A Chaplain Learns Self-Care From Deepak Chopra

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Chaplain Mary Greenwood explains how receiving a scholarship to attend Deepak Chopra's workshop at Omega helped her expand her self-care practices so she can be more present to her clients, including those recovering from opioid addiction.

Well-being is not just the absence of illness, but an all-inclusive state of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, according to Deepak Chopra, a leading expert in the field of integrative medicine.

In the Future of Well-Being workshop at Omega Institute in June 2018, he discussed the five pillars of well-being, which include sleep, stress management, movement, positive emotions, and good nutrition.

Mary Greenwood, who attended the workshop on an Omega scholarship, was listening keenly, taking over 70 pages of notes. 

A Scholarship Leads to Yoga Classes for People Recovering From Opiod Addiction

Mary is a trained chaplain, yoga teacher, and mother of two daughters. 

“I could not have attended the weekend at all if it hadn’t been for the scholarship,” Mary said. “I’ve suffered immense hardship in the past five years or so, and have zero finances available to do this kind of thing.”

Mary was especially interested in learning about the healing aspects of chant: how it can soothe the brain and even help change the neurophysiological pathways in the brain, particularly in people with addictions. She is now teaching group yoga classes and adding more classes specifically for those in recovery from opioid addiction. 

The Restorative Power of Omega's Campus

It was Mary's first time visiting Omega's campus. She called the weekend “a true gift.”

“During my first look at the gorgeous lake, I felt like I was inside of a postcard,” she said. “I immediately waded into the water and found it so refreshing and peaceful. Every meal was memorable, too—the colors truly made the food inviting.”

One of her biggest takeaways from the weekend was the realization that she must come back to Omega and do these kinds of things more often. "Retreats and weekends like this are so nourishing, and I need them for my intense work as a health-care chaplain, spiritual care counselor, and yoga teacher," she said. 

For now, she’s taking that sense of peace and renewal back to her daily life and work.

“I know that the weekend and the content of the weekend have been embodied in my mind, body, and spirit,” Mary said. “It will come up again and again to fuel and nourish me as I move forward.”

She hopes to continue coming back to Omega for more learning opportunities and holistic programs as she deepens her work a spiritual guide.