26 08, 2015


2021-05-20T17:42:09-04:00August 26th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Can We Help Build Your "Team"? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term "team" in its simplest form; "A group of people who work together."  At Peace Learning Center, we think it's a little more complicated than that.  At the very least, our notion of an effective team is any group, small or large, working towards a common goal or objective that demonstrates the ability to: Manage and overcome conflict in positive ways Encourage dialogue with dignity and respect Appreciate and leverage the team's diversity Ensure all voices and perspectives are heard Build consensus Contentiously improve The complexity and content of our Community Programs and the "teams" we serve continues to grow.  This year our workshop objectives included everything from better understanding personality styles to strategic planning (Our belief is that a gifted, talented group of professional leaders cannot create a sound strategic plan if they don't know how to work/talk together!).    Organizations we served this past year included teams from the Teaching, Non-profit, Medical, Government, Faith-based, Military, Corporate, and Youth Service Provider fields.  All workshops were different and designed to best meet the needs of each particular team.  One recent participant said of a team building workshop, "I absolutely DREADED coming to this, but I'm leaving feeling happy with a renewed commitment to my team and teammates - thank you!"  Now that's the kind of response we like!   Let us know if you think we can help your team.  You

18 08, 2015

The Mindful Path – Transforming the Corrections System

2021-05-20T17:42:09-04:00August 18th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this post, another in our series this quarter on mindfulness in the community, we’ll look at the great work of Prison Mindfulness Institute (PMI). See their web site here: https://www.prisonmindfulness.org/. You’ll find a lot of helpful resources and information at this site. Their mission: “is to provide prisoners, prison staff and prison volunteers, with the most effective, evidence-based tools for rehabilitation, self-transformation, and personal & professional development. In particular, we provide and promote the use of proven effective mindfulness-based interventions (MBI’s). Our dual focus is on transforming individual lives as well as transforming the corrections system as a whole in order to mitigate its extremely destructive impact on families, communities and the overall social capital of our society.” This work has the potential to make a significant difference in the communities where individuals are incarcerated. A major tool used in prison programs led by PMI is Path of Freedom®, a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence (MBEI) model for at-risk and incarcerated youth and adult prisoners developed by Kate Crisp and Fleet Maull. Here’s a link to a video about use of this program: https://vimeo.com/46701853 If you’re interested in finding out about where programs have been offered, here’s a link to more details: https://ow.ly/R2pqJ It’s great to see how mindfulness can be used in this unique way to serve not only a population of incarcerated individuals, but also to positively impact the communities in which prisons

10 07, 2015

Learning Your Conflict Style

2021-05-20T17:42:13-04:00July 10th, 2015|Tags: , , |

Has anyone ever told you, "When I first met you, I thought you were a real jerk!"? Most people don't "click" right away. It often take months, or even years, before we are able to understand another person's personality and conflict style. This lack of understanding results in people butting heads - which is especially problematic when they are on the same team! Through our PLC Community Programs, we accelerate this learning process from months/years to only a couple of hours by helping team members better understand their own personalities and conflict styles while also gaining insight into the personality and conflict styles of their team members. While we can't guarantee everyone will like each other, at least they'll know how to work with each other better to accomplish their team goals. During our workshops we utilize a customized Conflict Style tool to assess and reveal each participant's conflict style. The team then has the opportunity to share and discuss their findings. While this activity is best done in a group, it is still beneficial to take some time to discover your own conflict style. Click here to take a short online quiz to learn more about how you resolve conflicts. Interested in learning more about PLC can help your team become more effective by accelerating the understanding process? Email John McShane, Community Programs Director, at jmcshane@peacelearningcenter.org or give him a call at 317-327-7144. You can also visit our website

7 07, 2015

The Mindful Path – In the Community

2021-05-20T17:42:13-04:00July 7th, 2015|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this third quarter of the year, my posts on The Mindful Path will be about mindfulness in the community. There’s a great connection between the two, when the individual practice of mindfulness, which involves attention to the current moment without judgement, is also applied broadly to our neighborhoods, communities, and society. How does this happen? One example is work performed by Peace Learning Center for Irvington Community High School to help their freshman students learn conflict resolution skills and resolve interpersonal issues. One component of this involved mindfulness exercises that helped the students better respond to stressful situations. Although this focused on school issues, the skills learned could transfer outside the educational environment, with the potential to positively impact all current and future relationships. To read more about this, click here: https://ow.ly/Pcpl0 Let’s go back to talking about us as individuals. Some people actively take advantage of ways they can be of service to others, and this can enhance the benefits of mindfulness in the community. But what if you aren’t easily able to do this? You may already be tapped out by juggling multiple jobs, by the commitment of being a care-giver for a family member with special needs, or by many other possible situations. You might not easily see opportunities for how you as an individual can mindfully impact the community. However, consider all the roles you may have: employee, child,

18 06, 2015

If it’s to be, it’s up to me

2021-05-20T17:42:14-04:00June 18th, 2015|Tags: , |

The story we tell ourselves and others is our reality. All the triumphs, challenges, and ongoing battles we dwell on in our minds would be forever gone if we lost our lives tomorrow.  The truth is - no one makes you feel or act - it is your choice. The only thing controlled by you, is what you say and what you do. Indianapolis is a city that studies say is one of the most difficult places to go from poverty as a child to prosperity as an adult.  It is not because there are not opportunities - mostly a lack of relationships and access. Education is the ladder out of poverty.  The further you go in education - the higher the ladder.  But we all know, education is time and time is precious when we have families to feed and jobs to work. My work at Peace Learning Center involves helping people realize their true potential while overcoming their shortcomings. People ask me, "How do you help young people succeed, especially if they're in the juvenile justice system?" It starts with taking personal responsibility for your life.  No one makes you feel or do things - you are responsible for your own decisions.  Once we realize this, we see that no one holds us back but ourselves.  Once you take charge - you start having hope for the future.  Once you have hope - you realize that your education

3 03, 2015

The Mindful Path: Use Mindfulness to Redefine Success

2021-05-20T17:42:24-04:00March 3rd, 2015|Tags: |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! This month, my posts will continue to focus on personal mindfulness. A message came to me in email about author and syndicated columnist Arianna Huffington’s latest book, “Thrive,” where she talks about how a focus on money and power alone will not support a meaningful life. She makes a great case for redefining what success means. Here is a link to the book: https://ow.ly/JRR3q Some view Huffington as a wealthy person who is out of touch, and controversial because her views have changed over time from being conservative to being liberal. However, what resonates with me is that she encourages each of us to take the time to think carefully about what we want for our life to mean. Huffington is also an enthusiastic champion on the benefits of mindfulness, describing how it helped her recover from burnout in her work. To see more applicable resources on The Huffington Post, an online news aggregator and blog founded by Arianna Huffington and others, here’s a link to the ‘GPS for the Soul’ section: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/gps-for-the-soul. From the page that opens, you’ll see that you can also click on ‘Third Metric,’ which relates to the content in “Thrive.” Here’s a post from the delightful online digest, Brain Pickings (https://www.brainpickings.org) that features Huffington’s 2013 Smith College Commencement address where her focus is on redefining success: https://ow.ly/JRTvY. If you’ve been looking for a call to action that will help

30 12, 2014

The Mindful Path – Flavor of the Month?

2021-05-20T17:42:29-04:00December 30th, 2014|Tags: |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! Is mindfulness just a fad? It’s a concept that’s fairly new in our part of the world. However, its origins lie in Buddhism and ancient spiritual traditions going back more than 2,500 years. Is experiencing mindfulness immediately rewarding and leading to blissful happiness? Some sources seem to suggest that if practicing mindfulness doesn’t immediately change your life for the better that something is wrong …. with you. Ouch, it’s really not that at all. “Psychology Today” presents a much more realistic perspective here: https://ow.ly/Gzmju Practicing mindfulness can be difficult because it encourages learning to acknowledge difficult emotions and experiences instead of avoiding them. As a result, you can learn to live more consciously and focus your attention better. However, this does require practice. Like learning other skills, practicing mindfulness over time can help it to become a more effective skill for you. What gets me so excited about mindfulness is that practicing it consistently can lead to significant, positive changes in the brain. This can make it possible to experience better emotional regulation and resilience (and a whole host of other positive benefits). We once thought that the brain was unchanging, but scientific research has shown that mindfulness meditation can cause the brain to change. It's not a flavor of the month or a fad. Here’s an article from Mindful.org that tells about the science of how mindful meditation influences the brain: https://ow.ly/GAlyu Your

23 12, 2014

The Mindful Path – Be in the Present Moment

2021-05-20T17:42:30-04:00December 23rd, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! As the new year approaches, are you thinking about welcoming more mindfulness into your life? A great way is to learn to practice mindfulness meditation, where you can start by noting when your mind wanders and bring it back to the present moment by focusing on your breath. To learn more, here’s a link to an excellent post from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley: https://ow.ly/GksHS Lots of interesting and helpful information includes: • How frequently our minds wander (you may be surprised by how much) • What happens in our brain when we’re not focused on the present • A quiz to find out how mindful you are • How mindfulness meditation can help you disengage from counter-productive rumination That last point really resonated with me. I know that when I have negative experiences, I can tend to go over them again and again in my mind. But replaying all the details in exquisite detail doesn’t help me get past the negative experience to learn, grow, and have better future experiences. Practicing mindfulness meditation can help you train your brain over time to let go of negative experiences more easily, assisting you to feel more happiness. If you have any comments or questions, you can either post them below or email me directly at mindfulpath@outlook.com. In my next post, look for more resources and ideas about mindfulness. I

23 09, 2014

The Mindful Path – Mindfulness in Health Care

2021-05-20T17:42:40-04:00September 23rd, 2014|Tags: |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this week’s post, I’m sharing details about mindfulness at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Harvard Pilgrim), a full-service health benefits company serving Massachusetts and other states in the northeast. Based on scientific data showing the benefits of mindfulness meditation, in 2006 Harvard Pilgrim began a pilot “Mindfulness in the Workplace” program that provided a 6-week course on the basics of mindfulness. By learning how to take advantage of body scans, mindful eating, meditation, and mindful listening, participants demonstrated improvement in handling stress, interacting with others, focusing their attention, and in improving their work/life balance. Today, Harvard Pilgrim offers a wide variety of mindfulness programs to employer groups and the community. Here’s a link to find out more: https://ow.ly/BNqwp. Here, you’ll find videos, meditations, and other resources to help you make progress on your mindful path. At the link above, you’ll also find a Frequently Asked Questions list. I noted that under the question, “What if I am a skeptic?” there wasn’t an attempt to discount doubts that an individual might have. Instead, the answer encourages patiently trying mindfulness for a while to see what benefits could result from practicing it over time. Finding the Harvard Pilgrim resources made me think of other businesses that pair making mindfulness an important part of their operations, such as Aetna and Google. There are many others; the list is growing as individuals experience the benefits of mindfulness and

15 07, 2014

The Mindful Path – Synergies in Mindfulness

2021-05-20T17:42:49-04:00July 15th, 2014|Tags: , , , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This week presents a great opportunity to find more synergies between mindfulness practiced intentionally by adults and mindfulness as experienced by children in school as part of social and emotional learning (SEL) exercises. Mindfulness Program I’m continuing to work through the program in “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.  In ‘Mindfulness Week Two: Keeping the Body in Mind,’ the meditation is a body scan.  By experiencing this, you can learn to pay attention to your body, identify messages your body is sending you about anxiety and stress, and enhance your awareness by carefully scanning all areas of the body. I have been really enjoying this mindfulness program.  I really think that it’s helped me to be more centered and calm, which has resulted in being more present instead of focusing on the past or the future. Meditation Resources If you’re interested in exploring some free meditation resources, try this link from UCLA Mindful Awareness Resource Center. https://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22 Yoga Enhances Mindfulness I have found that starting a yoga practice along with mindfulness makes my whole experience even more rich.  Although I took some yoga classes in the past, it was so long ago that for all practical purposes, I’m a beginner again.  I’ve been working with some recorded content for beginners; this has helped me to stretch my muscles, tone them, and to relax

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