By Charity Muiruri
I'm Charity and I am one of the two, selected, project interns for Tangled Feet's Mindfulness Project. What is Mindfulness? It's being aware of yourself and others (thoughts, feelings etc) at any time, in any space and understanding why and then how, we can manage these states.
Throughout my childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, I experienced different levels of intense stress or anxiety or hopelessness or sadness and sometimes a combination of them all. I wasn't aware of what I was experiencing therefore I didn't know who to ask, or how to ask, for help. That's why I was interested in being part of this project- I want to support younger people in their journey of well-being.
The Mindfulness Project has created a safe space for youth to learn how to communicate as well as express what they’re feeling. During circle time, Emily would ask the participants to share what they had been up to, during the week, in school or in the morning of that day. This encouraged them to reflect back on their experiences whilst processing the different perspectives in the room. In addition to that, when exploring Tangled Feet and Half Moon's co-production of, 'Butterflies', the participants could identify with the character's journeys and were able to assess how they might feel at different points in the story.
Through the practice of yoga, the Mindfulness Project explores the body as well as the mind. To some people, yoga can be seen as a daunting experience or even a boring one- especially because it requires more focus and physical strength.
Rachel would demonstrate a series of yoga poses that we would then encourage, and support, the participants to shape.
It was impressive how quickly the young people picked up and remembered the different poses- even if they didn't always remember the name. What was really sweet, was witnessing them help each-other when making the poses together.
It's evident that the young people leave each session being enriched with knowledge, skill and sometimes a keepsake that they created. My personal favourite is the storm jar ''storm rolls in, storm rolls out." Very simple to make- it's a jar filled with water and glitter, lots and lots of glitter which when you shake, it symbolically represents a storm. The purpose of this is to reassure people that when you're faced with difficulties in life, it's only temporary and like the glitter, it will eventually settle.
The Mindfulness Project has been a wonderful experience that I hope will continue to reach and improve more lives.