I recently took a mindfulness awareness course and I found it very beneficial. I have read articles here and there about mindfulness, but didn’t know much and had never actually practiced it. I had viewed mindfulness as somewhat gimmicky mostly due to lack of knowledge, after taking some time to learn about it my view has COMPLETELY changed. This course inspired me to want to learn more and find ways to implement these practices daily. My biggest struggle at first was to keep my mind from wondering as I sit there in the quiet. I still struggle with it, but it has gotten much easier with practice (as most things in life patience and practice go a long way).
“Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with one’s own experience. Mindfulness is a conscious moment-to-moment awareness, cultivated by systematically paying attention on purpose in a particular way, without judgement” – Kabat-Zinn
Once I started reaping the benefits of mediating I immediately wanted to introduce it to my 6-year-old son. There are many guided meditations on SoundCloud and YouTube, that’s what I have been using thus far. I had my worries about how he would do sitting in the quiet, but to my surprise he loved it from the go and sometimes ask me if we can do it. Think of what a gift this can be for our children learning these skills at such a young age. To learn what they are feeling in the moment and be able to recognize what others are feeling. To learn to make space between a stimulus and their response. Learning to manage and cope with stress. These are beautiful gifts and I feel children have the ability to pick up on these habits more quickly than adults. Children are our future. It is important to equip them with tools, mindfulness, to see the world around them with more clarity. I am so eager to learn more as I go on this journey of practicing mindfulness with my son and will continue to post my findings.
I would encourage everyone to take some time each day to practice their mindfulness, even if it’s just for 3 minutes or so. There are various ways forms: body scan meditation, mindful check-in, mindful breathing and informal practices (taking notice of your sensory feelings: seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and tasting during different activities throughout your day).
Everyday there’s endless possible moments for mindfulness and compassion, start today with this act of self-kindness. Love thyself!