This weekend was a girl cousins weekend in our house. There were 5 children and 5 grown ups and so it was quite full on! We did our best to entertain the children whilst still leaving lots of catch up time for us.
My sister is a primary school teacher and she organised the children amazingly. They were all sitting round her kitchen table making Santas out of sticks. They are really lovely and so simple to make.
JJ was the youngest of the gang, he is not yet 2. Out of all of the children he sat and focussed completely when it was his turn to paint his stick. None of the talking and excitement around him distracted him from his job at all. In many ways I was envious of his ability to give himself over, so completely,to what he was doing.
It got me thinking about the hectic minds that we develop as we grow up. As a small child our minds are quite simple and uncomplicated. As we age and experience life our thoughts tend to become more constant,complex,distracting and sometimes overwhelming.
Most of us seem to wait until something triggers us to address our hectic state of mind. Commonly it might be stress, anxiety or physical ill health. The great thing is that it doesn’t need to reach that stage if we can learn to train our brains from an early age.
I started meditation with my little boy, Noah, as soon as he showed an interest in what I was doing, I think he was only 2. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated, simply encouraging them to take some time sitting still and becoming aware of their breath is a great start.
When we sit and focus on our breathing our thoughts don’t stop. After a few minutes they do start to slow down though. This time out lets our brains recover and revitalise so that when we then ask them to switch on and focus they do so much more effectively.
If you would like your children to see the benefits of mindfulness and meditation there is no better way than to lead by example. Enter into it yourself and they will notice the extra patience and calm that you show. When they see you taking time out each day it will seem a normal practise to them and they will then have the ability to grow up with a really healthy approach to looking after their mind.
Come on a Revitalise Day to see how mindfulness and meditation could make a great difference to you and your loved ones. The days are held in a beautiful country farmhouse and they are a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Why not start the new year the way you mean to go on.