I attended the Best You Expo in London recently. An interesting mix of people there. I took the opportunity to talk to quite a few of them about mindfulness in schools. One gentleman worked in an area of deprivation. He went into schools to work with older children, to raise self esteem and help them see the possibilities open to them in life. He used mindfulness to do this. I found this interesting because in areas of deprivation some children face daily challenges in their lives. I wondered if they were given the right tools for relaxation and mindfulness then would they perhaps have coping mechanisms for later in life?
Does modern education with all the pressures put on teachers to meet targets allow for children, who are not academically gifted, to flourish?
Another gentleman I spoke with had set up a coaching practice and also worked in schools talking about disability, gender issues and being different. He had a wide range of books suitable for children which taught them about differences in people in a very sensitive and interesting way.
There was an area called the inspiration zone which had activities throughout the day. People were encouraged to join in Salsa, circus skills, silent disco, Tia chai, meditation and many more activities. It was interesting to watch children enthusiastically getting involved. I watched an 8 year old walk on broken glass, a 10 year old trying the tight rope and numerous ages joining in the silent disco. Does wearing a set of headphones release your inhibitions? As I saw some terribly funny movers during this session, and yes maybe I was a tiny bit jealous!
Another area had snakes and spiders so you could confront your phobias. Again curious children crowded round to hold these creatures.
All in all it was an interesting two days and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of children who were there. I think anything that encourages people to slow down and saviour life in this day and age is worthwhile.