Food. One of the most important and basic human needs, and yet 1 in 9 people are chronically undernourished in the world- around 795 million people according to the United Nations. The majority of undernourished are in developing countries, but there are local communities right in the Bay Area which suffer from homelessness and hunger. Yesterday we had the incredible opportunity to do a very small part to feed some local community members as part of our new Cookin’ for a Cause program. Read more
In years past I have always spoken of our veterans with great respect and honor, but it isn’t until this year that I really appreciated the human experience of our veterans and their loved ones. This appreciation goes beyond our political views, our religious views, our differences; it is about understanding the humanness of what a veteran may have gone through in the hopes of protecting some of the greatest freedoms we have in this country. Read more
November 13th is WORLD KINDNESS DAY and as part of OrindaCares, we have some exciting initiatives planned to celebrate this GLOBAL CELEBRATION during the month of November. Our November initiative is focused on two major aspects: Expressing Kindness Creatively and Expressing Kindness for Those in Need.
With the leadership of some incredible community members to spearhead these efforts, OrindaCares is launching several kindness projects.
What are we doing as a community? Read more
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
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
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
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
Since the start of Mindful Littles, I’ve often noted how my children are my greatest teachers. And time and time again, this proves to be true. This last week my 6-year old asked me a simple question, “Mommy, what is Labor Day?” After stumbling through a vague response, I realized that I had barely spent any energy over the years to actually think about the meaning of this national holiday. Often we use the long weekend as an opportunity for a family vacation, or enjoy some pool and barbecue time with friends. We are still doing plenty of pool and barbecue time this weekend, but this year I wanted to spend a bit of energy commemorating Labor Day, especially since the question had been asked by one of my littles. Read more
This week’s kindness project is an idea that was inspired by some of our dear friends. It’s a ritual they started after moving into their new home. Any time they have new guests, they ask the visitors to paint a rock with a special message and design. Our friends then take the painted rocks and spread them throughout their yard to create a Friendship Rock Garden.
The Friendship Rock Garden is a beautiful reminder of the awesomeness of our loved ones. Our friends, our family members, all have something unique and special to offer, just like each painted rock. The rocks together are an artistic display of the love that surrounds a home.
We loved this thoughtful idea so much that we are starting this tradition in our home. This is a perfect activity to involve the littles. As parents of younger children already know, painting rocks is a lot more fun than painting in coloring books, so kids love this activity. An added bonus is to put the littles in charge of the Friendship Rock Garden. They feel special making others feel special, so it’s a win-win. Read more
Mindful Littles is continuously striving to make mindfulness and heartfulness fun and creative for children. To help energize our team with more creativity, a couple of us from Mindful Littles went to a YogaKids training last weekend. YogaKids is focused on empowering children to love and learn through yoga. The training provided wonderful perspective of all the different ways people are striving for more consciousness and love in our world. Our training included folks like the Canadian founder of Growing Roots Therapy to the owner of a yoga studio in Lake Tahoe to teachers who are starting their own health and wellness academy in Fairfield and many more. Read more