Community-building at C&W through Shared Experience and Mindfulness
Michelle Man, Communications Coordinator, Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia & BC Children's Hospital | October 2, 2019
A seed was planted for an idea after a brief conversation in passing with a colleague last spring.
We were talking about what we had done over our weekends and I had mentioned how I looked forward to my weekly yoga class with my favorite teacher every Saturday morning. This class was so special in that it incorporated 30 minutes of mindful meditation and breath-work before the one hour Vinyasa yoga class. I always left inspired from the weekly message and so calm and grounded.
This teacher’s class was so popular that you were often packed in like sardines but something magical happened in that room every Saturday morning that was the result of the energy that was generated from the unified breathing and movement and shared experience of the group.
I could afford to take the hour and a half class and the one hour commute every Saturday but the time commitment during the week was impossible what with working full-time and having a young family.
I approached my supervisor with the idea of holding a weekly one hour lunch and learn series with guest speakers that were experts in Mindfulness in the hopes of creating a community across the C&W campus.
The idea was approved as it complemented our existing fitness programming. The 2018 Fall Mindful Communal Lunch & Learn Series was launched and it ran for 6 weeks. A catered meal was provided free of charge and each week the group explored different topics with a variety of speakers. The series was so successful we ran the 2019 Spring Mindful Communal Lunch & Learn Series with our partners at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCCHR). Our 2019 Spring Mindful Meditation & Stretch Series soon followed.
With a UBC Human Resources Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program Grant and continued support from BC Children’s Hospital Centre for Mindfulness and BCCHR we are now in our third cycle of programming with our Everyday Mindfulness Lunch and Learn Series.
Everyday Mindfulness Lunch and Learn Series explores how you can easily incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. Whether it be a mindful meal, gardening, movement or a cup of tea, our lunch and learn series aims to deepen the understanding the concept of Mindfulness and the profound impact it can have on reducing stress levels and building resilience. Each session begins with an activity, followed by a teaching and concludes with a meditation. To complement the workshops we are also offering our 2019 Fall Mindful Meditation & Stretch Series.
It has been a joy and a privilege to be able to bring my ideas to fruition at our campus with the support of my supervisor and department. I looking forward to working with some new collaborators on 2020 programming which I hope will further grow our Mindful community at C&W.