Glee and wide-eyed enthusiasm are not typical descriptors of middle school students, but I can honestly say that’s what is seen on competition days. Five minutes of “fitness training” every class period has given most students the confidence and motivation to use their new skills to become class champions for the week. Even better, some participate to improve upon their personal best! When reluctant students state that they actually enjoyed competing I congratulate them for doing something outside their comfort zone. Having the students choose the events helps with “buy-in;” reflecting on what worked and didn’t strengthen critical thinking, persuasion, cooperation, and compromise which help improve the next iteration. Although many don’t like to complete the fitness homework log, I am frequently told about more time being spent being active than playing video games! Several students come into class excited for the “First5Fit!” workout, and the challenging behaviors have been reduced. On the days we have competitions, participation and performance on the weekly quiz increases for most students! This project has helped me as an educator as well as my own physical fitness and well-being. I have experienced growth in skills and confidence that I did not anticipate. Sharing the experience with my students has improved our relationship, which is key to student engagement. I look forward to continuing the practice as long as I am in the classroom!
Dovecot Farm hosted Barn to Bedside retreat for a leadership team from St Mary’s Hospital Medical Center on Wednesday 24th March.
We incorporated a blend of equine interactions, DISC self awareness, sound healing and drumming as well as HeartMath breathing techniques and nature therapy.
It was a full day retreat with much needed healing for our healers.
Many significant highlights from the team retreat. I think what was significant was using the DISC framework to bring up the burnout issue amongst our frontliners. There was transparency and openness in our discussion about ‘self-compassion’ matters. The S score difference on the natural and adapted columns indicate burnout / wear & tear. It allowed me to bring up burnout in a sensible, factual numbers-related way.
Second highlight is the massively popular feedback on the sound healing session. I incorporated an integral sound healing approach with multi-instruments. Wow. Every single participant went into a deeply meditative state of relaxation. I was concerned that sound healing may be perceived as too ‘woo woo’ for this audience. I was very surprised that the mix of releasing and harmonious sounds had a wonderful impact, re-booting their autonomic nervous systems. Delighted with the feedback. Barn to Bedside received wonderful feedback from all who came. I am over the moon.
Dovecot Farm hosted the second Barn to Bedside retreat on Saturday 27th March.
The group comprised Clinical Director and therapists from the Addiction/ Recovery industry in Palm Beach County.
The agenda was the same as the St Mary’s team. All participants completed their DISC before the retreat. Similar wear & tear on the S column – this relates to the PACE of work/ environment. We held an open discussion on COMPASSION FATIGUE, the therapists were openly talking about experiencing burnout.
The Clinical Director is a huge fan of drumming circles in group therapy so he lead that activity. It was fun!
It was clear that this team really needed to decompress- the sound healing piece at the end was very healing, the team all completely relaxed. Fascinating!
It was a busy week with two retreats only a few days apart. However, the program delivered! I am really happy with the feedback and impact we made.
I am delighted that Barn to Bedside retreats is resonating with our target audience.
Caregivers/ medical / health workers were reaching burnout before the challenges of covid. Now it’s firmly at the top of the agenda.
Therapists are willing and open to discuss burnout. They are looking for solutions, they are open to this kind of wellness/leadership retreat.
Feedback from the LMHC and therapists:
“AMAZING! I loved the DISC, sound healing, kindness/ thoughtfulness.”
“Thank you…Different ways to achieve mindfulness.”
“I really enjoyed the program. Safe space, clarity and organization, peace.”
“This was incredible. It fits perfectly with my approach to therapy. Thank you so much.”
“DISC, guided meditation, knowledge on equine assisted therapy and equine emotional intelligence. This was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.”
“Amazing work. Keep it up! I loved everything.”
“I wouldn’t change anything. I loved all the process. I appreciated all the healing process.”
“An incredibly beautiful and moving experience. Thank you so much.”
“The sound bath…”
At last my mini grant has traction!
Self Compassion Matters has LIFT OFF!
Dovecot Farm has two retreats scheduled for next week….
St Mary’s Medical Team on Wednesday 24th March.
A group of therapists and Mental health practitioners in the recovery world on Saturday 27th March…
One fascinating trend is emerging in the DISC evaluation response…
Oh my ! The grant process was a frantic one in Q4 2020. I reached out to a number of contacts and felt that some traction was being made…Then nothing. Year-end kicked in. So did the challenges of Covid. I felt everything grinding to a halt. The initial meetings and potential connections’ interest appeared to disappear. Things seemed to fizzle out…The beginning of 2021 was also terribly slow. It seems that Self Compassion Matters was not a priority, decision makers had not responded. I have to admit that frustration began to creep in. I am aware that Q1 is the best time of the year in terms of weather and being outside…Anyhow, some Self Compassion was needed. I am glad that I reached out to the bewellpbc team, I feel supported and my efforts are appreciated!
This was about a most exhilarating class with incredible students. As an observer, I loved the interaction that the instructor personally had with the students, as well as with the coaches Daniel and Phil and the excellent workout to begin the class with. After watching all of you, I am going to implement such workout at home for myself. I loved the idea of a student practicing with a racket and a balloon. Tossing the ball against the wall for eye/hand coordination and walking the dog (ball) around the room and chair. I just cannot say enough about the satisfaction received by watching you and the students. You should be very proud of yourself!! It is also great to see the parents involvement in assisting their children throughout the class
While personally experiencing the disconnect from family, friends, community and church, I often thought about our Seniors and what they might be going through due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Social Distancing. In discussing this with others and realizing some Seniors are further restricted by vision, hearing and mobility impairments we felt the need was urgent. So we sought to find a solution to this issue and to help our most precious citizens cope during this time to avoid isolation and loneliness thereby avoiding negative effects on their mental and social wellbeing. As we investigated possible solutions, we discovered voice activated technical devices suitable for Seniors. Our next challenge was funding these devices. Thankfully, the Be Well Palm Beach County Mini Grant opportunity was introduced to us. We applied and were awarded the Grant. As of today, we have helped 16 Seniors CONNECT again!
So far, we have hosted three meetings with key stakeholders in the hospital / medical fields. There is interest in the Self Compassion mini grant. With Covid numbers, the one day retreats will be pushed to Q one 2021. The story is unfolding.
Our grant award has helped dozens of low-income migrant women discover health and wellness programs that enrich their lives and alleviate stress. We are pleased to say that many of these mothers participate in our yoga, Zumba, and nutrition workshops with their spouses and children, and it has been amazing to see their growth so far.
Women Helping WomenA Story of SuccessLake Worth West Resident Planning Group, Inc. has been able to provide educational workshops to the community for many years. We have been blessed to have great community partners who facilitate capacity building workshops about a variety of topics to educate the Lake Worth West families and raise awareness regarding physical and mental health, nutrition, safety, and child development, among others.In 2016, the Lake Worth West staff realized the need to offer a safe space for the Lake Worth West women to share with other women their own experiences, challenges, and successes as mothers and wives in the community. The women wanted to create a net of support. That is how the Womens Club began. Before the pandemic, we were able to do sessions in our building, go out to parks for walks and picnics, to museums, botanical gardens, restaurants, and other places. Through this program women have been able to visit places they have never been before, or will never be able to afford, that serve to reduce lifes stressors. Despite the pandemic, 2020 has brought us many blessings, including the Be Well Do Well grant for LWWs Womens Club/Women Helping Women behavioral health and wellness initiative. With the funding we were granted, the participants have been able to participate in new weekly wellness and stress reduction activities like Zumba and Yoga classes. The group also added a weekly cooking class named Lets Get Cooking. The facilitator of this amazing class is a professional nutritionist who comes up with healthy and easy recipes to teach to Women Helping Women participants about eating for good emotional and physical health. In a recent session of the Women Helping Women program, some participants expressed their gratitude and appreciation for all the activities offered. Some of their comments were: The zumba class has helped me and my daughter to relief some stress in these times of craziness. The Yoga class is my time to relax after a busy day at work. The yoga class has taught different ways to breathe to calm myself down when I am anxious and stressed out. I have learned how to cook healthy recipes for me and my family.Thank you for that excellent cooking class, my family and I enjoyed this delicious and healthy recipe.Our most recent accomplishment happened during the November Women Helping Women session when two of the moms took the lead of the class, showed a well-prepared Power Point ant talked to 18 more participants about womens empowerment and beauty stereotypes. They facilitated a great session, allowed other women to share their experiences and opinions and encouraged everyone to love and appreciate themselves the way they are. They reminded everybody how important and valuable they are and the importance of believing in themselves to be able to reach their goals and dreams. After seeing these women leading that class, we, as organization, felt proud of them and their accomplishments. We confirmed that this program has touched the lives of women for good and that we want to keep women empowering more women to become self-sufficient and great community leaders. With the Be Well grant, we have been able to incentivize womens participation and motivate their leadership skills through gift cards and kitchen utensils helpful to preparing the recipes learned in the cooking class. Thank you very much to Be Well Do Well for your support!