At its heart, Breathing Spaces has always been focused on family caregivers. Having been on that journey myself, I intimately understand the highest joys and the sometimes-overwhelming lows. I know what it is to feel lost in uncharted territory during that period, and I have felt suffocated by a profound sense of isolation.
My involvement in a walking support group with local healthcare organizations eventually led me to assume leadership of the program, growing it from just walking to other programs and a robust group of family caregivers.
At the same time the grant funding ended for that program, I lost my mom. It was a devastating period of my life, but I came out of it with a clear mission: to ensure that others didn’t feel alone and to develop programs to guide anyone entering our ‘doors’ toward a new way of being. I envisioned a virtual haven for recovery, healing, and support. That was the beginning of Breathing Spaces.
Since our conception, we’ve expanded our programs to support a broader audience, ranging from professional caregivers to individuals in the role of self-care. Indeed, many of us are touched by caregiving responsibilities in some capacity.
Beyond our foundational programs, such as Care Circles (sponsored by our Care Partner Bay Area Cancer Connections and hosted by Christine Young and Anthony Metten) and Caregivers’ Walks (sponsored by Curves of Los Altos and managed by one of our original supporters, Tracey Durrett), we’ve also introduced Journaling Journeys, Cindy Gum LMFT, and Breathwork, hosted by Anthony Metten. All of these programs continue to give substantial support to family and professional caregivers, as well as anyone searching for a new life balance.
In the background, we have a team of professionals who head up our Professional Program, a mindfully curated library of time-tested techniques to help bring balance and lighten the burdens professional caregivers commonly face in their work and personal lives.
We also have the continued presence of Clay Robeson, who weaves our website into coherence, Melissa Bartell, who edits our newsletters and writes for our blogs, and Gail Braverman, whose blog posts always call us to reflection or action.
As we step into 2024, we feel that while our existing programs must continue, it is paramount to introduce supplementary programming. I am very excited to announce unique programs to help create a real sense of balance. Anthony Metten will be introducing one of those programs, Positive Intelligence. Several members of our team, including myself, had the chance to participate in the program, and there’s no doubt that even those who were initially skeptical became believers in the real-life applications it offers.
After an initial introduction from Anthony Metten, I knew that our newest team member Amanda Surratt, who was helping him with a project, would be fitting right into place. I just hadn’t told her yet! Amanda is a Reiki Master and Certified Life Coach who uses the principles of applied positive psychology to help people live a balanced and joyful life by (re)connecting to their inner wisdom.
We’ve got one more team member coming aboard with additional programs later this month, so stay tuned! All these initiatives are designed to be accessible to everyone, offering practical tools for daily life that can make a positive impact.
Bringing Breathing Spaces to life is my life purpose, and allowing you to find spaces of recovery, healing, and support is key to this. When asked how my business partner Mark Tribbett and I gathered all these amazing human beings to offer these programs, my reply is, “They just showed up” – magic at its finest.
Our mission is clear, our drive strong, and our passion for supporting others will only gain more strength as we embark on 2024.
Real-life applications – for real-life experiences –
and, as always: a place to b-r-e-a-t-h-e.