Reader Spotlight: Meet Fort Myers resident Maggie Stevens
Work: I retired after 30+ years working in Lee County’s Early Childhood programs. I’m now enjoying my second chapter as a mindfulness meditation teacher. I offer classes and mentoring through Metta Mindfulness and through Caloosahatchee Mindfulness, the nonprofit that I currently chair.
Proudest achievement: I generally don't think about my accomplishments. Instead, I take great joy in the accomplishments of my own children and grandchildren, as well as those of all my former students and their families.
Expectations for the future: I'm sure that the future will be filled with unexpected changes over which I have no control. I've received many challenges and blessings over the past decades and expect that will continue. I try not to have too many expectations, and instead remain hopeful.
Favorite Websites: As I continue my studies in mindfulness meditation, I enjoy reading Tricycle Magazine, The Buddhist Review's website. I also appreciate the thought-provoking writing and interviews at On Being, The Marginalian, and Sapien. These may be more blogs than websites.
Local or global causes supported: Locally, I support Harry Chapin Food Bank, the Fort Myers Rescue Mission and the Gulf Coast Human Society, which serve suffering humans and animals. Through Caloosahatchee Mindfulness, we provide stress reduction workshops for local organizations. I appreciate those working for justice. I support ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: The focus on local community activities and services. I love their monthly calendar that allows me to sample offerings and plan my month.
Where I pick up my copy of Natural Awakenings: I find it several places that I frequent—Heart Space Yoga, Ada's and Lotus Blossom Clinic.
Most frequented healthy food restaurant: I love the breakfast bowls at First Watch. As a vegetarian, I appreciate having options.
How I support my community: Through offering mindfulness sessions online or in person, I try to help people lower their levels of stress and calm their nervous systems. When COVID first began, I started two Friday Zoom Mindfulness sessions. I thought the sessions would eventually fade away, but we are still meeting.
Favorite inspirational quote: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." John Muir
What I am doing to be the change I want to see in the world: I maintain my own practice that helps me recognize suffering in myself and others and meet that suffering with compassion. And, I am committed to Caloosahatchee Mindfulness' vision of a connected community where mindfulness improves the quality of life and well-being of Southwest Floridians.