My Approach to Mindfulness
If you're looking for support for your child, yourself, or your sports team, you've probably noticed that there are different mindfulness teachers and different ways to teach mindfulness. Having a good fit between teacher and student is important so I'll share a little about my approach and how I work with people just like you.
I have personal and professional tethers to mindfulness. Personally I've navigated several seasons of life where anxiety was my companion so I had to learn tools to work with it. I frequently think "If I'd only known about mindfulness earlier, those years would've been a lot easier." Professionally, my degree is in Child Development, I've taken graduate level counseling classes and I have certifications in mindfulness, health coaching and yoga.
I teach kids mindfulness, I teach adults mindfulness, I teach mindfulness in parenting groups and I am on the faculty for an international mindfulness training school. My goal is always to make mindfulness relevant, simple and effective by synthesizing my 20+ years of research and learning into playful, high-impact activities.
I host The Stress Nanny Podcast, which was ranked the #8 Stress Podcast by Feedspot in 2021. As a host I interview guests each week to help families take an intentional (mindful) approach to managing the stress we're all facing. I am constantly learning and researching to connect families with the latest, most effective tools.
It was important to me that I have a practice for long enough that I'd integrated the principles of mindfulness into my life. In other words, I wanted to embody mindfulness before teaching it. This is especially important when working with kids because they can spot fake people pretty easily. My decades of practice living a mindful life and the compassion that has resulted is something that sets me apart from a lot of other teachers. I have lived mindfully for a long time so I can easily help kids and adults find ways to connect with the practice to work through stress and enhance their lives.
My approach to teaching mindfulness is interdisciplinary and largely informed by the following theories:
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Duffey & Haberstroh's Developmental Relational Counseling Theory
Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development
Dr. Dan Siegel's Mindsight
Prochaska & DiClemente's Stages of Change Model
Shazer & Berg's Solution Focused Brief Therapy
My Definition of Mindfulness: Knowing what's going on inside you, knowing what's going on outside you, making a choice on purpose.
Why Mindfulness for Kids? As evidenced by the epic numbers of kids who are navigating anxiety in our modern culture, it's clear there's a gap in our mental health support for kids. I focus on mindfulness because it's an efficient, easy-to-learn, high-impact intervention that kids can do on their own. Mindfulness helps kids regulate their nervous systems through breathing, moving or managing the flow of their thoughts to bring them into a place of steadiness which also invites them to connect more readily with others. These skills of resilience have a significant impact during the formative years of development because they allow kids the flexibility to move through struggles with an emphasis on building self-awareness and emotional intelligence and leveraging the choices they do have which is empowering for mental and emotional health. In addition to supporting optimal development, emotional intelligence is continuing to emerge as a key indicator of success in college and the workforce. I always say when it comes to shoring up kids' mental health, mindfulness is a great place to start. As you'll see, I spread out mindfulness activities kind of like a buffet and let kids choose the ones that appeal to them.
Why Mindfulness for Adults? Most of us adults weren't taught mindfulness or emotional regulation when we were younger so we're left to figure it out as adults. Some of us are trying to do this while parenting. And still others are doing this as professionals and individuals navigating life. No matter where you're at in life or in your practice, mindfulness can support you in enhancing self-awareness, managing emotions, building healthy relationships, and letting go of the negative self-talk that so many of us experience. With steady practice, mindfulness can help you build the life you're envisioning.
If you've read this far, you're a rockstar. As you can tell, I can really geek out about mindfulness and I'm committed to help you access the benefits of mindfulness.
I'd love to answer any questions you have via email or a chat. Or feel free to check out one of my 3 offerings:
the Mindfulness Club (weekly group mindfulness coaching for teens and tweens)
Kids Mindfulness Coaching (individual weekly zoom sessions for kids)
Team Mindfulness Workshops (8-week coaching course for athletic teams)