Parenting is one of the most complex, difficult, and potentially rewarding roles we can play in life. The challenges are enormous, the information on what to do and how to do it is vast and often confusing, and at the center of it all is a need for a parent to have clarity about themselves and the life skills for resilience and flourishing.
No small task.
Mindfulness is a term used to describe a number of metacognitive skills that give rise to mental clarity, self-awareness and insight, emotion regulation, and the expression of wisdom in relationships.
Mindfulness involves engaging exercises to train attention, focus, observation, reaction inhibition, curiosity, creativity, body awareness, and communication. However, it’s not a style or method of parenting – it’s a system of developing presence and clarity about what is going on within and in between individuals and increasing the skill with which we employ any number of parenting and relational strategies.
The goal of the Harvard-Westlake Parents Mindfulness Club is to provide a calm space for parents to learn mindfulness through live Zoom and in-person classes. The classes will be taught by professional meditators like Brian Shiers or Natalie Bell from the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, local meditation centers like Unplugged, or highly rated online meditation programs like Calm, Insight Timer, and MindValley.
Our lives are busy, and we often find ourselves ruminating over the past or worrying about the future.
We need mindfulness more than ever because the practice helps us live in the present moment, enjoying and experiencing what’s in front of us.
Along with our Harvard-Westlake community, we will learn and practice mindfulness and lay a foundation to become kind and productive parents. Practicing mindfulness — using our breath and mind can lead to a happier and healthier life.
In turn, our children, our educators, and administrators will reap the domino benefits of mindfulness — a happier more resilient parent can lead to happier and more resilient children.
The following practices will be explored and adapted based on our collective feedback.
- Mindfulness and Sports Performance
- The Art & Science of Mindful Parenting
- Cultivating Creativity with Mindfulness
- The Art of Tea
- Mindful Walking
- Mindful Communication Series (4 sessions):
- Deep Listening (Attuned Empathic Modeling)
- The Power of Validation in Disagreements
- Effective Communication using the “DEAR-MAN” skills
- Reducing Conflict through Dialectical Thinking
The mindfulness practices will be available several times during the month on various days, and times throughout the month to allow the most participants. We presently have scheduled: Mindful Mondays, Well-being Wednesdays, and Feel Good Fridays.
Each session may include discussions around the background and history of mindfulness, themes and related practice, small group processing, community discussion, and instruction. If the event is online, we will also open up the zoom room half an hour before the session to do ice breakers and connect with other parents to build our mindfulness community.
When we practice mindfulness and meditation, it will build a skill for our entire lives.
Developing the skills of mindfulness with other Harvard-Westlake parents is valuable and enriching.
Together we can build strong friendships and connections, gain confidence and trust during our parallel journey — observing our children thrive and flourish in the joyful pursuit of excellence.
Many people ask if I am a mindfulness expert. Mindfulness is a passion. It has helped me as a mom, serial entrepreneur, author, and inventor. I am enrolled in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program at UC Berkeley.
I look forward to and welcome you to the Harvard-Westlake Parents Mindfulness Club!
Please let me know how I can ever support you!