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Contributing Editor: Jazmine Franklin, Director of Fly Five Programs

Before you begin reading this issue, find a moment of stillness. Feel your feet on the floor. Roll your shoulders back, and relax your jaw, hands, and the space between your eyes. Think of something that brings you joy. Take three intentional breaths while you focus on feeling that joy. How does it feel to let yourself smile?

In this month’s issue, we examine mindfulness—the intentional practice of focusing attention on one’s feelings, thoughts, and emotions. As we approach the milestone of a year of virtual learning and continue adjusting to an ever-changing “new normal,” mindfulness is an essential practice for remaining present, calm, and optimistic about what the future holds. Mindfulness is also an integral component of the Fly Five curriculum and a common practice among our development team.

The articles in this issue highlight many different facets of mindfulness. You’ll learn the basics first: what mindfulness is and how to practice it, with a focus on mindfulness for educators. Then we explore how mindfulness can provide strength to help us persevere and can act as a balm when we are working through life’s changes and transitions. Finally, we illustrate the ways that mindfulness can be used as a tool to bridge differences, foster equity in our schools, and nurture students who are open, honest, and kind.

As you explore the articles here and their downloadable activities, we hope you’ll find a wealth of new information and practical strategies to help you encounter any situation—no matter how challenging—with a sense of confidence, hope, and grace.

Articles in this Issue:

What Is Mindfulness?

Mind Over Matter Mind over matter is an expression that you’ve likely used yourself or heard someone else say as a way to motivate themselves. It alludes to the power of our minds and our ability to self-regulate when situations or events seem out of our control. But “mind over matter” can be easier said…

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The Power to Persevere: How Mindfulness Develops Grit

When you think about practicing mindfulness, what do you envision? Do you picture someone with their eyes closed, breathing deeply in a quiet room? Mindfulness is defined as the intentional practice of focusing attention on recognizing feelings, thoughts, and emotions without interpreting or judging them, and then using evidence-based tools and strategies to process them….

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Transitions & Mindfulness

Transitioning With Mindful Ease The days are slowly getting longer, winter melts into spring, and we are reminded of the subtle ways we are constantly transitioning from one point to another. It’s an understatement to say that from last March to this one our educational community has experienced many changes. The last twelve months have…

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Mindfulness for Educators

There’s no question that educators face stress in many different forms. From managing online classroom dynamics to figuring out how to delineate between working from home and living at home, to simply completing a to-do list, there may be times that the stressors seem interminable. In those moments, gratitude and joy may be difficult to…

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Equity and Mindfulness

Culturally Responsive Mindfulness: Strategies for Teachers and Students With all of the challenges and changes our schools and educational communities have faced since March 2020, it might be difficult to parse exactly what has happened since then. To start, reflect for a moment on the progress you have made. Take note of how you have…

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Mindfulness and Showing Openness and Honesty

Mindfulness for Fostering Openness and Honesty Openness and honesty have always been important attributes. But in our current climate— where social media serve as an echo chamber silencing opposing views and sharing one’s opinion can be increasingly polarizing—being open to new thoughts, ideas, and experiences while also being honest may be more important than ever….

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