Gratitude for Frontline Workers, Stories That Spark Wonder, and More Mindful News￼
From growing support for mindfulness-based therapies to a new science-writing scholarship, here’s the latest news from the mindfulness community.
Call the Gratitude Circle Hotline for three choices: Listen to the message of the day, leave a message thanking a frontline worker, or text a message of gratitude. With your choice, you can savor a moment of gratitude and share it through messages displayed at hotline.gratcircle. com. Najma Khorrami, founder at Gratitude Circle, says this started as a way to show appreciation to frontline workers and to move toward a more grateful world. “I hope anyone who reads a message shares it and sees the value in it,” she says. “I hope they get a reward from it, a boost in their morale.”
Stories That Spark Wonder
Journalist Ambar Castillo and scientist/ writer Brittany Trang are the 2022-2023 recipients of the new Sharon Begley Science Reporting Fellowship. Throughout her career, Begley was highly respected for her writing, which appeared in numerous publications, including Mindful (her Brain Science column appeared in every issue up to Spring 2021). She was also a tireless mentor to up-and-coming writers. The paid one-year fellowship, with funding raised by Begley’s husband and other donors, carries on her legacy by “diversifying the ranks of science and health journalists and fostering better coverage of science that is relevant to all,” according to STATnews.com.
A new graduate certificate offered through the University of Colorado Boulder aims to equip the next leaders in the outdoor recreation industry with best practices for inclusion and equity, with the goal of making outdoor recreation more accessible to all. Georgina Miranda, a social entrepreneur and activist who is teaching the program’s inaugural course, Foundations of Inclusivity in the Outdoor Recreation Economy, says on the university website: “Cultivating inclusive environments is a daily practice and way of being. It is everyone’s responsibility to create a more inclusive outdoor industry and the world.”
Like the Way You Talk
From “bae” to “side hustle,” Black Americans’ linguistic innovations are widely adopted, but not always recognized. The Oxford Dictionary of African American English, overseen by celebrated historian, literary critic, The Root cofounder, and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., is slated to publish in 2025. It will elucidate the variety and significance of African American English—offering, as Gates told The Root, “a history of the African American people from A to Z.”
The Artist is Out
Conceptual artist Marina Abramović’s latest exploration of present-moment awareness can be found at Modern Art Oxford through March 5, with “Gates and Portals.” Here, visitors don first noise-canceling headphones, then blindfolds, to help them drop into the moment. They’re invited to stand, sit, or lie down to see how a different position changes their experience. An activity sheet notes the gallery has been “transformed… to help us slow down, spend time being quiet, to listen and feel the world around us.”
Money Well Spent
Amid increased need for mental health support due to COVID-19, a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy center in Manitoba received $700,000 from the province to expand its reach and reduce barriers to services. Norwest Co-op Community Health says the money will help develop online programs and give access to hospitals and community groups. In the coming year, they aim to train 70 to 100 new facilitators and expand their services to include youth aged 14 to 17. The center also received funding to develop programs specifically for health care and public safety personnel, peripartum people, seniors, youth, and Indigenous populations.
Acts of Kindness
When Kira, a college freshman, learned she couldn’t bring her pet betta fish Theo on her flight home for the summer, Southwest Air employees Ismael and his fiancée Jamee offered to fish-sit. After four months of receiving text and photo updates of the happy fish, Kira went back to school and was reunited with Theo.
Instead of turning in the 16-year-old who had mugged his nephew, Winston Davis had a conversation with him and learned that the teen had no parents, job, or education. So they made a deal: If the boy returned the backpack he stole, Davis would use his community connections to help the boy change his path. Since then, Davis says the offers for money, education, and mentorship have flooded in.
British grandfather Gez Robinson went viral on TikTok for posting videos of himself hand-feeding flower petals to two families of mice living in his garden. Robinson constructed a “wildlife area” for his little friends, complete with tiny houses. He speaks to the mice daily and even named them: the Honeysuckle family and the Bramble family.
Burnout isn’t an individual problem, it’s a collective challenge and a byproduct of unkind systems in our world. The good news is that these systems were created by people, which means they can be updated.
Ben Painter and Selena La’Chelle Collazo believe that mindfulness should be foundational learning for all students, and they’re teaching schools how to bring that vision to life.