As a Community…We Rallied, We Assembled, We Helped.

The silver lining to a disaster is the power of community coming together to create positive change.  After kickstarting our OrindaCares: Helping Hands for Houston project just 5 weeks ago, we saw the force of good that can come out of a community-wide effort to help those in need.  Here’s just a small synopsis of our community efforts.  Read more

The Tricky Topic of Natural Disasters

It’s hard to believe that Hurricane Harvey occurred less than two months ago.  Given the onslaught of disasters from Irma to Maria to Mexico to Vegas and now the California fires, the devastating Texas hurricane feels like it was ages ago.  Often speaking to our littles about these disasters is a tricky subject.  We don’t want to traumatize our littles, especially when the news is overwhelming for even most bigs. However, we also don’t want to shelter them from the realities of life, or ignore that they may be exposed to the news regardless.

Last week as part of our OrindaCares initiative I spoke at school wide assemblies at all elementary schools in our local district about our efforts to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The goal of the talks was to help the children understand why we were doing our first Helping Hands for Houston project.   We want our students to not only engage in service work, but do it from a place of compassion.  As I prepped for the talks, I journeyed into my own heart.  Read more

The “Wonder” in Each of Us

The Universe works in “wondrous” ways to speak to us. About two weeks ago at a friend’s baby shower I learned about an inspiring principal, who is teaching her students compassion at a local elementary school.  The principal is personally reading and discussing the beautiful book “We’re All Wonders” to every single classroom on her campus. The book is a kid-friendly version of R.J. Palacio’s best-seller “Wonder,” which is a heartwarming story about a young boy, Auggie, with facial deformities who is bullied at school, but later realizes that he is a wonder and that each of us are wonders in our own way.  What I love about the principal’s efforts in reading this book is that she is not only engaging all kids in an important discussion on diversity, inclusion and kindness, but by leading this effort for every classroom, she sets a positive tone for her entire school to follow. Read more

“My Very Own Peace Book”

Today is the International Day of Peace, which was first established by the United Nations in 1981 to promote peace across all countries. There are celebrations worldwide to commemorate this day with festivals, activities and even a #PeaceDayChallenge.   In honor of this important day, our entire family spent a bit of energy talking about peace.

I first asked my 6-year old what the word “peace” meant. After getting a shoulder shrug and a casual “I don’t know,” I realized that perhaps talking about the meaning of peace would be a good starting point.  I knew if I just pulled out the dictionary definition that it likely wouldn’t sync in, so we did a couple of simple activities to focus on the meaning. Read more

Toss the Gratitude Emoji Ball

Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach mindfulness to about sixty students at a local private school. The students ranged from the 5th through the 8th grade. We focused on the theme of gratitude. To kick us off, we played a Mindful Littles version of the popular ice-breaker game, Toss the Beach Ball.  The idea is that whoever catches the ball has to answer a question on the ball and then tosses the ball to another person.  For our version, I wrote down four gratitude questions on a Silly Face emoji beach ball l got from a friend.  Read more

Exploring and Thanking Mother Nature

This past weekend we launched Mindful Littles’ first Kids ‘n Nature program.  We partnered with two wonderful organizations, John Muir Land Trust (JMLT), and Tinkergarten to deliver this program.  JMLT’s vision is “to ensure that the beauty, diversity and fullness of our natural areas continue to enrich and sustain all generations of life.”  To fulfill this vision, they protect and care for open spaces all around the East Bay in Northern California.  Tinkergarten is “on a mission to elevate childhood,” through outdoor learning.  They hope children “develop core life skills while enjoying healthy, fun, engaging experiences in the physical freedom of local green spaces.”  The trifecta effect of our partnership is pretty unique to be able to offer a mindful, immersive outdoor experience to help families appreciate our natural surroundings in a new way. Read more

A Loving-Kindness Letter Exchange from One Country to Another

Yesterday Mindful Littles had a wonderful opportunity to lead a mindful service project at one of our local elementary schools.  We partnered with Julie Atkinson of Center of Hope Haiti (COHH) to teach some littles about the world abroad.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, COHH built a school for now almost 100 impoverished children including some orphans. The school in Hinche, Haiti is a sanctuary for many of these kids and provides these children with access to education and opportunities they would not have otherwise had. Read more