Children are naturals at mindfulness
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”
– Henry Miller
“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”– William Blake
Here are some of my preschool students on a recent field trip to our local gardens. About 10 frogs presented themselves that day. We spent as long as we could just staring at this little frog. Nothing was as fascinating as that frog! It was pure mindfulness. Totally living in the moment. Since then I’ve gone back to study the frogs, bees and fall leaves. I’ve never felt such peace.
Children should be naturals at mindfulness. Yet these days so many children are combating anxiety, having trouble concentrating and controlling anger.
Aniexty is a big problem. I recently read that 1 in 8 children feel some kind of anxiety. Some are depressed, some are worried and having panic attacks. It’s hard to imagine! And with all the technology, sticking to a task for a long time is more and more difficult.
There are several tools to combat anxiety through mindfulness. Kids need more time to be mindful. It’s up to us teachers and parents to give that to them.
A few weeks ago, while on auto pilot and thinking too many thoughts, I got to my destination without even paying attention to the drive. Then there was one night last week I couldn’t sleep as I made all sorts of lists in my mind of things I needed to do. My distracted mind or Monkey Mind had taken control! I was falling into the trap of our culture and being too busy. (Do you remember what I think of busy? Read more here about the 4 Letter Word). I had too much going on in my head. I realized that I needed to take the time out to be more mindful!
What is Mindfulness?
It’s paying attention “on purpose”. It’s being aware without judgement.
Left on its own our mind wanders back into the past and forward into the future. These thoughts can include worry, anger, disappointment, fear, grief and self pity. You suffer with these thoughts because the past is gone and the future a fantasy. Let go of these thoughts, paying attention to the now without judgment. This creates a stillness and peace in the mind. When using mindfulness in your life you tend to be here now. And now is usually filled with contentment.
When in the present moment nothing everything seems just right. It means being there with your children or the other important things. It means really listening. Or being in nature and just observing. Or seeing still in a meditation that revives you. It’s almost like you’ve taken a mini-vacation from life and are feel rested and renewed.
I love these mindfulness quotes. The quotes remind me how important mindfulness whether it’s a serious meditation or just a walk in your garden.
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The zucchini is one of the most versitile squash around.
A New Zucchini Growing in the Garden!
It’s used in all sorts of meals. In gardens it grows like crazy! I often have more than I knew what to do! Which is a great problem to have if you know a few good recipes.
My latest go-to Zucchini meal is a Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Salad with Miso Vinaigrette. This salad fits in perfectly with my Zen Meal requirements: easy, healthy and delicious. I took a couple of my favorite recipes (from Skinnytaste and Pinch of Yum) and combined them into one.
You feel healthier just looking at it, don’t you?!
I’m imagining that I’m at a party, a birthday for a very old woman.
When I am an old woman by Mamjakty
She is surrounded by all those she loves in her life. They are the gifts. The memories of a life well lived are a gift. The momentoes and books on her shelves tell the story of adventure, imagine and creativity. Photos capture loved ones and beautiful places.
I’d like to imagine that woman is me many, many years in the future.
If you imagine life as an old woman or man, you could understand so much. You could understand why the bad things happened to you. Or what you really wanted out of life. It’s kind of like asking yourself the questions, if you were at the end of your life what you would like people to say about you? If you are 50 now and you’re going to live to 80, you only have more 30 years? What will you do with that time?
Looking for Happiness?
Of course you are! We all are.
What is the key to finding it?
Could it be gratitude?
Yet how do you define gratitude?
Many of us are thankful for the things in our life. Yet, gratitude is much more than being thankful. Thankfulness is an expression of happiness. Being thankful is telling someone you appreciate what they have done. Being thankful is being glad it didn’t rain on picnic day. Being thankful is happiness from a gift.
Gratitude is thankfulness taken to the next level. It is a heart-felt and intellectual acknowledgement of all that is good in your life. It’s embracing uncertainty. To feel gratitude towards the bad things that have happened to us knowing that will lead you a new opportunity.”
My college senior graduated this weekend and will soon be heading out into the work place. The event was joyful!
I didn’t expect to cry but I did. There’s something about the song “Pomp and Circumstance” that brings out emotions in me!
This generation is full of hope. Today’s grads want to do some good in the world. They want to explore the world. They want to do what they love. Money isn’t necessarily the end-all, the way it was when my generation was graduating in the ’80’s. Yet, if you watch the news, you know how bad the world is portrayed. It can be disheartening to be entering the workforce. This bad news puts fear in the lives of these young grads.
Don’t want to concentrate on the negative with a new grads. Give them some inspiration! Write some wonderful quotes for them in their graduation card and inspire them. Maybe you’ll inspire yourself, too!
“The era of “yes” has begun.”
~Carl Allen, main character in “Yes Man”
“I was saying yes because … the world is full of possibilities, and… you want to take every single one of them.”
~Danny Wallace, author of the book, Yes, Man
All around me lately, I’ve been seeing the word yes. In books, in newspaper articles, in quotes on facebook and even movies. Last week, we rewatched the movie “Yes, Man” with Jim Carey. He plays a bank employee, Carl Allen, who has become withdrawn after a divorce. He says no to everything offered him and has an increasingly negative outlook on his life. Then he goes to a “Yes!” seminar. Reluctantly, Carl agrees stop being a “No Man” and say, “Yes!” to every opportunity that comes his way. Mostly this is a good thing, and he meets his new love and gets the job he’s always wanted.
Chapter 5 of How To Be A Zen Mama‘s is called, “Be A Yes Mom”. Several years ago, I decided to become a “Yes Mom”. Are you more of a “Yes Mom” (you can also insert Dad/Person) or a “No Mom”?
“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”
Photo credit: The Mona Lisa Foundation
~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.
There’s nothing like humor to make you feel better. A big laugh is one of the best feelings in the world. I’ve even written a post aboutlaughter is the best medicine, but what about smiling? Is smiling good for your body and mental health?
Posted in Brain Research, happiness, Humor, Positve Thought
Tagged duchenne smile, frown vs smile muscles, mindful smile, mother theresa quotes, smile connects people, smiles, take two smiles, thich nhat hanh smile
Just recently we were lucky enough to visit Iceland.
The amazing northern lights
The sun rose at 11am and set at 4pm. We saw shaggy Icelandic horses, geysers and a colorful downtown Reykjavik. We ate delicious herring, smoked trout, sour milk (like yogurt) and drank Viking beers.
And we got to see the treat of a lifetime, something from my bucket list, the Northern lights. I’d studied up on camera settings and “How To Take Pictures of Northern Lights” on pinterest. We checked the weather, and thankfully, our first night was clear. We got a knock on the door from our hotel at about 12:30 am. We dressed quickly, grabbed our coats and shoes for the chilly in January weather. And they were, just as beautiful as I dreamed they’d be, dancing green in the sky.
It’s tempting. Yup, very tempting, to believe that maybe you could change someone. It’s totally natural to have days when you wish you could change something your child does or someone else in your life…perhaps a co-worker, spouse, neighbor? You can drive them and yourself crazy wishing for that change. That’s the point when I remind myself, “Of course I can’t change anyone. No one wants me to try.”
There were a few times throughout motherhood that I tried to change my kids. These times were met with diasterious results. The message I was sending to my child was, “There’s someone wrong with you that I don’t like.”
I recently read a famous blogger’s post, 7 Tips for Helping Someone Else to Change A Habit. There were some very valid points but I thought to myself, “Can you really make someone else change?”