What a wonderful way to start term 2 of Mindful Minis – rain, glorious rain! In the midst of the severe drought that Cape Town is currently experiencing, we had a day filled with beautiful winter rain. I think many of us were slightly unprepared for the wet weather and some of the children did get a bit chilly, but we felt blessed to once again be able to enjoy the sound of falling rain.
In fact, it tied in nicely with the guided visualisation that we did this week and provided some authentic background sound effects! We listened to “Lion” from the album “Mindful Moments for Minis”. It is about a lion walking through the savanna grasslands after the rains. He can smell the freshness in the air after the cleansing of the rains. We too enjoyed that beautiful smell of rain in the air. This particular track is about perseverance and overcoming obstacles as the lion finds a way to cross a rushing river. As the lion approaches the river, the track on the CD asks the children to listen to the sound of the rushing water. In one of the classes, as this played, the rain fell even harder and provided the perfect sound of a rushing river!
The theme for the term is “Adding handful of happiness to the world”. We started this week with RESPECT. We spoke about what respect means, what things can we show respect towards (places, things, people, nature) and how we can show respect to these things. We also focused on what it feels like to be respected by others – that it can leave us feeling special, loved, important, happy. And that by respecting others, we can share these feelings with them and so add handfuls of happiness to the world!
I must mention how one little girl gave an example of respect been shown by adults to children in a recent play at her school. She mentioned that none of the adults were looking at their phones during the performance and for her, that felt that the adults were respecting the children. Some food for thought.
We then did an exercise whereby we all put our hands around a tube of toothpaste. As we squeezed, we shouted out disrespectful things such as “you stink!”, “you are not invited to my party”, “na-na-nana-na”, “I am throwing litter everywhere”, “I am taking a long shower”, “I am stomping on bugs in my garden”. I gave the children free reign to simply express disrespectful actions. Once we had squeezed all the toothpaste out of the tube, I explained that all the disrespectful and hurtful comments and actions were in the toothpaste in the bowl.
I then asked very calmly for one of the children to please put the toothpaste back into the tube. Complete disbelief! What is this woman asking me?! And so, I explained that once the disrespectful comments or actions have been said or done, it is not possible to take them back completely. Just like it was not possible to put the toothpaste back into the tube.
In the younger class we then went on a wonderful wildlife yoga adventure, showing respect to nature and animals along the way. The kids had so much fun learning while learning the importance of respecting our environment and creatures. With the middle group, we did some mindful artwork whereby the children made creative lion pictures using spaghetti for the mane. It took awareness, focus and concentration for them to place the thin spaghetti correctly on the page. And such beautiful results!
The older group had an opportunity to do some journaling – drawing awareness into the body and reflecting on what they noticed. They also spent a bit of time reflecting on the meditation and whether they felt any different after listening to it. Journaling can be a very private experience so there is no requirement for the children to share in the group if they don’t want to. The beauty is in the personal insight. Having said this, some of the children wanted to share their reflections which were lovely to hear.
So all in all, we were blessed with a great (albeit wet!) start to Mindful Minis term 2.