The Circle teens and their mentors gathered at Holland Hill Studio in Moultonboorugh, NH for a day of mindfulness and gratitiude. Pasha Marlowe, Circle Program's special events and marketing coordinator and owner of Holland Hill Studio, facilitated the workshop. Participants learned about the benefits of mindfulness (a non-judgemental moment to moment awareness), particularly in times of stress.
The teens were especially impacted by the power of mindful breathing as it instantly calmes the nervous system and helps to gain a sense of control in the middle of a panic attack, crisis, or any confrontation. One of the most significant exercises was simply sitting back to back with a friend or mentor and breathing together. Teens expressed how useful this would be for the mentors to practice with them over the phone or in person.
Other topics of conversation included replacing negativity with kindness, reducting stress and reactivity, and how to begin a meditation practice. The favorite meditation of the day was the "Loving Kindness" meditation (shown below). Many teens left with a yoga mat and an invitation to attend any yoga class at Holland Hill free of charge, donated by Pasha Marlowe. The workshop ended with the group bringing their hands to their heart center, in gratitude for their time together and for the opportunity to learn about the life-saving gifts of mindfulness.
"Loving Kindness" Meditation (with eyes closed and in a comfortable seated or lying down position, repeat the following phrase in your mind and witness your heart opening)
"May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be safe, may I be filled with loving kindness"
(repeat this phrase in your mind as you send these thoughts to yourself, to someone you love unconditionally, to a stranger or someone you hardly know, to someone who has hurt you, and then bring those same kind words back to yourself).
For more information, please feel free to contact Pasha Marlowe at 603-707-2884.