Monthly Archives: May 2017

Meditation – Do you ‘THINK’ it’s boring

Is Meditation Boring? 

Are you interested in meditation? Do you have a regular practice? Would you like to give it a go but are not sure how to? I’ve heard friends say they just can’t do it, it’s impossible not to think and it’s boring!

I’ve written this as another one of my ‘How I‘ blogs and and not a ‘How To‘, with the intention that it might just give you the nudge to get started.  At times, yes meditation can be boring so you explore ways to  sit with the boredom, in the same way you’ll discover ays to ‘be’ with the upsets, the joy, the anger, the frustrations etc

Will Events Still Piss Me Off?

Yes. Some days I meditate for just 20 minutes and when I do my day flows well, I am more present with the ups and downs,  I’m calmer with my kids and the ones I teach, and I notice I manifest more positivity.  Stuff still goes on and things piss me off but for some reason it never matters so much and I’m less likely to get caught up in the drama in a negative way. I’m more neutral and sure of who I am and how I am being around it.

How I Meditate. 

I wake up early anyway, so often go downstairs to the sofa cross my legs, close my eyes and just breathe and ‘be’. It is an effort because I want to do lots of other things at the same time, plus it’s cold, dark and boring to sit on the sofa on my own, yet I have so learned to love and cherish this peace and quiet and the benefits it brings.  If I lay in bed it’s not quite the same as sitting up awake and present to what’s going on.

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I have practiced yoga for 25 years and always enjoyed the corpse relaxation pose at the end, but never quite unerstood ‘meditation’ until about 4 years ago and now life wouldn’t ‘be’ the same.

Be Patient, Patience is Wisdom

When I was teaching out in Tanzania the school paid for me to go on a course to learn how to teach mindfulness. This week I was reading through some of the notes I took from my mentor Adam from Mindspace,  and they served as a good re-MIND-er for me –

  • Build up a rhythm and a regular simple practice
  • ‘I’ve no time’ means I’ve no intention
  • Be patient, patience is wisdom, often we think it is not working
  • A bigger picture gives a lot more power to practice
  • You cannot teach it unless you are doing it
  • You will find it easy to make decisions and naturally have more confidence
  • Meditation helps you to develop a loving kindness for others

If you’d like to learn How To there’s many apps out there to get you going, courses, lots of great books which I can also recommend, and I can also guide you.

Notice How Bored You Are

However,  if this all sounds like a lot to do why not do what I do and just sit now and close your eyes and brshine-from-your-souleathe and notice. And when you notice what you notice, notice a bit more and just be with what you notice.  After a while you may like to just be with your breathing – in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, and the rise and fall of your chest, the weight of your body on the chair, the touch of your skin on your clothes.
If you notice other things too like being bored,  that’s OK, just notice when you do and then notice your breath again.
Try this for a while and notice whether you’d like to do it again another time and read this again as a re-MIND-er.

I slipped into a How To but it’s also How I.

You may like to come along to my talk here.

Jane Tyson

 

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Your children can learn simple ways to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced

Your children can learn simple ways to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced. It is very easy to do.

The State We Are In 

Recently I visited a school and Brownie Pack.  I shared ideas with the children of ways to create changes of ‘state’ in our minds and bodies and how we get in a state in the first place!

Wired Or Tired?

I taught them how to create more energy and enthusiasm when they feel tired and ways to be calmer when they feel wired.

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I was able to demonstrate how self-talk influenced their results. Words they say to themselves influence how they feel and how their body  also has it’s own language which influences them both negatively and positively.

Give Me Five 

These are some of the techniques I shared with the teachers and children in school today which you might also enjoy at home. It takes just 5 minutes here and there…

Just Listen Sitting with legs crossed, Close your eyes or gaze at a spot on the floor and just listen to the sounds in our bodies then take this listening to sounds which are nearby and outside.

earSome of the children sat quietly and others found it hard to be still and quiet,  with regular practice children notice more sounds and sit listening for longer periods of time. It’s also good to write down the sounds and see over time how many more can be added to the list.

Walking Tall –walk tall with smiles on your face. When we meet each other, stop, breath and smile.

This activity was fun for the children and helped them to enjoy and notice each other more and gain awareness of what was going on around them in the present moment. They got ‘present’.

Body Tapping – tap your bodies from head to toe and then use an imaginary sponge to rub your arms, backs, tummies, legs and feet and noticed how your bodies tingle afterwards. Notice how this improves your circulation, raises your energy levels and wakes you up.
This is a great exercise to do in the mornings.

Movement – I weaved in a yoga story too with 5 simple moves, I’ve written about ways to implement yoga into family life before here

Square breathing – I drew a square on the board, at home I draw a pretend square on my children’s backs, and then I traced along the square with my finger and as I did this we breathed in slowly for 4 and out for 4, this can be repeated for as long as you like, there are no rules.

After each exercise I asked the children and teachers to notice how they feel. Some said they felt calmer, relaxed and sleepy whilst some said they didn’t feel any different. There are no wrong or right answers, it was for them simply to bring awareness to the experiences.

So you probably now realise how simple it is for your children to learn how to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced and just how easy it is to do. And when we do these activities alongside them we create this in ourselves too.

How I Help Adults & Children Relax

I support schools, businesses, families, children, groups and individuals who are feeling frustrated. I am presenting a talk entitled ‘How I Help Adults and Children Relax’ on the 6th June in Guildford details here,  a Contented Parenting workshop for frustrated parents in September details here  a Mindfulness For All session here and co presenting with AyPee a Social Media support session for people frustrated with Social Media  in September.

JaneTyson.co.uk

 

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Eating Together Improves Our Children’s WellBeing

The Benefits of Eating Together

The knock on effect of eating together as a family,  isn’t just that kids usually eat more healthily, studies have found there’s a whole host of other benefits including reduced stress, good mental health, improved grades, saving money, better family relationships and greater happiness.

This isn’t a ‘How To’ blog it’s a ‘How I‘ and what has worked for us, hope you enjoy our ‘Shamba’ below too!

What’s It Like Eating Together?

Do you enjoy mealtimes together as a family, do you have time to sit together, are you happy with the food choices you make and feel you have good variety and balance, is eating with your kids a nice experience or a chore?

What About The Fussy Eaters?

All kids go through stages of ‘fussing’ over food and it’s during these times that we may unintentionally reinforce it, so they end up with longer term picky eating habits. Eating together is more likely to encourage children to explore food more and try things out,  especially when they see us modelling how to.

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I Don’t Like Potato

I’ve been teaching for 20 years and during lunch-breaks have seen many school kids pushing their food around their plate.  They find it hard to control their cutlery and can’t wait to get away from the table and nor can the lunchtime staff, who pace around with their cloths, waiting for the next year groups to take their places on the benches.

In some schools, staff do eat with the children,  placing a high priority on the importance of eating together, modelling how to,  communicating deeply and really engaging with one other.

How can we Create Autonomous Happy Eaters?

What if we looked for more opportunities to give autonomy to our children? By allowing our child more choice we give them some space to be and to take ownership of their eating.  By including them in our family decisions we can significantly relax our control and boundaries, and we may discover our children become more relaxed across other areas of their lives, so these skills are transferable.

Eating Together

Since my kids were old enough to eat we’ve sat together at mealtimes.  From about 6 months, minus the salt, they’ve pretty much eaten the same softened food as an adult, they made a complete mess, and still often do. Yet it’s fun fun and sociable.

Make Table Connection & Conversation the Priority

They’ve never been rewarded with pudding if they eat all their food, having  a strong aversion to sticker rewards and making my children ‘compliant’ –  if they don’t eat there’s no fuss about it and if they do it’s the same, no attachment to any outcome. We enjoy being at the table with them, food isn’t the priority, table conversation and connection is.

Serving Suggestions 

Usually food is served from bowls at the table, so they can just help themselves to what they fancy and measure their own portions too.

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There might also be bread & butter, cheese, crackers and salad on offer.

Meal planning 

On Sundays, we sit together and go through calendars and planners in an attempt to get organised.  Again a lovely time to connect and communicate as a family. We often write down meals we would all like for the week, and which meals they can help prepare/cook.

Cooking Together

Encouraging  the children to join in with cooking as often as possible, such as squeezing oranges, grating cheese, making fruit crumbles and teaching them how to handle knives to chop makes them less food adverse and this can be encouraged from a young age.  Always looking for opportunities for them to get involved or do it on their own.

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The children often cook with Nanny Gill when they stay over in Streatham

Team Shopping 

Since they were very young they’ve created their own shopping lists. In the early days this really made learning to read and write meaningful, their pictures and words didn’t need to make sense it was just part of the process. They’d run along the aisles on their own to find things, then be engaged with packing, paying and then unpacking back home. They are still involved at 13 and 11, nowadays they can go to the shops alone and pick up milk, bread etc if we run short.

At most stages of the shop to table experiences they are included

Where Does Our Food Come From?

Many kids don’t know where food comes from.  For the past 12 years, we’ve been privileged to grow vegetables at our allotment, so the kids have been able to sow, grow and eat from scratch.

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Paul on our Shamba whilst we were living in Tanzania. I’d taken my class for a tour around the school searching for food, including the banana and papaya trees. Paul spoke with them about the food he’d grown.

If you don’t have access to a garden or the opportunity to plant a few seeds,  maybe see if you can visit a friend who does, or visit an allotment, garden centre or working farm. Most schools do have gardening projects, however I would say it can be rather tokenistic and dependent on the energy and enthusiasm of the staff member in charge.

Encourage children to look also at food labels and consider the ingredients, and even world maps to plot which country food has come from, they might enjoy this clip here. 

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Getting down with the potatoes in 2007 at our allotment in Woking, UK, loved that brolly too!

Look forward to hearing from you to learn more about what inspires your family eating habits, as it would be great to share it with other children,  schools and parents too.

Also,  love to find out more about you and what you LOVE to do, my linked in profile is here.

Workshops and 1:1 support for children and families listed in my newsletters at yogarascal.com tending to blog etc over there more at mo.

Jane Tyson
Solving World Problems Playfully!