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Art Therapy Divine I Am SEL

Mindful Lines

Mindful

How can Lines be Mindful?

Being mindful is the ability to be in the present moment, acknowledging your thoughts and feelings but not identifying with them. Meaning do not hold on to the thought and become consumed by it and the way it makes you feel.

I teach my students about what it means to be mindful, and how important of a skill it is to be able to step back from thoughts and give your brain a break for at least 10 minutes a day.

So the idea of mindful lines simply means being present with the line. Allowing the line to move as it will and be in the moment with it.

A lot of our life is spent processing experiences, but its not usually in the moment. I shared the analogy of playing a sport. When you are playing and in the moment, you are not processing how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about. You are simply in the moment. It is not until after the moment is over that your thoughts and emotions begin to catch up.

When you create a mindful line, you want to go slow enough that your body is processing your marking making in real time… the present.

Creating mindful lines is a process oriented activity that allows a person to take 10 mins out of their day to separate their awareness from their thoughts and be present in the moment.

Power of Presence

Giving our brain time to slow down and not be inundated by processing thoughts and feelings, allows your body and mind recovery time so to speak.

I tell my students, your brain isn’t going to shut itself off for you. It isn’t going to just say, “I’m on overload, I need to shut off for a while to recover.” They understand how that would make us robots, and how important it is for each person to take control of their minds wellbeing. Self care is just as important as self actualization.

There is value in rest.

Mindful Art Process

Get a pen and paper… now take a few deep breaths to center yourself to this present moment.

Now slowly allow the pen to create a line. Without rushing, be present with whichever way the pen moves. Each line unfolding as you let go of thoughts and focus on allowing. Take deep breaths as you move the pen across the paper. Allow yourself to flow and be surprised with the outcome of each mark.

Now listen to yourself… Do you want to add color? Do you want to make lines thicker? Are you complete?

You know when your line is complete. Its in the way you feel.

Doing mindfulness activities at any age can greatly affect our ability to focus and regulate our emotions. Each time you do a mindfulness activity, you are training and strengthening the neuropathways in your brain. You are literally reprograming how you respond to situations. This is aligned with the SEL competencies: Self awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, and Responsible Decision Making. And all it takes is 10 mins a day.

Categories
Education Diversity, Equity & Inclusion SEL

Maryland Cultural Proficiency Conference 2022

What is Cultural Proficiency?

Cultural proficiency is the result of finding out what makes us feel valued. It is responsiveness. The ability to find out what someone needs… to feel valued, seen, and heard.

The ultimate goal of each of us is to feel valued and be appreciated for who we are. Being seen by others is a huge reason why we do things, and is a result of the things we do.

When we come into a situation with breath first, we are more open to being genuine and authentic. This is a culture of care, one that supports accountability and humility. Working to align our inner voice to our goals in order to support the work. The vision must be at the center of what we do each day.

What is the GOAL of our existence?

What is it that we do what we do for… what do we want to build, create, share, express, learn, experience?

I believe when we begin questioning ourselves in such ways, it leads to deep self reflection and self awareness. It leads to building community and creating innovative experiences for the good of all. When we being to spend time aligning ourselves with our vision, then we are able to connect to one another on a deeper level.

MCPC

I was invited to the Maryland Cultural Proficiency Conference in October, at Morgan State University. It was my first time at the conference and visiting Morgan State. The conference theme was A Reckoning: Equity, Consciousness, & Healing.

The presentations that I attended and speakers I saw were fantastic. There was a diversity that reiterated what the conference is about equity, diversity, and inclusion, and social emotional learning.

Climate of Mutual Respect

When Dr. Amer F. Ahmed spoke he shared his journey and the experiences that lead him to arrive on our stage. He shared that we must create climates of mutual respect that consists of self-awareness, empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, flexibility in thoughts and behaviors, patience, curiosity, and active listening.

This reminded me of the Seven Teachings of our Anishinaabe grandfathers; Love, Trust, Humility, Honesty, Bravery, Courage, & Wisdom.

Culturally Responsive Curriculum

This presentation was on ways we can incorporate more culturally relevant articles, materials, and learning into our curriculum. Attending this presentation opened my eyes up to new ways to incorporate different cultures into my art classroom. Simple things like teaching my students something about my culture, such as how to say hello in Anishinaabe. We need to normalize multiple perspectives!

Positive Schools Center

The presentation by the Positive Schools Center was perfect. We participated in practices we are being asked to use with our students. We sat in a circle and started with a welcoming ritual. Then we shared something we needed. This presentation was so inspiring and helpful in getting a handle on how I can implement more meaningful interactions with my students.

Revolutionary-Ed

Lead with vision, integrity and passion says Dr. Gregory C. Hutchens Jr. He shared with us highlights from his book, Getting into Good Trouble at School. Six things we can do to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom:

  1. Know your history
  2. Commit to racial equity
  3. Eliminate de-facto segrigation
  4. Differentiation, discipline vs. policy.
  5. Engaging in strategic thinking and planning
  6. Display courageous bold leadership.

Adult SEL

During the conference, we were treated to mindful moments, chair massage, reflexology, great food, and time to socialize. This is vital during any professional development as it assists with practicing what we are preaching. How do we want and deserve to be treated, and how do our students?

I have gained so much from this conference. I am excited to bring the knowledge back to my classroom and to my professional learning communities!