At Mindful Schools, we start all of our meetings with a brief mindfulness practice. This allows us to pause, settle our nervous systems, and fully arrive so we can be present with our colleagues. As we emphasize in our training programs, these shared mindfulness practices are a form of both self-care and community care.
Below, you’ll learn three mindful ways to start a meeting and listen to a personal story about the simple, yet powerful ways that mindful and intentional meetings can impact your community as an act of compassionate disruption.
Even if you are quite new to mindfulness and have never led a mindfulness practice before, we’d like to offer the following suggestions for how you might start a meeting at your school with a mindful moment.
Three Mindful Ways to Start a Meeting
1. Take Five
Begin your meeting with our Take Five practice. It’s a simple strategy that can help everyone take a moment to pause with five breaths. Watch the demo video, and print and share the activity, here.
2. Start with a Mindful Moment
Invite everyone to take a moment to notice what they can with one of their five senses. Can they feel their feet on the ground, their seat in the chair, or the sensations of the breath? What do they hear, see, or smell? Set a timer with a gentle sound. It may be interesting to simply notice how short, or long, one minute of mindful awareness feels.
3. Share Gratitude and Appreciations
Begin by having everyone share something they are thankful for, or something they appreciate about someone else in the meeting. If it’s a large staff meeting, you could do this in pairs or small groups.
These simple practices for introducing mindfulness to your meetings are a great way to start incorporating mindfulness into the routines of your school.
Communal Care: A Brave and Compassionate Disruption
Listen to our recent practice: Communal Care: A Brave and Compassionate DisruptionListen to “March LIVE Practice: Communal Care: A Brave and Compassionate Disruption” on Spreaker.
At our recent community practice––led by April Frazier on our Mindful Schools team––April shared about a personal journey and a powerful moment of compassionate disruption at a Mindful Schools meeting. Listen to the full talk and guided practice exploring the interconnectedness between self-care and community care, inspired by Resmaa Menakem’s work in My Grandmother’s Hands.
Next time you gather with colleagues, try starting the meeting with a mindful moment or an intention as an act of both self-care and community care. We would love to hear how it goes.