All parents experience a range of emotions stemming from stressors encountered during their day. The clock is ticking the second we awaken, counting down for the start of the school day; emails and texts stream in constantly, while demands from work and colleagues distract us from our loved ones and ourselves. After pick-up, dinner, and homework, we collapse into bed in a state of tension and anxiety. Does this feel like your life and that of everyone around you? What if there was a way that parents could work with these stressful situations, and potentially relieve anxiety, calm their bodies and minds, and act in more centered and purposeful modes? How might our days and lives be different if we did this even a little bit, and could foster and maintain resiliency in daily life?
On this evening, a mindfulness panel will help answer these questions by first outlining current clinical research that supports secular practices accessible to people of any religious traditions or beliefs. We will also learn more about efforts from a current educator and community leader in Brookline, and where they have seen mindfulness have a positive impact on the social-emotional well-being of students and teachers alike. We will also facilitate mindfulness techniques. Come join us for a positive and engaging experience!
Liz Gorman is the program leader for the Mindfulness Initiative at Brookline High. She also teaches Spanish, rock climbing, and yoga, and is the parent of two girls that attend Brookline Schools. She is a formal and informal mentor to many teachers, and co-created the faculty and student wellness initiative. Liz is a doer and an agent of change, and today she can add Caverly Award winner to her long list of accomplishments.
Paul Harris is on the Wellness Committee of the PSB and is a Town Meeting member. He has practiced meditation for more than 40 years, and attended a mindfulness training led by the Benson Henry Institute’s Resilient Schools program, along with teachers and staff from the Coolidge Corner School. He currently volunteers in classrooms and with mindfulness activities at CCS, including co-leading weekly Mindful Monday sessions, where teachers share their own mindfulness practices and experiences teaching mindfulness to their students. He has two sons who attended the Devotion School K-8 and his mother taught first grade there.
Marilyn Wilcher, senior advisor to the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI), has been associated with the Institute since its founding in 1988 as the Mind Body Medical Institute—first as a trustee and later as senior vice president. The founder of BHI’s Resilient Youth Program, Ms. Wilcher consults with institute leadership and service providers who teach children and young adults stress management and resiliency skills. She launched the Resilient School’s program, formerly known as The Education Initiative, in 1989 to offer a relaxation response-based curriculum to students and educators. She and BHI staff have successfully trained thousands of students and educators in independent, urban, suburban and special education schools throughout the United States.