‘Take 5’ a day

In the busyness of our lives with school, work, family and friend commitments, it is hard to find time to stop and find moments of stillness and quiet. Research has shown that people who do this and devote time to being present through meditative practices are more successful academically and in their physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing.

According to Dr Lisa Miller, spiritual wellbeing is an essential marker for thriving and higher levels of academic success. In her book ‘The Spiritual Child’, Dr Miller suggests those adolescents who have a positive, active relationship to spirituality are less likely to use and abuse substances, less likely to be depressed as teenagers and much less likely to have dangerous and unprotected sex. Dr Miller defines spirituality as an inner sense of relationship to a higher power that is loving and guiding. She states that an authentic spirituality is gained through the cultivation of our inner life, through prayer, meditation, or perhaps good works.

In light of this research, Stuartholme has made the commitment in 2017 to dedicate 5 minutes a day to meditation in our ‘Take 5’ program. For five minutes, our staff and students will engage in some form of meditation, this could be Christian meditation, mindfulness, colouring in or a gentle walk that focuses the mind on the steps.

To provide a daily structure for reflection, Stuartholme has adapted The Daily Examen, created by St. Ignatius Loyola. It is a way to review our day so that we may cultivate gratitude for the people, experiences and events that bring joy and happiness, and grow in our understanding of how we can improve on the times when we have not acted in a way that reflected our best selves.

Below is an excerpt from the girls ‘Take 5’ Reflection booklet that explains our Daily Examen:

It has been a really positive start to the program with students and staff enjoying the stillness and quiet. As one Year 11 student commented, “having an allocated 5 minutes in my day for mindfulness I am able to re-focus my mind, centre my thoughts and consequently be more ‘present’ in class. I know that the majority of my class mates share this opinion”.

We are hoping throughout the year to run sessions for parents on different meditation techniques, so stay tuned to this space for more information on this program.

Sarah Daff
Director of Mission