Rita Devassy, Founder and CEO of Deva Seed, led two KidsTek high school classes into the new school year with a series of mindfulness and meditative activities.
Her first class presentation, held at North High School, started with the students participating in a popcorn share by shouting out one word describing how they currently felt. Common feelings included: tired, intrigued, anxious and uncomfortable. Rita allowed the students a space to reflect on these feelings as they moved on to explore their surroundings through a “5-4-3-2-1” activity. Moving through each of the human senses, Rita led a meditative experience that guided the students to focus on five things they see, four things they feel, three things they hear, etc.
When performing this same activity during Rita’s second presentation at Florence Crittenton High School, one student reflected on her feeling of boredom after she completed each step and before moving on to the next. Rita used this reflection as an opportunity to dive more into the meaning of mindfulness.
“Our brains naturally keep generating thoughts,” Rita said. “But the moment you notice ‘oh I’m bored now’ that’s an excellent moment to go ‘oh I need to stop, I don’t need to do anything right now.’ That’s what mindfulness is. Be with a moment; you don’t have to have it filled with something.”
While the world is full of thousands of things to see, hear and feel, Rita reminded students to take even just a few seconds a day to “be with a moment.” The group activities Rita led could also be pared down to personal reflections throughout the students’ days. Whether they felt stressed about an upcoming test or anxious before a big game, Rita reminded the students to ask themselves, “Do I need to feel like this? If no, then just drop it.”
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