Mindful Classrooms - weeks 7-8

Mindful Classrooms is a program through Mindful Schools, in which I have the honor of sharing mindfulness with students throughout the county. Following are the excerpts from the parent newsletter sent at the end of each week.....

Mindful Moments – week ending 10/30/15

This week we continued to build onto our mindful practice by focusing on gratitude and our thoughts. We learned that an attitude of gratitude can reduce our anxiety, lead to feelings of happiness and even help us sleep better. Not only can gratitude increase our enjoyment with our family and friends AND lead to feeling more connected in our community, but it’s been proven to increase our emotionally resilience (Wood, Froh, Geraghty: Gratitude and Well-being). That means by feeling grateful, we can keep going even when things are hard for us. Each Sun Valley student created a “gratitude” link for our Sun Valley Gratitude Paper Chain. Please visit the Multipurpose Room in early November to view this emotional, inspirational and masterful wonder!

We finished our week by taking some time to think about our thoughts. We are so grateful to have minds filled with thoughts! Often, our minds have a habit of wandering to thoughts about the past and future. Sometimes we even have thoughts we don’t want to have. By mindfully noticing all our thoughts, we can focus on those we want and more easily let go of the ones we don’t want. It takes some practice, but focusing on what is happening right now, in the present, can help us navigate this world with mindful attention and intent.

Mindful Family Challenge: End the day on a grateful note…..each night while tucking the kids into bed this upcoming week, let them know three things you are grateful for that happened during the day. Always start with something directly related to your child. For example: I am so grateful that you finished your homework without me even having to ask you, I am so grateful that your cough has gotten better, I am so grateful that you waited patiently earlier today for your little sister to tie her shoe. Follow up by asking your child to tell you something they are grateful for. I think you just might find that an attitude of gratitude can be contagious!

Remember to take mindful family moments this weekend and have fun together!


Mindful Moments – week ending 11/6/15

With one more mindful class left, our Sun Valley students’ mindful tool belts are nearly full! We began this past week focusing on mindful eating. Using calm bodies and all five senses, we challenged ourselves to think about where our food came from (did our raisins start out as happy grapes on a vine in the California sun?) and if it tastes different when we eat with mindful intention. One thing we all agreed upon - when we took the time to eat mindfully we really enjoyed it!

We ended our week with a focus on utilizing mindfulness during difficult or challenging angst-provoking-situations like test taking (or annoying siblings!). When our mind is filled with stress or worry, it can be hard to find our calm or our brave or our even our breath. Our body secretes a hormone called cortisol that increases our heart rate. If we can mindfully notice this and take a moment to slow our breath in an effort to decrease our heart rate, we just may be able to move forward in a more mindful way. Like the glitter in our mind jar, our breath gives us a moment to allow some (or maybe even all) the worry to settle.

Mindful Family Challenge: Mindful Eating!!! Your student is sure to enjoy a family meal where you’re all unplugged and gathered around the table. Begin with mindfully considering where your food came from. Observe its placement on the plate, its shape and color. Gather its scent and listen to its sizzle. Do you use your fingers to eat it mindfully, scoop it with a spoon, pierce it with a fork? Taste the flavors as you chew slowly. Focus on the moment with great gratitude…..this is an opportunity to share a mindful meal with all your favorite people!

Remember to take mindful family moments this weekend and have fun together!