Heartfulness at Dragon Cafe in the City …..#getintothegreen

The Heartfulness Project were delighted to be part of the The City of London and Dragon Cafe in the City Wellness Wednesdays at Shoe Lane Library in November.

Dragon Cafe in the City aims to support those who live and work in the city to generate mental wealth (as well as other types of wealth).

It just made sense that the Dragons took part! This was their first visit to the City of London (although they had visited Soho the week before…). They were still a bit over excited having just arrived from Brazil in October. The big City was a new experience and Red Dragon started to emerge.

Yet moving into the safe and quiet space in the library, Red Dragon settled, Green emerged and we go down to delivering the workshop (Blue mode but with a Green creative flavour).

We can all recognize that we work best when feeling resourced and valued. This “green mode” (feeling physically and psychologically safe and cared for, creative, connected, content) needs now to become an embedded part of our working culture. First Green, Then Blue. We are human!

We wanted to share some of the many very practical tools and techniques from the Heartfulness project. Specifically, explore how to “Get into the Green” in our daily lives.

Get into the Green is our most popular workshop (please contact Maya for more information) and recently as favourite at This Can Happen, a ground-breaking conference smashing taboos around mental health in the City.

Get into the Green is just one element of the Heartfulness Course. The full training includes practices from a variety of science-based integrative mind-body approaches to wellness. There are exercises for the body (mindful movement), heart (vagal nerve regulation) and soul (creative exercises), designed in trauma-informed ways.

Creating a bed of green supports us when reds appear
Work from a Heartfulness Group participant (2018)

Get into the Green

We used music, gentle mindful movements (some drawn from tai chi), and mindful embodied reflection to explore the reality of our lives. “Brainbytes” and story-telling were used to share Paul Gilbert’s model of the red (threat), blue (drive), and green (rest & restore, connect and play) brain systems. Normalizing the reds (and our inevitable reactions to them), managing the blues (ensuring we don’t get to burnout levels), and seeking every opportunity to Get into the Green is our task.

Individuals created their own self-monitoring of a typical day using colouring and playdough. We created a “Group Greens” dragon that shared some of the things people found helpful to soothe, calm down, restore and recharge. Connecting with others, creativity, nutrition, nature, music, touch, exercise and pampering. There were some common themes about what we all need to feed our green dragon. HOW we get that is our own unique journey. Our job is to know our greens and how to communicate them as well as honour, respect and support others to connect with what they need.

What Feeds Your Green Dragon?

Upcoming Courses

The Heartfulness Project returns to Colchester. Course starting in Jan 2020.

Dr. Maya Campbell – January 11th and 12th (2 day workshop – London) Learning to Love Yourself.

If you want to explore mindful movement try this on-line video Moving Meditation with Dr. Tamara Russell with partners Namu Courses or the book Mindfulness in Motion.

There are plenty of free materials (talks, practices etc) on Tamara’s YouTube channel (a bit rough and ready but the content is good!).

How do we manage our reds?
The Dragons give us permission and language to open difficult conversations.

More about Dragon Cafe.

Mindfulness Centre of Excellence Co-Director Dr. Tamara Russell has a long-standing relationship with The Dragon Cafe in Borough London. Founded by the late Sarah Wheeler (the real life Mother of Dragons), this amazing “whole systems mindfulness” community mental health project continues to innovate and inspire. This beautiful individual used creative expression to share and heal (some) of her reds. Her courage continues to inspire Dragon cafe patrons, volunteers, supporters and those guiding the organization. Take a risk to share what’s real for you. At Dragon Cafe you will not be judged, shamed, left out, rejected or abandoned. We heal together.

Sarah Wheeler, Founder of Mental Fight Club and Dragon Cafe. A wonderful being who lives with us in the spirit of this dragon’s work.

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