Communities Raise Children
Life is stressful. Fast-paced and rapidly changing, our modern world is full of challenges. As Einstein said, “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Mindfulness is a different and effective way of working with the stresses of life. Connecting to our inherent resourcefulness and living consciously – mindfully – improves our capacity to meet these challenges.
Mindfulness cultivates our inner resources: qualities of compassion, insight and inspiration that are necessary to sustain positive mental health and well-being. These inner resources are essential for everyone involved in building a healthier, more caring and resilient society. To develop these qualities and cultivate the wisdom needed to live a balanced life, many of us can benefit from specialized guidance and mindfulness training programs that promote mental health and well-being.
To ensure the effectiveness of mindfulness training, all those involved in the lives of children and youth need new, more relevant forms of support. Specifically, parents, teachers and community workers need to embody the necessary qualities of non-judgment, empathy, and compassion to create communities that will raise healthy children.
At Mindfulness Everyday, we envision a society in which people, from children to adults, are living attentively, consciously connected to their inherent resourcefulness; a society in which we cultivate the resilience to meet and cope with personal challenges and life’s ups and downs; and a society in which we relate to others, the environment, and ourselves in an intuitively supportive, compassionate and non-harming way.
To realize our vision, we promote mindfulness practices, positive mental and physical health, compassionate action and resilience. Mindfulness Everyday provides stress reduction training and life enhancement skills for young people, educators, professional support staff and parents in the schools, and for organizations and members of the community.
Our values are embodied in mindfulness. By its nature, mindfulness embodies inclusiveness, transparency, honesty and integrity, respect for self, others and the environment. Mindfulness supports compassion, kindness, empathy, patience, a peaceful mind, and an open heart.
To ensure ongoing relevance and positive impact, we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of community members and the networks that support children and youth, by providing tailored mindfulness programs for educators, administrators, parents, and families.
Our focus is the implementation of youth programming in our educational system as part of the curriculum so that our youth have the skills and tools to meet the challenges of life with wisdom and insight. By offering programs to the adults in our youth’s lives – to educators, parents, caregivers and adults, we will insure the sustainability of the programs offered to youth.
“The troubled hearts and minds of children are becoming a campaign issue in Ontario. A broad new coalition of hospitals, social workers, children’s aid societies, psychologists, teachers, students and trustees cites the turbulent mental health of today’s students ― from anxiety and depression to suicidal feelings ― as the “number one issue facing schools today.” June 1, 2011 Louise Brown – Education Reporter
As a social enterprise, our goal is to be sustainable over time, charging clients who can afford services, and providing services for free or at nominal cost to those with affordability issues. Recent budget cuts to our schools have limited the resources available to provide preventative programs delivered by proficient mindfulness facilitators to both students and teachers. Current economic conditions have created additional stress in the average person’s life; many individuals cannot pay the fee for service in order to take programs that can assist them with their health and well-being.
The basis of our approach is the methodology, values and attitudes of the MBSR Workshop—Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.
We believe that mindfulness is the ongoing discovery of the thread of interconnectedness; through practice, we become aware of our mind-body connection as well as our connection to everyone and everything around us. We also believe that the cultivation of such awareness and interconnectedness is the source for learning about, respecting and possibly ensuring the sustainability of our communities.
Our teachers are involved in ongoing self-transformation and professional development, and are always learning alongside participants. This model of teaching and learning has proven extremely effective in engaging participants, particularly youth, by helping them embody authentic experiences of mindfulness in relationship.
Mindfulness Everyday seeks to educate people about the benefits of mindfulness by teaching and developing mindfulness based programs for the general public, schools and social agencies; collaborating with other organizations to support our goals; and promoting the values of mindfulness in society.
Mindfulness Everyday programs and services can be grouped into the following program areas:
Educational programs serving students as well as educators and health care professionals who are involved directly or indirectly in caring for youth and provide participants with the skills to develop personal resilience and manage stress in the face of life’s challenges and difficulties.
MBSR Workshops—Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is the foundational program, serving adults in the community in a non-institutional setting, providing participants with mindfulness skills to develop personal resilience and manage stress in the face of life’s challenges and difficulties.
Mindful Parenting offers the opportunity to deepen the relationship between parent and child, and provides parents with a more comfortable and joyful experience of raising their children. Recent findings in neuroscience research suggest that parenting our children mindfully provides them with a sense of security which fortifies their health and wellness, enhances their abilities to learn to their full potential in and out of school, potentiates their ability to regulate their emotions and attention and to make good decisions, fosters resilience in the face of any curve balls that life throws their way, and enables them to thrive and positively contribute in this fast-paced and uncertain world.
Research and Evaluation will constitute a key cornerstone support to Mindfulness Everyday's programs. By adopting a developmental evaluation methodology, Mindfulness Everyday will use research and evaluation to continuously improve its services and customize them more precisely to the needs of different client groups. Mindfulness Everyday will focus its more formal research activities into investigating the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions for our participants. Mindfulness Everyday’s research will, over time, contribute to the growing body of research currently being undertaken in the area of mindfulness and education. Towards this end, Mindfulness Everyday works with respected researchers from academia and other research organizations.
Curriculum Development, providing best practices based on research and review of existing resources and formatted in a manner best suited to the diverse client base: students, educators, adults, and parents. Developing new programs based on current social networking media will be a focus in order to meet clients where they are.