It was Wednesday, April 11th 2018 and I bundled all up with my winter clothes on (yes in April!) and headed to a 2 hour Mindfulness Training. I was cold, it was dark, at night and my thoughts were racing with all the items on my to do list for prepping for my next art sessions AND everything else in life, right!?!
At first, I didn't know if I was in the right location, it was quiet and the lights were off . . . but then I realized that I was in the right place for my whole being!
As I entered the space, I saw yoga mats were laid out in a circle with blankets on them. Floor lights lit the space, battery candles were going, and the smell of essential oils from a humidifier filled the air. A sense of intentional space and calm filled the area.
At the center of the circle of yoga mats was a spring collection of items like twigs, pine cones, flowers, etc. Linda shared that by creating a warm and welcoming space, this welcomes in our whole being, and encourages us to already be present without consciously knowing this.
Below are some notes and reflections on the MINDFULNESS training. I feel these areas and the work of mindfulness, like walking, our environment, eating . . . can be incorporated into all of our work for the good of the whole in all that we create and do and be.
● Creating a pleasant smell (ex. something fresh in season in the area)
● Making a space/place that invites people into it in a warm way, blankets in the circle, desks, chairs, carpet squares . . .
● Pinwheels are great for getting directing energy out in a positive way
● Using small stuffed animals and students placing them on their belly and watching the animals go up and down with their breath. In and out, in and out. (This could be done with a favorite stuffed animal they bring in.)
● Walking meditations - move slowly and observe all the surroundings, what does the air feel like, the sounds around, what do you see? . . .
● Before eating or a transition, take time to sit and listen to a chime ring/singing bowl.
● Have a slight smile on your face
● Remember to breath
● Sitting can be done anyway that is comfortable. Chair, sofa, ground, cushion, etc.
● Read a guided meditation before moving on.
● Eat with all of your senses ~ How does the food smell, taste, feel . . .
● Do not eat through other activities like a meeting or on the go. Take time to set aside and eat together with other people.
● Many ABA's offer food "rewards" (which is controversial), another idea is to switch up the mindless act of a food reward of candy to a mindful act of sharing something sweet like fruit together before moving onto another activity.
● Check out the insight timer app as ways to lead meditations.
● Create an environment/space with blankets, etc that is comfortable to lay down on.