Teaching Labyrinth Workshop held at Brentwood Bay Elementary in Central Sannich followed by sharing at the World Children’s Summit on Peace and Nature Event held in Greater Victoria on Sept. 21, 2015
Renee Lindstrom offers a somatic learning experience for leadership development for children and teens that includes mindfulness, logic, perception and movement patterns. These tools can reflect the skills to connect that begins inside while, at the same time, connecting with others in a respectful way regardless of differences. These techniques turn blocked and closed experiences into open expansive opportunities.
Sharing the Teaching Labyrinth at St. Andrew’s Regional High School was a powerful experience to observe a shift from being closed and guarded to open and receptive in a group of teenagers. There was ease and simplicity using these tools that created a shift that was noticeable to view. They were noticeably acting with deeper qualities of inclusion, respect and connection. Checking in with the students afterwards this was what they described. Their experience of this was tangible.
The purpose of the somatic exercises was to give these students a model and the opportunity to experience this shift using these integrative tools so they could then duplicate it with ease and simplicity in the future. After exploring personal and group movement patterns we moved on to exploring a labyrinth pathway. A labyrinth has no barriers. It is a pathway into the center (heart) and back out again. It is not a maze which is confusing and a challenge requiring one to use their thinking. A labyrinth shifts a walker from the chaos of their thinking into a calmer somatic experience.
The suggestion for walking a pathway in an inclusive and grounded way was it could be a more subtle and meaningful form of support in conflict resolution. The concept is that everyone has differences and that if we include an opening shared experience for connecting deeper individually while walking together before talking, this may open the space to be more willing to hear these differences.
In communication practice I urge my students to stop and check in before reacting and speaking out. The purpose is to pause and translate what they are thinking into a connection that the other person can hear. This pathway reflects this process and together with some movement techniques for clarity and groundedness, walking this pathway becomes a pattern reflecting this process.
I recommend these patterns as tools in organization and educational institutions:
- as a preventative experience to cut conflict before it happens
- as a way to connect before trying to resolve differences
- to create respect and acceptance in a community experience
- to bring together a community
- to support making decisions
- to cut anxiety before events, meetings, challenges
Support your school, business group or community organization to explore connection before solutions. Cut thought the labels creating enemy images such as victim, perpetrator and bullying and support ways that are easy and simple. Move from the chaotic mind into mindfulness of acceptance and respect.
Read more on Renee Lindstrom’s Educational Programs for Educators & Parents @ Culture of Values
Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication, Empathy, Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder,