The Mindful Path – Mindfulness for Young Children

Apr07

joyful child

Hello from guest blogger Lisa Robinson! In this second quarter of 2015, my posts will be about Mindfulness in Education. Let’s start with examples of what some children experienced in preschool and in kindergarten.

In Madison, WI, a group of children between 4 and 6 years old were in a study where they learned to be more mindful by bringing their attention to the present moment. At the end of the study, researchers found that the children who participated demonstrated less selfishness and more mental flexibility.

At the end of the article, there’s a great sidebar that features tips for families that want to practice mindfulness together. See the full article from eurekalert.org here at this link: http://ow.ly/LgJ0d

Also wonderful is this unscripted video from mindful.org that shows what kindergartners say about how they learned to use mindfulness to work more effectively with strong negative emotions:

Here is a link to the full post where the video appears: http://ow.ly/LgMjF

To see what children can learn about themselves and using mindfulness at a very young age is inspirational. By learning these critical skills, children can be much better prepared to be successful as they age and take on the challenges of adult life.

I hope that you see the possibilities of how mindfulness could benefit children in your life. Please feel free to share your comments or questions below.

One Voice PSAs

Dec08

The Freedom Center National Underground Railroad produced these PSAs depicting people speaking up to racism.

These thought-provoking short video and radio clips could be utilized in classrooms or during training sessions about bullying and/or stereotypes/prejudice to encourage discussion about how each situation was handled, how those watching might handle them as well, and whether or not they’ve seen or experienced similar situations.

 

2014 Climate Camp!

Sep10

Check-out this fantastic video to learn more about the 2014 Climate Camp – the first of its kind camp designed to empower youth to take action to protect our climate!

Climate Camp Sky Farm

Click here to view the video.

Climate Camp was a joint venture between Earth Charter Indiana, HEART, Youth Power Indiana and Peace Learning Center.

 

The Mindful Path – Everyday Mindfulness

Sep02

mindfulpic

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this week’s post, I want to share a great resource about keeping mindfulness at the top of your awareness every day.

The resource is Holstee, a Brooklyn-based design studio that offers products that inspire people to live mindfully. See their web site at www.holstee.com. You can also find them in social media as listed on their site.

Although I recommend navigating around Holstee’s web site, if you only have a few minutes, do watch this video about their Manifesto, available as a delightful poster that brings us back to what matters most in life. Here’s the video link: http://youtu.be/QDmt_t6umoY

I’m also a fan of Holstee’s “Mindful Art Subscription,” a monthly service where for $7, you can sign up to receive a piece of art. It’s a card with art that encourages mindfulness as well as a stamped envelope. After you have enjoyed the card for a month, when you receive your next mindfulness card, you can send the previous one to someone else for their enjoyment.

There are other resources on the site to help you consider the precious, fleeting moments that make up your life, and to consciously take action to make the most of them.

I hope that you enjoy finding out more about Holstee, and that their offerings help you to be more aware of opportunities for everyday mindfulness.

Have a great, mindful week! I look forward to sharing more thoughts and resources in my next post on The Mndful Path. Please feel free to leave your comments here, or to contact me directly in email:
mindfulpath@outlook.com

The Mindful Path: SEL Enhances Student Success

Jun03

Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This week, let’s talk more about Social and Emotional Learning, or SEL.  Implementation of SEL programs in various schools has helped students to better manage themselves and how they interact with others, increasing their ability to learn more effectively in school and to be more successful in life.  I don’t think it’s possible to be too enthusiastic about this.

CfClogoOne organization, Committee for Children, is a nonprofit working globally to promote social and academic success.  They’ve produced a couple of excellent videos about their work in Chicago, and in Austin, TX.  Click on the links below to view the two videos:

Chicago: Pioneers in Social-Emotional Learning

Austin ISD: A District Embracing SEL

Here is a link to resources that Committee for Children has available for parents and caregivers who want to support SEL in their children:  Resources

What can you do if your children aren’t in Chicago or Austin?  

  • In greater Indianapolis, the Peace Learning Center makes a difference through their work with children/area schools and with their involvement in the community.  You can find out more on this site by clicking on “What We Do” or by using “Contact Us” to ask any questions you may have.

Where can you find out about additional resources that parents or teachers may find helpful?

  • For young children from birth through age five, many comprehensive resources are available at the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning.  http://csefel.vanderbilt.edu/index.html
  • For comprehensive information, see the Collaboration for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) at http://www.casel.org/ . If you have any doubts about the importance of SEL, details are available on the CASEL site about applicable research that shows how children benefit from improving their competency in SEL.

July: Mindfulness Book Exploration

From my last post, I wanted to remind you that starting in July, I’ll be leading an exploration of the book, “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.”  If you want to learn about mindfulness and how to use it, please join me in this program.  You can either borrow a copy of the book from a library or purchase a copy.

If you have any questions or feedback, please either comment here or feel free to contact me directly at mindfulpath@outlook.com

I’ll be back in touch soon in my next post.   Have a great week!

The Mindful Path: Mixing Mindfulness in Business and Education

May27

Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  Although I’ve worked most of my professional life in business, my experience in education inspires me to find ways to offer the best tools for learning and success to students/teachers/administrators and to business professionals.  So, this week’s Mindful Path post presents “The Mindfulness in Schools Project.”  To see the details, click on the link below to see a great TEDx video:

http://youtu.be/6mlk6xD_xAQ

I hope you enjoyed participating in the exercise presented in the video.  I found it to be an easy and tangible way to experience mindfulness.

 what-is-b-home

Now that you’ve seen the educational part of this post, you might be wondering where the business part is.  The “.b” mindfulness curriculum described in the video was created by using the book “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World,” which forms the basis for the lessons.  Here’s a link to the book: http://ow.ly/xg7cA

This book is not focusing on mindfulness in education.  However, the learning that comes from it has been made applicable for education.

How Can You Take Advantage of this Mindfulness Learning?

I’ll be working my way through the 8-week program in the book and posting about it here starting in July.  If you would like to join me, please either borrow the book from a library or purchase a copy.  I welcome everyone who would like to participate in actively learning how to use mindfulness.  I look forward to seeing how this learning opportunity will help us continue to explore the benefits of mindfulness in both business and education.

Here’s where you can find out more about “The Mindfulness in Schools Project”: http://mindfulnessinschools.org/

If you have any questions or comments, please either provide your feedback here or contact me directly at mindfulpath@outlook.com

If you plan to join me in the mindfulness learning in July, in advance, I look forward to welcoming you and hearing about your experience in the program.

I’ll continue to provide more tools and resources in my next post.  See you again soon!

The Mindful Path – Start with Empathy

May20

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  In this Mindful Path post, let’s explore empathy.   Through empathy, we walk in another person’s shoes to gain understanding of their feelings and perceptions.  But that’s just the beginning.

The video, “What is Empathy? Q & A with Dr. Susan Stillman” provides more details to further explain empathy.  Click on this link to view it:  http://youtu.be/NYnnZ5X4ydA

Teenage Girl Visits Doctor's Office Suffering With Depression

Ashoka is an organization dedicated to supporting social entrepreneurs around the world.  They found that for someone to be an effective problem-solver, team player, and leader, a central ingredient is empathy.  To enable the development of empathy skills that can be sustained, they have created an Empathy Initiative.  It serves as a collaborative platform for social entrepreneurs and others who share the vision of a world where every child masters empathy.

Here’s a video about Ashoka’s “Start Empathy Initiative:”  http://youtu.be/bfEJBFr5Vxc

This post is just scratching the surface on the importance of empathy.  It’s an integral part of the competencies that make up both Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) in education, and also Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in non-educational settings.

More Resources

Ashoka’s empathy site is here:  http://empathy.ashoka.org/

The site http://startempathy.org/ is powered by Ashoka and includes much more information, including “A Toolkit for Promoting Empathy in Schools” which you can obtain from the main web page linked above or download it from this link: http://ow.ly/wXQOI

What Action Can You Take?

I hope that this information will encourage you to consider how you can effectively use empathy in both personal and professional life.  If you are a parent or teacher, you have an excellent opportunity to greatly influence children to choose daily actions that reflect empathy.

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to comment here or to contact me directly at mindfulpath@outlook.com

I look forward to sharing more Mindful Path resources with you soon.

What is Peace Crew?

Apr30

This short video provides an overview of our Peace Crew peer facilitation program:

The Mindful Path – Deep Abdominal Breathing

Apr22

breathe_rock

Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson.  In this post on The Mindful Path, let’s think about breathing and the role it plays in mindfulness.   When you focus on your breathing, it enhances your awareness and ability to pay attention to the present.

The short video below provides information on how to do deep abdominal breathing, which is also known by other names such as diaphragmatic breathing, and belly breathing.

Deep Breathing Video

There are many advantages from deep abdominal breathing.   In a post from Diana Herrington http://ow.ly/vXJj4 , she lists benefits that include enhanced functioning of the respiratory, digestive, lymph, immune, circulation, and nervous systems.

Both children and adults can learn to do deep abdominal breathing and enjoy the calm and clarity that it promotes.  Children can be delighted to push out their stomach muscles to take a deep breath.  Some women may find it challenging at first to do this at first, since many of us grow up learning to hold in our stomachs and breathe more shallowly.  To get the feel of how to do this properly, I found that lying on the floor with a hand on my stomach was helpful.  As I took a deep breath it was easy for me to tell the difference between shallow breathing centered in my chest, and deep breathing that used my diaphragm and pushed out my stomach muscles.

I have called on this technique many times when driving in heavy traffic that feels stressful.  It’s also a great way to start the day.  First thing in the morning, I take three deep abdominal breaths while sitting at my desk at work.

I hope that you try deep abdominal breathing and enjoy its benefits.

If you have any questions or would like to suggest topics for future posts I make here on The Mindful Path, please contact me at mindfulpath@outlook.com .  You can also find me on Twitter @learningdojo

I look forward to sharing more helpful information with you soon.

Thank you, Rotary Foundation of Indianapolis!

Apr08

Thanks to the Rotary Foundation of Indianapolis’ generosity, we have been able to implement a full peace school program model at IPS George Fisher Elementary School #93!

This video highlights a few of the program goals and provides an overview of what we have been able to do thanks to their support.

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