“Self care is not selfish – We can’t serve from an empty vessel”
– Eleanor Brownn
Hello and welcome to my website. My name is Alex, I am a teacher, author, mum and mindfulness practitioner and I have always been passionate about an education for children that goes beyond just traditional academia. Children will learn the “core” subjects to the best of their ability if their personal learning style is identified and supported and they will learn it at their own pace. To me it is much more important as a mum and educator, to focus on our children’s emotional and social education, which in my opinion will have much more far reaching importance for their future lives, for their happiness and well-being.
One of our greatest modern day challenges is the dis-connect our children, and probably most of us “grown-ups”, are experiencing as a result of significant changes in our society in the last 20-30 years. These changes include shifts in family structure and lifestyle, the dramatic rise and influence of technology, media and in particular the internet and social media and a generally very busy life with little opportunity for “real-life” connections and some much needed quiet time. Many of us rush from day to day, from meeting to meeting, ballet lesson to soccer training, appointment to getting dinner ready and finally collapsing on the couch after a day we don’t remember half of. This lifestyle unfortunately has been transferred to many of our children, sometimes through circumstances out of our control and the new phenomenon of “childhood stress” has emerged and is growing with worrying speed.
The consequences of these changes in society and the effects it is having on our children and many of us are starting to show more and more and words such as “stress”, “burn out”, “anxiety”, “mental-health problems”, “depression”, “bullying”, “rise in teenage suicide”, “low self-esteem” etc. have taken firm places in our vocabulary.
I know that the term “mindfulness” has become the current “in-word” sometimes giving an impression of a “new, cure-it-all method” to “treat” some of our modern day challenges and understandably some people are growing tired of it. Some people probably don’t realise that the formal practice of mindfulness is thousands of years old but more importantly, that mindfulness is already a part of every person’s life, even if it is often just for a few seconds here or there. Mindfulness is basically every moment we consciously connect with our senses, our breath, our body, our environment, our creativity, our thoughts, the world we live in… basically anything we direct our attention to. It’s tasting and enjoying a delicious meal rather than just rushing through the motions, hugging our children and really listening to them, feeling the wind on our face while out walking, becoming aware of our emotions and feeling where they manifest in our bodies.
Mindfulness helps us to re-connect, pull us into the here and now, and it is one of the most valuable skills we can learn ourselves and teach our children in order to navigate through challenging times. It will also help us to make necessary changes to our lifestyle and environment in order to prioritise our and our children’s well-being over just functioning on auto-pilot.
We all need to play an active part in making sure our children are still able to grow up into kind, confident and happy people despite the challenges they are confronted with.
In my blog I want to give ideas and tips about including mindful principles into every day life in order to bring more balance and connection into our families, our classrooms and beyond.