“Perhaps we just need little reminders from time to time that we are already dignified, deserving, worthy. Sometimes we don't feel that way because of the wounds and the scars we carry from the past or because of the uncertainty of the future. It is doubtful that we came to feel undeserving on our own. We were helped to feel unworthy. We were taught it in a thousand ways when we were little, and we learned our lessons well.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn
I offer secular, mindfulness programs designed for all individuals, parents, teachers and our children with the purpose to provide to you with life long tools to calm the mind, a way to be present and non-judgemental with a sense of clarity, calmness, and empathy. We can literally change our brains and have improved outcomes in many facets of health and well-being!
Plant Based Cooking Classes is another sector of service I offer. Italian menus and plant based cheese workshops are my specialties but I teach many varieties of turning your most favourite recipes into a plant based version. Check out my 'photos' page!
A Mission for kids
The evidence for introducing a Mindfulness practice in schools is growing on a daily basis. It takes only a quick Google search to find dozens of programs that are now being introduced to the classrooms ranging from K - 12. It is very important to choose a program that is taught by a practitioner of mindfulness and a program that is focused and continuous in nature of it's delivery.
It's not with the purpose to eliminate challenges out of the lives of our children and their teachers and parents, that's impossible. I do think we can all see that the demands for our attention and time are going through the roof these days and for our children it's even more than ever before. The family demands, the social stress, the drive to 'succeed', to get it all done, to figure it all out ~ has become so intense that often they don't know how to deal with it all. It's also become very difficult for children to be unstimulated these days. Many of them don't know how to 'just be'.
Children in particular don't have the wisdom nor the inner 'know' how on how to cope with boredom or overstimulation, and when they are dealing with stress - they don't even really know how to identify it within themselves. They just feel anxious or depressed or misbehave, have physical ailments or feel emotional. Sometimes they may just have trouble sleeping. With the introduction of mindfulness tools into their lives, they will learn how to 'listen' and to trust themselves. How to tune out the excess stimulation. How to calm the mind and offer loving kindness inwards and out. Having this 'tool' available to them through life will be something they can always use whenever they feel they are loosing control of the pace or weight of what life is throwing at them.
A mindfulness practice takes a commitment, but it doesn't have to be hours. I have been practicing meditation and mindfulness for over 30 years now. In 2010 I began a one on one teacher training program to be certified as a meditation instructor. This 200 hour course taught me many various forms of non-religious, secular meditation and mindfulness practices which I am able to incorporate into a variety of teaching modules based on where my students are "at". Naam Yoga is also another form of training I have been certified in, which incorporates breath work and sound into a mindfulness & meditation practice. Naam Yoga is a 200 hour training program that I finished in 2015. In 2016 I became trained in "Mindfulness for the Classroom" by Mindful Schools, focusing on students in grades K - 12 and co-developed an 8 week curriculum for students. See my Mindful Kids Pilot Project for the results of a spring 2017 program that ran in 5 locals schools reaching over 200 students and 12 teachers.
In the Fall of 2017 I became enrolled in MBCT (Mind Body Cognitive Therapy) training to become a certified facilitator of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. The UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recently endorsed MBCT as an effective treatment for prevention of relapse. Research has shown that people who have been clinically depressed 3 or more times (sometimes for twenty years or more) find that taking the program and learning these skills helps to reduce considerably their chances that depression will return. The evidence from two randomized clinical trials of MBCT indicates that it reduces rates of relapse by 50% among patients who suffer from recurrent depression. MBCT can also help with anxiety disorders, pain management and overall stress.
Over the last few years I have been teaching an "Introduction to Mindfulness' program at The Hotel Dieu Shaver Hospital, several local DSBN Schools, various corporate workshops including the Niagara Regional Police and 'one on one' with individuals challenged with stress & anxiety disorders.
Knowing how to 'just breathe' can sometime be the difference.
I am also certified in many, many various health consulting programs to assist you in living your best, LONG, vibrant life drug free and happy.