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Mindfulness Blended Mobility in Italy

Mindfulness Day 1 in Siatista, Greece
January 19, 2019

The Blended Mobility of Young People took introduced the Initiates to Mindfulness in three stages:
1) actual Mobility in Italy where participants gathered to exchange knowledge and experiences on Mindfulness using different educational elements;
2) online coaching, carried by more experience initiate in Mindfulness sending tasks for 6 weeks after mobility 3 times per week to support other initiates on their mindfulness path back home;
3) local workshops carried by already mindful participants.

The first part was the Mobility. 15 Initiates coming from Portugal, Greece and Italy gathered in Merine town near Lecce, Italy in a venue called Villa Diana for a 5 day Mobility. It took place from 15th to 19th November 2018. The date was chosen due to great period for initiates to start developing themselves before New Year and local workshops planned in January, the decision for dates was born after a consultation and acceptance by all partners.

During the 5-day exchange, the initiates were provided with mindfulness tools and sources where to study deeper and where they could develop the necessary competencies in order to better approach the project objectives. Also besides project objectives to contribute to their own personal development and social change. In order to meet the main objective and objectives of the project, the training was based on elements of experiential learning, self-directed learning and non-formal education (NFE). During the 5 day of exchange, education was provided through the informal and non-formal learning toolkit, as part of the development of information, knowledge and skills related to the exploitation and transfer of competences to life. The definition of the purpose of life, which is especially important for young people, has also played an important role. The exchange also included the opportunity for youth workers to gain experience and develop the skills to help young people find and realize the purpose of their lives by giving their own workshops.

The course was based on elements of experiential learning, independent learning and non-formal education (NFE). The NFE has supported the participatory and student-centered approach that initiates have carried out on a voluntary basis and was therefore closely linked to the needs, aspirations and interests of participants. NFE was also based on Kolb's experiential learning cycle. The team of content creators were all initiates with most experiences Italian initiates coordinating the activities and consulting with external experts. In the team were there different initiates with different experiences in Mindfulness which offered a wide range of non-formal educational tools to Initiates, such as role-playing, brainstorming, teamwork, simulations, theoretical inputs, discussions, outdoor education, theater games, and more. Active participation of the initiates was strongly encouraged. The use of the NFE helped participants to get to know each other, collaborate and share information. The working methods encouraged the personal, socio-educational and professional development of the participants.

Below are the specific activities which took place in the program. They were divided in 5 days, each day having specific devotion:

Arrival day had just informal conversation and getting to know each other activity after dinner as most of the participants arrived very late and needed to rest before next day.
1st day Getting to Know:
-Vinyasa Yoga.
-Interview with the Locals.
-Getting to know. Setting the Intentions.
-Workshop about practicalities-role division, security, good deeds chart.
-Goals of Your Soul.
-Lime Light.
2nd day Intro to Mindfulness:
-What is Mindfulness;
-Mindful Eating and Cooking;
-Connecting with Nature, Awakening Your Senses;
-Mindful Movement-Transformational Hatha Yoga.
3rd day Your Life Journey:
-Heroes Journey;
-Means Goals and End Goals;
-In Nature We Trust.
-Spiritual Anatomy-Chakras
4th day Offering Your Gifts:
-Active listening.
-Examination of Conscience.
-From Caterpillar to Butterfly.
-Me and You;
-Laughing Therapy;
-The Heartbeating;
-See the Bright Side of Life;
-Sound Environment Analysis;
-Take a Moment to be Thankful.
5th day Evaluation:
-Reflection groups
-Group evaluation
-Individual evaluation
Departure day had no activities except team evaluation as all the participants left before breakfast.

Second part of the Blended Mobility was Online Coaching. The aim of Online Coaching was to support the initiates in their personal journey of self-development and Mindfulness once back home. It is believed that to develop a habit takes 21 day. The 6 weeks of coaching were chosen in order to ensure the habits remain in participants daily schedule. The theory of 5 rooms of life were used to structure coaching program and habits from diverse self-development experts were taken to be introduced to participants.

Third part was Local workshops in the community involving at least 20 youngsters. It was coordinated by each partner organization and each participant had freedom to choose the most effective Mindfulness method to introduce it to local community.

The planned activities were done using diverse elements and working methods.
We used the following elements of the methods of non-formal education:
- Getting to know activities, ice breaking games and team building activities;
- description of expectations by Mandala of Intentions, learning evaluation guidelines, daily reflection and final evaluation activities.

Methods related to Content:
- acquiring knowledge and skills related to informal and non-formal learning;
- knowledge of the purpose of life and, in particular, the importance of it for young people;
- the practice of building the habits of young people in the formulation of their life goals
- development of follow-up action plans when back home.
Do you feel ready to share Mindfulness with your local community/friends/family? Which tool are you going to share?

- I feel ready and confident about sharing Mindfulness in our local workshop.. Regarding my friends and family, I have already been sharing mindful routines and tools that I use in my everyday life. Although there are many tools that I would like to share in the workshop, I have chosen "Active Listening".

- Yes, I will share many tools during the portuguese Workshop of 2 days. I'm also sharing some tools with my boyfriend since we live together and is important for me to include him on my new routines (i've shared tools like the bucket list, 12 areas of life, 5 rooms of life).

- Yes, I feel ready to contribute to my surroundings’ personal development through Mindful tools. Already, I have shared mindful eating advices and activities, I have disseminated the Peace Revolution Programme with its core Disciplines and finally, I have organized the "Hero’s journey" activity during our workshop in Siatista (Greece).
Which 3 sessions during Mobility were most useful for you? Why?

- During Mobility almost all sessions were very udeful for me, but I will choose "5 rooms of life", "The Heroes Journey" because I felt that they can be applied as they are in my life and taught me that I have the power to change and improve my everyday life if I want to. In addition to these, "Mindful Movement. Transformational Hatha Yoga" was also very important for me because I have felt that this power I have been searching for is located inside me.. In my center,,, in my existence.. People usually are looking for power in their environment, but we should understand that the real power and the strongest one is inside us,,, is the light that we are ignoring so many years..The light that is waiting for us to understand its existence, to respect it and let it bloom...

- It's hard to say since i feel like all of them have played an important part in what i built and decide during that process. But maybe i can say that the lessons about the bedroom as a reflection room, the bathroom as a contemplation room and the organizing of clothes and food.

- What is mindfulness: important to begin with it and make things clear - Mindful eating: something really new to me and interesting the I can apply in my everyday life - Spiritual anatomy: I just like all kind of anatomy

- Mindful cooking, because we experienced team work in mindful way. - The interview with locals, because we had a chance to talk with a lot of people, understanding that we all need simple things. - The hero's journey, because we it was a path very useful and logical that we all did together.

- 1/. Means goals and end goals, because it made me think and revise a few worries I had in my life till that moment. 2/. Spiritual Anathomy-Chakras, because there were words I had heard many times and I didn’t know what they meant, so I clarified them. 3/. Mindful eating and cooking, because from that time I try to be more aware about my food and I enjoy it much more.