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Chicago, IL · Fri, July 22

· By Will Andrews ·

Being a new mother is an obviously stressful, albeit legitimately rewarding, journey. When her newborn was 3 months old, Cat Aldana Sagler craved the sense of community new motherhood can bring but was restricted as Covid-19 raged.

“I felt deprived of experiences to meet other moms in the same place as me,” Cat says. She found a community through a messaging app not dissimilar to Facebook, where she was able to connect with other women who were also new moms living through the pandemic. “I organized events that were online, specific to the needs of a newborn or new moms. We would talk about sleep training, breastfeeding, and things unique to that experience at the moment,” Cat said.

As restrictions were lifted when the pandemic cooled down, these meetups moved to outdoor spaces, like the rooftop of one of the now partners of the Mindful Mamas Circles, named Chelsea Digler.

The group became donation based.

“It’s so much harder to get people to go things when they are free, so we made it donation-based for charity. Right now we are working with The Chicago Southside Birth Center, and women-owned businesses in the maternal healthcare realm.”

So what does a typical Mindful Mama’s Circle look like?

“People come in and we typically have tea or a nonalcoholic option to drink. People mingle, and once everyone is there, we sit in a circle, and in the middle, we have a beautiful display of flowers. We always have a theme for the evening. In April, the theme was unearthing your highest self by mothering the mother–what that means is being the mom to yourself and nurturing yourself,” Cat says.

After introductions and time to share, a visualized meditation takes place. One of the most recent meditations dealt with imagining members’ children going to kindergarten for the first time, and how they and their children would cope.

Having a group that incorporates meditation, spirituality, and mindfulness all came easy to Cat.

“I’ve been teaching mindfulness practices for over a decade now. Right after college, I found yoga and have been doing it ever since. My experience has been in leading international retreats and events. The retreats I would lead were very ceremonial and ritualistic in nature,”

Cat says, similar to aspects of Mindful Mama’s Circle.

Mother’s Day stirs up mixed emotions for Cat. Now expecting her 2nd child. “It brings up this weird mix of pressure and identity crisis, and also wanting to allow people to gift me something, but not really knowing what I need or want. Mother’s Day is interesting for sure,” Cat adds.

You can learn more about future Mindful Mama’s Circles on their Eventbrite page, here. You can also check Cat out on Instagram @cataldanasagler.

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