Mindfulness Daily

This morning I had the pleasure of co-presenting Mindfulness to a group of about 24 Counsellor and Student Services educators. The group of women in the session were dynamic, high spirited and brilliant educators and caregivers. What was quickly obvious was that these women needed to connect with each other. The room was abuzz with chattering, brainstorming and sharing ideas. We asked the women to identify why “Mindfulness”, what “Mindfulness” was, the four Reality Therapy questions, “Want, Doing, Working and Plan.” The answers were as follows:
1. WHAT IS MINDFULNESS? Being in the moment, focusing on the here and now, gratitude, making a conscious effort to do one thing such as breathing, calming, gratitude, non-judgmental awareness of body and surroundings.
2. WHY MINDFULNESS? To help calming strategies, to de-escalate, to focus, think clearly, taking a perspective of the moment, celebrating all the things I’m doing rather than what I have not yet done! Because we need to be aware and observant to enjoy life more. We also must honour what our body needs and pay attention to what it is telling me in order to be the best we can be and to enjoy life to the fullest degree possible.
3. WANT? We want to be consistent with those around us, our students and our children at home! We want a daily routine implemented by all educators, use the resources we have, set aside time daily, get student buy-in, as well as staff buy-in.
4. DOING? We are already personally doing yoga, journaling gratitude, running, taking time to relax, practicing breathing strategies, eating mindfully, using the Life Light Bodyscan, using diffusers/essential oils. At school we are using the Mind-up program, ROE, Growth Mindset, doing Gratitude Journals, using the Breathe Kids App, TIA, using Wendy Malco’s Mindover Matter, Spirit Buddies, and doing regular mindfulness activities.
5. WORKING? For those participating, yes, but the issue is buy-in. Some of the challenges are a) it’s difficult for kids to remain calm to work on mindfulness, b) students with anxiety are enjoying the mindful apps, c) people are looking for instant results but this exercise takes time to develop, d) we need a common language, e) some are using the 4 – 7 – 8- breathing technique, f) its working with kids in sessions and has been having a grounding effect, g) personally, it depends on how many things are happening in your own life, h) Yes, however, only when I’m able to turn things off.
6. PLANS? We plan to continue meditating in AM and PM, include the classroom teachers in these exercises, are doing mindfulness with staff, some teachers do mindfulness daily, some have Mindful Mondays, some have daily opportunities for mindfulness during the lunch break. We’d like to have schoolwide PD on mindfulness, some include mindfulness at staff meetings, hope to have a quiet room, some of us are working with the WRHA on positive mental health plans, we want to order more resources, we are using the “Zones of Regulation” and Yoga, we need to connect with friends and using Cosmic Kids.

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