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"I'm thrilled to introduce a new series of shorts called Star Wars: Mindful Matters where I'll be teaching you quick mindful lessons and exercises to practice in your everyday life!"
―Ashley Eckstein[5]

Star Wars Mindful Matters is a video series on StarWarsKids.com and the Star Wars Kids YouTube channel. Each episode stars Ashley Eckstein teaching mindful lessons inspired by Star Wars characters and stories.

Development[]

"I worked very closely with Nationwide Children's Hospital and their On Our Sleeves movement to make sure that these exercises were clinically-based, but first and foremost, they are lessons that we learn from Star Wars."
―Ashley Eckstein[3]

Ashley Eckstein's interest in mental health started before she joined Star Wars because her sister struggled with issues of anxiety while they were growing up. There was a stigma for discussing mental health at the time, so Eckstein tries to be outspoken about it today. Eckstein has been greatly impacted by cyberbullying and she had to learn how to navigate her mental health and the lessons and how to use mindfulness techniques of meditation and deep breathing to help in her daily life. Eckstein decided to pass on what she had learned.[6]

The origins of Star Wars Mindful Matters stretch back to 2012. Eckstein had the idea for the series in 2017,[3] which was before she wrote the young-readers book Star Wars: I Am a Padawan.[7] She said that the idea actually came from the fans, especially the young ones.[3] Eckstein often met children when she appeared at Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort and most of the kids wanted to learn how to be a Jedi. At the time, Disney Parks offered lightsaber instruction in the form of Jedi Training Academy events. Eckstein noticed there wasn't much centered around other tenets of the Jedi, such as compassion, mindfulness, and the Force. She decided that the lessons should be taught because she viewed them as lessons of hope.[6] Additionally, Eckstein was often asked by kids how they could be a jedi, so she related lessons that Star Wars charactes learn to the kids' everyday lives. She also did breathing exercises with children while saying "I am one with the Force and the Force is with me." Eckstein found the exercises to be very personal because she'd always related exercises to her favorite characters. All of this inspired Ecksein to create the Mindful Matters series, which had been a passion project for her for a very long time.[3]

In 2018, the concept crystalized into something Eckstein saw as a digital series.[6] The series was created by Eckstein and Lucasfilm in collaboration with[3] her friend, Cindy Citrone from[8] Citrone 33.[3] She said that writing the episodes felt like her own exercise because she once said she would never be able to write the episodes, but she managed to overcome her fears.[7] In the series, Eckstein took lessons from Star Wars and combined them with clinically-based mindful and mental health exercises, as well as clinically-based grounding exercises. Eckstein worked very closely with behavioral health experts at the Nationwide Children's Hospital and their On Our Sleeves movement to be certain that the exercises she showed were clinically-based.[3] Citrone brought together a group of passionate people who were all working in the mental health space with the goal of turning awareness into action.[8] One of the doctors that Eckstein worked with was Ariana Hoet, the clinical director for the On Our Sleeves movement.[9] Eckstein made it her top priority that the lessons can be learned from Star Wars.[3] She wanted to provide a free resource to as many fans of all ages as possible. Eckstein worked with Matt Martin from the Lucasfilm Story Group[7] to ensure authenticity and to make sure all of the episodes were accurate from a Star Wars story perspective.[6] In the episodes, she combined clips from the movies and shows, and she taught viewers how they could also learn the same lessons that the characters learn. She said that she was very thrilled that she able to show these clips in the series.[3] When Eckstein was one week away from filming Mindful Matters, the filming had to take a long pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic.[7]

Release[]

"And I'm just so grateful for the time that we're able to release it, especially during the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, and May the Fourth be With You, and Star Wars Celebration. I'm just so excited. I feel like the timing is perfect."
―Ashley Eckstein[7]

On May 2, 2022, Eckstein posted a picture of her meditating and she said it was a sneak peek of a project that she was launching.[10] The first two episodes of the series were released on May 4, 2022, which is known as "Star Wars Day".[2][11] Additional episodes will release throughout May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.[3] Eckstein will be releasing the episodes on her Instagram account. She felt very grateful that the episodes were released when they were and she felt that the timing was perfect.[7]

Legacy[]

"So, the Little Golden Book actually uses lessons that I've always wanted to teach through these videos."
―Ashley Eckstein, referring to the book Star Wars: I am a Padawan[7]

After coming up with the idea for Mindful Matters, Eckstein wrote the young-readers book Star Wars: I Am a Padawan. The book used lessons that Eckstein had always wanted to teach through the series.[7] On May 19, on National Health Action Day, Eckstein attended an Embrace Pittsburgh summit, and she and Citrone talked about the Mindful Matters series.[8] Eckstein was a guest at Celebration Anaheim where she did exercises from the series with kids on the Kids Stage on May 26, 28, and 29, 2022.[7]

Episodes[]

Episode Image Title Original Airdate
1[1] FeeltheForceMindfulMatters.jpg "Feel The Force" May 4, 2022[2]
2[1] BreatheJustBreatheMindfulMatters.jpg "Breathe, Just Breathe" May 4, 2022[11]
3[1] DroidFriendsMindfulMatters.jpg "Droid Friends" May 23, 2022[12]
4[1] WookieeRoarsMindfulMatters.jpg "Wookiee Roars" May 23, 2022[13]
5[1] CaveChallengeMindfulMatters.jpg "The Cave Challenge" May 23, 2022[14]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 StarWarsKids.com Mindful Matters on StarWarsKids.com (backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 StarWarsKids.jpg Feel The Force | Star Wars Mindful Matters on the official Star Wars Kids YouTube channel (backup link)
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 Lovett, Jamie: Star Wars Mindful Matters Launches With Ahsoka Actress Ashley Eckstein (2022-05-04). comicbook.com. comicbook.com. Archived from the original on May 4, 2022.
  4. TwitterLogo.svg Star Wars (@starwars) on Twitter: "Join Ashley Eckstein in our new Star Wars Kids short series Star Wars Mindful Matters as she teaches mindful lessons inspired by our favorite Star Wars characters and stories." (backup link)
  5. InstagramIcon.png Ashley Eckstein on Instagram: Ashley Eckstein announces Star Wars Mindful Matters (May 4, 2022): "I'm thrilled to introduce a new series of shorts called Star Wars: Mindful Matters where I'll be teaching you quick mindful lessons and exercises to practice in your everyday life!" (backup link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 StarWars.com How Ashley Eckstein Crafted Star Wars Mindful Matters for Fans of All Ages on StarWars.com (backup link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Harris, Jeffrey: Ashley Eckstein on Her New Star Wars Mindful Matters Project, Potentially Appearing in a Live-Action Series, the Return of Star Wars Celebration (2022-05-11). 411mania.com. 411mania.com. Archived from the original on May 11, 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 InstagramIcon.png Ashley Eckstein on Instagram: Ashley Eckstein speaks with Cindy Citrone (May 19, 2022): "Today was Mental Health Action Day and I had the absolute honor to attend an @embrace_pgh summit and talk about our new Star Wars Mindful Matters video series! This is my good friend Cindy Citrone from Citrone 33 and we collaborated with Lucasfilm to make these videos possible. Cindy brought together an incredible group of passionate people who are all working in the mental health space with the goal to turn awareness into action." (backup link)
  9. InstagramIcon.png Ashley Eckstein on Instagram: Ashley Eckstein talks with Ariana Hoet (May 16, 2022): "It's Mental Health Awareness Month and it's also Operation Coversation! Check out my chat with @arianahoetphd from @onoursleevesofficial about having conversations about our Mental Health! Also, go to OnOurSleeves.org and download a FREE digital kit of conversation starters!#MentalHealthMonday" (backup link)
  10. InstagramIcon.png Ashley Eckstein on Instagram: Ashley Eckstein shows a sneak peek of Star Wars Mindful Matters: "This photo is a sneak peek of a new project we're launching on Wednesday. This project combines my love of Star Wars with my passion for mindful learning and this has been a dream project I've been trying to create for the past 5 years…and it's finally happening!!!" (backup link)
  11. 11.0 11.1 StarWarsKids.jpg Breathe, Just Breathe | Star Wars Mindful Matters on the official Star Wars Kids YouTube channel (backup link)
  12. StarWarsKids.jpg Droid Friends | Star Wars Mindful Matters on the official Star Wars Kids YouTube channel (backup link)
  13. StarWarsKids.jpg Wookiee Roars | Star Wars Mindful Matters on the official Star Wars Kids YouTube channel (backup link)
  14. StarWarsKids.jpg The Cave Challenge | Star Wars Mindful Matters on the official Star Wars Kids YouTube channel (backup link)

External links[]



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