I attended a session at the MEMSPA conference on December 7 on mindfulness. Lisa Madden, Coordinator for Curriculum and Special Projects with Genessee ISD facilitated the session called Mindfulness in Schools. She shared mindfulness guru, Jon Babat-Zinn’s quote that “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” You can check out Madden’s Smore by clicking on Mindfulness in Schools. I wanted to share with you some key take-aways from the session. As I though about both mindfulness in schools and mindfulness in my personal life, I reflected about the following, particularly poignant as we head into winter vacation:
What It’s Not…
- Sitting 20 minutes in a meditative pose
- Dependent upon religion or spirituality
- Checking out
- Passive, weak
- quick fix
What it is…
- Sitting quietly, breath-work, body scan, or other focused practice
- Checking in
- A practice
In his book, Growing up Mindful, Dr. Christopher Willard concludes that mindfulness “greatly enhances what psychologist call “flourishing” —the opposite of depression, avoidance, and disengagement. Mindfulness builds emotional intelligence, boosts happiness, increases curiosity and engagement, reduces anxiety, soothes difficult emotions and trauma, and helps kids (and adults) focus, learn, and make better choices.” As a individual, a leader, an educator, a husband, a son, a sibling, and a parent, it is so critical that I personally find time to be present for myself, while also finding time to model for others how to be present for themselves. In short, it is time well spent for ourselves. How powerful can this be? According to Thich Nhat Hanh, “With mindfulness you can establish your self in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.” Let’s seize the day and see the wonders of the present!
- Check out all the resources on Mindfulness at Edutopia
- Take a Mindfulness Quiz
- View the two videos below…
- let’s teach our students to “Just Breathe” and “Release”!