When I was a teenager, I thought that life would be less stressful when I became an adult.
Let's all take a moment to chuckle at my naiveté. I mean, that's really funny in its inaccuracy, right?
There are countless ways to handle the stress of adulting, and many people likely have several tools they use to combat the confusing human condition and the natural pressure and anxiety that are an inescapable part of being alive.
After doing my own reading and research and becoming hooked on the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, I joined the center and went to countless meditation sessions there, and it's where I really learned the basics.
My membership lapsed and I've been remiss in signing up again, but I spoke with the center's coordinator, Mallory Treece, and she reminded me I can be a member for $21 a month. That's doable and definitely worth it.
So this week, I felt compelled to revisit what the center offers.
The facility, now located at 400 E. Main St., has a variety of workshops and programs that might be good additions to the coping-with-life toolbox we all need.
"Our mission is pretty simple, pretty straightforward," Treece said. "It's to decrease stress and increase well-being. We want to make sure people are ... living a healthy life."
There are countless classes and programs at the center.
I've mainly done meditation classes there.
Some involved both sitting and walking meditation. After I broke my foot a couple of years ago, I went to an energy clearing session there once aimed at recovering from injuries and letting go of useless negativity.
Since I was a member, the calendar seems to have become fuller.
There are yoga classes and qigong sessions. There's laughter yoga, which I have to try as soon as possible.
Buddhist and Christian groups have meetings at the center, which is secular but also allows those groups to use the space.
And there are classes for beginners, in case the idea of starting is intimidating. (It was for me, but the center couldn't be more welcoming.)
In a couple of months, there will be a class that helps participants deal with chronic pain.
These resources are invaluable, and the center is having an upcoming fundraiser to support its mission.
Dr. Terry Gordon will be the keynote speaker the inaugural fundraiser, called Catalyst.
"Dr. Gordon exemplifies adversity as a catalyst for positive change," Elizabeth Kabalka, director of the Center for Mindful Living, said in a prepared statement. "We are bringing this event to the Greater Chattanooga community to help create an awareness and openness that health and well-being can be a catalyst for positive change."
The event is slated for April 26 at 5:30 p.m. at Stratton Hall. It costs $75. Click here for more details about what the evening will entail.
Money raised will help the center develop more classes and offerings, Treece said.
The center currently has about 150 members. An annual membership costs $250, and anyone interested in paying in one chunk for the year can sign up online.
You can also go to the center and set up the monthly payment plan of $21 a month. Members get to attend regular classes for free. They also get discounts on more intense workshops. Nonmembers can attend classes, but there's a fee.
My goal is to set up a monthly payment plan soon, and I hope that in upcoming columns I'll be able to share more of my experiences of reuniting with the center.
I'm confident that having scheduled classes and a community to lean on will help me strengthen my practices, after feeling disappointed that I haven't kept up with my goal of daily meditation.
I encourage anyone who is looking to wade into mindfulness/meditation/yoga as an antidote to the annoyance of adulting to give the center a try.
The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.