About Dr. Peters' Mindfulness Journey

 

As a passionate social worker, I created Human Systems in 2016 to address excessive burnout and turnover in human service organizations and nonprofits. I focus on increasing psychological safety in organizations through effective conflict management and emotional competence – using employees’ emotions to create positive change in organizations.

During the pandemic, as you might imagine, my work slowed down a great deal as organizations and employees were struggling to survive and did not have the time or capacity to focus on extra services for burnout prevention. Like many people, the additional layer of anxiety produced by a pandemic forced me to examine my approach to self-care and mental health because what I was doing before was no longer working.

With the extra time afforded by work being slow and minimal opportunities for doing things outside of my home, I decided to concentrate on healing my wounds – both old and new – and:

  • Renewed my yoga practice,

  • Expanded my art practice by teaching myself how to work with watercolors,

  • Attended at least one meeting a day in multiple 12-step programs,

  • Took an 8-week Lightworkers’ course (to learn energy work and positive visualizations),

  • Started working A Course in Miracles (a quiet, but powerful worldwide spiritual practice),

  • Studied several spiritual books, including the Tao Te Ching, The Zen of Recovery, The Four Agreements, One Truth, One Law, and many others.

The result was a new perspective in terms of who I was and how my relationships should work – basically, the importance of being present and and completely accepting of myself and the world.

I created the painting of the nautilus shell and ship (see above) during the pandemic, and it illustrates a life perspective that brings me peace and hope on a daily basis. The nautilus continually creates shell material in chambers in a perfect golden mean spiral pattern. When the nautilus becomes uncomfortable because it has grown to big for its current chamber, it moves into the next one and starts building a future chamber. I believe that when I am uncomfortable, it’s a cue for me to expand my perspective and change my behavior – move into a bigger shell. Even though the nautilus keeps moving into different chambers, it maintains a connection, called the siphuncle (see my illustration to the left) through all of its past chambers to the core of its shell. Like the nautilus, I continue to move forward while keeping a connection to my past experiences, which ground me and create my identity in this world. You can see a series of videos that further explore my inspiration for the shell and ship painting and shows the creation process on my art YouTube Channel.

In addition to new art forms, my mindfulness study and practice inspired me to create the HS Mindfulness Model and the HS Mindful Leadership & Mindful Growth Models.

Today, I maintain my mindfulness practice through twice-a-day meditation, daily journaling, daily spiritual work, yoga three times a week, creating art (IG @colbywpeters), eating well, and abstaining from substances (aside from a cup of coffee in the morning).

I look forward to having our paths cross in whatever form that may take, and sharing fun, growth-oriented experiences with you. Feel free to schedule a free half-hour consultation with me, send me a message, or subscribe to the HS Newsletter to get biweekly tips and tools.

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