Community excited about first Mindfulness for Change meet-up

Over thirty people turned up at the warm and welcoming CoLiberate space last Tuesday evening for our first community meet-up. There was a wonderful mix of ages, genders and backgrounds and connections were formed and relationships deepened.

Our community began just over a year ago and since then we’ve had three heart opening hui. After the last hui we heard that our community wanted more opportunities to connect between hui so we decided to try meet-ups. And if the response to the first meet-up is anything to go by it looks like meet-ups are here to stay.

We began the evening sitting in a circle and Elli Yates led a 5 minute meditation taking us on a grounding journey through our body. She then invited everyone to check-in saying their name and responding to the question of “what brought you here?” or “how does ‘mindfulness’ or ‘change’ feature in your life?” Many members of the community spoke about being drawn to come to their first hui and being so glad they did. A new person to the community commented she’d seen the event on meet-up last night and it came at a time in her life when she needed more mindfulness so she came along. Lots of people spoke of feeling greater awareness is needed in the world and how connecting with this community is a way to help realise this.

CoLiberate Co-Founder Bop Murdoch talked about the interwoven story of CoLiberate http://coliberate.co.nz/ and the Mindfulness for Change community. She spoke of CoLiberate finding “their tribe” — a community of people who get the idea of a mental health gym. She described meeting MfC community member Nick Laurence at a Lifehack workshop and him responding to their idea with “how?” rather than the usual endless “why?”. She talked about MfC community members Sam O’Sullivan helping them to co-design their Emotional First Aid programme, Sarrah Jayne supporting them through their first programme pitch and Justin Connor shining light on their strategic direction.

Bop then led us through a taste of a mindful movement classic activity, called Columbian Hypnosis, which involved following a partner’s hand through space, and then closed with an imagination exercise involving a freezing cold lake. This finale was an embodied alternative to our ‘brave face’ mentality and an opportunity to have a bit of a laugh!’

We ended the evening with social time over freshly brewed tea and cake. The feedback on the night was really positive. People were excited about ongoing meet-ups and made offers to be hosts and provide venues — so watch this space for details of the next meet-up. We’re co-creating these meet-ups together to meet the needs of you — the community — so send your ideas and offers to team@mindfulnessforchange.co.nz. We’d love to hear from you, as always!

Mindfulness for Change is a network of people collaborating to co-create mindful change in the world.

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