‘We must always remember that this land is, was and will always be the Wadawurrung Peoples traditional land.’
This walk has been developed as a part of a broader project called ‘Knowing your Place 3214 Active Transport Project’. The City of Greater Geelong facilitates the project and provides local community groups, schools and residents with an opportunity to participate in a range of community based projects.
Working directly with a City project officer, VCAL students from Nelson Park assisted in identifying a route along the Bay Trail, researching the area and developing a series of Mindfulness activities that can be practiced at designated pause spots.
The students were required to conduct a walk audit to assess the walkability of the route.
The learning outcomes of this project have been:
- skill development in mapping, auditing, presenting
- increased understanding of concepts of place, walk ability, livability and place attachment
- increased physical activity by creating a safe attractive active transport network.
Nelson Park School
Nelson Park School is a Prep to 12 school that caters to students’ individual learning styles and needs. Nelson Park has students that come from Geelong and surrounding districts of Lara and the Bellarine peninsula. Nelson Park believes in creating a ‘Community of life long learners’ and we aim to discover our strengths and develop the confidence and skills needed to fulfill our educational and personal potential, both now and into the future.
The students who have participated in the Mindfulness Bay Walk project are currently working toward their Foundation level of the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).
We believe that creating something for our community helps us to be contributing community members. Being a good citizen is important for creating a sense of belonging and identity within the community.
The City wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Rebecca Kerr and Matt Bonollo, teachers and all the students from Nelson Park School who participated in this project.
The Mindfulness Bay Walk
Take this journey from Limeburners Bay toward our industrial precinct and at each pause spot be still, be in the moment, and practice the mindfulness techniques while you enjoy the natural surroundings.
Limeburners Bay is a special spot that lies between Hovells Creek and Corio Bay. It is home to many native plants and animals. It is a favoured feeding, roosting and resting habitat for a wide range of water and wading birds.
Take the walk from Limeburners Bay toward Geelong and take in the surroundings that make this a special spot to visit.
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Mindfulness - being in the moment
Take a moment to stand still, take a deep breath in through your nose and slowly breathe out through your mouth.
Do this five times.
Take in your environment around you.
You are in the present, not in the past or the future.
Let go of your stresses, your worries or your problems – just for now.
Visualise dropping your stresses, worries, problems into the sea and let them drift away.
This is your time - just for you.
When you are ready, begin your journey on the Mindfulness Walk.
At each pause spot be still - notice the sensations in your body, bring awareness to your breathing.
Be in the present enjoy the moment.
Pause Spot 1 - Deep belly breathing and focus on your five senses
This is a popular way to relax. Take a seat or stand still.
Put one hand on your belly, take a long breath in through your nose feel it in your belly.
Exhale slowly through your mouth and count to four.
You should be able to feel your belly rise and fall.
Take five deep breaths now start to focus on your senses.
What can you:
Pause Spot 2 - Looking for colours
This can be helpful when your mind is going in circles. When you might be thinking about the same thing over and over again or if your negative self talk is taking over.
When you are concentrating on something, your mind stops focusing on the things you are stressing about.
Let your mind rest for a moment and take the time to look around.
Can you find something:
Repeat this process and if your mind wanders stop, take a breath and begin again.
This may take practice but you can do it anywhere.
Pause Spot 3 - Listening for sounds
To be fully in the moment we need to stop and absorb what is around us.
Listening for sounds helps us to focus our mind and tuning into the moment.
Listen for these sounds:
- birds – can you hear any different types?
- water – where is it coming from?
- people – what sounds are people making?
- traffic – how many different vehicles can you hear?
- what else can you hear?
Pause Spot 4 - Take a moment to be grateful and reflect on your strength
Take a look at the Sheoak beside you. Sometimes the tree is surrounded by sunshine sometimes by dark stormy clouds. You are a bit like this tree when you have your dark moments you feel like you might break, but like the tree beside you, you are strong and can weather the storm and at the end you and this tree will still be standing.
Say to yourself: I am strong because …
Sometimes it’s hard to see the positive things around us and too easy to see the negative. It seems like they are hidden.
But there are lots of things to be grateful for such as support from family or friends, living in our country, or even just being alive.
Take a moment to be grateful and say to yourself: I am grateful for …
Pause Spot 5 - Count the steps
Take a moment to ground yourself. Stand with your feet flat on the ground.
Shift your weight to one foot and lift the other.
Move it forward, place on the ground.
Now lift the other foot, move forward and place it down.
Walk with awareness one step at a time and count your steps till you reach the next spot.
Pause Spot 6 - Congratulate yourself
You have reached the half way point. Congratulations!
You achieve so many things over your lifetime. Take time to acknowledge them.
Now turn and walk slowly, mindfully and enjoy the walk back.
Taking time to relax, allows you to step away from all the noise and clear your head it takes practice. Daily relaxation can help you to:
- manage stress levels
- sleep better
- improve your mood
- improve your memory
- find it easier to concentrate.