Presence of Mind Wellness Center began as a Meditation & Life Coach practice in Portland, Maine in 2017 known at Presence of Mind Studio with a mission of Live in the Moment. Live in the Breath.
The founder, MJ Allen, had devoted 20 years to the development and administration of multi-disciplinary health programs. In 2010 she decided to switch gears from the development and administrative side of mental health to clinical work. This journey began with an 18-month fast-track through an undergraduate degree in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Social Work. In January 2012, she began a Master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health and Counseling. The academic work was fulfilling…challenging at times even….MJ graduated at the top of her class with all intentions of becoming a licensed therapist.
Simultaneously, MJ found herself experiencing a series of interpersonal challenges and began questioning how she had historically approached life….primarily her own trauma responses to situations.
MJ oftentimes tells the story of one of her 1st graduate classes had her employing a mindfulness activity by staring at a candle for 15 minutes. She openly admits the professor’s assignment was met with resistance. In her words “there were far too many lists to be made before starting another week of work, home and life—she didn’t have time to be staring at a candle”.
Fast-forward a few years and MJ had embraced not only employing mindfulness activities to help her stay grounded and in the present moment but had a consistent daily meditation practice and was looking into becoming a certified meditation instructor—which she did in 2017.
At this time in 2017, MJ decided that traditional psychotherapy was not for her and that she really wanted to help people with finding their internal calm through mindfulness, breathwork and meditation. This was the beginning of Presence of Mind Studio. She facilitated up to 20 meditation classes each week and saw several life coach clients working on how to incorporate mindfulness & meditation to assist them with mindset change—ultimately life change.
MJ has a personal philosophy of Forward Motion. True to her nature, she began seeing a bigger more holistic practice where practitioners and clients could go and seamlessly maneuver a holistic practice to promote health and wellness.
In March 2019, Presence of Mind Wellness Center opened in Saco, Maine as a natural expansion of MJ’s Presence of Mind Meditation Studio. Along with continued focus on meditation, the Center began offering massage and healing arts in their beautifully renovated space in the Saco Mills.
In June 2019, MJ collaborated with Penny Kusum Clum to seed Presence of Mind's yoga program with Kusum Institute's yoga offerings. Kusum Institute had been offering yoga in Saco since 2003. The yoga program featured several of the original Kusum Institute teachers and introduced new instructors and additional class options.
In late 2019, we added programs that support a holistic approach to overcoming dis-ease and addiction. We believe, at the core, all addictions--regardless of the substance--are fueled by emotional wounds. Programs such as Recovery Coaching, Y12SR and Recovery 2.0 Universal meetings along with a belief that healing occurs with the power of community, connection, and love are the backbone of the recovery resources offered at Presence of Mind.
In September 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the doors of the Center in Saco closed and relocated to MJ's home in Arundel....A space that had gone unused and underappreciated for a few years is teaming with life energy again.
This move also allowed MJ to reevaluate the mission of Presence of Mind Wellness Center. As each of us continue to expand and grow, as does Presence of Mind Wellness Center. MJ’s personal philosophy of Forward Motion continues to be her leadership moto for practitioners, clients, herself, and the Center as a whole!
Currently, she and her team assist individuals to access their own wellness needs and goals. Working together, the staff at Presence of Mind Wellness Center meet clients where they are and help them define and achieve their wellness goals. MJ and her staff will support, encourage, and perhaps push you (just a bit) beyond your comfort zone with the goal of helping you expand in order to
Heal. Thrive. Grow.