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Nick Mosca
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Stressed? Check out this free mindfulness webinar on your next break: https://youtu.be/gdCxi_uRUBw?t=81
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Looking for easy (and fun!) ways to reduce burnout and boost happiness? Start a personalized mindfulness practice today. It only takes a few minutes and the benefits last a lifetime. We are honored to have our methodology published in ASCD!
http://www.personalizedmindfulness.com/news/ascd
Now Featured in ASCD!
Now Featured in ASCD!
personalizedmindfulness.com
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“I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation! I have already shared my notes with my mom and my Kindergarten colleague! I love that you provided personalized ways to practice mindfulness. Although we currently practice mindfulness through yoga mediation in my kindergarten classroom, I am going to “kindergartenize” those personalized options to help my students learn other ways to practice mindfulness, like mindful coloring and mindful listening to music…It is an important aspect of education and growth that many people overlook."
Micaela Young
Teacher, Clymer Central School

We were so honored to present "Becoming the Eye of the Storm: 5 Steps to Personalized Mindfulness" and "The Power of Mindful Communication: Curating a Positive Culture" as part of the The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES near Lake Erie in Dunkirk, NY. What a wonderful group of school leaders who are helping to take mindfulness and SEL to new heights!

For a free consultation, e-mail: info@personalizedmindfulness.com or call (800) 285-5220.
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11/16/17
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Do your kids or students think mindfulness is boring? Try this…
Personalized Mindfulness is excited to launch Mindfulness: The Ultimate Superpower by partnering with Thrively. This online course teaches children of all ages a few easy, practical steps to jumpstart their own practices that are aligned with their interests. That way, they will be far more likely to practice and gain all the benefits of mindfulness, which range from stress-reduction to resilience. Download the course here:
https://www.thrively.com/course/detail/mindfulness

We will be presenting on this topic at our upcoming workshop in Dunkirk, New York as part of E2CCB Boces' Educational Conference.
For a free consultation about our premier stress-reduction workshops and webinars for your school, please visit:
personalizedmindfulness.com/education
info@personalizedmindfulness.com
(800) 285-5220
© Personalized Mindfulness, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

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Own The Moment: Part 1

Every day we encounter literally thousands of things that can guide us back to the present; if we just let them. As a stress-reduction coach for Personalized Mindfulness, I’ve found that these opportunities are what build resilience. They free us from past regrets and future anxieties by reminding us that all we really have is now. In this blog mini-series, I will spotlight some of the easiest and most effective ones.

Own the Moment #1 - Before picking up a call or responding to e-mail, take a breath.

We have a tendency to dive from one task to another in a non-stop race to finish work. This can lead to burnout. Instead, take a breath before responding to your next email or call. It will give you much needed perspective and allow you the requisite sustenance (i.e., oxygen) to deal with whatever arises from a more centered place. The best part is, it only takes a few seconds!

Tomorrow’s “Own the Moment” will be…wait, don’t worry about tomorrow. Just focus on this one.

Drawing on over ten years of experience, Nick Mosca empowers people to align mindfulness practices with their interests, reduce stress, and reclaim their lives.
Nick is the founder of Personalized Mindfulness, a national wellness company that boosts resilience through cutting-edge workshops, consultations, and keynotes.
For a free session, e-mail info@personalizedmindfulness.com or call (800) 285-5220

http://www.personalizedmindfulness.com/news/october-03rd-2017

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These 4 Mindful Questions Will Instantly Improve Your Work Life

Have you ever said or wrote something you later regretted? Me too. As a mindfulness consultant, I share with my clients a simple solution to this common problem.

Mindful communication essentially adds an undo feature to your life. When applied to your email server, an undo feature allows you to take back an email you’ve sent up to thirty seconds after you send it. I must’ve used this feature over a hundred times during the last few years to rework something I wrote.

Similarly, mindful communication helps us use the space between our thoughts and words to “undo” potentially troublesome language before we put it out into the world.

How? Ask yourself these questions before turning a thought into words:

First, ask whether the thought is true.

Second, ask if it’s kind.

Third, is it necessary?

And fourth, is the thought beneficial?

If the thought does not meet all of these four criteria, avoid communicating it.

Check out this video for more details and stay mindful!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Am0nbgz6il0

Drawing on over ten years of experience, Nick Mosca empowers people to align mindfulness practices with their interests, reduce stress, and reclaim their lives. He holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University, where he studied mindfulness and won the Billings Prize for inspiring behavioral change through positive humor. He is an avid speaker and writer whose approach to mindfulness has been featured in The Atlantic and Psychology Today, as well as at WABC radio, Yale University, Squarespace, New York University, the Milken Scholars Program, mindSpark Learning, the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, and the George Jackson Academy. He has also served as the Research Poster Chairman for the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor and is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). Nick’s favorite ways to access mindfulness are through music, running, and painting.

To inquire about Nick’s services, e-mail: nick@nickmosca.com
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5/24/17
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Mindfulness expert Nick Mosca enlightened Squarespace NYC during a #HealthfitTalk. One employee said, "...that minute of meditation and your questionnaire set me on the right path for discovery of myself and the world around me..." #PowerfulStuff #CorporateWellness +Fit Pros On Location
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Attention Over Detention: The Power of Personalized Mindfulness
By Nick Mosca, M.Div.
(featured on LearningPersonalized.com)

“What are the four things you should ask yourself before you say or do anything?”

Seventeen hands fly into the air.

“Richie?”

“Is it kind? Is it necessary? Is it true? And — wait, I got this.”

Sixteen impatient hands suddenly wave for my attention.

“Is it beneficial?”

“Way to go! Now, how can you actually use these questions in your own life? James?”

“Well, I was about to say something the other day … but then I stopped myself because it wasn’t kind.”

I ask my sixth graders these questions every week at The George Jackson Academy, an upper elementary and middle school for bright boys from low-income families in New York City. Self-reflective questions like these are part of my school-wide initiative to help students learn what we should’ve all been taught when we were kids: the power of mindfulness.

Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and responding to whatever arises with compassion. Since implementing mindfulness into my classroom, I have noticed a significant decrease in student behavior referrals — with a corresponding increase in academic engagement. Mindfulness achieves such positive results by adding an ‘undo’ feature to life. Just as this feature allows someone to recall an e-mail within 30 seconds of sending it, mindfulness creates space between thoughts and actions. That way, students become more reflective rather than reactive.

Over the years, students have told me that mindfulness gives them a sense of freedom. This is because they no longer feel the need to act on every thought racing through their minds — especially if doing so might not be kind, necessary, true, and beneficial.

Mindfulness is not only proactive, but also a reactive way to yield a positive influence on student behavior. One of the best examples of this comes from the Coleman School in Baltimore. It has used mindfulness programs instead of detention and witnessed dramatic results. For over two years, the school has been suspension-free.

It’s important to remember that mindfulness is a muscle. As such, it needs to be exercised. If it is seen as just another chore to be shoehorned into an already-crammed day, students and teachers alike will be less likely to practice it — and thereby miss all its life-changing benefits.

This is where Allison Zmuda’s exemplary work in the field of personalized learning comes into play. Inspired by her approach, I’ve developed a curriculum that harnesses each student and educator’s unique skills and interests to help them craft mindfulness exercises they genuinely want to undertake.

You can easily learn these techniques by checking out my blog post on mindfulness and enrolling in my one-hour webinar.

Experience for yourself how personalized mindfulness can revitalize your classroom — and your life.

* * *

Drawing on over ten years of experience, Nick’s professional development courses, webinars, and presentations have enabled hundreds of clients to align mindfulness practices with their skills and interests. Nick holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University where he won The Billings Prize for inspiring behavioral change through positive humor. He is an avid speaker and writer through The Atlantic, WABC Radio, Yale University, Psychology Today, New York University, The Milken Scholars Program, Share Fair Nation, The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, The George Jackson Academy, Toastmasters International, and as the Research Chairman for The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

To inquire about Nick’s services, e-mail: nick@nickmosca.com
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Closing the Compassion Gap with Personalized Mindfulness

By Andy Bradley and Nick Mosca

Nick:

Andy, thanks for joining me today about your work to close the compassion gap. I thoroughly enjoyed your TEDx talk, which can be found here. For those unfamiliar with the term, can you explain what the compassion gap is and offer an example of it?

Andy:

Thanks Nick – a genuine pleasure to connect. Thanks for watching my TEDx talk and for making space for us to share perspectives.

Ok, so what is the compassion gap? For me it is a kind of longing. A longing for connection and safety. I am really fortunate as I grew up in a loving family and I feel so blessed to have created a family which is close and full of love. What I notice though is that many of our human family are in survival mode much of the time and that the fundamental nature of the way we have designed our systems – the way many of us practice our faith, the way we learn, the way our health care systems respond, the way business is done and the criminal justice system prevent the flow of compassion. We are often somehow asked to leave our most human selves at the door and so many of us end up spending our days feeling like we don’t matter. A gap then opens up in the way we relate to ourselves as we may feel like we are somehow broken, not good enough, endlessly comparing and coming off worst – or pretending that we feel ok when our needs are really not being met.

An example of the compassion gap here in the UK is found in the almost systematic way that values and ideals of student nurses are undermined through the way they learn and encounter the health care system which as I have said asks us to leave ourselves at the door and research shows that many of the student nurses have their most human values and ideals crushed within two years of qualifying.

I am privileged to be invited into healthcare and other system spaces to throw light on the compassion gap and to think together about how to close the gap. In this context I think and talk a lot about mindfulness and invite people to develop a simple present moment awareness practice which I refer to in the TEDx talk – Quiet Mind, Open Heart.

I am really interested to hear how you feel personalized mindfulness could contribute to closing the personal and system wide gaps I am describing. And to hear what your own sense of the compassion gap is.

Nick:

The idea of leaving our most human values and ideals at the door, as if we are somehow ashamed of them or scared to share them, is unfortunately quite common in the US as well. Naming it, however, is the first step to addressing it and I truly applaud you for doing so.

Personalized mindfulness can contribute to closing the compassion gap you’ve described in several ways. First off, research has shown that compassion is a natural byproduct of a regular mindfulness practice. But the catch is you actually have to practice to gain this benefit!

For most of my clients, mindfulness is seen as just another chore they have to cram into their already crazed schedule. But that’s because they are leaving their learning styles and interests at the door. When they begin practicing mindfulness in ways that are aligned with their personal preferences, that’s where the magic happens. Then, mindfulness is exercised regularly; from a place of intrinsic motivation. And compassion naturally flows from there.

One of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness is through listening to music. For the duration of a song, I will gently shift my awareness back to a single instrument whenever it wanders. Every time I bring my awareness back, that’s the practice of mindfulness. This technique has empowered me to practice upwards of 30-45 minutes a day and has made me far more compassionate with myself and others because I am training myself to become more present.

If you could choose a personalized mindfulness practice, what would it be? What are some personalized mindfulness practices you’ve seen others undertake?

Andy:

Thanks Nick – I am fascinated by what you are pointing to – my partner is a teacher and we have had many conversations about how essential it is to adapt to enable all of the 5-year-olds in her class to connect with the material, grasp the concepts in their own ways and as a result grow in confidence.

To come to your questions – I call my personalized mindfulness practice my ‘Here I am’ practice – calling it this and beginning with a ritual of lighting a candle and entering a mindfulness space each morning is a signal to the part of me that loves to be in the moment that this space is being created. Within this space I currently meditate following my breath and I write in a journal about whatever comes to mind for just 5 minutes. So, I am realising that writing is part of my personalized approach to mindfulness as I have stuck to this practice most every day for eight years! As a result of connecting with you and being invited to tune in more to this idea of personalized mindfulness I am going to add mindful movement (dancing!) into the mix as I realise how much I love to put headphones on, put my I Pod on shuffle and let my body do just what it feels like!

I have heard so many different gateways into mindfulness from people – here are just a few examples:

Preparing a meal in silence (no external stimulus)
Drawing
Swimming
Walking the dog
A bath
A shower
Playing a musical instrument
Walking
Running
Working out at the gym
Painting
Writing poetry
Making something out of wood
Gardening

I think that a personalized approach to mindfulness gives us energy – sometimes in my work I play with the idea that if you were a dog, what would make your tail wag! And when you are done with the tail wagging and ready for a rest, what do you do that fills you up with peace?

So maybe personalized mindfulness can include both joyfulness and peace.

I so appreciate this inquiry Nick and hope that your readers will find something here that resonates.

Thanks again for pondering the compassion gap with me.

Love to all from Brighton in the UK

* * *

Andy Bradley is a Compassion Captain who has made it his life’s work to bring compassion into health and social care. His vision was nurtured during childhood and teenage years spent growing up in a care home owned and run by his parents. Andy established Frameworks 4 Change in 2004 with the mission to create and sustain consistently compassionate caring environments for older people (including those with dementia), people with mental health issues and people with learning disabilities. He is an international speaker and trainer on the applications of mindfulness and compassion in care settings and the wider community.

Drawing on over ten years of experience, Nick Mosca’s professional development courses, webinars, and presentations have enabled hundreds of clients to align mindfulness practices with their skills and interests. Nick holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University where he won The Billings Prize for inspiring behavioral change through positive humor. He is an avid speaker and writer through The Atlantic, WABC Radio, Yale University, Psychology Today, New York University, The Milken Scholars Program, Share Fair Nation, The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, The George Jackson Academy, Toastmasters International, and as the Research Chairman for The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. To inquire about Nick’s services, e-mail: nick@nickmosca.com
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7 Steps to Creating a Personalized Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness involves easing into the present moment and choosing to respond to whatever arises with as much compassion as possible. It’s important to remember that mindfulness is a process — and it takes practice. But it’s worth it. The more tuned into the present we are, the richer our lives become.

Personalized learning both jumpstarts and revitalizes mindfulness practices for adults and children alike. It achieves this by offering the freedom to choose how we want to return to the present whenever our awareness wanders off into the past or the future.

We are often told to count our breath, watch thoughts float by like clouds, or some variation of these exercises in order to become more mindful. And this works for some people. Yet kids (and easily bored adults like me) often find such one-size-fits-all imagery mismatched with our unique preferences and learning styles. As a result, we may find a thousand excuses to do something else – anything else – but mindfulness practices.

In light of this, I’ve developed and use the following seven easy steps when conducting personalized mindfulness sessions. These steps have made mindfulness practices relevant to hundreds of clients and students – all while harnessing their intrinsic motivation.
Step 1: Allow Participants to Voice Their Stress

My clients often carry their stress around like heavy weights strapped to their minds and bodies. After all, project managers and administrators are responsible for the optimal performance of hundreds of workers – alongside budget constraints. Indeed, every job, from accounting to teaching, involves tons of stress. Yet, many of my clients don’t always name all the stress that bogs them down. Thankfully, we’ll see that owning it is the first personalized mindful step toward disowning it.
Step 2: Understand How Stress Relates to Mindfulness

The great news is we are not our stress. We are far more than it. There is a gap between stress and our response to it. In that gap is where personalized mindfulness comes in to play.
Step 3: Appreciate the Multiple Benefits of Mindfulness

The benefits of mindfulness are as diverse as those who practice it. Overall, these benefits can address many of the stresses that were voiced in the first step. Here are some of the more common ones:

An enhanced ability to attune to the present needs of ourselves and others
Improved self-esteem
Real-time awareness of emotional reactions/patterns
The ability to proactively regulate how we respond to stress
Greater enthusiasm for life, family, friends, and even work
Overall stress reduction
Community-building via enriched communication among administrators, teachers, parents, and students
In addition to the above, there are numerous academic and scientific articles that underscore the benefits of mindfulness in education and the workplace

In the Workplace:

The Journal of Management's "Paying Attention to Mindfulness and Its Effects on Task Performance in the Workplace."

For Administrators and Teachers:

The American Psychological Association’s “Mindfulness Training and Reductions in Teacher Stress and Burnout: Results From Two Randomized, Waitlist-Control Field Trials.”

For Parents:

The Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review’s “A Model of Mindful Parenting: Implications for Parent-Child Relationships and Prevention Research.”
Step 4: Take a Brief Self-Inventory

Personalized mindfulness is based on a concept called “skillful means,” or using our abilities and interests to redirect back to the present with a non-judgmental attitude.

To gauge which skillful means might work best, it is first helpful to take a brief survey like the one below:

If you could only have three superpowers, what would they be?
List three of your favorite fun activities.
What are your genuine interests? (academic, vocational, extracurricular, etc…) List as many as you want.
What are your three favorite senses?
Complete the questionnaire located at the following website at literacyworks.com

Based on the results of the questionnaire, answer the following questions:

What are your optimal learning styles? (give the top two results from your assessment)
What are your optimal learning environments?
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?

Step 5: Look for a Main Pattern

To help participants discover a main pattern amidst their self-inventories, I share how many of my responses could somehow be traced to sound. For instance, one of the things I do for fun is attend live music events, a genuine interest of mine is piano playing, and, to top it all off, my optimal learning style is musical in nature.
Step 6: Choosing Our Own Paths to Mindfulness

My personalized mindfulness method has instilled an intrinsic motivation to meditate – and not just during designated meditation times. I now find mindfulness spilling over into all aspects of my life. When I’m stressing, the sound of a passing car might gently guide me back to the present where I can find some refuge.

I encourage administrators, teachers, parents, and students to uncover the unique skillful means that works best for them. Practically any life-giving sensation or activity has the potential to bring you back to the moment – from mindful eating to dancing. Experiment with what works best for you!
Step 7: Revel in Your Personalized Approach

Schedule at least 20 intentional minutes a day when you use your unique skillful means to stay as present as possible. These 20 minutes need not be consecutive. In fact, I often focus on the sounds of a different five-minute song at four varying times throughout the day.
Closing Thoughts

Mindfulness is too beneficial to be discounted as another annoying thing on our already busy to-do lists. Through these seven steps, we can harness the power of personalized learning to become more mindful. As a result, we just might begin to practice not because we have to, but because we want to.

* * *

Drawing on over ten years of experience, Nick’s professional development courses, webinars, and presentations have enabled hundreds of clients to align mindfulness practices with their skills and interests. Nick holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University where he won The Billings Prize for inspiring behavioral change through positive humor. He is an avid speaker and writer through The Atlantic, WABC Radio, Yale University, Psychology Today, New York University, The Milken Scholars Program, Share Fair Nation, The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, The George Jackson Academy, Toastmasters International, and as the Research Chairman for The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.

To inquire about Nick’s services, e-mail: nick@nickmosca.com
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