2017 Session Description

Breaking It Open
Finding the gifts in adversity

For adults • Mind U session
Category: Insight
Daily 9:00am • Centennial 10
Time and location subject to change (what isn’t?)

You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs. As with breakfast foods, so is life. Sometimes, it takes going through a mess – sitting amongst the rubble of egg shells and kitchen scraps – to find the comfort and joy waiting on the other side. And often, there is something of value that life is offering even when you’re in the middle of the chaos.

There are certain experiences that make us human. These allow us to feel joy, gratitude, sorrow and pain. Sometimes we feel them all at once. Then there are experiences that seem to only serve to make us wounded or depressed. But in every adversity, there is a gift. Using a variety of metaphors, small group discussions, experiential activities, and journaling exercises, this session will help you learn to look for the gifts that life gives you, even when it feels like you’re in the midst of a raging storm.

From understanding how mindset affects our experiences (and how we can adjust that mindset) to developing an intentional gratitude practice, you will learn tools you can use before, during and after life’s most troubling times. The workshop leaders will create a safe space to explore past adversity, and to work with others in the group to find opportunities to practice resilience.

The Skinny: 3 things you will get from this session

  • Identify the gifts that have come from past adversity
  • Experiment with tools to make it easier to find gifts in the future
  • Learn how to develop a resiliency mindset to allow for more positive experiences
Beth Slazak
Buffalo, NY, USA

Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Buffalo in History with a minor in Dance, a Social Studies Certification in Education from Buffalo State College, and a Masters of Science in Creative Studies from Buffalo State College. When not on Buffalo State or Genesee Community College’s campus teaching, she spends her time playing on state at Buffalo ComedySportz.

Beth enjoys teaching and training on humor and creativity and is two years into completing the work on her Certified Humor Professional standing. She uses this work when she speaks on the value of laughing through challenges.

Beth is a returning presenter. Click here to see their sessions from previous years.


Missy Carvin
White Plains, NY, USA

Missy Goldwasser Carvin joined New Directions Consulting, Inc. in 2007. Although she had worked for the firm on a part-time basis for almost 15 years, she had put her BA in theater and history from Hartwick College into service working for Girl Scouts.

Now she is the President of New Directions, heading up the creative and online services as well as designing and implementing ”traditional“ research projects. She has been a leader at CPSI since 2011 and has also presented workshops at Florida Creativity Weekend and Mindcamp.

Missy is a returning presenter. Click here to see their sessions from previous years.


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