Someone or Something Frustrating You?
Repeat this 5 times –
Repeat this 5 times –
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
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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.
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 breathe 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.
Your children can learn simple ways to be calm, connected and emotionally balanced. It is very easy to do.
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!
I taught them how to create more energy and enthusiasm when they feel tired and ways to be calmer when they feel wired.
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.
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.
Some 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.
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.
Yesterday my son was talking to me (well at me), we were on our way to karate and he was really excited about moving up a level to ‘spar‘ and spent a looooong time telling me all about it. I was distracted, my mind was elsewhere on work and actually hands up, I was a little bored of listening!
I took a breath and acknowledged to myself that I wasn’t with him and set an intention to BE present and enjoy his company, despite the uninsparring conversation.
I parked the car, looked at him and checked in to where we both were, I breathed with him and tilted my head to match his tilt, I listened to his words and brought myself to the present moment and engaged more with his excitement and enthusiasm, I noticed my 12 year old boy-man. I became present to BEing with him, I sensed his energy and he bought me home again, we relaxed together, his conversation slowed and he noticed me too.
Tonight he has been teaching me how to play a PS4 game called OverWatch and again I was rather distracted and keen to get on with making tea! I once again connected with him and enjoyed his joy at spending time with me, and just how excited he was to teach me how to be in his virtual world and once more guide me out of mine.
Come learn how we use our BE SAY DO HAVE Ⓒ model and join in the conversation –
Kids spending too much time on screens, overloaded with homework, stressed out over friendships, ignoring your requests to help out around the house repeatedly?
These Monday sessions will provide fresh air, fun and opportunities to explore ways they can take more ‘responsibility’ for themselves.
For Kids of all ages –
Sutherland Park Grounds, Guildford
Mondays 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Plus Tuesday 4th April 2017 10am – 12am
Mum, Primary School Teacher, Yoga & Mindfulness for Kids, Parenting Support, IamBe Practitioner
Cast your thoughts back to your day.
When during the day did you fully engage and connect with your child(ren)?
Like all kids, my kids are busy, they play out with other kids, watch TV, get absorbed in a book or nerf game, or quite often are on their screens for their ‘screen time‘. When they take a break from what they are doing, chances are we are distracted on a screen too or absorbed by a household task, or our minds are elsewhere. The children might strike up a conversation or want to show us something and we often say ‘oh just a sec, just finishing this’ or we listen but our attention isn’t quite there.
Then when we are in the zone to sit and talk they aren’t, the opportunity is lost and they are off distracted too!
Notice when opportunities to connect offline arise and when they do, stop and be fully present to what they are saying and doing and immerse yourself in the experience. This could be a valuable moment for you to connect together and it’s on their time – even better that the conversation starts with them.
When we connect to ourselves, we are in the right space to connect to others. I wrote about this earlier in the week how can we be when we are so busy doing? We slow down and teach our kids to do the same, and when we connect with them it makes them feel noticed and valued and the mood in the home can change considerably.
We can even tell our children what we are doing.
You might know a parent who’d like to come along to this rather unique & unusual parenting workshop –