If we wish to help our children, or the children we work with, to enjoy the benefits of mindful practice, what better way to encourage them than to embrace the practice ourselves? Lets be way showers for the children in our lives; so much of what we are is learnt from the patterns of those that are with us in childhood, so it makes sense to take a mindful, non-judgmental look inside ourselves to acknowledge the part we play in our children’s development.
More often than not my child’s state of anxiety is reflecting my own stress levels and when I take a moment to stop, notice and calm myself, my child’s behaviour and mood also shift into a more positive, relaxed space. The more I practice for myself, the calmer my responses to stressful situations, the less worked up my children get.
Naturally this goes for our exchanges with anyone we engage with and becoming aware (mindful) of what we are actually ‘putting out there’ and consciously responding to that can hugely affect our communications for the better, opening a healthier space where empathy and understanding can replace the anger, hostility and confusion often created by unconscious miscommunication.
And so it is with great pleasure that I can offer mindfulness and relaxation sessions and mindful photography workshops for adults too.
It is not an easy thing for many of us to allow ourselves truly nurturing time just for us, but the rewards for doing so stretch far beyond our personal well-being to those around us. All of the benefits listed on the ‘about’ page can be experienced by adults as well as children. When we learn, and take even a little time each day, to access that calm centre within (yes, it really does exist!) we are better able to cope with the pace of modern life and deal with the inevitable chaotic and challenging patches rather than being swamped by them and feeling helpless and frazzled.
Mindfulness sessions for adults comprise of very gentle mindful movement to aid tension release, breathing and sensory exercises to bring our awareness out of our (often disquiet) minds and fully into the present moment to focus on the calming and simple pleasures our senses can bring us, ending with a peaceful guided relaxation (yes, falling asleep during this is ok!).
- Some feedback from teachers at Basildon Primary School, West Berkshire, after a 2hr Inset session designed to help them slow down, let go and focus in the present;
‘I can not thank you enough for today. It was exactly what the staff needed to give us all a positive, calm start to the term. I found the session so useful… and it made me realise how I really need to spend more time being in my green zone (‘being’ rather than ‘doing’) when I’m in school!’ – Melissa Cliffe, Headteacher.
‘Thank you! A great way to relax – not how I normally feel at the beginning of a term :)’. Anon.
‘The space and time allowed me to reflect on my thoughts and feelings.’ Anon.
‘Very calm and welcoming atmosphere. My initial awkwardness soon dissolved. Thank you for a lovely afternoon.’ Anon.
‘Lovely! Really relaxing, and I like the range of ‘activities’.’ Anon
- Tom Ferry, lower school teacher at Papplewick School, Ascot, gave the following feedback after an 8 week course designed to help him develop his own awareness and integrate mindful practice into his classroom;
‘The course has been genuinely eye opening, offering me a new perspective in how I feel about myself and the way in which I act, as well as developing an understanding I hope to share with my pupils. It has offered me the keys to space inside myself that I didn’t know existed. Through mindful practice, I feel far more able to find a path through the emotions that appear every day – better equipping me to listen and react as I would wish to. Sarah is awesome, I was always comfortable both physically and emotionally.’
‘Sarah offers an excellent course, with lots of practical examples and ideas for implementation in the classroom! She has a firm understanding of the learning environment, having worked with children for a number of years, and offers excellent ideas for a mindful classroom.’
Please contact me if you are interested in learning more…