Mindful awareness makes me a better teacher, mother, friend, wife and community member. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place.
I wanted to let you know that our collaboration with the Flourish Foundation and your personal, continued commitment to compassion training and mindfulness is paying off. Teachers at the middle school have frequently commented on what a kind and sweet class the sixth graders are this year. At first I thought this was just part of the class “personality” but over time I’ve realized that they have learned how to treat each other this way. A great example of this was an activity that I’ve lead for years at the start of Environmental Camp. It’s a challenge where the entire group (more than 100 kids) has to keep a large beach ball in the air. The catch is everyone has to participate.This year is the first time ever where the entire group was able to participate without teachers having to prompt or intervene. It was really amazing! So this is a big thanks to you and the Flourish Foundation for all of your efforts. Not only have you made our lives more peaceful up at the middle school; more importantly, you are teaching our kids life-long skills.
I have witnessed Flourish’s benefits first-hand as a parent, teacher, and school administrator since the Mindful Awareness Program was introduced in Blaine County schools seven years ago. It is a program that, I feel, is invaluable to the students of our community. I have observed more and more students with anxiety, struggling with social interaction and skills, increased academic expectations, and family dysfunction. We expect children to have skills that they can apply independently to manage anger, sadness, empathy, and anxiety but they don’t. All of us spend less time reflecting on how the external world is affecting our internal well-being, which in turn has a direct impact on how we deal with stress, anxiety, anger, sadness, and excitement. I’m much more confident that, with the new world we live in, our children, through mindfulness, will have the appropriate skills and tools to look within themselves to help manage and cope in a positive and reflective way.
What Flourish does is give kids the key to unlock their inner world. We investigate the meaning of compassion, empathy, inner strength, and resilience. We teach kids and adults how to relax – something that many of us don’t know how to do. We show people how to watch their thoughts without getting tugged around by them, which I truly believe is the foundation of deep and long lasting happiness.
Having mindfulness as a regular part of our week has gone a long way to making it a regular part of our lives. That we take and make this time to work on focus, clarity, and relaxation, that we discuss kindness and intentionality- these are all key elements of our school, and key components of how we think we can help develop teenagers who are thoughtful and engaged.