I’ve just come home from an amazing panel discussion organised by Enterprise Desk, entitled ‘Mindfulness in Business’. I was grateful to have been a guest on this panel because mindfulness and meditation are things I practice, feel comfortable with and want to see included on the school curriculum.
Enterprise Desk hosted the event. It is a business hub initiative providing opportunities to help start-ups and grow enterprises in the London Borough of Redbridge. Nicola Millington of FP Comms was commissioned by Enterprise Desk to host this panel discussion at Ilford Library. There were 3 panelists – Pippa Moye, Laurie Seymour (via Skype) and myself. Ian Chambers from East London Radio and John Dareth Evans for photographs also attended, and we had an engaged and interested audience.
My Impressions Being a Panelist
It was my first time as a panelist and I was nervous beforehand, but once I got into my flow, I was OK – after all, I was talking about a subject that I am passionate about. I had not spoken in front of an audience in this way before where the discussion was spontaneous, but it was a really comfortable atmosphere and the audience were receptive, which made it easier. It felt like a group of friends talking about something they were all passionate about.
Panel Questions For Discussion
Nicola chaired the panel and asked questions to Pippa Moye, Laurie Seymour and myself. These are some of the questions she asked:
- There has been an international/worldwide recognition of the power of mindfulness in business. Do you feel that businesses are really embracing this way of thinking, if yes/no, why and how?
- Please provide examples of where businesses that have adapted this principle have demonstrated greater benefit for themselves and their business.
- With Entrepreneur revolution, freelance and self-employment the stresses of life are increasingly overwhelming, how can we better equip our young people through the education system to handle the pressures ahead of them?
Interestingly, the conversations moved away from actual business matters and developed into deeper discussions about the importance of incorporating practices such as mindfulness in education, a subject really close to my heart, and much more interest was given to the importance of educating children with these practices in order for them to grow into human beings that are grounded and who believe in themselves.
Teenagers & Mindfulness
A teenager in the audience asked a really interesting question. As a teenager, “I find it difficult to know what/how to say, especially when texting or on social media, how can mindfulness help me?”
This question led to a really in-depth discussion about internet safety, lack of confidence in one’s self which can lead to peer pressure and making trusting relationships. Not to mention how the education system is not really equipping the children today for the world that is evolving and we don’t yet know what it will look like in 20 years time.
In answer to her question, the first step is to believe in yourself and listen to her own body’s messages and rhythm. Children seem to lose touch with this intuitive connection from a very young age. Advice about downloading a mindfulness mobile app as a starting point for this teenager could help her to begin a practice to build an inner strength. This could allow her to decide to have ‘me’ time using her mobile device for a short time, thus turning off any other messages. This led to deeper conversations about the difficulty teenagers face about not really knowing what to think in a world where the culture is that everything is immediate – we want answers NOW – and the teenager in the audience felt pulled to have to send text messages immediately without thinking about how she will respond.
I have written about this very issue before and was featured in Ilford Recorder (http://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/health/south_woodford_ex_teacher_to_tackle_effects_of_technology_on_socially_awkward_children_1_3819954). The habit of social media starts at such a young age. In our discussion, this teenager said that she doesn’t really understand what we mean by ‘traditional’ education because she has grown up with technology and has nothing to compare with.
How You Can Help Your Teenager
What this teenager was saying was, “Please understand my problem and help me with it” and this is the plight of many young children. I heard this plea when I was a primary school teacher and developed the Healing Feeling program where I help children to reconnect with that intuitive part of themselves so that they can be more confident. If you want to hear more about my work please go to www.healing-feeling.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.