Guiding Principles

The Mindful Reflection Project’s work  is based on 4 key components:

REFLECTION

Taking time to practice reflection allows us to honestly assess how we feel, to notice what may need to be addressed within ourselves in our lives. Reflective practices create space for us to begin to notice our own internal experiences. This space is essential to avoid burn out, and to stay connected to our passions. This practice is foundational, and it is also essential at all times– it is the bedrock of the program.

MINDFUL NOTICING

Mindful noticing is a practice that supports reflection and also integrates awareness of the breath and compassion practices. Noticing comes out of the field of mindfulness. Most simply put, noticing is coming back to this moment. Learning to watch one’s self, one’s reactions, one’s internal dialogues, and one’s breathing patterns, allows us to gain perspective, and to return to the moment, rather than being caught up in the thoughts and judgment that can  move us out of the moment. Breathing, mindfulness, and compassion building exercises are integrated, because awareness of the mind, mental patterns, breath and breathing patterns are essential tools in the practice of mindful noticing.

SELF CARE

The practices of reflection and mindful noticing allow us to notice when we need to take care of ourselves. In order to be effective and in the moment, we need to ask for support, request clarification, take time to breath, and care for ourselves. When we care for ourselves, we are better able to support one another, our families, our students, our employees, our children, our world.

COMMUNITY

Real and authentic community grows out the individual practices of reflection, mindful noticing and self care, which enable us to listen and to share. We practice listening by bearing witness to one another– we grow as listeners and as sharers. We model this for one another in the program.  In order to create an authentic community, we cannot expect perfection, and we cannot assume that relationships or individuals are static. In order to create space for those around us, with whom we live, work or teach, to grow, we must practice reflection, mindful noticing and self care. We can only offer to others what we know. We create authentic, connected, community together as we engage in these practices. We develop our skills of listening, and of allowing others space to share and process without judgement or feedback from us.

© Traci Childress, 2013.

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