When the United Nations published research showing that women in Latin American countries experience high levels of income inequality, Mexico-born Spanish teacher Claudia Jones recognized how she could help empower women to close the gap. In August 2020, she launched Mindfulness, Opportunities, Resilience, and Equity (MORE) Latinoámerica, an online educational platform by and for Spanish-speaking women. Initially, her friends doubted the project’s feasibility, but today it has helped more
than 15,000 people learn new skills, from optimizing a LinkedIn profile to practicing mindfulness to developing leadership. “Personally, if I had not had an education, it would have been very difficult for me to overcome the adversities in my life,” Jones told USA Today.
Get Drawn In
Van Gogh Museum visitors in Amsterdam can experience a mindfulness session surrounded by a collection of works united for the first time in an exhibit called Van Gogh and the Olive Groves. The sessions are a part of the museum’s new mental health program Open Up with Vincent. Calling on Van Gogh’s connection to the healing power of art and nature throughout his life, the program includes painting workshops, meditation-videos inspired by scenic paintings, and teaching materials for schools.
The Climate Within
The most visible signs of the climate crisis are external—but, to truly address them, we may need to look inward. In a report released in April 2022, authors Jamie Bristow and Rosie Bell of The Mindfulness Initiative and Professor Christine Wamsler of Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) explore “the common thread of our interrelated socio-ecological crises”: the paradigm of disconnection from nature, from other humans, and from ourselves.
According to the report, available on The Mindfulness Initiative’s website, scientific research suggests that mindfulness and compassion can help us shape a new story about our future. “We need to support people to turn toward difficult emotions like grief and fear, but the neglected inner dimension of the climate crisis isn’t only about increasing people’s personal resilience amid adversity,” says Bristow. “By reconnecting to ourselves, others, and nature and shifting our disconnected worldview, we can address the root cause of the crisis and enable effective action.”
Now We Are 10
The Mindful Birthing and Parenting Foundation is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond, in which Nancy Bardacke lays out Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP). “There’s an overarching sense of the impact now,” says Kimberly Streeter, CFO at the Mindful Birthing and Parenting Foundation. Mindful Birthing launched a global interest in MBCP and a teacher training program that is now taught in 33 countries. “This is really an opportunity for folks to be aware of what’s happening in their bodies and the relationships in the room and to be able to be participants in it with our senses,” Streeter says. “It’s tools and skillfulness for navigating the good parts, the joyous parts, and the parts that are more challenging.”
Pick Me Up in Aisle 9
Anthony Sartori took a job at a grocery store while he was creating the mental-health nonprofit Evolving Minds. While working there he noticed a need to invest in the mental health of in-store employees. “There’s a wide range of cultural issues that come up within the grocery store that grocery store workers have to face every day,” Sartori says. “And with all that stress and the trauma of the world, there wasn’t really a system in place to support employees’ well-being internally.” This observation led him to create Mindful Grocery Stores, a program designed to bring mindfulness practices that focus on gratitude, kindness, and joy into the work environment every day. The program has been adopted by MOM’s Organic Market in Baltimore, MD, with workers sharing that they have noticed increased feelings of connection, community, and care for one another.
Some of us chatter to ourselves all day long while others’ inner lives take the form of pictures or, like Einstein, abstract visual concepts. But as mindfulness urges us to pay more attention, it’s worth asking: What can our interior life teach us? Read More