On Saturday, October 18, 2014 the Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School along with La Cima Elementary Charter School collaborated to host their first Mindfulness March. Each scholar and their family member(s) who agreed to participate in the event had to contribute a healthy snack and create a poster that stated why you were marching. During this event my daughter and I along with several other scholars and members of their family participated in several activities including meditation, a silent march around the perimeter of the school carrying the posters we created. We also participated in reading, reciting and interpreting positive quotes. At the beginning of the event the host asked, "Does anyone know what mindfulness means? Does anyone know what it means to be mindful? How can it help you in your life?" As you read this post you may be asking yourself the same questions.
Mindfulness or being mindful is being aware of our surroundings, thoughts and feelings on purpose and without discernment (judgment). It means to notice your experience at that moment. Practicing mindfulness can transform your life and add several benefits to your life. As parent's, if we practice mindfulness it can improve our parenting skills, enhance our relationships with our children as well as others and it helps us to cope with stress.We were informed that we can turn our daily activities such as brushing our teeth, combing our hair, or washing the dishes into mindfulness activities. For example, if you are washing the dishes do so mindfully. Say and repeat to yourself, I am washing the dishes. Be aware of the soap suds, water and the physical act (the motion) of washing the dishes.
After the discussion of being mindful, each person had to pull a folded piece of paper from a bag. When we unfolded the paper, there was a quote. We were told to read, internalize and think about the quote we chose. Each one of us was given 5 minutes to share our thoughts about the quote to the audience.
As I unfolded my paper, I was surprised to see a quote similar to what I tell myself. Every morning, as I look in the mirror, I tell myself, "Your past does not define you. Your past has not defeated you. You get up, shake it off, learn from it and move forward to become a better person. The quote I received was, "My scars do not define me". When it was my turn to voice my interpretation, I stated the following, "I do not have many physical scars. I have emotional scars which cannot be seen by others. These scars have made me feel hopeless, resentment, angry, sad and sometimes numb. There have been times when I could not identify with myself. I did not recognize the person staring back at me when I looked on the mirror. One day, I realized that I was ignoring the problems. I needed to acknowledge every negative situation that occurred in my life and then let it go. I acknowledged some of the situations that occurred in my life were out of my control. Finally I told myself that things happen in life, you have made some wrong decisions, but you learned from them. No matter what the situation is, everything is going to be okay. You are going to be okay. Some unfortunate events occurred in your life that left emotional scars, but your scars do not define you. They are simply markings that remind you of where you have been, but they do not determine where you are or will go".
Shortly after we sat in complete stillness for fifteen minutes. I will be the first to admit that it felt great. Sitting still is something we are not able to do because we all have busy lives. After this segment, she stressed it is important for everyone to sit still on a daily basis. Sitting still and being mindful can allow you to think clearly, focus, alter your mood, really listen (and not hear), inner peace and brings you in the moment. The last activity of the day was to participate in the Mindfulness March. My daughter marched to "Stop Racism. I marched to "Stop Police Brutality and to Stop Homelessness. During this march no one spoke a word. Our posters spoke for us and we received so much support from spectators on foot in addition to those in their vehicles. Silence really does speak volumes. As we departed from the school grounds we were given a packet that contained a few mindfulness activities, meditation activities for parents, teachers and our children.
|Me (bottom) and Nyasia's (top) Poster's|
|My Other Poster|
Here are a few of the sites:
Remember, sharing is caring. I hope this post benefits you.
Have you experienced mindfulness?
How has it changed your life?