Nineteen members of staff from various roles throughout the school signed up for a weekly session of guided meditation and discussion about the concurrent reading of a chapter in the self-study book ‘Finding Peace in a Frantic World’. This book was written with the intention of guiding the reader forwards in their journey into living more mindfully and to give them “scientifically grounded techniques we can apply in the midst of our everyday challenges and catastrophes.”
By no means pre-experienced in mindfulness practice, our group came together with open minds and various expectations. Some people already knew of mindfulness and had done alternative meditative exercises before, while others were skeptical in their ability to do it effectively, but were prepared to make a commitment and see.
As the weeks passed and the process grew less alien to us, we began to hear more and more positive experiences shared in the meetings and were able to help one another identify techniques that may be even more beneficial in the future. The book covers many different approaches to the meditation; those that appealed greatly to some were not so enticing to others, and it was through this collaborative environment that we could really appreciate that there is no right or wrong way to approach the practice - only what works best for the individual. With this in mind, we strove to let go of any self-doubt which held us back and focus on experiencing the present moment, which is itself the ultimate goal of mindfulness.
On completing the programme, it was agreed by all that we were more able to objectively notice our emotions and therefore exert better control of them to some extent. With these new skills, many attested to being able to help themselves to feel less anxious and to cope more effectively when feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Many also agreed to have found a new ability to appreciate the small everyday things which so often get lost in the fast pace of life. We will continue to use the techniques and strategies that we learned from the group going forwards in our day to day lives in an ongoing effort to live life more mindfully.
Sarah will be running a new eight week group this term, so if this sparked your interest, sign up here by email - you might just thank yourself!
Ceridwen Gale, SEN department