderful people, and at the same time we are facing some really serious issues,” said Diane Yeo, a London-based mindfulness coach who has been teaching the practice for 15 years. .

“We have more homeless people on our streets than ever before,” said Yeo, adding that the people of London “also don’t feel safe because of their race, religion or the color of their family. skin”.

Last month, The Free Press reported that homeless Londoners were dying at an unprecedented rate, with at least 46 deaths recorded from January to October, up from 31 deaths in 2020.

In June, four members of the Afzaal family were killed when a truck hit a sidewalk in what police consider a targeted and racialized attack, and sparked international calls to action to fight Islamophobia.

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Indigenous peoples are overrepresented in London’s homeless population, making up around 29%, according to Andrea Jibb, director of community planning at Atlohsa Family Healing Services.

Jibb also said, “Many Aboriginal people do not engage with traditional service providers due to experiences of racism or discrimination” when accessing these services.

“It’s not good,” Yeo said. “Each of us deserves to be treated with kindness and respect. And we all deserve to have a home and to be warm.

Yeo’s solution seems simple: meditate and donate.

The Meditate and Donate event consists of three virtual guided meditation sessions, held weekly this month, and available on Zoom to people of all ages, in any city, regardless of their experience of life. mindfulness or meditation. Registration is done online, by donation, and 100% of the money will go directly to three London nonprofits: Atlohsa Family Healing Services, Muslim Resource Center and Ark Aid Street Mission.

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“You can relax at home, light a candle and just follow my voice, and hopefully calm your mind and release some stress while giving back to our community,” Yeo said.

Mindfulness is about learning to be present, reducing anxiety, and dealing with the pressures of everyday life with more ease, skill and fluidity, Yeo said. Each of the upcoming virtual group sessions, she added, is a chance for people to spark positive change in their own lives, support each other and ultimately contribute to a “more vibrant city. “.

“It is a combination of meditating together and finding peace within, and giving hope to others,” Yeo said, adding, “I believe that when we feel peace in our heart, we have a greater ability to extend peace to others. “

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Last year, the first Meditate and Donate event raised hundreds of dollars to support other London charities, but Yeo said there was no set goal for this fundraiser. .

“This time of year is all about shining the light,” Yeo said. “We see the lights on the houses and the Christmas trees; it’s about shining a light inward.

Jibb, who learned about the Meditate and Donate initiative on Monday, said the organization is grateful for Yeo’s support, and the donation will likely go to winter coats, hand warmers and clothing. blankets.

“These types of actions really show that anybody can… support indigenous peoples, that it doesn’t have to come from the indigenous community only,” said Jibb, who added, “we are really grateful to the allies. when they take this type of action. “

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“It might seem small,” Yeo said, “but I think if everyone comes together and contributes it can make a difference.”


Meditate and donate

When: Wednesdays 8, 15 and 22 Dec. from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Time: 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

Or: Meditations are on Zoom

Register: dianeyeo.com/cours

Cost: Sorry. Donations on December 8 go to Atlohsa Family Healing Services, which support London’s Indigenous community. On December 15, donations will go to the Muslim Resource Center, which supports the Muslim community in London. December 22: Donations will go to ArkAid Street Mission, which supports London’s homeless community

semarotta@postmedia.com


Share with us your stories of people who give and in need during the holidays. Send an email to lfp.website@sunmedia.ca, using Spirit of Giving as the subject.

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