Many years ago, I was told that a teacher learns more from her student than the student learns from the teacher. This has certainly proven to be true in my experiences as a teacher, whether I was teaching business law, fourth graders or mindful leadership. And, as importantly, I have noticed that when I am open to the full experience of the moment, the lesson offered is exactly what I needed to learn.Read more »
As a novice teacher, one of my greatest challenges was dealing with the constant and incessant demands of my kindergarten students. Like a Greek chorus, the children called out: “Ms. Jennings, I can’t find my pencil.” “Suzie took my eraser!” “Teacher, I don’t understand this stuff. I need help.”
This cacophony was so irritating because I had no skills to deal with the problem or with my frustration. Bothered by the unending demands, I would lose patience. Knowing it wasn’t appropriate to snap at my tender young students, I suppressed my feelings and quietly fumed.Read more »
When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?
I started practicing several years ago after attending a workshop on social intelligence. The research presented on the effectiveness of mindfulness as a tool for well-being was so staggering that I felt like it just wasn’t an option not to take this on.
Did you take a class? If so, what sort of a class did you take?
I went to a retreat offered by Steve Flowers and Bob Stahl—Mindfulness for Health Professionals. It was life changing. I loved the retreat so much that I promised myself I would go back once a year. It’s ended up being 2-3 times a year ever since.Read more »
Barely a week goes by without some new clinical trial showing how programs which teach mindfulness can help people minimize suffering and enhance their well-being. Whether it be through reducing stress, managing illness, boosting the immune system or moving away from addictive habits, science is confirming what meditators have reported for thousands of years—that mindfulness is beneficial in a wide range of ways. At the same time, it's important not to get carried away by all the data, sucked into viewing meditation as a quick-fix solution.Read more »
Stress is a precursor to anxiety, and more than 19 million Americans are afflicted with some type of anxiety disorder today. Furthermore, disorders such as anxiety critically impact quality of life and well-being. Although current research is working towards discovering factors that influence well-being, there is still a pattern of sidestepping the qualities of sacred moments in reference to mental health and well-being. With the field's persistent emphasis on techniques toward mental health that do not explicitly involve the sacred and the transcendent, it seems critical to continue to tap this area for its value to our own lives.
To back this up the need for this in our society, an electronic search of Psychological Abstracts in psychology's last 100 years reveals a 14 to one ratio of psychological articles about negative emotions versus positive emotions. The imbalance in research of negative versus positive makes it ever more important to ask the question: what does it mean to live the good life? The good news: there is resurgence in the world of focusing on this very question!Read more »