Be. Here. Now.
Take pleasure in the here-and-now;
Don’t always be on the run.
The road you take to reach your goal
Should be part of the fun!
This wonderful reminder is from the beautiful book, Unstoppable Me, by Dr Wayne Dyer. He goes on to explain the concept by using the following example of a little person flying a kite:
Last week when I got a new kite, I took it out to fly,
But it was harder than it looked, and I got mad when it didn’t go high.
That’s when my dad said, ‘Take a breath and slow it down a hair;
It’s not just the goal that brings you joy – it’s the path you take to get there.’
And when I stopped to look around, I saw that he was right.
I saw my family having fun, and the beautiful colours of my kite.
The kids responded well to this concrete example of noticing and enjoying the present moment. We chatted about other examples where we could slow things down a bit and notice the moment. I asked the children if they are sometimes caught up in the “more” cycle; where whatever they are given, simply doesn’t feel like enough and they just want more. So, for example, if they are given one sweet, they immediately ask for more. Or if they are allowed to watch one TV program, they insist on more when that one is finished. We discussed lots of options where this happens such as toys, clothes, time in the bath, reading stories before bedtime, etc. I suggested to the children that perhaps, too often, we are focused so much on wanting more of something that we miss the moment and opportunity to enjoy what we have. I challenged them to find one moment over the next few weeks where they take a deep breath and focus on enjoying what they are given instead of turning to the default of asking for more. I am eager to hear next term how this felt for them!
After warming our bodies, we did a fun exercise called “Pom Pom Freeze Toes”. The kids loved this! I spread brightly coloured pom poms of different sizes around the room. The children had to pick up the pom poms with their toes and place them in a centre bowl. No hands allowed! I played some fun, classical music for them while they were doing this and when I stopped the music, they had to freeze. There were some very funny moments with legs and bodies frozen in awkward positions ? This was an energy enhancing exercise which kids love but which needs to be followed by an energy calming exercise. So, we did some wonderful PEACE breathing afterwards. We practised petal breathing and on each cycle, we whispered PEACE out into the world. This is a simple form of a Loving-Kindness meditation which helps the children to quieten down but also connect with those around them at the same time.
It was then time for relaxation. This week I did a Baby Nidra exercise with the children. We focused on each part of the body. Squeezing the muscles and then letting go allowing that part of the body to melt into the mat. It was the first time I have done a body scan with them and was interested to see how it would work since there was no story or imagery involved. I was pleasantly surprised. They did really well and seem to enjoy simply having the quiet time to rest and let their bodies fully relax.
Since the Easter holidays are approaching, I thought it would be fun to do an Easter themed art activity this week. So, we made Easter Bunnies with our footprints! As well as being lots of fun, this was also a mindful tactile exercise. As I painted each child’s foot, the explained to me what they were feeling – wet, ticklish, cold, sticky. They then had an opportunity to decorate their bunnies practising their fine motor skills by sticking on small googly eyes, felt noses and pom pom tails. So, this year there will be some beautiful, brightly coloured bunnies making the rounds to drop off eggs!
It was a great lesson to end our term’s theme of INCREDIBLE YOU! I feel that it has been a wonderfully self-enriching term which is so important for our children at the start of the year where there are often big changes, such as new schools or new grades. I have had a lot of fun teaching the classes this term and have had some strong self-enriching moments myself. So wonderful.
I wish you all a wonderful Easter break and look forward to seeing the kids again next term. Classes start again the first week of term (i.e. the week of 18th April). And don’t forget about the My Parent and Me! Workshop on Sat 22nd April 9:30am – 11:30am. The children are always super thrilled when a parent can join them and share in this magical journey of mindfulness.