Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mindfulness: Calm, Cool and Collected Learning Spaces

This evening I engaged in a Zoom training with Strive Called Mindfulness: Calm, Cool and Collected Learning Spaces
Covid has really pushed educators all to be creative in how we present and engage in our work both with  considering how we will return to our work with children but with our own professional development - I personally am loving this new 'Zoom' option that organizers like Strive and other industry leaders are creating where we can be engaging in professional development with colleagues in an interactive manner but in a way that creates more work life balance - being able to be 'home' but also connected is truly amazing! Zoom seems to offer a more interactive option that other 'webinars' I have engaged in!
The workshop tonight turned out to be a refresher I took in 2019 however it was still amazing and took away new things that I missed the first time plua gives me a chance to do up a blog post to share it for my CPL as well as I had not been doing the blogging of my CPL back in 2019. 

The presenter
Abe Giesbrecht shared the following with us: 

Alan Watts a great mentor for mindfulness – click the link to go to Wikipedia entry to find out more about him.

25 Alan Watts Quotes to Teach You the Transformative Power of ...

Another favorite quote

 3 skills working together
·         Concentration
·         Sensory clarity
·         Equanimity – just recognize what it is do not accept or push away

For children it is the basics of ‘what’s happening right now’.

It is NOT
·         About being calm
·         Absence of thought – it is actually noticing what IS the thought
·         About discipline
·         A silver bullet – it won’t solve every problem
·         Religious – it is actually secular

Mindfulness Exercise of sitting quiet listen to your body, what is happening how do your head, stomach and legs ‘feel’ in the moment.

Mindfulness allows you to access the prefrontal and hippocampus by quieting the Amygdala (fight/flight/freeze instinct) when you are experiencing stress.

The Importance of Breath – it is always THERE. It is that gas and break momentum

To reduce anxiety or fight/flight/freeze state of mind you
·         Anchor Spot – where do you FEEL your anger/sadness/stress
·         Anchor words – how do you feel – label your feeling
·         Activities for breathing – blow out the candle and control your breaths

Chronic Shallow Breathing is an issue in North America – and as a result of the lack of deep breaths the brain does not get the message to tell the heart to ‘slow down’ when it gets that ‘fight flight freeze’ feeling.

Sitting – it is important to spend time with children sitting still for extended periods of time as developmentally appropriate as it is linked to improvement in executive functioning and self-control!

Body Scan                                                              Engage your Five Senses
Wiggle start top head move down to toes        Listening what do you hear
Are you slouching or sitting straight?                   Find something new to see/notice
Are you clenching your jaw – relax                     What do you smell / taste

Moving – Mindful Movement ideas for kids
Go Slow motion – pretend in glue and feet are stick and slowing you right down
Go Light - Feather on the Head
Go Heavy - Be a Rock – walk heavy slow footed
Go with purpose – walk glass of water very full and hold it while walking

Pay attention to the response to your food, learning hunger cues and thirsty cues
Pickle or Raisin game (goggle this)
Pretend you are tasting something for first time – describe and really focus on the food properties

The harder you think about trying to sleep the harder it is to fall asleep

Muscle relaxation
·         Do the tension exercise do the body scan start head and move down relaxing tension
·         What’s going on in your mind just ‘notice’ the thoughts without judgement or trying to change them
·         Focus on breathing
·         Gravity perspective exercise picture yourself in bed and then getting lighter and float about your body, out of your bed, out of your room, out of your house, above city and up into outer space and then relax and feel your body sink back into the bed the pull of gravity pulling you back.

Printable Breathing Exercises for Kids. Free printable activity cards.
Breathing Exercise Ideas
Stress and Emotions
“To think in the terms of either pessimism or optimism oversimplies the truth. The problem is to see reality as it IS”. Feelings are actually sensations from visceral organs and over the years of evolution humans have given those sensations ‘names’.

Relationships between Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness 

Power of THOUGHT – how you look at it is how you will SEE it!

Practice scenarios of
·         Gratefulness
·         Generosity and kindness

Notice how you feel and how long it took to feel that way between action and feeling

Strengthen physical connections to positive thoughts in your body.

Visualize than before difficult moments how you can choose to feel positive and remember that you can return to those feelings despite the difficult moment about to happen.

Define the Past, Present and Future of your mindset or thoughts.

So Past thinking is guilt/regret/anger emotions in body and future is anxiety/worry/stress emotions in the body and both have negative effects on the body and are things you cannot control anyway – keep thoughts in the present where your action and control on how to handle a situation actually lays.

Label your thoughts as they appear and try to detach the thought from the feeling from your visceral organs … let the tension go in those organs.  

Mindfulness without heartfulness is not complete

Heartfulness without Mindfulness is not complete

Role of Educators

Personal Practice
·         Our internal state is determining factor in a child’s internal state
·         In many our Nervous system attunement has atrophied – we have lost our sense of ‘self’ that ‘gut feeling’ of intuition and attachment to our body.

Disembodiment verse Embodiment or the Doing verses Being

·         Intrinsic Memory – stop and smell the roes more ‘delight’ in your children and the small moments because they are all ‘small moments’ in the larger picture of day.
·         Understanding mindfulness
·         Be PRESENT – your presence is the best gift you can give children!

 Activity Training / Teaching mindfulness to others
·         Understand then can express
·         Explain the WHY
·         Give them ab active role in practicing
·         Keep it VERY quick, simple and positive and OFTEN and with Intention
·         Vocalize the positive changes you see in their mindful practices
·         Progression
·         Adjust Expectations – it is not a silver bullet and what works for some will not work for others


Our past experiences should not negatively affect our children’s current experiences (do not share your own fears/anxieties/dislikes’ with children)
Adjust your external dialogue and change your internal dialogue to keep it positive when having to do things with children that may have been challenges in your own life (aka dislike of spiders or foods or other experiences)

Success at anything comes from the following equation
Seeing Value in it + Setting Goals + Honing Skills = Positive Meaning and Energy for it to see success at it

Have an amazing MINDFUL day!

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

No comments:

Post a Comment