What is mindfulness?

mindfulness for children in cape town

Mindfulness is about paying extraordinary attention to the ordinary. It is about using all of our senses to live moment-to-moment with awareness. We may find that we are habitually lost in thought. Worrying about the past or the future. Or simply just stuck in our heads. This results in a disconnection from our immediate environment, our bodies and our feelings. The mindfulness practice is a simple way to help us reconnect with our bodies and inner resources again. It helps us ground ourselves in the present moment.

When explaining mindfulness to children, I often use the analogy of a pause button. Most children know what a pause button is and how to use it. Mindfulness is like the pause button on life. It helps us to pause and take notice of all that is around us and inside of us. It helps us to stop, breathe and be.

The below children’s poem describes it so well:

I breathe slowly in,

I breathe slowly out.

Each breath is a river of peace.

I am here in the world.

Each moment I can breathe and be.

Kate Coombs (Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems)