Mindful Awareness

Erin Doerwald

Erin from Hello Wellness serves as NMSA’s mindful awareness consultant and provides professional development to the staff.

One of my passions is offering children and teens the opportunity to grow their emotional intelligence and make it fun. Taking their real life situations and circumstances I work to find creative and stimulating ways for them to discover and work with their own emotions. Compassion for self leads to compassion for others. From personal understanding I help take that knowledge into understanding and working with emotions that come up in their casual and more intimate encounters and relationships with others.

So where to start? With awareness, it is where we should all start. So I ask you:

“Are You Aware?”

Are you aware of what your body is telling you at any given moment?  What is your breathing telling you? What insight do you have when you find you are enthusiastic or fatigued? What thoughts and belief patterns drive the decisions in your daily encounters?  It’s a never-ending, exciting exploration into your life.  Your physical intelligence and emotional intelligence are key drivers in having a happy healthy life.

So why do we wait so long to focus on them?

Growing up and facing the challenges of life in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I had no idea of ways to facilitate life’s roller coaster ride of feelings and experiences. It never occurred to me that my breath alone was such an incredible guide to what was going on in me and also offered ways to help me.  Over the years as a psychotherapist and Trainer, Educator and Practitioner of Psychodrama, Sociodrama and Group Psychotherapy and my background in theatre, I was propelled to find ways to bring expressive self-care skills and tools to many diverse populations. I am absolutely convinced that growing our emotional intelligence is the key to being a compassionate and competent leader first in our own life and then by extension in the relationships we have with others. And by others, I mean our family, friends, teachers, businesses and the relationship we have with our planet.

On this page, I want to share with you some of the talented people and techniques I have had the good fortune to bring to some of the populations with whom I work.


Dianna Edwards, MA, TEP

We partner with Sky Center in offering Inner and Outer Life Skills and the Natural Helpers program.

The NMSA Natural Helpers program provides training to students who have been identified as “listeners” by their peers and school staff.  These trained helpers learn to respond effectively when their fellow students experience a wide range of difficulties, and they receive valuable coaching in connecting vulnerable peers to appropriate resources. 


The NMSA Inner/Outer Life Skills Program is a 8-10-week counseling group that strengthens both the internal and external resources students need to cope and thrive. Strategies include six components: social connection, self-regulation, mindful awareness, optimism, physiological well-being and connection to nature.

Mindful Awareness Tools for NMSA Students

composed by Qigong Teacher Steven Washington
Steven Washington

Steven Washington

Qigong Teacher

I have been teaching Qigong alongside Lee Harris at his Energy Mastery events since 2015, and from the many participants at these events, and in my one-on-one sessions, I have found that this gentle movement practice is a brilliant, effective tool for empaths and intuitives to balance themselves and shift energy within their body. It assists any transformation within yourself and your life by restoring you back to peace and balance.

Watch Steven’s video introduction on Qi Gong and pre-performance exercises — designed especially for focusing and energizing you, whether you are about to walk on stage or take an exam.



Steven Washington had a long career touring the world as a contemporary dancer, appearing on Broadway and touring the world in Disney’s The Lion King. Steven is a certified Lee Holden Qigong instructor and has taught groups and individuals for 20 years in pilates, dance, physical fitness and Qigong. His ability to bring these various modalities to mindful awareness is a real gift.

Please note when following the grounding part of this exercise you can use your feet as instructed or your back if you choose to rest on the floor. Feel free to listen to this recording with your eyes open or closed.


Hear Steven lead you on a guided meditation to renew and restore you into a peaceful state of being, whether first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.