Principle #1 – Tap into Your Fun Quotient
I found out about another super cool class while homeschooling my grandson. Once a week, the school counselor comes in and teaches a guidance lesson. She talks about coping skills, feelings, how they affect the body, and being mindful. She has continued these weekly lessons online. Seriously…the things that are taught to our children is truly amazing. I don’t remember my daughters being taught these skills at school in the ‘90s.
A few months ago, my grandson wanted a snack at 5:00 in the afternoon. I told him his daddy was on his way to pick him up, and it was too close to dinner to have a snack. Well, he didn’t like that answer and went into the pantry for one anyway. I said he could put it on the kitchen counter to eat after school tomorrow, and I thanked him for helping me with his snack for tomorrow. He didn’t like that either and stomped off to his bedroom with the snack. I told him what the consequence would be if he ate it.
He laid on his bed and cried for a few minutes. When he stopped crying, he came popping out of his room and told me he was going the leave his snack under his pillow to eat after school the next day. I’m sure you figured out what happened. I was sitting on the couch and he stood there looking at me for several minutes. I looked at him and asked, very calmly, if he ate the snack? He started crying and said yes.
I asked him to come and sit on my lap while he calmed down. Then we talked about what happened. We talked about the choice he made and how he felt about it. He told me he was sad that he ate the snack and that his feelings were hurting. OMG…so cute!
I was so amazed that this eight-year-old boy was self-aware of his emotions and mindful of how it made his body feel at that moment. I didn’t figure this out until I was in my forties!
Being mindful requires us to pay attention to what is happening now…in this moment. Mindful meditation refocuses the mind and body in the present space with no worry of the past or future. There are other ways to practice mindfulness throughout the day. What about that first sip of coffee every morning? I savor the warm taste, but also the way my mind and body feel. To me, that first taste of coffee represents the beginning of another wonderful day.
Learning to be mindful can be really fun. Think about when you have a wine tasting. The winemaker tells you about the different flavors you may taste. What about savoring the taste of a great meal? Think about how you feel when you go on a walk. Feel the wind in your hair, or how your feet touch the sidewalk.
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.”
– Sharon Salzberg
Being mindful can be hard in these crazy times. But stay with it because it really does help the mind, body, and spirit. It just takes practice, and with enough practice, it will become a habit. What will you notice when you learn how to be mindful?
Freedom is possible!