Children explore art and meditation in Tunbridge Wells

CREATIVE FORCE: Lola Douglas with her life-size self-portrait

Children explore art and meditation in Tunbridge Wells

by Andy Tong | 12th December 2018

A NEW ‘Create & Meditate’ workshop held in Langton Green Church Hall has been encouraging local children to combine art and mindfulness.

It was set up by Emma Sims of Soulstar Sanctuary, a reiki healing centre in the village, local artist Gabriel Knollys and mindfulness teacher Melanie Powl Thomas.

The first session was attended by 32 children from the villages of Langton Green and Penshurst, who came along to paint and meditate.

They created lifesize paintings of themselves using materials sponsored by The Weller Way, which offers parenting and life skills coaching, with a donation from the proceeds going to West Kent Mind.

“The idea is to create a space where children could come and freely create and meditate,” Emma said.

“Art can be a form of escape, and meditation a form of stepping back, noticing our thoughts and feelings without getting too tied up in them.

“The fusion of both will, we hope, allow the children to express themselves creatively and allow their imaginations to be ignited.”

She believes it’s important to introduce meditation at a young age.

“By sharing and introducing these skills at an early age, we are giving children their own toolbox to use when they need it most,” she said.

“We hope to help children recognise their hundreds of different emotions, how to create a little bit of space between them and their feelings, and to understand that they are not their thoughts.”

The artistic side of the project allows them to create something physical as well as experience the psychological benefits of meditation.

“We would love to create a place where children can roam freely in their imagination, and feel content in their own mind and body,” Emma continued.

“Creativity is the free-est form of self-expression. There is nothing more satisfying and fulfilling for children than to be able to express themselves openly and without judgement.”

For information about future workshops, visit soulstarsanctuary.co.uk or @soulstarsanctuary on Instagram

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