I want to write about the workshop that begins tomorrow before it begins just in case . . . . well, just in case, no one shows up or I feel like I blew it or said too much or too little. Just in case I am more apt to criticize myself tomorrow and I am unable comment on the totality of the experience.
For a few years now, I’ve wanted to bring mindfulness training to families with kids with special health care needs. I really thought that I could just find the people who were doing this — teaching meditation or yoga or tai chi — with families and offer to help them in some way. However, those folks don’t exist. No one seems to be doing this. Of course, I know that if I throw this far enough out there, someone will come back to me with something, but the idea of teaching mindfulness to parents and whole families has not hit the mainstream in my neck of the woods. There is also no direct path that leads to teaching families all together or children and adults with disabilities like autism. I do a bit of work with someone who is working with adults on the spectrum but her program seems to be pretty unique.
So, I’ve spent a few years deepening my own practice and learning what I could to give me a background. I thought that my next step was to teach a family class to families with typically developing kids, but during the summer in Woodman’s Grocery Store, an old classmate from LEND days stopped me and asked when I was going to do a parents’ class. I didn’t remember ever saying I was going to do a parents’ class but it was an excellent idea. And that question set me moving in a different direction. When I mentioned it to a friend at IDS (the clinic where Julia does therapy), she encouraged the idea and helped me get space and time at the clinic. And when I started to sketch out what I wanted to do, I realized that it was not just a meditation class that I wanted to create but something that incorporated the beginnings of a community with mindful activities and support for the people involved.
I am putting together what I would have liked to find three or four years ago. It combines the meditation lessons that I was taught, some yoga stretches and Qigong, some teachings about mindfulness, some of my favorite readings and time to share some personal stories, feedback and insights. I have no idea if anyone else wants the same thing, or something like it. The first session begins tomorrow and I guess I will find out.
It has been thinly advertised and only to families who use IDS as their therapy provider. Two email notices and a poster that was hung just last week. I have nine people who expressed interest in attending — I’m not charging a fee so there is no commitment until they show up. I am nervous and excited. I am inching out on the ever thinning limb. This is what I want to be doing but I am still such a novice. If it goes well, I will pronounce myself brave. Also, happy and satisfied. However, there have been so many small starts or promising ideas, meetings and phone calls that have fallen flat in the last few years. I cannot count any chickens. I will try not to connect much ego with the endeavor. Good or bad or somewhere in-between, I need to just do it.
“Heart, be brave. If you cannot be brave, just go. Love’s glory is not a small thing…”
Well, of course, who else?