New Year, Slightly New You w/ Mind Matter's Founder Kate Petriw

Posted by Madeleine Till, January 30, 2018
Kate Petriw

Kate Petriw, Mind Matters Founder

Kate Petriw is the Founder and Coordinator of Mind Matters - a series of mindfulness, meditation, and well-being workshops that approach these topics in a casual and participatory manner. We sat down with Kate to get the scoop on two new workshops,"It's F-cking Play Time" and "Learn How To F-cking Meditate". Read on to find out why Kate suggests you ditch the pressure of New Years Resolutions and focus on those things that already make you amazing!

Tell us about yourself!
My background is in Communications and Account Management. I used to work on the agency side with big CPG brands and was mildly frustrated in a corporate role I felt lacked purpose. I had always been interested in psychology and anything that had to do with the mind. I find our brains so fascinating, partly because there's so much that we don't know, and the experiments coming out now are indicating our mental health is much more important than initially thought to our overall health.

collage - mind matters

What inspired you to start Mind Matters?
I noticed that there was a gap between talking to your friends about issues and seeing a therapist, myself included. I would solicit advice from my friends about issues, but I would wait until things were "bad," to see a therapist. I thought this shouldn't be the case, as I didn't approach my physical health in this way. I was always interested in wellness and nutrition, but I wanted to make my mental health a priority - in the same way I that I go to the gym every week and get my proper share of veggies.

That's what inspired me to start an organization where we could make discussing matters of the mind more comfortable. So together with two friends, one being a psychotherapist, we launched a workshop on stress called "How Not To Give A Sh-t". We presented some of the latest research on stress, solicited a casual discussion on sh-tty + annoying things that sparked stress, and it was amazing how everyone opened up. The psychotherapist then shared tools and strategies that she uses with clients to help them curb worry and reframe their current thought patterns.

We had great feedback, and decided to run more workshops. That's when we partnered with the Drake Hotel which really helped contribute to the casual and easy vibe that we wanted to create. Our workshops then expanded to include a variety of instructors such as design thinkers, mindfulness instructors, productivity and fun experts, as well as an art therapist.

Since late 2016 we've been holing 2-4 workshops month that have been consistently selling out.

game time

What do you mean by "New Year, Slightly New You?"
What we often discuss in our workshops is that stressful thoughts tend to be filled with a lot of "shoulds." I "should" be doing more of this, I "should" have done that. During the flood of New Years resolution messaging it's easy to fall into this.The problem is a "should" is something you likely didn't really want to do in the first place, but might feel pressure to do so by some external source (society, your parents, what you see on Instagram, etc.) Secondly, we want people to recognize that they probably already have tons of amazing qualities that they aren't giving themselves enough credit for.

Instead of trying to radically change yourself this year, look at all the good stuff you've got going on and accept some of the "work in progress" parts. That's how we help to reframe negative thought patterns.

Mind Matters group

Can you tell us about Mind Matter’s brand new meditation workshop "Learn How to F-cking Meditate?"

Yes, am really excited about this workshop as meditation is a tool I've found to be really helpful to clear my own head. In this workshop our instructor, Nina Purewal, will be taking everyone through the basics of meditation, from breathing and posture to the science behind why it works. She'll also walk everyone through six different meditations techniques so that when everyone goes home they can start their own practice.

mind matters - design

Tell us about the other workshops you offer and what's coming up.

We have some great ones on how to relieve stress such as our "Art F-cking Therapy class," or "How Not to Give a Sh-t." If you're looking to break out of your everyday and do something unique we have a workshop on play (It's F-cking Play Time). Lots of research has come out around how adults just like kids, need play for personal development. Coming up in March, if you want to zen out we have our often sold out "Mindful AF" and a yoga workshop called Let That Sh*t Go. Lastly, if you want to find a way get more done of what you want, check out "How to Get Sh-t Done."

For more about Mind Matters, and to keep up with their regular programming check out, or keep an eye on our event listings.

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