MindMoot - April 23

We've recently got back from working with BushcraftUK on the first MindMoot. The event was to trial combining Bushcraft Activities with Mindfulness.

We were joined by bushcraft and mindfulness specialists to add ideas and give feedback based upon their extensive experience working with adults and children.

The event started with an evening around the fire getting to know each other and sharing our backgrounds and thoughts on the event. We then had a meditation session led by Hannah, a psychotherapist. The following morning we had a workshop on fire lighting but with a focus on slowing down and thinking about creating the spark was similar to new ideas in life followed by growing the spark into an ember requiring patience before breathing life into this ember to allow it grow.

Neil from Forgeways then led us on a walk through the woods looking at how we can connect to the natural life around us that so often passes us by using all of our senses include sight, smell, hearing and touch.

The afternoon started with a workshop by Alison, a publisher and author, on exploratory writing. The workshop was based upon her published book and used writing as a tool for accessing our inner narrative and identifying thoughts and priorities that we easily miss in day to day life.

In the evening the group came together and we cooked pizzas as a group, reflecting on the day, growing an appreciation for what we have and being lucky enough to be immersed in the outdoors. Hannah led other meditation and mindfulness sessions to develop skills that allowed us to clear our minds and be content in the moment.

The weekend was a resounding success with everyone feeling more relaxed and not wanting to pack up and leave, looking forward to the next meet. I've practiced mindfulness and breathing in the past but this was the first time I've spent this long in led sessions and whilst the increased focus was tiring I felt extremely content and happy that I had skills that I could take away and use. The exploratory writing was one particular session I was dubious about to start with but gave me huge clarity in priorities and way forward once I came home.

Many of the activities from the weekend can be adapted for teachers and students depending on the requirements. With students, starting to incorporate the ideas into the alternative provision sessions I run will be straight forward and I'm quite excited to see how the students will respond and the impact of this. My next consideration though is whether I can weave small aspects into mainstream teaching to help students better manage their anxiety and fears in the classroom.

We are now planning the next event, if this is something you might be interested in joining us on please keep an eye on bushmoot.com.

Any questions about the event and the workshops ran please feel free to reach out.