In my semester sabbatical from high school teaching, I've done lots of research and explored various paths that might lead to whatever is next. The picture is still not clear, but in an attempt to upgrade my teaching toolkit in the meantime I've started taking some badass classes in how to coach folks in mindful attention skills. I'm just getting going with the Basic Mindfulness System, but it's not too soon for me to be able to start helping folks out who want to achieve positive behavior changes, gain self-knowledge, develop attention skills, and/or all kinds of other wide-ranging and ultra-deep benefits that well-honed mindfulness brings. If you are interested in working with me, for free, let me know. It can be over the phone; geography ain't no object. As a fledgling teacher in this area, I need pupils and am eager simply to work with folks in this area—the work itself will be compensation enough for me as I learn more about how to teach this fundamental skillset. If you're already interested and want to ask me more, skip the rest of this post and just contact me (csutherland3 at gmail) right here and now. Do it and see where it goes!
Now for a left turn: A humbled update to the post I wrote the last time I was on the high school scene for finals, Surprise Hits. In it you will find the following paragraph theorizing about possible reasons why an earlier post on the subject of mindfulness got so many dang hits:
So what, if anything, to make of the big audience for this post I wrote? Why are so many folks stumbling across it? And what reactions does it provoke? The comment thread is empty, so it's tough to tell; somebody might have tweeted a link to it as an example of really shitty writing, for example, and folks are simply rubbernecking at my ineptitude. Or perhaps I've unwittingly gotten more folks interested in the topic [...] Here's where we whip out that salt-shaker...After all, there's no way we can know what ripple effects our words have once other people encounter 'em, right?
|Sweet pic, huh?|
I don't care; the original post and the reflection the mega-hits spawned afterward were all good writing practice for me so I can't complain. Now let me quote myself again—the point all along was to talk about attentional skills for my students and myself, which I hope I did well. Here's the goal I originally set myself, however amorphously:
I have long wanted to start figuring out how to talk about some simple mindfulness practices with my students, and hope to get some conversations started this year in some or all of my classes. The fact is that you can train your mind (i.e., develop your control of the spotlight) with very simple practices, in much the same way that systematic weight-lifting makes your muscles stronger.When I wrote that, I had no idea how to help someone "interested in pursuing this." Now I do, a little bit, so it gives me a lot of excitement to ask the same question again. Who wants to go in for some Jedi mind training with me? We will talk about stress reduction, self insight, sensory clarity, the art of deep relaxation, concentration "muscle," and more. Mindfulness helps us live life because it's neither rocket science nor mystical magic; in a nutshell, it's a matter of working with your senses rather than against them. (Which is what most of us do, regrettably, most of the time.) Again—talk to me and let's see if we can work together. Did I mention I'm not charging anything?
As you can imagine, life improves with a more agile spotlight at your command. Anybody interested in pursuing this?