It is well known in mindfulness circles that things change. Constantly. Finding peace with this incontrovertible fact is, in many ways, the core objective of mindfulness itself.
Here at InStill we are noticing a lot of changes: changes in space, appearance, and activity.
Last week we moved into our new office at the Floyd Center of the Arts. We feel this will enable us to better interface with the public, both through greater visibility and accessibility, and also because we should be able to utilize this location for regular mindfulness classes and other activities. We are very happy to be here, and our arms are open should you wish to drop in and say hello. We need to make a few finishing touches, including some floor coverings and art for the walls, but we’re off to a good start with a table and bookshelf designed and donated by The Natural Woodworking Company, as well as a desk and filing cabinet donated by InStill board members Swede McBroom and Steve Weber.
Thanks to friend and supporter Parrish Lee, we also have a new logo, which we are very happy with. Our original logo was designed by our Executive Director, Jamie Reygle, who is the first to tell you he is not a designer. Fortunately, Parrish is. He has been working with us to design everything from flyer templates to business cards, and came up with this logo based on the Japanese minimalist ensō (or circle). Since we’re always gathering in circles at InStill, this seemed like a great symbol to represent us.
And finally, we’re looking at how to most effectively deliver our programming. We have received some wonderful feedback from our last semester working with thousands of middle school students, with one survey indicating:
- 95.9% of them enjoyed the classes;
- 87.7% of them said it had a positive effect on their experience of school;
- 85.9% of them said it had a positive effect on their self-esteem; and
- 79.5% of them said it had a positive effect on their relationships!
It is so rewarding to know our work is having a positive impact, and we are always looking at ways to deepen that impact. One thing we have found is that it is imperative to have as much buy-in as possible from teachers – not just in supporting what we do, but immersing themselves in it as well. For this reason, we are currently in discussions with Pure Edge, with the intention of delivering their proven professional development programming here in southwest Virginia, which will then enable teachers here on the ground to develop their own mindful classrooms, and instill mindfulness in their students and colleagues on an ongoing basis.
Change is in the air, and we are breathing it in!