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September 18, 2018   

"Is this stain spoiling the ch'i of this tablecloth?" 
~Testimonial By Elaine Anderson - FSIM President         

Hip-hip-hooray, we completed the entire bin!
This is the deep existential question that our group of seven volunteers asked each other while volunteering at Bridging on a recent Thursday afternoon that expanded our hearts and minds. 

We dug into a dumpster-sized wire crate of donated table linens - tablecloths, napkins, placemats, runners, plus the occasional apron and Christmas tree skirt - to scrutinize, reach a verdict, then measure and label stacks of items. From here to there are two routes: into textile recycling bags (if they didn't pass muster) or they score a coveted spot on the "shopping" shelves for Bridging clients. Once there, they can be selected and proudly brought back into service in the rebuilt lives of their new owners. If we find a spot, a tear, a flaw of any kind... it has to be MINUSCULE for the item to make it past this checkpoint. Ruthlessly, but with love and gratitude, we designated the table linens that would make it into the 4000+ homes (per year) of the clients Bridging serves. 
"Through the effective reuse of donated items, 
Bridging improves lives by providing quality furniture and household goods to those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty."       
It is a fascinating Feng Shui exercise to inspect household objects so intently and intentionally. In Feng Shui we advocate treating ourselves (and our own possessions) with the same esteem as we show to others: with the utmost honor and respect. We wish to elevate our energy, our ch'i, by uplifting the ch'i we infuse into the space and belongings we live and work with. Do I do this with my own belongings? I can honestly say no, I don't. Well, not this carefully. At least, not usually on a daily basis. So, like a little workout at the gym, this is excellent exercise. It is enlightening to do. Spending a few hours at Bridging is a perfect reminder of the importance of bringing this practice "back home" again. 
But there is another important aspect to consider: getting to the heart of what volunteering at Bridging means to me. Perhaps I keep the antique lace tablecloth my grandmother made... strategizing my centerpiece to cover its vintage stains (that would have banished it if it were in the Bridging warehouse). The truth is, however, I have the luxury of choosing from a closet and drawers where I keep multiple options. If I want to use something for its sentimental value - I have that choice. But I also have new and perfect, if my occasion calls for new and perfect. Our Bridging friends... those clients we do not know personally, but we honor with our humility, do not have these choices. That one tablecloth and set of almost, but not precisely, matching napkins is likely going to be the only choice in their cupboard. 
And for this fact, we open our hearts. We scrutinize their new potential table linens so that they get to experience a simple luxury. To choose. To choose something that they know will be lovely and dignified, new (or nearly new), that fits their home, their needs, their style and their personality - and which will be useful as they continue to restore their lives. This is the blessing I am most grateful for from the opportunity to volunteer at Bridging.

Thank you to Rachel Loeslie, Elaine Anderson, Cheryl Larson, Deb Gieseke, Sonia Ellis, Ellen Johnson and Gwen Johnson for giving your hearts and precious afternoon time to Bridging, it's greatly appreciated! Let's do it again next spring! 

2018 Fall Bonfire and Equinox   
~ Celebrating the Light of Fall ~
~Hosted by Sonia Ellis - FSIM Secretary

Friday, September 21, 2018 
7:00 - 10:00 PM 

Our FSIM C3 Circle (C3 is Conscious, Compassionate, Community) will be held in Sonia's backyard in St. Paul with a bonfire to celebrate the Fall Equinox together. If you missed our spring or summer social events, here's your chance to gather with like-hearted friends around a bonfire. 
There will be light appetizers and beverages provided, as well as s'mores after! Please feel free to bring something to share if you'd like too! We will be outside, so please dress for the weather and bring along a lawn chair.
Remember to bring your red envelopes and anything else you'd like to elevate to the heavens
by throwing them into the fire! Address and details to follow with registration

One last thing, please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the local food shelf. 

 This is a free social event open to all that register, no CEU credit for attending. 

FSIM October Field Trip 

"Art of Relaxation" - with Beth Freschi 
Beth Freschi

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

6:30 - 7:00 PM Networking/Socializing

7:00 - 9:00 PM Program

Beth's Home, 2256 Commonwealth Ave., Saint Paul, MN 

Open to the public: Members $0; Non-Members $27
(1.5 CEU Credit) 

Limited seating, sign-up is required. No registration at the door. 

FSIM is collecting new and gently used blankets for Bridging. Each year Bridging serves over 13,000 people. Bring along blankets to help families in need! See more info here or see below.

This will be a fully experiential guided relaxation training session to calm the mind and body. Being in a relaxed state opens up the imagination and enhances your creative thinking capabilities. Relaxation is also an essential tool for stress management and well-being.

Beth Freschi is a relaxation and life coach based in the Twin Cities. After 15+ years working in mental health, she started A Time for Expression, LLC in 2006 as a way to help people learn new ways to relax, explore possibilities and experience more personal and professional satisfaction in their lives. 

Through in-person relaxation training sessions, experiential speaking engagements and guided relaxation recordings, Beth helps people feel more balanced and at ease in their lives. Her sessions and recordings feature various techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, guided imagery and meditation to help calm the mind and body.

Beth works with colleges and universities, corporations and other organizations, as well as individuals, to create customized relaxation training programs to help people manage stress, sleep more soundly at night and approach their days with renewed energy and vitality. Her recordings are in the same format as the in-person sessions, so people can practice relaxation training at home, school or work.

As a life coach, Beth works primarily with artists and creative individuals who have a strong interest in the process of life coaching. Her life coaching clients appreciate her objective, enthusiastic coaching style that encourages free expression and creative thinking, helping them approach their lives and work with a greater sense of direction and purpose.

More Information at Beth's website: www.atimeforexpression.com
Relaxation and Creativity
~ by Beth Freschi 
Photo Credit: The Painting "One Who Bows Me" by Jackson Dainty

Do you ever find yourself feeling stuck when working on a project? It is something that most of us deal with at different times of our lives. It might be while writing a book, composing a song, painting a new work of art, or some other creative endeavor-we sometimes find ourselves in a rut that can result in frustration or stress.  

Being an artist or creative person, it is so vital to be able to get those creative juices flowing. Learning how to recognize being stuck and how to become "unstuck" is a challenge that every creative has and will face. As strange as it may sound, one of the best things that we can do is to relax. Often when we are stuck, we become more stressed and more frustrated, and it becomes a cycle. However, if you are able to tap into a few of the relaxation techniques below, it can free you and your creativity.
  • Breathing - Finding a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down and pay attention to your breathing is a quick, simple way to refocus. Pay attention to how you are breathing. Do this for several minutes, taking slow, deep breaths and making sure you exhale fully each time. This technique can help reduce fear and pain, and for stuck creatives, it can also help you clear your mind and alleviate the stress of trying to come up with your next project.
  • Muscle Relaxation - Focus on tensing and releasing each muscle group. Doing this for a few minutes can help relax your body and open up your mind. While you are focusing on tensing and releasing your muscles, you are no longer stressing or wondering how you will come up with that next idea. This technique is called Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and as its creator Edmund Jacobson said: "An anxious mind cannot exist in a relaxed body." Once the anxiety is released, your creative thinking has a chance to flourish.
  • Guided Imagery - Tap into your imagination and visualize yourself somewhere. Maybe it's one of your favorite destinations for vacation, or possibly it's a favorite restaurant, gallery or place in nature. You can fully engage each of your senses-touch, sight, taste, scent, and sound-to bring the experience to life. Going somewhere else for a while in your mind can be a wonderful break, and you can return to your project with a fresh perspective
  • Meditation - A part of becoming unstuck is to remove barriers or limitations that we might be experiencing. The reasons for these barriers vary-work, relationships, finances or even our own thoughts. By meditating, we are centering our thoughts and focusing on the present. If you enjoy silent meditation, spend a few minutes in quiet reflection. If you struggle with silent meditation, you can try guided meditation to keep your thoughts from wandering to worries and preoccupations-my favorite is loving kindness meditation.
For more information about how relaxation training can help you in your personal and professional life, please visit my website www.atimeforexpression.com or email me at beth@atimeforexpression.com  

May you find a time to relax and free your creative expression

FSIM Blanket Drive for Bridging

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 
"Inspired by our recent volunteering outing to Bridging, we are doing a blanket drive at our October meeting.Clear out your closets and round up your extra unused blankets, any size, any color, all types are needed. Bring new and like new blankets to the October meeting, we will collect and deliver them to Bridging.

Bridging serves 80 households a week and needs over 13,000 blankets each year. Donating a blanket to Bridging will not only help keep families warm for this upcoming winter, but this blanket drive will warm your heart, too! See more info here!

If you're unable to attend the event, but want to donate blankets, give Cheryl Larson a call 612-860-9511 or email: cheryl.a.larson@gmail.com and she will make arrangements to pick them up and deliver them to Bridging.   

Grand Opening of the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden!
FSIM Community News
Amy Randy's husband, Jim Randy was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He is currently going through treatment with further tests on Thursday this week. Amy said, "This is all happening on the most sacred week of our Jewish year, from New Year's Day to Yom Kippur, which is our annual Judgement Day (on Wednesday)." Please hold Amy and Jim in your loving hearts and prayers during this uncertain and challenging time. As her Feng Shui family, help them feel our protective, loving embrace by visualizing the "Tracing the Nine Stars" blessing on their Bloomington home for the next nine days. Namaste, dear Amy! 
Member Classes/Workshops 
To post your classes or events in the next
newsletter, please contact Cheryl at: cheryl.a.larson@gmail.com

Receiving Your Wings of Light Workshop with Carolyn Vinup 
Wings of Light Activation Ceremony, Practice Exercises and Activate three Feng Shui Areas in your Home.  
Saturday, October 20, 2018, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM; $54 (Limited to 8 people)
House of Joy Retreat Center
7184 Irvine Circle, Eden Prairie, MN 
Register by calling Carolyn at 612-325-5162  
Workshop Details here   

Health, Wealth, & Relationships Workshop with Michele Heisler 
Healthy living starts with your home. Learn tips to create spaces that support your health, increase your abundance and improve your relationships.
Thursday, September 20, 2018, 6:00-7:30 PM; $27
St. Croix Healing Arts, Hudson, WI
Wedesday, October 10, 2018, 6:00-7:30 PM; $27
Healing Water Health Center, Hudson, WI
Details for registering 
Save the 2018 & 2019 Dates  
C3 Circle Events: (Open to the public, free to all) 
Friday, September 21, 2018 - Fall Equinox

2018 FSIM Quarterly Meeting: (All Open to the public in 2018, free to members) 
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - FSIM Quarterly Meeting - Speaker: Beth Freschi   
Topic:  Relaxation & Meditation Techniques  
Grand Opening of the St. Paul-Changsha China Friendship Garden
Saturday, November 3, 2018

2019 FSIM Annual Meeting: (Open to the public) 
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - FSIM Annual Meeting - Speaker: Paul Scheele   
Topic:  Intention, attention, no tension: Harnessing the power of the mind, heart, and will to live the life you choose

2019 FSIM Quarterly Meetings: (Open to the public, free to members) 
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 -  Sarah Seidelmann, a presentation based on her book "Swimming with Elephants: My Unexpected Pilgrimage from Physician to Healer".

July  2019 - TBD
October  2019  - TBD 
Feng Shui Institute of the Midwest, P.O. Box 130631, Roseville, MN 55113
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