Angela Barbash knows about financial challenges. Of Mexican and Italian descent, she’s the first generation not to work on a migrant farm, but grew up in a poor neighborhood in Westland. Now a wife and mom herself, Barbash recognizes the intimidation of learning financial management. At her Ypsilanti- based company Revalue , Barbash educates and empowers people to change their lives and their communities through ethical, local, micro-investing. She worked on the MILE (Michigan Invests Locally Exemption) Act, presents at socially responsible investing conferences, and is preparing to host a national conference on community capital in Detroit in June 2019.
You can see the evidence of random kindness in every season—it’s not hard to find. For me, it happens a lot in winter, after a heavy snowfall. More often than not, I’ll look out the front window, dreading the fact that I’ll have to shovel the walk, only to discover it’s already been cleared by a sneaky neighbor! Suddenly my claustrophobic winter dread is replaced by the joy of new snow glittering in the sunshine. The day is now extra special because someone went out of their way to make it so.
In the twilight hours of early evening, three women gather around a bedside. Their voices are gentle and soothing; their lyrics and harmonies weave a spell. The lines on the face of the man in the bed smooth out a bit; the family members in the room visibly relax. This is the magic created by Threshold Singers of Ann Arbor, and Threshold Choirs in more than two hundred locations around the world. The Threshold Choirs sing to people in the midst of a transformative life event: most often dying, but also recovering from illness or surgery, going through difficult emotional times, or being in chronic pain. They sing in hospitals and hospices, at nursing homes, in private homes, and once in a while, for the general public.
Kristen Madrid and James McDonald have had a lifelong interest in the metaphysical and spiritual tools for healing practices, and their shared passion has blossomed into Saline’s first and only mind, body, and spirit shop: Earth Elements. At their store on Michigan Avenue in downtown Saline, you’ll find everything from crystals and gemstone jewelry to loose leaf teas and Reiki healing services. Together, they have created a one-stop-shop for self-exploration and spiritual connection. Stay for a cup of their “tea of the day”, and you will find it is also a wonderful space for relaxation and taking a much-needed break.
Bringing Mindfulness to Students and Educators: MC4ME – The Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education Has Been Leading the Charge
Almost three years ago I wrote about the work of transforming schools with mindfulness practices in Michigan for the Crazy Wisdom Journal. So many amazing moments have happened since then! School communities—students, staff, administrators, and parents alike, are beginning to understand how essential mindfulness skills are to the embodiment of social emotional learning (SEL) skills and to facilitating learning.