The Family Vacation We Didn’t Prepare For

Guest Blogger: Sarah Stone, Our Front Porch Intern 2016-17

It was supposed to be a traditional Spring Break family vacation. I was in the eighth grade. My family and I had spent time on the beach, sippin’ on all-inclusive virgin strawberry daiquiris, and explored local expeditions that gave us a glimpse of Mexican culture. Little did we know what we were about to encounter.

Photo Credit: Sarah Stone

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The Power of Two: Get to Know the Founders of Our Front Porch

In order to share more about the two of us and why we do what we do, we decided to interview each other. We fully enjoyed giving and hearing the responses and even managed to learn a few things!

~Maggie & Heather, Founders of Our Front Porch

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Working in Long Term Disaster Recovery

Guest Blogger: Carla Williams, Our Front Porch Intern 2016-17

Moving to Colorado less than 5 months ago, was nothing short of my biggest life decision. I knew University of Denver was offering me a chance to be a part of an amazing program I couldn’t pass up. Within our program, we are required to partner with a local internship for field experience. That was when I encountered Our Front Porch.

From left to right, Carla, Heather and Sarah presenting Our Front Porch’s services at the Arapahoe County Resource Fair.

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Three Things I’ve Learned from Being Part of a Start Up

Guest Blogger: Sarah Stone, Our Front Porch Intern 2016-17

First of all, I can’t believe this internship is half over. I feel like just yesterday, I was completing orientation and getting the OFP 101. I took the time to reflect over the holiday break on the growth and development that I have made as well as Our Front Porch.

Scenes from a start up.

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Compassionately Listening

Listening with compassion sounds pretty straightforward, but it is often more challenging than you think. I have had lots of practice, especially when I’m working with disaster survivors, and I still have plenty of room for improvement. I have often gone back to this Dalai Lama quote as I think it so well describes how to truly be compassionate:

“Usually, our concept of compassion or love refers to the feeling of closeness we have with our friends and loved ones. Sometimes compassion also carries a sense of pity. This is wrong. Any love or compassion which entails looking down on the other is not genuine compassion. To be genuine, compassion must be based on respect for the other, and on the realization that others have the right to be happy and overcome suffering, just as much as you. On this basis, since you can see that others are suffering, you develop a genuine sense of concern for them.”

~ The XIVth Dalai Lama

Heather responding to a disaster as part of the Red Cross Disaster Assistance Team.

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When Disaster Strikes… on Vacation

Guest Blogger: Sheila Babyak

Vacations can be the most anticipated, fun-filled events of a lifetime. We spend all year deciding where to go, how to get there, what we’ll do, and budgeting our money to be sure it is a vacation of a lifetime! No one ever thinks that their vacation could be disrupted by some sort of an unexpected event or disaster. While we can’t plan for unknown disruptions or disasters there are things that we can do to prepare ourselves in the event a situation should arise.

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Where the fire started. Photo Credit: Sheila Babyak

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Mindful Eating While Stressed Out: Part 2

Here’s more from our guest blogger, Paige E. Butkus, Nourished to the Core, LLC – Holistic Nutritionist & Yoga Teacher, on how to stay healthy when dealing with stress.

Work on keeping a healthy gut flora.

In order to combat stress we need all of our defenses strong including our gut bacteria. The microscopic bacteria that live inside of our digestional tract help us with more than you may know. Scientists have labeled the stomach our “second brain” for a reason. As much as our mind influences our body, our gut influence our mind. When our healthy bacteria are out of whack:

  • Our immune system is compromised.
  • Our digestion is weakened.
  • Our mental state and mood is negatively affected.
  • Our energy levels are reduced.
  • Our oral health is affected
  • Our craving for unhealthy food increases.
  • Women’s vaginal health is affected.
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Image Credit: Creative Commons

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Mindful Eating While Stressed Out: Part 1

Guest Blogger: Paige E. Butkus, Nourished to the Core, LLC – Holistic Nutritionist & Yoga Teacher

Stress is a part of life and how we deal with it determines the quality of our life. One way of dealing with stress is to eat foods that comfort us such as pasta, pizza, ice cream, cookies, and the list goes on. Just reading these words might conjure up feelings of happiness as carbohydrate-rich foods have been shown to increase your feel good neurotransmitter serotonin. Food has a profound impact on our lives in a multitude of ways from reminding us of our childhood to distracting us from dealing with our problems. In order to combat stressful eating, prepare yourself with awareness and knowledge.

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Image Credit: Creative Commons

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Yoga: Healing with Intention and Beginning Your Yoga Practice – Part 2

Guest Blogger: Nora Josephson, MA, LPCC, RYT-200

Start with an Intention.

What are you needing right now? What intention can you set for your practice? These can be similar to affirmations or coping thoughts. Maybe you need to hear:

  • “I am okay in this moment”.
  • Possibly it is as simple as, “Breathe in…breathe out.”
  • Or “Inhale” as you inhale and “exhale” as you exhale.
  • Or “I am ______” (examples: I am strong, I am enough, I am loved).
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Photo Credits: Erin Stotts

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Yoga: A Healing Practice – Part 1

Guest Blogger: Nora Josephson, MA, LPCC, RYT-200

“Try to do everything in the world with a mind that lets go. If you let go a little you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will know complete peace and freedom. Your struggles with the world will have come to an end”. –Achaan Chah

At this point in time, most people in the Western world have become familiar with the term “yoga”, however, there seem to be many varying ideas about the practice. People may often think of comfy yoga pants, or someone who is limber and flexible or possibly a monk sitting cross-legged, chanting “Om”. The truth is that anyone can do yoga! Many of you might be hesitant to try it out, or believe that you could in fact be a “yogi”, but if you can breathe…you can do yoga! “Once you rest your attention on your breath, everything else begins to open up with ease” (Stiles, 2012).

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Photo Credit: Erin Stotts

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