An affirming newsletter for the gender variant community
In This Issue
Rent The Musical
Mindful Meditation/LGBT Yoga
Community Events
When Pain Is Your Teacher
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List

Quick Links

Rent - High School Musical
rent Please lend your support to the Corona Del Mar High School Spring Musical production of Rent. Opening night is April 25th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale now at the ASB office, or can be purchased at the Theatre Ticket office.  Adults: $15, Students and children $10.
For more information: (949) 515-6000.

There has been much controversy surrounding this event, and the ACLU is now suing the High School for cultivating a homophobic environment. To read more on the unfolding story:
L.A. Times Article

Mindful Meditation/LGBT Yoga
Soul At Home  
Soul At Home is a "Marketplace for Living" located at 17612 E. 17th Street in Tustin.  They offer workshops and lectures, and a variety of meditation, energy, and yoga classes, including an LGBT yoga class on Sundays from 1:30 to 2:55 pm. For more information, you can call them at (714) 573-7685 or check out their website at
Community Events
The Center Orange County is proud to present the fourth in a series of Know Your Rights workshops for the Orange County transgender community.
 tg med workshop
Presented by: Dr. Madeline Deutsch, M.D.
Date: Saturday 4/11/09
Time:    Registration 12:30 p.m.
Lunch 1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Workshop 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE!
Contact: Esther Wang at 714-534-0862 ext. 105 or

Transcend Empowerment Institute

"The Discussions"

April 3rd.  7-9pm
The Village, Room VI 209
1125 N McCadden Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

A bi- weekly dialogue group that meets to talk about and discuss current affairs in our world, pop culture latest happenings in the TG community, Politics & Government

CenterOC gala

The Center OC's 2009 Fundraiser Gala  - Join The Movement
April 25th at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine. For more info:
OC Gala 2009.


One Night Stand Up - Comedy Night
at the Samueli Theatre,
OC Performing Arts.
April 11th, 8pm.
For more info and tickets:

This event is co-sponsored by The Center OC

one nite oc

Issue: # 7
lotusSpring is here. All around are the signs of growth, renewal, and regeneration.This month I am sharing with you the way in which the practice of mindfulness has helped me to create growth and reduce pain in my own life and my practice as a therapist. How can mindfulness help us in the journey of growth? Our present experience is a powerful lens for self reflection and discovery.

Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present, attending to our experience, sensation, emotion and thought-without judgement. The disciplines of meditation and yoga are  ways of developing this mindfulness.  All of us are ever changing and growing. I hope this article will inspire you to look again at your life with curiosity, wonder and possibility.
Lisa Maurel, MFT
Lic. 32416

"Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution."
- Deepak Chopra
When Pain Is Your Teacher
lily pond
I recently have had some significant back pain. I was aware of it-but I usually pushed through it.  One morning  the pain became so severe, I could no longer ignore it. I hobbled into my physicians office and after a series of x-rays; I was told that I had a degenerating disk in my lower back.

Looking at the model of the  spine: I could see the connection between  bone, muscle and the complex way my body had been trying to cope with the pain I was ignoring. I felt compassion for my body-twisting and tensing itself to protect me from the pain. My body had made a kind of sacrifice for me. I felt this urge to be kinder to it;  to thank it for making the sacrifice and I my intention to treat my body with more care. 

As I have begun to heal, I have seen this lesson everywhere. What I notice is that my life reflects back to me, the problem and the solution. But without mindfulness and awareness of the present, I fail to grasp the wisdom that is contained within this moment.

Mindfulness and Therapy

"A further sign of health is that we don't become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it's time to stop struggling and look directly at what's threatening us."  Pema Chodron

Mindfulness is the ability to stop struggling or fighting with what is and to face up to what we fear. It is our willingness to see what we are experiencing, without judgement and to welcome our experience and invite it to enlighten us. Like a good friend, it arrives in our psyche or our body, to offer its wisdom. 

This messenger comes in many forms. We often begin the journey of seeking wellness through therapy because of emotional pain, relationship conflict, loss, substance abuse, or the search for deeper meaning in their lives. While our unique experience is shaped by our ethnicity, our gender, our sexuality; our birth order and our family of origins; we all carry wounding that centers itself in our fear and shame. 

With all of my clients,  I serve as a kind of mirror.   Using awareness and attention to the present moment with all its experience, I reflect, without judgement.  I serve as a kind of teacher and guide into the territory that has terrified or confused for so long. Through the experience of being heard, we become more adept at listening to ourselves. My clients use this experience to increase their own self awareness and self acceptance as well as using other disciplines that support their growth.

Mindfulness and the Heart.

Fear constricts. Love expands. Mindfulness enables us to expand our hearts.brook
When we live our lives from a place of fear, we become high-jacked in to states of  physiological arousal that affect our ability to problem solve. We often live out habitual reactionary states when fear is our normal. This hampers our power as people, to consider the infinite possibilities of our lives. Fear keeps us in the cage of "should's", "have to's" and "must's" ; rather than living from a place of our truest desire and passion. 

Fear is a constant part of the human experience. But we can learn to observe our fear, without becoming enslaved to it.

We can expand our hearts beyond fear. Through mindful ways of living and being, we can live our lives from the ground of our infinite hearts and our truest desires. In traditional psychology, we might understand this as our "differentiated adult" or our "actualized self". There are many roads that can help us find the way to our center: our open heart. And when we are ready to make this journey, we will usually encounter a book, a teacher, a therapist, or a mentor that brings us along the next leg of our journey.

The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life (Chopra, Deepak)
by Deepak Chopra by Three Rivers Press
Paperback ~ Release Date: 2005-09-27
List Price: $14.95
Our Price: $8.52
Buy Now

The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness
by Pema Chodron by Shambhala
Paperback ~ Release Date: 2001-08-21
List Price: $12.95
Our Price: $6.94
Buy Now

lisa - headshotPeace on your journey,
Lisa Maurel, MFT
2009 Lisa Maurel, MFT, Lic. 32416 - All rights reserved.