17 09, 2018

Impact Story: Intersection of Equity and Restorative Practices

2021-05-20T17:41:33-04:00September 17th, 2018|Tags: , , |

by Kristina Hulvershorn What does restorative practices have to do with equity?  In a word everything. I wanted to share a concept from our restorative practices trainings that might help clarify the connection. Every school and organization has boundaries.  Human beings need and thrive when we know the boundaries and we feel that they are fair.  Every school’s boundaries are slightly different…but almost every school in our geographical region has one thing in common: disproportionate discipline.  We issue harsher punishments on students of color. Specifically, black boys but also on black girls and  latinx boys and girls. But, channeling LeVar Burton, don’t take my word for it. Hit the books. Brilliant scholars have written extensively on this and you can even check out data from individual schools. So, I ask participants to explain what behaviors fall outside of those boundaries of acceptable behavior.  Swearing? Fighting? Disrespect?  Dressing out of uniform? Consider all of the gray areas in each of these categories.  What exactly is a swear word? Is horseplay considered fighting?  As we get in the weeds with that I then ask participants to consider, If behaving, thinking, or acting out of the box is what lands our kids in a realm of harsher discipline or worse, the school to prison pipeline, it’s time to consider the box itself. Specifically Who made that box?  Think about it. Who designed the norms of your school or organization? Let’s go ahead

7 10, 2014

The Mindful Path – Clear the Clutter

2021-05-20T17:42:38-04:00October 7th, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this post, I want to share something important with you that I found out about mindfulness. Lately, I’ve found myself noticing that I’ve accumulated a lot of clutter. Over time, a pile of books here, and materials for various projects there…..and there….and there have been making me feel loaded down and without energy. Unfortunately, I’m not the kind of person who can quickly find exactly the page I want from a big stack of papers. I spent a good part of the last weekend clearing the clutter and getting more organized. In the process, I found a few things I hadn’t been able to locate easily. I also filled six large garbage bags with perfectly useful items that I no longer needed, and I donated them to Goodwill. As a result of this, I feel much more grounded and able to take care of some things I’d been putting off. I feel as if I have a fresh start and new awareness. This experience reminded me of a great resource on my bookshelf to share with you. Sarah Susanka is an amazingly gifted architect who initiated the “small house movement,” where building better does not have to mean building big, sprawling mega houses. Susanka has applied this perspective to her book, “The Not So Big Life.” Go here to find out more about the book and much more: https://www.notsobiglife.com/ Consider what gets in

2 09, 2014

The Mindful Path – Everyday Mindfulness

2021-05-20T17:42:42-04:00September 2nd, 2014|Tags: , |

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: https://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

19 08, 2014

The Mindful Path – A Resource for Mindful Eating

2021-05-20T17:42:45-04:00August 19th, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! In this post, I wanted to share with you some information about a free online event, “The Mindful Eating Summit,” which will happen next week on August 25 – 29. Find out more here: https://mindfuleatingsummit.com/ This site invites you to sign up for the online event by providing a free Emotional Eater’s Tool Kit. The event is hosted by Dr. Susan Albers (@DrSusanAlbers on Twitter). Dr. Albers will interview experts on the habits and emotions that shape the way we eat. Participants will take away techniques, strategies and tools to apply right away to take charge and stop emotional eating. I signed up because I admit that I can be an emotional eater, and I know that additional resources to help me make better choices could be very useful. Although I’ve consciously chosen better habits for the most part, significant stress can make me more likely to seek out junk food for comfort. If you have interest in this topic, please click on the link above to find out more. Something that I started doing recently that has been very helpful is to make Green Monster smoothie drinks filled with vegetables, fresh fruit, and a dollop of protein powder. I feel great after enjoying one of these drinks. Here’s a link to a recipe to get started: https://noshon.it/recipes/green-monster-smoothie/ If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to comment here or to contact

22 07, 2014

The Mindful Path – Appreciation for Right Now

2021-05-20T17:42:48-04:00July 22nd, 2014|Tags: , |

Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  This post presents more reflections and observations from my experience in the program in the book “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” by Mark Williams and Danny Penman @DrDannyPenman. Last week, the meditation was a body scan that helped me place my focus on each area of the body, notice anything I was feeling, and then let it go.  Although the intention was to do this meditation while lying down on the floor or a bed, I found myself doing it on most week days while sitting in my office chair at work.  To my pleasant surprise, afterwards I felt remarkably refreshed, with my thoughts positive and clear. The mindfulness book makes the point that mindfulness “is about reorienting your life, so you can enjoy it to the full” (p. 116).  Something you can do to experience part of this reorientation is to do the ten-finger gratitude exercise:On a daily basis, stop to think of ten things you are grateful for, and count them off on your fingers. This is simple, yet can be very meaningful.  One of my ten things happened this morning as I was driving to work.  It was still quite early, and there wasn’t much traffic on the city streets that make up my short commute.  As I signaled to turn down the street that leads to my parking area, a small rabbit began crossing

13 05, 2014

The Mindful Path – Find More Joy

2021-05-20T17:42:54-04:00May 13th, 2014|Tags: , , |

Hello again from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson!  In this Mindful Path post, I want to tell you about three writing exercises you can do to create more joy in your life by practicing mindfulness.  The good part is that the exercises are easy to do.  The challenge is to remember to do the first two exercises on a daily basis, and the third exercise on a weekly basis.  Eventually, if you get in the habit of doing the exercises, they will become a welcome part of your regular routine. To help us explore this topic, I’m referencing details from the wonderful book, “The Joy of Appreciative Living” by Jacqueline (Jackie) Kelm. Doing the Exercises The first exercise is to write a Daily Appreciation List where you list three things for which you are grateful.  The second exercise is to answer the Daily Question, which is “What one thing could I do today, no matter how small, that would increase my joy?”  The Weekly Visioning Exercise is the third part, where you tap into your vision to imagine that you have achieved your ideal, joy-filled life.  Once a week, spend fifteen minutes writing down all the details you can identify that represent this ideal experience. A few years ago, I began a practice of completing exercises one and two on a daily basis.  I’ve found this reflection to be very useful because it enhances my awareness of what I’m experiencing, helping

22 04, 2014

The Mindful Path – Deep Abdominal Breathing

2021-05-20T17:42:56-04:00April 22nd, 2014|Tags: , , , |

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 https://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

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