What is “mindfulness”? What does it mean to “be mindful”? The answers to those questions are at the heart of the Mindfulness Festival for Well Being on Saturday, October 24, led by Trish Miele, pictured, a resident of West Windsor for more than 23 years. The event for people of all ages with activities for children and adults will be held at Princeton Speech Language and Learning Center. $15 includes healthy snacks. Visit www.tobemindful.com for information and to register.
Mindfulness life skills lead to “self-awareness and the ability to manage those tough emotional reactions, concentration and focus, happiness and feelings of well-being, compassion and empathy, gratitude and generosity, choice making and problem solving, and perspective taking and responsive collaboration,” says Miele.
It also leads to “decreases in stress levels, blood pressure, anxiety, knee-jerk emotional reactions, rumination and worry, restlessness and dissatisfaction, stress-related illnesses, and distracted, auto-pilot thinking,” says Miele, who recently ran a mindfulness festival in Central Park.
“Each session will offer basically the same experiences so people can try a number of different approaches to mindfulness,” says Miele. Experience sessions will be held at 2:30, 3, 3:30, and 4 p.m.
Attendees may choose from Mindful Movement by Fran Swart, Mindful Eating by Ayami Yamamichi of West Windsor, Mindful Parenting by Karen Cohen, Trish Miele, or Blair Crowley; and Mindful Art with Carmen Williams. There will also be guided activities for children and adults including coloring and therapy options with Dr. Mark Cooperberg. “There will be mindfulness resources to explore and learn about,” says Miele.
Terri Rossman, executive director and owner of Princeton Speech Language and Learning Center, will be available for questions about the programs at the center. The PSLLC Social Village is a facility with games, Legos, Minecraft, and other activities for kids eight and older to get together and share common interests. Brendan Cartlidge will be coordinating this for any children who attend.
Miele graduated magna cum laude from West Chester University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She is also a graduate of the year-long certification program in mindfulness education curriculum from the Mindful School in California.
She taught in the WW-P School District for nine years. Formerly a third grade teacher at Dutch Neck Elementary School, Miele is trained and has taught hundreds of classroom children using the Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop approaches (Columbia University Teacher’s College). While in the WW-P district, she was a cooperating teacher for student teachers and for juniors from Rider and Princeton University who were participating in practicum programs for their degrees.
Miele’s focus in education has always been on all aspects of a child’s development. Understanding the physical, social, and emotional needs of a child and how they affect his/her ability to learn has long driven her teaching.
She is trained in and utilized Responsive Classroom, a social emotional learning approach to classroom management and educating children. She has been tutoring privately for the past four years in mindfulness, mathematics, writing, grammar, reading comprehension, and organizational strategies for studying and managing homework. Her educational website, www.trishthetutor.com, highlights her commitment to the whole child and now includes a broad age group of mindfulness clients.
Miele has taught mindfulness skills to adults, teens, and inner city children ages 5 to 13. Miele has led workshops for numerous teaching professionals throughout New Jersey for professional development and recently presented at Fusion Academy’s summer speaker series on mindfulness and managing stress/anxiety. She is the mindfulness consultant at Princeton Speech Language and Learning Center. She has served on panels for the Princeton CHADD organization and led talks for local PTAs about the advantages of implementing mindfulness into everyday life.
“The curriculum for school-age children teaches mindfulness of listening, breath, brain science, movement, compassion, thought, emotions, eating, gratitude, conversation, and test taking, to name just some of the skills,” says Miele, who recommends working with youngsters in 15-minute increments twice a week over an eight-week period. “The focus is on daily self-care, stress management, brain science collaboration, well-being, all topics taught to the students and integrating mindfulness to the school day through curricular connections and school and class community building.”
Miele will begin teaching the eight-week mindfulness curriculum at the Village Charter School in Trenton this month as a part of their after school tutoring program. Teacher training and eventually a full school roll out are in the works and will afford this school the distinction of being the first fully mindful school in New Jersey. With Dale Caldwell, CEO of VCS, and Clarisa Romero, her co-teacher, Miele continues to expand on her work and mission of bringing mindfulness to people of all ages.
Mindfulness Festival, To Be Mindful, Princeton Speech Language and Learning Center, 19 Wall Street, Princeton. Saturday, October 24, 2 to 4:30 p.m. Yoga, movement, parenting, therapy options, compassion, mindful eating, coping with everyday life, and more. For all ages. $15. 609-306-3781. www.tobemindful.com.