Ashley Eckstein Channels the Force to Bring Mindfulness in New Series ‘Star Wars Mindful Matters’
Lucasfilm has teamed up with Ashley Eckstein who lent her voice to bring the fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Eckstein aims to channel the Light Side of the Force to bring mindfulness to the entire Star Wars fandom through her new series Star Wars Mindful Matters. The series was created in collaboration with Citrone 33 and is set to release on StarWarsKids.com.
Star Wars Mindful Matters will follow Eckstein as she leads “one Star Wars-inspired mindful exercise, teaching viewers that it only takes a moment to make a powerful difference in one’s day. Each episode is clinically-based with evidence-informed educational resources provided by On Our Sleeves®, the movement for children’s mental health, powered by the behavioral health experts at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”
Eckstein talks about bringing the teachings of some of the most influential Star Wars characters to fans and the importance of training our minds, saying:
“This video series has been a passion project and a dream of mine for several years. Jedi Master Yoda teaches us that training our mind is just as important as physically training our body and I’m thrilled to bring some mindful lessons from Star Wars to the forefront in an accessible way to kids and fans of all ages.”
Eckstein talks about the emotions that ran through her as she tackled her first scripted project and while she will be hosting the videos as herself, it’s been her mission to be a real-life Ahsoka Tano, saying:
“I’ve dabbled in writing for Star Wars. I wrote a Star Wars Little Golden Book called I AM A PADAWAN, which was about Ahsoka Tano. I recently wrote another Star Warslifestyle book that will be coming out later this year called Star Wars Everyday. However, this was my first scripted project that I wrote. I had a lot of fear and anxious feelings about writing these because I doubted my abilities. However, writing these short videos was like my own mindful exercise and I had to learn to confront my fear. I am hosting these videos as myself, not as Ahsoka Tano. However, I’ve made it my mission to be a real life version of Ahsoka Tano and to help people. So, I wrote them from my perspective and my voice, which is heavily inspired by Ahsoka Tano. Once I calmed my mind and wrote from my heart, I was able to overcome my fear and write each episode.”
Eckstein talked about the series being inspired by her conversations with younger fans but the exercises in the series are something that Padawans of any age can benefit from, saying:
“While these videos are age-appropriate for kids, it’s important to note that these videos are for everyone. However, these videos were inspired by my conversations with young fans. Kids always ask me how they can be like a Jedi. In my answer, I try to relate their everyday life to Star Wars. For example, Ahsoka had to train at the Jedi Temple just like kids in our universe have to go to school. I also find that when I can relate things to Star Wars, I capture their attention with greater interest. Jedi Master Yoda says, “A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind,” and he teaches us that training our mind is just as important as physically training our body. Lessons of the mind need to be taught. Kids don’t automatically know how to manage their emotions, ground themselves in their environment, connect with their breath or confront their fears…these lessons must be learned. Even for adults, these videos will serve as great reminders. After the past two years we’ve all had, it’s so important to teach and practice these exercises because taking a moment to do them will make a powerful difference in your day because being mindful matters.”
Eckstein concluded by sharing the importance of mindfulness and mental health. She noted the importance of awareness and the hope that the series will reach many people and also capture their attention, saying:
“As we begin Mental Health Awareness Month, there is still such a stigma surrounding mindfulness and mental health. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health and the more awareness we can bring to that fact, the more people we can help. Relating these important mindful practices to our favorite characters and stories, like Star Wars, will hopefully reach more people and capture the attention of more people. These are lessons that our favorite characters in Star Wars are already learning and we’re simply relating it to our everyday lives and showing viewers how they can do it too…just like Luke Skywalker, Rey, Yoda, Chewbacca, and Ahsoka Tano!”
The first two episodes of Star Wars Mindful Matters can be streamed today on StarWarsKids.Com
Mindfulness is a core lesson taught among the Jedi and the importance of living in the moment and appreciating those loyal rebels and allies around us is key to clearing away the distractions of our daily lives and acknowledging our emotions and the weight they might bring while also using the tools and training at our disposal to care for our minds as we do our bodies. Happy Star Wars Day geeks, and remember, even though the galaxy is vast and sometimes seems far…far…away. You are never alone.
Visit our mental health portal for resources or to reach out to a fellow geek from our team if you’d just like to talk.