What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is nothing more than paying attention to the present moment without judgment. But this is easier said than done! Most of the time, we’re either thinking about the past or the future; rarely are we attune to what we’re doing now. Our thoughts can spiral out of control, distracting us from life’s meaningful moments and leading us to stress and worry. A mindfulness practice allows us the space to check into the present moment, to manage our thoughts, and to notice our body and mind. In doing so, we increase clarity and concentration and decrease anxiety.
What does The Mindful Mentors do?
The Mindful Mentors provides individuals, schools, and institutions an experiential opportunity to try various mindfulness techniques, meditation, visualizations, and affirmations. Because certain techniques resonate with different people, The Mindful Mentors offers a variety of practical tools to integrate into your everyday life. In later sessions, the techniques are specifically catered to your needs. Some individuals may choose to focus on body based or breath work, whereas others may prefer more communicative or creative techniques or want to focus purely on mindful eating exercises.
Who is mindfulness for?
It’s for everyone. My clients include all types of students, middle and high schools, law students, parents, pregnant women, individuals dealing with chronic pain, and individuals in a variety of professions, including medicine and finance. The tools I teach are universal, and they are the very tools I use daily to maintain my sanity.
If you are a parent, you may join your child for a session or do a session on your own. I have fun and accessible techniques for children as young as four and five.
How does mindfulness affect the brain?
Much like we train our physical body through repeated exercises to improve strength and flexibility, we can train our minds to better cope with stress and conflict. The brain was once believed to be fixed and finite, but neuroscientists now know the brain has neuroplasticity, meaning we can shape the physical structure of our brain through our experiences. Through a consistent mindfulness practice, we can resculpt our neural pathways, stimulating the growth of areas of the brain that are imperative to mental health. Mindfulness helps the brain achieve and maintain the integration of the right and left side of the brain, such that we become more flexible, adaptive, coherent, energized, and stable. Indeed, a Harvard Medical study illustrated that a consistent mindfulness practice thickens the pre-frontal cortex of the brain—the region wired for bodily regulation, attuned communication, emotional balance, response flexibility, fear modulation, empathy, insight, moral awareness, and intuition. A 2003 study conducted by molecular biologist Jon Kabat-Zinn, who is credited with incorporating mindfulness into the medical field, found that individuals who meditated for eight-weeks had significant activation in the left side of the brain, which allowed them to recover more quickly following a stressful event. Numerous studies also demonstrate that individuals who participated in mindfulness programs saw improvement in many physical and psychological conditions, attention and memory, and pain tolerance.
Through a mindfulness practice, our ability to remain aware of our experience as it unfolds embeds into our internal wiring, such that mindfulness becomes not just a state, but a trait; one that continuously allows us to better manage stress and conflict in our relationships and careers.
Why is this service important?
There is so much pressure on us to achieve, to succeed, and to “do it all.” This can wear on our mind and body. We may feel tired often, be unable to sleep, hold tension in our body, or have trouble concentrating. Mindfulness sessions provide practical tools that one can utilize at any point during the day to create a sense of calm amidst the chaos.
Is there homework?
No. That being said, you should feel free to practice the techniques throughout the week and experiment with them to see their effects.
How many sessions do you recommend?
It’s really up to you. The sessions should not be an added stress or obligation. However, there is no quick fix. Training the mind is a process, and I’d be happy to accompany you through this journey. I usually recommend six to eight sessions.
When can I schedule you?
I do sessions during the day or after work/school. I can accommodate your schedule.
How much does it cost?
I want mindfulness to be accessible to all and offer sessions based on a sliding scale. Please contact me for more information.
Do you do speaking engagements?
I do. I’ve done mindfulness and speaking engagements at high schools, colleges, law schools, businesses, law firms, after-school programs, sports teams, and an art gallery. I’d be happy to speak at any of your engagements. For those interested in mindful eating, I also partner with certified nutritionist and clean eating guru Amie Valpone to teach “Mindful and Clean Eating” workshops.