Why Green Thoughts?
Mindful meditation gives people the space and the time they need to cultivate new thoughts and attitudes towards life. Just like a garden, the mind requires daily attention and nourishment in order to thrive. As a gardener for many years, I came to admire the unhurried calm growth of plants. In my opinion, plant growth mirrors the personal growth experienced through mindfulness; it is a consistent, patient and graceful engagement with the constant change that is life.
• decrease stress
• increase emotional stability
• improve concentration
• foster a sense of well-being
Having taught as a primary teacher for several years, I have first-hand knowledge of how mindful meditation can be successfully incorporated into the classroom. It is my goal to help school communities reap the rewards of a regular mindful meditation practice. Green Thoughts offers on-site workshops for students, teachers and parents. Some of the documented benefits of mindfulness in schools are:
• improved emotional regulation and impulse control
• reduced anxiety and depression
• increased ability to concentrate
• stress management skills
• methods for stimulating creative thought
• techniques for improving concentration
• approaches for effective communication
• fostering community and collaboration
Whether in the classroom or in the garden Kristen Swanson has always been passionate about nurturing growth.
After completing her Master of Education degree and becoming a certified Ontario teacher, Kristen’s career in education led her to The British School of Bucharest in Romania. While the fast-paced lifestyle was exciting, after several years she began to develop stress related health issues.
In her search for balance and a healthier lifestyle, Kristen discovered mindful meditation. The practice was transformative and has since become an integral part of her life.
Kristen’s newfound passion led her to acquire a Certificate in Mindful Based Stress Reduction and to train in the Mindful Schools curriculum. In addition, Kristen became a qualified Restorative Yoga teacher to incorporate gentle yoga techniques into mindfulness training.
Kristen launched Green Thoughts: A Mindful Awareness Project help others to discover the emotional balance, calm and appreciation that a regular mindful meditation practice can bring to everyday experience.
Kristen’s teaching style made learning meditation fun and enjoyable. She presents ideas with clarity, framing concepts with ease and humour. Each class presented fascinating approaches that helped me develop my own meditation practice— a practice that continues to be enriching in unexpected ways.Meghan M.
I’m thrilled to report that the 9 kids surveyed, ranging from grades 2-6, LOVE the mindfulness training that Kristen provided at the school. They liked the images used in the meditations and talked about how they appreciated having at least a few minutes of peace and quiet in their day.Katrina S.
It was a mindful spring for the students at Swansea Public School this year as a Mindful Meditation was played over the announcements after lunch each day. Thank-you to Green Thoughts for introducing this new program to our school and for leading a mindfulness workshop for Children’s Mental Health Week.Mary S. - Principal