A mindfulness result of being asked Circle questions.

Mindfulness – awareness of  thoughts, actions and motivations.  I actually think I am more mind-full, when my mind is less.  I understand it to be fully present and in the moment.  If washing dishes, wash the dishes.  Keeping one thing on the mind at a time.  You can start the practice by eating, slowing down chewing your food and focusing you mind.  Anyway – yesterday during a Circle I had an awareness of how Circles promote a mindfulness.

I think about and process Circle experiences, after the fact.  Stories that were shared or emotions expressed, rumintate in my thoughts.  I like the postive memories and storing my brain with real life experiences.  That’s why I think Restorative Justice is so meaninful, because it is so real.

We are at the point in the Advanced Restorative Dialogue class that my students are leading Circles.  The students were paired with a co-faciltiator and assigned to provide everyone in class a journal article.  We scheduled ahead so students know what article to have read before the Circle.  It has been interesting to participate in Circle as a member and not the Circle-keeper.  I’ve really enjoyed seeing my students develop and opening explanation, bring readings to open and close the circle.  The questions are carefully prepared and selected. 

I provided them with a Grading Rubric (thanks to my favorite teacher putting that together) so students are evaluating each other and gaining even further understanding of the process.

So yesterday – an interesting question. 

If you were any particular drink, what would you be and who would you have drink you? 

I thought it very interesting.  Our answers ranged from Tea for the Queen of England to Gatoraid for Lebron James.  Margarita’s for Jimmy Buffet to a Strawberry cheesecake shot for friends.  I’ve been with this group of students since September, first the intro class and now nearing the end of a second semester.  They continue to amaze me with insights and comfort in sharing.

Yesterday a few processed a deeper question – a time you caused harm or were harmed.  Many students had grief or remorse about instigating fights in school.  They felt guilt for never getting in trouble or getting caught.  I thought that made a pretty good case for RJ in school – RJ would have gotten to the root of that and involved everyone.  Healing issues and putting the situation to rest – so young adults don’t have guiltly places for past acts.  How do you say sorry, if you were never ‘caught’?  That reminds me of a young man who was talking in a seminar – he had done “car shopping”.  He processed how painful vandalism is – – for not getting caught.  He said you feel worse about yourself, mad at yourself, even worse when you don’t get in trouble.  Then it happens to you and your even madder, cause you know you deserved it.  I thought that was pretty interesting.   If you believe acting out is a cry for help.  What happens when a baby cries and no one responds?