Earlier this Spring, the students of St Brigid’s in Ard Easmuinn took part in a series of workshops in Creative Mindfulness facilitated by An Táin Arts Centre and led by creative mindfulness practitioner Katie-Anne Bolger. Katie Anne is a musician, singer / songwriter, music teacher and now a qualified creative mindfulness practitioner. We chatted to Katie-Anne about the preparation she did to qualify in this new area and also about how the workshops with the St Brigid’s students went.

Can you tell us a little about creative mindfulness and how you got involved?

I recently completed my accredited creative mindfulness practitioner certificate with Louise Shanaghar’s ‘Creative Mindfulness for Kid’s’ course. The course focuses on incorporating mindfulness into children’s everyday life and to help them understand their thoughts and emotions. I am very passionate about the promotion of positive Mental Health and Wellbeing and creating opportunities to help children develop skills to look after their minds, bodies and emotions. The Creative Mindfulness workshops I offer schools are all taught in a secular way, outside any spiritual context, with all practices supported by scientific research. The purpose is to introduce Mindfulness and promote positive Mental Health and wellbeing to children

Tell us about the workshops with the students in St Brigids?

For 4 weeks in March I held creative mindfulness workshops in St Bridgid’s primary school Dundalk. Each of the classes were based on the “Mindful Heart Curriculum”. Through this curriculum Children learn how to calm and relax their minds, to focus and pay attention, to understand and express their thoughts and feelings and cultivate kindness for themselves and others through creativity, art, crafts, stories, meditations, visualisations and discussion. Each week we focused on one aspect of being mindful. Every class consisted of the same pattern:

How did the children respond?

I loved getting to know the students and seeing them take on what I was sharing with them. I feel the classes impacted the students in a very positive way and hopefully the positive impact will continue and they put these skills in place.