Embodied Mindfulness for Sustainable Social Change
Facilitators: Jill Satterfield, Jessi Bellama, Whitney Stewart

Our sample of offerings below have been designed to nourish and inspire leaders and practitioners in the fields of social change, both personally and professionally, to integrate mindfulness training into the launch, growth, and sustainable practice of your work in the world. Whether you are a systems change expert, new to the field of social innovation, or a mindfulness teacher looking to amplify your impact on your community and the systems around you, we welcome you. 

Each session will provide:

  • a context for understanding the practice and theory of embodied mindfulness
  • a guided practice for direct experience
  • opportunity to connect embodied mindfulness practices with systems and design thinking for social change
  • discussion and open space for questions and answers

Please reach out to us with any questions at courses@gkinitiative.org.

Session Details (click to expand)

An introduction to mindfulness skills that will support present moment awareness. We will frame the practice in current research and offer the direct experience of stabilizing kind awareness that can meet your current life with more ease. We will place these practices in the context of the systems within which we all live and work.

Becoming sensitive to the body opens the mind to knowing feelings without becoming lost in them. Empathy is cultivated as a felt sense; being in the body offers a respite from being hijacked by the ruminating mind. Empathy is also the key to effective Human-Centered Design.

Kind awareness, while listening to oneself and others, is fundamental to having choice about what thoughts to spend more or less time with. Listening to others can prevent judgement, assumption, and the feelings of isolation. Those around us feel safer when heard, and basic sanity comes from knowing the difference between what feels real and what is really true. Active listening and inquiry are powerful tools for presence in our work.

Knowing and understanding personal conditioning cultivates more choice in the heart and mind. By developing the ability to be in the present moment, we also develop awareness of patterns of thoughts and feelings. With awareness, discernment grows, and we see for ourselves what thoughts and feelings are helpful, and which may be harmful.  Mapping our own systems of thoughts and feelings allows us to understand our own strengths, blind spots and biases in how we approach our work.

Internal awareness, also called interoception, is a key to self-care and to empowering authenticity. When we lose sight of how we are feeling from one moment to the next, we can’t attend to our own needs. Our internal well runs dry, leading to compassion fatigue and burnout. We can learn to be internally and externally aware even while navigating difficult situations. Research in embodied mindfulness has been shown to be a greater asset than mindfulness on its own with regards to self-care, regulation and living our truest values. This in turn allows us to bring our authentic selves to our work, increasing our connection, commitment and motivation.

When we cultivate the ability to have a more open mind and less defended heart, we become naturally more resilient. When the lens of mind is more open, we regain our perspective on the importance of connection, community, compassion, and the greater good. This wider lens reminds us of our priorities and values and offers opportunities for gratitude for what we have, while we have it – which brings us back to where we started the course: looking at the systems within which we live and work, designing for resilience throughout.

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There are a limited amount of scholarships available to anyone in need, and a special allocation for BIPOC or LGBTQIA communities. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please tell us about yourself and how much you are seeking.