When her daughter turned four and started going to kindergarten, Alma decided it was time to stop sitting alone in her window, feeling depressed. Instead, she went to school too, offering to volunteer in any way she might help out.
That’s where she met Jayne Ader, who was just starting a new agency in the neighborhood called CORE/El Centro. “I met Jayne at a time when I was really, really stressed,” Alma recalled. Jayne had come to talk to the parents about ways they could help make their lives healthier and happier. Jayne explained how the mind is such a powerful system and can be trained to use new ways to help control stress.
Alma felt such strong vibes from Jayne. She seemed to look right into Alma’s very being, seeing her as the young woman who married at 20 and just three days later left her home in Mexico and her large, close knit family to come to Milwaukee with her husband. But he was gone 12 hours a day, working two jobs to support them. She had never felt so alone and couldn’t even speak the language.
Alma felt an almost instant connection to Jayne. There was such a sense of trust, Alma said. Jayne just let her talk, then cry over all she had kept bottled up inside. “She knew exactly what to say to help me, Alma said, “and she helped me a lot.”
Soon, Alma was a regular in the new yoga, Zumba and NIA classes that were just beginning at CORE/El Centro back in 2002. She helped pass out brochures so others would come to learn how to relax, stretch and move in ways that calm the nerves and have helped Alma let go and be free both spiritually and emotionally.
Ever since meeting Jayne, Alma has come five days a week to CORE/El Centro for classes and healing therapies. She’s eager to do whatever she can as a volunteer from watering plants to helping newcomers feel comfortable and find their way. These days, her son helps out as a volunteer just as his two older sisters did before him. And several of her sisters have now moved here and also enjoy the healing
services at CORE/El Centro. There’s something here for every age to enjoy, Alma said.
“There’s a common misconception that all these classes and services are a luxury,” Alma explained. “But the truth is that this is the best and most natural way to relieve stress. It’s a gift, because when people open up, no matter what their problems are – even sexual abuse, alcohol and drug addictions – they’ve come to the right place. It doesn’t take long to let go of whatever is causing their distress.”
Even after they’ve worked their problems out, Alma has found that people tend to keep coming back because CORE/El Centro is their biggest source of joy. “We learn here how to breathe in a lot of positive energy and a sense of calm. We try to take that home with us and share it with our families.”